Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

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

Which?

Fordham (Sticker)
1
7%
UIUC ($$$$)
13
93%
UCI ($)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 14

CPAlawHopefu

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Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby CPAlawHopefu » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:06 pm

-The schools you are considering

Fordham v UIUC v UCI

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.

Fordham (Sticker) - $250k
UIUC (Full Tuition) - $60-$70k
UCI ($) - $160k-$180k


-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings

Almost entirely by Loan. I have small savings that doesn't mean crap (less than 10k LOL)

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)

Ties: Mostly Los Angeles. Some in NYC

NYC, LA, and Chicago are all my top choices. LA and NYC are my ultimate top choices (I have pretty good connection in both cities) but I love Chicago and would have no prob working there (but no ties).

-Your general career goals

BigLaw would be the best but I'm not a "BigLaw or Bust" type. I don't mind Mid-Firm (70-80k salary?). Ultimately I will open my own practice but will want min 5 years of solid experience beforehand. NOT interested in PI.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers - 164 / 3.45

-How many times you have taken the LSAT - 3x

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guynourmin

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby guynourmin » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:13 pm

UIUC

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:15 pm

I guess UIUC since that is the only one that makes sense financially. UIUC seems to be giving out a ton of full rides this year. But only go there if you are comfortable ending up in Chicago making $65k since only 30% of UIUC gets big law+fed clerk.

If you want to be in LA or NYC, retake and reapply for schools that will place you there

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Pomeranian

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Pomeranian » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:22 pm

UIUC

Also, I think you are underestimating sticker at Fordham. Factor in COL, tuition increases, and interest payments, and it's going to be more like 300k. Good luck paying that back on a 60K salary in NYC. Another added benefit of UIUC is that they lock-in tuition rates and have no scholarship stipulations.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby CPAlawHopefu » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:38 pm

Thanks for the replies. Maybe this is a no-brainer, and I will have no regret picking UIUC at full tuition (I was also offered half-tuition at ASU but I'm not interested in earning 40-50k at solo firms which is where the majority of its grads seem to go).

I'm not nearly interested in starting salary as much as I am in salary advancement and quality of life. I was told that most BigLaw guys don't last for more than 3 years and take a huge paycut (to around 100k level) for a more "flexible" in-house or smaller-tier firms. If I were to start at 70k level with good enough flexibility and standard of living that I don't contemplate quitting every week while making a steady salary progression, I'd be much happier than taking a BigLaw job (especially with a "low" debt).

Where can I find data on salary progression of mid-tier firm associates? Say if I start at 65k my 1st year, how much am I expected to make in 5 years? And so mid-tier firms in NYC really a similar rate as the one in Chicago? This is hard to believe considering the vast difference in COL between the two cities.

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Thomas Hagan, ESQ.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Thomas Hagan, ESQ. » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:43 pm

When did you apply? With your numbers, I'm surprised that you didn't at least get something from Fordham...

It looks like UIUC is the most rational choice from your list. However, I'm not too familiar with how well they place students into NYC. If you really want NYC, Fordham would be the no-brainer here but definitely not at sticker...

grades??

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby grades?? » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:46 pm

Also just to caution you, there really is not such thing as a 70k-80k starting salary for midlaw. Salaries are bimodal at either 50kish or 180k. There is really no such thing as "midlaw" that will pay you 80k out of any of these schools. Just fyi. Make sure you are happy going to a small firm making 45-50k out of UIUC

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:53 pm

CPAlawHopefu wrote:Thanks for the replies. Maybe this is a no-brainer, and I will have no regret picking UIUC at full tuition (I was also offered half-tuition at ASU but I'm not interested in earning 40-50k at solo firms which is where the majority of its grads seem to go).

I'm not nearly interested in starting salary as much as I am in salary advancement and quality of life. I was told that most BigLaw guys don't last for more than 3 years and take a huge paycut (to around 100k level) for a more "flexible" in-house or smaller-tier firms. If I were to start at 70k level with good enough flexibility and standard of living that I don't contemplate quitting every week while making a steady salary progression, I'd be much happier than taking a BigLaw job (especially with a "low" debt).

Where can I find data on salary progression of mid-tier firm associates? Say if I start at 65k my 1st year, how much am I expected to make in 5 years? And so mid-tier firms in NYC really a similar rate as the one in Chicago? This is hard to believe considering the vast difference in COL between the two cities.


it really depends on the firm. I have friends that started out at $60k in Chicago as first years and now as third years making close to $100k at the same firm, others that aren't making much more than when they started. Several have moved to mid-sized law firms and make over $100k now.

