Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:30 am

cusenation wrote:
yomisterd wrote:So would folks in this thread say that half to full tuition at CCN is better than fully debt financed HYS? Or, in what situations is 250k from HYS preferable?

If you're gunning for PI/govt work (lets just assume that u can get those jobs if you want it), the loan forgiveness at HLS is completely different (dunno abt YS), and much much better.

I disagree. It's better if you are doing non-PI, non-government low paying work.

If you're gunning for biglaw it definitely makes sense to take the money.

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rayiner
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:46 am

HYS is worth $$$ more than the other T14 if you're gunning for feeder clerkship/SCOTUS, extremely pedigree-conscious work like Solicitor General's office, appellate work, academia, or high-level policy work. Maybe also if you want big law and are DC-or-bust.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby sah » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:30 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
cusenation wrote:
yomisterd wrote:So would folks in this thread say that half to full tuition at CCN is better than fully debt financed HYS? Or, in what situations is 250k from HYS preferable?

If you're gunning for PI/govt work (lets just assume that u can get those jobs if you want it), the loan forgiveness at HLS is completely different (dunno abt YS), and much much better.

I disagree. It's better if you are doing non-PI, non-government low paying work.

If you're gunning for biglaw it definitely makes sense to take the money.


This question is still hard for me, because even though I KNOW HLS is better for my primary goals - DC regulatory biglaw or Fedgov policy work - I still think I'm going to take CCN $$$$. Granted, I don't now have an HLS degree, but as someone who lives and works in DC now, and has actually tried to get low level policy/politics/gov positions, I know that it is VERY difficult to get them, and nearly entirely "who-you-know" based, so I just don't think I'm willing to bet the farm when I'll probs end up in biglaw anyway.

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rayiner
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:38 am

sah wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
cusenation wrote:
yomisterd wrote:So would folks in this thread say that half to full tuition at CCN is better than fully debt financed HYS? Or, in what situations is 250k from HYS preferable?

If you're gunning for PI/govt work (lets just assume that u can get those jobs if you want it), the loan forgiveness at HLS is completely different (dunno abt YS), and much much better.

I disagree. It's better if you are doing non-PI, non-government low paying work.

If you're gunning for biglaw it definitely makes sense to take the money.


This question is still hard for me, because even though I KNOW HLS is better for my primary goals - DC regulatory biglaw or Fedgov policy work - I still think I'm going to take CCN $$$$. Granted, I don't now have an HLS degree, but as someone who lives and works in DC now, and has actually tried to get low level policy/politics/gov positions, I know that it is VERY difficult to get them, and nearly entirely "who-you-know" based, so I just don't think I'm willing to bet the farm when I'll probs end up in biglaw anyway.


The issue if your goal is DC isn't just that HYS carries extra-special weight in DC that the other T14 do not, although that's true. It's that HYS, in particular HLS or YLS, gives you a tremendous network to tap into in DC, both in terms of alumni and in terms of your fellow classmates. Julius Genachowski was on HLR with Obama. Your classmates from HLS will end up in these top policy positions and that will be a big asset. CCN is respected in D.C., but they don't have the same network.

sah
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby sah » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:03 am

Sigh, I know. I just can't really fathom sticker price/sticker debt. [I did HLS finaid process, and yes - it's sticker.]

09042014
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby 09042014 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:13 am

rayiner wrote:HYS is worth $$$ more than the other T14 if you're gunning for feeder clerkship/SCOTUS, extremely pedigree-conscious work like Solicitor General's office, appellate work, academia, or high-level policy work. Maybe also if you want big law and are DC-or-bust.


But all these--save DC Biglaw--are still low probability shots even at HYS. It's still not worth it.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby SemperLegal » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:19 am

guano wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:Its Midtown West.

I'm originally from the area and still spend a lot of time in Hudson County, so as much as I very much suggest that random TLSers don't live in JC, I know all the gentrified areas (read, north Newport). I really, really want to live in West NY, doe.

Do you mean western NYC, or the town of West New York? Because in that case, I'd recommend Cliffside park instead, which has a much, much lower crime rate


West NY, NJ

Theopliske8711
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:27 am

I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:07 pm

sah wrote:Sigh, I know. I just can't really fathom sticker price/sticker debt. [I did HLS finaid process, and yes - it's sticker.]

