Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

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alumniguy
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:12 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:Haha,

I'll also say that if you venture to an NYU Bar Review on a Thursday night, you'll see plenty of "mature" and "experienced" students acting like little college frat stars. First semester the two people I went out with every weekend (at their insistence) were 32 and 35. Honestly, I think (a significant number, but not a majority of) people who take time off presume they're more prepared for law school and come in with some superiority complex which causes them to point out when people who came straight through do immature things while simultaneously ignoring when they, or their "peers," are being obnoxious.


See here is the point - acting immature at a bar review is a perfectly acceptable time to be immature. It isn't that time off makes you old and boring, but it allows one to see that in the grand scheme of the world, you aren't all that important. Many of times, it was the kid that went straight through that ended up being "that" kid in the class that always had the most annoying question or felt compelled to share her/his thoughts on every given subject.

Again, these are all massive generalizations. But, as you'll see once you get to be a practicing attorney, perspective (whatever it may be) is a good thing to have.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Sandro » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:26 pm

Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:28 pm

Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.

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Flips88
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Flips88 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:30 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:
Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.

I've been sitting in a chair all day. My butt kinda hurts.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Stanford4Me » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:30 pm

Flips88 wrote:I've been sitting in a chair all day. My butt kinda hurts.

I did do good mornings today and my form was so horrible I was essentially doing squats, so my butt hurts as well.

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:48 pm

Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Who got mad? I'm going back to read the prior page lol. I didn't realize it was this serious.

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:53 pm

bk1 wrote:
99.9luft wrote:
bk1 wrote:
99.9luft wrote:Plus, there is also the benefit of psychological maturity. Hung out with law students in the past couple of years (t15 school) and cannot emphasize enough how many times they complained of an unexpectedly high # of their classmates being immature, incestuous fratastic/soristitute douches/sluts. The consensus was that the most interesting ppl in LS are older not because of intellectual wisdom necessarily, but mostly because of psychological maturity.


Do you know what that word means?


Metaphorically speaking: LS felt like a family to them, hence people hooking up, cross-dating each other perpetuated an incestuous atmosphere.


In that case it seems like the benefit is actually to not take time off since you will fit in better with all the "incestuous fratastic/soristitute douches/sluts" and won't be pissed off by them like you would had you taken time off. Plus according to your comment it seems like those who went straight through are more likely to get laid and that has got to be worth it, especially as a stress reliever.

This is the greatest post you have ever made. Also, I never asked but where are hoping for as far as law school? Did you even apply this cycle?

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Ssushi
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Ssushi » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:34 pm

You realize that there are costs associated with going to law school? Time, money, that sort of thing.
Yes i know, but there are also costs associated with taking a year off. If you travel your burning though money, if you work the whole time you still have to eat. I don't understand when some of you guys say you have a 50k salary and assume you will have 150k savings after 3 years. I have rent to pay, insurance etc. I don't think i could save anything beyond maybe 30k a year on a 50k salary.

I'm hoping that you understand that this only applies to about 50% of T14 grads. The other half will be surviving just fine but not making this kind of money, though they may also be drowning in soulcrushing debt if they paid sticker.
Yes but if you do ultimately plan on going to law school the debt is going to be there anyway. Better to get it behind you and have a stable salary to start paying it down. Again assuming you are part of that 50% that get's paid well out of law school, if you lived like you would as a paralegal, you can kill that debt in no time at all.

I guess the bottom line is i don't understand from a financial perspective how it can be wise to work as a low paid clerk for 2 years instead of simply going through school and then having a much better paying job. Even if you don't make 160k, every dollar you make over your other salary is a net benefit to you. I mean if your on the fence about law school or think you can bump your lsat up then i understand that, but the whole "you can save up money for law school" seems silly. Unless you get a really bottom of the barrel job your earnings will easily outpace interest.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:45 pm

Ssushi wrote:I guess the bottom line is i don't understand from a financial perspective how it can be wise to work as a low paid clerk for 2 years instead of simply going through school and then maybe having a much better paying job.Even if you don't make 160k, every dollar you make over your other salary is a net benefit to you.

