Where do I go? How much debt?

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FreddyBigShot
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Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:57 pm

My cycle is over and below I've listed the schools with the total debt that I'd have at each. I got some schollies and have $70,000 in the bank in savings. Two of the schools are estimated schollies based on LSNs and my numbers.

Texas ($35,000)
Vandy ($60,000)
UCLA ($45,000)
Cornell ($85,000)
UPenn ($120,000)
Michigan ($85,000)
Georgetown ($130,000)
GWU ($50,000)
BU ($40,000)
Temple (no debt)
UIUC (no debt)
William & Mary (no debt)

Thoughts? I want BigLaw and I'd prefer to be on the east or west coast, with Philly, NYC, and SF my top destinations. I'm tempted by Penn and Cornell, but the lower debt loads and no debt loads of the other schools are tempting. How much debt takes me to the danger zone?

dakatz
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby dakatz » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:06 pm

If you want the East Coast, I'd say Cornell is probably your best bet given that you won't be in crippling debt, with BU a close second. For west coast, you would have a very good deal at UCLA. I'd be hesitant to go into 6 figures of debt given that you have 70K in the bank and have the unique opportunity to avoid the debt that will cripple so many people on this site and in law school in general who take it on with too cavalier an attitude.

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hipstermafia
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby hipstermafia » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:10 pm

dakatz wrote:If you want the East Coast, I'd say Cornell is probably your best bet given that you won't be in crippling debt, with BU a close second. For west coast, you would have a very good deal at UCLA. I'd be hesitant to go into 6 figures of debt given that you have 70K in the bank and have the unique opportunity to avoid the debt that will cripple so many people on this site and in law school in general who take it on with too cavalier an attitude.

i'm going to guess that Cornell is one of the schools that OP is estimating a scholarship from since to my knowledge they have not given out scholarship money yet this cycle

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haus
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby haus » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:16 pm

Keep in mind the thresholds for keeping multiyear scholarships.

seriously????
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby seriously???? » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:49 pm

willing to settle on any of the three locations? cornell
want to keep the west coast open? Michigan

and for someone who wants biglaw, I think T14 is a no brainer

very envious of your options

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tea_drinker
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby tea_drinker » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:54 pm

Why not Michigan?

TheStrand
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby TheStrand » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:06 pm

When you calculated your debt load did you already subtract your 70k in savings? If you didn't, then you'll probably be debt free coming out of Michigan or Cornell, since the 15k you'd probably make back as an SA

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txadv11
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby txadv11 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:39 am

Congrats! If I had those options it would come down to Texas, Vandy, and Penn.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:54 am

Penn.

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buckilaw
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby buckilaw » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:04 am

Penn would give you excellent oppurtunities in Philly and NYC, 2/3 of your top desired locations.

Michigan and Cornell with 85k in debt are both very attractive options.

As is UT with 35k.

You can't really make a bad decision here, try to narrow down your preferences a bit and see what fits the best.

EDIT:Gulc with 130k in debt is arguably a bad option given that you have other options for less debt in the T14 +UT.

FreddyBigShot
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:37 pm

Would I be foolish to pick UCLA or UT given my geographical preferences and career goals? Low debt is very enticing...

FreddyBigShot
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:38 pm

TheStrand wrote:When you calculated your debt load did you already subtract your 70k in savings? If you didn't, then you'll probably be debt free coming out of Michigan or Cornell, since the 15k you'd probably make back as an SA


Yeah, I included the $70,000.

FreddyBigShot
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:39 pm

Is UPenn worth it? It would give me great access to two of my top destinations and it's the "best" school, but is it really 100k better than UT or UCLA?

JesusChrist
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby JesusChrist » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:28 am

FreddyBigShot wrote:Would I be foolish to pick UCLA or UT given my geographical preferences and career goals? Low debt is very enticing...


I can only speak as a noobish 0L still waiting on my LSAT retake, but I think UCLA is the smart choice here. Through my own law school searching, it seems that UCLA's employment and salary numbers are as good as most schools ranked around 10. But I guess your opportunities would be more limited.

Truthfully, I would probably choose UPenn but I am also very brash and arrogant when it comes to debt, and like to look at repayment as a personal challenge.

FiveSermon
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FiveSermon » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:38 am

JesusChrist wrote:
FreddyBigShot wrote:Would I be foolish to pick UCLA or UT given my geographical preferences and career goals? Low debt is very enticing...


