Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
ogman05
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:02 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby ogman05 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:19 pm

Dick Whitman wrote:If you make even as low as $20k/year more because of your law degree, over the course of a 40 year career $120k in debt would be worth it. So even people paying sticker for a lower-tier law school may not be making a bad choice, assuming their current education leaves them prospects starting in the $30k range.

If you start talking about top-tier schools, the math gets much, much better.

Perhaps the decisions people are making aren't foolish after all?


I second this. A lot of people dont have options leaving UG. I was one of the exceptions especially ITE but I also interned for two years. MY roommate through college had a psych degree and was facing like a garbage 30k/yr job or law school. He had no debt and chose law school. If he comes out making 60k/yr he would be ahead in less then ten years. And with raises and the fact that he lived more frugally being on law loans that is just more likely. Granted 200k in debt can be a burden most people benefit from having the JD degree. If someone opps for a T3 or T4 education, they probably had zero prospects before that. It's sad I see some fellow graduates in my year (not necessarily school) working at gyms, and other places. One said that she would be psyched to get a job paying $15 as it would be such a raise. I was like what??? I made mroe than that interning. This is life for some people. Making 50k/yr puts you in the top 50% of earners in America. Think about it. Most of us will earn in the top 5% over our lives. 120k of debt is not that bad. 200k/30=6k/yr in payments. Assuming interest brings you up to 200k and you pay out in 30 years. Just keeping a job from a T25 you are making six figures. Unless the legal field restructuring ends in it crumbling altogether which is possible life will not be that bad.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:21 pm

weaselology wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:The fucking idiots are the people who don't research their options and choose the school that either is a complete reach, where they will be competing with people that are worlds ahead of them numbers-wise, or choose the "easy-in" where they likely won't have job prospects. I think I've shot for the middle, honestly, choosing to apply to schools that suit me well, where I have a good shot at being at least in the top half of my class, where I'm getting at least a little bit of coin, and that still have a great reputation in the area where I'll likely settle for the long term.

180. Completely with everything you have posted on this thread.


Thanks, appreciated. I know I'm no competition at Northwestern or UChicago (I'm planning on staying in Chicago, if you haven't figured it out hahahaha), so I saved my $$$ and didn't apply there. Also, I didn't apply to John Marshall, because it's T4. Aimed for good regional schools with solid reps. I'll do well there and have a future hahaha.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby chadwick218 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:21 pm

I am quite confident that when looking at the T25, that fraction would be much higher than 1/3!

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:25 pm

dresden doll wrote:
weaselology wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:The fucking idiots are the people who don't research their options and choose the school that either is a complete reach, where they will be competing with people that are worlds ahead of them numbers-wise, or choose the "easy-in" where they likely won't have job prospects. I think I've shot for the middle, honestly, choosing to apply to schools that suit me well, where I have a good shot at being at least in the top half of my class, where I'm getting at least a little bit of coin, and that still have a great reputation in the area where I'll likely settle for the long term.

180. Completely with everything you have posted on this thread.


How exactly do you define 'having a good shot at being at least in the top half of my class'? I really hope the answer to this one isn't something along the lines of 'my LSAT was 2-3 points above the median'.


Well, that's part of it, but not all of it. I mean, schools look at that don't they? LOL. Just taking a look at the $$$ I'm getting from these schools, figuring that they give the hefty scholarships they are giving me to candidates who are deserving/ahead of the curve, I figured I should end up in at least the top half of my class. Granted, I know that it will take hard work (which trust me, I'm so ready for...I need challenge), but based off of cursory glances at scholarship packages I'm being given, I must be at least a decent catch in these schools' books.

EDIT: And it was more than 2-3 points...5-6 hahaha.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:35 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
Well, that's part of it, but not all of it. I mean, schools look at that don't they? LOL. Just taking a look at the $$$ I'm getting from these schools, figuring that they give the hefty scholarships they are giving me to candidates who are deserving/ahead of the curve, I figured I should end up in at least the top half of my class. Granted, I know that it will take hard work (which trust me, I'm so ready for...I need challenge), but based off of cursory glances at scholarship packages I'm being given, I must be at least a decent catch in these schools' books.