TVM, and FTFY.

Ssushi wrote:Unless you get a really bottom of the barrel job your earnings will easily outpace interest.

This was phrased a bit oddly, but if I'm correctly understanding what you mean (that, for some given period of time the value of one's post-law school salary will be greater than the value of the salary one would have otherwise earned in an entry level job), this is not necessarily true, especially when factoring in the debt issue. An average entry level law job doesn't exactly pay the big bucks, and the very high end stuff is only available to a small minority of law students. So saving for law school, in and of itself, may well be the best strategy solely from a financial perspective even if you definitely plan on eventually going to law school no matter what. And to be fair, financial considerations should not be the only considerations you take into account in making these decisions.

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Magnolia
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Magnolia » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:09 pm

Ssushi wrote:Yes but if you do ultimately plan on going to law school the debt is going to be there anyway. Better to get it behind you and have a stable salary to start paying it down. Again assuming you are part of that 50% that get's paid well out of law school, if you lived like you would as a paralegal, you can kill that debt in no time at all.

I guess the bottom line is i don't understand from a financial perspective how it can be wise to work as a low paid clerk for 2 years instead of simply going through school and then having a much better paying job. Even if you don't make 160k, every dollar you make over your other salary is a net benefit to you. I mean if your on the fence about law school or think you can bump your lsat up then i understand that, but the whole "you can save up money for law school" seems silly. Unless you get a really bottom of the barrel job your earnings will easily outpace interest.

Because when you don't snag a job that pays 160k, you'll end up with almost the same salary you had as a law clerk, but you'll also have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt that you can't pay off.

It's not that everyone should work in an entry level position until they've saved up enough money to fully pay for school (although the more you can pay up front, the more you save in compounding interest). The point is that you shouldn't be viewing law school as a golden ticket to riches and your motivation for going shouldn't be to increase your earning potential. There is a huge chance that you'll end up in the 30-60k salary band, so unless being a lawyer is the only career that can ever make you happy, it's not worth a 200k investment. You can have the same earning potential staying in your law clerk job and getting annual raises.

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Ssushi
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Ssushi » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:17 pm

TVM, and FTFY.

I don't know, given what ive read here and what I've read other places, I'm not to worried about my job prospects. Again thought im being quite selfish and looking at those individuals who plan on going to T-14 schools. I'm sure the lower you go the less financial sense it would make to go straight through, but it's still something you should at least calculate and consider.

This was phrased a bit oddly, but if I'm correctly understanding what you mean (that, for some given period of time the value of one's post-law school salary will be greater than the value of the salary one would have otherwise earned in an entry level job), this is not necessarily true, especially when factoring in the debt issue.

Well yes, every dollar you save before law school is a dollar you won't have to pay interest on (as opposed to law school loans). However, The difference between two years of working at an entry level job (45k) and working in biglaw (160k) is still 230k. That's a lot of money, probably enough to get rid of those law school loans. Again i realize this isn't the case for a vast majority of people, but i think it is applicable to a lot of the posters on this site. It's not a make or break thing but the possible opportunity cost of not going straight though is worth mentioning i think.

An average entry level law job doesn't exactly pay the big bucks, and the very high end stuff is only available to a small minority of law students. So saving for law school, in and of itself, may well be the best strategy solely from a financial perspective even if you definitely plan on eventually going to law school no matter what. And to be fair, financial considerations should not be the only considerations you take into account in making these decisions.

Of course they shouldn't be the only thing you take into account but to me that's still a big factor. Will i be more mature in a year? Maybe. Will i enjoy my year off? I'm certain i will. Is that worth 230k? Certainly not.

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Ssushi
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Ssushi » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:22 pm

Because when you don't snag a job that pays 160k, you'll end up with almost the same salary you had as a law clerk, but you'll also have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt that you can't pay off.

