Deposit Dilemma

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which School Should I Place my Deposit?

Poll ended at Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:51 pm

University of San Diego (Sticker)
5
42%
Chicago-Kent (Negligible Scholarship)
0
No votes
University of Baltimore (60% scholarship, 3.2 GPA Stip)
7
58%
University of Richmond (Priority waitlist, no Scholarship)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 12

trollhunter2
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:14 pm

flem wrote:LOLOLOLOL

Now I see why you're defending Kent in the other thread, because you're trying to justify making a decision with a likely awful outcome.

In all seriousness - it's great you don't want Biglaw. I'm not some T14 or don't go troll, but bruh, you need BigLaw to pay down 150-200K in debt. It's justifiable to go to a T3 law school if it's for the right price. The price of these schools are simply incompatible with your career goals.

Plug your ears and pretend you can't hear me all you want, but if you have to make 2000+ a month loan payments you're going to regret it when you're working for 45-50K, if you even actually find full time, JD required employment (ie, actual lawyer work)

Edit: how does USD at sticker come out to 60K total? If someone else is paying for you or you have significant savings just go to USD if that's where you want to be


I see you found me. If you read the intro at the top you'll see that I will be getting some help. What do you know about PI loan reimbursement programs?

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/ ... sh/PSF.jsp

I was considering kent and then I looked at that data I posted in the other forum. I am not convinced that all the jobs kent graduates get are shit. What evidence do you have for this?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:19 pm

"Almost everyone I know from law school is unemployed or seeking alternative employment."

– Richard Komaiko, a former student at Chicago-Kent College of Law

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/04/quote-of ... s-bad-man/

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bk1
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:27 pm

tbalbert wrote:What do you know about PI loan reimbursement programs?


You realize that getting a PSLF-qualifying job, especially one that requires a JD, is not that easy?

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:30 pm

bk1 wrote:
tbalbert wrote:What do you know about PI loan reimbursement programs?


You realize that getting a PSLF-qualifying job, especially one that requires a JD, is not that easy?


How difficult would you say it is? Do you know anybody who has tried? What do you need to do to get one?

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bk1
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:36 pm

tbalbert wrote:How difficult would you say it is? Do you know anybody who has tried? What do you need to do to get one?


Well fed/state gov hiring has fallen off a cliff. Heck the fed gov has "jobs" where they expect people to work for free for a year after graduating (e.g. --LinkRemoved--).

501c3's on the other hand don't have much money and are generally averse to hiring fresh grads since they would have to pay to train them. They border on militant in requiring a commitment to PI, evinced by previous experience in PI, and so it's hard for people to use them as a backup plan since few people have this prior experience on their resume. Finally, everyone knows about PSLF. There are thousands of grads graduating with serious 6 figure debt. A lot of them would jump for the chance at any legal job, especially one that would guarantee freedom from debt in 10 years. The competition for jobs like these is fierce because of PSLF.

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:39 pm

The Rover wrote:
tbalbert wrote:Why did no one vote for Kent?


Why would anyone vote for kent when you said you want to live in San Diego?

True enough.

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:23 am

bk1 wrote:
tbalbert wrote:How difficult would you say it is? Do you know anybody who has tried? What do you need to do to get one?


Well fed/state gov hiring has fallen off a cliff. Heck the fed gov has "jobs" where they expect people to work for free for a year after graduating (e.g. --LinkRemoved--).

Is it possible to defer your loans when you are not technically making any money?

501c3's on the other hand don't have much money and are generally averse to hiring fresh grads since they would have to pay to train them. They border on militant in requiring a commitment to PI, evinced by previous experience in PI, and so it's hard for people to use them as a backup plan since few people have this prior experience on their resume. Finally, everyone knows about PSLF. There are thousands of grads graduating with serious 6 figure debt. A lot of them would jump for the chance at any legal job, especially one that would guarantee freedom from debt in 10 years. The competition for jobs like these is fierce because of PSLF.


I have worked for an ENGO before so the prior experience and demonstrated commitment is probably not as much as an issue for me as it is for others, though; I see your point about people relying on them. Unfortunately your suggestion has negative implications for the efficacy of the PSLF program. I imagine PSLF was designed to help people into PI careers who would not have otherwise been able to pursue them due to financial limitations, rather than pay off student loans for the hell of it.

