Paying for law school-Marquette

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
Waldo
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Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby Waldo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:35 pm

Hi All,
I was thinking of going to Marquette in the fall of 2010. I got a small scholarship that put the tuition to roughly 30k a year. I know it's a tier 2 school and is pretty regional, which is why I have a few questions. Can anyone give me insight on what its like to have a big chunk of debt after law school? More specifically, neither of my parents practiced law or had that kind debt (I'm kind of new to the whole idea), so is it a big sword hanging over your head or is a burden but manageable? I guess I mean is it something where its just a monthly payment or something that takes awhile or is it more devestating than that. Also, do you really need to hop into a big law atmosphere to pay something like Marquette's tuitition off, or would a nice mid-law firm be sufficient. Again, I don't like debt at all, but as of right now it seems like my only option for a ls that I like. Finally, on a side note...can anyone attest to the job prospects of someone that graduates from a high rank in the class at Marquette ( I know you shouldn't go into law school expecting to do this, but I'm just curious)? Thanks ahead of time for all of the input. :D

Waldo

Waldo
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby Waldo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:01 pm

Bumpin it...if somebody doesn't know the specifics about Marquette I would still like to know about the debt issue, thanks.

Waldo

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General Tso
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:06 pm

midlaw is only slightly less selective than biglaw. at my school many midsized firms do OCI with top 25% class rank required.

how much of your COA can you self-finance? How much total debt do you expect?

Waldo
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby Waldo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:12 pm

swheat wrote:midlaw is only slightly less selective than biglaw. at my school many midsized firms do OCI with top 25% class rank required.

how much of your COA can you self-finance? How much total debt do you expect?


Umm I'm not really sure what you mean by self-finance, sorry. I would be thinking roughly 130k of debt (this is assuming I don't get performance scholly 2nd year or take into account summer of 2l work). As far as cost of admission goes, I'm taking out loans for all 32k of it, plus col.

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General Tso
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:26 pm

Waldo wrote:
swheat wrote:midlaw is only slightly less selective than biglaw. at my school many midsized firms do OCI with top 25% class rank required.

how much of your COA can you self-finance? How much total debt do you expect?


Umm I'm not really sur what you mean by self-finance, sorry. I would be thinking roughly 130k of debt (this is assuming I don't get performance scholly 2nd year or take into account summer of 2l work). As far as cost of admission goes, I'm taking out loans for all 32k of it, plus col.


coa = cost of attendance (tuition + everything else). by self finance, I meant do you have any savings or parental support.

I generally say that no non-T20 school is worth 100k+ in debt. Even if you assume a 6.8% rate (the Stafford rate), 100k in loans would be $1,180 per month on a 10 year plan. 130k would be just under $1,500 per month. On 30 year plan, $651 and $847 respectively.

check it out --> http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml

Now you need to think about what kind of salary you will likely get out of Marquette. Their website (http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.p ... ageID=2171) lists the median salary at $55k. Given that they don't list the number of graduates responding to the survey, we can assume the real number is probably slightly lower. For generosity's sake, lets say the real median salary is 50k (probably more like 40-45k).

Head over to paycheck city: --LinkRemoved--
For a single person in Wisconsin, 50k annually translates to $3000 per month after taxes.

Can you afford $1500 (10 yr) or $850 (30 year) per month on a $3000/mo. salary? How much are the rents like around Milwaukee?

You have to keep in mind that your salary would go up over time, but given the poor employment prospects out of Marquette I think 130k in loans to attend there is not a wise choice. If it were me, I would work for a few years, take an LSAT class and improve my score, THEN go to Marquette with savings and scholarship in hand. A school like this is realistically not worth more than 60 or 70k debt at the maximum.

Waldo
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby Waldo » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:37 pm

swheat wrote:
Waldo wrote:
swheat wrote:midlaw is only slightly less selective than biglaw. at my school many midsized firms do OCI with top 25% class rank required.

how much of your COA can you self-finance? How much total debt do you expect?


Umm I'm not really sur what you mean by self-finance, sorry. I would be thinking roughly 130k of debt (this is assuming I don't get performance scholly 2nd year or take into account summer of 2l work). As far as cost of admission goes, I'm taking out loans for all 32k of it, plus col.


coa = cost of attendance (tuition + everything else). by self finance, I meant do you have any savings or parental support.

