Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

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Which would you choose?

T14 with $150,000 in debt
27
18%
T40 with 0 debt + $9,000 stipend
123
82%
 
Total votes: 150

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mmk33
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby mmk33 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:36 am

You two are arguing slightly different things.

IAFG is arguing if you want a job in Milwaukee, you'd rather be median at T14 than top 1/4 at UW.
You're arguing that some set of firms perceive median at UW equivalent to median at a T14.

Your point can be true at the same time as IAFG's. Most firms in Wisconsin might perceive someone at median at the T14 equivalent to someone at median at UW. But they're not going to hire either.[1] However, there are some firms in Wisconsin that don't really care about grades for people at T14 schools, as long as the person demonstrates sufficient ties to and interest in the market.

[1] For 2011, UW only placed 15% of its class into firms with (> 25) attorneys or federal clerkships: http://www.law.wisc.edu/career/employme ... index.html. Note that we're not even talking about big law here. Average starting salary for firms in the 25-50 lawyer range is about $75,000: --LinkRemoved--.[/quote]

This seems high to me, but I might be mistaken. (also this document is from 2007).

gman1978
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby gman1978 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:11 pm

My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.

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rayiner
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:36 pm

mmk33 wrote:You two are arguing slightly different things.

IAFG is arguing if you want a job in Milwaukee, you'd rather be median at T14 than top 1/4 at UW.
You're arguing that some set of firms perceive median at UW equivalent to median at a T14.

Your point can be true at the same time as IAFG's. Most firms in Wisconsin might perceive someone at median at the T14 equivalent to someone at median at UW. But they're not going to hire either.[1] However, there are some firms in Wisconsin that don't really care about grades for people at T14 schools, as long as the person demonstrates sufficient ties to and interest in the market.

[1] For 2011, UW only placed 15% of its class into firms with (> 25) attorneys or federal clerkships: http://www.law.wisc.edu/career/employme ... index.html. Note that we're not even talking about big law here. Average starting salary for firms in the 25-50 lawyer range is about $75,000: --LinkRemoved--.


This seems high to me, but I might be mistaken. (also this document is from 2007).[/quote]

NALP member firms tend to skew a bit high.

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rayiner
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:54 pm

gman1978 wrote:My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.


The people who "lose the bet" taking a T14 at sticker over full-ride at a T40 are definitely more screwed, and thus more likely to wish they had chosen differently. But people are more likely to lose the bet at a T40.

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/
http://www.law.illinois.edu/career-serv ... yment-data

At NU, 40 / 287 don't have long-term, full-time employment after 9 months (14%). At UIUC, 57/190 (30%). At NU, 176/287 (61%) ended up at a 100+ attorney firm or federal clerkship. At UIUC, 35/190 (18%). Your $175k or so (after interest) buys you triple the chance of making very good money along with half the risk of being unemployed.

gman1978
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby gman1978 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:05 pm

rayiner wrote:
gman1978 wrote:My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.


The people who "lose the bet" taking a T14 at sticker over full-ride at a T40 are definitely more screwed, and thus more likely to wish they had chosen differently. But people are more likely to lose the bet at a T40.

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/
http://www.law.illinois.edu/career-serv ... yment-data

At NU, 40 / 287 don't have long-term, full-time employment after 9 months (14%). At UIUC, 57/190 (30%). At NU, 176/287 (61%) ended up at a 100+ attorney firm or federal clerkship. At UIUC, 35/190 (18%). Your $175k or so (after interest) buys you triple the chance of making very good money along with half the risk of being unemployed.


There's no question that a school like UIUC leaves open a bigger chance of striking out, but that chance has to be reduced for students with a full ride who generally have better stats and are able to perform in law school without financial pressure. The question is what the correlation is between getting a full ride to a school and doing well there. I would guess that there is a much lower chance for those who get a full ride to UIUC to end up unemployed relative to a random person pulled out of one of their classes, but really who knows?

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wiseowl
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby wiseowl » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:21 pm

I'll put a data point on the other side of the curve. I was in an almost identical situation, and took the T14. I have a job, and am happy, but am not tip-top of the class. Who knows how things would have worked out at the T40, but if I had finished same place in the class there, I'd be unemployed.

You need to really look at what OCI is like out of this school, and not just for people that finish Coif.

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thexfactor
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby thexfactor » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:34 pm

gman1978 wrote:My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.



self selection bias. The conventional wisdom is T14 or bust. Therefore, the T14 who wish they taken a full ride at a lower ranked school breaks the conventional wisdom due to the fact that it proves everyone else wrong. In other words, their failure isn't seen as their own mistake. The people who selected the t40 and are jobless are less likely to respond due to the fact that everyone would criticize their decision since it was non conventional. Their mistake of choosing a t40 defies the general consensus and therefore it would be seen as the fault lies on the individual who made the mistake.

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rayiner
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:45 pm

thexfactor wrote:
gman1978 wrote:My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.



self selection bias. The conventional wisdom is T14 or bust. Therefore, the T14 who wish they taken a full ride at a lower ranked school breaks the conventional wisdom due to the fact that it proves everyone else wrong. In other words, their failure isn't seen as their own mistake. The people who selected the t40 and are jobless are less likely to respond due to the fact that everyone would criticize their decision since it was non conventional. Their mistake of choosing a t40 defies the general consensus and therefore it would be seen as the fault lies on the individual who made the mistake.


It's also a matter of numbers. Aside from a few low-GPA splitters, everyone at a T14 could have gotten $$ at a T40. Thus the pool of people from which you would draw "people who wish they had taken a T40 with $$ over a T14" is a lot bigger than the pool from which you would draw "people who wish they had taken a T14 over a T40 with $$."

gman1978
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby gman1978 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:08 am

rayiner wrote:
thexfactor wrote:
gman1978 wrote:My two cents: I've read a number of posts on here (and elsewhere) of T14 grads who wish they'd taken a full ride at a lower ranked school, but I don't think I've ever read a post by a full-rider at a lower ranked but still good school who wishes they took the T14. But people who chose that way definitely exist. For instance, there are a number of people considering WUSTL with full ride vs T14; IU-B full ride versus T14; BC full ride versus T14; etc.



self selection bias. The conventional wisdom is T14 or bust. Therefore, the T14 who wish they taken a full ride at a lower ranked school breaks the conventional wisdom due to the fact that it proves everyone else wrong. In other words, their failure isn't seen as their own mistake. The people who selected the t40 and are jobless are less likely to respond due to the fact that everyone would criticize their decision since it was non conventional. Their mistake of choosing a t40 defies the general consensus and therefore it would be seen as the fault lies on the individual who made the mistake.


It's also a matter of numbers. Aside from a few low-GPA splitters, everyone at a T14 could have gotten $$ at a T40. Thus the pool of people from which you would draw "people who wish they had taken a T40 with $$ over a T14" is a lot bigger than the pool from which you would draw "people who wish they had taken a T14 over a T40 with $$."


I think I see the point. There are people who get a full ride and don't get in to any T14. There are also people at a T14 who don't get a full ride to any T40. There is definitely a much larger pool of people who are in to a T14 and have at least one full ride offer, and I would guess that out of this pool the majority pick the T14. So, assuming this is true, the pool of people to testify ("I wish I went T40...") is bigger than ("I wish I went T14..."). But I can't think of anyone who has reported that they regret taking a full ride to a T40.

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Ersatz Haderach
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby Ersatz Haderach » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:10 am

Decisions are made to expand options down the line - this is especially important when you have a family, and your timeline extends beyond your own early life concerns. What constrains your desired options more - the weaker job placement of a T40 vs. a T14, or 150k in debt? Alternatively, do you absolutely have to have BigLaw? Answer those, and either way, you've made your decision.

I voted for the money, because I made that same decision. For me, it was more like T2 v. T20, and I'm glad I took the money, although I've definitely learned to appreciate the shocking difference in how much harder I have to work to get an interview somewhere I don't know anybody as opposed to Mr./Ms. T20. But even if I was staring at an unemployed summer, I'm not sure I'd be kicking myself for not attending T20. And in your situation, I don't think I'd think twice.

But seriously, full tuition AND books/stipend at a T1 in your desired regional market, AND you own a house, AND you like the market...use the Top 25% stip for the stipend/books as a nice motivator and go for it. Congratulations on an awesome scholarship.

lobolawyer
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby lobolawyer » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:30 am

Ersatz Haderach wrote:Decisions are made to expand options down the line - this is especially important when you have a family, and your timeline extends beyond your own early life concerns. What constrains your desired options more - the weaker job placement of a T40 vs. a T14, or 150k in debt? Alternatively, do you absolutely have to have BigLaw? Answer those, and either way, you've made your decision.

I voted for the money, because I made that same decision. For me, it was more like T2 v. T20, and I'm glad I took the money, although I've definitely learned to appreciate the shocking difference in how much harder I have to work to get an interview somewhere I don't know anybody as opposed to Mr./Ms. T20. But even if I was staring at an unemployed summer, I'm not sure I'd be kicking myself for not attending T20. And in your situation, I don't think I'd think twice.

But seriously, full tuition AND books/stipend at a T1 in your desired regional market, AND you own a house, AND you like the market...use the Top 25% stip for the stipend/books as a nice motivator and go for it. Congratulations on an awesome scholarship.


Word.

I'm not at a T40, but my school only gives 2 of these huge stipend included schollys a year. And I can tell you that the alumni association goes above & beyond for those two people. In most circumstances conventional wisdom might tilt the scales a particular way, but for OP I think the T40 is the clear choice.

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thexfactor
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby thexfactor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:42 am

Ersatz Haderach wrote:Decisions are made to expand options down the line - this is especially important when you have a family, and your timeline extends beyond your own early life concerns. What constrains your desired options more - the weaker job placement of a T40 vs. a T14, or 150k in debt? Alternatively, do you absolutely have to have BigLaw? Answer those, and either way, you've made your decision.

I voted for the money, because I made that same decision. For me, it was more like T2 v. T20, and I'm glad I took the money, although I've definitely learned to appreciate the shocking difference in how much harder I have to work to get an interview somewhere I don't know anybody as opposed to Mr./Ms. T20. But even if I was staring at an unemployed summer, I'm not sure I'd be kicking myself for not attending T20. And in your situation, I don't think I'd think twice.

But seriously, full tuition AND books/stipend at a T1 in your desired regional market, AND you own a house, AND you like the market...use the Top 25% stip for the stipend/books as a nice motivator and go for it. Congratulations on an awesome scholarship.


I think it depends on school. T20 as in Uminn which places around 10% or T20 as in USC which places 35%+ in biglaw?

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dingbat
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby dingbat » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:08 am

thexfactor wrote:I think it depends on school. T20 as in Uminn which places around 10% or T20 as in USC which places 35%+ in biglaw?

This. Some schools for free are better than (some) T14 at sticker, others are not.
(on a separate note, I once had a partner say no one with ambition goes to Minnesota. He was referring to working in the city though, no mention of school)

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cantaboot
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:02 am

ditto. It depends on the school.

My school (BC) gave out scholarships and a couple of people with 168+ and GPA 4 gave up places in higher-ranking school. They made a right decision.

(I guess many schools also give out smaller scholarships, e.g. half tuition, no living expenses - not always merit-based/ some consider diversity factors and needs - depending on the students' priorities I would say, from my personal experiences, that it would be wise to take small scholarships offered by lower-ranked school over huge debt/T14)

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Tadatsune
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby Tadatsune » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:51 am

Given the family situation, T40 with $$$ is a clear winner here.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:31 am

cantaboot wrote:I would say, from my personal experiences, that it would be wise to take small scholarships offered by lower-ranked school over huge debt/T14)


Small scholarships still lead to huge debt these days.

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dingbat
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby dingbat » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:38 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
cantaboot wrote:I would say, from my personal experiences, that it would be wise to take small scholarships offered by lower-ranked school over huge debt/T14)


Small scholarships still lead to huge debt these days.

I'm hoping this meant small scholarships with instate tuition

For those lucky enough to choose, it should be a matter of:
T14 at sticker vs top regional with good scholly vs competitive school for free + stipend.
(even better would be HYS vs T14 with scholly vs top regional for free with stipend, but let's not go there)

For those unfortunate enough to not have that choice, they shouldn't be going to law school (exception for in-state in a very parochial market, like Wyoming)

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sunynp
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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby sunynp » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:18 pm

I think that turning down the scholarship would be foolish. Stay where you are, build your network of contacts starting now, marry the woman you love and have a great life. If I were you I would get in touch with alumni over this summer, have coffee and tell them how excited you are about this, get their career advice, find out about the job market. [Maybe you are already doing this.]

If you have no debt you don't have to get biglaw to repay loans. You think you want biglaw now, but it really isn't that great of a job. You might be able to find a different career if you want it, or if you need to because of your grades. I think you can be happy with your life from the T40 with the scholarship.

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Re: Huge money + named scholarship at the T40 vs. T14 + debt

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:50 am

OP here. After I made this thread I went back and forth on this decision many times. I made an eight page document listing the pros and cons of the T14 and the T40, and I solicited the advice of everyone whose opinion I valued, from current associates in biglaw (who'd graduated from the T14 or the T40), two partners in biglaw at different firms, professors at different schools, and many others. I was married a little more than a week ago, and I talked the decision over with my wife quite a bit. In the end, I pulled the trigger and withdrew from the T14 and accepted the full ride plus at the T40. Thanks to everyone in this thread who voted or commented--the perspectives were helpful in making this decision. At the end of the day, both choices involve a good deal of risk, but I'm confident that between working hard and networking I can graduate from the T40 with a good job or clerkship, and as people have mentioned above the school has a powerful motivation to make sure that I have gainful employment. One of the biggest factors that influenced my decision was that I spent several hours tracking down former graduates from the school who had this scholarship (not hard to do since there are so few of them), and talking to the recent graduates (2010 and 2011) who had come through the program. If there's anyone who is thinking of making a similar choice, feel free to PM me. I have a detailed list of pros/cons for my specific schools, and would be happy to function as a sounding board.




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