Help...prestige/debt v no debt

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elleewoodsss

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Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby elleewoodsss » Wed May 16, 2018 3:15 am

Hello,

Stuck between choosing a T1 (30-40) school with a $10,000/year scholarship (not conditional) or an unranked school on a full ride (have to stay in top 50%). Both located in region I want to practice (nor cal), not necessarily interested in big law. Can't decide if the debt is worth it or not....COL is zero. So I'm looking at about $100,000 in debt vs $0. Advice?

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northwood

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby northwood » Wed May 16, 2018 5:45 am

What is the cost of attendance if you don’t stay in the top 50%? Would you stay in that school or drop out? Can you remove that stipulation?

Justtrying2help

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby Justtrying2help » Wed May 16, 2018 7:55 am

Neither. Only top 13 schools are worth a 100k investment because they give you over a 50% chance of making six figures after graduation (typically 180k). That eliminates the T1 school. The unranked school has a horrible top 50% stipulation for you to keep your scholarship. If you were being financially prudent, you would leave if you were unable to maintain it. Only the very top students at unranked schools typically have a chance at pursuing a legal career due to minimum job opportunities combined with low bar passage rates. A law degree is useless unless you intend to practice law.

My recommendation: If you are interested in public interest jobs, retake the lsat and try to get a full scholarship to the best school in city where you intend to practice. If you want big law, retake the lsat and shoot for t-13 or bust. Law is a prestige, skill, and appearances based business. Private employers want employees who they can sell to clients. Public interest employers are inundated with the resumes of students from top law schools. Good luck.

elleewoodsss

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby elleewoodsss » Wed May 16, 2018 12:26 pm

Justtrying2help wrote:Neither. Only top 13 schools are worth a 100k investment because they give you over a 50% chance of making six figures after graduation (typically 180k). That eliminates the T1 school. The unranked school has a horrible top 50% stipulation for you to keep your scholarship. If you were being financially prudent, you would leave if you were unable to maintain it. Only the very top students at unranked schools typically have a chance at pursuing a legal career due to minimum job opportunities combined with low bar passage rates. A law degree is useless unless you intend to practice law.

My recommendation: If you are interested in public interest jobs, retake the lsat and try to get a full scholarship to the best school in city where you intend to practice. If you want big law, retake the lsat and shoot for t-13 or bust. Law is a prestige, skill, and appearances based business. Private employers want employees who they can sell to clients. Public interest employers are inundated with the resumes of students from top law schools. Good luck.


The school I'm considering has a 74% placement in the private sector and the median starting salary is $100,000. The 25th percentile starting salary is $80,000. Does this change your opinion on the 100K investment at all? The employment numbers and starting salary seem feasible to me to make a month payment of about $1,000 over 10 years.

elleewoodsss

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby elleewoodsss » Wed May 16, 2018 12:27 pm

northwood wrote:What is the cost of attendance if you don’t stay in the top 50%? Would you stay in that school or drop out? Can you remove that stipulation?


Tried unsuccessfully to remove the stipulation. The cost would be really high if I didn't stay in the top half. I probably wouldn't drop our per se, but at that point, I would have the same amount of debt compared to the T1 school. (around 100K)

CanadianWolf

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed May 16, 2018 3:16 pm

It might help if you identify the law schools in question. (Hastings versus USF or Golden Gate ?)

Beware of section stacking for scholarship students since law schools grade on a curve, therefore if one first year law section is all scholarship recipients & the other 1L section is not, then half of the scholarship students will lose their scholarships if there is a top 50% stipulation.

elleewoodsss

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby elleewoodsss » Wed May 16, 2018 4:08 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:It might help if you identify the law schools in question. (Hastings versus USF or Golden Gate ?)

Beware of section stacking for scholarship students since law schools grade on a curve, therefore if one first year law section is all scholarship recipients & the other 1L section is not, then half of the scholarship students will lose their scholarships if there is a top 50% stipulation.


Davis v McGeorge (the latter says they do not stack)

Justtrying2help

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Re: Help...prestige/debt v no debt

Postby Justtrying2help » Wed May 16, 2018 7:42 pm

100K is too much for UC Davis. If you can get it below 40k (assuming you don't have undergrad student loan debt) it may not be the worst decision ever. UC Davis doesn't have anywhere close to a 74% placement rate in the private sector. Only 75% of their graduates pass the bar. You can find the information on UC Davis's Law School Transparency report (google UC Davis LST). Also, UC Davis isn't really prestigious in the legal community, but the top students do perform well in California (and some in other states).

McGeorge isn't worth it for free. This point is further emphasized by the fact that you have a horrible stipulation on your scholarship.

Both of your current options are far from ideal. Retake at the very least and attempt to attend UC Davis/USC/UCLA tuition free. If you have the time and the aptitude, retake for Berkeley and Stanford. The legal world is smaller and more prestige driven than I ever imagined it would be prior to seeing it for myself.



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