Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

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articulably suspect
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby articulably suspect » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:50 am

transfer-how cheap are these pi orgs getting these deferred jds? do you know what type of pi jobs/orgs are doing this?

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dresden doll
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby dresden doll » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:51 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
JCougar wrote:
rondemarino wrote:Wow. I like how you twist what people say to fit your point. I never said they're a "hot commodity," just that they are, justly or unjustly, viewed as a flight risk.

I'm done here. Enjoy yelling at whatever the hell you are yelling at.

EDIT: If you're in a mood because of the test this Saturday, relax some.


Hey, I'm not the one who started out by calling someone's post "stupid." I'm just trying to defend my viewpoint on here. I probably should be studying some, though, so I can get those scholarships that I want. :)


Oh FFS, you're a 0L? There's nothing wrong with being a 0L. There's something wrong with being a 0L and pretending that you have any bloody idea what you're talking about regarding the current state of legal hiring.

Dear lord, I feel like I just tried to explain a Beethoven concerto to a 2-year-old who just learned how to shake its rattle to a certain rhythm.

Seriously, how do you think that you're even remotely qualified to opine on the current state of the legal market? Ugh. :?


I'd abandon all endeavor if I were you. You'll sooner get Epstein to back away from his libertarianism.

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dresden doll
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby dresden doll » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:54 am

JCougar wrote:
dresden doll wrote:FTW. Seven years of higher education and thousands of dollars in debt bloody well justify desire for a decent paycheck.


You should get a decent paycheck. $55k is a decent paycheck, especially in the first year of your career.


With 100k+ in debt? Try again.

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rayiner
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby rayiner » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:05 am

ejjones wrote:
rayiner wrote:
These areas kind of have the view of "You can believe and do whatever you want--just be polite and don't expect us to [strike]agree with it[/strike] make you feel welcome around these parts."


Yup. People in the south rarely talk politics, etc, and will be courteous to you even if inside they think you're going to burn for all eternity. I find this preferable places where people hold and publicly share opinions that go beyond which American Idol should win.


fixed


That's not really true. I'm Indian, and I've never felt unwelcome in a small VA or GA town. I spent a couple of months working in Bowling Green, VA (pop. 936) and I'd walk into a diner or restaurant and people would be as friendly as could be.

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JCougar
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:41 am

dresden doll wrote:
JCougar wrote:
dresden doll wrote:FTW. Seven years of higher education and thousands of dollars in debt bloody well justify desire for a decent paycheck.


You should get a decent paycheck. $55k is a decent paycheck, especially in the first year of your career.


With 100k+ in debt? Try again.


100k is really not that much, unless you already have a family to support. Your income will rise as your career progresses. You won't be able to drive a new German car every three years and jet-set around the world, but should you if you can only make it into a T2-T4 law school or not finish in the top 50% of your class at a T1? Seriously. Consolidate your loans and get them locked in at a super-low interest rate, and extend the payments out 30 years. By the time you're in your 10th year of loan repayment, you'll probably be making six figures anyways.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:26 am

JCougar wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
JCougar wrote:
dresden doll wrote:FTW. Seven years of higher education and thousands of dollars in debt bloody well justify desire for a decent paycheck.


You should get a decent paycheck. $55k is a decent paycheck, especially in the first year of your career.


With 100k+ in debt? Try again.


100k is really not that much, unless you already have a family to support. Your income will rise as your career progresses. You won't be able to drive a new German car every three years and jet-set around the world, but should you if you can only make it into a T2-T4 law school or not finish in the top 50% of your class at a T1? Seriously. Consolidate your loans and get them locked in at a super-low interest rate, and extend the payments out 30 years. By the time you're in your 10th year of loan repayment, you'll probably be making six figures anyways.


A: T14s come out at far over $100k, and the fact that you're sticking your fingers in your ears and going "lallalalaa" doesn't change the fact that there are tons of T14 grads out there now who are going to have to take jobs that pay ~$30-40k.

B: There are people in the top 10% of T1s who are also going to be taking those jobs. Again, your decision to be completely unrealistic and wrong about the current job market is amusing. How many top 10% T1 people do you know again?

