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Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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rinkrat19
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat May 19, 2012 9:25 pm

jurisx wrote:Dang and I thought my $100K expected debt was going to suck.

Income based repayment plan. Whatever you don't have paid off at the 20 year mark is forgiven under the program too.
It's 25 years, and you are taxed on the forgiven amount as if it were income.

Unless it's a PI/govt job, in which case it's 10 years and there's no tax.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat May 19, 2012 10:40 pm

apollo2015 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
apollo2015 wrote:Brown is also well aware that the statewide voting-electorate is fairly conservative in its orientation.


C'mon dude. If there is one state where conservatives have had virtually no voice it's California.



They generally win statewide elections in California. The conservatives' only real weakness in California politics is in the legislature, but even there they wield a veto power over tax increases.


K. If you think California is a conservative state we'll just have to agree to disagree.

@rink, IBR forgiveness now will happen after 20 years.

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rinkrat19
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat May 19, 2012 10:42 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:@rink, IBR forgiveness now will happen after 20 years.
Really? Wow, missed that. :oops: I assume the tax bomb hasn't miraculously vanished, though.

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catwomangirl
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby catwomangirl » Sat May 19, 2012 10:43 pm

miamiheat wrote:I have a general question for everyone I hope someone can give me some answers...

I will be taking out loans for the full cost of tuition for my T-10 Law School (50k) plus another 20k for living expenses (let's just say for ease that I take that full amount).

For 3 years this is 210k plus all fees.

My question is how does this work with monthly payments when I graduate? With the new laws don't you only have to pay 10% of your discretionary income per year and then it is forgiven after 20 years if you haven't paid it off?

By some general math it would seem that if I make (hopefully) 160k first year and follow that path in a NYC or other big market firm, after taxes (38k), rent (lets say a 4k/month aparment for a total of 48k), and food and other essentials (20k).....where at about 54k so 10% is around 5k....

5k a year for the first year but then when you get more years salary goes up and you will obviously pay more, but it seems like you wouldn't have nearly the discretionary income until you would hopefully hit partner and get the big $$$ (millions? if your lucky)

Now it seems like after 20 years if you don't make partner or do and have other expenses like families.....you would never be able to pay off the 210k originially not including all of the 100k+ of interest that would accrue based on a 10% minimum payment? So then I could just discharge them?

Can someone provide me with more info on this or some answers? It would be highly appreciated.


Why are you getting such an expensive apartment in this scenario? Look in cheaper areas, and pay stuff off much faster. There are gorgeous pre-war apartments to be had in Queens for 1,400

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat May 19, 2012 10:45 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:@rink, IBR forgiveness now will happen after 20 years.
Really? Wow, missed that. :oops: I assume the tax bomb hasn't miraculously vanished, though.


No, although there has been discussion around here that that decision will be up to IRS interpretation once forgivenesses start actually happening.

blsingindisguise
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby blsingindisguise » Sat May 19, 2012 11:01 pm

redbullvodka wrote:What in heaven's name are you buying that costs $700 per month for a couple? At Costco no less. The food budget was a bit generous in my opinion -- "biglaw hours" means he'll be working so late that he can eat on the firm's dime. You either have time to cook because it's a light day, or you eat on the firm's dime. Don't understand why this number is so unreasonable.



Why does $700/mo for two people ($350/person) per month sound ridiculous but $400/mo for one does not sound ridiculous? By the way, have you ever lived in New York City? Are you aware that groceries and pretty much everything else costs significantly more here than it does in many parts of the country? Even, often, at costco?

I don't need some 0L to lecture me on living on a budget. I made $20,000 a year in my first job. I worked 6 years before going to law school, and now, post-law-school I make a lot less than biglaw money. The budget in that spreadsheet is a joke. There are no utility bills. There's no money set aside for emergencies. The med estimates are low. There's no cable (to be fair, I do without this.) No clothing. No travel. No restaurants. No dating. No home goods. "You don't have to live in Manhattan" well yeah no shit, but $1000/month is barely even enough to get a room in the decent parts of Brooklyn anymore. Jersey? Ok but now you probably need a car. Car payment. Gas. Maintenance. Etc.

Yeah, of course there are people who make $35/k a year and still somehow manage to put a little money aside. Yes it can be done. But most people who work biglaw hours and are surrounded by biglaw people tend to find it pretty difficult to live like the person making $35K.

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anon2015
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:24 pm

sunynp wrote:There is a difference between living at poverty level because you are in poverty and living at a poverty level when you have a 6 figure income. Your peers, your clients and your bosses will expect you to live, or at least dress and appear, at a certain level of income and status. I think you will tire of living on that restricted budget, and tire of traveling a long way home after working all night. But maybe you have great levels of discipline.


Sunny D - You're right there's a difference. Your earlier questions asked about worst-case scenario and not having a six figure income, or no job at all, and you were asking 'where are those numbers/spreadsheets'. First thing to note is that a $35k/yr post taxes budget is FAR from the poverty level... and I mean *FAR*. But, to address the implications of your comment - if you are in big law, you don't have to follow Admisions' spreadsheet/budget. You could choose to live a lot easier and take ten years to pay off your loans.

But in a worst-case scenario, you will be forced to be disciplined. Seriously, once you get used to living on a lower income level, you find there are plenty of ways to enjoy life (the hardest part is the mental/spiritual pain of dealing with feeling like you are worthless and being bitter about your choices and dreaming that the grass would have been greener had you gone a different direction.) It may not be the financial freedom and lifestyle you are used to/want, but it also won't be hell on Earth (unless your a rich spoiled brat who's never had to live within limited means.)

sunynp wrote:The poster who suggested, laughingly, I think - that a grad could just get a non-law, non-profit job after law school, or work as a janitor for the state government - I would not count on those jobs being open to you after you graduate with a JD. I don't think either of these places are anxious to hire JDs. What happens after you have a JD is that other employers assume you will leave as soon as you find another job, or they may assume that you will be a pain-in-the-ass because that is what they think of all lawyers. A JD is not marketable in other areas and can make it more difficult to get hired.

I'm not sure how it works to take your JD off your resume. You will have a large gap of time. I have heard that people get away with no questions asked about gaps in employment once they start applying for truly low level (as in sales clerk at walmart) jobs. Maybe the janitorial staff won't care either.

I may be overly cautious on your behalf. Everyone has all these calculations as to why I am wrong. But I do know T14 and even T6 grads who lost their biglaw jobs and have struggled ever since. I know T14 and T6 grads who didn't get biglaw at all. Yes, this has colored my view, maybe too much to the negative, but it does happen. There are people on this forum who don't have jobs. It isn't a rare and unheard of outcome.


Sunny D - How long have you worked? Have you ever been unemployed? I was laughing, because I have worked in these fields. The jobs are attainable, but most people go out of their way to avoid them. (Most the time the requirement is, can you show up on time, and can you not do drugs while on the job.) Sometimes it takes a long brush with unemployment to suck-up your pride and fight for a job as a janitor, or a laborer in a construction yard, or work for $20k/yr at a homeless shelter as the over-night staff. Your JD will help you in almost any direction you go, even at the "menial" jobs. At a minimum it will present options to rise to shift manager/things like that. If you were able to get yourself into a T-50, chances are you will very likely be able to get yourself some secretarial or office work somewhere (prolly not at a law firm). If you are worried about the jobs not being available to you... you ever hear stories about passion and persistance paying off? Like someone refusing an applicant an interview, or not hiring someone, but the person keeps leaving messages, keeps applying, etc. and then they get the job. Trust me, if you do that for a janitorial job, you'll end up getting it.

Again though, you were asking about absolute worst-case scenario, and that's what all of this is about. Everyone knows its possible to not get any law-job. I'm certainly hedging my bets against ending up there, but I think I have a good picture of what life would be like in a worst-case scenario. I gave you an example in my previous post, but as many others pointed out, this is a futile activity because worst-case looks incredibly different for each person. For instance, I could most certainly get back into my government job, and prolly get paid even slightly more than I do now (which you evidently think is living at the poverty level).

Regarding un-employed law grads. I have friends there right now like you do. Guess what - the one's who worked before law school and had career's earning (from your perspective) not enough to live on, that didn't land Big Law and have a $150k debt - they still think it's a good idea to go to law school. All of them manage to get by. We even go out for drinks here and there, have SO's and have manage a vacation or two.


blsingindisguise wrote:Yeah, of course there are people who make $35/k a year and still somehow manage to put a little money aside. Yes it can be done. But most people who work biglaw hours and are surrounded by biglaw people tend to find it pretty difficult to live like the person making $35K.


