UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:28 pm

Still waiting to hear from other schools but these are my top two choices so far. I count myself lucky for even getting into UMich (3.8/163), but I'm also having a hard time justifying graduating with around $240k in debt.

I was hoping to avoid having my options limited to just Biglaw with the help of competitive scholarships, but I don't think I'll be getting anything more generous this cycle (My highest offer so far is $90k from Fordham). I'd rather not spend the rest of my life paying off debt, so it seems like Biglaw is the way to go given my particular circumstance, right? And if that's the case, going to Michigan is probably the better option. Just thinking out loud... would appreciate it if someone can confirm that my line of reasoning is on point.

Ideally I'd like to be in NY since this is where all my friends and family are. Wouldn't be opposed to going elsewhere though.

Monday

Silver
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:36 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby Monday » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:37 pm

.
Last edited by Monday on Wed May 10, 2017 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

curry1

Silver
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 11:41 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby curry1 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:18 pm

trqdor wrote:Still waiting to hear from other schools but these are my top two choices so far. I count myself lucky for even getting into UMich (3.8/163), but I'm also having a hard time justifying graduating with around $240k in debt.

I was hoping to avoid having my options limited to just Biglaw with the help of competitive scholarships, but I don't think I'll be getting anything more generous this cycle (My highest offer so far is $90k from Fordham). I'd rather not spend the rest of my life paying off debt, so it seems like Biglaw is the way to go given my particular circumstance, right? And if that's the case, going to Michigan is probably the better option. Just thinking out loud... would appreciate it if someone can confirm that my line of reasoning is on point.

Ideally I'd like to be in NY since this is where all my friends and family are. Wouldn't be opposed to going elsewhere though.


Retake or don't go. By the way, sticker at Michigan is more than 270k per LST. That would take five years minimum to pay off (while living like a pauper), assuming you land a market paying firm job. For reference, a 180k salary becomes more like 110k in NYC/major markets after taxes and just the interest on that debt is close to 2k a month. Michigan only has 60% fed clerk + large firm per lst. BU would only make sense with a full ride, Boston connections and going in accepting that you likely wouldn't be working at a large firm.

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:31 pm

Monday wrote:Paying off that much debt, even with biglaw salary, isn't just a small number of years. If you are that debt averse and don't want to need biglaw, you might want to consider retaking the LSAT. You have a solid GPA and with a better LSAT, you will have a solid cycle.

Going to biglaw because you have to seems to be one easy recipe for a miserable time.



Thanks for the input. I've taken the test 4 times now and i've come to terms with not doing well on it. I don't think anything will change the 5th time around since studying at this point would just be an exercise of remembering answers from practice tests. despite this, I think I'll be able to do well in law school.

I may have mischaracterized myself. Biglaw is definitely an appealing option for me. I just would have preferred if it wasnt my one and only destiny.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:56 pm

trqdor wrote:
Monday wrote:Paying off that much debt, even with biglaw salary, isn't just a small number of years. If you are that debt averse and don't want to need biglaw, you might want to consider retaking the LSAT. You have a solid GPA and with a better LSAT, you will have a solid cycle.

Going to biglaw because you have to seems to be one easy recipe for a miserable time.



Thanks for the input. I've taken the test 4 times now and i've come to terms with not doing well on it. I don't think anything will change the 5th time around since studying at this point would just be an exercise of remembering answers from practice tests. despite this, I think I'll be able to do well in law school.

I may have mischaracterized myself. Biglaw is definitely an appealing option for me. I just would have preferred if it wasnt my one and only destiny.


All of those options would likely require Biglaw if paying off on a regular repayment schedule though. But considering you've exhausted LSAT retakes, I'd personally take the security blanket of better employment odds vs. slightly less debt. It's risky and could leave you saddled with a ton of debt in a job you may or may not love, but to me that's better for the psyche than slightly less debt with not insignificantly lower employment opportunities.

If a legal career is something you really want and you'd be ok taking on anything north of $150k debt (which all of these would give you when factoring in interest and CoL, just in matters of degree), I suppose Michigan is the way I'd lean. (I'd never take on that much debt in this situation, but I'm not you, so YMMV).

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:09 pm

UVA2B wrote:
trqdor wrote:
Monday wrote:Paying off that much debt, even with biglaw salary, isn't just a small number of years. If you are that debt averse and don't want to need biglaw, you might want to consider retaking the LSAT. You have a solid GPA and with a better LSAT, you will have a solid cycle.

Going to biglaw because you have to seems to be one easy recipe for a miserable time.



Thanks for the input. I've taken the test 4 times now and i've come to terms with not doing well on it. I don't think anything will change the 5th time around since studying at this point would just be an exercise of remembering answers from practice tests. despite this, I think I'll be able to do well in law school.

