Starting age

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thedentprogrammer

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Starting age

Post by thedentprogrammer » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:54 pm

I’ll be graduating in summer 2021 with a degree in Computer Science and have a job lined up at a FinTech firm.

I’ve calculated that I could save enough to cash flow any law school within 5-10 years of starting. I’m British so wanted to know if starting law school aged around 30 would be seen as weird.

TIA

P.S. For those interested, I’m currently on 162 on LSAT but plenty of time to get up to 170s

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Starting age

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:44 pm

30 isn't so old. Might be different in Commonwealth countries where the LLB is the usual path but probably not that different.

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Sackboy

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Re: Starting age

Post by Sackboy » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:32 am

If "cash flow" is code for "pay for" and you're talking American law schools, then the easiest way to "cash flow" a law school is just to get a banger LSAT and receive a big scholarship.

As for age, 30 is completely fine. I went to a top school with several classmates closer to 40 than 30.

thedentprogrammer

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Re: Starting age

Post by thedentprogrammer » Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:07 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:44 pm
30 isn't so old. Might be different in Commonwealth countries where the LLB is the usual path but probably not that different.
Yeah, looking at using the FinTech firm to get to the US then doing law school there.
Sackboy wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:32 am
If "cash flow" is code for "pay for" and you're talking American law schools, then the easiest way to "cash flow" a law school is just to get a banger LSAT and receive a big scholarship.

As for age, 30 is completely fine. I went to a top school with several classmates closer to 40 than 30.
By cash-flow I meant completely pay for myself. I ran the numbers and could save enough for any law school (~$300k) within 5-10 years, assuming investment returns remain roughly equal to what they have been for past decade (big assumption I know). Obviously trying to aim as high as possible on LSAT to see what scholarships I can get but I want to be prepared!

showusyourtorts

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Re: Starting age

Post by showusyourtorts » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:47 pm

I don't think it will be weird -- perhaps 15% of my classmates were ~30+ years old during our first year.

I think the obvious question here should be whether you're sure that you wish to pursue a legal career. I can't imagine that it's a bad idea to test the waters and see whether you enjoy the FinTech industry. If you don't enjoy it, then it should at the very least position you well for a BigLaw career in that space. However, if you're 100% sure that you want to attend law school -- and I don't think that you should be, btw -- then it almost certainly doesn't make sense to spend ten years of your life in a career that you plan to leave simply so that you can cash finance your degree.

That decision even likely does not make sense from a financial perspective. Some thoughts: ff course, it makes the most sense to maximize your LSAT and angle for scholarships. After that, if you're confident that you want to pursue law, then it still makes sense for students in the T14 -- which you can likely hit with a mid 160s LSAT -- to simply take out loans to finance their tuition.

Time in the market is huge. Say that you study up for the LSAT now, save no money and completely debt finance your law school education. You graduate at age 25 with 200k of debt. The general consensus is that on a BigLaw salary, you can pay off 200k of debt within ~3-5 years (while maxing out retirement accounts) if you live relatively frugally. By age 30 you'll have no debt, 100k in retirement savings, and can begin investing in earnest. Your investments can be aggressive (i.e., 80% equities and 20% bonds) because you have a long horizon before you expect to retire. You can make partner-level money by age 35.

In comparison, you could work hard in an alternate career for ten years, finance your education with your savings and graduate at age 35. You don't have debt, but you're five years closer to retirement than otherwise, which means that the interest that you would have reaped on the most profitable five years of investing is foregone. You also weren't able to aggressively invest the money that you earned from ages 20-30 -- for example, you definitely won't want to put that money in 80% equities and 20% bonds -- because you expect to use that money in the short term to fund your education. You only start making partner-level money at age 45.

Finally, the value proposition of law school decreases as you get older. If you're paying sticker, then it's an expensive degree that only has so many years of juice before you come up on retirement.

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