Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
lfffp44

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby lfffp44 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:42 pm

Hi all,

I'll be applying to law school this upcoming fall. I'm somewhat nervous going into the process so I'm hoping that some of you fine folks can give me some advice.

LSAC GPA is 3.84. June LSAT score 172. Aiming for biglaw transactional work in NY (M&A).

I fortunately do not have any UG debt. I'm really hoping to go to Columbia -- but think that my LSAT will be a bit too low for significant scholarship money (Butler/Hamilton). So first question is would I have a shot at a Butler at Columbia? I assume Hamilton is out of the question.

Secondly, in the event that I were to not get a Butler, would my numbers put me in a good spot to negotiate some scholarship money? I'll be applying very broadly and hoping to get significant $ to lower ranked schools and perhaps an acceptance to Harvard that I would be able to use to negotiate.

Third, do you think it would be worth it to go to Columbia if I do not get any scholarship money? My parents and grandmother will be able to contribute about 40k a year -- a huge sum, I know. Based on some approximate calculations I think I'd leave CLS with about 145k in debt. This may be a silly question, but I was wondering what thoughts any of you have about taking out that kind of debt for CLS.

Lastly, I've been using AccessLex's loan calculator and using Columbia's estimates for my calculations (adjusted up or down a bit to give myself some leeway). Is there a more accurate website I can use to calculate how much debt I'd take out? Is AccessLex pretty accurate?

Sorry if any of these questions seem a bit silly. I've read around on the forums here quite a bit but am hoping for some personalized advice. I understand that I'm in a good position overall. I'm just a bit neurotic about the debt.

Thank you all!!!!!!

Wubbles

New
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby Wubbles » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:15 pm

My only point of advice is that sticker at Columbia was not designed for someone with your numbers, so yes it would be too much debt for you to go there

BrainsyK

Bronze
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby BrainsyK » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:44 pm

First, if you're just looking to do M&A in NY. That's a task that could easily be accomplished from Cornell let alone any number of higher ranked schools that would give you a full-ride or close to it.

I know plenty of people here with those numbers and without any money. To be fair, I have much lower numbers and more money so... who really knows. I would say based on past accounts of Butler recipients, you are competitive but will probably not receive it. I know nothing on negotiating, but I'm gonna guess you won't be able to get them to go up to any amount that matters. Maybe you'll 10-20k if you're lucky.

145k debt is manageable but not optimal. I guess it would depend on how much your parents derive pleasure from seeing you go to Columbia. If they're really gung-ho about the prestige and would fully support you going and actively want to give you money. It's not the worst thing in the world to take it.

Also, keep in mind, whatever debt you think you're going to rack up. Add another 10k-20k to it. Life just happens.

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2333
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:46 pm

Why do you want to go to Columbia over any other of the schools that will offer similar employment outcomes? Is it just prestige? Because prestige is absolutely to worth six figures of debt.

lfffp44

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby lfffp44 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:02 pm

BrainsyK wrote:First, if you're just looking to do M&A in NY. That's a task that could easily be accomplished from Cornell let alone any number of higher ranked schools that would give you a full-ride or close to it.

I know plenty of people here with those numbers and without any money. To be fair, I have much lower numbers and more money so... who really knows. I would say based on past accounts of Butler recipients, you are competitive but will probably not receive it. I know nothing on negotiating, but I'm gonna guess you won't be able to get them to go up to any amount that matters. Maybe you'll 10-20k if you're lucky.

145k debt is manageable but not optimal. I guess it would depend on how much your parents derive pleasure from seeing you go to Columbia. If they're really gung-ho about the prestige and would fully support you going and actively want to give you money. It's not the worst thing in the world to take it.

Also, keep in mind, whatever debt you think you're going to rack up. Add another 10k-20k to it. Life just happens.


Thanks! Very much appreciate the advice. Could you perhaps provide a bit more info about what sort of numbers would give me a better shot at a Butler? I've looked through LSN and TLS forums but if you have better info as a CLS student it would be much appreciated! I assume 174+?

Also, does multiple LSAT scores in any way effect scholarship chances at Columbia? I'm considering retaking LSAT in September (signed up and am studying a bit now.) Would a 172-176 have a lower shot at say a Butler/Hamilton vs a 176 first time LSAT (all other things being equal).

lfffp44

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby lfffp44 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:07 pm

Dcc617 wrote:Why do you want to go to Columbia over any other of the schools that will offer similar employment outcomes? Is it just prestige? Because prestige is absolutely to worth six figures of debt.