EDIT: And it was more than 2-3 points...5-6 hahaha.


5-6 points is a decent differential, but let me reiterate the common yet very valid wisdom (just because I feel compelled to): grading can be pretty arbitrary. Don't bank on a particular class ranking. Okay, I'm done now.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:37 pm

dresden doll wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:
Well, that's part of it, but not all of it. I mean, schools look at that don't they? LOL. Just taking a look at the $$$ I'm getting from these schools, figuring that they give the hefty scholarships they are giving me to candidates who are deserving/ahead of the curve, I figured I should end up in at least the top half of my class. Granted, I know that it will take hard work (which trust me, I'm so ready for...I need challenge), but based off of cursory glances at scholarship packages I'm being given, I must be at least a decent catch in these schools' books.

EDIT: And it was more than 2-3 points...5-6 hahaha.


5-6 points is a decent differential, but let me reiterate the common yet very valid wisdom (just because I feel compelled to): grading can be pretty arbitrary. Don't bank on a particular class ranking. Okay, I'm done now.


Hey, I'm not saying I'll necessarily be #1 in my class, just saying that I'm confident enough that I'll be in the top half. Don't go putting words in my mouth now haha.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:11 pm

Kakarot wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
araiza99 wrote:
PoliticalJunkie wrote:No sympathy for your dumbass here. 150K worth of debt is honestly, not that bad. Try being 250k + in debt (med students including college and med school) and making 40-60K through residency and averaging a startign income at 125k.

You can make your payments if you are smart and creative about it and spend the 15 min it takes to do some research......The TLS whining is getting pretty pathetic.


An MD is not nearly as risky - just pass the boards and you are on your way to making good money eventually (no matter what school you graduated from)


Agreed. 250K with a 98% probability of earning 150K+ >> 200K with a 40/60% shot at making 160/60K.

Especially since the top 40% of good med school classes make a lot more than 150K.


This is just stupid IMO... MD's have a lot more expenses than lawyers do, so you can't compare salaries, it's like comparing apples and oranges.


A lot more expenses? Like what?

flcath
Posts: 1502
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby flcath » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:20 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Kakarot wrote:This is just stupid IMO... MD's have a lot more expenses than lawyers do, so you can't compare salaries, it's like comparing apples and oranges.


A lot more expenses? Like what?
He's referring to malpractice insurance.

Edit: ...which is huge, as in gargantuan (typically six figures, though it can be below that for a physician in a low-risk specialty who has never been sued... it can also frequently rise to a quarter million dollars per year for high-liability specialties). It's also, by convention, typically taken out of any physician salaries you see quoted. This convention exists to allow for direct pay comparisons b/t private and public practitioners.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Oban » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:26 pm

ogman05 wrote:
Dick Whitman wrote:If you make even as low as $20k/year more because of your law degree, over the course of a 40 year career $120k in debt would be worth it. So even people paying sticker for a lower-tier law school may not be making a bad choice, assuming their current education leaves them prospects starting in the $30k range.

If you start talking about top-tier schools, the math gets much, much better.

Perhaps the decisions people are making aren't foolish after all?


I second this. A lot of people dont have options leaving UG. I was one of the exceptions especially ITE but I also interned for two years. MY roommate through college had a psych degree and was facing like a garbage 30k/yr job or law school. He had no debt and chose law school. If he comes out making 60k/yr he would be ahead in less then ten years. And with raises and the fact that he lived more frugally being on law loans that is just more likely. Granted 200k in debt can be a burden most people benefit from having the JD degree. If someone opps for a T3 or T4 education, they probably had zero prospects before that. It's sad I see some fellow graduates in my year (not necessarily school) working at gyms, and other places. One said that she would be psyched to get a job paying $15 as it would be such a raise. I was like what??? I made mroe than that interning. This is life for some people. Making 50k/yr puts you in the top 50% of earners in America. Think about it. Most of us will earn in the top 5% over our lives. 120k of debt is not that bad. 200k/30=6k/yr in payments. Assuming interest brings you up to 200k and you pay out in 30 years. Just keeping a job from a T25 you are making six figures. Unless the legal field restructuring ends in it crumbling altogether which is possible life will not be that bad.


