Where to go? Temple or BC

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Which?

Temple (COA-90k)
13
87%
Boston College (COA-210k)
2
13%
 
Total votes: 15

basketweaver

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Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by basketweaver » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Goals: pay off loans, work in the private sector, eventually make my way to gov't work. I'm fine with living in any east coast major city.

Obviously BC is the better choice, but I am pretty nervous to take out 210k in loans, not swing BL to pay them off, and be screwed. People on the Reddit forum makes it seem likely I could get BL from BC, but it seems more like the blind leading the blind on that forum.

I'm not sure how Temple is viewed in general? People I've talked to said it's very respected in Philly and has better big law numbers than it seems due to their public interest self-selection, but I'm not sure how true that is. I have a decent scholarship that will leave tuition being around $7k a year.

This is my third cycle, I've taken the LSAT 5 times. I'm not reapplying, what would you pick in this situation?
Last edited by basketweaver on Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Where to go? Money or Rank?

Post by Yugihoe » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:38 pm

retake LSAT and go to one of these schools for free if you must.

ETA just saw you took the LSAT 5 times. Honestly, I'd not go to law school if these were my only two choices. You're better off finding another way to earn income than be 90k in the hole. No way I'd do 210k EVER for BC. First of all you are banking on getting big law. Second of all, actually getting big law and then having to pay back the 250k you'll likely owe by then (interest etc.) is not actually going to be enjoyable and you will certainly regret what now seems to you to be your best case scenario.

basketweaver

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Re: Where to go? Money or Rank?

Post by basketweaver » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:46 pm

Yugihoe wrote:retake LSAT and go to one of these schools for free if you must.

ETA just saw you took the LSAT 5 times. Honestly, I'd not go to law school if these were my only two choices. You're better off finding another way to earn income than be 90k in the hole. No way I'd do 210k EVER for BC. First of all you are banking on getting big law. Second of all, actually getting big law and then having to pay back the 250k you'll likely owe by then (interest etc.) is not actually going to be enjoyable and you will certainly regret what now seems to you to be your best case scenario.
Thanks for the input! You don't think Temple with $$$.5 would be a decent choice? I don't need BL from Temple, just a decent job. I don't think I'll ever make more than 50k with my current social science degree.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Where to go? Money or Rank?

Post by Yugihoe » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:53 pm

basketweaver wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:retake LSAT and go to one of these schools for free if you must.

ETA just saw you took the LSAT 5 times. Honestly, I'd not go to law school if these were my only two choices. You're better off finding another way to earn income than be 90k in the hole. No way I'd do 210k EVER for BC. First of all you are banking on getting big law. Second of all, actually getting big law and then having to pay back the 250k you'll likely owe by then (interest etc.) is not actually going to be enjoyable and you will certainly regret what now seems to you to be your best case scenario.
Thanks for the input! You don't think Temple with $$$ would be a decent choice? I don't need BL from Temple, just a decent job. I don't think I'll ever make more than 50k with my current social science degree.
I'm not very well versed with Temple but you haven't explained what your goals are clearly. Why do you think you will actually enjoy practicing law? You've vaguely said that you'd like to go into "private sector, eventually make [your] way to gov't work." I would check the median income for Temple graduates but as you're likely aware, legal salaries are bi-modal, and I suspect if you do become employed in the legal field, your starting income would be around 60k. Do you think, from a financial analysis, 3 years of opportunity cost and 90k [plus interest] is worth it? The numbers don't lie. This would mean this would only be a good decision if you view it as a cost you want to incur because you're very passionate about the law and want to be a lawyer doing X or Y, despite it being a bad financial decision. Eventually as you gained more experience as a lawyer, you'd break even on this upfront cost. BUT you have to actually want to be a lawyer to do this, and I am going to lean towards that not being the case. Having a useless SS degree is not reason enough to add a similarly undervalued law degree.

