"Worth the debt"? Need advice!

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curiouscat
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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 9:57 pm

"Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby curiouscat » Thu May 05, 2011 12:32 am

Hey guys,
I've been poking around the forums for a bit and thought I'd throw a question out there. I noticed that a lot of posters around here are pretty confident that schools like HYS are worth any amount of debt you'll end up with, with the idea that the kinds of jobs you'll get after graduating will pay it off with no problem. I'm interested in hearing some opinions on this - how realistic is this assumption? I'm researching various T10 schools now and I'm trying to get a better sense of what I can expect once I graduate. The idea of $200k of debt is a little scary for me, so I want to get a really really good idea of what my actual prospects would be for paying that off. I know there are some law schools out there with great stats on grads' median income and employment rate, but I don't want to bank on those figures blindly and end up realizing only later that they don't tell the whole story. :?

Okay, so let's say Yale, since it's at the top of my list these days - many TLS posters talk about a Yale degree as pretty much a guarantee that you'll be able to find a job that'll cover your debt. Is this what most people going into Yale can realistically expect? What's the situation like for most Yale grads? How quickly does it take for your average Yale grad to pay off most of their debt? Does anyone have any numbers on how most grads are doing with their debt 5 years after graduation, 10 years, etc.? What about for other schools, like Harvard, Columbia and NYU?

I'm particularly curious about the debt situation for grads who don't go into biglaw, especially those who opt for lower-paying public interest jobs. I've heard about the various forms of financial assistance most law schools provide to students who go into public interest, but I haven't found a good assessment of how effective or extensive each of these assistance programs are. Any thoughts on this? Where can most public interest-oriented grads expect to find themselves, debt-wise, after several years of work? How effective are the various financial assistance initiatives at different law schools in dealing with the debt load?

Thanks! Insight on any of that would be really helpful. I'm just trying to get a really honest assessment of what I'm getting myself into here before I get knee-deep. :)

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Grizz
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby Grizz » Thu May 05, 2011 12:48 am

All of this info is readily available in threads that already exist, which you can find via the search function. No one is going to answer this question for you. It is hopelessly broad.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu May 05, 2011 12:51 am

Welcome to TLS. Now follow rad's advice, or GTFO.

shoeshine
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby shoeshine » Thu May 05, 2011 12:53 am

Go here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=152447

Read everything, then come back and ask questions.

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curiouscat
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby curiouscat » Thu May 05, 2011 1:50 am

Thanks, shoeshine, will do. Rad law, point taken - there's just so much info floating around this site that it's hard for a new gal to find exactly the information she needs. But the superthread shoeshine posted looks like it'll be really helpful for that. And Mr P - thanks for the warm welcome. :wink:

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Grizz
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby Grizz » Thu May 05, 2011 1:51 am

curiouscat wrote:Thanks, shoeshine, will do. Rad law, point taken - there's just so much info floating around this site that it's hard for a new gal to find exactly the information she needs. But the superthread shoeshine posted looks like it'll be really helpful for that. And Mr P - thanks for the warm welcome. :wink:


I sorta came off as a dick. Best of luck, seriously.

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Hippononymous
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:11 pm

Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby Hippononymous » Sun May 08, 2011 9:44 am

rad law wrote:
curiouscat wrote:Thanks, shoeshine, will do. Rad law, point taken - there's just so much info floating around this site that it's hard for a new gal to find exactly the information she needs. But the superthread shoeshine posted looks like it'll be really helpful for that. And Mr P - thanks for the warm welcome. :wink:


I sorta came off as a dick. Best of luck, seriously.


lol. He got nicer upon finding out she's female.

Also, Yale is your top choice? C'mon, shoot higher.

</sarcasm>

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Grizz
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Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby Grizz » Sun May 08, 2011 10:17 am

Hippononymous wrote:lol. He got nicer upon finding out she's female.

--ImageRemoved--

jacquibala
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:37 pm

Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby jacquibala » Mon May 09, 2011 12:41 pm

curiouscat wrote:I'm particularly curious about the debt situation for grads who don't go into biglaw, especially those who opt for lower-paying public interest jobs. I've heard about the various forms of financial assistance most law schools provide to students who go into public interest, but I haven't found a good assessment of how effective or extensive each of these assistance programs are. Any thoughts on this? Where can most public interest-oriented grads expect to find themselves, debt-wise, after several years of work? How effective are the various financial assistance initiatives at different law schools in dealing with the debt load?

Thanks! Insight on any of that would be really helpful. I'm just trying to get a really honest assessment of what I'm getting myself into here before I get knee-deep. :)


If you're intersted in how much you could potentially save over time on your debt while working for a non-profit v. small firm v. large firm, I'd suggested watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3e1VtGGwhM

It's a pretty good overview of how much you can save depending on your career path and makes you feel a little better when you see that there are still options to reduce your debt if you choose a lower salary career path....Good luck!

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dpk711
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Re: "Worth the debt"? Need advice!

Postby dpk711 » Mon May 09, 2011 12:57 pm

First, curiouscat welcome to TLS. Some of us may come off as a little harsh but we are just looking out for your best interests.
Second, whether or not you should go to a school at sticker is based on a few factors. How debt adverse are you? Do you have a heavy debtload from college and grad school? What kind of job are you looking for after law school? If you looking to do public interest afterwards a school would be willing to forgive your debt in 10 years (through LRAP) so going to school at sticker would be less of a concern for you.
General consensus here on TLS is that HYS is worth sticker and some even go as far as the T14 is worth sticker. Personally though, I would never go to GULC or Cornell at sticker. The T10 is when I would start thinking about paying full price and the T6 is when I would feel somewhat confident paying sticker.
And yeah, you should listen to radlaw, there is a lot of valuable information just by utilizing the "search" button.

Good luck!




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