Grades is generally right, there are not many mid-law jobs, but I do know a few firms that have 60-80 attorneys and pay $120 starting and do hire from UIUC. That is far from the norm. It is mostly you make $180k in big law or $60k small law right out of law school. But mid-law exists in the lateral market.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:46 pm

UIUC.

CPAlawHopefu

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby CPAlawHopefu » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:48 pm

grades?? wrote:Also just to caution you, there really is not such thing as a 70k-80k starting salary for midlaw. Salaries are bimodal at either 50kish or 180k. There is really no such thing as "midlaw" that will pay you 80k out of any of these schools. Just fyi. Make sure you are happy going to a small firm making 45-50k out of UIUC


trebekismyhero wrote:it really depends on the firm. I have friends that started out at $60k in Chicago as first years and now as third years making close to $100k at the same firm, others that aren't making much more than when they started. Several have moved to mid-sized law firms and make over $100k now.

Grades is generally right, there are not many mid-law jobs, but I do know a few firms that have 60-80 attorneys and pay $120 starting and do hire from UIUC. That is far from the norm. It is mostly you make $180k in big law or $60k small law right out of law school. But mid-law exists in the lateral market.



Thanks for the replies, guys.

But I am still skeptical of the "bimodality" of law firm salaries. I am looking at the NALP Report for Class of 2015 (https://law.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NALP-Class-of-2015-Summary-Report.pdf) and the figures there do not support the "reality" of the law firm salary figures.

Of the 85 grads that started off at a private practice firm, only the ones at very small firms (1-10 attorneys) were cashing in 45k-65k. These guys made up just slightly less than 20% of the total grads that found job at a private practice, which, I argue, hardly represent the "norm" of the UIUC grads. The "mid-law"'s (11-50) median ranged between 75k-95k, with bigger firms offering between 100k-160k. The midlaw and biglaw employment together made up 80% of the total private practice employment, which is why I think 70-80k (or even 100k) is not some unicorn salary but a very real possibility (and probability).

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I just want more clarification on this before I make up one of the most important decisions of my life :)

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:58 pm

CPAlawHopefu wrote:
grades?? wrote:Also just to caution you, there really is not such thing as a 70k-80k starting salary for midlaw. Salaries are bimodal at either 50kish or 180k. There is really no such thing as "midlaw" that will pay you 80k out of any of these schools. Just fyi. Make sure you are happy going to a small firm making 45-50k out of UIUC


trebekismyhero wrote:it really depends on the firm. I have friends that started out at $60k in Chicago as first years and now as third years making close to $100k at the same firm, others that aren't making much more than when they started. Several have moved to mid-sized law firms and make over $100k now.

Grades is generally right, there are not many mid-law jobs, but I do know a few firms that have 60-80 attorneys and pay $120 starting and do hire from UIUC. That is far from the norm. It is mostly you make $180k in big law or $60k small law right out of law school. But mid-law exists in the lateral market.



Thanks for the replies, guys.

But I am still skeptical of the "bimodality" of law firm salaries. I am looking at the NALP Report for Class of 2015 (https://law.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NALP-Class-of-2015-Summary-Report.pdf) and the figures there do not support the "reality" of the law firm salary figures.

Of the 85 grads that started off at a private practice firm, only the ones at very small firms (1-10 attorneys) were cashing in 45k-65k. These guys made up just slightly less than 20% of the total grads that found job at a private practice, which, I argue, hardly represent the "norm" of the UIUC grads. The "mid-law"'s (11-50) median ranged between 75k-95k, with bigger firms offering between 100k-160k. The midlaw and biglaw employment made up 80% of the total private practice employment, which is why I think 70-80k (or even 100k) is not some unicorn salary but a very real possibility (and probability).

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I just want more clarification on this before I make up one of the most important decisions of my life :)


This is a bit self-serving, because you point to only 20% of private practice lawyers ending up in small law firms, while 80% end up in mid or big law. That's all well and good, but this should be seen within the context of their overall employment numbers. 85 grads ended up in private practice, but it would be naive to think this is entirely self-selection. It's much more appropriate to look at the ~25% of graduates going to large firms, and give a little lee-way for desirable mid-law outcomes to play with that number. So, generously speaking, you have ~1/3 shot at a desirable outcome out of UIUC.