While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.

araiza99
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:31 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby araiza99 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:45 pm

Oban wrote:
ogman05 wrote:
Dick Whitman wrote:If you make even as low as $20k/year more because of your law degree, over the course of a 40 year career $120k in debt would be worth it. So even people paying sticker for a lower-tier law school may not be making a bad choice, assuming their current education leaves them prospects starting in the $30k range.

If you start talking about top-tier schools, the math gets much, much better.

Perhaps the decisions people are making aren't foolish after all?


I second this. A lot of people dont have options leaving UG. I was one of the exceptions especially ITE but I also interned for two years. MY roommate through college had a psych degree and was facing like a garbage 30k/yr job or law school. He had no debt and chose law school. If he comes out making 60k/yr he would be ahead in less then ten years. And with raises and the fact that he lived more frugally being on law loans that is just more likely. Granted 200k in debt can be a burden most people benefit from having the JD degree. If someone opps for a T3 or T4 education, they probably had zero prospects before that. It's sad I see some fellow graduates in my year (not necessarily school) working at gyms, and other places. One said that she would be psyched to get a job paying $15 as it would be such a raise. I was like what??? I made mroe than that interning. This is life for some people. Making 50k/yr puts you in the top 50% of earners in America. Think about it. Most of us will earn in the top 5% over our lives. 120k of debt is not that bad. 200k/30=6k/yr in payments. Assuming interest brings you up to 200k and you pay out in 30 years. Just keeping a job from a T25 you are making six figures. Unless the legal field restructuring ends in it crumbling altogether which is possible life will not be that bad.


While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.


Is it possible to get the same effect with smaller debt? $100-200k debt will prevent the purchase of a home and expansion of a family if making $50k.

ughOSU
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby ughOSU » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:00 pm

Trifles wrote:It is amazing to me how many people are willing to sign away years of their life by going into that much debt, even at a T14. We used to call that "indentured servitude."

This for sure. Basically if you end up at a small firm doing something nominal, I would probably go insane in no time. It's boring as hell, and you have no real opportunity to do anything meaningful or different. On top of that, you're stuck there with your massive debt and the false notion that the legal profession is a higher calling. That's not a job I would enjoy.

e: also the pple that think they can just get a PI job and do IBR for 10 years(!!!!!) are interesting to me. I didn't think anyone would know what they wanted to do 13 years down the line.

ps494
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby ps494 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:18 pm

Space_Cowboy wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
flcath wrote:

I agree, not in the sense that I think you're an asshole--obviously, on a personal level, people should make smart choices--but in the sense that we (Americans) don't make policy-level decisions with this "you did it to yourself/it's your own fault" mindset. I think we should protect people from their own stupid decisions, especially when those decisions are completely untenable under almost any circumstances (e.g., $160K in debt for a Florida Coastal JD).


Actually, we kind of do. Granted, I'm not an American but that's one of the reasons I'm fond of the country.

I don't believe in protecting people from their own stupidities if the case is such that valid info was out there and accessible with reasonable ease. To take your Florida Coastal example, info re: how much the school sucks is both out there and only a few Google clicks away. It's up to a would be LS student to get it.


I'd be more sympathetic if T3/T4s provided complete and accurate information. They usually just present a rosy picture with incomplete data. Attaching good employment data to loan paperwork, along with projected repayment schedules, should be a prerequisite to a school's eligibility for receiving GradPLUS loans.



+1000000000000000000000000

It pisses me off so much that T3/T4s intentionally deceive applicants. Sure, applicant should be smart enough to realize that the statistics are bullshit, but it's still not right that law schools do that. I would love to sit each admissions dean down and ask them how they possibly think that deceiving applicants is ethical.

