How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

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bk1
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby bk1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:35 am

jrwhitedog wrote:It seems to me it's better not to get in debt over 100k cause that's already gonna take 5 years if you repay 25k per year for a interest rate of 7.9% which means you are paying 1 addition year just for the interest.

To me this is why it seems like arguing 150k debt versus 200k debt is pointless. At a certain point any job that will help pay off 150k will help pay off 200k and any job that has trouble paying off 200k is going to have trouble paying off 150k (or even 100k). So the scenarios in which you are fucked are the same so you might as well take more debt to go to a better school so your odds of getting fucked are less.

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3|ink
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:32 pm

Renzo wrote:
bdubs wrote:
3|ink wrote:
Renzo wrote:'bout $230 for me. Hooray for the most expensive school in the country.


Is that GW?


I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.

Last time Iooked, it was Cornell by tuition and NYU by total cost. CLS's tuition is higher, but the Village is more expensive.


My mistake.

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Noval
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby Noval » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:05 pm

bdubs wrote:
3|ink wrote:
Renzo wrote:'bout $230 for me. Hooray for the most expensive school in the country.


Is that GW?


I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.


Thanks for the insight, i actually thought Yale was the most expensive, guess i was wrong... :P

motiontodismiss
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby motiontodismiss » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:20 pm

Noval wrote:
bdubs wrote:
3|ink wrote:
Renzo wrote:'bout $230 for me. Hooray for the most expensive school in the country.


Is that GW?


I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.


Thanks for the insight, i actually thought Yale was the most expensive, guess i was wrong... :P


In a perfect market, even Yale should cost no more than $100k (EV of a T14 law degree in the first year, or whatever it would be for each school)-$45k (what an average libarts major would get), with the former number upped by 5% and the latter number by 3% over 40 years, at present value at a 4% discount rate. Whatever that number is.

bdubs
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:24 pm

motiontodismiss wrote:
Noval wrote:
bdubs wrote:I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.


Thanks for the insight, i actually thought Yale was the most expensive, guess i was wrong... :P


In a perfect market, even Yale should cost no more than $100k (EV of a T14 law degree in the first year, or whatever it would be for each school)-$45k (what an average libarts major would get), with the former number upped by 5% and the latter number by 3% over 40 years, at present value at a 4% discount rate. Whatever that number is.


You need some mighty large discount rates to make all T14 degrees equally valuable. I would imagine that an HYS grad will out-earn a Georgetown/Cornell grad substantially over their career.

motiontodismiss
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:22 am

bdubs wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:
Noval wrote:
bdubs wrote:I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.


Thanks for the insight, i actually thought Yale was the most expensive, guess i was wrong... :P


In a perfect market, even Yale should cost no more than $100k (EV of a T14 law degree in the first year, or whatever it would be for each school)-$45k (what an average libarts major would get), with the former number upped by 5% and the latter number by 3% over 40 years, at present value at a 4% discount rate. Whatever that number is.


You need some mighty large discount rates to make all T14 degrees equally valuable. I would imagine that an HYS grad will out-earn a Georgetown/Cornell grad substantially over their career.


What I'm saying is that all T14 degrees are NOT equally valuable.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:56 am

bdubs wrote:
motiontodismiss wrote:
Noval wrote:
bdubs wrote:I think that Cornell earns the honors of most expensive law school in the country ($48,950/yr). Followed closely by Yale ($48,340), Boalt out-of-state ($48,152) and Columbia ($48,004). Although over 3 years with living expenses I would guess that Columbia is the most expensive school overall.

Edit: These are all from USNWR and are for 2009. I am too lazy to look up the 2010 numbers.


Thanks for the insight, i actually thought Yale was the most expensive, guess i was wrong... :P


In a perfect market, even Yale should cost no more than $100k (EV of a T14 law degree in the first year, or whatever it would be for each school)-$45k (what an average libarts major would get), with the former number upped by 5% and the latter number by 3% over 40 years, at present value at a 4% discount rate. Whatever that number is.


You need some mighty large discount rates to make all T14 degrees equally valuable. I would imagine that an HYS grad will out-earn a Georgetown/Cornell grad substantially over their career.
In the aggregate I'd say that's probably true, but individually it varies. I'd rather be top 10% at Cornell then a bottom feeder at Harvard, for example.

rundoxierun
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:11 am

45-100k most likely.

GMVarun
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby GMVarun » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:32 am

In a perfect market, even Yale should cost no more than $100k (EV of a T14 law degree in the first year, or whatever it would be for each school)-$45k (what an average libarts major would get), with the former number upped by 5% and the latter number by 3% over 40 years, at present value at a 4% discount rate. Whatever that number is.


I am not sure why you are only considering the EV(of the first year) and likewise only subtracting the expected salary of the liberal arts in the first year. You really should be taking the Present Value of the stream of your possible outcomes over the length of your law career accounting for the risk of those outcomes(say just for argument sake 50% chance of biglaw + 40% chance of small firm + 10% chance of unemployed). It's not like the value of your Yale Law degree, or any law degree disappears after the first year. You also should be taking into account not the average value of of a liberal arts degree, you should be comparing it to options you personally could have had instead of coming to law school. This calculation will necessarily have to be personal.

I agree that this method requires many assumptions, and lots of data that you may or may not have (like for example the assessment of the risk)... but in theory that's closer to what the tuition "should be" in a perfect market. Also I guess this way of calculating assumes no benefits outside of salary (like the value you ascribe to being a lawyer, whatever that's worth), and no costs outside of the "opportunity cost" of foregone salary of your other job.

Then again, this may very well be not be a perfect market exactly because of this lack of information out there. I personally think that because of the lack of information, and the amount of negative information, you should use low-end estimates of placement to account for this uncertainty, if you are doing such a calculation.

Anyways for the sake of this thread, I will likely have close to 170k in total debt (both UG and law school) when I leave. It's a scary thought. But I do have the benefit of a good LRAP program to help mitigate these fears to some extent.

GMVarun
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby GMVarun » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:37 am

bk1 wrote:
jrwhitedog wrote:It seems to me it's better not to get in debt over 100k cause that's already gonna take 5 years if you repay 25k per year for a interest rate of 7.9% which means you are paying 1 addition year just for the interest.

To me this is why it seems like arguing 150k debt versus 200k debt is pointless. At a certain point any job that will help pay off 150k will help pay off 200k and any job that has trouble paying off 200k is going to have trouble paying off 150k (or even 100k). So the scenarios in which you are fucked are the same so you might as well take more debt to go to a better school so your odds of getting fucked are less.


I hear what you are saying, but I think a better way to looking at it is on the margin. Say School A has 50% chance of biglaw and costs total 200,000 (and you somehow know that placement) and School B has 45% chance of biglaw and costs 175,000. You are paying an additional 25,000 for an increased 5% chance. Now that may very well be worth it to you or to everyone... but it depends largely on the difference in tuition and the increase in chance. It's not true absolutely. I don't think you are arguing that, but I think you have to take into account actual numbers.

theantiscalia
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby theantiscalia » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:48 am

GMVarun wrote:
bk1 wrote:
jrwhitedog wrote:It seems to me it's better not to get in debt over 100k cause that's already gonna take 5 years if you repay 25k per year for a interest rate of 7.9% which means you are paying 1 addition year just for the interest.

To me this is why it seems like arguing 150k debt versus 200k debt is pointless. At a certain point any job that will help pay off 150k will help pay off 200k and any job that has trouble paying off 200k is going to have trouble paying off 150k (or even 100k). So the scenarios in which you are fucked are the same so you might as well take more debt to go to a better school so your odds of getting fucked are less.


I hear what you are saying, but I think a better way to looking at it is on the margin. Say School A has 50% chance of biglaw and costs total 200,000 (and you somehow know that placement) and School B has 45% chance of biglaw and costs 175,000. You are paying an additional 25,000 for an increased 5% chance. Now that may very well be worth it to you or to everyone... but it depends largely on the difference in tuition and the increase in chance. It's not true absolutely. I don't think you are arguing that, but I think you have to take into account actual numbers.


Actually, this is a very valid and often forgotten point, especially among the T-XX or bust crowd. (Insert number here. T-6, T-14, et cetera.)

Would you rather go to Cornell at sticker or WUSTL with a 3/4 tuition scholarship? I'd say the best financial choice would be WUSTL... it'd save you almost $100,000, and your chances at BigLaw would be going from about 41% to about 29%. But they wouldn't REALLY be going down that much, since your ability to place at the top of your class at WUSTL is probably slightly better at WUSTL than Cornell. (As long as the LSAT and GPA are valid predictors, of course.)

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beachbum
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby beachbum » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:51 am

theantiscalia wrote:Actually, this is a very valid and often forgotten point, especially among the T-XX or bust crowd. (Insert number here. T-6, T-14, et cetera.)

Would you rather go to Cornell at sticker or WUSTL with a 3/4 tuition scholarship? I'd say the best financial choice would be WUSTL... it'd save you almost $100,000, and your chances at BigLaw would be going from about 41% to about 29%. But they wouldn't REALLY be going down that much, since your ability to place at the top of your class at WUSTL is probably slightly better at WUSTL than Cornell. (As long as the LSAT and GPA are valid predictors, of course.)


Hmm.

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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:10 am

beachbum wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:Actually, this is a very valid and often forgotten point, especially among the T-XX or bust crowd. (Insert number here. T-6, T-14, et cetera.)

Would you rather go to Cornell at sticker or WUSTL with a 3/4 tuition scholarship? I'd say the best financial choice would be WUSTL... it'd save you almost $100,000, and your chances at BigLaw would be going from about 41% to about 29%. But they wouldn't REALLY be going down that much, since your ability to place at the top of your class at WUSTL is probably slightly better at WUSTL than Cornell. (As long as the LSAT and GPA are valid predictors, of course.)


Hmm.



I understand the reasoning, but I think it's faulty logic. I am top 25% at a school where the median LSAT is a 166, Do you really think that means I can duplicate that performance at a school with a similar median? Does that mean I can go to a school with a 162 median and dominate?

So many random things go into grades: what section you're placed in, what your professor likes, the particular mood he was in when he graded your paper, someone having to hand write in the middle of the exam because their computer crashed, etc... I just don't think it's possible to say something like, "if you can get into Cornell, you have a better chance of doing well at Wash U." Not unless the difference is between Cornell and some t4 somewhere, and even then, grades are still pretty random. From what I've seen, the tippy top of the class are the people that will always compete for A's/Cali's. Period. Everyone below that is at the mercy of the curve and other outside factors.

GMVarun
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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby GMVarun » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:19 am

theantiscalia wrote:Actually, this is a very valid and often forgotten point, especially among the T-XX or bust crowd. (Insert number here. T-6, T-14, et cetera.)

Would you rather go to Cornell at sticker or WUSTL with a 3/4 tuition scholarship? I'd say the best financial choice would be WUSTL... it'd save you almost $100,000, and your chances at BigLaw would be going from about 41% to about 29%. But they wouldn't REALLY be going down that much, since your ability to place at the top of your class at WUSTL is probably slightly better at WUSTL than Cornell. (As long as the LSAT and GPA are valid predictors, of course.)


I actually wasn't saying that you would do better grade-wise at the lower school. I guess that could further add to my point, but I don't really think it's true as explained above.

I was assuming doing the same at either school percentile wise. You should still look at the marginal cost (difference in tuition) vs. the marginal benefit (increase in % chance of biglaw or employment)

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Re: How much debt will u owe upon graduation of law school?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:23 am

Aqualibrium wrote:From what I've seen, the tippy top of the class are the people that will always compete for A's/Cali's. Period. Everyone below that is at the mercy of the curve and other outside factors.

This. There are a number of people who transfer up from T2 and TTT schools into the T14 each year, and kill at their T14. They had the same low GPA/LSAT that originally kept them out of the T14, and yet they were somehow able to outperform both their peers and peers at their new school where most people had higher incoming stats than them.

GPA/LSAT are ways of evaluating your potential, but they certainly don't assure success. They're good aggregate predictors, meaning that they correlate enough to better bar passage that they're valuable to use for picking a class full of people likely to succeed, but the correlation is not nearly strong enough to mean they're solid individual predictors.

People with high numbers can still not grasp the uniqueness of law school exam success and struggle, and they'd struggle equally at a higher or lower ranked school. Someone who does grasp it extremely well could succeed at TTT or top schools equally, and even those with low numbers end up having this kind of success. Statistically higher GPA/LSAT might make it more likely a person ends up in the latter category, but they are far from a guarantee.




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