Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

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Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:33 pm

As the title mentions, I am having a lot of difficulties choosing between these options. I also have waitlist/Priority reserve at the entire T13 except for HYS, Chicago, Cornell, and Georgetown. I've already passed up 110k at Davis.

I have a full ride at WUSTL and Minnesota, I got about 50% at UCLA and I am only 40k shy of full tuition at CU

Career wise I'm hoping to clerk immediately after law school then I'm interested in either appellate advocacy or biglaw for a while before transitioning into either politics, a judgeship, or academia (though I understand that, given my current options those prospects look bleak, I do intend to publish quite prolifically wherever I end up one way or another).

Of these options my heart says CU. I went to undergrad at CU and I have numerous business connections in Colorado (Including a large equity stake in a Colorado business). I would certainly love to live in Colorado, but I'm trying to keep my options open. I also had a pretty negative experience trying to negotiate scholly at CU which put me off somewhat.

I screwed up and applied in Feb (gunning for an 180 LSAT), but because of my undergrad student loans, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be financially feasible to wait another year. Those were a big factor in even applying to WUSTL and UMN

I will be putting down a seat deposit at one or two of these and waiting to see what comes from the T13 waitlists. The question; Which one(s)?

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby presidentspivey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:40 pm

aatu7485 wrote:As the title mentions, I am having a lot of difficulties choosing between these options. I also have waitlist/Priority reserve at the entire T13 except for HYS, Chicago, Cornell, and Georgetown. I've already passed up 110k at Davis.

I have a full ride at WUSTL and Minnesota, I got about 50% at UCLA and I am only 40k shy of full tuition at CU

Career wise I'm hoping to clerk immediately after law school then I'm interested in either appellate advocacy or biglaw for a while before transitioning into either politics, a judgeship, or academia (though I understand that, given my current options those prospects look bleak, I do intend to publish quite prolifically wherever I end up one way or another).

Of these options my heart says CU. I went to undergrad at CU and I have numerous business connections in Colorado (Including a large equity stake in a Colorado business). I would certainly love to live in Colorado, but I'm trying to keep my options open. I also had a pretty negative experience trying to negotiate scholly at CU which put me off somewhat.

I screwed up and applied in Feb (gunning for an 180 LSAT), but because of my undergrad student loans, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be financially feasible to wait another year. Those were a big factor in even applying to WUSTL and UMN

I will be putting down a seat deposit at one or two of these and waiting to see what comes from the T13 waitlists. The question; Which one(s)?

What are your stats? If you got a better score on a February retake, you may have better options if you apply early next cycle. I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but you goals are going to be difficult at any of these schools. Of these options, I would go with WUSTL.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby presidentspivey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:44 pm

Also, if you want to go into politics you should go into politics. Not go to law school.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:51 pm

Stats are 3.5 172 (scored 10 180s before sitting for September) but I really can't afford to pay my current loans another year.

Realistically, I am not picky what I do for money those first few years as long as I'm making 120-150k

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby ernie » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:54 pm

aatu7485 wrote:Stats are 3.5 172 (scored 10 180s before sitting for September) but I really can't afford to pay my current loans another year.

Whoa, your options should be much better than this. I'd consider any of these options to be poor considering your stats and your short and long-term goals. WUSTL is the least bad option, but you'd still be massively underperforming your numbers.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby presidentspivey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:57 pm

ernie wrote:
aatu7485 wrote:Stats are 3.5 172 (scored 10 180s before sitting for September) but I really can't afford to pay my current loans another year.

Whoa, your options should be much better than this. I'd consider any of these options to be poor considering your stats and your short and long-term goals. WUSTL is the least bad option, but you'd still be massively underperforming your numbers.

Probably because OP applied in February. If you could wait you could get one of CCN to bite, and almost certainly some of the lower T13. Look, only you can truly evaluate your UG loan situation. But your outcomes would be significantly better by applying pre-thanksgiving, and possibly by retaking.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:00 pm

Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:11 pm

Npret wrote:Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.


It cannot. My loans are private. I am going to law school because I intend to be a lawyer. However, you are right. Deferment is the reason I must go now.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:13 pm

aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.


It cannot. My loans are private. I am going to law school because I intend to be a lawyer. However, you are right. Deferment is the reason I must go now.

If you have that much debt take one of the full rides I guess.

grades??

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby grades?? » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:15 pm

Npret wrote:
aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.


It cannot. My loans are private. I am going to law school because I intend to be a lawyer. However, you are right. Deferment is the reason I must go now.

If you have that much debt take one of the full rides I guess.


