Go to UVA or keep working?

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moose
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Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:43 am

I got accepted to UVA at sticker price (class of 2013),...i deferred for a year because I started to have doubts about the job market and debt load I would be taking on. Right now I work as a financial analyst making $70K a year (I work about 40 hours a week), I'm still servicing about $25k of undergrad debt and I have about $20K in savings. My other option is to enroll in a part-time MBA at Georgetown for 3 years which will run me about $90k with my company paying about $30K. Obviously I'm going to make my own choice,...but I just wanted to get a feel for what some of you guys would do and get some outside perspectives on this. Thanks.

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Bluben
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Bluben » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:48 am

You'll probably have the same workload after either, and you can make a lot more money with an mba. What are your end goals? Do you love the law and the idea of working as a lawyer or do you love the idea of big money. I'd choose an mba, especially if it was partially subsidized.

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Moxie
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Moxie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:50 am

Personally, I'd work for another year, pay off UG debt, and build up savings to help pay for LS. And if I didn't want to be a lawyer, I'd use that money towards my MBA.

Do you want to be a lawyer? If not, sounds like the MBA is the right choice.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:54 am

Based on your current employment, pursuing an MBA degree seems to be the logical & safer choice. The decision depends upon what you want to do professionally in four years. You know that you enjoy working as a financial analyst. What makes you think that you would enjoy law school & the practice of law ?

moose
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:59 am

I'm not sure how to answer the question of whether I want to be a lawyer. I certainly like the idea of being a lawyer dealing with substantive issues, and I'm a good writer. But due diligence, transactional work and all that other stuff is not what I want to do. The difference I think is that with law you're gauranteed a certain salary bracket if you land the big jobs but there is a ceiling, with MBA the compensation range is more murky but higher upside IMO. I'm in a position right now where I have to have an mba to crack 6 figures at the place I work because its not an I-bank. But I'm hoping I can land another job within the company in a year or so that pays upward of 80K. If that happens I think I might be well positioned to ask for 115k + in 3 years with an mba in hand.

Also,...I'm kinda old. Late 20s. So thats also getting to me in regards to law school.
Last edited by moose on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:04 am

Clearly, the safer option is to remain at your current job while pursuing an MBA degree on a part-time basis. In your case, it is too risky & too expensive to change fields, in my opinion, even though attending law school at Virginia minimizes that risk. My advice would be different if you were unhappy with your current position.
Additionally, Georgetown's part-time MBA program is likely to facilitate relationships with potential future employers & valuable contacts.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

seatown12
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby seatown12 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:08 am

if you don't DEFINITELY want to be a lawyer stay where you are

OldManHunger
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby OldManHunger » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:37 am

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Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bumi
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Bumi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:41 am

I say go MBA. You're not passionate about law and you'll be in a much better financial and professional position in three years with an MBA. However:

moose wrote:I'm in a position right now where I have to have an mba to crack 6 figures at the place I work because its not an I-bank.

If you're saying "unless you work at an I-bank, you must have an MBA to make 6 figures," you are very wrong. You have some good experience now. Look around a bit, and you could possibly (if you interview and network well) find a company that could get you to six figures in a few years without an MBA.

moose wrote:But I'm hoping I can land another job within the company in a year or so that pays upward of 80K. If that happens I think I might be well positioned to ask for 115k + in 3 years with an mba in hand.

Think bigger. You could do this, or you could make contacts at Georgetown that will get you a much better role at another company. A lot of my coworkers have done a part time or executive MBA, and the ones that have left afterwards have done much better.

moose wrote:Also,...I'm kinda old. Late 20s.

I resent this.

2LLLL
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:43 am

I'm not sure how to answer the question of whether I want to be a lawyer. I certainly like the idea of being a lawyer dealing with substantive issues, and I'm a good writer. But due diligence, transactional work and all that other stuff is not what I want to do. The difference I think is that with law you're gauranteed a certain salary bracket if you land the big jobs but there is a ceiling, with MBA the compensation range is more murky but higher upside IMO. I'm in a position right now where I have to have an mba to crack 6 figures at the place I work because its not an I-bank. But I'm hoping I can land another job within the company in a year or so that pays upward of 80K. If that happens I think I might be well positioned to ask for 115k + in 3 years with an mba in hand.

Also,...I'm kinda old. Late 20s. So thats also getting to me in regards to law school.




Definitely don't go to law school. "Due diligence, transactional work and all that other stuff" is exactly what you will be doing for the first several years as a lawyer in the scenario that you get BigLaw. If you don't get BigLaw, which is altogether possible, then you gave up a career you liked for one you don't like and you certainly won't be "gauranteed [sic] a certain salary bracket"

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thecilent
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby thecilent » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:47 am

Dude I would definitely work and get the mba. Climb your way up or try to land a spot at an ibank.

Do you really want to pay sticker at uva and waste three years with a chance of hating your life after anywayz.

