Columbia students taking questions

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buffalo_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby buffalo_ » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:14 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
mt2165 wrote:Ahhh ok that makes sense. Something I don't really comprehend as a 0L is the availability/viability of these exit options. Is there like an "average" case of what these look like to a CLS grad at a V20 firm after a few years. Like you have good, fulfilling options?

Depends on how you define good and fulfilling. If you want to make six figures for the rest of your life you'll be able to.


I have wondered about this too. TLS makes it seem like going in-house means earning 70k per year. I have read data on ATL that contradicts this and actually says that in-house attorneys make a ton of money because of cash and equity bonuses. Obviously GC are going to make a lot, but I would imagine that even associate counsel at big companies make $150k minimum in salary based on what the GC makes. If you go to a V100 or V50 are these types of exit options reasonable? Not just being above 6 figures, but being above $200k or at least $150k. At that level, it might be expensive in interest payments to keep up with the debt load, but I would gather it is certainly possible to pay it off. Thats a MAX of a 2:1 debt to income ratio, so it should be possible to get out from under it. Especially after paying it down from BigLaw. Am I wrong to think this way?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:18 pm

My gf works at an F500 here in NYC and the lowest paid AGC makes about 220k. But they don't hire people all that often. The most recent hire did six years in biglaw. Don't know how typical that is, but the Robert Half legal salary guide is floating out there somewhere and gives a decent idea of what in-house jobs pay.

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buffalo_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby buffalo_ » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:31 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:My gf works at an F500 here in NYC and the lowest paid AGC makes about 220k. But they don't hire people all that often. The most recent hire did six years in biglaw. Don't know how typical that is, but the Robert Half legal salary guide is floating out there somewhere and gives a decent idea of what in-house jobs pay.



Even though they don't hire often, it is still reassuring. Because there 499 other companies in the F500 and there isn't a specific time you have to move BigLaw to in-house, you could wait for the right time and when there are openings.

Mostly this is reassuring that "LS-> BigLaw 3 years -> Burnout -> make 70k and never pay off debt" isn't the inevitable path that many on TLS seem to say it is. Even the low-end starting salary for in-house lawyers with 0-3 years experience at large companies is 118K this year. And I would anticipate much higher with a few years of BigLaw experience. http://www.roberthalf.com/legal/lawyer-salary-center

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papercut
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby papercut » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:54 pm

Thanks for all the great replies so far guys.

How do you guys figure out which firms are good work for in terms of firm morale, lack of psycho partners, which groups in the firm have the healthiest environments, etc?

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smaug_
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby smaug_ » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:07 pm

papercut wrote:Thanks for all the great replies so far guys.

How do you guys figure out which firms are good work for in terms of firm morale, lack of psycho partners, which groups in the firm have the healthiest environments, etc?


:lol: you're a 0L right? I think finding those firms is a hard task. Most people try to work on trying to find a job and then pick among offers instead of looking for the job. You'll have an opportunity to go to events, interview with people and figure out which firm you think will be a good fit for you.

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papercut
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby papercut » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:42 pm

smaug wrote:
papercut wrote:Thanks for all the great replies so far guys.

How do you guys figure out which firms are good work for in terms of firm morale, lack of psycho partners, which groups in the firm have the healthiest environments, etc?


:lol: you're a 0L right? I think finding those firms is a hard task. Most people try to work on trying to find a job and then pick among offers instead of looking for the job. You'll have an opportunity to go to events, interview with people and figure out which firm you think will be a good fit for you.


Yes 0L here asking questions. I can see how that's hilarious.

Can't you target firms with good reps for firm morale in your bid list? Instead of merely looking for a job.

I was wondering more if there were alumni that would talk to you candidly about the cultures in their firms, instead of merely relying on the interviews.

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banjo
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby banjo » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:04 pm

buffalo_ wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:My gf works at an F500 here in NYC and the lowest paid AGC makes about 220k. But they don't hire people all that often. The most recent hire did six years in biglaw. Don't know how typical that is, but the Robert Half legal salary guide is floating out there somewhere and gives a decent idea of what in-house jobs pay.



Even though they don't hire often, it is still reassuring. Because there 499 other companies in the F500 and there isn't a specific time you have to move BigLaw to in-house, you could wait for the right time and when there are openings.

Mostly this is reassuring that "LS-> BigLaw 3 years -> Burnout -> make 70k and never pay off debt" isn't the inevitable path that many on TLS seem to say it is. Even the low-end starting salary for in-house lawyers with 0-3 years experience at large companies is 118K this year. And I would anticipate much higher with a few years of BigLaw experience. http://www.roberthalf.com/legal/lawyer-salary-center


Just to give you another view, I don't think you should take out sticker loans. You can still strike out, get no-offered, or get laid off before you pay down much of the debt. A 2L on the previous page said 10-15% of 2Ls still don't have something lined up for 2L summer. Doesn't that give you pause? Even if you get big law, it seems to be a pretty miserable life. At least consider taking a scholarship at another T14.

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papercut
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby papercut » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:54 pm

banjo wrote:
buffalo_ wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:My gf works at an F500 here in NYC and the lowest paid AGC makes about 220k. But they don't hire people all that often. The most recent hire did six years in biglaw. Don't know how typical that is, but the Robert Half legal salary guide is floating out there somewhere and gives a decent idea of what in-house jobs pay.



Even though they don't hire often, it is still reassuring. Because there 499 other companies in the F500 and there isn't a specific time you have to move BigLaw to in-house, you could wait for the right time and when there are openings.

Mostly this is reassuring that "LS-> BigLaw 3 years -> Burnout -> make 70k and never pay off debt" isn't the inevitable path that many on TLS seem to say it is. Even the low-end starting salary for in-house lawyers with 0-3 years experience at large companies is 118K this year. And I would anticipate much higher with a few years of BigLaw experience. http://www.roberthalf.com/legal/lawyer-salary-center


Just to give you another view, I don't think you should take out sticker loans. You can still strike out, get no-offered, or get laid off before you pay down much of the debt. A 2L on the previous page said 10-15% of 2Ls still don't have something lined up for 2L summer. Doesn't that give you pause? Even if you get big law, it seems to be a pretty miserable life. At least consider taking a scholarship at another T14.


It looks like 10-15 without any summer jobs at all might not be very accurate.

Image

With ~94% responding.

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banjo
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby banjo » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:11 am

A good chunk of the people doing PI, gov't, or judicial internships during their 2L summer probably struck out at OCI. Those are the kinds of jobs people do for their 1L summer--they don't typically lead to permanent offers.

In the past few years 80-90% of EIP participants have gotten at least one offer. That's pretty good, but it still means that a good number of debt-ridden students strike out.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:38 pm

I agree with Banjo but not for the same reasons. If you're worried about striking out then having just 200k in debt instead of 300k in debt doesn't do you a lot of good. I don't think you should pay sticker because a good outcome with sticker loans attached isn't really a good outcome.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mt2165 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:12 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I agree with Banjo but not for the same reasons. If you're worried about striking out then having just 200k in debt instead of 300k in debt doesn't do you a lot of good. I don't think you should pay sticker because a good outcome with sticker loans attached isn't really a good outcome.


Does that mean then that columbia was not a good choice for a majority of the students who matriculate there since most are paying sticker? Or is need based aid really that substantial?

Edit: I forgot that a sizable percentage of CLS is rich and can front the/a decent portion of the bill.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:18 pm

mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I agree with Banjo but not for the same reasons. If you're worried about striking out then having just 200k in debt instead of 300k in debt doesn't do you a lot of good. I don't think you should pay sticker because a good outcome with sticker loans attached isn't really a good outcome.


Does that mean then that columbia was not a good choice for a majority of the students who matriculate there since most are paying sticker? Or is need based aid really that substantial?

Edit: I forgot that a sizable percentage of CLS is rich and can front the/a decent portion of the bill.

Yeah a lot of people are rich enough to have family put a big dent in the final tally. The ABA data shows that about half the class gets scholarships, the median of which is $12,000 per year. So a quarter of the class is getting at least that much off.

Columbia at sticker isn't a bad choice if you have corporate-focused goals, want to end up in NYC, and don't have big money from somewhere else in the T-14. But given the high cost of living in this city and the money most people turn down from other schools I do think a lot of people can do better.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mt2165 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:25 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I agree with Banjo but not for the same reasons. If you're worried about striking out then having just 200k in debt instead of 300k in debt doesn't do you a lot of good. I don't think you should pay sticker because a good outcome with sticker loans attached isn't really a good outcome.