I may have mischaracterized myself. Biglaw is definitely an appealing option for me. I just would have preferred if it wasnt my one and only destiny.


All of those options would likely require Biglaw if paying off on a regular repayment schedule though. But considering you've exhausted LSAT retakes, I'd personally take the security blanket of better employment odds vs. slightly less debt. It's risky and could leave you saddled with a ton of debt in a job you may or may not love, but to me that's better for the psyche than slightly less debt with not insignificantly lower employment opportunities.

If a legal career is something you really want and you'd be ok taking on anything north of $150k debt (which all of these would give you when factoring in interest and CoL, just in matters of degree), I suppose Michigan is the way I'd lean. (I'd never take on that much debt in this situation, but I'm not you, so YMMV).


yes I agree it's not a terrific situation to be in and me 2 years ago had the same train of thought as you. But I've been holding off law school for a couple of years and now I'm ready to go - debt or no debt. thanks for your insight.

User avatar
RParadela

Silver
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:04 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby RParadela » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:42 pm

BU with 60k isn't drastically different than Michigan at sticker because of COL. I'd go to Michigan all day to be honest in this situation.

mrtux45

Bronze
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:08 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby mrtux45 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:52 am

OP: I have pretty similar numbers, where else did you apply? Have you thought about using your Fordham offer to try and negotiate with BU? Also, have you considered applying to other schools last minute to get some more leverage or even full rides?

With our numbers I got full rides from Northeastern, Wake, Ohio State, and hefty offers at other schools (granted, they're regionals). It's not too late to apply if you have top numbers for a school. Everyday I think more about taking the money as a better longterm move over sticker at low T14-T20.

270K debt is literally shackles, and you'll need big law to pay it off..which could really suck if you end up not liking that lifestyle and are staring down the barrel of 5 years of it. While lower ranked schools can presumably close the door on big law barring being top in your class (which can't be assumed) a starting salary of 60k and 0 loans is not poverty.

Informative

Bronze
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby Informative » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:33 pm

I'd go with Michigan. Your options, even if you don't want to do BL, are much better. Unless you want to work in Boston.

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:26 pm

mrtux45 wrote:OP: I have pretty similar numbers, where else did you apply? Have you thought about using your Fordham offer to try and negotiate with BU? Also, have you considered applying to other schools last minute to get some more leverage or even full rides?

With our numbers I got full rides from Northeastern, Wake, Ohio State, and hefty offers at other schools (granted, they're regionals). It's not too late to apply if you have top numbers for a school. Everyday I think more about taking the money as a better longterm move over sticker at low T14-T20.

270K debt is literally shackles, and you'll need big law to pay it off..which could really suck if you end up not liking that lifestyle and are staring down the barrel of 5 years of it. While lower ranked schools can presumably close the door on big law barring being top in your class (which can't be assumed) a starting salary of 60k and 0 loans is not poverty.


Got into Umich, BU ($60k), Fordham ($90k), vandy (no $ offer yet), BC (no $ offer yet). Waiting to hear back from a PI scholarship application I sent to BU. Dinged from Penn, UC Berkeley, Cornell (as expected). Still waiting to hear from Columbia, NYU, UVA, Duke, and Northwestern (all realistically rejections) and Wash U. 'preferred' waitlist to georgetown. I'm not applying to any more schools, but im gonna try to play BU, Fordham, Vanderbilt and BC off each other to the extent that I can. None of the schools I got accepted into are peer schools for UMich, so I won't be getting a better offer from them. I don't mind. It was the smart move for them to do and I'm lucky just to be admitted.

The reason I'm not applying to the regional schools you mentioned is because I'd rather not go to law school at all than to those schools. They're just not aligned with my career/life goals.

mrtux45

Bronze
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:08 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby mrtux45 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:08 pm

trqdor wrote:
mrtux45 wrote:OP: I have pretty similar numbers, where else did you apply? Have you thought about using your Fordham offer to try and negotiate with BU? Also, have you considered applying to other schools last minute to get some more leverage or even full rides?

With our numbers I got full rides from Northeastern, Wake, Ohio State, and hefty offers at other schools (granted, they're regionals). It's not too late to apply if you have top numbers for a school. Everyday I think more about taking the money as a better longterm move over sticker at low T14-T20.

270K debt is literally shackles, and you'll need big law to pay it off..which could really suck if you end up not liking that lifestyle and are staring down the barrel of 5 years of it. While lower ranked schools can presumably close the door on big law barring being top in your class (which can't be assumed) a starting salary of 60k and 0 loans is not poverty.


