Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

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scifiguy
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Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:46 pm

Let's assume a person attends a relatively good law school (we'll choose a T20 to make it realistic): Vanderbilt.

Let's also assume this person was decently wise in not putting himself or herself at "too much" loan debt risk and got out at under $100K. Let's be realistic again here and assume this person leaves law school with $90K law debt ($45K from living expenses and $45K from law tuition - just assume they had a scholly from being a good undergrad student and got a pretty good LSAT).

Suppose our "top" law school grad, who was wise enough to go without incurring over $100K debt, graduates from law school and was unable to secure biglaw, a federal clerkship, or other PI or gov't job that would enable them to have a high enough salary or LRAP to start paying back their loans.

So, our person who tried to do everything right is in a worst-case scenario position.

Suggest a plan of survival for our recent, unemployed law grad? With $90K loans, a JD from a good school, but just unable to land that great position. What options would this person have?

What types of jobs or plan could this person immediately take to avoid missing loan payments and possibly ending up on IBR? How long does this person have before the loan payments start becoming due? How long of under/unpayed loan payments before this person may have to go on IBR for the rest of their life?

I'm wondering in the worst of the worst cases for someone who may have done things "right," what can that person do? I'm asking beacuse tihs could be a realistic scenario for TLS'ers.
Last edited by scifiguy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

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dirtrida2
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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby dirtrida2 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:49 pm

TL:DR

90k in debt from LS - no job - what to do!

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suralin
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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby suralin » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:49 pm

scifiguy wrote:Let's assume a person attends a relatively good law school (we'll choose a T20 to make it realistic): Vanderbilt.

Let's also assume this person was decently wise in not putting himself or herself at "too much" loan debt risk and got out at under $100K. Let's be realistic again here and assume this person leaves law school with $90K law debt ($45K from living expenses and $45K from law tuition - just assume they had a scholly from being a good undergrad student and got a pretty good LSAT).

Suppose our "top" law school grad, who was wise enough to go without incurring over $100K debt graduates from law school and was unable to secure biglaw, a federal clerkship, or other PI or gov't job that would enable them to have a high enough salary or LRAP to start paying back their loans.

So, our person who tried to do everything right is in a worst-case scenario position.

Suggest a plan of survival for our recent, unemployed law grad? With $90K loans, a JD from a good school, but just unable to land that great position. What options would this person have?

What types of jobs or plan could this person immediately take to avoid missing loan payments and possibly ending up on IBR? How long does this person have before the loan payments start becoming due? How long of under/unpayed loan payments before this person may have to go on IBR for the rest of their life?

I'm wondering in the worst of the worst cases for someone who may have done things "right," what can that person do?


That person may end up looking through this thread for inspiration: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=192078&hilit=alternative+career+crisis

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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:58 pm

You talk about going on IBR like it's a bad thing...

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:30 am

Image

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:37 am

All of the above posts aren't being very helpful or providing anything of much substance. This is a good idea OP. Hopefully, a good thread gets going. I am wondering about this myself. One idea I have thought of is to work in the oil field for a year, save all of that money and start my own solo practice if I were to strike out at OCI.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:18 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Image


Who are they?

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:22 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:All of the above posts aren't being very helpful or providing anything of much substance. This is a good idea OP. Hopefully, a good thread gets going. I am wondering about this myself. One idea I have thought of is to work in the oil field for a year, save all of that money and start my own solo practice if I were to strike out at OCI.


Agreed. We could make this a post-law school, Plan B options compilation thread. 8)

Here's an interesting job that pays $160,000 (equiv. to a first-year biglaw salary):
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/pf/ ... index.html

Name: Jeff McGee
Job: Semi-truck mover
Salary: $160,000 :shock:
Age: 37
Hometown: Duluth, MN

I got a degree in science and I wanted to be a physician. But when I had a kid, I needed money and I needed it fast.

Since I was getting very few job offers in the medical field, I got a job as a truck driver. I didn't get any sleep, I was overworked and gained lots of weight from sitting in a truck all day and night. And I only made about $45,000 a year. (Ironically, this is more than some lawyers.)

One day, I got talking with a man in a truck stop who told me how he worked as a semi-truck mover and made over $100,000 a year. So I looked into it and applied for a job.

Now, I deliver semi-truck trailers from one place to another. Not many people know about this industry because it's so much more specialized than just regular truck driving. As a transporter you pick up semi trucks straight out of the factory and drop them off at individual dealers.

I love it. I drive 600 to 700 miles a day, have my own vehicle, get as much vacation time as I want and the company flies me to each factory and puts me up in a nice hotel.


GOOO, Jeff. I'm happy for this guy!

Actually, I'm going to look into this. Heck, it might not even be a Plan B....could be a Plan A!!!

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:07 am

Threads like these really make me double think about applying to law school in the future.

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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:25 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:You talk about going on IBR like it's a bad thing...


I made a post about this last year discussing and asking whether IBR was a good or bad thing...possibly a big trap?:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=194064
IBR (Income-Based Repayment) - A Boon or Bane?...A Big Trap?

But to quote from my own post and Brian Tamanaha discussing his book, Failing Law Schools:

"Let me back up and say one more thing about debt, because these critics respond by saying, 'Well, you're ignoring the benefit of income based repayment.' Income-based repayment is a program in which the federal government links your monthly loan payments to your income. So if you earn less, then you owe less. Now that sounds like an attractive option. Unfortunately, it has quite significant negative consequences attached to it. Essentially, what it means is that your loan balance will balloon very quickly, because you're not paying even the interest on a monthly basis on that debt. And after three years that will begin to compound.

So, what essentially it means is that for over two decades you'll live with this debt - a debt for which many people on IBR - will actually be getting larger. And that debt will be factored into your credit score, which means you may be denied a home mortgage or car loans - or if you do get loans you'll pay a much higher interest rate. And the reason I need to raise this is because many law schools are now selling IBR. And IBR, while well-meaning, creates distortions in the economic signals. And the distortion is that someone who essentially is not meeting the terms of the loan will nevertheless be in good standing. So, we have an economic signal that things are working out when in reality they're not. ..."
Last edited by ksllaw on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:38 am

scifiguy wrote:Suggest a plan of survival for our recent, unemployed law grad? With $90K loans, a JD from a good school, but just unable to land that great position. What options would this person have?

What types of jobs or plan could this person immediately take to avoid missing loan payments and possibly ending up on IBR? How long does this person have before the loan payments start becoming due? How long of under/unpayed loan payments before this person may have to go on IBR for the rest of their life?

I'm wondering in the worst of the worst cases for someone who may have done things "right," what can that person do? I'm asking beacuse tihs could be a realistic scenario for TLS'ers.


Solo practices are one option that grads can take if they do not get jobs in those areas above that you've mentioned. But your law school debt may be a factor here. If it is in the $100K range and above, then that could severely limit your ability to survive. They'll be some start-up costs, in addition to time needed to build a clientele.

As for other options, I think you can search the web for a good number of stories of post-law school career trajectories. Many do appear to struggle, though. Some live with their parents. Some have opened their own businesses (not necessarily in law, but in other areas). You can search areyouinsane and sadsituationJD 's posts on this site, where he (I suspect they are the same person) talks about former classmates working at Applebees bartending or doing document review and waiting tables (two jobs at once) ...all the way to doing ID (insurance defense), while also working second jobs, such as mowing lawns on the weekend.

I think a major factor in these cases is how much debt the law student has coming out. One's options may really fluctuate depending on one's debt load.

Enormous debt may limit your options and survivability sans IBR.

But good question/thread!

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:50 am

Re: IBR - does an individual care about distortions in the economic signals? Why should they? (Yes, I saw the credit bit. The interesting thing is I'd always seen comments that education loans don't actually affect your credit score very much.)

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby 20130312 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:57 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:Threads like these really make me double think about applying to law school in the future.

Good. That's kind of the point.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:26 am

If I were in this hypothetical position, I would gun for jobs at Vanderbilt. They do have an incentive to hire you, don't they?

I will doubtfully attend law school, but if I did I would make sure to at least network in my own front yard. In addition to researching for a prof., I would try to get a job on campus 1L summer, so that you can at least get some brief experience. Maybe you can even keep it part-time for 2L/3L. Then if things don't pan out, you might be better situated for an entry-level admin. job. It would be rough paying the loans, but doable with roommates / SO. This assumes no IT/Acct/ or whatever other experience might help you get a decent 40K job straight up.

Actually, if your 1L grades at a place like Vandy are shithouse, why not start applying for whatever 35-40K job opens up that you might have a shred of a chance at getting? Then you can duck out of 3L COA and start being a respectable citizen. You went to Nashville to be a 'Dore, now you can be one for life.

This is actually what I'm doing in lieu of law school, most likely. I live in a flagship college town - it's either one of their jobs or their law school. So I'm hoping to get one of their jobs.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:32 am

scifiguy wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Image


Who are they?


Erik and Lyle Menendez. Killed their rich parents back in the 80s looking for a payday.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby ksllaw » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:12 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: IBR - does an individual care about distortions in the economic signals? Why should they? (Yes, I saw the credit bit. The interesting thing is I'd always seen comments that education loans don't actually affect your credit score very much.)


Hi Mouse,

You may want to look up the actual numbers on that (I'd be interested too). Student loans do affect one's credit score (at the very least when missing a payment), but I wouldn't be able to say exactly how much off the top of my head.

The size of one's loan debt may be another factor.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:05 am

ksllaw wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: IBR - does an individual care about distortions in the economic signals? Why should they? (Yes, I saw the credit bit. The interesting thing is I'd always seen comments that education loans don't actually affect your credit score very much.)


Hi Mouse,

You may want to look up the actual numbers on that (I'd be interested too). Student loans do affect one's credit score (at the very least when missing a payment), but I wouldn't be able to say exactly how much off the top of my head.

The size of one's loan debt may be another factor.

Yeah, I should look into it more. Of course missing payments affects your credit score - that's the case with any debt - but I don't remember where I saw that exactly.

(Also, I realized that I use the terms IBR and PSLF pretty much interchangeably, which is my bad! I'm the public sector which colors my take on the programs.)

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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby johnnyutah » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:09 am

ksllaw wrote:"Let me back up and say one more thing about debt, because these critics respond by saying, 'Well, you're ignoring the benefit of income based repayment.' Income-based repayment is a program in which the federal government links your monthly loan payments to your income. So if you earn less, then you owe less. Now that sounds like an attractive option. Unfortunately, it has quite significant negative consequences attached to it. Essentially, what it means is that your loan balance will balloon very quickly, because you're not paying even the interest on a monthly basis on that debt. And after three years that will begin to compound.

So, what essentially it means is that for over two decades you'll live with this debt - a debt for which many people on IBR - will actually be getting larger. And that debt will be factored into your credit score, which means you may be denied a home mortgage or car loans - or if you do get loans you'll pay a much higher interest rate. And the reason I need to raise this is because many law schools are now selling IBR. And IBR, while well-meaning, creates distortions in the economic signals. And the distortion is that someone who essentially is not meeting the terms of the loan will nevertheless be in good standing. So, we have an economic signal that things are working out when in reality they're not. ..."

Lol @ buying a house or a new car :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:47 am

This situation sounds familiar...

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:02 am

justonemoregame wrote:If I were in this hypothetical position, I would gun for jobs at Vanderbilt. They do have an incentive to hire you, don't they?

I will doubtfully attend law school, but if I did I would make sure to at least network in my own front yard. In addition to researching for a prof., I would try to get a job on campus 1L summer, so that you can at least get some brief experience. Maybe you can even keep it part-time for 2L/3L. Then if things don't pan out, you might be better situated for an entry-level admin. job. It would be rough paying the loans, but doable with roommates / SO. This assumes no IT/Acct/ or whatever other experience might help you get a decent 40K job straight up.

Actually, if your 1L grades at a place like Vandy are shithouse, why not start applying for whatever 35-40K job opens up that you might have a shred of a chance at getting? Then you can duck out of 3L COA and start being a respectable citizen. You went to Nashville to be a 'Dore, now you can be one for life.

This is actually what I'm doing in lieu of law school, most likely. I live in a flagship college town - it's either one of their jobs or their law school. So I'm hoping to get one of their jobs.



I don't know about this one. Let's say you miss OCI/biglaw after IL. If I'm hearing you correctly, then you're saying you should try to aplyg for a school job?

So if I attended Duke Law, then I missed OCI...you're saying I should try to get an administractive job at Duke University?

Hmmm...To me, that's maybe not terrible, assuming you could get that job.

Would teh JD student be competitive for a university admin position?

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:05 am

Also, what about joining the military guys?

I konw you're probaly thinking...why goto law school to join the military?? But if you were really in a bind, how hawrd would it be to join the military? Is it true they will forgive all your student loans after about 5 years of service (although that'd sort of suck ...8 year of yoru life to get "even"). ...Just saying...as aback-up, survival plan though.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:26 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: IBR - does an individual care about distortions in the economic signals? Why should they? (Yes, I saw the credit bit. The interesting thing is I'd always seen comments that education loans don't actually affect your credit score very much.)


re: IBR

I think you should try this.

Try calculating (in this thread here) what your life would be like on IBR.

Find what you think is a reasonable income you could make after missing biglaw & federal/PI jobs with LRAP. ....I'm seriosu, because I'm thinking about this too. Would it be $40K in small law? $30/year as a waiter?

Then calculate for us what life on IBR would be like (possibly for 20-25 years). I dunno. I think IBR sounds attractive to some, but I'm not sure poeple know what it'd be like.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:You talk about going on IBR like it's a bad thing...


I mean...is it possible to even own a home on IBR? I'm being absolutely serious.

I want to see you do the calculations for the prospects of home ownership on IBR. Because I'm wondering if it's mathematically possible.

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Re: Worst Case Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:58 am

johnnyutah wrote:Lol @ buying a house or a new car :lol: :lol: :lol:


That's what i just wrote above (to A. nony Mouse).

It may be possible for some, but I'm guessing that IBR puts you in a bad position to do those things. That's what I'm wondering about and trying to calculate right now.

I guess I could post storeis from the net, but it seems a common theme is that those with

a.) big debt
+
b.) no job

= live at home with parents (commong theme) after law school. No cash flow/savings going on.

I'm really wanting to imagine and calculate just how bad it could be.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:36 pm

If you went to Vanderbilt, you're probably a smart kid who has some other options. As someone in a similar situation, if you don't get a biglaw SA, and you're gonna be $100k in debt, STRONGLY consider dropping out vs. the options you'll have staying in. 3L hiring is a wasteland. It may be the right decision, or it may not be (maybe you have a strong PI or crim-oriented background, I dunno), but you should think about it.

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Re: Worst-Case-Scenario SURVIVAL Plan Post-Law School?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:46 am

scifiguy wrote:Let's assume a person attends a relatively good law school (we'll choose a T20 to make it realistic): Vanderbilt.

Let's also assume this person was decently wise in not putting himself or herself at "too much" loan debt risk and got out at under $100K. Let's be realistic again here and assume this person leaves law school with $90K law debt ($45K from living expenses and $45K from law tuition - just assume they had a scholly from being a good undergrad student and got a pretty good LSAT).

Suppose our "top" law school grad, who was wise enough to go without incurring over $100K debt, graduates from law school and was unable to secure biglaw, a federal clerkship, or other PI or gov't job that would enable them to have a high enough salary or LRAP to start paying back their loans.

So, our person who tried to do everything right is in a worst-case scenario position.

Suggest a plan of survival for our recent, unemployed law grad? With $90K loans, a JD from a good school, but just unable to land that great position. What options would this person have?

What types of jobs or plan could this person immediately take to avoid missing loan payments and possibly ending up on IBR? How long does this person have before the loan payments start becoming due? How long of under/unpayed loan payments before this person may have to go on IBR for the rest of their life?

I'm wondering in the worst of the worst cases for someone who may have done things "right," what can that person do? I'm asking beacuse tihs could be a realistic scenario for TLS'ers.


You have roughly six months after graduation before your loans are due. Interest starts running immediately after graduation and is capitalized after the six-month grade period. Your payments will be around $1100 per month (I have around 100K in debt).

You need to spend three months studying for the bar, unless you are abandoning law. During this period you could work part-time, I did.

Otherwise, you need to find a job. Any job. Your loan payments are $13200 per year on the ten-year schedule. Do the math on the salary you need to live. Remember that your most likely scenario is 40-60K small law.




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