Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)

Is law school worth sticker to you?

Yes
297
60%
No
194
40%
 
Total votes: 491

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bk1
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:03 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Go talk to some attorneys and ask them if they think 220k in debt is worth it. My guess is the answer will be an overwhelming no.


I really haven't run into this. The one's I know that are really succesful and somewhat in tune with the current hiring environment (obvious selection bias here though) have said that sticker at a t12 makes much more sense than taking a scholly at a lower ranked school.


Find someone who isn't successful and is in tune with the current environment and I bet the tune would be the opposite.

krad
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby krad » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:03 pm

Law school is not worth sticker to me unless it's YHS. I don't want to be trapped under a mountain of debt hoping to land a biglaw gig with a work/lifestyle that I know I'd hate. That kind of debt would majorly hinder my career (and lifestyle/family) options.

Good luck to all those who think that they can handle it, I hope it works out :) (I say this sincerely!!)

eta: This is coming from someone who may very well decide not to attend LS this fall.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:14 pm

bk1 wrote:Find someone who isn't successful and is in tune with the current environment and I bet the tune would be the opposite.


I don't disagree and that's why I noted the obvious selection bias. Those same people really might just tell you not to go to law school at all though.

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby Alex-Trof » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:16 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Go talk to some attorneys and ask them if they think 220k in debt is worth it. My guess is the answer will be an overwhelming no.


I really haven't run into this. The one's I know that are really succesful and somewhat in tune with the current hiring environment (obvious selection bias here though) have said that sticker at a t12 makes much more sense than taking a scholly at a lower ranked school.


There was a survey on ATL about it and it looked like people on there were much more debt averse and willing to go to significantly lower-ranked schools for less debt. I don't know how representative is that site of real-life attorneys, but it might give people a better perceptive than TLS filled with 0Ls.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:17 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:50% inflation in five years? Bro, you need to stop watching beck.


One of the most successful investors I know personally really thinks we'll be at 20% in a few years.

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blacklawboss
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby blacklawboss » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:22 pm

Borhas wrote:
beachbum wrote:Beachbum's guide to sticker success:

1) Kick ass and take names at T14 (*T13, LOL GULC)
2) Marry significant other with reasonably well-paying job (during or right after law school)
3) Biglaw (transactional) for 3-5 years. Avoid major luxury purchases during this time.
4) Transfer in-house, salary ~$100k
5) ????
6) Profit.


know several people who did this

they are on #7 or #8 (house + kids + random lame hobby in spare time)

it's the American dream

not much longer till #9 (divorce) then #10 (re-marriage w/ younger woman)


The real American dream!

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:39 pm

Alex-Trof wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Go talk to some attorneys and ask them if they think 220k in debt is worth it. My guess is the answer will be an overwhelming no.


I really haven't run into this. The one's I know that are really succesful and somewhat in tune with the current hiring environment (obvious selection bias here though) have said that sticker at a t12 makes much more sense than taking a scholly at a lower ranked school.


There was a survey on ATL about it and it looked like people on there were much more debt averse and willing to go to significantly lower-ranked schools for less debt. I don't know how representative is that site of real-life attorneys, but it might give people a better perceptive than TLS filled with 0Ls.


Here's the only thing I could find of the like with a quick search.

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/03/the-choice-0ls-try-to-figure-out-which-law-school-is-right-for-them/

The Illinois vs. Vandy result was probably different than it would be on this site. The question was kind of misleading though because it said Vandy would be 100k in debt and Illinois would be free. I'm assuming the usual "full tuition" as opposed to "full ride" mistake was made here and Illinois would really be at least 50k in debt (unless Illinois really does have a tuition plus stipend scholarship) which I'm sure would change the poll results at least somewhat.

The CCN vs. Mich/NU $$ vs. Min $$$ went pretty comparable to how it would likely turn out on this site.
Last edited by Stringer Bell on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HeavenWood
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:43 pm

I'm more than happy paying sticker at Penn. I studied my ass off for the LSAT, ended up with a (by TLS standards) mediocre score, took a hail Mary ED pass and got lucky.

If I thought I had the potential to do better, I probably would have retaken.
Last edited by HeavenWood on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LettuceBeefRealTea
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby LettuceBeefRealTea » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:57 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:50% inflation in five years? Bro, you need to stop watching beck.


cool response bro, you're totally gonna make an awesome lawyer. good choice instead of working with money. currency devaluation =/= inflation, but they are interconnect and functionally achieve the same ends. "there existed a bi-directional causality between money supply growth and inflation and between currency devaluation and inflation." inflation is kind of a retrospective measurement of currency devaluation. our currency is currently being devalued, whereas in inflation is a comparison of a basket of good over a historical time period. as the effects of devaluation getworst, that time period required to show "significant" change (as in its technical use) decreases until you have a hyper inflationary episode where you have a change in a basket of goods from one day or hour to the next.

"From the year 2001, the Dollar has declined at a compound rate of over 7% per year to the Euro. In terms of the British pound, the dollar has declined at a compound rate of over 5.5% per year. The same is true of an index of major currencies against the dollar as compiled by the Federal Reserve System." -WSJ

since you are obviously really on top of economics and did a lot of research for that answer, i'll do some work for you. a decline of 7% compound over 10 years. that would mean $1000 in 2001 is worth $1,967.15 now, relative to the euro, despite the euro's hard decline and multiple countries going bankrupt. $1,708.14 against the pound. so there's 70.8-96.7% loss of value over 10 years.

you'll probably have to read this to have a basic understanding of what we are talking about: http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepoli ... _Value.htm
1. most people have some understanding that the debt is bad. fiat currencies have value based on the perceived strength of the national government, stability of economy, and its ability to repay its debts. following the flow of money after the japan earthquake/tsunami/reactor meltdown, coupled with the rise of violence and instability in the middle east, went to mostly australia and canada. the japan crisis, as the 3rd largest economy in the world, is a total global crisis in terms of economic growth e.g. the car companies in the us/germany/all over the world that had to stop producing to conserve parts made in japan. the same goes for computer companies.
2. exchange rate is above
3. the largest purchaser of US treasuries are the FED. this is a pretty circular system. it is called quantitative easing. It is an inflationary move. we are on qe2, and qe3 is going to happen. That is the only thing currently driving stock market through speculation with easy cash. unemployment/income/gdp growth hasn't changed despite this monetary policy. this is also what japan did during its lost decade (1990's) and caused years of stagflation hmmm that sounds kinda familiar with the FED printing money but unemployment remaining high as well as rising oil costs.
4. us dollars aren't being held in emerging market's currency reserves as hedges against their high rates of growth and inflation. india, china, russia, brazil, and indonesia have been selling dollars and buying gold or RMB. selling off of dollars decreases value pretty hard when we are talking about trillions of dollars.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/261865- ... re-at-risk
-the dollar has depreciated 39% against gold in under TWO AND A HALF YEARS. see as how gold is the universal standard/store of wealth, that's pretty heavy. this article also has analysis on the dollar relative to most foreign currencies and commodities since 2009.

the commodities are important for 2 reasons. they are customarily used by hedge and mutual funds as hedges against inflation and unstable markets. they are also input costs. as input costs like oil and silver (its in almost all high tech devises, medical garments, etc.) increase, it is an economic growth killer. we aren't going to "grow" out of debt. we are going to inflate/devalue it away.

these are forerunners and more current/accurate measurements than your customary CPI basket of goods inflation measurements.

pick up an econ textbook or run a business before making some idiotic quip about shit you obviously don't know anything about. fucking glen beck.
Last edited by LettuceBeefRealTea on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:37 pm, edited 8 times in total.

rundoxierun
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby rundoxierun » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:58 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:50% inflation in five years? Bro, you need to stop watching beck.


One of the most successful investors I know personally really thinks we'll be at 20% in a few years.


In our case, the inflation doesnt really matter (in a positive sense) unless we are assuming real income growth as well. If price levels rise 20% and salaries grow only 10% then we arent in a better position. If you think that is unrealistic then check real income growth over the last 15-20 years or so.

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LettuceBeefRealTea
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby LettuceBeefRealTea » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:28 pm

--LinkRemoved--

a more long term evaluation of the economy. he is obviously biased and might be a little crazy, but his analysis is pretty on target. it paints a realistic picture of the economy.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Go talk to some attorneys and ask them if they think 220k in debt is worth it. My guess is the answer will be an overwhelming no.


I really haven't run into this. The one's I know that are really succesful and somewhat in tune with the current hiring environment (obvious selection bias here though) have said that sticker at a t12 makes much more sense than taking a scholly at a lower ranked school.


Find someone who isn't successful and is in tune with the current environment and I bet the tune would be the opposite.

I also know a number of very successful attorneys who worked in biglaw for a few years before getting out and doing what they really wanted to do. Every one of them has said that their ability to keep their debt low and live frugally while in biglaw was extremely wise, because it allowed them the flexibility to leave when they were ready. I just had beers with two attorneys last night who told me exactly this, and their advice was to avoid going out and buying the new house and BMW right out of law school, and instead pay off the debt immediately. Their reason? You never know what can happen in the volatile world of biglaw, and you may be forced out (or want out).

Maybe you'll get biglaw. Maybe you'll love biglaw. Maybe you'll make partner. But each one of these things happening individually is a low probability for most law students, and the likelihood of all three of these things occurring together is VERY low. So you better get your ass out of debt ASAP, and allow yourself the financial freedom to get off the biglaw teat.

Yes, there are some situations when sticker may be appropriate, but law school has made me far more debt averse than I was even a year ago. $200,000 is just a lot of money.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby Stringer Bell » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:26 pm

romothesavior wrote:I also know a number of very successful attorneys who worked in biglaw for a few years before getting out and doing what they really wanted to do. Every one of them has said that their ability to keep their debt low and live frugally while in biglaw was extremely wise, because it allowed them the flexibility to leave when they were ready. I just had beers with two attorneys last night who told me exactly this, and their advice was to avoid going out and buying the new house and BMW right out of law school, and instead pay off the debt immediately. Their reason? You never know what can happen in the volatile world of biglaw, and you may be forced out (or want out).

Maybe you'll get biglaw. Maybe you'll love biglaw. Maybe you'll make partner. But each one of these things is a low probability for most law students, and the likelihood of all three of these things occurring is VERY low. So you better get your ass out of debt ASAP, and allow yourself the financial freedom to get off the biglaw teat.

Yes, there are some situations when sticker may be appropriate, but law school has made me far more debt averse than I was even a year ago. $200,000 is just a lot of money.


I hear you, but obviously "Would you rather have more debt or less debt?" is a tautology. 200k is a shitload of money and I do think alot of people really don't comprehend that. But the point is that you get what you pay for to an extent. Is doing OCI at MVPBDNC worth 60k more than doing it at Emory/ND/UIUC or 200k more than doing it at Quinipac? No matter the profession, your first job is going to have a major impact in how the rest of your career goes. If someone goes into another profession or an entrepenurial route due to the obscene cost or poor employment prospects of law school, that's a different story.

Paying down your loans before spending it all on bottles, models and bmw's is wise advice.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:38 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:I hear you, but obviously "Would you rather have more debt or less debt?" is a tautology. 200k is a shitload of money and I do think alot of people really don't comprehend that. But the point is that you get what you pay for to an extent. Is doing OCI at MVPBDNC worth 60k more than doing it at Emory/ND/UIUC or 200k more than doing it at Quinipac?

Point taken, but if you get into MVPBDNCG at sticker, you can almost certainly go to a T20 with a full ride or close to it, or go to Vandy/UCLA/UT/etc. for about 100k less. And if you get into CCNMVP, you can probably go to DNCG with a big scholarship. There are lots of variables, including what a person wants to do, where they want to practice, and what their other options are. But this strange assertion that T14s are worth sticker and others aren't is just silly. No way people should take a school like Duke at sticker over a school like Vandy if they can go to the latter for half the price.

It sounds like we're mostly in agreement. I guess overall, my point is simply that the advice of "Go to the best school you get into" is about as dumb as "Go to the school that gives you the most money." I know that's not what you're saying, but I think it is worth reiterating given the results of this poll. Job prospects and cost are both so important for prospectives to think about.

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bk1
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:00 pm

romothesavior wrote:Point taken, but if you get into MVPBDNCG at sticker, you can almost certainly go to a T20 with a full ride or close to it, or go to Vandy/UCLA/UT/etc. for about 100k less. And if you get into CCNMVP, you can probably go to DNCG with a big scholarship. There are lots of variables, including what a person wants to do, where they want to practice, and what their other options are. But this strange assertion that T14s are worth sticker and others aren't is just silly. No way people should take a school like Duke at sticker over a school like Vandy if they can go to the latter for half the price.


I agree with the T14 versus strong regional sticker thing.

My problem is that I don't think full rides or close to it are that abundant. And even so, it needs to be damn close to a full ride if its in an area with high CoL. With tuition approaching/surpassing 45k/year at a lot of places, a $30k/year scholarship is almost a drop in the bucket if the CoL isn't low. Then you can compare that to a T14 where CoL is low. An example would be UMich/UVa/etc at sticker (190k CoA) versus a place like Fordham/GW/Hastings/etc with a 100k scholarship (120k CoA). In cases like that I think the options get a lot murkier, especially when substantial scholarships to high CoL area schools still leave you over $100k in the hole.

Your point makes sense, I just don't think it pans out that easily in reality.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby powerlawyer06 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:26 pm

I also think whether or not it is "worth it" also depends on if you are taking loans or funding it with your own money(not to be confused with scholarships, aid, or parents money). If I had no savings to supplement my loans I would probably only be looking at schools that were giving me substantial scholarships. I am blessed to have savings(and an IRA I can liquidate if needed) and it has definitely swayed my view to the "go to the best school possible" side.

I will still be paying close to sticker but I won't have to pay interest or repay anything I use my savings on.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:45 pm

Bk, I barely squeaked into CG with my numbers, and I got a full ride from UIUC, as well as big scholarships from Vandy and Wash U. If you can get into the T10-15, you can definitely get a big scholarship from a solid regional, and if you can get into a T6, you certainly can get lots of money to a lower T14. People can be such prestige whores (which is good in some ways, because law is a prestige whore field), but a lot of times, having that slightly better degree is not worth the huge chunk of money it will cost you. And I disagree that getting full ride to a good school is that hard. Having a 168+ is typically a golden ticket to big money at non-T14s, unless you are a low-GPA splitter. Then maybe I could see how an ED to UVA or NU might be better than a T20 because you probably can't get a full ride to the T20. But for non-splitters (and probably even most semi-splitters), there is a lot of money to be had at lower ranked schools if you have a good LSAT.

I also think you've got a good point powerlawyer. Paying for law school with loans should make people far more wary. That 180k COA that a lot of people take out is really going to be far in excess of 200k (maybe 300k) by the time you've paid it all off. I really wish I had taken a few years to save up a little dough before I went to law school, or had an SO who could help me with living expenses and stuff. That would have been awesome.
Last edited by romothesavior on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FiveSermon
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby FiveSermon » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:47 pm

romothesavior wrote:Bk, I barely squeaked into CG with my numbers, and I got a full ride from UIUC, as well as big scholarships from Vandy and Wash U. If you can get into the T10-15, you can definitely get a big scholarship from a solid regional. Having a 168+ is typically a golden ticket to big money at non-T14s, unless you are a low-GPA splitter. Then maybe I could see how maybe an ED to UVA or NU might be better than a T20 because you probably can't get a full ride to the T20.

I also think you've got a good point powerlawyer. Paying for law school with loans should make people far more wary. That 180k COA that a lot of people take out is really going to be far in excess of 200k (maybe 300k) by the time you've paid it all off. I really wish I had taken a few years to save up a little dough before I went to law school, or had an SO who could help me with living expenses and stuff. That would have been awesome.


I can see why in your case it might be an easy choice. Didn't you say you wanted to work near STL?

But it's a harder choice for people who want to work in NYC. What would you have done if NYC was your clear #1 choice?

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:49 pm

FiveSermon wrote:I can see why in your case it might be an easy choice. Didn't you say you wanted to work near STL?

But it's a harder choice for people who want to work in NYC. What would you have done if NYC was your clear #1 choice?

Re-taken the LSAT.

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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby FiveSermon » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:51 pm

romothesavior wrote:
FiveSermon wrote:I can see why in your case it might be an easy choice. Didn't you say you wanted to work near STL?

But it's a harder choice for people who want to work in NYC. What would you have done if NYC was your clear #1 choice?

Re-taken the LSAT.


What if you got the same score. The difference between a 168-170 is usually 2-3 questions. LSAT is an unpredictable beast. As you probably know it's not uncommon to do below your PT average...I'm just saying every situation is different.

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bk1
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:54 pm

romothesavior wrote:Bk, I barely squeaked into CG with my numbers, and I got a full ride from UIUC, as well as big scholarships from Vandy and Wash U. If you can get into the T10-15, you can definitely get a big scholarship from a solid regional, and if you can get into a T6, you certainly can get lots of money to a lower T14. People can be such prestige whores (which is good in some ways, because law is a prestige whore field), but a lot of times, having that slightly better degree is not worth the huge chunk of money it will cost you. And I disagree that getting full ride to a good school is that hard. Having a 168+ is typically a golden ticket to big money at non-T14s, unless you are a low-GPA splitter. Then maybe I could see how an ED to UVA or NU might be better than a T20 because you probably can't get a full ride to the T20. But for non-splitters (and probably even most semi-splitters), there is a lot of money to be had at lower ranked schools if you have a good LSAT.


I agree for splitters it's different, but my point was referencing more geography as well as CoA. CA strong regionals that are akin to Illinois/WUSTL aren't giving out much merit money. My other point was that a lot of money at certain schools (e.g. 35k/year Fordham/GW) isn't really a lot of money once you factor in CoA.

It's not that I think getting a full, or close to it, ride is hard, I think that getting one in the area you want isn't always that easy (e.g. CA) and even if it is, that close to a full ride can still be really expensive (e.g. Fordham/GW).

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bk1
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:57 pm

FiveSermon wrote:I can see why in your case it might be an easy choice. Didn't you say you wanted to work near STL?

But it's a harder choice for people who want to work in NYC. What would you have done if NYC was your clear #1 choice?


Accounting for the I tried the LSAT 3 times and didn't do any better response you gave... Since I'm in a similar situation I think I can answer it pretty well: give up on NYC.

Personally I am from CA and want CA really bad. But I think I have to give that up for GW/WUSTL with 35k/year, and convince myself it's okay if I don't get the target I want right out of school.

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romothesavior
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:10 pm

bk1 wrote:It's not that I think getting a full, or close to it, ride is hard, I think that getting one in the area you want isn't always that easy (e.g. CA) and even if it is, that close to a full ride can still be really expensive (e.g. Fordham/GW).

This is a fair point. Maybe my opinion is biased because I live in a low COL area and applied to schools in primarily low COL areas.

Also, I agree with your response to FiveSermon. I don't know if "give up on NYC" is how I would put it, but I do think a person should be willing to reconsider their options or at least be willing to give up on their preferred market if things don't work out. But it all comes down to priorities. If NYC was my top choice and I was looking at sticker at Cornell or a full ride to UIUC, I'd take UIUC. I'd then gun for NYC from UIUC (contrary to popular opinion, people do get NYC from UIUC/WUSTL/etc.), yet be willing to change my plans if I missed out on the top of the class. Or I'd retake.

Of course, others may disagree, and that's fine. That's what this thread is all about. But for me, location is far less important to me than being able to get out of debt and live a comfortable life. I am all about getting rid of this debt ASAP and building some financial stability, and I'll take that any day over being in a particular city (although I do have a strong preference for the Midwest, and STL in particular). But of course, different people have different priorities.

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bk1
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:24 pm

romothesavior wrote:This is a fair point. Maybe my opinion is biased because I live in a low COL area and applied to schools in primarily low COL areas.


Coming from an undergrad where it was cheaper to live than it is in St. Louis, looking at the CoL in DC/Chicago makes me :( :( :(

onmytoes812
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Re: Is Law School Worth Sticker to YOU?

Postby onmytoes812 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:45 am

Thirteen wrote:I'm a 1L, but would have paid sticker at T14 + UT (in-state), and would have considered paying it at Vandy.


You think UT is worth full out-of-state sticker? (and why)...I'm debating this myself.




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