When should I START negotiating?

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chichi1992
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When should I START negotiating?

Postby chichi1992 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:14 pm

Here's my situation:

LSAT: 167; GPA: 3.6 --> took the LSAT three times and I'm not getting any younger, so I won't be retaking!
Strong softs/WE
Non-URM

BU: $75K
BC: $90K
USC: $75K
GW: $75K
Minnesota: $100K
Iowa: $86K
Notre Dame: Accepted; aid pending
Michigan: Pending
UCLA: Pending
UT Austin: Pending
Georgetown: Pending
WUSTL: Pending

I don't really have any major regional ties ...my fam is from Ohio, but my parents are planning on retiring to Florida in the next year. My long-term SO is going to a fancy business school in the middle of nowhere (closest to Boston, but still pretty far) and will be joining me wherever I end up for summer internships. His fam is in Arizona. My goal is big law.

I am very infatuated by the idea of living somewhere warm, as is my SO. UT Austin/UCLA would be my top choices, but assuming those don't pan out, I'm leaning heavily towards USC. Maybe climate is a bad reason to choose a law school, but after living on the east coast for several years, I think I need a change.

Re: negotiations...should I try to get USC to bump up my award using BU and Iowa as leverage? COA at USC is significantly higher than BU and Iowa, and they are peers. Or should I wait to hear back from UCLA, UT, WUSTL, Georgetown, and Michigan before I even reach out to them? I don't want to wait too long, but I also want to have leverage. Same with BU--should I start negotiating with what I have now, or wait to hear back from others?

Thanks!!

cavalier1138
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:29 pm

It's never too early to start negotiating, but...

chichi1992 wrote:My goal is big law.


I assume you know what you need to do to maximize your chances.

chichi1992 wrote:...took the LSAT three times and I'm not getting any younger, so I won't be retaking!


Oops, my bad. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you were born in... 1992? Which makes you 25. Which means that you wouldn't be sacrificing anything by waiting on this decision, even though it really, really seems like a big sacrifice at the age of 25. So if your only reason for not waiting and retaking is that you're so old, please make sure that you write an apology note now to future-you, because future-you is gonna be aaaangry.

That said, your choices right now give you meh chances at biglaw (not insignificant, but not worth gambling $100k+ on). They're all over the country, so you need to actually pick where you want to make your career, because none of these schools have national reach. USC and BU are peers in the rankings, but their students aren't competing over the same jobs. And yes, choosing a school based on climate is fucking stupid, so stop doing that.

mrtux45
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby mrtux45 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:06 pm

I think you're good to begin reaching out to USC using BU/Iowa. Then if you get into UCLA or the other higher ranked schools you can email them again with an update. But keep in mind, they could deny your request for a scholly bump.

As Cavalier so condescendingly pointed out, you really need to understand the debt you're taking on before making a decision. Additionally, be ready to build your career wherever you go..which means making sure your SO is on the same page.

Do you have a plan in place if you choose one of these schools and are unable to secure a big law job? What if you get the big law job, HATE it, then need to stay for a few years because that's the only way to service your debt. Just plan things out before diving in head first. Regardless though, if you're sure you want big law, a retake when you're able gives you the best opportunity to make that a financially reasonable reality.

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chichi1992
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby chichi1992 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:45 pm

mrtux45 wrote:I think you're good to begin reaching out to USC using BU/Iowa. Then if you get into UCLA or the other higher ranked schools you can email them again with an update. But keep in mind, they could deny your request for a scholly bump.

As Cavalier so condescendingly pointed out, you really need to understand the debt you're taking on before making a decision. Additionally, be ready to build your career wherever you go..which means making sure your SO is on the same page.

Do you have a plan in place if you choose one of these schools and are unable to secure a big law job? What if you get the big law job, HATE it, then need to stay for a few years because that's the only way to service your debt. Just plan things out before diving in head first. Regardless though, if you're sure you want big law, a retake when you're able gives you the best opportunity to make that a financially reasonable reality.


Thanks, mrtux! I am going to reach out to USC today using my current offers. My SO is on the same page, and has agreed to job search anywhere I decide to go as long as it's in a major city (so LA would be fine). It is difficult for me to say exactly where I want to build my career since I don't really have ties anywhere, but I like LA as much as the next person and my SO and I are both pretty adaptable, so at some point, I think we just have to bite the bullet and decide on a location.