C: I also find it amusing that you clearly have no bloody idea how loan consolidation works. I wouldn't call ~7.4% (which is going to be where most T14/T1 people without scholarships) on 150k of principal (not including capitalized interest) a "super-low" rate. Protip: only federal loans are included in CCRA, federal loans are 6.8 or 8.5, and you don't "get a super-low rate" when you consolidate them, you just get a weighted average.

D: The fact that you admit to being the lollipop and gumdrops mirror of JDU really says all that needs to be said about your "argument". I will never understand this new brand of optimism that isn't grounded in any kind of reality.

bahama
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby bahama » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:33 am

100k plus IS a lot of debt. Even with a 30 yr repayment, you are looking at over 15% or more of your pre tax income just to make the min payment. Throw taxes and work related expenses (wardrobe, drycleaning, commuting to name a few) and you are looking at a really tight budget for someone making $55k, especially if they are in a major city. We are not talking about giving up BMWs and trips to Europe here we are talking about living with roomates and eating ramen noodles well in to your late 20s or later.

Down the road a few years, even if your income has risen to 100k, try getting a mortgage with that loan payment plus your car pmt (by that point if you are looking to buy a place you'll probably need a car too). The consequences (debt) are with you for a long time, especially when you start out with 2x or more than your annual income.

For some people it is certainly the right decision, as long as they understand the trade-offs they are making and that substantial debt like that is going to significantly impact their lifestyle and options for many years to come.

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nealric
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby nealric » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:27 am


quick, painless death > living in shame in a hostel with drug addicts. I am really not sure life is worth living if you are making 25k with a JD in NYC.


Lol. There were no drug addicts (unless you count a few hippie stoners).

I certainly wouldn't choose ex-ante to live like that, but if you can't see life as worth living on 25k a year you should re-examine your life.

As an aside, I love how silly discussions always blow up around finals time. Yay stress. :mrgreen:

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby Matthies » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:39 am

rondemarino wrote:I'm afraid of living anywhere that voted for Bush twice. Unfortunately, that rules out Colorado and North Carolina, both states I love. Should probably revisit my rule


We went blue in the last election. 90% of Colorado is fine, its that 10% that is mostly Colorado Springs that is bat shit right wing nutjob. (and I say this as a life long republican, those people down there are just nuts)

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JCougar
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:42 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:A: T14s come out at far over $100k, and the fact that you're sticking your fingers in your ears and going "lallalalaa" doesn't change the fact that there are tons of T14 grads out there now who are going to have to take jobs that pay ~$30-40k.


How many T14 grads are going to be stuck in those jobs long-term with no upward mobility when the economy recovers? Next time I see a homeless bum on the street, I'm going to ask him if he was part of the legendary Harvard Law '09 class. I imagine an answer of "yes" is not bloody likely even in Boston. This is the worst recession in over a generation. People have it tough right now. But when we get out of it, I guaruntee you there's only going to be one or two graduates of this class that have long-term financial difficulties, and it's going to be mostly their fault.

ToTransferOrNot wrote:B: There are people in the top 10% of T1s who are also going to be taking those jobs. Again, your decision to be completely unrealistic and wrong about the current job market is amusing. How many top 10% T1 people do you know again?


What does this have to do with anything? I do know people who graduated top 10% from schools ranked 15-40, and they're doing fine.

ToTransferOrNot wrote:C: I also find it amusing that you clearly have no bloody idea how loan consolidation works. I wouldn't call ~7.4% (which is going to be where most T14/T1 people without scholarships) on 150k of principal (not including capitalized interest) a "super-low" rate. Protip: only federal loans are included in CCRA, federal loans are 6.8 or 8.5, and you don't "get a super-low rate" when you consolidate them, you just get a weighted average.


I do know how consolidation works, because I've consolidated my loans from undergrad and graduate school. I've got about $57k in loans from grad school & undergrad combined. I consolidated them all at 3.25% interest, chose the graduated repayment plan over 30 years, and I pay less than $200/month right now. I have plenty of money left over for fun and recreation, and even after that, I have enough money to put 15% into savings. And as long as I get more than a 3.25% return on those savings (which is definitely happening), that's a good financial decision to extend my payments over 30 years.

ToTransferOrNot wrote:D: The fact that you admit to being the lollipop and gumdrops mirror of JDU really says all that needs to be said about your "argument". I will never understand this new brand of optimism that isn't grounded in any kind of reality.


I think you're kind of "woe is me, the persecuted law student" schtick is far less grounded in reality than mine. People have it tough now, but, aside from a few exceptions, people who paid sticker at a T14 are going to be able to pay off their loans and live decently. People who took out loans for school in any other field are in the same boat, and probably in worse shape long-term. And people who didn't go to T14 (or at least T20) shouldn't have been paying sticker anyways. If you did, you overpaid for law school, and that's your own fault.

I'm not saying that top students didn't work hard and earn $160k salaries starting out. There is a market for attorneys who graduated from an elite law school or on law review somewhere else simply because clients will pay for that. There's nothing wrong with that. But I think it's ridiculous that people think they're going to live a woeful life if they only make a starting salary of $55k. That's a real possibility no matter what law school you end up going to ITE, but it's not a long term reality for almost all Harvard grads. That's not a lot if you live in NY or DC and have $150k in loans, but you shouldn't have 150k in loans unless you went to a T14. And if you went to a T14, I doubt you're going to be making that for long. If you can't market yourself in the job market with a Harvard Law degree when the economy recovers, it's your own fault.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby Matthies » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:45 am

rondemarino wrote:EDIT: I work at a small IP boutique in SoCal. In normal years, we were able to only hire a couple of UCLA/USC grads, but a ton of USD grads. Now we have a lot of T14 resumes that we don't bother with because no one thinks its worth the time training people who will end up leaving in a 1-2 years when the economy picks. It would not surprise me one bit if a lot of firms in secondary markets did this too.


This is totally true here, we are NOT getting flooded with T14 grads taking jobs from local grads. July 2009 CO bar exam had 31 pople from national schools taking it. There is just not a need nor demand by clients to fill up firms here with "top school" talent, epscially when they have no connections to the market and are waiting to lateral out from the regaional office of a big frim in Denver to NYC as soon as they can.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:07 pm

Matthies wrote:This is totally true here, we are NOT getting flooded with T14 grads taking jobs from local grads. July 2009 CO bar exam had 31 pople from national schools taking it. There is just not a need nor demand by clients to fill up firms here with "top school" talent, epscially when they have no connections to the market and are waiting to lateral out from the regaional office of a big frim in Denver to NYC as soon as they can.


Is that because you really don't want national grads, or is it because they just don't apply or aren't interested?

Every national law school grad has to have a hometown, so, unless they were born in NYC, DC, etc. there's got to be at least one secondary market to which they have connections. I get this feeling that T14 students that can't find ANY job right now have simply restricted their job search to major markets only, and that they're choosing to hold out for a perfect job instead of settling for something in a less cool city. But maybe I'm wrong. We'll see when the 9 months after graduation employment numbers come out, I guess.

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Matthies
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby Matthies » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:33 pm

JCougar wrote:
Matthies wrote:This is totally true here, we are NOT getting flooded with T14 grads taking jobs from local grads. July 2009 CO bar exam had 31 pople from national schools taking it. There is just not a need nor demand by clients to fill up firms here with "top school" talent, epscially when they have no connections to the market and are waiting to lateral out from the regaional office of a big frim in Denver to NYC as soon as they can.


Is that because you really don't want national grads, or is it because they just don't apply or aren't interested?

Every national law school grad has to have a hometown, so, unless they were born in NYC, DC, etc. there's got to be at least one secondary market to which they have connections. I get this feeling that T14 students that can't find ANY job right now have simply restricted their job search to major markets only, and that they're choosing to hold out for a perfect job instead of settling for something in a less cool city. But maybe I'm wrong. We'll see when the 9 months after graduation employment numbers come out, I guess.


Well there are a couple of things at play here. First many top law grads are hoping for top paying jobs, some are likely holding out for those. Denver market is 120ksih for big law, so its not one of the higher paying markets. Also Denver firms are BIG on connections. Denver has two law schools already in town. Those law studnets have interned, networked, worked and made local connections all through LS, they have an edge becuase they are LOCAL. Finally a lot of top school grads did 2L summers in bigger markets, not many came to Denver. So they don’t have contacts here, or a history here.