BSindisguise - Why are you surrounded by BigLaw people and not getting paid BigLaw? I have two ideas for you. (1) Get the BigLaw folks pay when you go out, or (2) don't surround yourself with BigLaw people if you're not working in BigLaw. You may not need a 0L to lecture you on how to live on a budget, but you sure as hell need someone to lecture you on it. The budget on the spreadsheet is not a joke, it's a reality for a majority of working people in the US.

People who make$35k/yr do not live on the budget that Admisions made. People who make $41k/year live on that budget. Admisions' budget was post-tax. People living on $35k/year salary live much more frugally than that. A LOT of people live on a $40k or less salary - even in the Big Cities, even in NYC. If you can't do it, just recognize that somewhere around 110 MILLION working Americans earn less than that (that's somewhere around 65-70% of all working people in the US). To assert that Admisions' budget is un-realistic and unlivable is ridiculous. You, in particular, may not like it, but it is very livable. Additionally if you can't put in four years like that, you don't have to - the budget was showing how you could pay off sticker price at a T14 in under three years, thereby making the investment extremely worth while when the rest of your life you'll be able to earn more than what 70% of individuals in the US make and have no debt. All you had to do was live like a majority of the US for four years after school. What's even more amazing, is that if you are able to do that 4 year budget, you not only end up with 0 debt, but ~$60k in savings. The average American family has $35k in saving per household. So in four years of living within the budget constraints of a majority of Americans, you will end up with more saving and WAYY higher income, and you're only four years out of school.

There were two great points being made through this thread. Admisions was showing the OP how to pay off the debt really quickly- it can be done, and done well. Then there was Rayiner, showing the calculations to refute the idea that T14 at sticker was NEVER worth it. Ray showed that, when weighted for risk, most t14's at sticker are worth it (if you are risk neutral).

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kapital98
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby kapital98 » Sun May 20, 2012 6:59 pm

anon2015 wrote:There were two great points being made through this thread. Admisions was showing the OP how to pay off the debt really quickly- it can be done, and done well. Then there was Rayiner, showing the calculations to refute the idea that T14 at sticker was NEVER worth it. Ray showed that, when weighted for risk, most t14's at sticker are worth it (if you are risk neutral).


Your entire post was spot on. Thank you for bringing the discussion back to reality.

Eco
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby Eco » Sun May 20, 2012 7:14 pm

I also would look at not getting bottle service every night...


Actually, 20k per year is pretty reasonable for food etc... in NYC.

Curious1
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby Curious1 » Sun May 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Awesome thread.

Everyone has made really great points, but I do want to point out that costs of living do increase every year, so making the same budget for 4 years is pretty unrealistic. This is both because of inflation (your rent will go up every year, etc.) and also because as you get older, you want to/have to spend more, especially if you start seriously dating or get promoted.

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mattviphky
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby mattviphky » Sun May 20, 2012 8:38 pm

but you're money will go up every year as well, and it will probably far outpace rises in inflation

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anon2015
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Sun May 20, 2012 9:10 pm

mattviphky wrote:but you're money will go up every year as well, and it will probably far outpace rises in inflation


if you're lucky. where I work they froze all pay increases, cost of living/inflation and merit/promotions, for the last four years. they are now talking about giving us all a 1% increase! Ha! it's like a slap in the face... but it's also not abnormal these days - every market, every sector has been hit hard. Before the last four years there was a regular annual cost of living increase of 3-6%. So people are literally making the exact same amount they made four years ago right now.

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anon2015
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Sun May 20, 2012 9:34 pm

Thought I'd also mention that though my previous post may sound like I am against SunnyD's concerns about worst-case scenario. I am not.

I do disagree with the analysis of what is livable/poverty level/moment-where-life-becomes-a-living-hell, etc. But I fully concur with the concern over people inaccurately and inadequately assessing their worst-case scenarios. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to discern a generic worst-case because people's situations are so vastly different.