That said, assuming that taking on debt is unavoidable, how would you personally navigate such choppy waters?

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:54 am

flem wrote:
trollhunter2 wrote:
I see you found me. If you read the intro at the top you'll see that I will be getting some help. What do you know about PI loan reimbursement programs?

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/ ... sh/PSF.jsp

I was considering kent and then I looked at that data I posted in the other forum. I am not convinced that all the jobs kent graduates get are shit. What evidence do you have for this?


I know the LRAP programs are hard to qualify at lower ranked schools because they have smaller endowments and therefore less money to spend.

That makes sense if it's the schools who repay the loans? Is that how it works? I thought the Fed Gov would forgive them. Or are you alluding to a program I don't know about where the LS funds their graduates' PI work?

60K worth of debt at USD is fine. That's not crippling. My whole point is that you shouldn't incur 200K of debt for a likely outcome of a 50-60K job or to rely on a LRAP which you may not qualify for or may dry up when you're trying to use it.

I agree with that point. This of course begs the question of what is the best strategy from this point?

They're not all shit. But read the breakdown in the other thread. Many are. This is known by actually working in the legal market. Have you worked in a law firm before? Do you know how competitive it is out there right now?


No as I am trying to decide where to go, but if you don't mind me asking, what market do you work in? What is shocking from our exchange yesterday is the severe ambiguity which exists in the ABA data. I wasn't trying to posit that all those jobs within each category are awesome either, but you have to admit we are left speculating and making informed assumptions at best, and considering uninformed assumptions at worst. What I would like to know is if there a statistic which you do value more? For example, perhaps when looking at the breakdowns within each category, you do so with the percentage of graduates where a JD is required in front of you. To me, a more accurate quality indicator would be an employment statistic in which short-term/part -time work, and non-JD required work is also excluded.

So for instance, how would you interpret the following?

PERCENTAGE
LAW FIRMS 51 31.3%
SOLO 1 2.0%
2-10 17 33.3%
11-25 7 13.7%
26-50 9 17.6%
51-100 3 5.9%
101-250 3 5.9%
251-500 5 9.8%
501+ 6 11.8%
UNKNOWN SIZE 0 0%
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY 26 16.0%
GOVERNMENT 38 23.3%
PUBLIC INTEREST 8 4.9%
JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS 33 20.2%
FEDERAL 15 45.5%
STATE & LOCAL 18 54.5%
OTHER 0 0%
ACADEMIA 7 4.3%
EMPLOYER TYPE UNKNOWN 0 0%
TOTAL EMPLOYED 163 100%
2011 J.D. Employment Proile

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:19 pm

flem wrote:It is speculative, but you can only say, with confidence, that 31 people landed quality firm work out of a class of 163 people that reported. 4 landed PI. Those are the only people that you are SURE did OK. The other 130ish people, you really have no idea. It's tough out there right now. You want to be in the best position possible to succeed - let alone just grabbing a gig as a full time lawyer.


Very well said. If we don't know whether half or more of the class starts a legitimate legal career after graduation, we shouldn't be paying 200K to find out.

It really is all about the cost of tuition. If you could come out of this school with 50K in debt, no one would try to stop you.

Also, tflem, the Federal and State categories are clerkships.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:57 pm

flem wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Also, tflem, the Federal and State categories are clerkships.


Is it a subset of the judicial clerkships category?


Yeah.

trollhunter2
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:48 pm

flem wrote:
trollhunter2 wrote:
No as I am trying to decide where to go, but if you don't mind me asking, what market do you work in?


I work for a V50 firm in a major secondary market where market rate is 130-145K at biglaw firms, so a cut under Chicago, NY, DC and LA but more than Denver, St Louis, etc

trollhunter2 wrote:What is shocking from our exchange yesterday is the severe ambiguity which exists in the ABA data. I wasn't trying to posit that all those jobs within each category are awesome either, but you have to admit we are left speculating and making informed assumptions at best, and considering uninformed assumptions at worst. What I would like to know is if there a statistic which you do value more? For example, perhaps when looking at the breakdowns within each category, you do so with the percentage of graduates where a JD is required in front of you. To me, a more accurate quality indicator would be an employment statistic in which short-term/part -time work, and non-JD required work is also excluded.