No way. Don't go and it's not even close. YWIA
Last edited by thecilent on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

2LLLL
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby 2LLLL » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:47 am

It sounds like you don't have a clear idea of what any lawyer does on a day to day basis. What you DO know is that moving up to a potential six figure salary by getting a JD (1) will cost you $150k, (2) will cost you your current job and any potential income you could've made in the next three years, (3) is fraught with risks because only a percentage of graduates go straight to six-figure jobs and it's difficult to tell if you'll be one of those students, (4) will knock you out of your comfort zone as an adult and throw you back into a high school setting where you spend three years bleeding tens of thousands of dollars into the law school, listening to student gossip, and eating free pizza lunches, without any obvious or immediate upside, and (5) you have an alternate path to a six figure salary (the only thing you clearly, really want out of this) that will avoid most of these pitfalls and cost $90k less in tuition.

You're the financial analyst. Run the numbers. It can't possibly, remotely make sense for you to ditch a lucrative job for three years and take out immense debt for an uncertain outcome. If you can rationalize that choice, please do share your thinking.




This.

Your cost of attending UVA will be $150k in tuition + at least $210k in opportunity cost. Meanwhile, the average BigLaw career is 3-4 years. So basically you're giving up $360k (plus whatever salary increase you'd see from getting an MBA) to slightly increase your income for a few years....

moose
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:02 am

Bumi wrote:Think bigger. You could do this, or you could make contacts at Georgetown that will get you a much better role at another company. A lot of my coworkers have done a part time or executive MBA, and the ones that have left afterwards have done much better.




Yes,....$115K is definitely not my endgame. I hear you.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:03 am

If you would mainly be going to law school for the money, I say get the MBA instead. You probably have a slightly higher chance of making six figures coming out of UVA law, but the MBA gives you a better chance at seven figs, IMO.

moose
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:08 am

I think its the prestige of UVA and the work I put into getting accepted thats holding me up. I'd feel like a wasted an opportunity. Georgetown MBA is not on the same level as UVA Law when it comes to reputation. Ofcourse, I'm not sure to what degree the business community are prestige whores when compared to the legal community. Georgetown is ranked like in the 20s for MBAs. To me, thats not a problem because my main goal would be to actually learn. But I'm not sure how much career prospects are affected by school rank w/ MBA candidates. I'm don't think its as bad as law, but I'm not sure.

moose
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:20 am

OldManHunger wrote:It sounds like you don't have a clear idea of what any lawyer does on a day to day basis. What you DO know is that moving up to a potential six figure salary by getting a JD (1) will cost you $150k, (2) will cost you your current job and any potential income you could've made in the next three years, (3) is fraught with risks because only a percentage of graduates go straight to six-figure jobs and it's difficult to tell if you'll be one of those students, (4) will knock you out of your comfort zone as an adult and throw you back into a high school setting where you spend three years bleeding tens of thousands of dollars into the law school, listening to student gossip, and eating free pizza lunches, without any obvious or immediate upside, and (5) you have an alternate path to a six figure salary (the only thing you clearly, really want out of this) that will avoid most of these pitfalls and cost $90k less in tuition.

You're the financial analyst. Run the numbers. It can't possibly, remotely make sense for you to ditch a lucrative job for three years and take out immense debt for an uncertain outcome. If you can rationalize that choice, please do share your thinking.


Again, can't disagree with any of this. And again,....it just would feel like a wasted opportunity to pass up UVA. I can't say it makes a bit of financial sense. Plus,...i don't play softball and I don't drink,...and I don't hangout with preppy kids in their early 20s. So Uva will definitely not be social retreat for me.

OldManHunger
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby OldManHunger » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:37 am

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Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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thecilent
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby thecilent » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:43 am

Starting to think OP is just troll for uva.

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BigBenD
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby BigBenD » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:50 am

OldManHunger wrote:
moose wrote:Again, can't disagree with any of this. And again,....it just would feel like a wasted opportunity to pass up UVA.


This is totally understandable. But it's important to grasp that UVA--or any law school--isn't really the great opportunity most of us believed it to be before actually entering the profession. The economic collapse of the last few years stripped away the illusion for anyone who was paying attention or who was directly affected by it. Law firms laid off hundreds of their attorneys; they broke their promises and broke with tradition by rescinding dozens of offers to law students, seriously fucking those students' careers; they deferred dozens of offers, again, hobbling those students' careers and eating up yet another year of life for those students (giving a total waste of at least four years, maybe five if those students burned a year before law school to prep for the LSAT and transition).