So they if they are applying here its likley one of two ways: mass mailing or responding to ads. So is everyone else. Local grads are easier to interview because they are local and they are local lic. So if you graduated in July 2009 and did not take the bar in CO your of no use to a CO firm until you do, soonest that could be would be mid May when Feb results come out. So if you went to a top school the odds are you either got a job in CO through OCI, or you did not, in which case you would have to take a gamble, come back to CO, take the bar, then pound the pavement to find a job while you wait to see if you even passed.

If you’re from CO, your family is here, maybe you did that, but most people are not going to pick a random secondary market where they don’t have ties or a job yet and go and take the bar there then hope for something to come along. My hunch is that most top law school grads still looking for jobs are mostly located in or near where they went to school, because that is where they likely took the bar if they had no offer, and in or near major markets, so NE is overcrowded with unemployed top grads because that’s where they went to school, are settled and hope to find a job.

Its takes a lot of guts (and money) to move cross country with no offer, no connections and take the bar in a state you hope to work where you did not go to school and don’t know anybody and don’t have a support network or your schools career services to help you out. Hence why I have said, from the beginning as long as I have been on law message boards, go to school where you want to work, or work where you go to school. A law degree is not that portable, where you A) pass the bar and B) get an offer is where you will likely end up staying. If A comes before B, then you need to find a job in the state you passed in or wait six months, take the bar again in anouther state, wait fours months for results, then find job.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby MC Southstar » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:40 pm

LS isn't going to cost more than my UG education, that's for sure.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby irishman86 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:25 pm

JCougar wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:You apparently can't read or something.

Even in a good economy, a lot of law students were having to accept jobs that paid considerably less than 55k. Now, admittedly, those students were generally toward the bottom or the class, or from lower-ranked schools. However, guess what? The band of people having to accept those lower-paying jobs has expanded a huge amount.

However, your assertion that "ok, well, someone shouldn't pay $150k for their legal education then" is terribly flawed when you presume, in your discussion, that we're talking about T14 students. The vast majority of people who go to the T14 don't get merit aid--hell, Harvard flat out doesn't give ANY merit aid period-- and yes, there are deferred Harvard grads out there right now who may not end up ever getting un-deferred, and I know one Harvard student who wasn't able to find anything paying more than $40k, despite hundreds of mailings. He was a little below the median, but we're talking Harvard, and we're talking $180k+ iin debt.

You're incredibly naive, you clearly know absolutely nothing about which you speak. JDUnderground exagerates things on the overly-negative side, but you're the precise mirror image of that problem. People with your "the world is full of roses and everyone who tries can find a respectable job" kind of viewpoint is one of the problems that has fed the glut of lawyers in the first instance.

Anyway, back to outlining.


I think I specifically said that going to T14 was worth paying sticker. I'm perfectly happy with your characterization of me as the reverse JDUnderground, though. Those people, for the most part, need to grow up and get a life, and either take responsibility for what they've done or be happy for what they have. No degree is either a license to be employed or a license to automatically start out your career in the top 95% of income earners in this country before you have done any work. Those people with Harvard law degrees will eventually get a good job -- either when the economy recovers or they decide to expand their horizons a bit -- as long as they don't have a defeatist mindset like you do and dwell in the misery of all being doomed because they don't have their $160k job right this fucking moment.


"Good job." Maybe, but good chance that it won't be in law. I know T10 2Ls who are now interviewing for business jobs (financial analyst) with a JD and a liberal arts degree, jobs that business/finance/economics/engineering majors could have gotten straight out of undergrad. The problem is that these jobs only pay 50k starting and they have tons of debt. I don't think they have a good shot at a 160k job ever though if they don't get a firm job 2L year. Not to mention why should they give these jobs to JDs who have never used STATA? People are far too overly optimistic.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby Brawndo » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:37 pm

jason8821 wrote: For instance, I have heard people talk about joining the FBI on this board. I believe the FBI would would be more likely hire someone who was free of drug use/criminal record and had perfect credit who also had a 3.5+ in a degree like economics at an average undergrad over a HYS graduate who was student athlete in college, but had a few underages, and had a loan go into default a few years ago.



Go on the FBI's website and read about their requirements. A 4-year degree in economics without any specialized experience is useless to them, even if you're a track star or something. However, a JD is one of the few paths into the FBI available for those of us without LEO experience, military background, or special language or computer skills

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:43 pm

Brawndo wrote:
jason8821 wrote: For instance, I have heard people talk about joining the FBI on this board. I believe the FBI would would be more likely hire someone who was free of drug use/criminal record and had perfect credit who also had a 3.5+ in a degree like economics at an average undergrad over a HYS graduate who was student athlete in college, but had a few underages, and had a loan go into default a few years ago.



Go on the FBI's website and read about their requirements. A 4-year degree in economics without any specialized experience is useless to them, even if you're a track star or something. However, a JD is one of the few paths into the FBI available for those of us without LEO experience, military background, or special language or computer skills


This FBI is so awesome* that they aren't even having volunteers this year.

*awesome means really shitty government organization that can't afford to have people come work for them for free.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby bahama » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:15 pm

JCougar wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:C: I also find it amusing that you clearly have no bloody idea how loan consolidation works. I wouldn't call ~7.4% (which is going to be where most T14/T1 people without scholarships) on 150k of principal (not including capitalized interest) a "super-low" rate. Protip: only federal loans are included in CCRA, federal loans are 6.8 or 8.5, and you don't "get a super-low rate" when you consolidate them, you just get a weighted average.


I do know how consolidation works, because I've consolidated my loans from undergrad and graduate school. I've got about $57k in loans from grad school & undergrad combined. I consolidated them all at 3.25% interest, chose the graduated repayment plan over 30 years, and I pay less than $200/month right now. I have plenty of money left over for fun and recreation, and even after that, I have enough money to put 15% into savings. And as long as I get more than a 3.25% return on those savings (which is definitely happening), that's a good financial decision to extend my payments over 30 years.


Loan consolidation doesn't work like this anymore, since the federal loans are now all fixed rate unlike a few years ago when they were variable and you could consolidate and lock in whatever the rates were at the time.

You consolidated your loans a couple of years ago? And you are making interest only or income contingent payments on them now? $57k@3.25% amortized over 30 yrs is a little over $250 per month.

Now Stafford loans are fixed at 6.8% and PLUS loans are 8.5%. Assuming 100k and maxing out the Stafford you get a blended rate of 7.5%. At 150k the rate is 7.875% and at 200k it is 8%. Assuming you consolidate and do 30 year repayment the monthly payments are:
For 100K debt: ~ $700/mo
For 150k debt: ~ $1090/mo
For 200k debt: ~ $1470/mo

These amounts are more than a lot of people pay in rent or mortgage. Of course, IBR may lower the payments or you might qualify for some sort of LRAP but that is another topic.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:14 pm

bahama wrote:Loan consolidation doesn't work like this anymore, since the federal loans are now all fixed rate unlike a few years ago when they were variable and you could consolidate and lock in whatever the rates were at the time.

You consolidated your loans a couple of years ago? And you are making interest only or income contingent payments on them now? $57k@3.25% amortized over 30 yrs is a little over $250 per month.

Now Stafford loans are fixed at 6.8% and PLUS loans are 8.5%. Assuming 100k and maxing out the Stafford you get a blended rate of 7.5%. At 150k the rate is 7.875% and at 200k it is 8%. Assuming you consolidate and do 30 year repayment the monthly payments are:
For 100K debt: ~ $700/mo
For 150k debt: ~ $1090/mo
For 200k debt: ~ $1470/mo

These amounts are more than a lot of people pay in rent or mortgage. Of course, IBR may lower the payments or you might qualify for some sort of LRAP but that is another topic.


I guess I was unaware of the change. Yes, I consolidated about three years ago. I chose a graduated repayment plan, so I am paying higher payments toward the end of the 30 years, but lower payments now. I'm paying a bit more than interest, though. I figure with such a low interest rate, I'm better off investing that extra money now and earning a higher return over the 30 years than paying off that loan now.