I view all of it with extreme suspect. The most important stat is "JD/Bar passage required", while keeping in mind the response rate. Then, when looking at salary data, keep in mind how many people report that. It's safe to say people not responding to the employment/salary surveys aren't too busy counting their millions - they're not making much and embarrassed to say so.

trollhunter2 wrote:So for instance, how would you interpret the following?


That totally depends on which school it's from. I'm going to assume it's a school in the Chicago-Kent territory since that was the example from yesterday.

trollhunter2 wrote:LAW FIRMS 51 31.3% - Not good to begin with
SOLO 1 2.0% - Unequivocally fucked, as you have no skills, client base, or resources to go solo out of school
2-10 17 33.3% - This could be anything from a quality small firm with real opportunity for advancement, a slip and fall plaintiff firm that pays no benefits, or a group of bros that decided to pool resources and start a firm, in which case refer to the above
11-25 7 13.7% - Once again, could be a small quality firm, could be an insurance defense or plaintiff mill
26-50 9 17.6% - Probably quality small firm work at this point, but this represents such a small fraction of the class
51-100 3 5.9% - Likely quality midlaw, 3 people got it
101-250 3 5.9% - Biglaw
251-500 5 9.8% - Biglaw
501+ 6 11.8% - Biglaw
UNKNOWN SIZE 0 0%
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY 26 16.0% - This could be anything from folding pants at the gap to consulting at McKinsey. If you're not coming out of a school with a top business school, it's likely not JD required employment and you're definitely not landing consulting or Ibanking gigs. Overly vague category. This DOES include document review gigs
GOVERNMENT 38 23.3% - You could be working at the DMV for all we know. Overly vague category again.
PUBLIC INTEREST 8 4.9% - 8 people can safely rely on the LRAP program
JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS 33 20.2% - What kind of clerkship? For some reason, this year they no longer have to report that. There is a big difference between being an Article III clerk or clerking in traffic court. This is a high clerkship number, and unless it's from a top school they the overwhelming majority are not in Article III clerkships.
FEDERAL 15 45.5% - I'm not sure what this category means - if it's a subset of the government category or not.
STATE & LOCAL 18 54.5% - See above, but I'm assuming this might include public defense or distract attorney work?
OTHER 0 0%
ACADEMIA 7 4.3% - Law professors that do well come from schools like Harvard, Yale and Stanford. These people are likely high school teachers, CC professors, or law librarians.
EMPLOYER TYPE UNKNOWN 0 0%
TOTAL EMPLOYED 163 100%
2011 J.D. Employment Proile


The first thing that jumps out at is the last line - total employed at 100%. How big was the class? How many people didn't respond? If their employment status is unknown it's safe to assume that they are in trouble.

It is speculative, but you can only say, with confidence, that 31 people landed quality firm work out of a class of 163 people that reported. 4 landed PI. Those are the only people that you are SURE did OK. The other 130ish people, you really have no idea. It's tough out there right now. You want to be in the best position possible to succeed - let alone just grabbing a gig as a full time lawyer.

All employment data should be severely scrutinized as it generally is a very small sample size.


Thanks. This is good analysis and one which I agree to many points.

The employment stats were from William and Mary's class of 2011. http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/index.php

There were 204 graduates in that class.

I would have thought that William and Mary would have done better than that.

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:59 pm

Just put a deposit down on Baltimore. The difference between attending USD all three years and UB is about 100 thousand dollars. In this economy borrowing that much money scares the hell out of me.

My reasoning is as follows:
A) If I don’t score in the top of my class in Baltimore, I won’t get a good job.
B) If I don’t score in the top of my class in San Diego, I won’t get a good job.
C) Both situations are similar in comparison except,
D) In option A, I will be 20-30 thousand dollars in debt.
E) In option B, I will be 90-110 thousand dollars in debt.
Edit: Previous estimates showing USD only costing 60k counted a source of funding no longer available.
1. If I do score top in my class in Baltimore, I will be 0 dollars in debt and transfer.
2. If I do score in the top of my class in San Diego, I will be 22 thousand dollars in debt, and will either stay (if 2L scholarship) or transfer to better school.