If I were in your place, I'd see if there were cheaper ways to pick up a skill that is pretty transferable (maybe accounting, digital marketing, whatever) and get a 50-60k job off the bat and actually try to grow in that field. Maybe try to work and find other revenue streams in the mean time.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by objctnyrhnr » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:12 pm

basketweaver wrote:Goals: pay off loans, work in the private sector, eventually make my way to gov't work. I'm fine with living in any east coast major city.

Obviously BC is the better choice, but I am pretty nervous to take out 210k in loans, not swing BL to pay them off, and be screwed. People on the Reddit forum makes it seem likely I could get BL from BC, but it seems more like the blind leading the blind on that forum.

I'm not sure how Temple is viewed in general? People I've talked to said it's very respected in Philly and has better big law numbers than it seems due to their public interest self-selection, but I'm not sure how true that is. I have a decent scholarship that will leave tuition being around $7k a year.

This is my third cycle, I've taken the LSAT 5 times. I'm not reapplying, what would you pick in this situation?
This is tough. BC is much better but that’s still a lot to pay for it.

What you probably want to figure out (anecdotally or otherwise) is your chances of leveraging your school’s alumni network to break into biglaw from reputable midlaw if you strike out from oci. This data isn’t reported, but (particularly when things are booming) it’s a fairly viable path—particularly if you know how to network/hustle and have the social aptitude for it, and if you have the same alma as a large % of the associates and partners in potential target firms. This is easier if you have a bit of a niche speciality and your move when hiring is hot (which will be hard to predict at this point). All of this being said, you also probably need to catch a bit of luck.

Many say if you don’t land biglaw from oci you almost definitely won’t. I think that outlook is a little bit pessimistic.

Take boston for instance because it’s pertinent to your decision. You’re not going to find a ton of, say, northeastern grads in boston Biglaw (though you’ll find some). However you will likely find that a huge percentage of biglawyers graduated from BC.

Takeaway: If you’re absolutely dead set on going to LS, you need to do it with a strong plan if you miss biglaw oci (for example, have you thought about what niche you might try to get experience in through classes/clinics/internships?).

Still, at those prices, I’m not sure either option is particularly advisable.

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crazywafflez

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by crazywafflez » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:33 pm

I'm not really sure how Temple CoA is around 90k? If you're paying 7k for tuition- lets even say 10k- you're around 30k for 3 years.
I really doubt your CoL is going to be 20k each year... I think, even on the high end, 15k is more reasonable. So you are looking at 45k CoL.
Even using my estimates, on the high end you come out with 75k debt- with interest you're around 82k. I think a much more realistic number for this is actually you being at 70-75k debt with interest- and if your 7k is accurate I think you're looking at an even lower number.
I was in a similar place to you a couple years ago choosing between southern schools around this caliber- my debt level would be a bit lower though from my T1- around 65k.
Additionally, your starting pay is much more likely to be around 50-60k from Temple. There aren't really a huge amount of Mid law positions that offer, say, 90k a year.
I would not go to BC with that kind of debt- if you strike out of biglaw you're toast. Even with biglaw, that debt is huge.
I wouldn't consider Temple at 90k CoA either though and would feel way more comfortable going to Temple for around 60-75k (The cheaper the better). I would rerun the numbers on this though- if you have other expenses I could see why you're at 90k there; and I know when you're talking about tens of thousands of dollars that a 10-20k differences seems ridiculous but paying but those loans is real- and the interest stacks up.
Best of luck.

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Sackboy

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by Sackboy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:06 pm

I can't in good conscience recommend someone go to BC with 210k of debt. If you're really fine with any type of work, Temple seems OK. See if you can negotiate the price down further. In all likelihood, even if you start off making 50k out of Temple, you won't be financially ruined with your debt level, though life won't be fun.

