Changes in feelings about debt and the future

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Great Satchmo
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Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:49 pm

I came into the hunt for law school thinking that as long as I'm into decent schools, I'm fine paying sticker, which comes out to $160-$180k, with COL, for a school I'd enjoy and give me some good opportunities.

More and more it seems to be a gamble to go to a school (read: not T-14's, etc) and assume that the school will "give" me opportunities. At best, if I go to a better school at sticker, I'm essentially assuming the opportunities present will get me that high paying job (and for T2's, that's not a great bet).

Additionally, I look at the rough amount of monthly payments for a $180k loan, and the length of repayment, and it's flooring. I can't imagine coming out of school without the $90,000+ job and paying it back. Plus, this is going to be a burden for a decade(s?).

The T3/T4's for free, where you have to scrape together your own job opportunities, struggle a bit, and maybe taking a ding to the pride...it's seeming like a better and better idea.

The latitude to get a job without a crushing monthly payment to worry about seems like it already relieves a lot of stress. I just don't know how I can count on these $100k jobs as a gamble for a $120k more.
Last edited by Great Satchmo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:50 pm

I guess the point of that was:

Has anyone else been going through this with deposit deadlines coming up?

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oberlin08
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby oberlin08 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:I came into the hunt for law school thinking that as long as I'm into decent schools, I'm fine paying sticker, which comes out to $160-$180k, with COL, for a school I'd enjoy and give me some good opportunities.

More and more it seems to be a gamble to go to a school (read: not T-14's, etc) and assume that the school will "give" me opportunities. At best, if I go to a better school at sticker, I'm essentially assuming the opportunities present will get me that high paying job (and for T2's, that's not a great bet).

Additionally, I look at the rough amount of monthly payments for a $180k loan, and the length of repayment, and it's flooring. I can't imagine coming out of school without the $90,000+ job and paying it back. Plus, this is going to be a burden for a decade(s?).

The T3/T4's for free, where you have to scrape together your own job opportunities, struggle a bit, and maybe taking a ding to the pride...it's seeming like a better and better idea.

The latitude to get a job without a crushing monthly payment to worry about seems like it already relieves a lot of stress. I just don't know how I can count on these $100k jobs as a gamble for a $120k more.



I've been going through the exact same thought process over the last few days. Which has led me to more seriously consider the night school/work FT option that I've purposely kept on the table in addition to maybe going to a state school in a state where i can get in-state tuition for 2L/3L. But either way it all sounds pretty crappy.

:x

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:34 pm

Just talked to a friend who had his exit counseling, who hasn't gotten scholarship, and his payments over 25 years are around $1,300 a month, although no early pay-off.

That, although not insurmountable, is staggering. Almost $16,000 a year, for 25 years, has to be paid out. Although it seems "doable", it's something thought would be weighing heavily if one obtains a $50k-$60k job out of school, and doesn't move up from there all that quickly.

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wakefield
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby wakefield » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:37 pm

I'm seriously considering taking a free ride at a local T3. I know I'd be bound to this location, but there's a good chance I'd want to practice here anyway.

200k doesn't seem worth it if I don't want biglaw.

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kswiss
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby kswiss » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:54 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:Just talked to a friend who had his exit counseling, who hasn't gotten scholarship, and his payments over 25 years are around $1,300 a month, although no early pay-off.

That, although not insurmountable, is staggering. Almost $16,000 a year, for 25 years, has to be paid out. Although it seems "doable", it's something thought would be weighing heavily if one obtains a $50k-$60k job out of school, and doesn't move up from there all that quickly.


Has your friend considered IBR? If his loans are government, he won't pay nearly that much. I have no idea why someone would take out private loans, if that is the case. His principle balance must be massive for it to be 16k a year for 25 years to pay off.

Under IBR:

Making 50k a year, your payment is capped at $420/mo. (Less if married, even less if children.) Unpaid interest is forgiven on subsidized stafford loans for the first 3 years. After 25 years, any outstanding balance is forgiven. If your work in public service, the debt is forgiven at 10 years. Your payment is adjusted yearly along with your income.

In other words, it's still a bunch of money! But significantly less than 16k a year.

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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:59 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:I guess the point of that was:

Has anyone else been going through this with deposit deadlines coming up?


I've been having the same problem with deciding between a T14 at sticker and a T1 for almost free. To add to my dilemma, I have a decent paying (~90K) job now where I pay minimal taxes so a lot is take home. But I know that I have a passion for the law so I'm taking the plunge.

Some days I wake up saying "I'm going to the T14, it doesn't matter how much I go into debt. It's no worse than buying a house. And If I don't go to the best school, I'll regret it."

Other days (sometimes even later that same day) I think "No way is a few extra job opportunities worth $130K. And if I work my ass off, it won't matter that I went to a slightly lower ranked school. I'm going to take the money and run."

Far less often I look at this site and others like ATL and think "People who are lawyers seem to hate everything about their careers. There's a guy selling his degree on craigslist for crying out loud! Do I really understand what I'm getting into?"

This is my daily conflict.

I've even considered to put down a seat deposit on both schools to buy some extra time to think.

Regardless, a decision's got to be made. I feel for you Satchmo. But in the words of the Guiness Brewery..."Fortune favors the bold."

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:48 pm

wakefield wrote:I'm seriously considering taking a free ride at a local T3. I know I'd be bound to this location, but there's a good chance I'd want to practice here anyway.

200k doesn't seem worth it if I don't want biglaw.


I don't see being bound to a region as a bad thing at all. The T-14, for me, wouldn't be alluring due to mobility, just the career prospects/education/etc. For me, being in SF or SD is fine, I don't need or necessarily want to move around much.

Biglaw could be interesting, but it's more the fact that it's such a gamble unless you are at one of those top schools and at least in the top half, if not even better. So, for the large majority of law students, big law is not even on the radar. And, assuming repayment of loans is aligned with that, it's fine.


I'm really starting to question the substantive difference between some of the respected enough T3/T4's and the T2's.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:50 pm

kswiss wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:Just talked to a friend who had his exit counseling, who hasn't gotten scholarship, and his payments over 25 years are around $1,300 a month, although no early pay-off.

That, although not insurmountable, is staggering. Almost $16,000 a year, for 25 years, has to be paid out. Although it seems "doable", it's something thought would be weighing heavily if one obtains a $50k-$60k job out of school, and doesn't move up from there all that quickly.


Has your friend considered IBR? If his loans are government, he won't pay nearly that much. I have no idea why someone would take out private loans, if that is the case. His principle balance must be massive for it to be 16k a year for 25 years to pay off.

Under IBR:

Making 50k a year, your payment is capped at $420/mo. (Less if married, even less if children.) Unpaid interest is forgiven on subsidized stafford loans for the first 3 years. After 25 years, any outstanding balance is forgiven. If your work in public service, the debt is forgiven at 10 years. Your payment is adjusted yearly along with your income.

In other words, it's still a bunch of money! But significantly less than 16k a year.


If this only covers government loans, don't students who end up financing all of their tuition and COL end up having to take out private loans?

Any good resources for IBR? I don't know enough about it to be making a decent decision based on it.

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blerg
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby blerg » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:51 pm

wakefield wrote:I'm seriously considering taking a free ride at a local T3. I know I'd be bound to this location, but there's a good chance I'd want to practice here anyway.

200k doesn't seem worth it if I don't want biglaw.



For me too. But I love my city.

yo!
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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby yo! » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:56 pm

Same situation, but I'm thankful to have two full ride offers at TTT (but regionally strong) schools that I would be happy with. I will probably just take one of them and bust my ass to finish at the top of the class. If I can't do that, doc review here I come!

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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:56 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:I'm really starting to question the substantive difference between some of the respected enough T3/T4's and the T2's.


The substantive difference is in BigLaw placement as well as judicial clerkships.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

...but based on recent numbers, a lot of those students T2s and lower T1s (and even some T14s) are taking the lower paying goverment jobs. The rest end up in the small-medium sized private firms.

You may not care about BigLaw, but what if you worked your ass off to graduate in the top 10% of your class and a top 50% mediocore lawyer from a T1 (or the T2 you passed on) comes in and swoops your job offer.

Unfortunately the record shows that hiring partners seem to be slaves to prestige.

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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby erniesto » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:00 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
kswiss wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:Just talked to a friend who had his exit counseling, who hasn't gotten scholarship, and his payments over 25 years are around $1,300 a month, although no early pay-off.

That, although not insurmountable, is staggering. Almost $16,000 a year, for 25 years, has to be paid out. Although it seems "doable", it's something thought would be weighing heavily if one obtains a $50k-$60k job out of school, and doesn't move up from there all that quickly.


Has your friend considered IBR? If his loans are government, he won't pay nearly that much. I have no idea why someone would take out private loans, if that is the case. His principle balance must be massive for it to be 16k a year for 25 years to pay off.

Under IBR:

Making 50k a year, your payment is capped at $420/mo. (Less if married, even less if children.) Unpaid interest is forgiven on subsidized stafford loans for the first 3 years. After 25 years, any outstanding balance is forgiven. If your work in public service, the debt is forgiven at 10 years. Your payment is adjusted yearly along with your income.

In other words, it's still a bunch of money! But significantly less than 16k a year.


If this only covers government loans, don't students who end up financing all of their tuition and COL end up having to take out private loans?

Any good resources for IBR? I don't know enough about it to be making a decent decision based on it.


No. My understanding is that you can take out government PLUS Loans to cover the entire CoL provided by your school. I think the big scam are private loans which offer initial low variable interest but that you can't do anything about if you don't get that pie-in-the-sky job.
Last edited by erniesto on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:03 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:I'm really starting to question the substantive difference between some of the respected enough T3/T4's and the T2's.


The substantive difference is in BigLaw placement as well as judicial clerkships.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

...but based on recent numbers, a lot of those students T2s and lower T1s (and even some T14s) are taking the lower paying goverment jobs. The rest end up in the small-medium sized private firms.

You may not care about BigLaw, but what if you worked your ass off to graduate in the top 10% of your class and a top 50% mediocore lawyer from a T1 (or the T2 you passed on) comes in and swoops your job offer.

Unfortunately the record shows that hiring partners seem to be slaves to prestige.


And that's the concern - how much will some other student's school trump my achievement? I don't think it's some doomsday scenario where anyone with the T1/T2 degree will swoop in if I've made the proper connections and have the resume...but the connections that are afforded more easily by attending that school are a concern.

However, through talking with a lot of students, it seems like outside of OCI (which, can't really be counted on for most) it's networking that matters, which surely has an alumni component.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:04 pm

erniesto wrote:No. My understanding is that you can take out government PLUS Loans to cover the entire CoL provided by your school. I think the big scam is private loans which offer initial low variable interest but that you can't do anything about if you don't get that pie-in-the-sky job.


Really?

I was under the impression that to finance tuition and COL that it was necessary to supplement federal/subsidized loans with private loans.

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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby Billy Blanks » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:07 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
erniesto wrote:No. My understanding is that you can take out government PLUS Loans to cover the entire CoL provided by your school. I think the big scam is private loans which offer initial low variable interest but that you can't do anything about if you don't get that pie-in-the-sky job.


Really?

I was under the impression that to finance tuition and COL that it was necessary to supplement federal/subsidized loans with private loans.



GradPLUS

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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby ihurtmyselftoday » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:09 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:However, through talking with a lot of students, it seems like outside of OCI (which, can't really be counted on for most) it's networking that matters, which surely has an alumni component.


You're absolutely right. Networking is huge and anyone who works hard and has a good grasp on how to sell themselves vastly increases their chances for success.

One thing I've recently found out is the value of reaching out to connections in the business sector. I was able to set up a meeting with a partner at a big law firm through a friend that works in their finance department.

ITE, you have to do what it takes to get your foot in the door. I don't know from experience but I'd say that a kid at a T2 doesn't have it that much easier than a T3 attendee.

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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby erniesto » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:11 pm

The school includes CoL in the cost of education. Hopefully your school isn't cheaping you on this figure. For instance I recieved my financial aid package from Lewis and Clark

Tuition: 35,048
Living Allowance: 11,700
Books: 1,050
Transportation: 2,700
Personal: 2,700
Total: 53,198

I was offered government loans to cover that 53,198 figure.

If you think you need more than 11,700 to live in Portland, or don't qualify for PLUS loans then that's when you get private loans. Or if you're smart you get a night job.

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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby wakefield » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:20 pm

ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:I'm really starting to question the substantive difference between some of the respected enough T3/T4's and the T2's.


The substantive difference is in BigLaw placement as well as judicial clerkships.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

...but based on recent numbers, a lot of those students T2s and lower T1s (and even some T14s) are taking the lower paying goverment jobs. The rest end up in the small-medium sized private firms.

You may not care about BigLaw, but what if you worked your ass off to graduate in the top 10% of your class and a top 50% mediocore lawyer from a T1 (or the T2 you passed on) comes in and swoops your job offer.

Unfortunately the record shows that hiring partners seem to be slaves to prestige.



That's definitely a concern, but after speaking with hiring partners at several local mid-size firms (made possible through family connections), in this area, prestige doesn't really matter that much. They're more concerned with experience through clinics, moot court, law review, etc etc. Obviously I'm not in a large city, or it would be a different story.

If I can be certain I won't mind living and working in this region, a strong local T3 with a scholarship isn't such a bad idea. Still a gamble, but worth considering.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feels about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:28 pm

wakefield wrote:
ihurtmyselftoday wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:I'm really starting to question the substantive difference between some of the respected enough T3/T4's and the T2's.


The substantive difference is in BigLaw placement as well as judicial clerkships.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

...but based on recent numbers, a lot of those students T2s and lower T1s (and even some T14s) are taking the lower paying goverment jobs. The rest end up in the small-medium sized private firms.

You may not care about BigLaw, but what if you worked your ass off to graduate in the top 10% of your class and a top 50% mediocore lawyer from a T1 (or the T2 you passed on) comes in and swoops your job offer.

Unfortunately the record shows that hiring partners seem to be slaves to prestige.



That's definitely a concern, but after speaking with hiring partners at several local mid-size firms (made possible through family connections), in this area, prestige doesn't really matter that much. They're more concerned with experience through clinics, moot court, law review, etc etc. Obviously I'm not in a large city, or it would be a different story.

If I can be certain I won't mind living and working in this region, a strong local T3 with a scholarship isn't such a bad idea. Still a gamble, but worth considering.


I think we all have to realize what we're doing is a gamble, however it's the motivation and willingness to live within means that decide what way things go. For example, if we're into it for the money, then a T2/T3 is a HUGE risk, because the likelihood of living like a king is minimal. However, if we want to have a decent/normal life, middle-class even, and we are hard working and motivated, then it's probably not too much of a risk as long as reality is in hand.

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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby oberlin08 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:05 pm

erniesto wrote:The school includes CoL in the cost of education. Hopefully your school isn't cheaping you on this figure. For instance I recieved my financial aid package from Lewis and Clark

Tuition: 35,048
Living Allowance: 11,700
Books: 1,050
Transportation: 2,700
Personal: 2,700
Total: 53,198

I was offered government loans to cover that 53,198 figure.

If you think you need more than 11,700 to live in Portland, or don't qualify for PLUS loans then that's when you get private loans. Or if you're smart you get a night job.



11700 in Portland does seem a littttle bit on the low side? Let's assume you cant find a paying gig in the summer, that figure streched over 12 months is $975. I know CoL is generally low in Portland but damn

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:35 pm

Well, I've been in contact with a professor at a lower ranked school. I thought they'd be trying to sell me, or at least be moderate...his response has sent me flying to opposite side, where I started, and I'm starting to think the debt is crappy but necessary.

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wakefield
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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby wakefield » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:36 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:Well, I've been in contact with a professor at a lower ranked school. I thought they'd be trying to sell me, or at least be moderate...his response has sent me flying to opposite side, where I started, and I'm starting to think the debt is crappy but necessary.


What were his concerns?

BruinsFan
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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby BruinsFan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:41 pm

Am I allowed to ask what happened?

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Re: Changes in feelings about debt and the future

Postby kaydish21 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:45 pm

wakefield wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:Well, I've been in contact with a professor at a lower ranked school. I thought they'd be trying to sell me, or at least be moderate...his response has sent me flying to opposite side, where I started, and I'm starting to think the debt is crappy but necessary.


What were his concerns?


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