Big part of it is that it would be hard for me to leave NYC for law school. I'd be open to the idea of going out of NYC but family obligations would make it much much much easier to stay in NY. So I'm looking closely at CLS and NYU. I figure I have slightly higher scholarship chances at NYU but wanted to ask here about whether it'd be a dumb idea to pay take out $150k or so for CLS.

Also, a question for you. I've heard a lot about lower ranked schools offering similar employment outcomes with significantly less debt. How true is that for V5 NY firms. Would a school like Cornell or Penn etc really place similarly into V5 firms? Or would CLS make it significantly easier? Of course, I'm not making assumptions about the sort of grades I'll get -- odds are I wont have any shot at V5 firms. Just gathering info.

Very much appreciate your advice!!

User avatar
Dcc617

Gold
Posts: 2333
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:20 pm

lfffp44 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:Why do you want to go to Columbia over any other of the schools that will offer similar employment outcomes? Is it just prestige? Because prestige is absolutely to worth six figures of debt.


Big part of it is that it would be hard for me to leave NYC for law school. I'd be open to the idea of going out of NYC but family obligations would make it much much much easier to stay in NY. So I'm looking closely at CLS and NYU. I figure I have slightly higher scholarship chances at NYU but wanted to ask here about whether it'd be a dumb idea to pay take out $150k or so for CLS.

Also, a question for you. I've heard a lot about lower ranked schools offering similar employment outcomes with significantly less debt. How true is that for V5 NY firms. Would a school like Cornell or Penn etc really place similarly into V5 firms? Or would CLS make it significantly easier? Of course, I'm not making assumptions about the sort of grades I'll get -- odds are I wont have any shot at V5 firms. Just gathering info.

Very much appreciate your advice!!


Let me first ask you what you think “V5” means. Like what about that is more desirable than a V6, 10, 20, 40, etc?

Family obligations make sense, but you shouldn’t be assessing Columbia at 150K in a vacuum. Is it a decent option for NYC biglaw? Sure. Is it better than UVA for free? Absolutely not. Apply across the T14 and take the money for NY biglaw.

Also, your cost of attendance at sticker is not $150K. It’s $300K because you’re still spending money that could be used elsewhere. Like unless your grandma has said that she will only pay for you to go to law school then that is a bunch of money that could be savings, downpayment on a house, etc.

lfffp44

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby lfffp44 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:35 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
lfffp44 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:Why do you want to go to Columbia over any other of the schools that will offer similar employment outcomes? Is it just prestige? Because prestige is absolutely to worth six figures of debt.


Big part of it is that it would be hard for me to leave NYC for law school. I'd be open to the idea of going out of NYC but family obligations would make it much much much easier to stay in NY. So I'm looking closely at CLS and NYU. I figure I have slightly higher scholarship chances at NYU but wanted to ask here about whether it'd be a dumb idea to pay take out $150k or so for CLS.

Also, a question for you. I've heard a lot about lower ranked schools offering similar employment outcomes with significantly less debt. How true is that for V5 NY firms. Would a school like Cornell or Penn etc really place similarly into V5 firms? Or would CLS make it significantly easier? Of course, I'm not making assumptions about the sort of grades I'll get -- odds are I wont have any shot at V5 firms. Just gathering info.

Very much appreciate your advice!!


Let me first ask you what you think “V5” means. Like what about that is more desirable than a V6, 10, 20, 40, etc?

Family obligations make sense, but you shouldn’t be assessing Columbia at 150K in a vacuum. Is it a decent option for NYC biglaw? Sure. Is it better than UVA for free? Absolutely not. Apply across the T14 and take the money for NY biglaw.

Also, your cost of attendance at sticker is not $150K. It’s $300K because you’re still spending money that could be used elsewhere. Like unless your grandma has said that she will only pay for you to go to law school then that is a bunch of money that could be savings, downpayment on a house, etc.


Was just using V5 as shorthand for top NYC firms. Could've just as easily said V6/10. I understand that the overall odds of NY biglaw would be great from many lower ranked schools -- I was curious whether, for the top of the heap in NY, there was some marginal benefit to CLS. Of course the exit options for say S&C would be better than a V40 firm. But that's a whole different topic.

