Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:31 am

I think the second biggest problem with prospective law school students is their inability to use a calculator to do some fairly simple math. A 50K /year salary after graduation does not equal $50K in your pocket. It'll be more like 2/3s of that after you factor out federal and state taxes, social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. Also, what you borrow in law school does not equal what you owe at the end of 3 years of law school. Interest accrues while in law school (just because it doesn't compound doesn't mean you don't pay interest across those three years, and the interest rate is a fairly lofty 8%). Lastly, even assuming a "normal" 10 year repayment period, $180K in loans = ~$27K per year. You can't realistically repay that on 2/3s of a $50k /year salary. And I'd be surprised if the entire half of the class that is working at law firms makes even $50K /year that comes out of these T3s. Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:36 am

Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:44 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


AFAIK, only the top schools have good LRAP programs. I could be wrong since my knowledge of them isn't comprehensive.

flcath
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:48 am

ResolutePear wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


AFAIK, only the top schools have good LRAP programs. I could be wrong since my knowledge of them isn't comprehensive.

This is generally true. I really don't understand how it stays true either. GULC is not a rich institution.

Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:53 am

ResolutePear wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


AFAIK, only the top schools have good LRAP programs. I could be wrong since my knowledge of them isn't comprehensive.


Ah, makes sense... So, if LRAP ---> good deal?

And why is everyone ignoring his point about IBR??

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ResolutePear
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:02 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


AFAIK, only the top schools have good LRAP programs. I could be wrong since my knowledge of them isn't comprehensive.


Ah, makes sense... So, if LRAP ---> good deal?

And why is everyone ignoring his point about IBR??


Because if you're in private sector, after 25 years.. you'll probably need to take out another loan to pay the taxes from the amount that's forgiven. So it's not really a solution.

flcath
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:05 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.



Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?

Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


AFAIK, only the top schools have good LRAP programs. I could be wrong since my knowledge of them isn't comprehensive.


Ah, makes sense... So, if LRAP ---> good deal?

And why is everyone ignoring his point about IBR??

As a single person (or married but w/o kids), your payments with a $50,000 income (which you may not have at first, but will likely have at some point) will be around $400/mo, or ~$5k per year. (It's 15% of your before-tax income, above 1.5x the poverty level).

Whether or not this is a good deal depends on whether the value your law degree adds is greater than (and continues to be greater than) that cost. As your salary goes up, this gets harder to do, but also as your salary goes up, it gets more likely that (your higher salary) can be attributed to your law degree.

I don't agree that it's categorically a "terrible plan," but again, it is a bad plan by TLS standards.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:07 am

ResolutePear wrote:Because if you're in private sector, after 25 years.. you'll probably need to take out another loan to pay the taxes from the amount that's forgiven. So it's not really a solution.

My understanding is that IBR forgiven debt is not considered taxable income.

It's hard to keep all this straight though, with the current ("old," 15%) IBR being supplanted by the "new" (10%) IBR coming in 2014.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby acirilli1722 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:08 am

T3/4 isn't always too bad, you just have to do some research. First, what kind of scholarships can you get and what are their stipulations(some lower ranked schools have unrealistic requirements). Also what is the COL expense and factor this towards possible job prospects. Also look at the market the school is in, a t4 in NY or DC has some tough competition, but Widener is the only school in Delaware and doesn't have much competition for placement. There are multiple schools like this. Plus as long as you can sell yourself and can network you should have a decent shot at landing something. I just wouldn't go in with the mindset a lot of people have, that you are going to finish in the top 5% and get Big Law job offers, you just can't predict that.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:08 am

flcath wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:Because if you're in private sector, after 25 years.. you'll probably need to take out another loan to pay the taxes from the amount that's forgiven. So it's not really a solution.

My understanding is that IBR forgiven debt is not considered taxable income.

It's hard to keep all this straight though, with the current ("old," 15%) IBR being supplanted by the "new" (10%) IBR coming in 2014.


