GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$) Forum

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clwelch

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GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by clwelch » Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:52 pm

I posted before about choosing between Berkeley and Harvard (and eliminated Berkeley), but since then I received a full-ride scholarship offer from Georgetown and have been considering starting in the evening program there to further cut down on living costs. I live and work in DC now and am interested exclusively in PI work after school. I don't love my current job (hence why I am pivoting to a legal career) but it is high-paying and affords me the time and mental energy to do law school at night. I would plan to switch to full-time for years 2 and 3 so that I don't miss out on clinics, day courses, summer internships, etc. Essentially, this would eliminate any cost of living loans for 1L year and likely reduce it for years 2 and 3, so max debt at Georgetown would be $60k and I could essentially maintain my current standard of living. Total COA at Harvard (even with 70% tuition grant) would be at least $150k and I would have to significantly reduce my current standard of living. I still have $30k in undergraduate debt and am in my early 30s now so debt carries a little more weight.

Bottom line: is HLS worth that extra $$? Is there a difference in $100k vs. $200k debt for someone planning to do the PSLF route? Is there anything I'm not considering? I am vaguely planning to end up in DC long-term for fed govt work. Thank you in advance for advice!

CanadianWolf

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:22 am

Harvard is the better option, however, I am not sure that I fully understand your situation.

While you claim to have a high paying job, you have been offered a substantial amount of financial aid from Harvard.

Is your Georgetown award a scholarship or need based financial aid ? If the Georgetown offer is a merit based scholarship, will you be permitted to attend on a part-time basis and still keep the scholarship ?

talons2250

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by talons2250 » Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:50 am

I would do Harvard. I know GULC punches above its weight with PI, but I think Harvard still has better outcomes in this area. The LRAP/LIPP program at Harvard might make the debt less of an issue than you think, especially because you’re fairly certain you’ll go into public interest.

I would advise against the evening program. 1L is challenging and rigorous and 1L grades tend to matter. You should throw your full effort into it; many of your classmates will (don’t forget the curve).

clwelch

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by clwelch » Mon Apr 25, 2022 12:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:
Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:22 am
Harvard is the better option, however, I am not sure that I fully understand your situation.

While you claim to have a high paying job, you have been offered a substantial amount of financial aid from Harvard.

Is your Georgetown award a scholarship or need based financial aid ? If the Georgetown offer is a merit based scholarship, will you be permitted to attend on a part-time basis and still keep the scholarship ?
Correct, Georgetown is merit based and I could keep the scholarship even if I attend part-time. The HLS grant is based on my total financial history, which until now has been poor as dirt. I am first-gen and have no family resources or assets to speak of, and my current income isn't really a factor in HLS financial aid determination, at least as I understand it.

CanadianWolf

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:51 am

Thank you for the clarification which makes it easier to understand your indecision. Even with this understanding of your options, I still think that Harvard Law--especially at a substantial discount--is the better option for one's legal career. Whether or not HLS is the better option for you depends on specifics not shared in this thread such as your current position & your intended target job.

Another consideration is that a Harvard law degree may open doors to opportunities of which you are currently unaware. Additionally, law school may alter your desire to remain in the public interest field. If your career interests change, then HLS is the better option.

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cavalier1138

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 26, 2022 10:03 am

Still Harvard.

Thanks to the scholarship you'll be getting, it really would take a full ride at CCN to make turning down Harvard start to make sense here.

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GFox345

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by GFox345 » Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:35 am

clwelch wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:52 pm
I posted before about choosing between Berkeley and Harvard (and eliminated Berkeley), but since then I received a full-ride scholarship offer from Georgetown and have been considering starting in the evening program there to further cut down on living costs. I live and work in DC now and am interested exclusively in PI work after school. I don't love my current job (hence why I am pivoting to a legal career) but it is high-paying and affords me the time and mental energy to do law school at night. I would plan to switch to full-time for years 2 and 3 so that I don't miss out on clinics, day courses, summer internships, etc. Essentially, this would eliminate any cost of living loans for 1L year and likely reduce it for years 2 and 3, so max debt at Georgetown would be $60k and I could essentially maintain my current standard of living. Total COA at Harvard (even with 70% tuition grant) would be at least $150k and I would have to significantly reduce my current standard of living. I still have $30k in undergraduate debt and am in my early 30s now so debt carries a little more weight.

Bottom line: is HLS worth that extra $$? Is there a difference in $100k vs. $200k debt for someone planning to do the PSLF route? Is there anything I'm not considering? I am vaguely planning to end up in DC long-term for fed govt work. Thank you in advance for advice!
$150k is a steal for Harvard. Total no-brainer. Congrats. Enjoy MA.

silenttimer

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by silenttimer » Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:17 pm

clwelch wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:52 pm
but it is high-paying and affords me the time and mental energy to do law school at night.
As someone who has been reading this board on and off since 2006 and has been a lawyer for over a decade now, this bit seems pretty good to me and, knowing what I know now, would rather be in this position as opposed to my current position. (And just for context, I was in BigLaw and has since started my own firm that is doing quite well. But practicing law is still practicing law, and there are better things to do in life imho). Of course, you don't know what you don't know, so you may have to go through the journey for yourself. But grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.

In any even having a high-paying job that affords you to have "mental energy" at the end of the day sounds terrific. I would use that time to spend with my friends and family, take vacations, and do whatever else I find fulfilling.

Just my two cents.

lavarman84

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Re: GULC evening program ($$$$) vs. Harvard ($$)

Post by lavarman84 » Wed May 11, 2022 12:30 am

silenttimer wrote:
Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:17 pm
clwelch wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:52 pm
but it is high-paying and affords me the time and mental energy to do law school at night.
As someone who has been reading this board on and off since 2006 and has been a lawyer for over a decade now, this bit seems pretty good to me and, knowing what I know now, would rather be in this position as opposed to my current position. (And just for context, I was in BigLaw and has since started my own firm that is doing quite well. But practicing law is still practicing law, and there are better things to do in life imho). Of course, you don't know what you don't know, so you may have to go through the journey for yourself. But grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.

In any even having a high-paying job that affords you to have "mental energy" at the end of the day sounds terrific. I would use that time to spend with my friends and family, take vacations, and do whatever else I find fulfilling.

Just my two cents.
Keep in mind that OP wants to do PI work. I do PI work, and I love it. I can't guarantee OP will, but it's a lot easier to enjoy practicing law when you're doing something fulfilling, interesting, and that makes a positive difference in people's lives.

OP, I'd recommend Harvard. The high-level, interesting PI work requires a lot of gold stars.

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