If these are your best options, I'd ask yourself how much you want to be a lawyer. There might be cheaper/better degrees out there for you to increase your earnings potential without incurring such high debt. An employer-sponsored part-time MBA, coding bootcamp, or various other educational routes could help you break that 50k ceiling you seem stuck at.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by trebekismyhero » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:18 pm

If you really want to be a lawyer and are ok with ending up in Philly making like $60k after law school, go with Temple. BC at that kind of cost could be life-ruining if you don't get big law

basketweaver

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by basketweaver » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:01 pm

crazywafflez wrote:I'm not really sure how Temple CoA is around 90k? If you're paying 7k for tuition- lets even say 10k- you're around 30k for 3 years.
I really doubt your CoL is going to be 20k each year... I think, even on the high end, 15k is more reasonable. So you are looking at 45k CoL.
Even using my estimates, on the high end you come out with 75k debt- with interest you're around 82k. I think a much more realistic number for this is actually you being at 70-75k debt with interest- and if your 7k is accurate I think you're looking at an even lower number.
I was in a similar place to you a couple years ago choosing between southern schools around this caliber- my debt level would be a bit lower though from my T1- around 65k.
Additionally, your starting pay is much more likely to be around 50-60k from Temple. There aren't really a huge amount of Mid law positions that offer, say, 90k a year.
I would not go to BC with that kind of debt- if you strike out of biglaw you're toast. Even with biglaw, that debt is huge.
I wouldn't consider Temple at 90k CoA either though and would feel way more comfortable going to Temple for around 60-75k (The cheaper the better). I would rerun the numbers on this though- if you have other expenses I could see why you're at 90k there; and I know when you're talking about tens of thousands of dollars that a 10-20k differences seems ridiculous but paying but those loans is real- and the interest stacks up.
Best of luck.
I appreciate the time it took for you to break this down. You're right, I think I might be overestimating my Temple cost. I based it off of 4% tuition increases and the living expenses listed on the website (which seem to be inflated). I could likely graduate with 70-80k debt, which is easier to swallow than BC for me, even with the drastically lower employment outcomes.

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basketweaver

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by basketweaver » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:07 pm

I'm also curious why it's suggested that I'd likely be making 50-60k out of Temple. On LST it says the median private sector salary was 90k (25th percentile 70k, and 75th percentile 160k). Would it be foolish to expect if I place decently to make at least 70k? Are the LST income numbers fudged?

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by trebekismyhero » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:29 pm

basketweaver wrote:I'm also curious why it's suggested that I'd likely be making 50-60k out of Temple. On LST it says the median private sector salary was 90k (25th percentile 70k, and 75th percentile 160k). Would it be foolish to expect if I place decently to make at least 70k? Are the LST income numbers fudged?
It is because for law graduates, salaries are fairly bi-modal so you can't really go off what the median salary is. There are a big chunk of jobs that are big law that pay $190k in major markets and a little less in smaller markets. Then an even bigger chunk of jobs that pay $45-$65k. There are definitely jobs that pay between $70k and $100k, but they are smaller buckets than the other two.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Where to go? Temple or BC

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:57 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:
basketweaver wrote:I'm also curious why it's suggested that I'd likely be making 50-60k out of Temple. On LST it says the median private sector salary was 90k (25th percentile 70k, and 75th percentile 160k). Would it be foolish to expect if I place decently to make at least 70k? Are the LST income numbers fudged?
It is because for law graduates, salaries are fairly bi-modal so you can't really go off what the median salary is. There are a big chunk of jobs that are big law that pay $190k in major markets and a little less in smaller markets. Then an even bigger chunk of jobs that pay $45-$65k. There are definitely jobs that pay between $70k and $100k, but they are smaller buckets than the other two.
In addition to this, you also need to be careful of selectively looking at the salary report data; you'll end up being overly optimistic. Yes, the median private sector salary was $90k. But that only represents data for 89 graduates (42.6% of the class, or a little more than half of all employed graduates). So basically, you're ignoring half the salary data because you're already assuming you'll be in the group that gets the outcome you're hoping for.

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