I think it's got to be close to impossible to spend time on this forum and not have daydreamed about your worst-case. The doom and gloom here is thick. In light of that, I think an important thing gets skipped over in the risk analysis of most posts I've seen - the weight of your worst-case scenario by choosing to not go to law school. For some of you, it isn't too bad. For others its just as bad as, if not worse than, the law school burn. Lots of sectors are in absolute terrible shape and crumbling just as fast as law. Without connections/family/luck/etc there just aren't any sure bets right now. You really need to weigh out your personal situation, good outcomes and bad outcomes, going to law school, not going.

This forum is an awesome collection of crowd-sourced knowledge to help you get a better read on the aspects you can't personally answer for, and glean knowledge from people who have similar situations/experiences and are a step or two in front of you. I've been lurking here for somewhere around a year now, but only recently started posting. The knowledge/perspective to be gained is fantastic. If you know how to apply it and how to take it all with a grain of salt, it might be the best resource out there to help you make your law career.

edit: Thanks TLS! :D

blsingindisguise
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun May 20, 2012 11:54 pm

anon2015 wrote:
BSindisguise - Why are you surrounded by BigLaw people and not getting paid BigLaw? I have two ideas for you. (1) Get the BigLaw folks pay when you go out, or (2) don't surround yourself with BigLaw people if you're not working in BigLaw. You may not need a 0L to lecture you on how to live on a budget, but you sure as hell need someone to lecture you on it. The budget on the spreadsheet is not a joke, it's a reality for a majority of working people in the US.

People who make$35k/yr do not live on the budget that Admisions made. People who make $41k/year live on that budget. Admisions' budget was post-tax. People living on $35k/year salary live much more frugally than that. A LOT of people live on a $40k or less salary - even in the Big Cities, even in NYC. If you can't do it, just recognize that somewhere around 110 MILLION working Americans earn less than that (that's somewhere around 65-70% of all working people in the US). To assert that Admisions' budget is un-realistic and unlivable is ridiculous. You, in particular, may not like it, but it is very livable. Additionally if you can't put in four years like that, you don't have to - the budget was showing how you could pay off sticker price at a T14 in under three years, thereby making the investment extremely worth while when the rest of your life you'll be able to earn more than what 70% of individuals in the US make and have no debt. All you had to do was live like a majority of the US for four years after school. What's even more amazing, is that if you are able to do that 4 year budget, you not only end up with 0 debt, but ~$60k in savings. The average American family has $35k in saving per household. So in four years of living within the budget constraints of a majority of Americans, you will end up with more saving and WAYY higher income, and you're only four years out of school.



Whoa, way to miss the point AND misread my post. I'm not surrounded by biglaw people or living a biglaw lifestyle. I'm married with a baby and a stay-home wife and supporting them on 90K. We live in an outer boro and are about to move even further out because it's no longer affordable here. We don't have cable. We rarely go out. I wear vintage store clothes I bought three years ago on the weekends. I bring lunch to work. Etc.

My point isn't that it's impossible to live on the stated amounts in NYC (although most people who do live in places a lot of biglaw associates would turn their noses up at), my point is that I think nine out of ten 21/22 year olds who tell themselves that they could live cheaply enough to pay their loans in four years are probably fooling themselves, because they don't have the self-discipline it would take to live that way while working in that kind of job. I'm not saying I'd feel sorry for anyone who had to do it, I'm saying GET REAL, most people won't do it, and unless you know that you really have that kind of self-discipline, you shouldn't make your decision to go to law school based on unrealistic assumptions. There are self-disciplined people who can and will. Most won't. And anyway, the budget in that post was missing basic things like heat and electricity and clothing and just making up numbers for others. It's actually a classic financial mistake a lot of people make to just play with the numbers until the "budget" fits their ideal situation, instead of budgeting realistically for themselves.

So ok, fair point, maybe that just means paying them in eight or ten years instead. But know what you are really getting into and not just a best case scenario. Know you may not get biglaw. Know that if you do, you may lose your job within a couple of years or find yourself hating it and wanting to leave. Know that you most likely will be pushed out in four or five years if you do get biglaw. Know that you may, in fact, not have paid all your loans by the end, and may still carry debt into your next, likely lower-paying job. Know that that job may be government work and not in-house. Etc.

