LRAP at T10 or Full Tuition Scholly for future in PI law

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LaudSAT
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:42 pm

LRAP at T10 or Full Tuition Scholly for future in PI law

Postby LaudSAT » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:27 am

First, a bit of background. I have been working in the public sector for the past 6.5 years. I have been an AmeriCorps member, TFA corps member, and currently I am a Peace Corps Volunteer. I am going to law school with the sole desire of pursuing PI. I am specifically interested in pursuing a career in legal services right out of law school and thus would like the best chances of getting a fellowship as I know that those jobs are often difficult to get without some sort of funding. After a few years in legal services/ in conjunction with a job in legal services, I am interested in moving into a policy realm.

I am trying to decide whether to take advantage of an LRAP or go to a school with a full tuition and if so where should my cutoff be in prestige to take the full scholarship (For example, if I got the GATES Scholly at Washington, would it be smarter to take that or take the LRAP at Penn). To date I have been accepted to several schools but have narrowed down to the following:

-Penn (no money so far; 300,000 COA)- I am from the Philadelphia area and have the ability to live at home or very cheaply in the city. I am also
very comfortable on the campus and know that I would be happy attending here. The employment statistics with 66% getting Biglaw make me
feel very confident with employment prospects in PI as well.

-Michigan (45,000 scholarship; 220,000 COA)- I have no ties to this area, and their LRAP is not quite as strong as Penn’s with a lower salary cap
and potentially less of a chance of being able to help out if PSLF were to be cut, however it is on a similar level as Penn just slightly less
attractive because I have no connections in Ann Arbor.

-Georgetown (No scholarship so far; 320,000 COA)- Not a huge fan of the DC area but they have excellent PI and Govt numbers. They also have a
very strong LRAP program but have not gotten back to me about their stance if PSLF were to be cancelled.

-UTAustin (15,000 scholarship plus in state tuition waiver; 150,000 COA)- Great school but not a very strong LRAP with income cap at 50k. i also
do not have many connections to the area and even at 150k of debt I will be looking at a pretty steep monthly payment.

-UMiami (Full tuition scholarship; 70,000 COA)- Accepted into their Public Scholars program and have connections from my time as a TFA in the
city. I am very happy in the city but am worried that 70k is worth Miami given their employment statistics and the fact that I would need to be in
the top 5-10% to be competitive for positions that I would be coming out of somewhere like Penn or Michigan even in the top 50% of the class.

There are a few other regional schools that have given me partial scholarships (think GW, Boston, CSU) but as of now I think the only way they are worth it is with full tuition. I also am applying to all the PI scholarships possible but understand they are very competitive and want to be prepared for not getting them.

I am debating whether or not LRAP makes these top schools worth it. I am already committed to working in non-profits for the next ten years as a lawyer or not, and have enough prior experience to say that with confidence, and so it doesn’t seem like I am sacrificing much and potentially gaining what could be called a backdoor scholarship. As far as I can see the three big concerns with LRAP are:

1. PSLF gets cancelled while I am in law school and all of a sudden getting the debt forgiven after ten years isn’t an option and I am stuck
with a lot of debt.
2. I do not have the same flexibility in the non-profit world as I currently do now, as I would be restricted by employment eligibility.
3. I am not able to find qualifying employment and thus get stuck with the bill.

I want to be sure I am not missing anything with these three problems so please offer more if you think of any. For now though, Penn seems to be the best option considering these 3 potential problems.

1. PSLF gets canceled- Penn has said they would continue to have a program that would help PI students. They would probably be able to
provide a more generous option then other schools as they are private and they have a pretty massive amount of money and donor base.
2. Employment restrictions- Penn seems to be more flexible in that they do not require bar passage. In some ways I would have more
desirable employment opportunities, and more chance to have meaningful impact in the non-profit world as a lawyer than as a normal
citizen which is where I will be if I decide on not going to law school.
3. Employment opportunities- given their national prestige and pretty strong employment numbers Penn (or Michigan for that matter) seems
to be the safest option as well.

According to my analysis it seems that Penn (or Michigan) seems to be the best option despite having to pay sticker. The idea of this makes me slightly uncomfortable given all that I have researched in the past (including many hours spent on this website) but when I analyze it I seem to come to the same conclusion. I came here to see if you all could offer me advice or point out things that I may not be considering with LRAP or with the law in general. I appreciate the advice of all but prefer if you are a 0L like myself, for you to state that so I know.

GreenEggs
Posts: 3593
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:55 pm

Re: LRAP at T10 or Full Tuition Scholly for future in PI law

Postby GreenEggs » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:38 am

What geographic location do you want to end up at after law school?
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

LaudSAT
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:42 pm

Re: LRAP at T10 or Full Tuition Scholly for future in PI law

Postby LaudSAT » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:24 am

Kummel wrote:What geographic location do you want to end up at after law school?


I am pretty open, and would like to have the most reach as possible as I want to be able to take my partner's job opportunities into consideration. Most likely east coast but the option of going west coast would be nice.

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ChutzpahSaxa15
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:54 pm

Re: LRAP at T10 or Full Tuition Scholly for future in PI law

Postby ChutzpahSaxa15 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:50 pm

LaudSAT wrote:
Kummel wrote:What geographic location do you want to end up at after law school?


I am pretty open, and would like to have the most reach as possible as I want to be able to take my partner's job opportunities into consideration. Most likely east coast but the option of going west coast would be nice.


In that case, Michigan might be the better bet because they send students to a variety of markets. The vast majority of Penn students go to New York. The cost of Ann Arbor living is also cheaper, but on the other hand you could save money in Philly by living at home. I think that Michigan has more of a reputation for sending more students into PI - I've heard that Penn is a pretty corporate atmosphere.




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