Even in that scenario, you would only be slightly worse off because you would have interest on that money that you would otherwise have saved. Even if you take 5 years off, its not like it's a guarantee of a good paying job. You would be in the same position pretty much (and this is based on the assumption you get a bad job, which for most t-14 schools would be a minority)

It's not that everyone should work in an entry level position until they've saved up enough money to fully pay for school (although the more you can pay up front, the more you save in compounding interest). The point is that you shouldn't be viewing law school as a golden ticket to riches and your motivation for going shouldn't be to increase your earning potential. There is a huge chance that you'll end up in the 30-60k salary band, so unless being a lawyer is the only career that can ever make you happy, it's not worth a 200k investment. You can have the same earning potential staying in your law clerk job and getting annual raises.

I'm not viewing it as a ticket to riches and I'm not doing it to maximize my earning potential. I just think that if you have a 50% chance of making 160k for two years thats beats out taking an entry level job for the same time period. To me when it comes to weighing the costs and benefits of taking a year off, i think you should factor in the fact that you may be leaving up to 230k on the table. I'm sure the number isn't that high for most people but even if it,s 100k, 10k, or nothing it's still something you should at least look at and factor into your decision.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Sandro » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:55 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:
Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.



Ummm... its like saying, you wouldn't know how not drinking Diet Coke felt because you drank Diet Coke. Going straight through is pretty much foregoing other options, its not a unique experience.

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Magnolia
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Magnolia » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:57 pm

Ssushi wrote:
Because when you don't snag a job that pays 160k, you'll end up with almost the same salary you had as a law clerk, but you'll also have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt that you can't pay off.

Even in that scenario, you would only be slightly worse off because you would have interest on that money that you would otherwise have saved. Even if you take 5 years off, its not like it's a guarantee of a good paying job. You would be in the same position pretty much (and this is based on the assumption you get a bad job, which for most t-14 schools would be a minority)

First, [edited because I figured it out]

Second, I think you're underestimating the number of people, even at t14 schools who miss the biglaw boat. Certainly it's not as many people as at lower ranked schools, but ITE, t14 =/= guaranteed biglaw job.

Ssushi wrote:
It's not that everyone should work in an entry level position until they've saved up enough money to fully pay for school (although the more you can pay up front, the more you save in compounding interest). The point is that you shouldn't be viewing law school as a golden ticket to riches and your motivation for going shouldn't be to increase your earning potential. There is a huge chance that you'll end up in the 30-60k salary band, so unless being a lawyer is the only career that can ever make you happy, it's not worth a 200k investment. You can have the same earning potential staying in your law clerk job and getting annual raises.

I'm not viewing it as a ticket to riches and I'm not doing it to maximize my earning potential. I just think that if you have a 50% chance of making 160k for two years thats beats out taking an entry level job for the same time period. To me when it comes to weighing the costs and benefits of taking a year off, i think you should factor in the fact that you may be leaving up to 230k on the table. I'm sure the number isn't that high for most people but even if it,s 100k, 10k, or nothing it's still something you should at least look at and factor into your decision.

Sure, if you get a job that pays 160k, taking a year or more off to save up money would be a net loss considering how much more you'll be making post-graduation. We both agree there. But if you only end up making 45k, then a few years of working and saving money could be the difference between a debt load that's manageable and one that isn't. It could also be the difference between taking a low-paying private sector job that you really like, and having to take a PI job so that you can qualify for LRAP (assuming your school even has a decent LRAP program and you can find a qualifying PI job).

I'm not saying anyone should put off law school solely to save up money, but there are situations where doing so would end up being a benefit. You're just not going to know if you're in that category until after you're in school.

alumniguy
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby alumniguy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:57 am

Wow, a lot of action on this thread last night. Ssushi, you are generally right about the fact that if you compare two years of biglaw pay with two years of pre-law school pay, the biglaw pay will always result in a positive in salary.

