Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

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chelssd3232

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Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:37 pm

So the deposit deadline is 6 days away and I am still totally unsure of what to do, so I figured I would see if anyone has some advice to offer. I have narrowed it down to these three schools since I would like to work in PA. I grew up in Philly and could live at home if I attend Drexel or Temple, with Pitt I would need to deal with having an apartment though the option of living with my boyfriend rent free is on the table.

As it stands, Drexel has offered me full tuition and a stipend the first year for books, Temple has offered a decent scholarship so while it is highest in tuition for me, the COA is lower since I would be at home. Finally, Pitt has offered me a very generous scholarship, so while tuition would not be ridiculous I would have cost of living to worry about.

My post graduation plan is to try and clerk, and then work for a larger firm before trying to break in to the USAO. I'm very passionate about trial advocacy which is why Temple and Drexel are still on my radar. I really fell in love with Pitt and would like to go there, but I am not sure I can justify taking out all of the loans in addition to my already very high ($100,000+) undergrad debt in private loans. In contrast, I have Drexel offering me a free education and even Temple would be ultimately cheaper than Pitt since I would live at home and save money. Basically, I am looking to see if you think I should take the money (Drexel), take the dream (Pitt) or take what is in the middle (Temple). Thanks in advance!

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:47 pm

chelssd3232 wrote:As it stands, Drexel has offered me full tuition and a stipend the first year for books, Temple has offered a decent scholarship so while it is highest in tuition for me, the COA is lower since I would be at home. Finally, Pitt has offered me a very generous scholarship, so while tuition would not be ridiculous I would have cost of living to worry about.

Can we get actual numbers for what your debt will be after 3 years at each? This is way too vague.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby zot1 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:51 pm

If your first goal is to clerk, ONLY Temple gives you the best shot at that. It's still a super duper slim chance though so keep that in mind.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:54 pm

chelssd3232 wrote:So the deposit deadline is 6 days away and I am still totally unsure of what to do, so I figured I would see if anyone has some advice to offer. I have narrowed it down to these three schools since I would like to work in PA. I grew up in Philly and could live at home if I attend Drexel or Temple, with Pitt I would need to deal with having an apartment though the option of living with my boyfriend rent free is on the table.

As it stands, Drexel has offered me full tuition and a stipend the first year for books, Temple has offered a decent scholarship so while it is highest in tuition for me, the COA is lower since I would be at home. Finally, Pitt has offered me a very generous scholarship, so while tuition would not be ridiculous I would have cost of living to worry about.

My post graduation plan is to try and clerk, and then work for a larger firm before trying to break in to the USAO. I'm very passionate about trial advocacy which is why Temple and Drexel are still on my radar. I really fell in love with Pitt and would like to go there, but I am not sure I can justify taking out all of the loans in addition to my already very high ($100,000+) undergrad debt in private loans. In contrast, I have Drexel offering me a free education and even Temple would be ultimately cheaper than Pitt since I would live at home and save money. Basically, I am looking to see if you think I should take the money (Drexel), take the dream (Pitt) or take what is in the middle (Temple). Thanks in advance!


This, in its totality, makes any of these schools a really, really bad idea. You're already seriously in debt, want to clerk and work in a large firm, and have three options that give you a minuscule chance of achieving that goal and further exacerbating that debt. I would normally echo Rigo's request for COA at each school, but when combined with your already massive debt, no COA would be reasonable. Is there anything you can do for a few years that will help chip away at that debt while retaking the LSAT for better options? As it stands, you're exceedingly likely to find yourself in three years more in debt while at best making a similar amount to what you could make now. Please, please reconsider going to law school at these schools right now. Reengage this profession when you have better options and a better debt situation.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:59 pm

UVA2B wrote: I would normally echo Rigo's request for COA at each school, but when combined with your already massive debt, no COA would be reasonable.

I was going to ease into this.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:02 pm

Rigo wrote:
chelssd3232 wrote:As it stands, Drexel has offered me full tuition and a stipend the first year for books, Temple has offered a decent scholarship so while it is highest in tuition for me, the COA is lower since I would be at home. Finally, Pitt has offered me a very generous scholarship, so while tuition would not be ridiculous I would have cost of living to worry about.

Can we get actual numbers for what your debt will be after 3 years at each? This is way too vague.


Temple: $42,000
Drexel: $4,000 (books for the last two years)
Pitt: $75,000

In regards to finding a clerkship, I have very very good connections in Philly within the federal system and currently work at the US Attorneys Office in the city I live in, so I will have a decent shot at getting a clerkship federally from what the people I work with have told me. If not, I know I can have a job in a DA's office local to Philly-- which is why my love of Pittsburgh is such an issue.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:05 pm

I would completely cross Pitt off. I don't really get your affinity for it either, but it should be eliminated on the cost alone.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:07 pm

Rigo wrote:I would completely cross Pitt off. I don't really get your affinity for it either, but it should be eliminated on the cost alone.


Haha I think it was mostly a love for the city, and I happened to be with a really great group for the Open House which just made me feel like it would be an amazing fit if that makes sense?

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Johann » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:08 pm

you got any career options outside of law?

temple if you must go. but ypu need to broaden your goals. i went to a similarly ranked school and you have to be okay with going with the flow and doing whatever good opportunities come along.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:12 pm

Johann wrote:you got any career options outside of law?

temple if you must go. but ypu need to broaden your goals. i went to a similarly ranked school and you have to be okay with going with the flow and doing whatever good opportunities come along.


I know I am going to go to law school regardless, but if I don't pursue working at a big firm/DA's office (two means to the same end AUSA goal though they have told me big law tends to work out better in the hiring process) I am considering becoming a special agent but since I don't have the years of police experience, law school is my best bet for that too.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Johann » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:14 pm

chelssd3232 wrote:
Johann wrote:you got any career options outside of law?

temple if you must go. but ypu need to broaden your goals. i went to a similarly ranked school and you have to be okay with going with the flow and doing whatever good opportunities come along.


I know I am going to go to law school regardless, but if I don't pursue working at a big firm/DA's office (two means to the same end AUSA goal though they have told me big law tends to work out better in the hiring process) I am considering becoming a special agent but since I don't have the years of police experience, law school is my best bet for that too.


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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:20 pm

Johann wrote:
chelssd3232 wrote:
Johann wrote:you got any career options outside of law?

temple if you must go. but ypu need to broaden your goals. i went to a similarly ranked school and you have to be okay with going with the flow and doing whatever good opportunities come along.


I know I am going to go to law school regardless, but if I don't pursue working at a big firm/DA's office (two means to the same end AUSA goal though they have told me big law tends to work out better in the hiring process) I am considering becoming a special agent but since I don't have the years of police experience, law school is my best bet for that too.


temple. none of them right now.


Better advice. $100k debt combined with your schools and goals will not end well. I know you don't want to put law school off, but have you seriously considered the very real possibility you will be further in debt with no realistic path to your ultimate outcome of an AUSA position? AUSA is one of the hardest jobs in government to rise to, and it's because so many people want them with spectacular credentials.

I don't want to shatter your goals, but they're pretty unrealistic with your current options, and that will make the pain of the debt even worse. No one is stopping you from going, but think hard about whether this is a good investment in your future.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Johann » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:25 pm

shes already 100k in debt. another 40 really doesnt even move the needle on income based repayment plans.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:26 pm

Johann wrote:shes already 100k in debt. another 40 really doesnt even move the needle on income based repayment plans.

She said private loans though. Aren't those ineligible? I've only dealt with DOE govt loans.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:31 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Johann wrote:
chelssd3232 wrote:
Johann wrote:you got any career options outside of law?

temple if you must go. but ypu need to broaden your goals. i went to a similarly ranked school and you have to be okay with going with the flow and doing whatever good opportunities come along.


I know I am going to go to law school regardless, but if I don't pursue working at a big firm/DA's office (two means to the same end AUSA goal though they have told me big law tends to work out better in the hiring process) I am considering becoming a special agent but since I don't have the years of police experience, law school is my best bet for that too.


temple. none of them right now.


Better advice. $100k debt combined with your schools and goals will not end well. I know you don't want to put law school off, but have you seriously considered the very real possibility you will be further in debt with no realistic path to your ultimate outcome of an AUSA position? AUSA is one of the hardest jobs in government to rise to, and it's because so many people want them with spectacular credentials.

I don't want to shatter your goals, but they're pretty unrealistic with your current options, and that will make the pain of the debt even worse. No one is stopping you from going, but think hard about whether this is a good investment in your future.


No I completely understand you, but this is what I know I want to do. Even if I'm not an AUSA, I know I want to be in the courtroom making a difference. The reason I would be interested in working for a large firm is just to get me in the door with the US Attorneys Office since that is what they have suggested I do. I have spent the past year working human trafficking cases and have never felt more confident in my desire to pursue a career path as a prosecutor for the government. I recognize being an AUSA is a lofty goal-- but for me at least that is kinda the point of goals, something to work towards. But I seriously appreciate your advice, I don't know a whole ton of people in the field so I am definitely in need of it with the deadline so quickly approaching.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:32 pm

Rigo wrote:
Johann wrote:shes already 100k in debt. another 40 really doesnt even move the needle on income based repayment plans.

She said private loans though. Aren't those ineligible? I've only dealt with DOE govt loans.


You're right about the private ones being ineligible which is why I'm even considering the Drexel offer at this point.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Johann » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:39 pm

how does the 100k debt feel at this point? how are those payments?

i dont really see any way of achieving your goals at drexler short of connections. temple has lower chances but still around 20% id say of doing something in line with your goals and a little x factor with your connections makes it possible. if you arent that debt averse, i think you gotta max these odds.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby UVA2B » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:43 pm

Let's change the approach just a bit: do you have a clear cut path you want to take to an AUSA position? These schools give you at best ~10% chance of the Biglaw->clerk->AUSA type of route (and even that is being pretty generous). The DA->AUSA route is even more risky, because there is very little overlap between local criminal law and federal criminal law.