Got into Umich, BU ($60k), Fordham ($90k), vandy (no $ offer yet), BC (no $ offer yet). Waiting to hear back from a PI scholarship application I sent to BU. Dinged from Penn, UC Berkeley, Cornell (as expected). Still waiting to hear from Columbia, NYU, UVA, Duke, and Northwestern (all realistically rejections) and Wash U. 'preferred' waitlist to georgetown. I'm not applying to any more schools, but im gonna try to play BU, Fordham, Vanderbilt and BC off each other to the extent that I can. None of the schools I got accepted into are peer schools for UMich, so I won't be getting a better offer from them. I don't mind. It was the smart move for them to do and I'm lucky just to be admitted.

The reason I'm not applying to the regional schools you mentioned is because I'd rather not go to law school at all than to those schools. They're just not aligned with my career/life goals.


That's fair, I sent out a lot of applications because imo it's better to have options on the table than not. Good luck with your negotiations, I'm also waiting on those same schools except for Columbia, NYU, and Duke so let me know how things turn out

User avatar
Lavitz

Gold
Posts: 3402
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 1:39 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby Lavitz » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:39 am

Why do you prefer BU over Fordham when you have more money at Fordham (which should at least cover the difference in CoA) and ideally you want to stay in NY?

User avatar
cron1834

Gold
Posts: 2295
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:36 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby cron1834 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:56 am

$270k is insane at literally any school, unless you're independently wealthy or have rich parents. Don't do it.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 10722
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:55 pm

Financial suicide. Don't do it.

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:12 pm

Lavitz wrote:Why do you prefer BU over Fordham when you have more money at Fordham (which should at least cover the difference in CoA) and ideally you want to stay in NY?


I prefer BU because it seems like the better law school experience from what I can see. Strictly basing my decision off numbers and location would lead me to Fordham, but almost everything else (school culture/infrastructure/professors) favors BU. Then again, it can all be a marketing ploy to trick suckers like me into choosing BU over Fordham.

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:19 pm

cron1834 wrote:$270k is insane at literally any school, unless you're independently wealthy or have rich parents. Don't do it.


Quite the opposite. I have very poor parents. It's difficult arguing against your point, but when the alternative option is to not be a lawyer (something I've worked toward for a few years now and the only thing I've really 'prepared' myself for), 270k of debt + the likely chance of being a practicing lawyer seems like the better option.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:22 pm

trqdor wrote:
cron1834 wrote:$270k is insane at literally any school, unless you're independently wealthy or have rich parents. Don't do it.


Quite the opposite. I have very poor parents. It's difficult arguing against your point, but when the alternative option is to not be a lawyer (something I've worked toward for a few years now and the only thing I've really 'prepared' myself for), 270k of debt + the likely chance of being a practicing lawyer seems like the better option.


Just make sure you're calculating what you'll be earning as a practicing lawyer.

Michigan will give you great chances at biglaw, but you're implicitly committing to a long haul in a field that you already don't seem too interested in by taking on that much debt.

trqdor

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:31 am

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby trqdor » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:28 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
trqdor wrote:
cron1834 wrote:$270k is insane at literally any school, unless you're independently wealthy or have rich parents. Don't do it.


Quite the opposite. I have very poor parents. It's difficult arguing against your point, but when the alternative option is to not be a lawyer (something I've worked toward for a few years now and the only thing I've really 'prepared' myself for), 270k of debt + the likely chance of being a practicing lawyer seems like the better option.


Just make sure you're calculating what you'll be earning as a practicing lawyer.

Michigan will give you great chances at biglaw, but you're implicitly committing to a long haul in a field that you already don't seem too interested in by taking on that much debt.


Thanks. I get what you mean but I dont think my aversion for this much debt is indicative of low interest. It's just not a good scenario, but I'm willing to do with what I've got... if that makes any sense.

User avatar
Johann

Diamond
Posts: 19697
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby Johann » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:43 am

With a Michigan degree and 240k in debt you're basically looking at good options in biglaw to pay down the debt in 7-10 years or good options in public service to have the debt forgiven after 10 years. I don't think you'll be forced into biglaw if you think about it logically. But if NYC is the goal, 90k at Fordham is a little more risky but has a great reward with less debt if you do well there. I think Michigan is the safer option while Fordham is a little riskier with more downside and more upside.

16to19

Bronze
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:02 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby 16to19 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:46 pm

1. Retake.
2. If you're not going to retake, apply to WashU. You'll get in, they'll give you money (more than BU), and you can either go or leverage it at BU (if you want Boston) or Michigan (anywhere else)
3. If youre not gonna do the WUSTL, Michigan, unless you want Boston.