I've battled a lot with the idea of retaking, especially now that I'm faced with fairly lackluster law school/scholarship options and an uncertain employment future. But what scares me even more is the idea of continuing to work for $45K at a non-profit in DC for two years, retaking the LSAT, and getting the exact same score. I studied for a year and averaged 172 on my fully-simulated PTs, but continued to choke on test day (for a variety of reasons, some of which may have been avoidable...but now I just really don't have the time/resources to go through the LSAT studying process again while working FT). If I wait and get another 167, I'll be almost 28 when I'm applying AND I'll be faced with the same funding options as before. My current plan (which I'm sure most people here would, perhaps accurately, characterize as a fairy tale) is to do big law for a few years and then transition to gov/in-house. When I say "I'm not getting any younger," I am mostly referring to the fact that I would like to have a family someday, and for personal/healthy-related reasons, I would like to do that when I'm not well into my 30s. If I continue to delay law school, this becomes even less of a possibility.

TBH I probably will hate big law, and I am fully prepared to be miserable while I'm doing it. But I have a miserable, inflexible job right now where I'm working 60+ hours per week AND I make peanuts, so I am confident enough that I'll be able to suck it up. It's absolutely a risk for me to attend USC or BU and take on $100K+ in debt, but when I think about my options, it's basically like...100% chance of staying where I'm at and making nothing v. 60% chance of getting a good job out of law school to pay my debts/40% chance of getting a shitty job out of law school and being even worse off than I am now.

And I hate saying this because I feel like it's an unhealthy mindset, but as an extreme back-up plan, my SO is an investment banker...

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AFtoLawschool
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby AFtoLawschool » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:55 am

Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.

cavalier1138
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:43 pm

AFtoLawschool wrote:Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.


Just want to hop in and say that I've never actually met a functioning adult who was permanently impacted by their regional weather. Everyone who says, "Oh, I can't live somewhere without permanent sunshine," or "I just need my seasons," is someone who has not actually lived (not visited, lived) in another climate. So I reiterate: choosing a school based on climate is moronic.

OP, you cannot go to these schools with the sole aim of biglaw-to-prestigious-lateral. If your actual problem with the LSAT is that you choke on exams, then you, more than anyone else in your class, cannot count on being in the top of the class. And if you want a chance at biglaw from these schools, you need to be at the top of the class.

I know that 28 seems really old, but I would be much more scared of your potential for continuing to make $45k after finishing school, but this time with an extra six figures of debt hanging over your head.

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AFtoLawschool
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby AFtoLawschool » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:52 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
AFtoLawschool wrote:Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.


Just want to hop in and say that I've never actually met a functioning adult who was permanently impacted by their regional weather. Everyone who says, "Oh, I can't live somewhere without permanent sunshine," or "I just need my seasons," is someone who has not actually lived (not visited, lived) in another climate. So I reiterate: choosing a school based on climate is moronic.

OP, you cannot go to these schools with the sole aim of biglaw-to-prestigious-lateral. If your actual problem with the LSAT is that you choke on exams, then you, more than anyone else in your class, cannot count on being in the top of the class. And if you want a chance at biglaw from these schools, you need to be at the top of the class.

I know that 28 seems really old, but I would be much more scared of your potential for continuing to make $45k after finishing school, but this time with an extra six figures of debt hanging over your head.



You are saying all their schools are regional.

With regional schools, you should be willing to live in the area that the schools are located in.

You should live in an area that has climate features you want (weather, mountains, beach, rural, urban). If two regional schools place equally well into their respective markets, then absolutely you should look at climate and features of the region that are appealing. You are going to have to live there for god's sake. I never said it's the only factor, but it's an important one you can't discount.

imtca
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:50 pm

Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby imtca » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:16 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
AFtoLawschool wrote:Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.


Just want to hop in and say that I've never actually met a functioning adult who was permanently impacted by their regional weather. Everyone who says, "Oh, I can't live somewhere without permanent sunshine," or "I just need my seasons," is someone who has not actually lived (not visited, lived) in another climate. So I reiterate: choosing a school based on climate is moronic.

OP, you cannot go to these schools with the sole aim of biglaw-to-prestigious-lateral. If your actual problem with the LSAT is that you choke on exams, then you, more than anyone else in your class, cannot count on being in the top of the class. And if you want a chance at biglaw from these schools, you need to be at the top of the class.

I know that 28 seems really old, but I would be much more scared of your potential for continuing to make $45k after finishing school, but this time with an extra six figures of debt hanging over your head.


I will hop in on this tangential discussion to say that as a functioning adult who lived in California for 18 years and then lived in Michigan for another 4, weather absolutely makes a permanent difference in your life (some people have seasonal depression, cold climates have snow which sucks to drive in, storms, maintenance, etc.). And to echo posts above, OP, if your goal is big law, I would pick a region that you would be 100% comfortable with living in for at least a couple years post-graduation, AND have a back up plan if big law does not work out/you are saddled with that debt. While the chance of big law is there, do not count on it as a guarantee - at these schools, it is less than a coin flip chance.

pipipipi
Posts: 156
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Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby pipipipi » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:28 pm

imtca wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
AFtoLawschool wrote:Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.