I wish I could talk to the admissions dean of Cooley and ask him/her if he truly thinks that this school is of the same quality as the schools it's ranked beside (as per its own ranking system).
Last edited by ps494 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:20 pm

capitalacq wrote:and all this time I thought that law school was free.. and that I can just be a fat slob and sit on my PC all day once I graduate


only cuz law is a license to print money, like you actually just get a money minting press and the plates (w/ the license to use it of course)

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Oban » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:39 pm

ughOSU wrote:
Trifles wrote:It is amazing to me how many people are willing to sign away years of their life by going into that much debt, even at a T14. We used to call that "indentured servitude."

This for sure. Basically if you end up at a small firm doing something nominal, I would probably go insane in no time. It's boring as hell, and you have no real opportunity to do anything meaningful or different. On top of that, you're stuck there with your massive debt and the false notion that the legal profession is a higher calling. That's not a job I would enjoy.

e: also the pple that think they can just get a PI job and do IBR for 10 years(!!!!!) are interesting to me. I didn't think anyone would know what they wanted to do 13 years down the line.


IBR applies to any job. biglaw or mcdonalds. the forgiveness is just for PI for 10 years. For me personaly. I'm looking at 65k of debt(no private loans) when i graduate. 25 years of IBR = monthly payments under 500 bucks. And thats asuming work a 50k job.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:43 pm

Oban wrote:
ughOSU wrote:
Trifles wrote:It is amazing to me how many people are willing to sign away years of their life by going into that much debt, even at a T14. We used to call that "indentured servitude."

This for sure. Basically if you end up at a small firm doing something nominal, I would probably go insane in no time. It's boring as hell, and you have no real opportunity to do anything meaningful or different. On top of that, you're stuck there with your massive debt and the false notion that the legal profession is a higher calling. That's not a job I would enjoy.

e: also the pple that think they can just get a PI job and do IBR for 10 years(!!!!!) are interesting to me. I didn't think anyone would know what they wanted to do 13 years down the line.


IBR applies to any job. biglaw or mcdonalds. the forgiveness is just for PI for 10 years. For me personaly. I'm looking at 65k of debt(no private loans) when i graduate. 25 years of IBR = monthly payments under 500 bucks. And thats asuming work a 50k job.


Until they get rid of the tax liability you might be setting yourself up for a 100 thousand dollar tax bill.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby Oban » Thu Jan 07, 2010 5:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Oban wrote:
ughOSU wrote:
Trifles wrote:It is amazing to me how many people are willing to sign away years of their life by going into that much debt, even at a T14. We used to call that "indentured servitude."

This for sure. Basically if you end up at a small firm doing something nominal, I would probably go insane in no time. It's boring as hell, and you have no real opportunity to do anything meaningful or different. On top of that, you're stuck there with your massive debt and the false notion that the legal profession is a higher calling. That's not a job I would enjoy.

e: also the pple that think they can just get a PI job and do IBR for 10 years(!!!!!) are interesting to me. I didn't think anyone would know what they wanted to do 13 years down the line.


IBR applies to any job. biglaw or mcdonalds. the forgiveness is just for PI for 10 years. For me personaly. I'm looking at 65k of debt(no private loans) when i graduate. 25 years of IBR = monthly payments under 500 bucks. And thats asuming work a 50k job.


Until they get rid of the tax liability you might be setting yourself up for a 100 thousand dollar tax bill.


Not exactly. IBR works like a 401k IIRC. So the amount forgiven is taxed as income. IE if at 25 years i owe 100k(which given my potential debt load is extremely unlikely) I get taxed as if i made 100k dollars. So lets say i'm pulling home 90k a year at that time, i get taxed as if i made 190k.

Anyway. I'm not so naive as to think IBR is a panacea, but it's nice to know it's there. If it works like it's desinged to. I'll have paid off most of the debt anyway by the time it can be forgiven anyway.

Anyway the moral of the story is avoid private loans at all costs.


Also. Tax bills are dischargable under bankruptcy. thankxkbai

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7250
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby beach_terror » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:15 pm

ITT: All the glory of our first major recession with widespread, high-speed internet access. Allowing legitimate and illegitimate information to swirl together, combined with tons of speculation. Expect to see carbon copies of emotions seen in other similar threads (panic, anger, hostility, elitism, and ignorance, and pessimism)!

postitnotes
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:21 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby postitnotes » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:57 pm

Oban wrote:While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.


