Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

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airbud
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Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby airbud » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:15 pm

3.85/167/Marine Officer. Married with one 10-month-old boy. Goal is Texas BigLaw.

COAs mentioned in title are estimates. Tuition is waived for me at UT. Sticker at U Chi.

I realize I'm a huge longshot at Chicago, but I'm considering EDing because I'm so into the "U Chicago thing". Admission is unlikely, but I don't want to treat it lightly...IF I get in, I've just dropped a huge debt bomb on myself and my family.

But maybe it's worth it? What would you all do? ED at Chicago and risk incurring $240K in debt? Or just head to UT?

BigZuck
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby BigZuck » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:32 pm

I don't think that median at Chi gives you a better shot at Texas big law than median at UT (that is to say, median at both probably equals no Texas big law). But median at Chi gives you much, much better chance at big law in general. I think it depends on your preferences:

Texas big law>all other big law> working as a lawyer in Texas= Chi

Texas big law>working as a lawyer in Texas> all other big law= UT

Also would tuition be free because of some military benefits? If so can you split the difference and try to go to a better public school than UT like Berkeley or UVA? I'm not sure how that all works.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:45 pm

Are you from Texas?

Regardless with your family responsibilities and at this point in your life, it's not responsible to take on sticker top 14 debt. It probably won't pay off anyway.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:47 pm

Texas since you want Texas biglaw & can attend UT tuition free. Also because you haven't been admitted to Chicago.

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:54 pm

From other poasts I've read it sounds like UT gets a lot of love from Texas BL firms.

I would definitely take Texas; I would not even consider Chicago in your (Texas or bust) position. That kind of debt is scary and not worth risking for a 50% chance at BigLaw when you have a family on your shoulders. Then again I don't have all the details of your current financial situation.

The 2nd poster is also correct though. If you want to work in Texas above all else then take UT, but if you're ok with working somewhere else then I believe UChi will give you a much better shot at BigLaw overall. Still, that is an irresponsibly absurd amount of debt. Interest will pile up and you'll come out of school with closer to 280k I believe, unless you already accounted for that.

280k of debt even in a BEST CASE SCENARIO (BigLaw) will be hard to pay off. If you end up working in Chicago or another major city the COL will eat you alive, whereas in Texas it will be easier, but still you won't be living lavishly for a LONG time... And there's not even a guarantee you will last in BigLaw long enough to put a serious dent in the debt. Risk risk risk!

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airbud
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby airbud » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:08 pm

Yep, tuition is waived at UT thanks to the state's Hazelwood Act (all public school tuition waived for TX resident vets). Unfortunately, I don't qualify for federal benefits (GI Bill) unless I put in another 4 years active duty because I commissioned via ROTC.

That being said, I have no benefits at any school other than UT. Which is fine, because as you all pointed out, it looks like UT is the winner here. This was my intuition in the first place.

Best case scenario: get into UT and some other T14s and negotiate with UT to get more money.

Even better case scenario: get into Harvard or Stanford and then my choice becomes easier!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:10 pm

Do you intend to retake the LSAT ?

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twenty
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby twenty » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:29 pm

Absolutely retake in December. Your GPA is good enough to, with a 173+ LSAT, give you a solid shot at Harvard, and anything above that gives you a nice chance at Stanford given your softs.

That said, UT is a really good option here. If you "end up" with UT, you did just fine.

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airbud
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Re: Chicago (COA $240K) vs. Texas (COA $90K)

Postby airbud » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:48 pm

Can't retake. Timing just won't work. I'll be out in the field training for approx 50% of the next 4-5 months, and then I MIGHT deploy. If I end up having the option to deploy, I'll request a deferral from X law school for one year.

There are some other weird timing issues with the Marine Corps that I won't bore anyone with...

Bottom line: as much as it'd be nice to have a 170+, 167 back in June was pretty much right on target for me. Plus, it makes me competitve for UT, where I'd be perfectly happy. I'm shooting for some of the T6 just for the "what if" factor and to not close any doors unnecessarily.




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