It's not taxable if you work in the public sector with a 10-year forgiveness.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:13 am

ResolutePear wrote:
flcath wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:Because if you're in private sector, after 25 years.. you'll probably need to take out another loan to pay the taxes from the amount that's forgiven. So it's not really a solution.

My understanding is that IBR forgiven debt is not considered taxable income.

It's hard to keep all this straight though, with the current ("old," 15%) IBR being supplanted by the "new" (10%) IBR coming in 2014.


It's not taxable if you work in the public sector with a 10-year forgiveness.

That's right.

If I'm not mistaken, that's on the chopping block as we speak, along with non-dischargable private student loans.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:20 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Lastly, planning on utilizing 25 year IBR when entering law school to repay your student loans is a terrible plan.


Not to challenge you, I actually want to learn something: Why is that?


The only scenario I can envision 25 year IBR being a good option is if you end up making shitty money for 25 years and accumulate little or no assets over that time period. The problem with the 25 year IBR is that your principal increases over time since you aren't even making payments large enough to repay your interest (which is roughly $14.5K your first year on a $180K loan).

So, say you start out at a small firm or other low paying private employer at $40K /year your first year out of law school. That's not terrible with IBR because your payments will be low your first few years. BUT, in the long run, if you are good attorney, you are going to wind up paying a shitload more than you would have had you opted the 10 year plan because your payments are going to go up substantially when you are making $100K+. (Realistically, you are going to see $100K+ /year after time if you are good lawyer --even public defenders in Chicago make that after 8-10 years.) So then you are paying $15-20K /year for the next 10-15 years for your loan payments when your payments would have only been around $25K /year for 10 years if you had simply opted the 10 year plan. Furthermore, you can't simply repay your loans quickly when you are making that $100K+ because your principal is going to have ballooned by that time period since you're payments didn't even cover interest (in other words, you are going to owe a LOT more than just the initial $180K you borrowed 10 years from the beginning of your payments).

On the other hand, if you are shitty attorney and never crack a job where you make more than $50K /year, then you still have the tax bill at the end of the 25 years because the loan forgiveness at that time is considered taxable income. So, e.g., if your loans ballooned and your principal is nearing a million dollars, then that's nearly a million dollars in taxable income for that year. With a $50K /year salary and no savings, you are not going to be able to pay that. You can probably discharge the tax bill in bankruptcy, but that means you are going to lose your assets that you’ve accumulated over that period of time (such as your house if you have one).

Lastly, 25 years is a really long period of time. Legislation and politicians change frequently. It’s completely possible that within 25 years IBR loan forgiveness could disappear or somehow change in a way that adversely affects you. I mean, I can just see taxpayers, 25 years from now when all these loans are starting to get forgiven, just getting angry at the thought of having to repay a bunch of asshole “rich” lawyers’ student loans.

With all that said, obviously if you are making something like $40K /year after law school with $200K+ in student loans, IBR is realistically your only option (i.e. you aren’t going to be able to make your payments on a 10 year plan), which is fine. But it’s definitely not something I think anyone should be planning on when entering law school… Just the thought of repaying student loans for 25 years is a mindfuck for me. I mean can you really imagine still having to make payments on STUDENT loans when you are in your 50s? What if you decide you don’t like law after entering law school, or decide a few years down the road that you want to change professions because you hate your job? Then you accumulated a lifetime of debt for a degree that you aren’t even going to be using anymore? Maybe it’s just me, but I find the thought of repaying non-dischargable debt for 25 years on something with no tangible asset attached troubling (and I find it even more troubling that people actually plan on something like this when entering a shitty t3 law school in their mid 20s).

/exceedingly long rant

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:Further, since you seem to know what you're talking about: What about a school with a good LRAP program?