If I score slightly above or below the median of the class at either school, (in which case, I would lose my scholarship at UB), I will likely drop out.

Both situation are similar in comparsion except,
a. At Baltimore, I will be 0 dollars in debt.
b. At San Diego, I will be 22 thousand dollars in debt.


Let me know what you think.
Last edited by trollhunter2 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludo!
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby Ludo! » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:03 pm

Sounds reasonably less disastrous. What's the curve at Baltimore?

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:21 pm

Here's what I pulled from UB's website http://law.ubalt.edu/template.cfm?page=1497:

Class of 2012: First Year Day Students
Top 5% 3.707 and above
Top 10% 3.688 to 3.563
Top 15% 3.562 to 3.438
Top 20% 3.437 to 3.345
Top 25% 3.343 to 3.290
Top 33 1/3 % 3.280 to 3.145
Top 50% 3.144 to 2.918

Class of 2010: Graduates

Top 5% 3.752 and above
Top 10% 3.743 to 3.636
Top 15% 3.617 to 3.570
Top 20% 3.569 to 3.492
Top 25% 3.488 to 3.397
Top 33 1/3 % 3.388 to 3.302
Top 50% 3.299 to 3.134

According to NALP, University of Baltimore's Curve is 2.86
http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/ndl ... 01&yr=2010

Question: Is it safe to assume that you’d prefer a higher GPA curve to a lower one?

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Ludo!
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby Ludo! » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:53 pm

You would prefer a high one because you have a GPA stipulation. See if you can negotiate out of that. Otherwise make sure you are prepared to drop out if you lose your scholarship

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks. Even though our, and others', interactions last week could be categorized as adversarial, I am actually quite appreciative of your gentlemen's input, willingness to argue, and general crassness that I am now better equipped to, shall we say, "see the light."

PS. Admin granted name change due to privacy issues.

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Ludo!
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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby Ludo! » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:12 pm

No hard feelings. Best of luck

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks! Well, there is an update in the saga: I've been accepted to American's part-time program. The tuition is 30,000/year, but I am confident that I can land a good job in the area and at least pay in part as a I go. Let me know what you guys think.

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:53 pm

I was afraid of that too. It's probably a good call to pass on that one eh? So you'll stay say that Baltimore is the best option at this point? And that at least in this case, it's better to go to a good t-3 school with little to no debt than a lower-ranked t-1? Do you hear a lot of people on here getting burned from American? I recall last week you said, in so many words, that people on TLS often have a bone to pick with Mason and American for their high tuition relative to their crap job prospects.

Not to change the subject, but would it be worth passing on Baltimore if I got off of the William and Mary waitlist (not too far fetched). What about W&L's list (more of a stretch). I guess what I am asking is at what level would it be worth it to pass on Baltimore?

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:19 pm

Interesting. Yeah, I would be in state at W&M. I don't mind working in Baltimore at all, it's cheap and as long as you stay out of the bad neighborhoods, it's actually a pretty safe town. As far as federal jobs, I guess the most appealing part of going to AU, at least when I applied, was having access to EPA-type jobs, which I know a few of my undergrad class mates have gotten out of American. However, if you think those same jobs are reasonably accessible from Baltimore, then there is no sense paying double for the same thing.

It's crazy because if you crunch the stats;


At American:

Out of 464 grads from 2011, only 300 had Long-term employment! That's only 63 percent! And as discussed last week, when you crunch those stats, what's good long-term employment is dismal.

At Baltimore:

Out of 330 grads from 2011, 300 reported long term employment, which is 91%. Provided, again as discussed last week, many of those jobs are less than desirable (the largest proportion of that figure is the 2-10 small practice range at 88 grads), at least people are working in some respect and at least, not under the serfdom of non-dischargeable debt!

On a side note: my friend and I were discussing this debt crisis and we came to a startling conclusion. Looking back at it, I would rather borrow 200 k and start my own business than borrow to attend a non-top-ranked school like USD. The irony being if you're business fails, you can file Chapter 7! Why is getting an education more risking than launching a business? It's really food for thought, and I think a lot of people on this website are as critical of debt as they should be...certainly more than the average American!

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Re: Deposit Dilemma

Postby trollhunter2 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:25 pm

That helps explain the debt crisis at least in part




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