I wouldn't call making 50k a year with 150k+/200k debt being "ahead." If you paid the debt (with interest obviously) off over a period of 20 years, that's at least 1300+ a month. If you tried paying it off in a shorter period of time, you'd be paying over 2000+ a month, which is probably more than a lot of mortgages. You might as well apply for business sector jobs/work for the "Big 4" with your top 10 undergrad degree and make 50k+ anyway. The Big 4 are prestige whores, so you should be able to at least score an interview with a top 10 undergrad degree. Also if you look online, there are a fair number of 50k+ jobs you can get without graduate degrees. Law is probably about as stable as business is now, except it's probably riskier in that you incur far more debt. IBR also isn't as easy to get as people think.

angioletto
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:14 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby angioletto » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:10 pm

postitnotes wrote:
Oban wrote:While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.


I wouldn't call making 50k a year with 150k+/200k debt being "ahead." If you paid the debt (with interest obviously) off over a period of 20 years, that's at least 1300+ a month. If you tried paying it off in a shorter period of time, you'd be paying over 2000+ a month, which is probably more than a lot of mortgages. You might as well apply for business sector jobs/work for the "Big 4" with your top 10 undergrad degree and make 50k+ anyway. The Big 4 are prestige whores, so you should be able to at least score an interview with a top 10 undergrad degree. Also if you look online, there are a fair number of 50k+ jobs you can get without graduate degrees. Law is probably about as stable as business is now, except it's probably riskier in that you incur far more debt. IBR also isn't as easy to get as people think.


Here's what I don't get - while in law school many (most?) students are going to be living very frugally. COL is calculated around what, $20-25,000/year? So if you do graduate and start making $50,000/year what is so hard about continuing your frugal lifestyle for a couple more years while you pay down your loans? Using this example you could stay on a tight budget for 2 years and pay $50-60,000 of your loans off and then just take on manageable payments from there.

It may not be entirely that simple but I have spent a lot of time working through spreadsheets and calculations trying to determine how much law school debt will be worth it for me and what it all comes down to is what compromises I am willing to make both as a student and in those first 2-3 years after law school.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:15 pm

postitnotes wrote:
Oban wrote:While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.


I wouldn't call making 50k a year with 150k+/200k debt being "ahead." If you paid the debt (with interest obviously) off over a period of 20 years, that's at least 1300+ a month. If you tried paying it off in a shorter period of time, you'd be paying over 2000+ a month, which is probably more than a lot of mortgages. You might as well apply for business sector jobs/work for the "Big 4" with your top 10 undergrad degree and make 50k+ anyway. The Big 4 are prestige whores, so you should be able to at least score an interview with a top 10 undergrad degree. Also if you look online, there are a fair number of 50k+ jobs you can get without graduate degrees. Law is probably about as stable as business is now, except it's probably riskier in that you incur far more debt. IBR also isn't as easy to get as people think.


How many of those are available to TTT lib arts majors?

postitnotes
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:21 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby postitnotes » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:16 pm

angioletto wrote:
Here's what I don't get - while in law school many (most?) students are going to be living very frugally. COL is calculated around what, $20-25,000/year? So if you do graduate and start making $50,000/year what is so hard about continuing your frugal lifestyle for a couple more years while you pay down your loans? Using this example you could stay on a tight budget for 2 years and pay $50-60,000 of your loans off and then just take on manageable payments from there.

It may not be entirely that simple but I have spent a lot of time working through spreadsheets and calculations trying to determine how much law school debt will be worth it for me and what it all comes down to is what compromises I am willing to make both as a student and in those first 2-3 years after law school.