I don't know about any T3s that have a good LRAP program. Typically LRAP is funded through endowment, and t3s don't typically have a very large endowment because their grads don't do well enough to be giving back large sums of money.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:29 am

I didn't mean a TTT with LRAP, my apologies... I should've been more clear. I was asking about LRAP in general. :)

Great info. about IBR, thanks.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:36 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:I didn't mean a TTT with LRAP, my apologies... I should've been more clear. I was asking about LRAP in general. :)

Great info. about IBR, thanks.


Yale, Harvard, Stanford.

It's (almost) all about endowment. The more of this a school has, the more lax it can be with LRAP.

With Harvard LRAP, I'm pretty sure you can nail shingles for a living and you're covered. Not so with Vanderbilt, for instance.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:41 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:I didn't mean a TTT with LRAP, my apologies... I should've been more clear. I was asking about LRAP in general. :)


A great LRAP does make the debt accumulate much less important. See, e.g., Yale's COAP. But generally, LRAP gets better as the does the school (as does the employment prospects generally, meaning the liklihood you will have to utilize it drops).

EDIT- ResolutePear's post explains why (i.e. better schools with better employment prospects have larger endowments).

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby mst » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:44 am

Also keep in mind for LRAP, for those who don't know too much about them (and in this case I would suggest tracking down the LRAP article on this site that outlines each program for each top school with payment estimates at various income levels), LRAP is not some magical sword that swoops in and helps poor attorneys. There are stipulations to most of the programs that frequently require, such as that the person be involved with public interest or non-prof. work, or that they go through an appeals process to prove that they are doing work in the public interest, etc. It's not super easy, especially given the fact that a lot of these positions are just as competitive as big-law jobs and that you usually need to be pursuing that kind of work from the get-go through law school to land it (for example, some gal who gunned for firms for 3 years, got nothing, and tried resorting to some PI work would have a tough time landing it... the PI people typically will go for the folks who spent their summers and schoolyears doing work they could relate to).

The point of the story is that LRAP is not usually some awesome plan for people who go to a law school, get screwed, and then go home unemployed... it's more of a program designed to encourage law school students to pursue their fields of choice within law regardless of income if it's for the greater good...

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:47 am

mst wrote:Also keep in mind for LRAP, for those who don't know too much about them (and in this case I would suggest tracking down the LRAP article on this site that outlines each program for each top school with payment estimates at various income levels), LRAP is not some magical sword that swoops in and helps poor attorneys. There are stipulations to most of the programs that frequently require, such as that the person be involved with public interest or non-prof. work, or that they go through an appeals process to prove that they are doing work in the public interest, etc. It's not super easy, especially given the fact that a lot of these positions are just as competitive as big-law jobs and that you usually need to be pursuing that kind of work from the get-go through law school to land it (for example, some gal who gunned for firms for 3 years, got nothing, and tried resorting to some PI work would have a tough time landing it... the PI people typically will go for the folks who spent their summers and schoolyears doing work they could relate to).

The point of the story is that LRAP is not usually some awesome plan for people who go to a law school, get screwed, and then go home unemployed... it's more of a program designed to encourage law school students to pursue their fields of choice within law regardless of income if it's for the greater good...


Except if you went to Harvard-ish schools. You'll be hardpressed to ding out anyways. Lulz.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:00 am

good work, ladies and gentlemen of TLS.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby gothamm » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:35 am

very interesting.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby tipler4213 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:13 am

Kaitlyn wrote:
VTarmyjag wrote:I know this is going to draw a bunch of controversy; however, I think too many people are getting the wrong idea about T3 (and sometimes T4) schools. From what I can see, the general consensus about T3 schools is that its almost always a terrible option and not worth the money. I honestly think that is not the best advice. Sure, if somebody has the opportunity to retake the LSAT - go for it, it's probably for the better. But for those who end up looking at acceptance only from T3 schools, that's OK! (if you really want to be a lawyer). Here are some numbers I found:


Mercer - 64.1% employed in law firms

Marquette - 57.9% employed in law firms

Drake - 52.4% employed in law firms


Now these jobs most likely don't draw the $100k+ salaries that T3 naysayers crave; however, its fair to say that lawyers in these jobs could certainly pay off their debt in a reasonable amount of time. Looking at those numbers, its completely reasonable to say that if you work hard enough to be in the top 50% (assuming those numbers roughly correspond with class ranking), there are jobs for you.

