Attending a law school with NO debt

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NewYorkBagelCo.
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Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby NewYorkBagelCo. » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:57 pm

I see on this board all the time the debt one racks up while attending law school compared to the job prospects for said school, and how that should be factored in whether or not to attend law school. Whats happens if one is able to afford law school without having any debt? How should this effect ones decision to attend law school/ which school to attend?

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studebaker07
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby studebaker07 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:02 pm

You still have to take accouof lost wages in the three or so years you will be going to school. Also, jobs out of law school aren't exactly a dime a dozen so you have to be willing to put in a strong effort both in studying and looking for a job during school. Looking for a job is almost like a separate class in and of itself. You have to also consider living expenses; most scholarships may not include stipends for living expenses (when you say no debt do you mean no living expenses, all expenses paid?)

The long and the short of it is that even going to law school without any debt has some actual and opportunity costs. If you are fortunate to go to school debt-free, you have to be ready to confront the job market.

NewYorkBagelCo.
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby NewYorkBagelCo. » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:05 pm

When I say no debt, I mean able to pay for law school, plus living expenses, with my own funds with plenty of money left over. Should someone in this situation look at law schools with a different slant, or do the same factors still apply.

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nealric
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby nealric » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Depends what you want to do with law school and just how much money you have.

If you are worth $20m and just want to do public interest law as a hobby, go wherever you want. If you have $150k saved up and want to switch professions, it would still be a good idea to follow the "go prestigious or go cheap" mantra.

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Verity
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby Verity » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:10 pm

Try not to spend six figures of your own money.

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Ford Prefect
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby Ford Prefect » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:16 pm

You still have to consider the quality of the school/your ability to get a job afterwards. If you have the kind of money where you can go to law school for three years debt-free and then aren't really concerned about getting a job after graduation, go where you want and pay whatever you want.

If not, go to the best-possible school you can while still taking in to consideration your future job market. Paying full price for NYLS just because want to go to law school is probably a bad investment whether it's cash you have on hand or loans you're taking out.

edit: Damn. Neal said basically the same thing, and more succinctly.

duckmoney
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Re: Attending a law school with NO debt

Postby duckmoney » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:27 pm

Ford Prefect wrote:You still have to consider the quality of the school/your ability to get a job afterwards. If you have the kind of money where you can go to law school for three years debt-free and then aren't really concerned about getting a job after graduation, go where you want and pay whatever you want.

If not, go to the best-possible school you can while still taking in to consideration your future job market. Paying full price for NYLS just because want to go to law school is probably a bad investment whether it's cash you have on hand or loans you're taking out.

edit: Damn. Neal said basically the same thing, and more succinctly.


Exactly. There are opportunity costs to spending $200,000 on law school; I can think of a lot of good things to do with that money that doesn't involve law school at all.

Yes, you should view it differently; you won't be screwed with overwhelming debt if you don't get a job. But you still will have lost 3 years of your life and $200k of your fortune. There are still great costs, just different costs.

If you want to be a lawyer, follow the same rule as everyone else: only go to law school if you feel you can make good on the investment and there is not another career that you would be better off (both in terms of satisfaction and finances) pursuing.




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