Anyhow, $200k debt for law school is pretty unreasonable. Isn't the average debt a student incurs less than or close to $100k? If you're racking up any more than that, it had better be at a T14, or you better have rich grandparents that are going to leave you money to pay that off. Nothing's stopping people from applying at a lower T2 with a half scholarship (or more) instead of going to a lower T1 for full price. Or going to a lower T1 for close to free instead of going to T14 and banking on graduating above median against the smartest students in the country. It seems that everyone's destined for a 45-65k job now, anyways, so you might as well just try to incur the least amount of debt possible. If you want to gamble on getting a biglaw job by paying full price at the best school you can get into, then it's your risk and your decision. There's no justification for paying sticker at any law school unless you do end up getting biglaw, and your chances of such are pretty similar all the way down the line once you get below T25. This is because law school tuitions are way out of line, and aren't justified either by the cost of doing business or the reward most students are likely to get after. It's a tragedy that the misguided hope for biglaw has convinced so many students to take their financial future to the casino in the hopes that they will beat the odds somewhere. No matter where I get accepted, I'm choosing the fiscally conservative route and not banking on a six-figure salary when I get out. I'm going to attend a law school whose cost is fiscally coherent with that route. Unless I can raise my LSAT score 14 points this weekend and get in at T14, I'm looking to go in-state at either of the 4 schools I qualify for, or seeing who gives me the biggest scholarship in the region in which I want to practice. Hopefully my MS and work experience will help me get a leg up on the competition.

But even a 55k salary would be better than a lot of other options. It's not like anyone's getting promoted now or any business consulting jobs are opening up, so if I decide to wait the recession out and find another job in my current career path, it's possible I won't be making much more in 4 years, anyway. You can do a lot worse than spend 100k for a law education and make 55k. You could have gotten a Master's in architecture like two of my friends did and have zero job prospects because of the real estate crash and similar debt. Or you could have spent 50k on undergrad and gotten a degree in journalism like another one of my chronically unemployed friends. You could get a MS in any number of social sciences or humanities fields and graduate expecting to make $35k per year, tops. As bad as it is, law hasn't been hit as hard as other sectors of the economy. The only one I can think of doing better overall is healthcare, but even the people I know in that field, unless you are an RN or a Doctor, are having their hours cut or are unemployed. Two girls I knew went into nuclear medicine and are no longer working, and another friend working as a PET technician is now only working two days a week. Another friend in a clerical position in a hospital got his hours cut in half (and this was in Austin, TX, one of the least-hit cities in this whole crisis). This is in the healthcare field. So lawyers, even with a $55k salary, are still earning significantly more than most people graduating from grad school programs of similar length right now. The only difference is that they forked over an unjustified sum of money in tuition to bet against the odds for biglaw. If you want to fork over that much money, it's your prerogative.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:34 pm

JCougar wrote: If you're racking up any more than that, it had better be at a T14, or you better have rich grandparents that are going to leave you money to pay that off.


Why? Your odds at a t14 aren't particularly good anymore. Even top 25% with no journal is far from a decent shot at biglaw. So around 75% of students at lower t14s (you know which ones I'm talking about) have nothing lined up.


JCougar wrote: There's no justification for paying sticker at any law school unless you do end up getting biglaw


Not really. HY and some other select t14s pay your tuition for you if you make shitty money (and Yale draws the shitty money line at $60K /year).

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:35 pm

For christ's sake. ~$100k is less than a lot of people going to state schools end up with, when you account for capitalized interest. Even 3 years at Wisconsin with in-state tuition is pushing $85k, and Wisconsin is one of the cheapest schools for in-state students. Perhaps you have heard of this little thing called the "recession," which is putting a rather large "budget strain" on state schools, forcing them to raise their "tuition"?

T14, you're looking at closer to $200k, if you're paying full price. ($44k a year in tuition, another $10k in living expenses if you're extremely frugal. Getting living expenses that low probably isn't entirely feasible. If you go by estimated CoA, 1 year at Chicago is ~$62k. Add in capitalized interest, and you're pushing $200k.)