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snailio
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby snailio » Mon May 21, 2012 4:07 am

kapital98 wrote:
snailio wrote:
kapital98 wrote:
First, the net change in CA state government since the recession is -152,500 jobs (see the Federal Reserve’s official data: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/se ... ?cid=27286)

Second, the net change in CA employment over this period, counting government, is -986,300 (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CANA). So the number is closer to ~800,000 lost in the private sector.

Third, the % of gov’t employees relative to the CA economy before the recession was 16.5%. After, it is now 16.7%.

Conclusion #1: 5 years after the beginning of the recession and both the public and private sectors have still not recovered. However, at least in California, the loss in jobs have been nearly identical in both sectors. Looking at the absolute numbers is not very helpful. It’s important to look at percent change – and both have changed in similar fashion (although if you look at the numbers there is a significant difference on when they changed.)

Conclusion #2: As I said before, Jerry Brown has essentially no impact on these macroeconomic indicators.

Note: I wish I still had my Moody’s subscription. I posted the news articles because they are quick to find. But they don’t give any analysis. The FRED links are accurate but you have to understand the theory behind the numbers for them to be helpful.



Do you realize you are making my argument for me?...I mean thanks and all but look at your original statement,
the fact that our numbers differ is of no real importance, the percentages remain about the same, in contrast to your original assertion. As far your statement that looking at absolute numbers is not very helpful, that's a nice academic way of discounting the real lives affected.

So I would disagree with both of your conclusions.

I'm done with this trading google search results ...it's not an efficient use of my time, and it's off topic for the thread in any event.

Good luck at Hastings


I don't think either of our initial arguments were correct. I was interested in the data and reported the results. I'm not going to lie or be disingenuous just because my initial hypothesis was different.

The absolute v. relative numbers had to do with analyzing the validity of your argument (private sector losing more jobs). Your argument is not sound. The comparison was not about the state of the labor market. That's a different issue.

FRED is not the result of a google search. It is the best information on macroeconomic indicators in the country. However, you have to understand what the statistic represents for it to be helpful.



If you want to be helpful maybe you could include the growth of government in California over the last decade vs private industry, that might make your analysis a little more honest don't you think? Statistical wordsmiths don't impress me especially when they leave out data sets for policy reasons.

I'm not going to continue this charade

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anon2015
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:03 am

blsingindisguise wrote:Whoa, way to miss the point AND misread my post. I'm not surrounded by biglaw people or living a biglaw lifestyle. I'm married with a baby and a stay-home wife and supporting them on 90K. We live in an outer boro and are about to move even further out because it's no longer affordable here. We don't have cable. We rarely go out. I wear vintage store clothes I bought three years ago on the weekends. I bring lunch to work. Etc.

My point isn't that it's impossible to live on the stated amounts in NYC (although most people who do live in places a lot of biglaw associates would turn their noses up at), my point is that I think nine out of ten 21/22 year olds who tell themselves that they could live cheaply enough to pay their loans in four years are probably fooling themselves, because they don't have the self-discipline it would take to live that way while working in that kind of job. I'm not saying I'd feel sorry for anyone who had to do it, I'm saying GET REAL, most people won't do it, and unless you know that you really have that kind of self-discipline, you shouldn't make your decision to go to law school based on unrealistic assumptions. There are self-disciplined people who can and will. Most won't. And anyway, the budget in that post was missing basic things like heat and electricity and clothing and just making up numbers for others. It's actually a classic financial mistake a lot of people make to just play with the numbers until the "budget" fits their ideal situation, instead of budgeting realistically for themselves.

So ok, fair point, maybe that just means paying them in eight or ten years instead. But know what you are really getting into and not just a best case scenario. Know you may not get biglaw. Know that if you do, you may lose your job within a couple of years or find yourself hating it and wanting to leave. Know that you most likely will be pushed out in four or five years if you do get biglaw. Know that you may, in fact, not have paid all your loans by the end, and may still carry debt into your next, likely lower-paying job. Know that that job may be government work and not in-house. Etc.


Good points BL

If I had a stay-home wife and kid, there is no way I'd get into the law game right now. The risks would be too high for me to feel like I was being responsible with their futures. Calculated sacrifice, for me, is the potential to never be married/have kids. That's what I was talking about in an earlier post. People, in general, don't think about what potential sacrifices they may have to make - for real. Not just 'oh, i won't be able to party every night', or 'ok, so I won't wear all new, name-brand clothes.'. It may be living in a real shitty area, or not near any area/city that you want. It may be postponing marriage/kids for 5-10 years, or forever. It can be a lot of shitty things. You should definitely be considering those potential sacrifices when you start. Admisions' budget was hell-a-fine for a single person in America. It was absolutely painful for a family of three IMO.

