Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

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rzzza
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Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:20 pm

I know people generally will recommend not attending a 3rd or 4th tier law school, however NIU (Northern Illinois University) has offered me a free legal education which I'm finding very tempting to pass up. I wasn't good enough to get into the top 2 law schools in Illinois and re-taking the test is not an option for me. Loyola has offered me a $78,000 scholarship but I'd still owe almost $150,000 to them if I was to attend their school.

From what I understand, there's very little practical difference between a law degree from Loyola or a law degree from NIU. Except in this case the law degree from NIU would cost $150,000 less. I'd be crazy not to take the free legal education, right? There's not enough prestige to the Loyola brand to justify swallowing a six figure debt to attend there. Realistically speaking I know landing into a large firm is out for me regardless which of these two schools I choose, and even more frankly speaking there's a large possibility of being unemployed after graduation with either of these degrees. But assuming that I'm making a big mistake here, it's better to make the mistake that costs nothing than to make the mistake that costs a lot of money.

Or am I just way off base here? Lemme know homies

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UVA2B
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:27 pm

Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?

cavalier1138
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:30 pm

rzzza wrote:I know people generally will recommend not attending a 3rd or 4th tier law school...


And why is that?

rzzza wrote:...and re-taking the test is not an option for me.


Yes, it is.

rzzza wrote:From what I understand, there's very little practical difference between a law degree from Loyola or a law degree from NIU. Except in this case the law degree from NIU would cost $150,000 less.


The overall employment numbers are actually much more similar than I would have thought (which is depressing for Loyola), but Loyola students do get better jobs (16% working big firms vs. 0% at NIU).

But why do you want to go to law school?

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:35 pm

You guys won't believe this but I just got a call from NIU, they offered me another scholarship to attend there. On top of the Full Tuition scholarship they had originally offered me, they're offering me an extra $5,000 cash just for books and stuff for my first semester.

I'm finding this very difficult to turn down. I know NIU is a small school with not the greatest reputation but jesus, a totally FREE legal education is flattering and tempting

snowball2
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby snowball2 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:38 pm

Hate to spoil the fun, but in this case free is the appropriate price. The school's employment stats are nearly non-existent. You're looking at a potential lifetime of employment, so being penny-wise is likely more than a a bit foolish. Is UIUC not in the picture? In any case, Loyola's top 15% made it to big firms last year (100+ lawyers) and the top 10% made it to biglaw. Still light-years ahead of Northern.

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:38 pm

UVA2B wrote:Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?


It's just a waste of another year and I don't think I could do much better than my 158 score. Even assuming I study my ass off and get a 162 or something, that doesn't really put me into a much better position as far as options go in this state. I need to score a 170+ to even approach the best schools in the state. And those schools aren't going to offer me full scholarships. Probably not even 50% scholarships.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:40 pm

rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?


It's just a waste of another year and I don't think I could do much better than my 158 score. Even assuming I study my ass off and get a 162 or something, that doesn't really put me into a much better position as far as options go in this state. I need to score a 170+ to even approach the best schools in the state. And those schools aren't going to offer me full scholarships. Probably not even 50% scholarships.


Then maybe you shouldn't go to LS? We still haven't heard why you want to go

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UVA2B
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:40 pm

rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?


It's just a waste of another year and I don't think I could do much better than my 158 score. Even assuming I study my ass off and get a 162 or something, that doesn't really put me into a much better position as far as options go in this state. I need to score a 170+ to even approach the best schools in the state. And those schools aren't going to offer me full scholarships. Probably not even 50% scholarships.


It's not a waste of a year if the difference is being employed vs. not being employed.

Which goes back to...

cavalier1138 wrote:But why do you want to go to law school?


What kind of attorney job do you see yourself in long-term?

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:41 pm

snowball2 wrote:Hate to spoil the fun, but in this case free is the appropriate price. The school's employment stats are nearly non-existent. You're looking at a potential lifetime of employment, so being penny-wise is likely more than a a bit foolish. Is UIUC not in the picture? In any case, Loyola's top 15% made it to big firms last year (100+ lawyers) and the top 10% made it to biglaw. Still light-years ahead of Northern.


I'm on the UIUC wait list, but I doubt they'd offer me much of a scholarship even if I get accepted off the wait list.

Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.

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carsondalywashere
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:42 pm

rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?


It's just a waste of another year and I don't think I could do much better than my 158 score. Even assuming I study my ass off and get a 162 or something, that doesn't really put me into a much better position as far as options go in this state. I need to score a 170+ to even approach the best schools in the state. And those schools aren't going to offer me full scholarships. Probably not even 50% scholarships.