That was never the argument I was making. I was simply responding to your argument that you can't see why anyone would clerk for two years before deciding on law school. The reasons are multi-fold. Regarding the pre-law school salary, you will still make about 50k and no, you won't be saving it all, but you'll be able to tuck a little away. My point remains that if you are concerned about immediate funds - i.e., paying for you're brothers college or helping you're parents pay their mortgage, immediate income is better than income three years down the road, even if that post-law school income is 3X as high given that you'll like have significant debt service payments and being living in a high cost city to obtain that 3X as high salary. The more persuasive aspect of clerking (in my opinion), is that you get to see what being a biglaw lawyer is about. You see the sacrifices that attorneys make for the 160k salary. Of course many former clerks go on to law school and to become biglaw associates. However, many don't - they see that it isn't worth it to them.

Another important factor is the average length of time in biglaw. I am not sure if you know this or not, but biglaw associates don't begin their careers at 160k and then make an upward trajectory for the rest of their careers like most other fields. If you can handle the time demands of biglaw, are actually a good attorney then perhaps this is true - for the most part, it is true for about 10% of each entering 1st year associate class. The rest of the associate class leave biglaw - most for long term stable careers (many that still are legal in nature) that pay less. Over 50% of associates are gone by year 5. Pretty much anyone can last 5 years if you are resolute in making the firm your life - i.e., you won't get fired. After that, many are forced out. My point with this lengthy discussion is that you aren't necessarily going to be "missing out" on two extra years of salary. Will you likely make more after your transition from biglaw to another career than what you would make a pre-law school college graduate, I would certainly think so. Not everyone of course because plenty of ex-biglaw associates go back to school or join other careers (i.e., they become teachers, small business owners, real estate brokers, etc..). Whether you start two years later in biglaw likely isn't going to change the amount of money you make in biglaw, it just delays the finite amount of time you have by two years. Yes, you could be the 10%, but I would argue that to plan on that is about as likley as planning on the fact that you'll be the top 10% of your law school class.

Note - I haven't even gotten into a discussion of debt service payments. FYI: at about $150k in debt, my debt payments were about $1800 a month (and I have 50% of private loans at about 2% right now, which most students apparently lean towards the grad plus loans that are at 7,9%). If you decide to go to NYC (or any high cost city), then you are only looking at take home pay of about $90k. 20k of that will be debt service (minimum payments only), about $25k will be rent (figure $2k a year), you'll need to buy a wardrobe and furniture for an apartment - probably about $3-4k a year, you'll probably want to take vacations, that will be another 3k minimum, you'll go out with friends for brunch/dinners (not lavish dinners, just regular dinners) which is very expensive. My point here, is that 0Ls think that 160k is SO MUCH MONEY. It isn't. Especially not if you want to pay back your student debt as soon as possible. For 150k, I am going to need close to 5 years to pay it back. So after 5 years of biglaw, I'll be in the same financial spot as if I had never went to law school. Great. Had I been better informed, I may not have chosen this route.

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Ssushi
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Ssushi » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:35 am

Wow, a lot of action on this thread last night. Ssushi, you are generally right about the fact that if you compare two years of biglaw pay with two years of pre-law school pay, the biglaw pay will always result in a positive in salary.

That was never the argument I was making. I was simply responding to your argument that you can't see why anyone would clerk for two years before deciding on law school. The reasons are multi-fold. Regarding the pre-law school salary, you will still make about 50k and no, you won't be saving it all, but you'll be able to tuck a little away. My point remains that if you are concerned about immediate funds - i.e., paying for you're brothers college or helping you're parents pay their mortgage, immediate income is better than income three years down the road, even if that post-law school income is 3X as high given that you'll like have significant debt service payments and being living in a high cost city to obtain that 3X as high salary. The more persuasive aspect of clerking (in my opinion), is that you get to see what being a biglaw lawyer is about. You see the sacrifices that attorneys make for the 160k salary. Of course many former clerks go on to law school and to become biglaw associates. However, many don't - they see that it isn't worth it to them.