I can only speak as a noobish 0L still waiting on my LSAT retake, but I think UCLA is the smart choice here. Through my own law school searching, it seems that UCLA's employment and salary numbers are as good as most schools ranked around 10. But I guess your opportunities would be more limited.

Truthfully, I would probably choose UPenn but I am also very brash and arrogant when it comes to debt, and like to look at repayment as a personal challenge.


Cornell or UPenn imo.

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girlonfire
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby girlonfire » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:36 am

William & Mary (no debt)

at least, that's what'd I do if I was in ur shoes...

FreddyBigShot
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:51 pm

How difficult will it be to repay the Cornell or UPenn debt if I strikeout at OCI, though?
Last edited by FreddyBigShot on Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dreakol
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby dreakol » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:55 pm

Listen up!

1) screw the east coast
2) go to texas
3) get BIGTEXASLAW
4) enjoy no state and city tax on that 160k

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haus
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby haus » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:03 pm

dreakol wrote:Listen up!

1) screw the east coast
2) go to texas
3) get BIGTEXASLAW
4) enjoy no state and city tax on that 160k


Fast forward four years the Texas tax picture may look different as they owe a lot more money then they have revenue coming in.

FreddyBigShot
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby FreddyBigShot » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:07 pm

I love the idea of living in Austin for three years – but from what I hear there really isn’t that much BigLaw work there and you gotta go to Houston or Dallas, which scares the crap out of me. Thus, I’m wondering if I can live in Austin for law school and then come back to the east coast after graduation, or would that be a huge risk?

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txadv11
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby txadv11 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:10 pm

FreddyBigShot wrote:I love the idea of living in Austin for three years – but from what I hear there really isn’t that much BigLaw work there and you gotta go to Houston or Dallas, which scares the crap out of me. Thus, I’m wondering if I can live in Austin for law school and then come back to the east coast after graduation, or would that be a huge risk?


You are right, but look at the top big-firms around here. Look at the attorney bios and you'll see the T14, and a ton of UT grads and some SMU grads. Like you mentioned, that would require a move to the two big offices of any of the top firms, in either Dallas or Houston.

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Flustercluck
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby Flustercluck » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:27 pm

FreddyBigShot wrote:Texas ($35,000)
Vandy ($60,000)
UCLA ($45,000)
Cornell ($85,000)
UPenn ($120,000)
Michigan ($85,000)
Georgetown ($130,000)
GWU ($50,000)
BU ($40,000)
Temple (no debt)
UIUC (no debt)
William & Mary (no debt)
Thoughts? I want BigLaw and I'd prefer to be on the east or west coast, with Philly, NYC, and SF my top destinations. I'm tempted by Penn and Cornell, but the lower debt loads and no debt loads of the other schools are tempting. How much debt takes me to the danger zone?


I would say the easiest thing to do is grouping similar options an eliminating accordingly.

15-18 are pretty much peers, and given that you have expressed a pretty clear coastal preference, UCLA > Texas, Vandy in terms of getting you there.

From 19 down, no school should really even enter into consideration, since UCLA w/45k debt puts you in good position for most west coast markets, and is a much better position than pretty much anything below 19 even with zero debt.

This leaves your T14 options, in which case first follow the money. First off, GTown is a sketchy proposition with that much debt, especially considering your better T14 options. Penn doesn't seem to be worth an extra 35k over Cornell or Michigan for the NY market, so the only advantage would be if you were dead set on Philadelphia.

So that leaves UCLA, Cornell, and Michigan. The overly simplified breakdown: Cornell = East Coast, UCLA = West Coast, and Michigan could go either way probably equally well, but would require more legwork overall. Just depends on which of the three seems more appealing...

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YourCaptain
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby YourCaptain » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:37 pm

Oh I thought the #'s were schollies, not debt.

In that case, Michigan or Cornell.

dreakol
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby dreakol » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:38 pm

haus wrote:
dreakol wrote:Listen up!

1) screw the east coast
2) go to texas
3) get BIGTEXASLAW
4) enjoy no state and city tax on that 160k


Fast forward four years the Texas tax picture may look different as they owe a lot more money then they have revenue coming in.



buzz kill

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: Where do I go? How much debt?

Postby gbpackerbacker » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Michigan or UPENN. No Doubt. And MAKE A POLL




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