Depending on your goals, 50% or less off at NU or Chicago is still a pretty good deal imo

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UVA2B
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:43 pm

rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Hate to spoil the fun, but in this case free is the appropriate price. The school's employment stats are nearly non-existent. You're looking at a potential lifetime of employment, so being penny-wise is likely more than a a bit foolish. Is UIUC not in the picture? In any case, Loyola's top 15% made it to big firms last year (100+ lawyers) and the top 10% made it to biglaw. Still light-years ahead of Northern.


I'm on the UIUC wait list, but I doubt they'd offer me much of a scholarship even if I get accepted off the wait list.

Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firmor working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Two points:
1. What if that $50-60k/year (should you manage to be employed at all outside of your own shingle) never goes up?

2. In-house attorneys are not hired from law schools mostly. They are hired as laterals out of big law firms.

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UVA2B
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:46 pm

I now remember how much I tried to reason with you previously in your last choosing thread. So I'm done. Good luck with NIU, I hope you manage to get a job.

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:47 pm

UVA2B wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Hate to spoil the fun, but in this case free is the appropriate price. The school's employment stats are nearly non-existent. You're looking at a potential lifetime of employment, so being penny-wise is likely more than a a bit foolish. Is UIUC not in the picture? In any case, Loyola's top 15% made it to big firms last year (100+ lawyers) and the top 10% made it to biglaw. Still light-years ahead of Northern.


I'm on the UIUC wait list, but I doubt they'd offer me much of a scholarship even if I get accepted off the wait list.

Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firmor working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Two points:
1. What if that $50-60k/year (should you manage to be employed at all outside of your own shingle) never goes up?

2. In-house attorneys are not hired from law schools mostly. They are hired as laterals out of big law firms.


Why would it never go up? I thought attorneys generally get paid more the more experience they have in their field. Yes finding a job might be tough but no debt makes me worry a lot less about that. And yes a $50,000 salary starting out isn't good at all, but again...no debt makes me worry less about it.

I was absolutely freaking out about the prospect of graduating from Loyola with $150,000 of debt and not being able to find a job. Look at the employment statistics for these two schools, they don't seem that different to me.

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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby snowball2 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:47 pm

rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Going to NIU for free vs. Loyola for $150k is a great call in a vacuum. But why is retaking the LSAT not an option?


It's just a waste of another year and I don't think I could do much better than my 158 score. Even assuming I study my ass off and get a 162 or something, that doesn't really put me into a much better position as far as options go in this state. I need to score a 170+ to even approach the best schools in the state. And those schools aren't going to offer me full scholarships. Probably not even 50% scholarships.


Anything over 162 will get you some sort of money at UIUC, which will give you far greater opportunity than Northern.

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:48 pm

UVA2B wrote:I now remember how much I tried to reason with you previously in your last choosing thread. So I'm done. Good luck with NIU, I hope you manage to get a job.


Yes that thread is a large part of what made me have second thoughts and reconsider NIU, so you can't accuse me of not listening to all your advice

The main take away i got from that thread is AVOID DEBT. Better to make a free mistake than a costly one

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anyriotgirl
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby anyriotgirl » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:49 pm

rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I now remember how much I tried to reason with you previously in your last choosing thread. So I'm done. Good luck with NIU, I hope you manage to get a job.


Yes that thread is a large part of what made me have second thoughts and reconsider NIU, so you can't accuse me of not listening to all your advice

The main take away i got from that thread is AVOID DEBT. Better to make a free mistake than a costly one


three years of your life + living expenses isn't free

snowball2
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby snowball2 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:52 pm

rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Your ability to repay $150,000 is infinitely easier while earning $180,000 + bonus annually. You can do it in less than 10 years while barely noticing. Do some quick math:

5 years at biglaw should gross over $1,000,000 in earnings, roughly 4 times what 5 years at $50,000 will get you.

Not to mention the doors that a degree from a better law school will open for you in the future.
Last edited by snowball2 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:53 pm

anyriotgirl wrote:
rzzza wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I now remember how much I tried to reason with you previously in your last choosing thread. So I'm done. Good luck with NIU, I hope you manage to get a job.


Yes that thread is a large part of what made me have second thoughts and reconsider NIU, so you can't accuse me of not listening to all your advice

The main take away i got from that thread is AVOID DEBT. Better to make a free mistake than a costly one


three years of your life + living expenses isn't free


That's a cost I can swallow. I still need to pay $40,000 for my Loyola undergraduate degree. The prospect of taking $150,000 of more debt on from Loyola had me sweating.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:54 pm

Having your tuition covered doesn't mean it's free. Besides cost of living which I'm assuming you've calculated, you're spending three years to likely end up without a job. Those are three years you could have been working in another career and gaining experience and increasing your net worth. You lose three years income and experience.

Attorneys income does not go up based on how much experience they have. In smaller firms or hanging your own shingle it's very much "eat what you kill." If you aren't bringing in business you aren't getting paid. And it's a hard hustle.

In an incredibly saturated state, NIU is the worst choice. People forget it even exists. Loyola, DePaul, Kent and UIUC all hold some recognition. NIU does not.

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:59 pm

snowball2 wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Your ability to repay $150,000 is infinitely easier while earning $180,000 + bonus annually. You can do it in less than 10 years while barely noticing. Do some quick math:

5 years at biglaw should gross over $1,000,000 in earnings, roughly 4 times what 5 years at $50,000 will get you.


I'd rather not gamble on the assumption that I'll make it into BigLaw into a comfy job that pays $180,000. I'd rather err on the side of caution. As a pessimist by nature I'd rather be prepared for the worst case scenario than assume that the best case scenario is what will happen to me. Especially considering my circumstances. Let's face it, my LSAT score is middling and the law schools that have accepted me are all deemed 'trash' to one degree or another by most people here. So why pay out the nose for trash?

Am I wrong for taking a pessimistic approach to this? I thought a guarded/skeptical approach to law school was considered the appropriate attitude to have? I'm not in a good position to be idealistic.

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Mullens
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby Mullens » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:04 pm

rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Your ability to repay $150,000 is infinitely easier while earning $180,000 + bonus annually. You can do it in less than 10 years while barely noticing. Do some quick math:

5 years at biglaw should gross over $1,000,000 in earnings, roughly 4 times what 5 years at $50,000 will get you.


I'd rather not gamble on the assumption that I'll make it into BigLaw into a comfy job that pays $180,000. I'd rather err on the side of caution. As a pessimist by nature I'd rather be prepared for the worst case scenario than assume that the best case scenario is what will happen to me. Especially considering my circumstances. Let's face it, my LSAT score is middling and the law schools that have accepted me are all deemed 'trash' to one degree or another by most people here. So why pay out the nose for trash?

Am I wrong for taking a pessimistic approach to this? I thought a guarded/skeptical approach to law school was considered the appropriate attitude to have? I'm not in a good position to be idealistic.


This post doesn't square with the reality that the worst case scenario from NIU is that you never become a lawyer

rzzza
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby rzzza » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:08 pm

Mullens wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Your ability to repay $150,000 is infinitely easier while earning $180,000 + bonus annually. You can do it in less than 10 years while barely noticing. Do some quick math:

5 years at biglaw should gross over $1,000,000 in earnings, roughly 4 times what 5 years at $50,000 will get you.


I'd rather not gamble on the assumption that I'll make it into BigLaw into a comfy job that pays $180,000. I'd rather err on the side of caution. As a pessimist by nature I'd rather be prepared for the worst case scenario than assume that the best case scenario is what will happen to me. Especially considering my circumstances. Let's face it, my LSAT score is middling and the law schools that have accepted me are all deemed 'trash' to one degree or another by most people here. So why pay out the nose for trash?

Am I wrong for taking a pessimistic approach to this? I thought a guarded/skeptical approach to law school was considered the appropriate attitude to have? I'm not in a good position to be idealistic.


This post doesn't square with the reality that the worst case scenario from NIU is that you never become a lawyer


But thats the same possibility of graduating from Loyola. Look at the employment statistics. NIU I think has slightly higher numbers

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:08 pm

I'm curious as to why you can't take a gap year and retake the LSAT? How old are you?

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pancakes3
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:12 pm

just another thread where efforts are wasted because the OP is too stupid to understand the "retake" advice.

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Mullens
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Re: Choosing a free education at a 4th tier law school?

Postby Mullens » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:12 pm

rzzza wrote:
Mullens wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:
rzzza wrote:
snowball2 wrote:Whats so great about large law firms anyway? I'm not too worried about getting into a large law firm after graduation. A $50,000-$60,000 salary starting out my first year in a small firm or working as an in-house attorney for some corporation seems plenty good to me if it means I don't have to pay back some massive six figure debt.


Your ability to repay $150,000 is infinitely easier while earning $180,000 + bonus annually. You can do it in less than 10 years while barely noticing. Do some quick math:

5 years at biglaw should gross over $1,000,000 in earnings, roughly 4 times what 5 years at $50,000 will get you.


I'd rather not gamble on the assumption that I'll make it into BigLaw into a comfy job that pays $180,000. I'd rather err on the side of caution. As a pessimist by nature I'd rather be prepared for the worst case scenario than assume that the best case scenario is what will happen to me. Especially considering my circumstances. Let's face it, my LSAT score is middling and the law schools that have accepted me are all deemed 'trash' to one degree or another by most people here. So why pay out the nose for trash?

Am I wrong for taking a pessimistic approach to this? I thought a guarded/skeptical approach to law school was considered the appropriate attitude to have? I'm not in a good position to be idealistic.


This post doesn't square with the reality that the worst case scenario from NIU is that you never become a lawyer


But thats the same possibility of graduating from Loyola. Look at the employment statistics. NIU I think has slightly higher numbers


That's a false dichotomy. Neither is a good option.




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