Not only do you not know what you're talking about in regards to legal hiring, but you don't even know what you're talking about in regards to freely available numbers and loan mechanics. Seriously, stop spouting off misinformation.

Oh, you also may want to check how credit agencies handle 30-year consolidated student loans. I have no idea if they are treated unfavorably, but if they are, you may be in a bind, and not be receiving a real net gain on those investments of yours, if having the payments spread out will, in the future, cause your interest rate on other loans (i.e. car/mortgage) to be higher.

Further, while consolidated loans can generally be deferred while you're in school, whether or not the interest will be subsidized is another matter entirely. You also may run in to a problem with the fact that you can generally only consolidate your federal loans once, though that may not apply to graduate school loans if your consolidation was on undergrad debt.

Anyway, have fun being ridiculously mis-informed and optimistic.

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JCougar
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:40 am

  • Can you tell me what the average debt load of a recent law school graduate is? It's nowhere near $200k.
  • My credit is fantastic with my current school loan repayment plan.
  • Wisconsin, UF and FSU all happen to be law schools I qualify for in-state tuition. Each would let me complete three years of school for a total debt of $60k or less for tuition alone. I know not every state has a school that cheap, but quite a few do. Even so, you can still shoot for scholarships at lower ranked schools in your area.
  • I don't know about you, but it's easy to live off of $10k or less as a student. My rent was $370/month when I went to grad school in Chicago. I lived in an okay (not great, but not violent) neighborhood a short walk to the train. Yes, I had roommates, but living conditions were not that crowded. That's $4,500 per year in rent. Add in $250/month for food, and $100 for utilities, and that brings your total to $8700 per year. You get a free public transit pass for the train. You don't need dry cleaning. That leaves you with an extra $110/month for beer, haircuts, phone, or occasionally dining out, etc., and you can "feasibly" live in a large city for $10k/year. Believe me, it's not that hard, and I could live for even less in a typical college town like Ithaca, Charlottesville, Gainesville, Bloomington, or Madison. Those COL estimates assume you get your own, large 1-bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood, and you own a car and pay car insurance and gas.

You are catastrophising, and you know it. I do know what I'm talking about. I've seen the average debt figures from law school students. You're talking about extreme cases as if they were common. You're also talking like T14 graduates are going to have their careers destroyed if they don't get a job out of OCI. In the past, doing temp work might have been a red mark on your resume, but in this climate, I'd be surprised if hiring partners in the future didn't take this into consideration when the economy recovers. They like to market their employees as people from T14 schools of a certain class rank, and neither of these statistics change if you are doing doc review for 1 year. Not getting a job out of OCI in the past was a sign of rejection, but in this climate, it's par from the course, and you're still one of the nation's top law students. I understand things are frightening, but they're not as bad as you claim.

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James Bond
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby James Bond » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:44 am

Dude...$370 for rent? $250 for food? I'm either going to bow down to your budgeting skills or run and hide from you peasant lifestyle. Please...proceed.

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JCougar
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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby JCougar » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:50 am

biv0ns wrote:Dude...$370 for rent? $250 for food? I'm either going to bow down to your budgeting skills or run and hide from you peasant lifestyle. Please...proceed.


Live with roommates and go grocery shopping at Aldi. I got a little bit lucky with the place I found, as it was a great deal. $250 is plenty of food for a month at a discount grocery store.

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Re: Is the career outlook for a non t-14 lawyer really that bad?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:17 am

A: You don't get free public transport at UChi, though you do at NW, and that adds significant cost to commuting from areas cheaper to live in than Hyde Park. That said, its a minor point, and there's no good reason for anyone to know about it.

Edit: If you honestly think there is going to be an immediate, noticeable adjustment upwards from the hiring trends of this year, you simply haven't spoken to any hiring partners, at any firms, at all. The C/O 2012 will do better than 2011, and 2013 will probably do better than 12, but you're not going to be anywhere near the classes of '04-06. They all expect gradual improvement--over the course of several years, as the pipeline has a chance to take care of the deferred and laid off associates, as well as the unemployed associates from the classes of 2009/10/11 that are probably going to be hardest hit. Gradual improvement, however, to perhaps where they were before everything hit the fan, and that's presuming that there isn't significant change in how the entire model works.