Further, a lot of the prestige and mystique of a JD disappears--FAST--once you're in the system. Three examples. First, the curve is obnoxious at best, soul killing at worst, regardless of whether you succeed or fail. I have stomped on just about everyone, but it still makes me feel like shit, especially when I talk to my friends who are at or slightly above median who don't have jobs. Second, law itself is intellectually shoddy. The first things you'll learn are that law has developed more out of realpolitik than anything else. Our criminal laws are set up, not for justice, but to help politicans get re-elected. Our constitutional interpretations reflects judges' social and economic views, or the lobbying power of business interests, far more than any principled jurisprudence. The law is philosophically shoddy and largely corrupt. It's instrumental--politics and business by other means. Finally, although having a JD is, in one view, a mark of being smart, once you've started to meet a lot of lawyers, you'll start to understand why, in another view, it's the mark of being a shark. Read Above the Law for a while to strip away the veneer of prestige. Ambulance chasing, defending insurance companies, and defending businesses from the harm done by their products are all facts of life. Just as the law itself is largely just a tool of people with money, lawyers themselves are usually just tools of people with real influence. And public service or government work are not at all the moral shelters from this reality that 0Ls and inexperienced law students make them out to be.


This. +1000

moose
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby moose » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:51 am

thecilent wrote:Starting to think OP is just troll for uva.



haha,..no seriously. I'd be saying the same if i got accepted to any of the other t10s.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:53 am

I have no vias in this matter, but you should definitely go to UVa. Virginia Law is one of the oldest legal institutions in the United States, and has steadily maintained the prestige and employment opportunities that come from being a top ten law school while providing students with an exceptional quality of life. Students are able to enjoy both the attractions of Charlottesville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains while attending school near the major legal markets of the East Coast. They also attend a school that has national reach in placing its graduates, with a strong network of alumni in both the judicial system and the private sector.

Current students say there is nothing like living in Charlottesville. In fact, it is a big draw for prospective students, as it has been rated as one of the country’s best places to live. The city offers a low cost of living compared to other cities with top schools. This helps make the law school experience less stressful for students, as graduates from Virginia Law carry less debt than graduates from any other top law school.

While the University of Virginia has a reputation for being a “fratty” school, students should not worry too much about this. Current students report that everyone works hard, and while many planned events do have alcohol, the important thing is that students have a sense of solidarity with their classmates.

Apart from the school’s vibe, Virginia Law offers what a top law school ought to offer – an exceptional legal education, outstanding faculty, an intelligent and diverse student body, and many opportunities for employment upon graduation.

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Bluben
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby Bluben » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:58 am

Kohinoor wrote:I have no vias in this matter, but you should definitely go to UVa. Virginia Law is one of the oldest legal institutions in the United States, and has steadily maintained the prestige and employment opportunities that come from being a top ten law school while providing students with an exceptional quality of life. Students are able to enjoy both the attractions of Charlottesville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains while attending school near the major legal markets of the East Coast. They also attend a school that has national reach in placing its graduates, with a strong network of alumni in both the judicial system and the private sector.

Current students say there is nothing like living in Charlottesville. In fact, it is a big draw for prospective students, as it has been rated as one of the country’s best places to live. The city offers a low cost of living compared to other cities with top schools. This helps make the law school experience less stressful for students, as graduates from Virginia Law carry less debt than graduates from any other top law school.

While the University of Virginia has a reputation for being a “fratty” school, students should not worry too much about this. Current students report that everyone works hard, and while many planned events do have alcohol, the important thing is that students have a sense of solidarity with their classmates.

Apart from the school’s vibe, Virginia Law offers what a top law school ought to offer – an exceptional legal education, outstanding faculty, an intelligent and diverse student body, and many opportunities for employment upon graduation.



Didnt the UVA students have a protest because they couldnt get jobs?

OldManHunger
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby OldManHunger » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:59 am

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Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:00 am

moose wrote:I'm not sure how to answer the question of whether I want to be a lawyer. I certainly like the idea of being a lawyer dealing with substantive issues, and I'm a good writer. But due diligence, transactional work and all that other stuff is not what I want to do. The difference I think is that with law you're gauranteed a certain salary bracket if you land the big jobs but there is a ceiling, with MBA the compensation range is more murky but higher upside IMO. I'm in a position right now where I have to have an mba to crack 6 figures at the place I work because its not an I-bank. But I'm hoping I can land another job within the company in a year or so that pays upward of 80K. If that happens I think I might be well positioned to ask for 115k + in 3 years with an mba in hand.

Also,...I'm kinda old. Late 20s. So thats also getting to me in regards to law school.


Your assessment seems more accurate than what a lot of posters will be able to tell you. Personally, the only reason I wouldn't do UVA in your situation is because sticker is too much debt for someone starting out law school in their late 20s. When you graduate you'll be in your early to mid 30s with 210K plus in debt. Paying that off will probably take quite a while, you might not pay it off until you hit your late 30s or early 40s. That's just too late in life to be paying off educational debt.

And clearly Kohinoor is screwing you guys....

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thecilent
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Re: Go to UVA or keep working?

Postby thecilent » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:05 am

OldManHunger wrote:What the fuck is that--a blurb ripped from TLS's "about the law school" page, written by a 0L? A flame? I'm not even going to bother addressing that bullshit.

lol




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