I never said i don't understand why ANYONE would clerk, I'm simply saying there is a cost to choosing that option as well. A lot of the posts i ran across basically seemed to say "Take a year off, the legal field will be there when you get back" as if there is no downside to taking a year or two off. I get that some people may not know if law is for them and I'm sure there are significant benefits for a lot of people who can raise their LSAT, but i think if we are in the business of making recommendations and doling out advice it would be best to give a full picture of not only the benefits but the costs. I know many of you think it's insignificant but the possibility of earning 230k more early in your career seems like a pretty big deal to me. Especially when you consider what you could so with 230k early in your career, like paying down debt before interest becomes a real problem, or saving and investing it. All other things equal i think you could be looking at a significant amount of money if you simply chose to invest that money long term.

I'm just don't think the opportunity costs are so trivial that they don't deserve a place in this discussion.

Another important factor is the average length of time in biglaw. I am not sure if you know this or not, but biglaw associates don't begin their careers at 160k and then make an upward trajectory for the rest of their careers like most other fields. If you can handle the time demands of biglaw, are actually a good attorney then perhaps this is true - for the most part, it is true for about 10% of each entering 1st year associate class. The rest of the associate class leave biglaw - most for long term stable careers (many that still are legal in nature) that pay less. Over 50% of associates are gone by year 5. Pretty much anyone can last 5 years if you are resolute in making the firm your life - i.e., you won't get fired. After that, many are forced out. My point with this lengthy discussion is that you aren't necessarily going to be "missing out" on two extra years of salary. Will you likely make more after your transition from biglaw to another career than what you would make a pre-law school college graduate, I would certainly think so. Not everyone of course because plenty of ex-biglaw associates go back to school or join other careers (i.e., they become teachers, small business owners, real estate brokers, etc..). Whether you start two years later in biglaw likely isn't going to change the amount of money you make in biglaw, it just delays the finite amount of time you have by two years. Yes, you could be the 10%, but I would argue that to plan on that is about as likley as planning on the fact that you'll be the top 10% of your law school class.

Well yea I'm looking at it over a finite amount of time, but the bottom line is that if you work the same amount of time over the course of your career, one scenario will leave you will more money at the end than the other, and while 230k or 100k is most likely trivial in the long term, it becomes much more important when you consider what could be done if you invest it while young or the problems that could be avoided by aggressively paying down debt with that money.

Note - I haven't even gotten into a discussion of debt service payments. FYI: at about $150k in debt, my debt payments were about $1800 a month (and I have 50% of private loans at about 2% right now, which most students apparently lean towards the grad plus loans that are at 7,9%). If you decide to go to NYC (or any high cost city), then you are only looking at take home pay of about $90k. 20k of that will be debt service (minimum payments only), about $25k will be rent (figure $2k a year), you'll need to buy a wardrobe and furniture for an apartment - probably about $3-4k a year, you'll probably want to take vacations, that will be another 3k minimum, you'll go out with friends for brunch/dinners (not lavish dinners, just regular dinners) which is very expensive. My point here, is that 0Ls think that 160k is SO MUCH MONEY. It isn't. Especially not if you want to pay back your student debt as soon as possible. For 150k, I am going to need close to 5 years to pay it back. So after 5 years of biglaw, I'll be in the same financial spot as if I had never went to law school. Great. Had I been better informed, I may not have chosen this route.

