HamDel wrote: vanwinkle wrote:
patchin411 wrote:If an AA male can get into a top 14 school with money should ranking affect decision. Is a full ride at uva or michigan better 150,000 of debt from columbia? I already owe 125,000 in school debt. Should I be looking for the best value? I would like to work in biglaw for several years and then become a judge.
If your goals are BigLaw or other prestige-linked things (and a respectable
judgeship will require political appointment, which could make degree matter) then I'd say you should really aim as high as possible. Three factors for you to consider:
1) HIgher-ranked school does make BigLaw more likely. Firms are going deeper into the class at Columbia than MVP. Especially ITE, if you want BigLaw then you're better off going to Columbia, defnitely.
2) Connections for future jobs can depend on your law firm. Big law firms are more than just employers, they're networks, and getting into a more prestigious one gives you access to a better network you can tap into (when, say, looking for someone who knows the people that make judicial appointments). You have a better chance of success. Ending up with roughly the same rank (and you probably would, the difference in peers and class dificulty is not great between these schools) at Columbia or MVP, even if you're in BigLaw range at both schools, Columbia might get you more prestigious offers than your same class rank at MVP would.
3) You're already six figures in debt. Law school makes no sense for you unless you're 1) intending to do public service and make the government pay your loans (in which case you can rack up another $150K without great concern, and go to Columbia) or you're 2) dead-set on going to BigLaw so you can pay off your loans (and that means increasing your odds of getting BigLaw as much as possible, which means going to Columbia).
You'll have a hell of a lot of debt to pay off, but that would be better than "saving $100K", still ending up in $200K total debt, and missing out on BigLaw entirely because you did poorly at a lower T14.
I think this makes a lot of sense. I had an opportunity to attend a lower school on a full ride, but I chose to pay at HYSCCN. I was in the middle of the pack gradewise, and I got a biglaw job for next summer. I also had a good amount of undergrad debt.
If this were 2006 or something and biglaw jobs were more plentiful, I'd say go for the full ride because the worst case scenario would be that you would wind up in a highly paid job you don't like that much. But it's 2010, and nothing guarantees these jobs anymore. If I had taken the full ride and performed at the same level, it's not out of the realm of possibility that I would be jobless. In fact, I know someone who made the opposite choice and is currently jobless.
Remember that you're walking into law school to walk out starting a career, so don't take this choice lightly. It wouldn't be a wrong decision to take the scholarship, but it's not an open and shut case.
Interesting. You need to ask yourself how important keeping your debt under relative control is. Then weigh that against your income potential at the different schools.
For some reason, there is this idea that it's more difficult to be a successful attorney if you don't go to HYS. Not so. In fact, there are plenty of highly successful lawyers that go to lower ranking schools. What you do with your education is up to you, and no test or degree is going to determine your liking, your ability to perform, or your longevity in any given career.
Ultimately, schools that base their marketing on a list like US News' have certain reputations with cultures outside their own. The idea that one school is better than another, or will magically make a person "good" at the practice of law is simply a matter of perceived reality. Sure, they might provide certain opportunities, but those opportunities exist to anyone willing to build relationships with the necessary people to make them available.