Like I said, no one is stopping you. I appreciate your insistence on chasing your dreams and goals, but you're already in a bad spot financially, and the gamble you're taking to achieve the AUSA career goal is just decidedly, potentially ruinously risky. Don't project confirmation bias and try to avoid the "if you believe it, you can achieve it" type of misguided approach to more debt for that end goal. No one can tell you that you'll never achieve your goals from Drexel or Temple or Pitt, but you're effectively using a pay day loan to buy a bunch of lottery tickets. No person in their right mind would do that, and you should be sufficiently warned about what you're doing.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:46 pm

Johann wrote:how does the 100k debt feel at this point? how are those payments?

i dont really see any way of achieving your goals at drexler short of connections. temple has lower chances but still around 20% id say of doing something in line with your goals and a little x factor with your connections makes it possible. if you arent that debt averse, i think you gotta max these odds.


At this point they're manageable, I've been paying them off while still in school. Also there may be a decent amount of money coming my way to help pay for law school from a family member's death (this sounds horrible please don't judge me), which I would probably use towards the private loans since the government ones I'll have for law school are definitely better to have than the private ones.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:59 pm

UVA2B wrote:Let's change the approach just a bit: do you have a clear cut path you want to take to an AUSA position? These schools give you at best ~10% chance of the Biglaw->clerk->AUSA type of route (and even that is being pretty generous). The DA->AUSA route is even more risky, because there is very little overlap between local criminal law and federal criminal law.

Like I said, no one is stopping you. I appreciate your insistence on chasing your dreams and goals, but you're already in a bad spot financially, and the gamble you're taking to achieve the AUSA career goal is just decidedly, potentially ruinously risky. Don't project confirmation bias and try to avoid the "if you believe it, you can achieve it" type of misguided approach to more debt for that end goal. No one can tell you that you'll never achieve your goals from Drexel or Temple or Pitt, but you're effectively using a pay day loan to buy a bunch of lottery tickets. No person in their right mind would do that, and you should be sufficiently warned about what you're doing.


The way I see it I have two paths: option 1: clerk, big law (to pay off loans/get the necessary writing experience) and make my way to the AUSA. option 2: take the DA job I know I will have if I graduate from a Philly school and see what comes up along the way, and hope the USAO is on the ride. While the USAO is the dream, I am also fairly logical and realize it is just that-- a dream. I considered retaking since I tested below my cold score (taken under testing conditions) by a point, but I don't want to take a gap year and I have crafted my resume and activities around pursuing a legal career. Your recommendations have me considering trying to find a job as a paralegal for a year, but ideally I will start school in the fall.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:08 pm

Honestly everyone should take a gap year, especially if their options aren't great. I'm so happy I did. I retook and improved 10+ Points so my prospects completely changed.
What's your LSAT and GPA?

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby chelssd3232 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:12 pm

Rigo wrote:Honestly everyone should take a gap year, especially if their options aren't great. I'm so happy I did. I retook and improved 10+ Points so my prospects completely changed.
What's your LSAT and GPA?


3.5 and 159. I had tested up to a 164 but just couldn't perform either test day.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby uion1715 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:57 am

So adding your undergrad debt and grad debt, you would have to pay somewhere around 1300-1700 a month for 10 years (or $700-1000 a month for 20 years) to pay off your loan.

Is government salary realistic in paying off that loan? Even on a $100k salary of AUSA (in year eight), that's 20-25% of your salary if you are on a 10-year repayment schedule.

EDIT: Missed your words about add. money, etc. I think my question is still valid?

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:00 am

Take (at least) a year off. Retake the LSAT. Reapply.

None of these schools give you anything resembling a realistic chance at your career goals.

uion1715 wrote:Is government salary realistic in paying off that loan? Even on a $100k salary of AUSA (in year eight), that's 20-25% of your salary if you are on a 10-year repayment schedule.


Assuming PSLF is still around, government positions are covered. And if it isn't, a good LRAP program (OP, this is another reason to retake) will also help cover the payments.

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Re: Temple v. Pitt v. Drexel

Postby uion1715 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:18 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Take (at least) a year off. Retake the LSAT. Reapply.

None of these schools give you anything resembling a realistic chance at your career goals.

uion1715 wrote:Is government salary realistic in paying off that loan? Even on a $100k salary of AUSA (in year eight), that's 20-25% of your salary if you are on a 10-year repayment schedule.


Assuming PSLF is still around, government positions are covered. And if it isn't, a good LRAP program (OP, this is another reason to retake) will also help cover the payments.


Does PSLF work without IBR (OP has private loans so people weren't sure about IBR)?



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