New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

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New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by Yolo41597 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:41 pm

I got accepted into both New England and Suffolk. They are both in the heart of Boston. I am having a hard time deciding on which school I should attend. New England gave me a scholarship, but Suffolk didn't. But Suffolk has a better reputation. What are your opinions? Which school would you recommend? Thanks.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:12 pm

What are your career goals? What's your total cost of attendance at each school? LSAT/GPA?

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:59 pm

Neither is a good choice. New England only produces good career outcomes for its own administrators—I wouldn't spend three years there at any price—and Suffolk is not remotely worth its $282k sticker cost.

If you must go to law school, you need to improve your LSAT score and avail yourself of better options. Not to do so would more likely than not be a life-ruining mistake.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by crazywafflez » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:40 pm

I'd check out LST reports on these schools. I'm unfamiliar with the market in New England and the Boston area but I'd move forward with caution. On LST it says only 42% of New England grads and 53% of Suffolk grads get jobs as attorneys. These aren't good options. I wouldn't go to New England- except maybe on a full scholarship and knowing that I wanted to do PI and/or state related stuff- even then though I'm not sure how strong the network is and I'd be very cautious. At Suffolk you've got a coin's flip of a chance- I still wouldn't take out debt to go here though. I'm not sure your outcomes will be worth it and the debt and time spent getting the JD may not result in any career, let alone a legal one. I think possibly going to Suffolk on a full scholarship is defensible (i.e. you are just paying living expenses). If your goals are modest Suffolk for free could be a good option. I'd really try and retake though and aim for minimal/very low debt at a school like Northeastern. Bar that, retake and get the full scholarship at Suffolk.
These two schools really limit your career options, and that can be okay, just know that from these schools you won't be getting biglaw or anything similar. And there's the chance you don't get a legal job at all.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:42 pm

What is it that you want to do?

If the answer is to get on the duty criminal defense attorney list in boston and get appointed to indigent defendants at 60/hour for the rest of your life, then either school would be fine because nobody gets rejected from that so your school doesn’t matter.

If you want to be a state prosecutor for life and have a connection to an office in mass, then either school would be fine. Without connections though, just numbers wise (# of spots in a given year versus # who apply), it can be very hard to break in. Bright side is they don’t really care about your school.

If your goals are anything different, you probably shouldn’t go to either...especially in this economy.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by QContinuum » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:44 pm

Suffolk's a popular choice for patent agents in Boston, because, IIRC, it's the "best" law school in the area that offers a part-time program. Harvard, BU and BC Law only offer full-time J.D. programs. New England also offers a part-time program, but, oddly enough, I'm not aware of any patent agent matriculating to NESL, which says something about its reputation vis-a-vis Suffolk.

Even for Suffolk, I'd only recommend attending if (i) you're a patent agent employed by law firm, and the firm's subsidizing your tuition, and you're confident in your job security at your current firm, and you're sure you don't ever want to leave patent prosecution; or (ii) you're 100% dead set on doing local public interest work in the Boston area, and Suffolk's offering a very large scholarship (I'd say at least >75% tuition, with no GPA stipulations). Or, I guess, (iii) you have an ironclad job offer at your uncle Bob's small law practice. I can't really think of any other situation where it'd make sense to attend Suffolk.

Finally, keep in mind that Suffolk's employment data is skewed by its patent agent students: folks with STEM degrees from prestigious universities who are already employed - before they even begin day 1 of law school - by law firms as patent agents. These folks will (generally and presumably) remain employed by their firms after graduation, and will be counted by Suffolk as "success" stories - but Suffolk didn't really do anything to place these folks in their jobs, which they already had before they even started law school. If you aren't a patent agent going in, you won't be in this pool of people, so looking at Suffolk's raw employment data is, if anything, misleadingly optimistic for the "typical" 0L.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by sarahlgee » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:05 am

Hi,

Suffolk Law is fairly well represented in the Boston area for working attorneys across the spectrum. There seems to be a fair number of criminal defense lawyers and judges in the area who have gone to Suffolk. I am also familiar with more than a few sole practitioners who’ve gone there and are doing pretty well.

To a lesser extent the same is roughly true of New England Law. I know of two judges in particular at the district level who are NEL alums and a few attorneys who seem to do a lot of probate/family court work, criminal as well.

Having said that, I’m not one who thinks taking on the kind of debt most law students end up with is even remotely normal or a good idea—and certainly it’s not good for producing diversity in lawyers to meet the demands of respective communities, nor is this good for wide-scale access to “justice” for ordinary American citizens. Those high costs get passed on to somewhere and that’s usually onto the wallets of those seeking representation.

In any case, there are many driven, successful people who’ve attended both of the above schools and have done well. There are those who’ve attended higher ranking schools and have not done as well as they’d expected. The opposite is also true.

At the end of the day, your level of drive, ambition, and creativity will carry you further than any other factor.

So Suffolk over NEL.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:05 pm

Not going to law school > retake and reapply > Suffolk at sticker =~ NELaw at modest discount

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:10 pm

sarahlgee wrote:Hi,

Suffolk Law is fairly well represented in the Boston area for working attorneys across the spectrum. There seems to be a fair number of criminal defense lawyers and judges in the area who have gone to Suffolk. I am also familiar with more than a few sole practitioners who’ve gone there and are doing pretty well.

To a lesser extent the same is roughly true of New England Law. I know of two judges in particular at the district level who are NEL alums and a few attorneys who seem to do a lot of probate/family court work, criminal as well.

Having said that, I’m not one who thinks taking on the kind of debt most law students end up with is even remotely normal or a good idea—and certainly it’s not good for producing diversity in lawyers to meet the demands of respective communities, nor is this good for wide-scale access to “justice” for ordinary American citizens. Those high costs get passed on to somewhere and that’s usually onto the wallets of those seeking representation.

In any case, there are many driven, successful people who’ve attended both of the above schools and have done well. There are those who’ve attended higher ranking schools and have not done as well as they’d expected. The opposite is also true.

At the end of the day, your level of drive, ambition, and creativity will carry you further than any other factor.

So Suffolk over NEL.
People like you are the reason that these scams continue to exist, i.e. the reason that the free market hasn’t taken care of them already—as it does other items/goods/services whose costs far exceed their value.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:18 pm

sarahlgee wrote:t the end of the day, your level of drive, ambition, and creativity will carry you further than any other factor.
I'll have to remember that the next time someone asks why half the class at Suffolk can't get hired as an attorney. They just lacked creativity!

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by QContinuum » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:52 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
sarahlgee wrote:t the end of the day, your level of drive, ambition, and creativity will carry you further than any other factor.
I'll have to remember that the next time someone asks why half the class at Suffolk can't get hired as an attorney. They just lacked creativity!
Nah, it's worse than that, cav. Enough "drive" and "ambition" can make up for a lack of "creativity". So the half of the class at Suffolk who can't find legal employment really only have themselves to blame for their own lack of "drive" and "ambition" to succeed.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:46 pm

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
sarahlgee wrote:t the end of the day, your level of drive, ambition, and creativity will carry you further than any other factor.
I'll have to remember that the next time someone asks why half the class at Suffolk can't get hired as an attorney. They just lacked creativity!
Nah, it's worse than that, cav. Enough "drive" and "ambition" can make up for a lack of "creativity". So the half of the class at Suffolk who can't find legal employment really only have themselves to blame for their own lack of "drive" and "ambition" to succeed.
mods came down on that (to put it nicely) misguided take like a hammer.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by QContinuum » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:21 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:mods came down on that (to put it nicely) misguided take like a hammer.
Putting the snark aside, I should add that the legal market today is very different from the legal market a few decades ago. Those (few) judges and senior attorneys from New England Law received their J.D.s in the 1980s or early '90s, maybe even the '70s or '60s. The legal job market then was far different: far less saturated and significantly less prestige-conscious.

Also, equally importantly, law school tuition then was much, much, much more affordable - both in absolute terms and relative to the salaries newly minted J.D.s could reasonably expect to make. Back in the '70s you could attend a school like New England Law at sticker tuition, and with enough drive and gumption, you could hang your own shingle in Lynn or Quincy and have a reasonable chance at paying off your fairly minimal student loans and doing well for yourself. But today, tuition at all law schools has ballooned to such a ridiculous extent that sticker debt would be absolutely ruinous unless either (i) your family's worth $10 million+ and is putting you through law school, or (ii) you land BigLaw, which isn't plausible from New England Law or Suffolk (unless you're going in as a patent agent - see my previous post). You'd have no reasonable prospect of paying it off as a solo.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by LSATWiz.com » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:25 pm

The thing is the argument that the bottom tiered law schools rely on: “all law schools are essentially the same because some people succeed and some people don’t” is most likely to resonate with those with lower LSAT scores.

“Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample” is actually a specific flawed logic pattern tested on the LSAT. You can argue that every prospective lawyer should be able to see through that but the reality is that those who see that right away are less likely to apply to these schools to begin with. It’s as if the marketing for many schools is tailor designed for people who struggled with the LSAT.

So you have young people raised to believe education always pays off, a test designed to assess whether they have certain skills, law schools preying on those lacking those skills, and the ABA standing idly by doing its best Sergeant Shultz impression. It’s really absurd when you think about.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:49 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:The thing is the argument that the bottom tiered law schools rely on: “all law schools are essentially the same because some people succeed and some people don’t” is most likely to resonate with those with lower LSAT scores.

“Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample” is actually a specific flawed logic pattern tested on the LSAT. You can argue that every prospective lawyer should be able to see through that but the reality is that those who see that right away are less likely to apply to these schools to begin with. It’s as if the marketing for many schools is tailor designed for people who struggled with the LSAT.

So you have young people raised to believe education always pays off, a test designed to assess whether they have certain skills, law schools preying on those lacking those skills, and the ABA standing idly by doing its best Sergeant Shultz impression. It’s really absurd when you think about.
It’s very sociologically interesting that these schools with such bad outcomes in the aggregate haven’t been taken care of by the free market. Just like a weird exception to the general Econ 101 rule...one that’s perpetuated by people like the two posters in this thread with questionable logic and/or rose colored glasses and/or who just can’t intellectually comprehend that amount of debt to the point that they can make rational decisions.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by LSATWiz.com » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:48 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
LSATWiz.com wrote:The thing is the argument that the bottom tiered law schools rely on: “all law schools are essentially the same because some people succeed and some people don’t” is most likely to resonate with those with lower LSAT scores.

“Generalizing from an unrepresentative sample” is actually a specific flawed logic pattern tested on the LSAT. You can argue that every prospective lawyer should be able to see through that but the reality is that those who see that right away are less likely to apply to these schools to begin with. It’s as if the marketing for many schools is tailor designed for people who struggled with the LSAT.

So you have young people raised to believe education always pays off, a test designed to assess whether they have certain skills, law schools preying on those lacking those skills, and the ABA standing idly by doing its best Sergeant Shultz impression. It’s really absurd when you think about.
It’s very sociologically interesting that these schools with such bad outcomes in the aggregate haven’t been taken care of by the free market. Just like a weird exception to the general Econ 101 rule...one that’s perpetuated by people like the two posters in this thread with questionable logic and/or rose colored glasses and/or who just can’t intellectually comprehend that amount of debt to the point that they can make rational decisions.
You would expect the free market to take care of it, but I think there is something more profound than the free market at play. Our developmental years have a greater impact on how we process information than our adult ones, and by the time our brains are advanced enough to understand the concept of a free market, we've already had a childhood of our parents teaching us school is good and our societal icons telling us, "Be cool, stay in school". We blindly trust that educators have our best interests in mind. This is why many teachers and priests are able to get away with abuse for so long.

Obviously, this isn't comparable but we are essentially trained to trust the educational system and believe that education is inherently positive. I think this even goes a step further and impacts how esteemed judges look at these law schools with high tuitions and poor job stats. They hold them to a lesser standard, in part, because they are subconsciously influenced by the same factors that leads students to attend these schools. The idea that there could be a class of schools, not that these specific schools are in that class, that exist only to separate them from their money seems unfathomable.

I also think this exposure to school is what makes people choose these schools over retaking. A lot of the people I've met who refuse to take the LSAT or put more than a month into it are those who go straight through. As a species, we're addicted to routine and the idea of going from being in school all your life to not being in school could be daunting so a lot of these students may be looking for any excuse they can to not accept a school can leave them in a terrible position three-years later so I think we really have a trifecta of factors that all favor these schools over the free market: (1) the deeply held belief education is inherently good; (2) the fear of not being in school; (3) lesser governing standards.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by QContinuum » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:18 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:It’s very sociologically interesting that these schools with such bad outcomes in the aggregate haven’t been taken care of by the free market. Just like a weird exception to the general Econ 101 rule...one that’s perpetuated by people like the two posters in this thread with questionable logic and/or rose colored glasses and/or who just can’t intellectually comprehend that amount of debt to the point that they can make rational decisions.
If we actually had a true free market, T3/T4/unranked schools would've closed en masse long ago. Private lenders would quickly realize these schools' graduates have a snowball's chance in heck of repaying $300k+ in education loans, and would stop extending those credit lines to prospective matriculants. 0Ls, not being able to finance their education, would be unable to attend. The schools would lose out on these prospective students' tuition dollars, and would have to drastically cut tuition and/or shut their doors to survive. You'd ultimately end up with far fewer T3/T4/unranked law schools, and the remaining survivors would charge far more reasonable tuition, in line with their placement power.

Trouble is, we don't have a true free market. We have Uncle Sam letting idealistic 0Ls borrow as much money as these schools want to charge them. That frees tuition from market forces that would otherwise constrain their rise. And, ultimately, we have Uncle Sam on the hook to forgive these loans after the 0Ls slave and toil and spend 20 years fruitlessly trying to repay their debt.

IBR/PAYE, while well-intentioned, are directly enabling law schools' continued price gouging.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:41 pm

QContinuum wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:It’s very sociologically interesting that these schools with such bad outcomes in the aggregate haven’t been taken care of by the free market. Just like a weird exception to the general Econ 101 rule...one that’s perpetuated by people like the two posters in this thread with questionable logic and/or rose colored glasses and/or who just can’t intellectually comprehend that amount of debt to the point that they can make rational decisions.
If we actually had a true free market, T3/T4/unranked schools would've closed en masse long ago. Private lenders would quickly realize these schools' graduates have a snowball's chance in heck of repaying $300k+ in education loans, and would stop extending those credit lines to prospective matriculants. 0Ls, not being able to finance their education, would be unable to attend. The schools would lose out on these prospective students' tuition dollars, and would have to drastically cut tuition and/or shut their doors to survive. You'd ultimately end up with far fewer T3/T4/unranked law schools, and the remaining survivors would charge far more reasonable tuition, in line with their placement power.

Trouble is, we don't have a true free market. We have Uncle Sam letting idealistic 0Ls borrow as much money as these schools want to charge them. That frees tuition from market forces that would otherwise constrain their rise. And, ultimately, we have Uncle Sam on the hook to forgive these loans after the 0Ls slave and toil and spend 20 years fruitlessly trying to repay their debt.

IBR/PAYE, while well-intentioned, are directly enabling law schools' continued price gouging.
If Uncle Sam ends up forgiving X percent on average of Y percent of these loans every year, why wouldn’t it be in uncle sam’s best interest to crack down?

Is the answer because it makes enough off the interest even in spite of the forgiveness? Or is it because government is inefficient and hasn’t gotten around to streamlining this whole thing/figuring this whole thing out yet?

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by nixy » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:05 pm

I agree that it’s not at all a free market because of the ease of loans. Loans absolutely manipulate what’s going on - schools have no skin in the game and borrowers don’t realize what paying $250k+ for tuition means until it’s too late.

As for forgiving loans, it’s only been a very short time since forgiveness began - people could first apply for forgiveness under PSLF in 2019, and no one on PAYE/REPAYE has made it to forgiveness yet. With regard to allowing income-based payments (so the gov obviously not collecting the full amount), I’m assuming that someone somewhere calculated that capping loan payments as a percentage of income had a better shot at getting some money than, say, expecting borrowers who make $45k a year to pay the full $2k or whatever each month (I’m totally guessing, but I’d bet that pre-income-based plans, people who couldn’t pay the full amount didn’t make partial payments and just didn’t pay at all that month).

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:13 pm

nixy wrote:I agree that it’s not at all a free market because of the ease of loans. Loans absolutely manipulate what’s going on - schools have no skin in the game and borrowers don’t realize what paying $250k+ for tuition means until it’s too late.

As for forgiving loans, it’s only been a very short time since forgiveness began - people could first apply for forgiveness under PSLF in 2019, and no one on PAYE/REPAYE has made it to forgiveness yet. With regard to allowing income-based payments (so the gov obviously not collecting the full amount), I’m assuming that someone somewhere calculated that capping loan payments as a percentage of income had a better shot at getting some money than, say, expecting borrowers who make $45k a year to pay the full $2k or whatever each month (I’m totally guessing, but I’d bet that pre-income-based plans, people who couldn’t pay the full amount didn’t make partial payments and just didn’t pay at all that month).
So are you saying it’s a function of the attendees not really being able to comprehend the loans and the interest as a concept? Because if a rational thinker would assume a median outcome and look at the annual salary every year of career you get from that and then look to the cost Including interest, that person wouldn’t attend absent close to a full ride, right?

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by nixy » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:21 pm

That would probably be the most rational response, but I generally think the rational economic actor is a myth. There’s no pain to the borrower at the time they take out the loans, everyone thinks they can be at the top of their class by working hard, and people still think lawyers all make scads of money.