And for those who say that there's not a job out there for even a T14 graduate, here's something I'm familiar with: JAG. The Army just released its list for the fall selection for JAG. Many of the selected members were from T3/T4 schools. Here are a few:

Univeristy of Baltimore
Florida International University
University of South Dakota
University of Akron
University of Toledo
Faulkner University
North Carolina Central University

Also, they will pay $60,000 for your student loans.


This is just my opinion, so take how you want, but I just felt like a different perspective was needed for those seriously considering a T3 school.


I don't think people on TLS have the wrong idea at all. The rhetoric can get a bit, well, hysterical- but the fact of the matter is that whether or not a T3 or T4 school is a worthwhile investment is more than just a question of whether you can get employed afterward and pay off debt. For those who want to, a) make the safest gamble they can in choosing a law school (since the choice to attend law school is very much a gamble for many), b) have wide and diverse career opportunities after graduating, and c) attend a law school that is likely to give them the most geographical mobility, T3/T4 is an unfortunate position to be in. As it turns out, these are the main objectives of a sizable number of us. For those with different ambitions, T3/T4 is certainly not a fate worse than death, but with the state of the legal market right now, I wouldn't exactly start cheerleading for that cause either.



TITCR. You can have a fine career from TTTs. I know plenty of wealthy lawyers (most ambulance chasers), some of whom are recent graduates, coming from Cumberland. The can make a ton of money--more than the BigLaw160k sometimes--doing personal injury, med mal, etc as long as they stay in Birmingham/Mobile and benefit from the low COL. The difference is that their jobs aren't prestigious and for every one of them there are many more who are struggling to pay back their loans. As a result, people on TLS rip on it in overly harsh terms.

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hurricane10
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby hurricane10 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:16 am

What do you guys think about Michigan State? I've gotten into tier 1 schools and not sure I'd love practicing in Michigan but I have a full ride.

gens1tb
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby gens1tb » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:45 am

So, a T3 education is like taking out a $100,000 loan then going to a casino and putting it all on black.

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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby mpj_3050 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:25 am

gens1tb wrote:So, a T3 education is like taking out a $100,000 loan then going to a casino and putting it all on black.


Yep. Most T3/T4 are worthless money-sucking privates. Even some of the state ones (Toledo, Akron) are still really expensive at like 20k plus in tuition alone. I got a pretty decent offer from a T3, Arkansas-Little Rock, and here is why a T3 would be good for me:

1. Can practice in the area/don't care where I live.
2. After doing calculations initially I thought I would have 40k in debt. Today I did the math and with current savings I will have under 30k because my undergrad will be paid off by the time I graduate (parental help).
3. The area is cheap and not dominated by superior schools. Yes there are fewer jobs and only the top half will ever see a return on investment, but if I am not in the top half I would drop out anyway in cut losses and at least I stand some chance of finding a job.
4. I am not a dip shit who thinks a TTT can net a 80, 90, 100k salary. Given my opportunity costs I am okay with making a 40k in a small market.

For many students a TTT is an absolutely horrible decision. Some of these schools are absurdly expensive and are located in expensive areas where they can't compete.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby Adjudicator » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:41 am

These guys are students at a TTT:
--ImageRemoved--

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ResolutePear
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Re: Actually, a T3 school is not a dead end.

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:00 pm

mpj_3050 wrote:4. I am not a dip shit who thinks a TTT can net a 80, 90, 100k salary. Given my opportunity costs I am okay with making a 40k in a small market.

Step back and evaluate your life if you think this. I dont know many people okay with studying 7 years for 40k.




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