To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

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SummerBrees
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:59 am

To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby SummerBrees » Thu May 13, 2010 3:20 pm

Law school debt has always been seen as an "investment," but in light of the economic downturn and the significant decline in potential job opportunities, is the massive debt load worth it? I suppose if you are a 4.0/180 H/Y/S maybe it doesn’t apply, but for the VAST majority of law students who are just “average” is it really worth it?

Scenario

#1
3 year full scholarship to T4 a total estimated total debt load of 65k (includes undergrad)

#2
Sticker at T2 and total estimated debt load of 110k (includes undergrad)

Note: the student is not interested in going Big Law

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SteelReserve
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Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby SteelReserve » Thu May 13, 2010 3:23 pm

#1. There is no meaningful difference in employment prospects btw Tier 4s and Tier 2s. Either way you're talking small firm, doc review, local gov't if it's not in a hiring freeze, or non-law related employment. Each can be rewarding in its own way but there's no reason to pay loads more for the same job.

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bk1
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Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby bk1 » Thu May 13, 2010 3:25 pm

Less than 20k/year tuition at the T2?

Also, while there can be blanket statements, it may depend on which T2 and which T4. Certain schools have to compete with a lot of other schools in their area, while other schools do not and this can be a huge factor. Without knowing more I would say debt minimization is the best call considering job prospects are likely not that different to justify turning down a full scholly for sticker.

SummerBrees
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:59 am

Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby SummerBrees » Thu May 13, 2010 3:31 pm

bk1 wrote:Less than 20k/year tuition at the T2?

Also, while there can be blanket statements, it may depend on which T2 and which T4. Certain schools have to compete with a lot of other schools in their area, while other schools do not and this can be a huge factor. Without knowing more I would say debt minimization is the best call considering job prospects are likely not that different to justify turning down a full scholly for sticker.



The T4 competes in the chicago market. The T2 has no competition because it is the only law school in the state! The median salaries are about the same though.

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bk1
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Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby bk1 » Thu May 13, 2010 3:37 pm

This to me screams the T2 then. I don't think any T4 truly competes in Chicago considering it has to deal with Chicago, Northwestern, other T14's, and strong regional schools (UIUC, IUB, WUSTL, etc). If the T2 is the only school in the state then I would say if you don't mind working in that state then go to the T2.

yabbadabbado
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Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby yabbadabbado » Fri May 14, 2010 3:18 am

Let me guess, the t4 scholly has 1L gpa strings attached? If so, estimate your debt as if you will lose it after 1L. Chicago is an incredibly overcrowded job market, whatever school this is, it's just not going to stack up.

T2 that is the only school in the state sounds better. But if you are scared of the debt, or aren't 100% sure that you want to be a lawyer (i.e. you have other interests or applied l.s. because you couldn't think of what else to do) and aren't prepared to really slog it out to make that happen you shouldn't enroll there either.

Bottom line is the the legal job market isn't good. Things weren't even that good before the recession hit. If you are measuring worth by the odds of getting a high paying legal job, or a low paying ,but desirable legal job, then I think the answer is probably no.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 14, 2010 3:37 am

Take as much as you can, that way if you cant find a job due to the economy at least you'll still have the pile sacked in a bankaccount getting interest somewhere to live off of for a few years.(being kind of serious here folks)

lawyerhopefull
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby lawyerhopefull » Fri May 14, 2010 3:39 am

Just join Americorps and get loan forgivness, big deal.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: To Borrow or not to Borrow (as much)???

Postby BradyToMoss » Mon May 17, 2010 6:09 pm

SummerBrees wrote:Law school debt has always been seen as an "investment," but in light of the economic downturn and the significant decline in potential job opportunities, is the massive debt load worth it? I suppose if you are a 4.0/180 H/Y/S maybe it doesn’t apply, but for the VAST majority of law students who are just “average” is it really worth it?

Scenario

#1
3 year full scholarship to T4 a total estimated total debt load of 65k (includes undergrad)

#2
Sticker at T2 and total estimated debt load of 110k (includes undergrad)

Note: the student is not interested in going Big Law


#2, but check your debt calculations. You're telling me 3 years of tuition at this T2 (plus interest/fees) only amounts to $45k?




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