Stats are a bit tricky because they are reported in a way to allow for plenty of interpretative subjectivity, which is why you should approach the stats as conservatively as you can.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:01 pm

just because 60k or 160k are the most common salaries does not mean there arent plenty of 75-95k salaries. lots of insurance defense firms and more established plaintiff's firms in the city pay a starting salary of 80-110k. to name a few firms off the top of my head that pay 75k-110k starting - cassiday schade, johnson and bell, hinshaw culbertson, smith amundsen, segal mccambridge mahoney, horwood marcus and berk, schiller,

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:03 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:just because 60k or 160k are the most common salaries does not mean there arent plenty of 75-95k salaries. lots of insurance defense firms and more established plaintiff's firms in the city pay a starting salary of 80-110k. to name a few firms off the top of my head that pay 75k-110k starting - cassiday schade, johnson and bell, hinshaw culbertson, smith amundsen, segal mccambridge mahoney, horwood marcus and berk, schiller,


Umm, sure?

http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:04 pm

UVA2B wrote:
CPAlawHopefu wrote:
grades?? wrote:Also just to caution you, there really is not such thing as a 70k-80k starting salary for midlaw. Salaries are bimodal at either 50kish or 180k. There is really no such thing as "midlaw" that will pay you 80k out of any of these schools. Just fyi. Make sure you are happy going to a small firm making 45-50k out of UIUC


trebekismyhero wrote:it really depends on the firm. I have friends that started out at $60k in Chicago as first years and now as third years making close to $100k at the same firm, others that aren't making much more than when they started. Several have moved to mid-sized law firms and make over $100k now.

Grades is generally right, there are not many mid-law jobs, but I do know a few firms that have 60-80 attorneys and pay $120 starting and do hire from UIUC. That is far from the norm. It is mostly you make $180k in big law or $60k small law right out of law school. But mid-law exists in the lateral market.



Thanks for the replies, guys.

But I am still skeptical of the "bimodality" of law firm salaries. I am looking at the NALP Report for Class of 2015 (https://law.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NALP-Class-of-2015-Summary-Report.pdf) and the figures there do not support the "reality" of the law firm salary figures.

Of the 85 grads that started off at a private practice firm, only the ones at very small firms (1-10 attorneys) were cashing in 45k-65k. These guys made up just slightly less than 20% of the total grads that found job at a private practice, which, I argue, hardly represent the "norm" of the UIUC grads. The "mid-law"'s (11-50) median ranged between 75k-95k, with bigger firms offering between 100k-160k. The midlaw and biglaw employment made up 80% of the total private practice employment, which is why I think 70-80k (or even 100k) is not some unicorn salary but a very real possibility (and probability).

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I just want more clarification on this before I make up one of the most important decisions of my life :)


This is a bit self-serving, because you point to only 20% of private practice lawyers ending up in small law firms, while 80% end up in mid or big law. That's all well and good, but this should be seen within the context of their overall employment numbers. 85 grads ended up in private practice, but it would be naive to think this is entirely self-selection. It's much more appropriate to look at the ~25% of graduates going to large firms, and give a little lee-way for desirable mid-law outcomes to play with that number. So, generously speaking, you have ~1/3 shot at a desirable outcome out of UIUC.

Stats are a bit tricky because they are reported in a way to allow for plenty of interpretative subjectivity, which is why you should approach the stats as conservatively as you can.


again, a govt job and 10 year debt forgiveness with a 35 hour work week and no billables even with a 50k salary is still desirable to lots of people over a 100k job with billables and lots more hours. if 75% of people in private practice are making more than 65k, i think OP has more than a 1/3 chance at a good outcome based on his standards of cosnidering a 75k salary good.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:07 pm

UVA2B wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:just because 60k or 160k are the most common salaries does not mean there arent plenty of 75-95k salaries. lots of insurance defense firms and more established plaintiff's firms in the city pay a starting salary of 80-110k. to name a few firms off the top of my head that pay 75k-110k starting - cassiday schade, johnson and bell, hinshaw culbertson, smith amundsen, segal mccambridge mahoney, horwood marcus and berk, schiller,


Umm, sure?

http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib


yes. so if you add up the numbers above 65k and below 160k you get like 30%.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:16 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
CPAlawHopefu wrote:
grades?? wrote:Also just to caution you, there really is not such thing as a 70k-80k starting salary for midlaw. Salaries are bimodal at either 50kish or 180k. There is really no such thing as "midlaw" that will pay you 80k out of any of these schools. Just fyi. Make sure you are happy going to a small firm making 45-50k out of UIUC


trebekismyhero wrote:it really depends on the firm. I have friends that started out at $60k in Chicago as first years and now as third years making close to $100k at the same firm, others that aren't making much more than when they started. Several have moved to mid-sized law firms and make over $100k now.

Grades is generally right, there are not many mid-law jobs, but I do know a few firms that have 60-80 attorneys and pay $120 starting and do hire from UIUC. That is far from the norm. It is mostly you make $180k in big law or $60k small law right out of law school. But mid-law exists in the lateral market.



Thanks for the replies, guys.

But I am still skeptical of the "bimodality" of law firm salaries. I am looking at the NALP Report for Class of 2015 (https://law.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/NALP-Class-of-2015-Summary-Report.pdf) and the figures there do not support the "reality" of the law firm salary figures.

Of the 85 grads that started off at a private practice firm, only the ones at very small firms (1-10 attorneys) were cashing in 45k-65k. These guys made up just slightly less than 20% of the total grads that found job at a private practice, which, I argue, hardly represent the "norm" of the UIUC grads. The "mid-law"'s (11-50) median ranged between 75k-95k, with bigger firms offering between 100k-160k. The midlaw and biglaw employment made up 80% of the total private practice employment, which is why I think 70-80k (or even 100k) is not some unicorn salary but a very real possibility (and probability).

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I just want more clarification on this before I make up one of the most important decisions of my life :)


This is a bit self-serving, because you point to only 20% of private practice lawyers ending up in small law firms, while 80% end up in mid or big law. That's all well and good, but this should be seen within the context of their overall employment numbers. 85 grads ended up in private practice, but it would be naive to think this is entirely self-selection. It's much more appropriate to look at the ~25% of graduates going to large firms, and give a little lee-way for desirable mid-law outcomes to play with that number. So, generously speaking, you have ~1/3 shot at a desirable outcome out of UIUC.

Stats are a bit tricky because they are reported in a way to allow for plenty of interpretative subjectivity, which is why you should approach the stats as conservatively as you can.


again, a govt job and 10 year debt forgiveness with a 35 hour work week and no billables even with a 50k salary is still desirable to lots of people over a 100k job with billables and lots more hours. if 75% of people in private practice are making more than 65k, i think OP has more than a 1/3 chance at a good outcome based on his standards of cosnidering a 75k salary good.


Holy unchecked assumptions Batman!

1) The OP hasn't made any claims about wanting to work for the government, and it's stupid to inject this other "desirable" outcome into the conversation. Relying on debt forgiveness in any form shows commitment to a cause that is admirable, but it's also agreeing to being hamstrung by lackluster credit and personal life stagnation because things like buying a house and settling down are abjectly not likely.
2) Again, the reporting of these figures do not paint a full picture, and very arguably paint an unfairly rosy picture of the non-Biglaw options. There are many good options in the 509 sections of mid-law and small law, but that's just not reliable data worth making a decision based on it. I'll admit I'm debt and risk averse, so others will see the risk as worthwhile, but to say more than 1/3 of the class at UIUC finds a desirable outcome in private work (since the OP isn't looking for PSLF funded work) is perfectly fair. And that doesn't account for the debt calculations for those people taking $65k-95k jobs, because that makes it even tougher.

I get your angle that we're too negative and conservative here, and we chastise those making more risky decisions, but please do better to explain the actual decision being made, vice confirmation bias because it worked out for you. Plenty of UIUC grads will be very happy with their outcome, but every person making this decision should contextualize the data within their goals and realize the odds they are up against. It's only fair to consider both the good and bad possibilities in the law school decision.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:34 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Holy unchecked assumptions Batman!