Yeah at the end of the day a huge portion of the class at Columbia is going to the same firm (or a very similar one) they'd have gone to had they gotten into Harvard. If you have good reason to think you won't be one of those people and really are going for something different, then go for it, but for most people it makes sense to take the money. People who are Williams and Connolly or bust need to ask themselves whether W&C + 300k in debt is really such a great outcome.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:34 pm

sah wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
cusenation wrote:
yomisterd wrote:So would folks in this thread say that half to full tuition at CCN is better than fully debt financed HYS? Or, in what situations is 250k from HYS preferable?

If you're gunning for PI/govt work (lets just assume that u can get those jobs if you want it), the loan forgiveness at HLS is completely different (dunno abt YS), and much much better.

I disagree. It's better if you are doing non-PI, non-government low paying work.

If you're gunning for biglaw it definitely makes sense to take the money.


This question is still hard for me, because even though I KNOW HLS is better for my primary goals - DC regulatory biglaw or Fedgov policy work - I still think I'm going to take CCN $$$$. Granted, I don't now have an HLS degree, but as someone who lives and works in DC now, and has actually tried to get low level policy/politics/gov positions, I know that it is VERY difficult to get them, and nearly entirely "who-you-know" based, so I just don't think I'm willing to bet the farm when I'll probs end up in biglaw anyway.


If I were you I'd take the money.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby guano » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:03 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Theopliske8711 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:39 pm

guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby guano » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:52 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:
guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.

I live further out than that. If you drive and avoid rush hour, from places like Edgewater, Englewood Cliffs, etc. you can be in your office in midtown in 30-45 minutes, depending on location; taking the bus from Fort Lee under half an hour. Most of Manhattan will not be much faster (even living in the city, a short commute is a good 20-25 minutes) and for that extra 10-15 minutes you can live in a house.

Alternatively, if you live in a place like Montclair or Oradell, where you can take the train, you should plan ahead to take reading material with you, so you can bill for your travel time.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby rayiner » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:56 pm

guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:
guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.

I live further out than that. If you drive and avoid rush hour, from places like Edgewater, Englewood Cliffs, etc. you can be in your office in midtown in 30-45 minutes, depending on location; taking the bus from Fort Lee under half an hour. Most of Manhattan will not be much faster (even living in the city, a short commute is a good 20-25 minutes) and for that extra 10-15 minutes you can live in a house.

Alternatively, if you live in a place like Montclair or Oradell, where you can take the train, you should plan ahead to take reading material with you, so you can bill for your travel time.


30-45 min of driving is an hour to an hour and a half of totally miserable time during the day where you can't do anything else. And parking in Midtown is like $500-600/month.

A much smarter bet if you want to save money and work on the east side is to live in Westchester. I lived in New Rochelle, and Metro North had me to my office within 35 minutes. Plus, some of the towns there are quite reasonable and have good food, etc.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:05 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
sah wrote:Sigh, I know. I just can't really fathom sticker price/sticker debt. [I did HLS finaid process, and yes - it's sticker.]

Yeah at the end of the day a huge portion of the class at Columbia is going to the same firm (or a very similar one) they'd have gone to had they gotten into Harvard. If you have good reason to think you won't be one of those people and really are going for something different, then go for it, but for most people it makes sense to take the money. People who are Williams and Connolly or bust need to ask themselves whether W&C + 300k in debt is really such a great outcome.


In fairness it's not really W&C with 300K debt vs. getting a firm job in DC. If that were the case then it would be pretty clear that Harvard's not worth it. But this is one of the few rankings differences within the top 14 that really matters. Your chance at getting a DC firm job from Harvard are a hell of a lot higher than they are from any of "CCN". That being said, knowing what I know now, the debt just isn't worth it even with that difference. Large debt just changes your life in too many ways.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby buffalo_ » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:05 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:
guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.


If it's a 35 minute bus ride you probably need to budget 1.5 hours to go door to door. In reality it might be less, but you need to factor in time to walk to the bus stop, 35 minute bus ride plus traffic, walking to any subsequent subway you will need to take after arriving in Manhattan, waiting for the subway, the time of the subway ride, then the time to walk from subway station to office.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby guano » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:19 pm

rayiner wrote:A much smarter bet if you want to save money and work on the east side is to live in Westchester. I lived in New Rochelle, and Metro North had me to my office within 35 minutes. Plus, some of the towns there are quite reasonable and have good food, etc.