So someone from a lower ranked school may have great odds at NYC biglaw in general, but what about the top handful of firms (DPW, STB, etc)? Would it still be accurate to say that there would be substantively similar employement outcomes vs. CLS? Or would there be, at the margin, significant benefits to CLS?

Npret

Silver
Posts: 1494
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby Npret » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:52 pm

I strongly suggest you apply broadly and see what options are available to you. This is extremely premature.
As to your questions:
I don’t know if retaking the LSAT will hurt with scholarships but others might.
I don’t think going to Columbia for sticker would be a smart move for you.
I would use debt estimates on law school transparency as they include the average increases in cost.
I wouldn’t worry about your V5 job, transactional practices in NYC are pretty similar and it’s doubtful you know anything about what you want to do.

Get actual acceptances and scholarship information and then come back.

BrainsyK

Bronze
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby BrainsyK » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:27 pm

lfffp44 wrote:Was just using V5 as shorthand for top NYC firms. Could've just as easily said V6/10. I understand that the overall odds of NY biglaw would be great from many lower ranked schools -- I was curious whether, for the top of the heap in NY, there was some marginal benefit to CLS. Of course the exit options for say S&C would be better than a V40 firm. But that's a whole different topic.

So someone from a lower ranked school may have great odds at NYC biglaw in general, but what about the top handful of firms (DPW, STB, etc)? Would it still be accurate to say that there would be substantively similar employement outcomes vs. CLS? Or would there be, at the margin, significant benefits to CLS?


CLS V10 placement is massive. I count 134/~420 going to V10+elite boutiques. If you stretch it other non-V10 powerhouses like Debevoise and Cleary, it's 179/~420. Factoring in bleed-heart PI people and people who just like non-V10 firms, I'd say nearly half the class has the capability to get top NY firms to some capacity, but again, those are just facial distinctions.

When you drop a name like Sullcrom this early into a thread, I'm gonna guess there's a little prestige-chasing going on. I was just like that before 1L and still have a bit of that left in me. Believe me. Things changes. You may not be smart enough or dedicated enough to get the grades you need. You may just have bad luck. You may just think working 80 hours a week isn't for you. A lot of things can happen so I wouldn't bank on some vague concept of V5/10/15/20 and the event further down the road exit options define how you act just yet.

If you have time and energy, retake. If not, apply and see what happens.

lfffp44

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Re: Debt advice for Columbia. All input appreciated!!!

Postby lfffp44 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:44 pm

BrainsyK wrote:
lfffp44 wrote:Was just using V5 as shorthand for top NYC firms. Could've just as easily said V6/10. I understand that the overall odds of NY biglaw would be great from many lower ranked schools -- I was curious whether, for the top of the heap in NY, there was some marginal benefit to CLS. Of course the exit options for say S&C would be better than a V40 firm. But that's a whole different topic.

So someone from a lower ranked school may have great odds at NYC biglaw in general, but what about the top handful of firms (DPW, STB, etc)? Would it still be accurate to say that there would be substantively similar employement outcomes vs. CLS? Or would there be, at the margin, significant benefits to CLS?


CLS V10 placement is massive. I count 134/~420 going to V10+elite boutiques. If you stretch it other non-V10 powerhouses like Debevoise and Cleary, it's 179/~420. Factoring in bleed-heart PI people and people who just like non-V10 firms, I'd say nearly half the class has the capability to get top NY firms to some capacity, but again, those are just facial distinctions.

When you drop a name like Sullcrom this early into a thread, I'm gonna guess there's a little prestige-chasing going on. I was just like that before 1L and still have a bit of that left in me. Believe me. Things changes. You may not be smart enough or dedicated enough to get the grades you need. You may just have bad luck. You may just think working 80 hours a week isn't for you. A lot of things can happen so I wouldn't bank on some vague concept of V5/10/15/20 and the event further down the road exit options define how you act just yet.

If you have time and energy, retake. If not, apply and see what happens.


Thanks for the response and advice! Appreciate the data on CLS placement -- that's awesome! And I'm definitely leaning towards retaking for a better shot at a scholarship.



Return to “Choosing a Law School?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Afrogermarican, albanach, Bing [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 20 guests