I think the whole calculated sacrifice idea is something that isn't accepted well by a majority of Americans, from my observation of my sample of friends, associates, etc. in my life. People get all down and out on life because they feel entitled to things. They feel they should be able to have a house, a family, a vacation, a "decent/working" car, health care, pick which neighborhood they live in, etc. I see people graduate from undergrad all the time just getting blown away by their lack of options. People get all depressed over this reality check. They hate their lives, etc. I guess to a certain degree American mythology has led us all down this path. But once you can over-come your sense of entitlement, you can find a great life. You realize that those things you thought you "should be able to have" - are really gifts. You learn to appreciate them when you do get them (in stages usually) and realize how few people in life actually get them. IMO you should definitely be cognizant of this when entering grad school. Nothing really changes about that truth, you don't become any more entitled to anything with a grad degree. Society, in general, does not value you any more just because you have a JD. (But a JD is an absolutely wonderful tool to have in your belt as you make your way through life.) If you understand this going in, and understand the potential sacrifices you may be making, then you're headed in with a healthy perspective. You can shoot for the stars and when you make it (past your worst-case scenario) you'll appreciate it, and you'll be fine with whatever life throws at you.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon May 21, 2012 6:56 pm

anon2015 wrote:
sunynp wrote:There is a difference between living at poverty level because you are in poverty and living at a poverty level when you have a 6 figure income. Your peers, your clients and your bosses will expect you to live, or at least dress and appear, at a certain level of income and status. I think you will tire of living on that restricted budget, and tire of traveling a long way home after working all night. But maybe you have great levels of discipline.


Sunny D - You're right there's a difference. Your earlier questions asked about worst-case scenario and not having a six figure income, or no job at all, and you were asking 'where are those numbers/spreadsheets'. First thing to note is that a $35k/yr post taxes budget is FAR from the poverty level... and I mean *FAR*. But, to address the implications of your comment - if you are in big law, you don't have to follow Admisions' spreadsheet/budget. You could choose to live a lot easier and take ten years to pay off your loans.

But in a worst-case scenario, you will be forced to be disciplined. Seriously, once you get used to living on a lower income level, you find there are plenty of ways to enjoy life (the hardest part is the mental/spiritual pain of dealing with feeling like you are worthless and being bitter about your choices and dreaming that the grass would have been greener had you gone a different direction.) It may not be the financial freedom and lifestyle you are used to/want, but it also won't be hell on Earth (unless your a rich spoiled brat who's never had to live within limited means.)

sunynp wrote:The poster who suggested, laughingly, I think - that a grad could just get a non-law, non-profit job after law school, or work as a janitor for the state government - I would not count on those jobs being open to you after you graduate with a JD. I don't think either of these places are anxious to hire JDs. What happens after you have a JD is that other employers assume you will leave as soon as you find another job, or they may assume that you will be a pain-in-the-ass because that is what they think of all lawyers. A JD is not marketable in other areas and can make it more difficult to get hired.

I'm not sure how it works to take your JD off your resume. You will have a large gap of time. I have heard that people get away with no questions asked about gaps in employment once they start applying for truly low level (as in sales clerk at walmart) jobs. Maybe the janitorial staff won't care either.

I may be overly cautious on your behalf. Everyone has all these calculations as to why I am wrong. But I do know T14 and even T6 grads who lost their biglaw jobs and have struggled ever since. I know T14 and T6 grads who didn't get biglaw at all. Yes, this has colored my view, maybe too much to the negative, but it does happen. There are people on this forum who don't have jobs. It isn't a rare and unheard of outcome.