I get that the information to the contrary is out there, and more people are figuring that out and making the calculations you describe than in the past. But I don’t think American culture around higher ed and loans and lawyers has fundamentally changed and it still informs how a ton of people act.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by QContinuum » Fri May 01, 2020 12:36 am

nixy wrote:That would probably be the most rational response, but I generally think the rational economic actor is a myth. There’s no pain to the borrower at the time they take out the loans, everyone thinks they can be at the top of their class by working hard, and people still think lawyers all make scads of money.

I get that the information to the contrary is out there, and more people are figuring that out and making the calculations you describe than in the past. But I don’t think American culture around higher ed and loans and lawyers has fundamentally changed and it still informs how a ton of people act.
There's also still some lingering trust in our government and regulatory bodies, such that some 0Ls think that if the government's letting them take out those education loans, and the ABA's accrediting those schools, it must be okay. If paying sticker at a T3/T4/RNP was truly reckless, the government wouldn't be loaning them the tuition dollars and the schools wouldn't still be accredited!
nixy wrote:As for forgiving loans, it’s only been a very short time since forgiveness began - people could first apply for forgiveness under PSLF in 2019, and no one on PAYE/REPAYE has made it to forgiveness yet.
I wasn't talking about the newfangled 10-year PSLF loan forgiveness, but rather the 25 (now 20)-year IBR loan forgiveness which comes with a nice surprise tax bomb at the end. Plenty of folks have struggled to that finish line and gotten their loans forgiven.

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by nixy » Fri May 01, 2020 12:59 am

QContinuum wrote:
nixy wrote:As for forgiving loans, it’s only been a very short time since forgiveness began - people could first apply for forgiveness under PSLF in 2019, and no one on PAYE/REPAYE has made it to forgiveness yet.
I wasn't talking about the newfangled 10-year PSLF loan forgiveness, but rather the 25 (now 20)-year IBR loan forgiveness which comes with a nice surprise tax bomb at the end. Plenty of folks have struggled to that finish line and gotten their loans forgiven.
So I'm confused. I did misspeak above, in that PSLF began in 2007, not 2009, so there have been a couple more years of possible forgiveness than I estimated (sans tax bomb). IBR began in 2009 and was revised in 2014; PAYE began in 2012; and REPAYE began in 2015. No one's reached discharge dates on those yet, whether on a 20 or 25 year term.

To be honest, I hadn't realized that income-contingent repayment (ICR) began in 1994 - I thought it was created when IBR was. However, the discharge term for ICR is 25 years, and 25 years from 1994 was 2019. So I'm still not sure how "plenty" of folks have had loans forgiven under any of these plans?

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by objctnyrhnr » Fri May 01, 2020 9:31 am

So take an outcome from Suffolk where somebody averages 60k in income over a 30 year career. Then assume IBR or whatever throughout that career. If they still end up so utterly far away from paying it all back, why is it rational for Uncle Sam to keep doing this dance? Or is the answer that it’s not rational but Uncle Sam (along with myriad other government efficiencies) hasn’t fixed it yet and they’ll continue to keep losing a bunch of money on TTTT grads until they do?

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Re: New England Law|Boston Vs. Suffolk Law

Post by nixy » Fri May 01, 2020 10:15 am

I think the reason is that there are policy interests in making higher education widely available, especially in increasing socioeconomic diversity in the various professions and encouraging people to go into lower-paying public interest jobs. Keep in mind that the repayment plans apply to ALL student loan holders, not just law students, and many degrees (undergrad and grad) don't cost $250k+. I've seen arguments that the forgiveness be capped around $50-60k before, which suggests to me that a lot of people on these plans aren't carrying the huge balances that law students do (getting $50-60k of a $75k debt forgiven makes a very big difference, while getting $50-60k of a $250k+ debt forgiven arguably doesn't make that much of a dent), and may indeed pay off their loans or a reasonable chunk thereof under income-based repayment plans.

But even if non-lawyers don't ever pay off these loans either, there's an argument to be made that the social benefits of accessible loans outweigh the economic downside, to ensure that we have enough teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. Lawyers are only a small part of the picture, but you could also argue that the investment in the Suffolk grad who goes into legal aid for 30 years is worth forgiving their loans. (This is arguably less the case as law has become oversaturated and there's more competition for any job, such that legal aid can always get hires, but the flip side is that as tuition has continued to increase, more law grads are foreclosed from legal aid so the assistance may be more necessary than ever.)

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