I actually agree that living anywhere near a train in north Jersey or Westchester is the best option (NJ is better for West side, Westchester for East side)


buffalo_ wrote:If it's a 35 minute bus ride you probably need to budget 1.5 hours to go door to door. In reality it might be less, but you need to factor in time to walk to the bus stop, 35 minute bus ride plus traffic, walking to any subsequent subway you will need to take after arriving in Manhattan, waiting for the subway, the time of the subway ride, then the time to walk from subway station to office.
First off, there are plenty of places in NJ that are 30-45 minutes door-to-door. Second off, a 35 minute bus ride doesn't mean 1.5 hours door to door - even in rush hour. But the point you're trying to make is an important one. The time it takes to get from home to the bus/train and the time it takes to get from Port Authority/Grand Central/Penn Station/GW Bridge should be taken into consideration.
From PABT to Skadden is about 5 minutes, 10 to Cravath; DPW or S&C would be closer to half an hour.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby SemperLegal » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:00 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:
guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.


Most ferry's have free shuttles to various parts of the city.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Theopliske8711 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:26 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:
guano wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:I'm wondering what the COL of West NY, NJ will be like in the next few years. The number of condos under construction there (along the Hudson) is staggering.

Edgewater might be a good comparison. Apartments cost just as much as NYC, but you get more space and amenities


Is living in that area doable on biglaw hours? If you take the bus, it's at least 35 mins if you are lucky, but generally closer to an hour given the tunnel. The ferry is really expensive, and you'd still have to buy a metrocard. I guess the city tax savings might help cover this.


Most ferry's have free shuttles to various parts of the city.


Did not know that.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:48 pm

Question from a 0L:

With undergrad loans and law school loans, I would graduate with $275,000 in debt.

At 7.65% interest in four years, this would be $6668 per month (80 per year).

If I'm doing big law, and my spouse is making $65k a year, is this feasible in NYC?

With post taxes I have us making:
96 + 45 after taxes = $141,000
subtract $80,000 = $61,000 to live on for two in New York

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guano
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby guano » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:19 pm

nothingtosee wrote:Question from a 0L:

With undergrad loans and law school loans, I would graduate with $275,000 in debt.

At 7.65% interest in four years, this would be $6668 per month (80 per year).

If I'm doing big law, and my spouse is making $65k a year, is this feasible in NYC?

With post taxes I have us making:
96 + 45 after taxes = $141,000
subtract $80,000 = $61,000 to live on for two in New York

It's feasible to live off less - you could probably survive off $30k per year (but it would be a miserable existence). There are couples in NYC surviving off your spouse's salary alone, so yeah, you can live off of it. But, there are plenty of things that will drive your costs up - how much up is up to you. If you go out for dinner every night, or go to the theater often, or to sports games, concerts, or other events, the cost of living goes up. But biglaw + $65k, yeah, you should be able to survive off that.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, you might not get a job paying $160k. Do not assume you'll be getting biglaw.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby Humbert Humbert » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:53 am

Bump.

Just curious - what is the consensus (if there is one) on PAYE for someone in this situation? Assuming a big law career track, 200k+ in loans.

There seems to be some uncertainty currently with respect to PAYE in the proposed 2015 budget, but it seems that students who take out their first law school loan prior to July 1, 2015 will still be eligible for the current version of PAYE (see below). At least for now.

Thoughts?

---

http://educatedrisk.org/analysis/ed-fur ... paye-terms

"Students who borrowed their first loans prior to July 1, 2015, would continue to be able to select among the existing repayment plans (for plans for which they now qualify and for loans originated through their current course of study), in addition to the modified PAYE."

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patogordo
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby patogordo » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:12 pm

just cut to the chase and sell yourself into white slavery

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guano
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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby guano » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:27 pm

Humbert Humbert wrote:Bump.

Just curious - what is the consensus (if there is one) on PAYE for someone in this situation? Assuming a big law career track, 200k+ in loans.

Why on earth would you consider this? If you got dat big law moolah, pay off your loan as fast as you can, while the money's good.

You don't know how long biglaw will last or what you might transition into. Pay off your loans ASAP, then then put money away for marriage/kids/retirement or other hallmarks of the american dream.

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Re: Paying off 200k/300k debt on big law salary

Postby MyopicVisage » Fri May 23, 2014 9:29 pm

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Last edited by MyopicVisage on Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.




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