How much more debt can I take?

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DukeofRutgers
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How much more debt can I take?

Postby DukeofRutgers » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:11 am

So here's my situation..

1.) Went to undergrad [thankfully, didn't have to take out any loans there]
2.) Went to grad school for a year [$80K in loans..]
3.) Still looking for a job in my field now...

I already am aware of some of the factors which determine whether I go to law school:

1.) If I can gain employment in my desired field..I'm golden and won't be applying to law school. However, it's hard. I had bad luck in the interview process last year despite a strong GPA [with that said, there are many other people..even those with high GPAs who are in a similar situation right now] and now it's hard finding a job in that field. I've been contacting the firms I want to work for and hopefully..something works out. I just wanted to make that clear. If I get the job I want, I won't be applying to law school.

However, I gotta think of Plan B now or I'm living with my parents for a very long time.

2.) I would need to get into a top-tier law school or cheap law school to make things worthwhile. Trust me..I know how hard it is to find a job.

3.) How I do on the LSAT [obviously higher LSAT, better chances of being in a more desirable situation]...

But the thing I am not sure of is how much more debt I would be able to take on..I am $80K in debt right now. Thankfully, I would be able to bring this number down a little bit even if I don't get the kind of job I want. However, law school will be more debt. But with that said, a career with biglaw would remedy that.

The best I can do is if I got into Columbia/NYU, I could commute from home for three years..

The question is: Would I be allowed to take on another $200K in student loans?

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sunynp
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:18 am

So many things are wrong with this post I don't know where to start. For now I'll just say - my understanding is that you can get the loans even with 80,000 outstanding.

But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.

This is a terrible plan.

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bk1
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:24 am

sunynp wrote:But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.


This is standard (or close to it) sticker price debt for a T14 law school these days.

DukeofRutgers
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby DukeofRutgers » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:28 am

sunynp wrote:So many things are wrong with this post I don't know where to start. For now I'll just say - my understanding is that you can get the loans even with 80,000 outstanding.

But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.

This is a terrible plan.


Yea I know that $280K in debt would be awful..
I'm really hoping to get a job in the field I want..then I won't be applying to law school.

Otherwise, I'll be working part-time jobs to pay off as much of the debt as possible and go to law school..so it would be less than $280K but unfortunately probably over $200K.
Last edited by DukeofRutgers on Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

DukeofRutgers
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby DukeofRutgers » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:29 am

bk1 wrote:
sunynp wrote:But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.


This is standard (or close to it) sticker price debt for a T14 law school these days.


Ugh..that doesn't look good. At least, if I go to a law school in NYC..I can take on zero in loans for room/board.

mr.hands
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby mr.hands » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:34 am

If you can get into Columbia or NYU, just go to a lower T14 with a scholarship and a lower cost of living than NY. UVA, Duke, Penn, Michigan, etc.

Free room and board probably isn't enough to offset the crushing tuition debt alone.

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sunynp
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:36 am

bk1 wrote:
sunynp wrote:But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.


This is standard (or close to it) sticker price debt for a T14 law school these days.

Is $280,000 standard sticker price? I was commenting on her owing the total of both undergrad and grad? I honestly cannot fathom having to repay that much in non- dischargabke debt from a precarious law career.

Maybe pretty soon most people will be planning to IBR the rest of their life just to get an education.

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DCDuck
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby DCDuck » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:37 am

Don't go to law school.

It sounds like you don't want to be a lawyer. If you are going to law school to do biglaw, that's a big mistake. Even if you get into NYU, whatever, your chances of getting biglaw are still not worth it. Would you even want to do biglaw if you got it?

Law school is one of the worst, most expensive backup plans ever. Just keep trying to get a job in the field you want and are trained in. Yeah it's hard to find. So is a good (or any) legal job. Sorry.

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sunynp
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:38 am

mr.hands wrote:If you can get into Columbia or NYU, just go to a lower T14 with a scholarship and a lower cost of living than NY. UVA, Duke, Penn, Michigan, etc.

Free room and board probably isn't enough to offset the crushing tuition debt alone.

This is good advice. You shouldn't pay sticker anywhere.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:41 am

If you do decide to go to law school, which I highly recommend that you don't, try to target Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Penn, Berkeley, Northwestern, and Cornell. I recommend that you don't because higher education in modern America is a gamble - there is no way to say that it is not. Given that you already tried your hand at graduate school and accumulated $80K worth of debt (in one year, no less), you should strongly consider cutting your losses and just continue looking for a job while you live with your parents. Also, don't feel as though you are above many types of jobs either. Major gaps on your resume are career killers.

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bk1
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby bk1 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:45 am

sunynp wrote:Is $280,000 standard sticker price? I was commenting on her owing the total of both undergrad and grad? I honestly cannot fathom having to repay that much in non- dischargabke debt from a precarious law career.


I knew what you were commenting on. My point was that avoiding 280k might not be feasible for OP.

After interest and by the time you start repayment? Yes it is sticker price for most law schools. Some schools are closer to 260k (UVA/Duke/UChi) whereas the urban schools have blown past the 280k mark (NU/NYU/CLS).

While you say that a law career is precarious, biglaw seems a lot more stable than a lot of other career paths. Of course there are horror stories (e.g. Dewey, Winston, no-offers, etc) but overall that seems like a blip compared to what happens in other fields. I'm not saying biglaw is the most stable but it seems pretty damn good comparatively to a lot of things. Of course ideally one would take out less debt than that, but I don't think sticker price for a T14 law school is a bad idea (though I am biased and could be rationalizing). I'd be a lot warier of 350-400k (which OP would have if sticker price is combined with the current 80k), but I know other TLSers disagree with me whether prior debt should be factored in to the law school decision.

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dingbat
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby dingbat » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:52 am

DukeofRutgers wrote:
sunynp wrote:So many things are wrong with this post I don't know where to start. For now I'll just say - my understanding is that you can get the loans even with 80,000 outstanding.

But dear God, do NOT go into law school and come out with $280,000 in debt.

This is a terrible plan.


Yea I know that $280K in debt would be awful..
I'm really hoping to get a job in the field I want..then I won't be applying to law school.

Otherwise, I'll be working part-time jobs to pay off as much of the debt as possible and go to law school..so it would be less than $280K but unfortunately probably over $200K.

jobs, jobs and more jobs

DukeofRutgers
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby DukeofRutgers » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:21 am

Thanks, I gotta see where life takes me.
Hopefully, I can find a job in where I want to work!
If not, I'll probably be back here looking for tips related to the LSAT [which I would be taking this December].

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: How much more debt can I take?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:40 am

You at no point suggested you even wanted to practice law. There are other ways to pay off that debt than taking on x3 more debt to practice in a field you have no interest in (and getting a job as a lawyer isn't easy either considering it's one of the most over-saturated markets in the country).




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