B: Yes, instate tuition at Wisconsin will run under $60k total... if you start this year, anyway. Tuition is at $16.4k this year, something like a 15% increase over last year (I can look the exact number up if you want me to, given my personal experience there.) Living on $1k a month in Madison is certainly obtainable--certainly more reasonable than in Chicago, anyway. That said, the estimated CoA at Wisconsin is still $32k per year, at current tuition prices. I will grant that the living allowance is excessive, but you're still going to be pushing 80k--I should know, having been a student there and all (that's why I use Wisconsin as a specific example, and being intimately familiar with Madison's CoL, having essentially grown up there.)

Edit: In defense of Cougar, you fail at budgeting if you can't feed yourself on $250 a month in Chicago. I spend considerably less than that. The rent amount seems unrealistically low in general, though--$350 a month is about what one can expect to pay for rent in Madison (yes, living with roommates).

No idea what the numbers are at the other schools you mentioned, but they are probably aren't significantly lower. What "lower ranked schools" in the region are you referring to? Marquette? For an in-state person, Marquette is almost certain to be more expensive, even with scholarship, than Wisconsin, unless you have T14 numbers. The lower-ranked Chicago schools? Considering their admission numbers are competative with Wisconsin's, you're not likely to get any significant scholarship money, unless you're talking about Marshall. For an in-state Wisconsin student, Wisconsin is almost certain to be your best deal, unless you got in the T14.

If you want to honestly talk to me about job opportunities available to Wisconsin students right now, by all means. I am not being hyperbolic--there are people who graduated in the top 5% this year and are working for $40k--or nothing, in one or two examples. I know of a number of top-10%-LR folks who got zeroed-out in OCI this year; and yes, that was interviewing with every firm that showed up.

I honestly just don't think you know how hard law firms have been hit. You want to talk about secondary markets? You want to talk about the "scaring effect" a lot of people have mentioned about T14s? Let's talk about Milwaukee, a place I lived in for over 5 years, in the state I essentially grew up in, whose state school I transferred out of, where I interned for the state's supreme court 1L summer:

Foley & Lardner, Milwaukee's only V100 firm, has what amounts to a hiring freeze right now. They're taking an insignifcant number of people this year (18 expected according to the NALP firm): one or two from Wisconsin's diversity clerkship program, a very small number of SAs. I was asked flat out in my OCI interview: "Why should we believe you have any interest in coming back to Milwaukee? Why would you have transferred out of Wisconsin?" They are being flooded by applicants from Northwestern, Michigan, Minnesota, and UChicago.

Whyte Hirshboeck Dudek: Hiring something like 5 SAs this summer, total, including diversity clerkship. I was rejected on mail in, and I am on very good terms with a partner there.

Quarles and Brady: No summer program this year at all. (Evidence that the estimate on the NALP forms are high, by the way--their NALP form says 7.)

Heller: We all know what happened to them. Wisconsin's legal market is still struggling to absorb all of the Heller Ehlman associates.

Reinhardt: Hiring a tiny number of SAs this year--so insignificant a number, in fact, that they cancelled their interviews at UChicago. I got rejected on my mail-in to them, by the way

Godfrey and Kahn: NALP lists 15 SAs; however, that number has been the same for 3 years, and I find it incredibly unlikely that they took the same number of people in 2007 as they expect to take this year. Rejected on the mail-in.

Michael Best: 14 expected. Made it to a phone interview with these folks, very clearly got a "we don't think you really want to be here" vibe, despite my insistence otherwise.

von Briesen: Even in a normal year they only take 4ish SAs, no idea if they are taking any at all this year.

That concludes the list of NALP firms in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is NOT a tiny legal market--it isn't as big as Minneapolis, but it doesn't have as many schools directly feeding in to its market, either.

Madison is an even smaller market, and has always been terribly difficult to break in to. This year? The number of people Madison is hiring is absolutely insignificant.

If these numbers don't at least demonstrate to you that you may, PERHAPS, be ill-informed, I don't know what to tell you.




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