Eh, i see debt as a sunk cost. If you start law school 2 weeks early or if you start law school after a 10 year break, the debt will be there. I'm willing to bet that whatever you save by not having to take out as many loans will be negated by the increasing price of tuition.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby alumniguy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:02 am

Eh,

We'll just have to agree that we don't see eye-to-eye on this. If you sole purpose in life is to rack up money, then yes you might as well get started with law school asap. Although I would probably recommend a completely different career altogether. Lawyers make a pittance compared to the business side. Over the course of a 40-50 year career, the amount you make the first two years is rather insignificant. Furthermore, as I've explained a few times, biglaw is not a career for most associates. It is an avenue to pay back loans and hopefully lead to a 9 to 5 job that pays better than if they had not gone to law school. It is by its very design an up and out system that requires the vast majority of entry level associates to leave before ever making a career. The issue here, is that had you put in 8 years (law school + 5 years of working) at an non-legal entry level job located in a big city, you're likely going to be even or close to even in salary with what most non-biglaw jobs offer 5 years out. That is my point. Further, given that most 0Ls have little to no idea of what practicing law entails, and the significant opportunity costs of attending law school, then taking a year off to solidify your decision or improve your LSAT or whatever is probably a good decision.

You're clearly playing devil's advocate in this thread and while your circumstances may warrant it, you are unlike most other 0Ls.

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Ssushi
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Ssushi » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:21 am

alumniguy wrote:Eh,

We'll just have to agree that we don't see eye-to-eye on this. If you sole purpose in life is to rack up money, then yes you might as well get started with law school asap. Although I would probably recommend a completely different career altogether. Lawyers make a pittance compared to the business side. Over the course of a 40-50 year career, the amount you make the first two years is rather insignificant. Furthermore, as I've explained a few times, biglaw is not a career for most associates. It is an avenue to pay back loans and hopefully lead to a 9 to 5 job that pays better than if they had not gone to law school. It is by its very design an up and out system that requires the vast majority of entry level associates to leave before ever making a career. The issue here, is that had you put in 8 years (law school + 5 years of working) at an non-legal entry level job located in a big city, you're likely going to be even or close to even in salary with what most non-biglaw jobs offer 5 years out. That is my point. Further, given that most 0Ls have little to no idea of what practicing law entails, and the significant opportunity costs of attending law school, then taking a year off to solidify your decision or improve your LSAT or whatever is probably a good decision.

You're clearly playing devil's advocate in this thread and while your circumstances may warrant it, you are unlike most other 0Ls.


Agreed.

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Skipper2014
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Skipper2014 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:28 am

I didn't read too much into this thread because I got tired after the first page, but I took two years off after UG and am SO happy that I did. I was kind of in your shoes where I was pretty confident that I wanted to go to LS but not 100%...plus my first LSAT score was average at best and I wanted a shot to retake. I actually took a job with an LSAT company working in the office and got to take their course for free, which was amazing. It wouldn't work with all companies (a lot of them pay 10/hr for office people), but I fancied myself pretty clever. I also took another job that got me free housing, so I spent my first year working 14-15 hour days and paid off almost ALL UG debt. I had about 25K and, even though that is relatively insubstantial, I wanted to get rid of it. Now I'm debt free, am slightly more mature from life experiences and 100% certain of what I want out of law school. Everyone is different, but I certainly benefited from a year off -- and as an added soft, I was able to write a pretty interesting PS based on my first year out of school.

Good luck!

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:37 am

Sandro wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.



Ummm... its like saying, you wouldn't know how not drinking Diet Coke felt because you drank Diet Coke. Going straight through is pretty much foregoing other options, its not a unique experience.

lololol if you think whatever menial job you worked between undergrad and law school counts as a unique experience.
You complained about people getting butthurt but your participation in this thread has mainly consisted of you having a chip on your shoulder.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:38 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
Sandro wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.



Ummm... its like saying, you wouldn't know how not drinking Diet Coke felt because you drank Diet Coke. Going straight through is pretty much foregoing other options, its not a unique experience.

lololol if you think whatever menial job you worked between undergrad and law school counts as a unique experience.
You complained about people getting butthurt but your participation in this thread has mainly consisted of you having a chip on your shoulder.