Your goals however are essentially impossible from any of these choices. I guess get WUSTL to give you a living stipend and go there, but seriously consider that you will not get the outcomes you want. Clerking/appellate practice will be near impossible. Let alone academia LOL

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby presidentspivey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:16 pm

aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.


It cannot. My loans are private. I am going to law school because I intend to be a lawyer. However, you are right. Deferment is the reason I must go now.

What are you doing now? What is your UG degree? Even your least ambitious goal of biglaw is not a median outcome at any of these schools. It would be a shame if you under performed your stats because you couldn't just wait a year.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:51 pm

presidentspivey wrote:
aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Your loan payment can be reduced to your income. How much do you owe?

Are you going to law school in the fall mostly to defer loans? That seems to be what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense to me.


It cannot. My loans are private. I am going to law school because I intend to be a lawyer. However, you are right. Deferment is the reason I must go now.

What are you doing now? What is your UG degree? Even your least ambitious goal of biglaw is not a median outcome at any of these schools. It would be a shame if you under performed your stats because you couldn't just wait a year.


UG was guitar performance + philosophy. Currently, I'm working as a mechanic at a bike shop, and actively building along with two other people what our projections show will be a 3 million dollar business by year 3. Since I mostly have an equity share and our first year overhead is so high, I likely won't make much if any money next year.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:04 pm

Why do you have private loans for undergrad?

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:07 pm

Would you say there really wouldn't be great career opportunities in terms of being a really big fish at somewhere like CU where I could pretty reasonably graduate top of the class + Law review editor if I'm competing for jobs in Colorado? Again, while I said Biglaw, I'm mostly looking for that 120-150k salary range regardless of actual firm size. Or even coming back to Colorado from WUSTL. Also, while these are my current choices, would it make sense to put down a seat deposit at WUSTL at least and then waiting to see what comes from Duke, UVA, NU etc?

Everyone so far has been really helpful! I'm just trying to make as much sense of my current situation as possible.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:12 pm

aatu7485 wrote:Would you say there really wouldn't be great career opportunities in terms of being a really big fish at somewhere like CU where I could pretty reasonably graduate top of the class + Law review editor if I'm competing for jobs in Colorado? Again, while I said Biglaw, I'm mostly looking for that 120-150k salary range regardless of actual firm size. Or even coming back to Colorado from WUSTL. Also, while these are my current choices, would it make sense to put down a seat deposit at WUSTL at least and then waiting to see what comes from Duke, UVA, NU etc?

Everyone so far has been really helpful! I'm just trying to make as much sense of my current situation as possible.

Just go to whatever school you want. You aren't going to listen to advice if you want to assume you will be editor of the law review.
Your decision making skills are what got you backed into this situation in the first place. I would listen to what others suggest you do and not assume you will be the top few people in your class. At any rate good luck.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby ernie » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:19 pm

aatu7485 wrote:Would you say there really wouldn't be great career opportunities in terms of being a really big fish at somewhere like CU where I could pretty reasonably graduate top of the class + Law review editor if I'm competing for jobs in Colorado? Again, while I said Biglaw, I'm mostly looking for that 120-150k salary range regardless of actual firm size. Or even coming back to Colorado from WUSTL. Also, while these are my current choices, would it make sense to put down a seat deposit at WUSTL at least and then waiting to see what comes from Duke, UVA, NU etc?

Everyone so far has been really helpful! I'm just trying to make as much sense of my current situation as possible.

Maybe you'll be top of your class at CU, maybe not. But even if you were, your margin of error is pretty slim. Grades aren't everything, and lots of people with great grades strike out from not-so-great schools.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby aatu7485 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:23 pm

Npret wrote:Why do you have private loans for undergrad?


TLDR: My home life was really terrible.

After I didn't get the answer I wanted my first application cycle for UG, I told my parents I didn't want to go to UG that year and that I would apply the next year. My parents told me they would finance my education if I just went somewhere. They then signed me up for private loans behind my back. I was 17 and very sheltered. Though, I might have been able to put my foot down, at that time I was still naive enough to think things would turn out alright. My mom is still the cosigner. I ended up transferring out of state to get away from them at which point they actively sabotaged my in-state tuition apps, so I ended up paying out of state for the last three years. From my communications with other family members, I've learned they signed me up for private loans in order to block me from taking an "undesirable" profession. I recognize I'm partial to blame, but again, I was 17 and naive. Now I'm just looking for a way out.

Also, asking you to clarify is hardly not taking your advice. Since I have not made up my mind in any way, It seems a bit presumptuous to say that I won't listen to your advice. I'm doing my best to get as much perspective as possible. One of which is my 1,500/mo minimum payments.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby ernie » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:27 pm

aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Why do you have private loans for undergrad?


TLDR: My home life was really terrible.

After I didn't get the answer I wanted my first application cycle for UG, I told my parents I didn't want to go to UG that year and that I would apply the next year. My parents told me they would finance my education if I just went somewhere. They then signed me up for private loans behind my back. I was 17 and very sheltered. Though, I might have been able to put my foot down, at that time I was still naive enough to think things would turn out alright. My mom is still the cosigner. I ended up transferring out of state to get away from them at which point they actively sabotaged my in-state tuition apps, so I ended up paying out of state for the last three years. From my communications with other family members, I've learned they signed me up for private loans in order to block me from taking an "undesirable" profession. I recognize I'm partial to blame, but again, I was 17 and naive. Now I'm just looking for a way out.

Also, asking you to clarify is hardly not taking your advice. Since I have not made up my mind in any way, It seems a bit presumptuous to say that I won't listen to your advice. I'm doing my best to get as much perspective as possible. One of which is my 1,500/mo minimum payments.

You can talk them down from $1,500. I've been there. Might take a few phone calls. They'll bluff, but hold firm, they'd rather get $200 a month or whatever you can reasonably afford than get nothing.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:20 pm

aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Why do you have private loans for undergrad?


TLDR: My home life was really terrible.

After I didn't get the answer I wanted my first application cycle for UG, I told my parents I didn't want to go to UG that year and that I would apply the next year. My parents told me they would finance my education if I just went somewhere. They then signed me up for private loans behind my back. I was 17 and very sheltered. Though, I might have been able to put my foot down, at that time I was still naive enough to think things would turn out alright. My mom is still the cosigner. I ended up transferring out of state to get away from them at which point they actively sabotaged my in-state tuition apps, so I ended up paying out of state for the last three years. From my communications with other family members, I've learned they signed me up for private loans in order to block me from taking an "undesirable" profession. I recognize I'm partial to blame, but again, I was 17 and naive. Now I'm just looking for a way out.

Also, asking you to clarify is hardly not taking your advice. Since I have not made up my mind in any way, It seems a bit presumptuous to say that I won't listen to your advice. I'm doing my best to get as much perspective as possible. One of which is my 1,500/mo minimum payments.


Didn't you have to sign anything for the private loans? I don't see how your parents can sign you up for loans before you are 18 and have you on the hook? After 18, did you sign a promissory note?
What happens to your parents if you don't pay?

I mistook your assumption that you will be top of the class as a sign you wouldn't listen because most people with that attitude don't listen and eventually rage quit after arguing with everyone. I apologize.

It sounds like you have a tremendous amount of debt already so I'm not sure how much more you should undertake for law school. This is problematic because the ideal outcome is a school that has a reasonable chance at big law for free or minimal debt.

What I do know is that you don't have a reasonable chance of getting the job you want with your current schools.

Your best (or at least safest path) would be to figure out how to delay law school another year without ruining your life. If you absolutely can't delay, then my advice is to go to the school you like the most that gave you a full ride and drastically lower your career expectations. Maybe you will end up at the top of your class, the problem is you can't count on it.

I think that with your personal story, earlier apps and maybe even a higher LSAT, you can do "better" in regards to getting into schools that will give you a better chance to reach your goals. I don't think, or at least don't know if, you will get a law school for a better price than you have right now. Maybe you could get money at a T13, but you need to ask the experts here about that.

I'm going to encourage you to not let the undergrad loan pressure force you to go to law school. I do understand debt pressure can be hard to handle. You need to think about ways to manage the debt payments.

Keep asking for advice here and people can help you figure it out.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby Npret » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:26 pm

ernie wrote:
aatu7485 wrote:
Npret wrote:Why do you have private loans for undergrad?


TLDR: My home life was really terrible.

After I didn't get the answer I wanted my first application cycle for UG, I told my parents I didn't want to go to UG that year and that I would apply the next year. My parents told me they would finance my education if I just went somewhere. They then signed me up for private loans behind my back. I was 17 and very sheltered. Though, I might have been able to put my foot down, at that time I was still naive enough to think things would turn out alright. My mom is still the cosigner. I ended up transferring out of state to get away from them at which point they actively sabotaged my in-state tuition apps, so I ended up paying out of state for the last three years. From my communications with other family members, I've learned they signed me up for private loans in order to block me from taking an "undesirable" profession. I recognize I'm partial to blame, but again, I was 17 and naive. Now I'm just looking for a way out.

Also, asking you to clarify is hardly not taking your advice. Since I have not made up my mind in any way, It seems a bit presumptuous to say that I won't listen to your advice. I'm doing my best to get as much perspective as possible. One of which is my 1,500/mo minimum payments.