But retake and/or figure out why you're testing so low despite being an otherwise appealing candidate. If it's just "I test poorly," fine, but bear in mind that for most schools, 100% of your 1L grades come from finals, so...

vwp123

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby vwp123 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:59 pm

As an actual recent Michigan alum who faced almost the same concerns a few years ago (BU, BC, or Fordham with significant $$$ vs. Michigan with $15k/yr), I would advise you to go to Michigan or another T14. Sticker is worth it for a Biglaw job.

Many of my Michigan friends paid sticker but it was worth it if you want to go into Biglaw. I don't know anyone who wanted and actively targeted Biglaw in a major city (NYC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Philly, DC) who didn't get it. Not a single person (that I'm personally aware of in my class - but it's possible there were a few that I'm unaware of). I was well below median (2.9) and I got several Biglaw offers, and I know several people in the same boat. And obviously if your GPA is above median all you have to do is show up to the interview in a suit and not be completely socially awkward to get a Biglaw job.

The only people who graduated unemployed but wanting Biglaw are the ones who targeted smaller cities/states to which they had no ties, which they were advised not to do by career counselors. Don't do that. On the flip side, if you do want to live in a smaller city, it's easy to get non-Biglaw firm jobs with a below median GPA if you're willing to accept a lower salary (think $125k instead of $180k) and target somewhere that you do actually have ties to (undergraduate school, grew up there, interned there, etc.). Again, if your GPA is above median, you're pretty much set regardless of your ties - probably (some markets are more insular and non-welcoming to outsiders than others).

On the other hand, the people I know who went to BU, BC, Fordham, and other non-top 14 law schools all did not get Biglaw jobs. I was in a pre-law society in undergrad so I know a lot of people who went to law school. The only person I know who got a Biglaw job transferred from a school ranked #64 at the time to Chicago Law. It's not that my non-top-14 law school didn't get legal jobs. I think most (if not all) of them did. They just weren't Biglaw, which, of course, is fine if that's not what you want to do, but if you're paying sticker, then you probably should go into Biglaw.

Now as to Biglaw itself - I really enjoy it. Yes, I work until 7 PM every day at a minimum, sometimes staying until 9 or 10 PM, occasionally even later than that. Sometimes I work on Saturdays. Rarely I work on Sundays. I get paid Biglaw salary. I have a fancy Biglaw office and fancy Biglaw resources. I honestly don't know what everyone is complaining about. I've only worked one year but so far it's been grand. The work is at times tedious but not as tedious as law school. I'm paying off my debt and am not worried about job security. The deals my firm does are exciting, fast-paced, and involve work that is interesting most of the time, even for a junior attorney.

Overall, I think I would've gotten the same grades if I had attended a non-T14, but I wouldn't have gotten my nice cushy job. Shitty grades + non-T14 = almost guaranteed no Biglaw job. Shitty grades + non-T14 + strategic targeting of a market that has a lot of Biglaw jobs = very likely Biglaw job. Don't gamble with your life and bet on getting great grades at a non-T14. Be risk adverse like a true lawyer and pay sticker at T14 to get the job you want, regardless of how your grades turn out.

Edit: Wanted to add that I had 0 interest in going into Biglaw when I applied to law schools. Accepted my fate once I figured out how much debt I'd be going into. Had no idea what was going on in the first few corporate law classes I took. Gradually became interested in it. Not going to lie, had to force it a bit and put in some effort since I was not an economic/business/finance major in undergrad and had no prior experience, but by third year, I was legitimately interested in corporate law and had enjoyed my 2L summer at the firm. Same story for a lot of people I know who were "forced" into Biglaw - it's not as boring as one would think. Can always do Biglaw and then public interest after, but not sure one could do things the other way around. Biglaw gives you great work experience regardless of what you want to do down the line.

Rigo

Diamond
Posts: 16642
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby Rigo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:04 am

Don't take BU at $60k discount with Fordham giving you $90k if you want to be in New York. BU over Fordham doesn't make a whole lot of sense here. Negotiate and get BU to match (or exceed) Fordham's offer, at the very least.

nyu2019maybeplease

Bronze
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: UMich (sticker) vs. BU ($60k)

Postby nyu2019maybeplease » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:17 am

16to19 wrote:1. Retake.
2. If you're not going to retake, apply to WashU. You'll get in, they'll give you money (more than BU), and you can either go or leverage it at BU (if you want Boston) or Michigan (anywhere else)
3. If youre not gonna do the WUSTL, Michigan, unless you want Boston.


But retake and/or figure out why you're testing so low despite being an otherwise appealing candidate. If it's just "I test poorly," fine, but bear in mind that for most schools, 100% of your 1L grades come from finals, so...


This.



Return to “Choosing a Law School�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 11 guests