HYS admissions/fin aid question

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superconnard
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:35 pm

HYS admissions/fin aid question

Postby superconnard » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:05 pm

Profile: junior at an Ivy, good grades, average extracurriculars. Aiming for HYS tier. I'm currently debating whether I should go through corporate recruiting for financial analyst positions. (ie working at GS, MS, JPM, BX, etc.) The financial analyst positions are generally two year stints.

I wanted some advice on how to think through this decision, and would really appreciate any feedback, especially things that you current law students wish you had known in retrospect!

Here is what I'm thinking about right now:

- I would like to take some time off, go abroad, and take part in some things related to my academic interests before I apply to law school. Does having a couple years off after undergrad, some spent in the private sector and some in the public sector, look haphazard, or is it all about how you package it? People I have spoken to in finance have mentioned that they did their 2 year analyst stints and then spent time abroad to become more "well-rounded" for business school; so more than likely, I would work for some time after undergrad and then transition to the public sector for a few years before applying to LS. I am concerned because although finance is something I'm very interested in and have enjoyed past experiences in, it is not related to my academic interests, and I don't want finance work experience to come across as blatant resume-padding. I have also heard that private sector work is a red flag to top tier schools (by this I mean Y and S, not H), as these schools value academia or public service oriented candidates more than those interested in the private sector.

- I would love to be able to make some money and have a safety net in case the double dip or something worse happens! Projected salary (bonus included) is around 120k per year, so let's say I would have 240k over two years (Pre-tax, and barring a drastic cut if the economy sours again). From what little LS financial aid research I have done, it seems like the average finaid grant is 20k, which doesn't seem like much considering I will be financing everything on my own. Would it be smarter, given the way law school fin aid works and current macro economic expectations, to earn some money beforehand or to get through law school with loans and then pay them off later? Since at this point, I intend to work in finance directly after law school (assuming I can land a job then), the main question here is how to play the finaid game - whether to work before law school or play a lower bank balance/net worth going in to my advantage? What have your experiences with finaid at the above schools been?

Thanks in advance!

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Eugenie Danglars
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: HYS admissions/fin aid question

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:31 pm

Whew, that was long. Anyway, two things:

1)
I intend to work in finance directly after law school

So why are you going to law school? Not that you necessarily shouldn't, but if you can get a good job without law school, why bother? It's great to indulge your academic interests, but this is a major commitment for indulgence.

2)
Projected salary (bonus included) is around 120k per year

I wouldn't leave a job like that for law school, and I hate finance. i have an arm-long list of reasons to go to law school, but if I could make that kind of money, I'd work for ten years and then retire. But that's just me. Again, make sure your reasons are law school are clear to yourself; if you don't know why you want it, how can ad comms possibly know?

Also, I love that your safety net for a shaky legal market is the somewhat shattered financial sector. Just sayin'.

Finally, are you sure you can get a finance job? You might want until you have one lined up to make too many decisions on the presumption you'll have a high-paying job. Pre-hatch chickens and all that.

Best of luck!

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Haribo
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:47 pm

Re: HYS admissions/fin aid question

Postby Haribo » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:17 pm

superconnard wrote:Profile: junior at an Ivy, good grades, average extracurriculars. Aiming for HYS tier. I'm currently debating whether I should go through corporate recruiting for financial analyst positions. (ie working at GS, MS, JPM, BX, etc.) The financial analyst positions are generally two year stints.

I wanted some advice on how to think through this decision, and would really appreciate any feedback, especially things that you current law students wish you had known in retrospect!

Here is what I'm thinking about right now:

- I would like to take some time off, go abroad, and take part in some things related to my academic interests before I apply to law school. Does having a couple years off after undergrad, some spent in the private sector and some in the public sector, look haphazard, or is it all about how you package it? People I have spoken to in finance have mentioned that they did their 2 year analyst stints and then spent time abroad to become more "well-rounded" for business school; so more than likely, I would work for some time after undergrad and then transition to the public sector for a few years before applying to LS. I am concerned because although finance is something I'm very interested in and have enjoyed past experiences in, it is not related to my academic interests, and I don't want finance work experience to come across as blatant resume-padding. I have also heard that private sector work is a red flag to top tier schools (by this I mean Y and S, not H), as these schools value academia or public service oriented candidates more than those interested in the private sector.

- I would love to be able to make some money and have a safety net in case the double dip or something worse happens! Projected salary (bonus included) is around 120k per year, so let's say I would have 240k over two years (Pre-tax, and barring a drastic cut if the economy sours again). From what little LS financial aid research I have done, it seems like the average finaid grant is 20k, which doesn't seem like much considering I will be financing everything on my own. Would it be smarter, given the way law school fin aid works and current macro economic expectations, to earn some money beforehand or to get through law school with loans and then pay them off later? Since at this point, I intend to work in finance directly after law school (assuming I can land a job then), the main question here is how to play the finaid game - whether to work before law school or play a lower bank balance/net worth going in to my advantage? What have your experiences with finaid at the above schools been?

Thanks in advance!


Just regard to number 2, the average grant might be 20k, but if you've worked for two years making 100k+/year, you won't get anywhere near the average grant. If your parents make a decent amount of money you probably won't get much of a grant no matter what you do, as they're all need-based.

That being said, there's still plenty of reasons to work for a few years before going to law school. Work experience = life experience, and a chance to get away from academia, maybe save up to travel, and just get a sense of what life is like after law school. Most people who take time off before law school don't regret it. Also, especially since you have only weak softs, private sector work will only help your application. I hadn't noticed it hurting applicants at YS, so I don't think you need to worry about that.




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