Sunny D - How long have you worked? Have you ever been unemployed? I was laughing, because I have worked in these fields. The jobs are attainable, but most people go out of their way to avoid them. (Most the time the requirement is, can you show up on time, and can you not do drugs while on the job.) Sometimes it takes a long brush with unemployment to suck-up your pride and fight for a job as a janitor, or a laborer in a construction yard, or work for $20k/yr at a homeless shelter as the over-night staff. Your JD will help you in almost any direction you go, even at the "menial" jobs. At a minimum it will present options to rise to shift manager/things like that. If you were able to get yourself into a T-50, chances are you will very likely be able to get yourself some secretarial or office work somewhere (prolly not at a law firm). If you are worried about the jobs not being available to you... you ever hear stories about passion and persistance paying off? Like someone refusing an applicant an interview, or not hiring someone, but the person keeps leaving messages, keeps applying, etc. and then they get the job. Trust me, if you do that for a janitorial job, you'll end up getting it.

Again though, you were asking about absolute worst-case scenario, and that's what all of this is about. Everyone knows its possible to not get any law-job. I'm certainly hedging my bets against ending up there, but I think I have a good picture of what life would be like in a worst-case scenario. I gave you an example in my previous post, but as many others pointed out, this is a futile activity because worst-case looks incredibly different for each person. For instance, I could most certainly get back into my government job, and prolly get paid even slightly more than I do now (which you evidently think is living at the poverty level).

Regarding un-employed law grads. I have friends there right now like you do. Guess what - the one's who worked before law school and had career's earning (from your perspective) not enough to live on, that didn't land Big Law and have a $150k debt - they still think it's a good idea to go to law school. All of them manage to get by. We even go out for drinks here and there, have SO's and have manage a vacation or two.


blsingindisguise wrote:Yeah, of course there are people who make $35/k a year and still somehow manage to put a little money aside. Yes it can be done. But most people who work biglaw hours and are surrounded by biglaw people tend to find it pretty difficult to live like the person making $35K.


BSindisguise - Why are you surrounded by BigLaw people and not getting paid BigLaw? I have two ideas for you. (1) Get the BigLaw folks pay when you go out, or (2) don't surround yourself with BigLaw people if you're not working in BigLaw. You may not need a 0L to lecture you on how to live on a budget, but you sure as hell need someone to lecture you on it. The budget on the spreadsheet is not a joke, it's a reality for a majority of working people in the US.

People who make$35k/yr do not live on the budget that Admisions made. People who make $41k/year live on that budget. Admisions' budget was post-tax. People living on $35k/year salary live much more frugally than that. A LOT of people live on a $40k or less salary - even in the Big Cities, even in NYC. If you can't do it, just recognize that somewhere around 110 MILLION working Americans earn less than that (that's somewhere around 65-70% of all working people in the US). To assert that Admisions' budget is un-realistic and unlivable is ridiculous. You, in particular, may not like it, but it is very livable. Additionally if you can't put in four years like that, you don't have to - the budget was showing how you could pay off sticker price at a T14 in under three years, thereby making the investment extremely worth while when the rest of your life you'll be able to earn more than what 70% of individuals in the US make and have no debt. All you had to do was live like a majority of the US for four years after school. What's even more amazing, is that if you are able to do that 4 year budget, you not only end up with 0 debt, but ~$60k in savings. The average American family has $35k in saving per household. So in four years of living within the budget constraints of a majority of Americans, you will end up with more saving and WAYY higher income, and you're only four years out of school.

There were two great points being made through this thread. Admisions was showing the OP how to pay off the debt really quickly- it can be done, and done well. Then there was Rayiner, showing the calculations to refute the idea that T14 at sticker was NEVER worth it. Ray showed that, when weighted for risk, most t14's at sticker are worth it (if you are risk neutral).


As someone living in NYC, I felt like I should chime in and point out that $35k a year is barely a livable wage in NYC. You can probably do it, but you'll be living paycheck to paycheck and likely commuting over an hour each way to live in a shithole. National poverty levels mean nothing when living in NYC.

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dingbat
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby dingbat » Mon May 21, 2012 7:09 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:$35k a year is barely a livable wage in NYC. You can probably do it, but you'll be living paycheck to paycheck and likely commuting over an hour each way to live in a shithole. National poverty levels mean nothing when living in NYC.

blsingindisguise
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon May 21, 2012 10:54 pm

Thanks. Was starting to feel a little crazy here.

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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby sunynp » Mon May 21, 2012 11:03 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:Thanks. Was starting to feel a little crazy here.