When you supposedly "make" 50,000/year you don't actually receive 50,000 because of income tax. The marginal tax rate for a single person earning 50k a year is 25%, which is a good chunk of your income. You will also most likely be working in a big city, where rent is insane. You will probably have other expenses you didn't need to incur during law school, potentially more expensive health care if your employer doesn't cover it, possibly paying dental on your own now if your employer's doesn't cover it, etc. You may need to get a car in order to get to work depending on where you live whereas before you lived close to campus. 50k is essentially a shit income when you have a ton of debt.

postitnotes
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:21 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby postitnotes » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:18 pm

dresden doll wrote:
postitnotes wrote:
Oban wrote:While i think it's bad just to go into law because you have no other options, i do agree with a lot of your point. I went to a top 10 Undergrad, one of those "elite" schools or whatever. Of all of my peers, smart kids with good grades. All of them have either applied to graduate programs, or work in coffe shops, book stores, or 14 dollar per hour temp/cubicle work. The ones that went into finance got laid off. thus id posit that for those of us in similar situations that wanted to go into law, 100-200 of debt is an ok investment. If we come out making 50k we already are ahead. Plus IBR for the win.


I wouldn't call making 50k a year with 150k+/200k debt being "ahead." If you paid the debt (with interest obviously) off over a period of 20 years, that's at least 1300+ a month. If you tried paying it off in a shorter period of time, you'd be paying over 2000+ a month, which is probably more than a lot of mortgages. You might as well apply for business sector jobs/work for the "Big 4" with your top 10 undergrad degree and make 50k+ anyway. The Big 4 are prestige whores, so you should be able to at least score an interview with a top 10 undergrad degree. Also if you look online, there are a fair number of 50k+ jobs you can get without graduate degrees. Law is probably about as stable as business is now, except it's probably riskier in that you incur far more debt. IBR also isn't as easy to get as people think.


How many of those are available to TTT lib arts majors?


TTT lib arts majors are different from Top 10 undergrads' graduates. It's a lot harder for TTT to break into business. That said, you can probably still get a 30k+ job.

User avatar
WrappedUpInBooks
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:19 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:40 pm

postitnotes wrote:
angioletto wrote:
Here's what I don't get - while in law school many (most?) students are going to be living very frugally. COL is calculated around what, $20-25,000/year? So if you do graduate and start making $50,000/year what is so hard about continuing your frugal lifestyle for a couple more years while you pay down your loans? Using this example you could stay on a tight budget for 2 years and pay $50-60,000 of your loans off and then just take on manageable payments from there.

It may not be entirely that simple but I have spent a lot of time working through spreadsheets and calculations trying to determine how much law school debt will be worth it for me and what it all comes down to is what compromises I am willing to make both as a student and in those first 2-3 years after law school.


When you supposedly "make" 50,000/year you don't actually receive 50,000 because of income tax. The marginal tax rate for a single person earning 50k a year is 25%, which is a good chunk of your income. You will also most likely be working in a big city, where rent is insane. You will probably have other expenses you didn't need to incur during law school, potentially more expensive health care if your employer doesn't cover it, possibly paying dental on your own now if your employer's doesn't cover it, etc. You may need to get a car in order to get to work depending on where you live whereas before you lived close to campus. 50k is essentially a shit income when you have a ton of debt.


I make $35,000 right now, before taxes. I live in New York City. I have plenty of money. I don't really understand why people think that it is so impossible to live on 50k. Granted, 50k with loans is probably similar to my 35k without, but it is in no way some impossible feat.

postitnotes
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:21 am

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby postitnotes » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:19 pm

WrappedUpInBooks wrote:I make $35,000 right now, before taxes. I live in New York City. I have plenty of money. I don't really understand why people think that it is so impossible to live on 50k. Granted, 50k with loans is probably similar to my 35k without, but it is in no way some impossible feat.


How many roommates do you have? What kind of living arrangement do you have? Do you live with family? What luxuries are you able to afford? Don't you ever want to buy your own home instead of throwing money away towards rent? By the time most people graduate they will be in their mid/late 20s, and they need to start saving up for a down payment at that time too. I'd like to be able to afford a place of my own before I'm middle-aged.

User avatar
crazycanuck
Posts: 3046
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: Almost 1/3 of Law Students Expect to Graduate with $120K Deb

Postby crazycanuck » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:32 pm

Education in the U.S is a such a scam.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests