USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:07 pm

'04 Grad wrote:
swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:For example, look at this ad on craigslist posted just today:

--LinkRemoved--


Nobody uses Craigslist to find a legal job. Those listings are there for the truly desperate only. I recently quoted an article from Kiplinger's that said that 80% of all workers find their jobs through networking. Only 20% find jobs through internet searches like craigslist, monster, etc. as well as through headhunting agencies.

For legal jobs, OCI and networking are paramount. So please, stop posting Craigslist ads as if they are indicative of the legal market as a whole, when in actuality they exist only for the absolute bottom rung of the profession.


Unfortunately the "truly desperate" include many recent law school grads. This networking argument you keep making is based on the flawed assumption that the jobs obtained through networking pay substantially more than the jobs posted on Craigslist. In my experience, the firms posting on Craigslist do pay less but it's not a huge difference.

I keep writing this but you need to look at what small firms, that do the kind of work that you will be able to do, pay. And that is $35K through $60K.


My assumption is flawed? Really? I notice you are no longer disputing the link I posted earlier dispelling your 35-60k theory, at least for CA.

So even though I have direct evidence from an unbiased source to the contrary of what you are saying, I am wrong for assuming that 35-40k is an atypical, bottom of the rung legal job? And because you have this handful of Craigslist postings at ridiculously low salaries, you can decisively conclude that this is what the majority of non-14 grads can look forward to?

Why is it that 80% of people DONT use Craigslist in finding a job? Maybe because the jobs posted there are shit? And the competition for those shit jobs is through the roof? How can Craigslist even be a close to a reliable indicator of the job market when it encompasses less than 20% of that market?

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:12 pm

Cleareyes wrote:
'04 Grad wrote:
Unfortunately the "truly desperate" include many recent law school grads. This networking argument you keep making is based on the flawed assumption that the jobs obtained through networking pay substantially more than the jobs posted on Craigslist. In my experience, the firms posting on Craigslist do pay less but it's not a huge difference.

I keep writing this but you need to look at what small firms, that do the kind of work that you will be able to do, pay. And that is $35K through $60K.


So how low on the totem pole are you willing to go where $120,000 makes sense? Or are you one of those "Sticker @ Yale = Doom, DOOM" people?


I'd be curious to know this as well, particularly since 04 Grad says he graduated middle of the class at T20.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:25 pm

Another problem with claiming Craigslist as a reliable job market indicator is that it is FREE, FAST and EASY. That means 2 things

(1) someone like 04 Grad wanting to scare the little kiddies out of law school can easily and quickly post such a thing, in theory garnering instant credibility for their argument.

(2) even if the posting is legit, it could be a shrewd lawyer testing the market to see who is desperate enough to take his shit pay. What's the harm in it? You know, post a FREE job listing in a bad economy at a crazy low salary and see what you get. It's like placing crazy low bids on Ebay until you finally win. My girlfriend's boss is an expert at exactly these kinds of lowball tactics.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:26 pm

I don't know about '04 grad, but I'd be nervous graduating with $120k outside the T25 (- Fordham, GWU), if I didn't have the background for patent prosecution and wasn't interested in public interest. Searching nalpdirectory is rather enlightening. For Chicago, it shows 54 firms that pay above $80k. It shows 51 firms that pay above $135k. Of the latter, 12 are in the 25-100 attorney range. Picking one of those at random, Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP and looking at the attorney page shows a lot of Chicago, Northwestern, and Michigan, with a handful of Iowa and Illinois. One Loyola partner who graduated in 1971...

User avatar
solo_lawyer
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:42 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:27 pm

the legal job marketplace is an OPEN and FREE market. If the craigslist jobs posting were not competitive, they would get no takers. But that posting will get HUNDREDS of resumes from desperate toileteers. It is not free to post an ad on craigslist, btw. That ad up there is not some unusual case. That is an ad posted TODAY. And every day you will see similar ads.

This is the free market. I have seen ads on CL asking for attys to work for FREE.
Last edited by solo_lawyer on Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

snotrocket
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:13 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby snotrocket » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:28 pm

dresden doll wrote:I'd be curious to know this as well, particularly since 04 Grad says he graduated middle of the class at T20.

Roughly, any school on this chart where NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing. These are the schools where at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the class can reasonably rely on making a starting salary equal in magnitude to the debt they're assuming. Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt that you could rationally assume in order to attend that school.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:31 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:the legal job marketplace is an OPEN and FREE market. If the craigslist jobs posting were not competitive, they would get no takers. But they DO get takers. It is not free to post an ad on craigslist, btw.


It isn't? I listed something on there about 2 months ago, didn't get charged a dime.

And I bet those jobs are VERY competitive among Touro, Pace, Cooley, etc. grads. I don't believe the vast majority of T100 grads have to stoop so low.

I also notice that these ridiculous craigslist ads always seem to originate in the NYC area. And most of the T-14 or die/debt police originate from the NYC area. Hm..I might just be on to something

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:39 pm

snotrocket wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I'd be curious to know this as well, particularly since 04 Grad says he graduated middle of the class at T20.

Roughly, any school on this chart where NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing. These are the schools where at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the class can reasonably rely on making a starting salary equal in magnitude to the debt they're assuming. Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt that you could rationally assume in order to attend that school.


Thanks, snotrocket. Always on the ball! :)

Michigan will be costing me less than 100k overall (assuming I don't work for pay over summers even) but I was just curious to hear people's estimates in this regard.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:42 pm

dresden doll wrote:
snotrocket wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I'd be curious to know this as well, particularly since 04 Grad says he graduated middle of the class at T20.

Roughly, any school on this chart where NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing. These are the schools where at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the class can reasonably rely on making a starting salary equal in magnitude to the debt they're assuming. Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt that you could rationally assume in order to attend that school.


Thanks, snotrocket. Always on the ball! :)

Michigan will be costing me less than 100k overall (assuming I don't work for pay over summers even) but I was just curious to hear people's estimates in this regard.


The first formula is pretty good
NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing.


But I think the 2nd is too conservative
Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt


By the 2nd formula, that means an American (9% NLJ250) student should borrow no more than $9,000 in student loans?

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:49 pm

The general rule of thumb is that your debt should = your expected first-year salary. At schools where median doesn't give you a solid shot at biglaw, $120k is probably not reasonable.

Cost of living is also a big factor. Payments on a $120k/10yr loan on a $60k salary is doable in Atlanta. Not so doable in NYC. Yes, you can stretch your loan out to 25 years, but that also has a huge cost. For a $120k loan, you'll pay $165k over 10 years, but $250k over 25. That's $800/month loan payment for the majority of your working life...

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:52 pm

swheat wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
snotrocket wrote:
dresden doll wrote:I'd be curious to know this as well, particularly since 04 Grad says he graduated middle of the class at T20.

Roughly, any school on this chart where NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing. These are the schools where at least 2/3 to 3/4 of the class can reasonably rely on making a starting salary equal in magnitude to the debt they're assuming. Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt that you could rationally assume in order to attend that school.


Thanks, snotrocket. Always on the ball! :)

Michigan will be costing me less than 100k overall (assuming I don't work for pay over summers even) but I was just curious to hear people's estimates in this regard.


The first formula is pretty good
NLJ250 + Clerkships + PI + Gov. >= 75% would justify $100-200k in borrowing.


But I think the 2nd is too conservative
Outside that realm, a good rule of thumb would be multiply $100k * percent placed in NLJ250 firms to figure the maximum amount of debt


By the 2nd formula, that means an American (9% NLJ250) student should borrow no more than $9,000 in student loans?


Dunno, not trying to fan the flames - and I'm certainly NOT of the 'T14 or bust' mentality myself - but I'd be very uncomfortable going into notable debt for American. I don't think I'd agree to more than 50k...I'd rather retake my LSAT or something.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Cleareyes » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:53 pm

rayiner wrote:The general rule of thumb is that your debt should = your expected first-year salary. At schools where median doesn't give you a solid shot at biglaw, $120k is probably not reasonable.

Cost of living is also a big factor. Payments on a $120k/10yr loan on a $60k salary is doable in Atlanta. Not so doable in NYC. Yes, you can stretch your loan out to 25 years, but that also has a huge cost. For a $120k loan, you'll pay $165k over 10 years, but $250k over 25. That's $800/month loan payment for the majority of your working life...


I think that rule needs some flexibility. For example some people have to take on $205k or more loans to go to HYSCCN and their expected salary is below that, yet you could still argue that it's worth it for the confidence they can have that they will have excellent opportunities. Surely there must be some added value to being able to put "Harvard" or "Stanford" on your resume for the rest of your life.

User avatar
hypermeganet
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:34 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby hypermeganet » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:56 pm

Cleareyes wrote:
rayiner wrote:The general rule of thumb is that your debt should = your expected first-year salary. At schools where median doesn't give you a solid shot at biglaw, $120k is probably not reasonable.

Cost of living is also a big factor. Payments on a $120k/10yr loan on a $60k salary is doable in Atlanta. Not so doable in NYC. Yes, you can stretch your loan out to 25 years, but that also has a huge cost. For a $120k loan, you'll pay $165k over 10 years, but $250k over 25. That's $800/month loan payment for the majority of your working life...


I think that rule needs some flexibility. For example some people have to take on $205k or more loans to go to HYSCCN and their expected salary is below that, yet you could still argue that it's worth it for the confidence they can have that they will have excellent opportunities. Surely there must be some added value to being able to put "Harvard" or "Stanford" on your resume for the rest of your life.


And making 160k out of HYSCCN (or any school) makes paying $2,500/month for student loans pretty do-able in nearly any city, even NYC. Go to cheaper cities and you're living more comfortably than I ever have.

User avatar
solo_lawyer
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:42 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:56 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:the legal job marketplace is an OPEN and FREE market. If the craigslist jobs posting were not competitive, they would get no takers. But they DO get takers. It is not free to post an ad on craigslist, btw.


It isn't? I listed something on there about 2 months ago, didn't get charged a dime.


job ads are not free.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:59 pm

^^^ With DC cost of living, $50-$60k sounds about right. I figured I could comfortably handle a $1,000/month loan payment (= $90k total loans) here in Atlanta on a $60k salary while living a reasonably yuppie-ish lifestyle. I'd have no savings, though, and kids would be out of the question for awhile.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:03 pm

rayiner wrote:^^^ With DC cost of living, $50-$60k sounds about right. I figured I could comfortably handle a $1,000/month loan payment (= $90k total loans) here in Atlanta on a $60k salary while living a reasonably yuppie-ish lifestyle. I'd have no savings, though, and kids would be out of the question for awhile.


Is that in reference to my saying that I probably wouldn't want to take out more than 50k for American? If so, I'm glad I'm apparently not as conservative as far as debt goes as I sometimes feel I am around here. I take comfort in the fact that Michigan won't cost me a six-figure investment even though I rationally believe it'd be worth it even if it did.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:04 pm

Cleareyes wrote:
rayiner wrote:The general rule of thumb is that your debt should = your expected first-year salary. At schools where median doesn't give you a solid shot at biglaw, $120k is probably not reasonable.

Cost of living is also a big factor. Payments on a $120k/10yr loan on a $60k salary is doable in Atlanta. Not so doable in NYC. Yes, you can stretch your loan out to 25 years, but that also has a huge cost. For a $120k loan, you'll pay $165k over 10 years, but $250k over 25. That's $800/month loan payment for the majority of your working life...


I think that rule needs some flexibility. For example some people have to take on $205k or more loans to go to HYSCCN and their expected salary is below that, yet you could still argue that it's worth it for the confidence they can have that they will have excellent opportunities. Surely there must be some added value to being able to put "Harvard" or "Stanford" on your resume for the rest of your life.


That's why it's called a "rule of thumb" sweetie. Obviously, you can move away from the guideline but the further away you get from the ideal, well the less ideal your situation is. At a point lower on the scale, I'd probably be willing to take on $100k of debt for a T25 in a low cost of living area.

User avatar
redsox8105
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:22 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby redsox8105 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:16 pm

Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.

User avatar
solo_lawyer
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:42 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:34 pm

redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:36 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/

User avatar
solo_lawyer
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:42 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:39 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/



I am not even going to look at those stats because I know they will be biased. That website you cited depends on law school applicants and students to view it. Thus, the stats they cite will be lies. And why not? There is no penalty and there is monetary gain in maintaining a steady supply of law school lemmings.

User avatar
CaptainCubicle
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:41 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby CaptainCubicle » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:42 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/


Don't you understand? Unless the stats agree with him they're obviously part of the LSAC-Freemason conspiracy to trick people into becoming lawyers.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:44 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:
I am not even going to look at those stats because I know they will be biased. That website you cited depends on law school applicants and students to view it. Thus, the stats they cite will be lies. And why not? There is no penalty and there is monetary gain in maintaining a steady supply of law school lemmings.

Salary and economic data presented on this page come from compensation consultants, industry organizations, and trade publications, as well as from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics


Hence these stats are based in large part on what lawyers are saying about their own field. So now you are not arguing against me so much as you are arguing against your peers.

If you go to that site's homepage, you will see nothing about law students or law school applicants. The major categories are internet resources for-:
--Legal Profession
--Academia
--Legal Research
--Attorney Referral Network
Last edited by General Tso on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jr0008
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:56 pm

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby jr0008 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:46 pm

CaptainCubicle wrote:
swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/


Don't you understand? Unless the stats agree with him they're obviously part of the LSAC-Freemason conspiracy to trick people into becoming lawyers.



lol

User avatar
solo_lawyer
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:42 am

Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:50 pm

CaptainCubicle wrote:
swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/


Don't you understand? Unless the stats agree with him they're obviously part of the LSAC-Freemason conspiracy to trick people into becoming lawyers.




No, but whenever there is good money to be made and no penalty for lying (for all practical purposes), there WILL BE lies. Human nature. Animal nature.

And there is plenty of evidence that those stats are (for most schools) lies. I know lots of people who had to get out of law to make a living. I barely make a living at it, and I know others like me.

No conspiracy. Just human nature.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests