Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

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getemgoon

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Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby getemgoon » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:46 pm

This is strictly from a financial point of view if you choose to enter the biglaw route, not whether you will be happy with the career/work itself.


TLS helped me a lot from my LSAT studying days, all throughout law school, so I thought I'd give back. I'm not on TLS as much anymore, but I assume little has changed. Lots of people on here will try to scare you into going to law school, and that unless you have a full ride to a T14 it's not worth. Well, I disagree and here's my story.

- I took two years off between college and law school.
- I went to a T14.
- I'm now a second year at a v30 firm in NYC. I mainly do M&A.
- I have full loans (~250k) and don't come from family money to help pay down the debt.

Do I still think it's worth it? Yes. I refinanced my loans at a 3.0% interest rate so I'll be paying roughly ~$1800/month for the next 15 years. Or I can pay it down earlier if I want. My salary will only increase if I stay in biglaw, and even if I go in-house, the $1800/month is what I'll have to pay to live a rather comfortable life. As noted above, I don't come from money, so even after the $1800 monthly hit, it's a LOT of money for me. If I knew I just wanted to do biglaw for 3-4 years and leave, I would have put a lot more into paying down my debt, but I don't mind it and I like the people I work with so hopefully I'm here for the long haul.

So don't let the TLS goons scare you. You can do it. This is a great resource as well if you're worried about the finances of law school/being a lawyer: https://www.biglawinvestor.com/

If you have any questions, write a question below or PM me. Happy to help anyone through this process.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:23 pm

getemgoon wrote:Do I still think it's worth it? Yes. I refinanced my loans at a 3.0% interest rate so I'll be paying roughly ~$1800/month for the next 15 years. Or I can pay it down earlier if I want. My salary will only increase if I stay in biglaw, and even if I go in-house, the $1800/month is what I'll have to pay to live a rather comfortable life. As noted above, I don't come from money, so even after the $1800 monthly hit, it's a LOT of money for me. If I knew I just wanted to do biglaw for 3-4 years and leave, I would have put a lot more into paying down my debt, but I don't mind it and I like the people I work with so hopefully I'm here for the long haul.


I can't tell if this is a troll attempt or just really naive.You're at least a quarter million in debt living in NYC. If the economy turns bad or your get sent the "up or out" message in a couple years and you lose your cushy biglaw job, you're hosed.

Assuming this is serious, there's a heck of a lot of post-hoc rationalization built into lucking your way through a bunch of REALLY risky decisions. Advising others to follow your path is insane.

Congrats, you got a biglaw job, and the best case is that you're going to be paying a 2nd mortgage payment for your law degree until you're 40. Don't drag anybody else into your pit of insanity.

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Pomeranian

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby Pomeranian » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:57 pm

Why are you pushing your own website? I'm thinking this is a troll post.

getemgoon

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby getemgoon » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:55 pm

lol

1. that's not my website. that website is run by a biglaw attorney who you can find out with a quick google search
2. not a troll post, you guys are just so risk-averse
3. i didn't get lucky. going to a top law school and getting biglaw isn't luck. there's a good shot at it.
4. if anyone wants real life advice, and not from these theoretical nerds, hit me up

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Yugihoe

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby Yugihoe » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:24 am

Law school is not worth it financially and you're an idiot for thinking that taking out 250k in loans so you can bill 2000+ hours a year while being on call 24-7 is "totally worth it."

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nealric

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:14 pm

I've been out of law school a decent bit longer than OP, and would add my qualified support to the OP's perspective. Although my debt was a lot less than OPs (and OPs is less than full sticker loans these days), I think it's easy to forget how trivial the amount of those loans are compared to lifetime earnings in a highly remunerative legal career. $250k sounds like an insane amount of money to a prospective law student who may have never made more than $10 an hour in their life, but it sounds a lot less so to someone 10 years out of law school who has been highly paid that entire time. Make no mistake, paying off student loans was not a pleasant experience. But with the benefit of hindsight, there's no question it would have been the right decision for me even if I had borrowed $250k+

That being said, those making the decision on the front end need to understand that they are taking a risk. You may not get that biglaw job even attending a top school. If you do, you may not be able to stick around in it for very long. Your exit options may not pay close to what biglaw does. If you are going public interest, there is no guarantee loan forgiveness programs will be around when you need them. It used to be that people said law school was for the risk adverse. Now, I say it's for the gambler. Entrepreneurs may take "risks", but they can walk away with bankruptcy if they can't repay their debts. In some ways, the law school gamble is a bigger one.

silenttimer

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Re: Law school worth it financially? 3rd year at v30's perspective

Postby silenttimer » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:19 pm

I'll add my two cents. I went to a T30 school (fluctuates between 20-30) and graduated in 2010 (top half around 35% of the class, no law review, no journal). I graduated with $135k in debt. I also came from modest means with no family financial support -- a son of a immigrant single-parent.

After law school, I took a state court clerkship and am not a senior associate at a V50 firm in smaller market. I paid off my law school loans in February 2015 and I have since saved significant amount of money. I also have bought a condo and provide some financial support for my parent.

Yes, law school was absolutely worth it for me from ROI perspective.



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