1) The OP hasn't made any claims about wanting to work for the government, and it's stupid to inject this other "desirable" outcome into the conversation. Relying on debt forgiveness in any form shows commitment to a cause that is admirable, but it's also agreeing to being hamstrung by lackluster credit and personal life stagnation because things like buying a house and settling down are abjectly not likely.
debt to income ratio that's relevant for home-buying is based on your monthly debt PAYMENTS, not total outstanding debt. you can get a house fine with IBR if your monthly payments are manageable, which they will be ~250/month on 50k salary. not saying 50k govt salary and debt forgiveness is desirable to all (especially not to an OP with no debt), but my point is plenty of people self select out of private practice for govt.
2) Again, the reporting of these figures do not paint a full picture, and very arguably paint an unfairly rosy picture of the non-Biglaw options. There are many good options in the 509 sections of mid-law and small law, but that's just not reliable data worth making a decision based on it. I'll admit I'm debt and risk averse, so others will see the risk as worthwhile, but to say more than 1/3 of the class at UIUC finds a desirable outcome in private work (since the OP isn't looking for PSLF funded work) is perfectly fair. And that doesn't account for the debt calculations for those people taking $65k-95k jobs, because that makes it even tougher.
my point was if 35% of people at UIUC are finding private sector jobs >$75k (or whatever figure you and OP calculated) you also have to consider that its not like those jobs only go to the top 35% of students. law review students go work in govt sometimes. some midlaw firms care less about grades and more about networking. some other non law review people self select out of private practice because they have a kid and want good benefits or work life balance or debt forgiveness.
I get your angle that we're too negative and conservative here, and we chastise those making more risky decisions, but please do better to explain the actual decision being made, vice confirmation bias because it worked out for you. Plenty of UIUC grads will be very happy with their outcome, but every person making this decision should contextualize the data within their goals and realize the odds they are up against. It's only fair to consider both the good and bad possibilities in the law school decision.

its not confirmation bias. im telling you how the real legal world works. the biggest problem with law and law school is not the salaries. it is the JOB part. the salaries are fine. it's at least 10 to 1 the ratio of people bitching about their job (whether it be client stress, courtroom stress, boss stress, hours, sexism, etc) compared to people bitching about their salary. if people do their homework and decide that law school is right for them and their skills match up with law and they like being a lawyer, it is almost GUARANTEED with the payment plans that exist today no matter what law school they go to (some exceptions here, but certainly top 100 is fine)they will live a middle class or better life FINANCIALLY. HOWEVER, many people mistakenly go to law school because they do not do their homework on what being a lawyer entails (being in the office at 3 am, being on call all the time, being yelled at by shitty bosses, being yelled at by clients, missing your sons first brithday, getting divorced, etc) and are not willing to make the sacrifices the job demands. if youve mentally prepared for that though, its a FINE decision. (not a ROSY decision because newsflash not shit in life is ROSY.)


see my comments in red.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:47 pm

back to OP - full ride, so minimal debt. median salary of 75k for those that are employed (82%) so 41% of the graduating class has a good outcome based on OPs standard at least. then if you consider that another 23% of the class (close to 100% of which is making less than 75k) is in public service and SOME portion self selected into those jobs. even if only half self selected into those jobs (doubtful), thats above a 50% chance of OP achieving a good outcome according to OPs standards (75k+ salary).

thats a conservative analysis and it still results in OP having a better chance than not at achieving his goals. factor in some added bonus of CPA and full ride (so probably has a chance to succeed if puts in the work and commits), and this is not the place to be telling someone not to go to law school.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:52 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Holy unchecked assumptions Batman!

1) The OP hasn't made any claims about wanting to work for the government, and it's stupid to inject this other "desirable" outcome into the conversation. Relying on debt forgiveness in any form shows commitment to a cause that is admirable, but it's also agreeing to being hamstrung by lackluster credit and personal life stagnation because things like buying a house and settling down are abjectly not likely.
debt to income ratio that's relevant for home-buying is based on your monthly debt PAYMENTS, not total outstanding debt. you can get a house fine with IBR if your monthly payments are manageable, which they will be ~250/month on 50k salary. not saying 50k govt salary and debt forgiveness is desirable to all (especially not to an OP with no debt), but my point is plenty of people self select out of private practice for govt.
2) Again, the reporting of these figures do not paint a full picture, and very arguably paint an unfairly rosy picture of the non-Biglaw options. There are many good options in the 509 sections of mid-law and small law, but that's just not reliable data worth making a decision based on it. I'll admit I'm debt and risk averse, so others will see the risk as worthwhile, but to say more than 1/3 of the class at UIUC finds a desirable outcome in private work (since the OP isn't looking for PSLF funded work) is perfectly fair. And that doesn't account for the debt calculations for those people taking $65k-95k jobs, because that makes it even tougher.
my point was if 35% of people at UIUC are finding private sector jobs >$75k (or whatever figure you and OP calculated) you also have to consider that its not like those jobs only go to the top 35% of students. law review students go work in govt sometimes. some midlaw firms care less about grades and more about networking. some other non law review people self select out of private practice because they have a kid and want good benefits or work life balance or debt forgiveness.
I get your angle that we're too negative and conservative here, and we chastise those making more risky decisions, but please do better to explain the actual decision being made, vice confirmation bias because it worked out for you. Plenty of UIUC grads will be very happy with their outcome, but every person making this decision should contextualize the data within their goals and realize the odds they are up against. It's only fair to consider both the good and bad possibilities in the law school decision.