Tbf a lot of people on these boards and in law school have great work experience

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:41 am

Patriot1208 wrote:Tbf a lot of people on these boards and in law school have great work experience

Yeah, but qualifying it as a unique experience is a little extreme, and there are a lot of situations where I'm not impressed by someone who tried and failed to make it in a different field so they're now going to law school. Not saying that all people or even most people who took time off after undergrad fit into this category, but there's definitely a healthy contingent of law school applicants who think that washing out of another career path somehow makes them more impressive.

Edit: And in fairness, there's also a healthy contingent of people coming straight through from undergrad who are still immature and are doing law school because they don't know how to do anything other than be a student.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Rooney » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:47 am

Ssushi wrote:How often is it that schools will defer you for a year or two after acceptance? Quite honestly there is no way i can graduate with my bachelors in poly sci and just float around temp jobs without having some idea of what's in store for the future. I could never travel or even just work, and enjoy myself if i didn't have a good idea of what i was going to do after my little vacation ended.

Also i think there is an opportunity cost to taking a few years off and working as opposed to going straight though. For many of us with the scores, grades and expectations of big law, i feel like it would be a huge waste of time and money to do 2 years working with a law firm as a clerk for 45k, when you could go though law school and put those 2 extra years to work as an attorney making 160k and building a legitimate resume.

Maybe i'm just thinking to far down the line by by the time i get out of law school i will be 24, and much like many people here i have the expectation of doing biglaw at least for a few years out of law school. I would much prefer to be 28 with exit options at big law than being 28 and just starting to get into it. Not to mention i cannot count the number of people who "take a year off" with the intent to come back and they just never get around to it.


This is as unreal an expectation as $160k right after law school salary. These numbers were accurate pre-2006/8ish but not really anymore (very few exceptions).

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:49 am

Rooney wrote:
Ssushi wrote:How often is it that schools will defer you for a year or two after acceptance? Quite honestly there is no way i can graduate with my bachelors in poly sci and just float around temp jobs without having some idea of what's in store for the future. I could never travel or even just work, and enjoy myself if i didn't have a good idea of what i was going to do after my little vacation ended.

Also i think there is an opportunity cost to taking a few years off and working as opposed to going straight though. For many of us with the scores, grades and expectations of big law, i feel like it would be a huge waste of time and money to do 2 years working with a law firm as a clerk for 45k, when you could go though law school and put those 2 extra years to work as an attorney making 160k and building a legitimate resume.

Maybe i'm just thinking to far down the line by by the time i get out of law school i will be 24, and much like many people here i have the expectation of doing biglaw at least for a few years out of law school. I would much prefer to be 28 with exit options at big law than being 28 and just starting to get into it. Not to mention i cannot count the number of people who "take a year off" with the intent to come back and they just never get around to it.


This is as unreal an expectation as $160k right after law school salary. These numbers were accurate pre-2006/8ish but not really anymore (very few exceptions).


Not from what i've seen. Every law clerk I know makes more than that because the work a lot of overtime. Base is less but total comp is around 45-50k it seems.

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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby northwood » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:53 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Tbf a lot of people on these boards and in law school have great work experience

Yeah, but qualifying it as a unique experience is a little extreme, and there are a lot of situations where I'm not impressed by someone who tried and failed to make it in a different field so they're now going to law school. Not saying that all people or even most people who took time off after undergrad fit into this category, but there's definitely a healthy contingent of law school applicants who think that washing out of another career path somehow makes them more impressive.

Edit: And in fairness, there's also a healthy contingent of people coming straight through from undergrad who are still immature and are doing law school because they don't know how to do anything other than be a student.



There are also a lot of people going in who went from undergrad to their former career- and hated it, even if they were good at it. To be honest- you can talk about your former career, but there is no point in bragging about how good you were or how awesome of a career it was- because unless you were an elite athlete then why did you leave or get shown the door from that career? Unless of course that your reason for going to law school is to stay in the field but at a different position- then tcr is to acknowledge it but dont be a dbag about it




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