You can talk them down from $1,500. I've been there. Might take a few phone calls. They'll bluff, but hold firm, they'd rather get $200 a month or whatever you can reasonably afford than get nothing.

OPs Mom (who OP seems to have at best a strained relationship with) is a cosignor which may complicate his negotiating a lower payment. It's great advice that OP should try very hard to get it reduced. Even without law school concerns that payment is ridiculously high.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:42 am

Big UG debt + T13 sticker debt? Do not do that. WUSTL is your best option, if you can't wait and reapply next year. If you're gonna wait, might as well retake too.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby KMart » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:03 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:Big UG debt + T13 sticker debt? Do not do that. WUSTL is your best option, if you can't wait and reapply next year. If you're gonna wait, might as well retake too.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby TripleM » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:32 am

I agree that you should really push back on those UG loans. Play poor, aggressively. Your situation seem like one in which it might be worth it to speak with an attorney (yes I get the irony). I'm not going to claim to know whether you'd be successful in pushing back but as was stated before, they'd prefer getting half the amount to having you fail on the full amount. You'll need to convince them that is the choice.

I'll put in a good word for CU, since Colorado seems to be where you want to end up. CU places a decent number of attorneys in BL in Colorado and it's certainly not beyond reach. I've personally spoken with a number of hiring attorneys at big firms and they've all spoken of a complete willingness to hire from the upper portion of the CU class. While CU would place you at a disadvantage in term of BL nationally, I'd argue that it's not so much the case if you're in the Colorado market.

They also have respectable ties to numerous courts. They have tons of students clerking at less prestigious lower courts (such as the state supreme court) and also have students who succeed in securing spots in the 10th circuit. Neil Gorsuch was actually teaching at the school as an adjunct before he was nominated to the high court, which I think supports the idea that the school has at least some play within the 10th.

I agree with folks, though, that you should be cautious assuming you will be top in your class or the law review editor. You're clearly a smart guy, but it would be unwise to judge your competition before you see them. It's a mistake I occasionally made during my track and field years and resulted in some nasty surprises.

That said, WUSTL debt-free definitely isn't something to sneeze at. I'd say, though, that the WUSTL degree will have less value than the CU degree within the Colorado market. Whether that value is $40k less is for you to decide. Debt, as you've learned, is no joke.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:46 am

TripleM wrote:I'll put in a good word for CU, since Colorado seems to be where you want to end up. CU places a decent number of attorneys in BL in Colorado and it's certainly not beyond reach. I've personally spoken with a number of hiring attorneys at big firms and they've all spoken of a complete willingness to hire from the upper portion of the CU class. While CU would place you at a disadvantage in term of BL nationally, I'd argue that it's not so much the case if you're in the Colorado market.

They also have respectable ties to numerous courts. They have tons of students clerking at less prestigious lower courts (such as the state supreme court) and also have students who succeed in securing spots in the 10th circuit. Neil Gorsuch was actually teaching at the school as an adjunct before he was nominated to the high court, which I think supports the idea that the school has at least some play within the 10th.

The thing with CU is that it does place well in the Denver market, but biglaw in the Denver market is tiny, and I don't think market even falls with in the OP's $120-150k range - with the exception of maybe a couple of NYC biglaw firms, it seemed to be around $110k (admittedly this info is a few years old now so it may have gone up a bit). (Mind you, I don't think the OP should complain if they ended up with $110k.) And while local biglaw does hire from the top of CU, they also like to hire local kids who went to the T14. It's just a very small field to try to play in.

(Gorsuch teaching at CU doesn't mean anything, either. While I think CU is going to do best in the 10th, I think maybe 1 person a year ends up with federal COA. A few more will get there after doing SSC/fed DCt.)

All that said, I agree that WUSTL isn't going to open a ton of doors in Colorado. Otherwise I'd vote WUSTL just for the money.

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Re: Choosing Between WUSTL($$$) v Minnesota ($$$) v Colorado ($$) v UCLA ($$)

Postby PeanutsNJam » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:00 am

Colorado placed slightly over 8% of its class into biglaw. You'd need to be in the top 10% to have a comfortable, realistic shot at Colorado biglaw from that school. I can tell you for a fact that someone with the same grades from WUSTL (top 10%) got a biglaw job in Denver, and I believe she could have done it with lower grades too (she had super strong ties though).

While I wouldn't go to either school excepting to get biglaw in Denver/Boulder, CU isn't any better than WUSTL. If you land outside the top 10% at CU, you are OUT of biglaw. Not so at WUSTL.



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