I generally say that no non-T20 school is worth 100k+ in debt. Even if you assume a 6.8% rate (the Stafford rate), 100k in loans would be $1,180 per month on a 10 year plan. 130k would be just under $1,500 per month. On 30 year plan, $651 and $847 respectively.

check it out --> http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml

Now you need to think about what kind of salary you will likely get out of Marquette. Their website (http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.p ... ageID=2171) lists the median salary at $55k. Given that they don't list the number of graduates responding to the survey, we can assume the real number is probably slightly lower. For generosity's sake, lets say the real median salary is 50k (probably more like 40-45k).

Head over to paycheck city: --LinkRemoved--
For a single person in Wisconsin, 50k annually translates to $3000 per month after taxes.

Can you afford $1500 (10 yr) or $850 (30 year) per month on a $3000/mo. salary? How much are the rents like around Milwaukee?

You have to keep in mind that your salary would go up over time, but given the poor employment prospects out of Marquette I think 130k in loans to attend there is not a wise choice. If it were me, I would work for a few years, take an LSAT class and improve my score, THEN go to Marquette with savings and scholarship in hand. A school like this is realistically not worth more than 60 or 70k debt at the maximum.


Wow, Thank you very much for the reply. I found it to be very helpful. Im not debating any of your points, but can I ask why do you think so many people attend even though they give such little scholarship support (only the top 1/3 of applicants get support and generally its pretty minimal)? I know that Marquette does have access to some of the bigger firms in WI, do you think everyone is banking on getting those jobs? Thanks again, for the insight.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby T14_Scholly » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:49 pm

Waldo wrote: Im not debating any of your points, but can I ask why do you think so many people attend even though they give such little scholarship support (only the top 1/3 of applicants get support and generally its pretty minimal)? I know that Marquette does have access to some of the bigger firms in WI, do you think everyone is banking on getting those jobs? Thanks again, for the insight.


Because they think that being a lawyer is prestigious and lucrative.

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General Tso
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:54 pm

Waldo wrote:Wow, Thank you very much for the reply. I found it to be very helpful. Im not debating any of your points, but can I ask why do you think so many people attend even though they give such little scholarship support (only the top 1/3 of applicants get support and generally its pretty minimal)? I know that Marquette does have access to some of the bigger firms in WI, do you think everyone is banking on getting those jobs? Thanks again, for the insight.


Well, I don't know much about the specifics of Marquette. I go to school on the west coast so I am not familiar at all with the midwest. But looking at this NLJ250 (essentially, biglaw) placement chart http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414empl ... trends.pdf, it does look like top Marquette students performed reasonably well (back in 2005 or 2006 or whenever this chart came out). Looks like about 6 or 7% of Marq. students got biglaw. It seems comparable to my UG (Ole Miss) law school. They used to place the top 8% in biglaw and the rest of the class was SOL. If you look at the average salary at Marquette it is almost $70,000, compared to the median of $55,000. That goes to show you that the high salaries are heavily concentrated in the top of the class. So if you don't get top 10% there, you are probably not much better off than those in the bottom half.

I think it's a bad gamble. As to why people pay big bucks for mediocre law schools, I don't think people are rational consumers of education. They think about it in terms of an 'investment in my future' but not so much in terms of cost/benefit, hard $$ analysis.

There's something to be said for going to your local, hometown school. But I think you should look outside the box for something cheaper. Unless you are top 10% at Marquette, it looks like you are no better off than someone at median from a T3/T4.

copeyk
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Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby copeyk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:40 pm

Are you from the Midwest? Do you want to practice in Wi? Marquette is a strong regional school with a big alumni base in WI and not having to take the bar if you practice in WI is a nice benefit.
While there is some great general advice on loans and job prospects in this thread you may want to bring this up in the "Midwest Schools" thread on the Acceptences board, to get more advice about Marquette specifically.

jfr1184
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:17 pm

Re: Paying for law school-Marquette

Postby jfr1184 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:07 pm

My advice would be to get a job for a couple of years to get an idea of what it's like to live by yourself on a budget. If possible, make a firm commitment to live on the equivalent of $3000-$850 per month (I would argue to do even less, maybe $2500-$850) to get an idea of what kind of lifestyle you would likely live straight out of law school. Put the excess in savings. I've been living and working two years on such a budget, and it has given me a much better sense of what the reality of large law school debt would mean with a non-BigLaw salary.

As for placement, I work with a Marquette alum at DOJ who started in 2008. So it is possible to get a good job coming from Marquette in this economy. However, I've gathered that he did REALLY well there.




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