You are right. That budget has many problems; I was more focused on the overall problem of making a budget and then it seems like a reality instead of just an option. I think the 0Ls who are so convinced their budgets are correct just don't want to listen, but maybe some people will. All you can do is share your opinion. I'm glad you posted your situation.

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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:45 pm

dingbat wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:$35k a year is barely a livable wage in NYC. You can probably do it, but you'll be living paycheck to paycheck and likely commuting over an hour each way to live in a shithole. National poverty levels mean nothing when living in NYC.


I'm not disagreeing that it's tough. Commuting and living in a shithole should be part of your considerations when calculating your worst case scenario and potential sacrifices. This part of the thread was all about worst-case scenario. So, yeah, it's not awesome. But absolutely do-able. Take this into consideration - the median income for NYC last year was $55,600 before taxes. After accounting for income tax as a single adult living in NYC, that works out to roughly $38,000 take home. (Not much over your "barely livable" $35k). Again, that take home amount is MEDIAN which means at least half of the people living in NYC live on that much or less. HALF! At least. If you can't figure out how to survive like half the people around you, and you're in the top bracket of that half...well... AND you are in a worst-case scenario for your job/career... you're not in too shabby a place for being in a worst-case. Also also also... when you are in dire straights, living out a worst-case scenario, moving needs to be an option you consider. Living in NYC might be a sacrifice you need to make at that point.

Additionally. if you're not in your worst-case, and you just want to pay down your debt extremely fast... if you are motivated, you can absolutely figure how to live like HALF the people living in your area. It is possible, 1 out of 2 people in NYC are doing it and surviving. Will it take discipline and calculated sacrifices for four years? Absolutely. No one's saying Admisions' budget was easy. We're saying it's livable, possible, and lots of people do it. The best part about Admisions' budget was that you won't be living paycheck-to-paycheck if you know how to properly balance your finances. So unlike everyone else living within that income range, you won't have the murderous stress of balancing bills paycheck-to-paycheck. That alone should help you get through those four years.

It's called first-world problems people. Not real problems. :)

blsingindisguise wrote:Thanks. Was starting to feel a little crazy here.


BL - Don't feel crazy. I'm not addressing having a family here. These numbers were for a single individual. Family is another story. A single individual can do some things much easier than a family, like share a place to live. And they don't have the extra food/health and other costs that a family brings.

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dingbat
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby dingbat » Mon May 21, 2012 11:50 pm

anon2015 wrote: the median income for NYC last year was $55,600 before taxes.

that includes the other four boroughs:
gangbanger poorsville
70's island
hipster hideout
airport central

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anon2015
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby anon2015 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:55 pm

dingbat wrote:
anon2015 wrote: the median income for NYC last year was $55,600 before taxes.

that includes the other four boroughs:
gangbanger poorsville
70's island
hipster hideout
airport central


again.. worst-case scenario... or calculated sacrifice for a few years to ambitiously eliminate debt.

goodthings
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby goodthings » Tue May 22, 2012 12:28 am

...
Last edited by goodthings on Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Samara
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Re: NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO REPAY 210K IN LOANS? HELP

Postby Samara » Tue May 22, 2012 12:30 am

anon2015 wrote:Again, that take home amount is MEDIAN which means at least half of the people living in NYC live on that much or less. HALF! At least. If you can't figure out how to survive like half the people around you, and you're in the top bracket of that half...well...

Dude, this is why you are being an asshole. Many (most?) of the people who live on incomes that low in NYC are living shitty lives. Really shitty lives. Those are the people who need tiny, shithole, rent-controlled apartments, HUD vouchers, food stamps, and Medicaid just to survive.

Furthermore, heaven forbid somebody wants to lead a life that is not abjectly terrible after working their ass off in law school, plunking down $250,000, and winning the biglaw lottery. It's unreasonable to tell people to keep working their asses off in biglaw at 12 hours a day so that they can commute an hour-and-a-half each way to some craphole in Jersey and eat ramen for dinner. Your condescension is insufferable.

Any realistic budget should account for a realistic lifestyle that comports with biglaw. That's going to make the sticker price calculation a lot less rosy, but a lot more accurate. Even if it's possible to live on such an aggressively tight budget, very few people are going to realistically put up with it, and for good reason. Calculations should include a budget that is reasonable and widely applicable.

Of course, you can solve this whole problem by not working in Suckville NYC.




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