its not confirmation bias. im telling you how the real legal world works. the biggest problem with law and law school is not the salaries. it is the JOB part. the salaries are fine. it's at least 10 to 1 the ratio of people bitching about their job (whether it be client stress, courtroom stress, boss stress, hours, sexism, etc) compared to people bitching about their salary. if people do their homework and decide that law school is right for them and their skills match up with law and they like being a lawyer, it is almost GUARANTEED with the payment plans that exist today no matter what law school they go to (some exceptions here, but certainly top 100 is fine)they will live a middle class or better life FINANCIALLY. HOWEVER, many people mistakenly go to law school because they do not do their homework on what being a lawyer entails (being in the office at 3 am, being on call all the time, being yelled at by shitty bosses, being yelled at by clients, missing your sons first brithday, getting divorced, etc) and are not willing to make the sacrifices the job demands. if youve mentally prepared for that though, its a FINE decision. (not a ROSY decision because newsflash not shit in life is ROSY.)


see my comments in red.


1) Getting a mortgage is significantly different than being able to afford settling into a home, particularly when we're talking about desirable city living. So while a bank might approve a mortgage to buy a home with student loan debt, is it really smart to compound debt from professional schools with debt for a home? Beyond that, IBR is a really effective way to deflect responsibility for debt taken on for low-paying income appearing admirable. But it's equally dangerous gambling to assume the tax bomb will never happen at the end of the period of repayment. Want to ruin someone who made $50k for 20 years? Make them pay $200k in a single year of taxes when IBR hits. But you're right, it's totally manageable.
2) Equating likelihood with statistics is precisely the problem we're dealing with. Of course it's not the top 35% of graduates ending up with $75k+ jobs in private sector work. There are probably below median graduates who are earning more, and there are probably top 25% who are forming 2-man shops making 0-$30k to start out. There's just no way to parse the data this fine. Hence, as a responsible investor, someone should assume their best-case scenario aligns with the statistical data. If they are a CS PhD or have a managing partner at a firm, the calculus changes. But they should know that going into asking this question, which would never lead to this discussion.
3) We can agree here, because too many people go into law school not understanding the job, and as a result end up hating it. Nothing more to be said but people making poor personal decisions based on incomplete conceptions of legal practice.

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Johann

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:58 pm

my point with the govt debt forgiveness is that there is no tax bomb and the forgiveness comes after 10 years, hence why people self select to it and some consider it a desirable outcome. so yes, its very easy to afford a house and an estra $200/month.

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby UVA2B » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:08 am

JohannDeMann wrote:my point with the govt debt forgiveness is that there is no tax bomb and the forgiveness comes after 10 years, hence why people self select to it and some consider it a desirable outcome. so yes, its very easy to afford a house and an estra $200/month.


IBR still comes with an income tax hit, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. If you're talking PSLF (which is on shaky ground by all reputable accounts), then it's two different programs. But you specifically mentioned IBR (which you can replace with PAYE if you'd like). There is no forgiveness in IBR/PAYE, unless you count "we'll get ours" as forgiveness. The loans accrued will grow throughout maturation, and at the end of it, the federal government will count that forgiven loan amount (which will be catastrophically high more than likely) toward personal income taxes.

The ability to buy a house is incidental to the underlying problem of wanting financial flexibility and not hamstringing yourself to debt that you don't need (necessarily).

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Re: Fordham (Sticker) vs UIUC (Full Tuition) vs UCI ($)

Postby Johann » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:16 am

yes i know how the debt works. IBR is used a shorthand colloquial term to encompass all income based repayment plans (PAYE, REPAYE, IBR, and PSLF). i was emphasizing the govt work because that is PSLF eligible. and PSLF is not on shaky ground for those in the know that actually follow these things. trump's stance on IBR is actually more favorable than any of the current plans. sure you could get fucked with something out of left field, but as weve been saying you prepare with the info and knowledge at hand, which by all accounts has said all IBRs including PSLF is safe under the Dem platform and Trump, which means should be good for 8+ years.



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