Just want to hop in and say that I've never actually met a functioning adult who was permanently impacted by their regional weather. Everyone who says, "Oh, I can't live somewhere without permanent sunshine," or "I just need my seasons," is someone who has not actually lived (not visited, lived) in another climate. So I reiterate: choosing a school based on climate is moronic.

OP, you cannot go to these schools with the sole aim of biglaw-to-prestigious-lateral. If your actual problem with the LSAT is that you choke on exams, then you, more than anyone else in your class, cannot count on being in the top of the class. And if you want a chance at biglaw from these schools, you need to be at the top of the class.

I know that 28 seems really old, but I would be much more scared of your potential for continuing to make $45k after finishing school, but this time with an extra six figures of debt hanging over your head.


I will hop in on this tangential discussion to say that as a functioning adult who lived in California for 18 years and then lived in Michigan for another 4, weather absolutely makes a permanent difference in your life (some people have seasonal depression, cold climates have snow which sucks to drive in, storms, maintenance, etc.). And to echo posts above, OP, if your goal is big law, I would pick a region that you would be 100% comfortable with living in for at least a couple years post-graduation, AND have a back up plan if big law does not work out/you are saddled with that debt. While the chance of big law is there, do not count on it as a guarantee - at these schools, it is less than a coin flip chance.


Great points. A quick follow-up, do you think you still have to consider the weather situation if you are going to a top school that may potentially place you nationally, not regionally? In your case, for example, would you regret going to Michigan instead of say UCLA or Texas Law for the warmer weather?

(BTW, how much worse is the wether in AA than NYC? I have only lived in and around NYC for a longer period of time, so that's my only comparison point).

Thanks! And sorry to digress from the topic a bit.

imtca
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:50 pm

Re: When should I START negotiating?

Postby imtca » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:44 pm

pipipipi wrote:
imtca wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
AFtoLawschool wrote:Just wanted to hop in and say ignore the guy who said stop choosing a school based on climate. Your schools are regional schools, if you go there plan to stay in the region. If you want to live in a warm region after law school, you should absolutely consider that when choosing schools. It's not everything, but don't discount how much weather and environment can make you happy in life.


Just want to hop in and say that I've never actually met a functioning adult who was permanently impacted by their regional weather. Everyone who says, "Oh, I can't live somewhere without permanent sunshine," or "I just need my seasons," is someone who has not actually lived (not visited, lived) in another climate. So I reiterate: choosing a school based on climate is moronic.

OP, you cannot go to these schools with the sole aim of biglaw-to-prestigious-lateral. If your actual problem with the LSAT is that you choke on exams, then you, more than anyone else in your class, cannot count on being in the top of the class. And if you want a chance at biglaw from these schools, you need to be at the top of the class.

I know that 28 seems really old, but I would be much more scared of your potential for continuing to make $45k after finishing school, but this time with an extra six figures of debt hanging over your head.


I will hop in on this tangential discussion to say that as a functioning adult who lived in California for 18 years and then lived in Michigan for another 4, weather absolutely makes a permanent difference in your life (some people have seasonal depression, cold climates have snow which sucks to drive in, storms, maintenance, etc.). And to echo posts above, OP, if your goal is big law, I would pick a region that you would be 100% comfortable with living in for at least a couple years post-graduation, AND have a back up plan if big law does not work out/you are saddled with that debt. While the chance of big law is there, do not count on it as a guarantee - at these schools, it is less than a coin flip chance.


Great points. A quick follow-up, do you think you still have to consider the weather situation if you are going to a top school that may potentially place you nationally, not regionally? In your case, for example, would you regret going to Michigan instead of say UCLA or Texas Law for the warmer weather?

(BTW, how much worse is the wether in AA than NYC? I have only lived in and around NYC for a longer period of time, so that's my only comparison point).

Thanks! And sorry to digress from the topic a bit.


I think for me personally, I would go to UCLA over Michigan, but that is because I am a california resident and want to practice there after graduation. however, honestly, I do think its fine to go to a top school in a colder climate if you have the guarantee of national placement, because its much easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel lmao. I do know people with SAD who have had a much harder time coping with Michigan weather.
I've never spent time in NYC apart from occasional week long trips, so i don't know how different this is from New York weather. Michigan is cold but also constantly has grey skies (like in July and January, sky looks the same). I think it's pretty brutal weather, but I'm using California as a point of reference. Personally, I think the weather lends itself to a worse experience in AA because you definitely need a car if you leave the town, which sucks if its snowing, and there just is a lot less to do outside of the immediate college area, which makes it less tolerable at times.




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