Does that mean then that columbia was not a good choice for a majority of the students who matriculate there since most are paying sticker? Or is need based aid really that substantial?

Edit: I forgot that a sizable percentage of CLS is rich and can front the/a decent portion of the bill.

Yeah a lot of people are rich enough to have family put a big dent in the final tally. The ABA data shows that about half the class gets scholarships, the median of which is $12,000 per year. So a quarter of the class is getting at least that much off.

Columbia at sticker isn't a bad choice if you have corporate-focused goals, want to end up in NYC, and don't have big money from somewhere else in the T-14. But given the high cost of living in this city and the money most people turn down from other schools I do think a lot of people can do better.


Yeah that seems wise and makes a lot of sense. Me personally, I'm more PI/Gov focused, and want to end up in DC or NYC. Can't seem to grasp whether CLS (at sticker or close) makes any sense for someone who wants PI/Gov? I mean I would absolutely love to attend, and money really isn't an end goal for me. I just don't know if going in planning to depend on LRAP is completely naive and shortsighted.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:32 pm

Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mt2165 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:45 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.


Yeah well I'd be lying if I didn't consider it a possibility that I'll waiver from that path. Where do you think the debt threshold lies? 150k? Assuming you want NYC biglaw.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:55 pm

mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.


Yeah well I'd be lying if I didn't consider it a possibility that I'll waiver from that path. Where do you think the debt threshold lies? 150k? Assuming you want NYC biglaw.

150k is a good number to shoot for. Might not be attainable for splitters but it's a good target.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:05 pm

mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.


Yeah well I'd be lying if I didn't consider it a possibility that I'll waiver from that path. Where do you think the debt threshold lies? 150k? Assuming you want NYC biglaw.


I don't think a single number can be assigned in these scenarios and I wouldn't feel comfortable providing a specific debt threshold.

I also don't agree sticker at CLS is universally a bad choice even for those without significant family assets. If you want NYC biglaw, there's no better place to come, so that "goal" could be worth a lot of money to you depending on the available alternatives (although it's not a particularly attractive goal).

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:13 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.


Yeah well I'd be lying if I didn't consider it a possibility that I'll waiver from that path. Where do you think the debt threshold lies? 150k? Assuming you want NYC biglaw.

150k is a good number to shoot for. Might not be attainable for splitters but it's a good target.


Hope this intrusion into the thread from a non-CLS student isn't a breach of forum etiquette, but 150k total indebtedness equates to a fair bit more than a half-scholarship at CLS. I ran the numbers through the GULC calculator and other spreadsheets when I was considering attending on an 85k scholarship (essentially half-tuition), and ended up with anywhere between 190-200k total indebtedness at graduation depending on what you assume tuition increase will be every year. It might seem like less until you consider that debt accrues while you're in school.

You can probably cut under the CoL estimates if you're thrifty/live in Queens or NJ/etc, and if you've got some savings or family help obviously the debt numbers are lower. But still, aiming for 150k total indebtedness is going to be pretty much unattainable for everyone not on Hamilton, if that's your threshold - it doesn't seem like there's much coverage in scholarships granted between half- and full-tuition. But please correct me if it's possible to cut a lot off CLS's estimates, as obviously I don't go there and don't know how realistic the budget is (though I was having a hard time finding an apartment in/near Morningside Heights that would be less than their rent estimates, FWIW). Also obviously this doesn't account for whatever you're able to cut off the debt numbers from 2L SA.

This doesn't really deal with whether it's a good decision to attend - had I not had an option with less debt, I would've pulled the trigger without second thought given CLS's excellent employment outcomes. Just that 150k as a debt target is going to lead a fair number of folks to disappointment.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mt2165 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:27 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
mt2165 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Yeah I was going to add that the cost isn't really a huge issue for people who end up in government/PI. But you've really gotta be committed to that path.


Yeah well I'd be lying if I didn't consider it a possibility that I'll waiver from that path. Where do you think the debt threshold lies? 150k? Assuming you want NYC biglaw.

150k is a good number to shoot for. Might not be attainable for splitters but it's a good target.


Hope this intrusion into the thread from a non-CLS student isn't a breach of forum etiquette, but 150k total indebtedness equates to a fair bit more than a half-scholarship at CLS. I ran the numbers through the GULC calculator and other spreadsheets when I was considering attending on an 85k scholarship (essentially half-tuition), and ended up with anywhere between 190-200k total indebtedness at graduation depending on what you assume tuition increase will be every year. It might seem like less until you consider that debt accrues while you're in school.

You can probably cut under the CoL estimates if you're thrifty/live in Queens or NJ/etc, and if you've got some savings or family help obviously the debt numbers are lower. But still, aiming for 150k total indebtedness is going to be pretty much unattainable for everyone not on Hamilton, if that's your threshold - it doesn't seem like there's much coverage in scholarships granted between half- and full-tuition. But please correct me if it's possible to cut a lot off CLS's estimates, as obviously I don't go there and don't know how realistic the budget is (though I was having a hard time finding an apartment in/near Morningside Heights that would be less than their rent estimates, FWIW). Also obviously this doesn't account for whatever you're able to cut off the debt numbers from 2L SA.

This doesn't really deal with whether it's a good decision to attend - had I not had an option with less debt, I would've pulled the trigger without second thought given CLS's excellent employment outcomes. Just that 150k as a debt target is going to lead a fair number of folks to disappointment.


Thanks! I think your analysis is definitely warranted. It's scary to think that even with a butler you're looking at nearly 200k, almost leads to nihilism lol

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:45 pm

150k is tough to get to, but I don't think most people paying their own way should go to Columbia. It still makes a ton of sense for splitters--I know of at least two people who late into their app cycle were only in at CLS and WUSTL. But if you have the GPA to get money here your best bet is to retake or take the big scholarship at a lower T-14. 150k is obviously not a drop dead cutoff and lots of different things can change the calculus. I just think someone intent on NYC biglaw should look to keep their debt down around that level while staying in the T-14.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby mt2165 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:17 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:150k is tough to get to, but I don't think most people paying their own way should go to Columbia. It still makes a ton of sense for splitters--I know of at least two people who late into their app cycle were only in at CLS and WUSTL. But if you have the GPA to get money here your best bet is to retake or take the big scholarship at a lower T-14. 150k is obviously not a drop dead cutoff and lots of different things can change the calculus. I just think someone intent on NYC biglaw should look to keep their debt down around that level while staying in the T-14.


Funny that you say that, considering my two viable options on the table right now are Columbia and WUSTL on a full ride. Still waiting on Michigan, NYU, Georgetown, and Cornell though.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby EvMont » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:35 pm

Just wondering if you all know of people who took CLS over HLS for reasons other than scholarship money. And if so, what were those reasons?

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:45 pm

EvMont wrote:Just wondering if you all know of people who took CLS over HLS for reasons other than scholarship money. And if so, what were those reasons?


I have two non-TLS friends who made this choice, although I don't know their specific finances (don't know what their cost difference was). They wanted to live in New York, and had specific profs & programs they were interested in - typically internationally oriented. I bet there are more but people don't really talk about this once you get here.

I've seen others on TLS say they wanted to stay closer to home, SO had good job in NY, ect. But I bet usually its a combination of $$ and being in New York. Obviously at equal cost many more people would choose HLS.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby welkertexasranger » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:53 am

EvMont wrote:Just wondering if you all know of people who took CLS over HLS for reasons other than scholarship money. And if so, what were those reasons?


Life is too short to spend three years in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Seriously. That and wanting to do biglaw.

If you want academia / clerkships, it's a no brainer to go to H. With that being said, I know an alumna of H who worked at Williams and Connelly for several years and now wants to work at the USAO and hasn't been able to get anything in 2 years. So, you know, the whole law school thing is sort of buyer beware.

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Re: Columbia 1L(s) taking questions

Postby Gary » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:08 am

So I would love to work in California after graduating from CLS but I have 0 ties. Would TCR be to get to a NYC biglaw firm with a CA office and then try to transfer after a year? Also, the reason I'm not considering Berkeley is that I have 90k more at CLS.




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