Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$) Forum

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righteous_cocktail

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Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by righteous_cocktail » Sun May 19, 2024 10:14 am

So I got a bit less than half-tuition off the waitlist from GULC. I was already planning on going to Minnesota. Got an apartment and everything.

My main goal is Fed Gov, but I just can't stomach an extra ~$275k of debt to go to Georgetown. I already have a good amount of student loans, so I don't want it to start piling up.

Given my goals, I realize Georgetown would be ideal, but is it worth the debt? I'll probably need to work 7 years in big law to pay back that debt. I really care about work-life balance, so I'm not sure that's something I can put up with. But then again, I don't want to end up in mid law, with a low salary and similar work requirements.

I'd appreciate anyone's input here.

talons2250

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by talons2250 » Mon May 20, 2024 12:42 pm

righteous_cocktail wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 10:14 am
So I got a bit less than half-tuition off the waitlist from GULC. I was already planning on going to Minnesota. Got an apartment and everything.

My main goal is Fed Gov, but I just can't stomach an extra ~$275k of debt to go to Georgetown. I already have a good amount of student loans, so I don't want it to start piling up.

Given my goals, I realize Georgetown would be ideal, but is it worth the debt? I'll probably need to work 7 years in big law to pay back that debt. I really care about work-life balance, so I'm not sure that's something I can put up with. But then again, I don't want to end up in mid law, with a low salary and similar work requirements.

I'd appreciate anyone's input here.
Go to GULC and do their loan forgiveness program: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissio ... e-program/. This is an easy decision.

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nealric

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by nealric » Mon May 20, 2024 12:51 pm

I'm a bit biased as a GULC alum, but I think the location makes it pretty ideal for federal government jobs. As the poster above mentioned, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness working for the government, making the distinction moot.

If you did decide to do biglaw, you shouldn't need 7 years so long as you live like you have a government salary. GS-12 (what most entry-level government attorneys make) is around $85k and raises after that will be modest. Biglaw market is $245k escalating to $315 for year 3. That's over $100k/yr you could put towards loan repayment. You can pay off $275k of debt in 3 years if you decide to prioritize debt repayment.

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VirginiaFan

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by VirginiaFan » Mon May 20, 2024 4:06 pm

The real answer is to retake and go to Georgetown next year with more scholarship money. It's hard to accurately describe what 200k+ of debt will do to your mental health on a federal government salary.

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nealric

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by nealric » Tue May 21, 2024 9:33 am

VirginiaFan wrote:
Mon May 20, 2024 4:06 pm
The real answer is to retake and go to Georgetown next year with more scholarship money. It's hard to accurately describe what 200k+ of debt will do to your mental health on a federal government salary.
If you are getting loan forgiveness, I don't see why it should impact your mental health that much.

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Allegro3935

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by Allegro3935 » Tue May 21, 2024 1:43 pm

VirginiaFan wrote:
Mon May 20, 2024 4:06 pm
The real answer is to retake and go to Georgetown next year with more scholarship money. It's hard to accurately describe what 200k+ of debt will do to your mental health on a federal government salary.
This is the right answer. In nealric's Gtown link, there's more info on who qualifies for LRAP. You would need commit to government jobs below a certain income for 10 years (if you exceed the income threshold, Gtown's loan "forgiveness" waters down, because you're too rich at that point. The LRAP III subsection says 75k or less to get the full LRAP benefit that year; above that, they start forgiving less). I'm unsure if that covers your undergrad loans. If it doesn't, those loans will compound over the next 10 years.

Now, if this were me, and my heart was set on Fed Gov at the lowest possible cost, I would retake the LSAT for more money. Otherwise, Minnesota wins. You could eventually transition to federal work wherever you start. This is a very personal decision, and no one here can't decide for you. But you should know what's at stake. Good luck!

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Dcc617

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by Dcc617 » Tue May 21, 2024 9:27 pm

$275K is an insane, I mean INSANE, amount of student loan debt. Don't do it.

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by anymouseqwerty » Tue May 21, 2024 11:09 pm

If your goal is Fed gov, go with Gtown even with a ton of debt. Careers are long and DC is not that expensive. The LRAP might be less than advertised with a higher gov salary, but remember, you have a higher gov salary and you are living in DC. Your friends from Gtown will be complaining about biglaw and not being able to date because they are too busy etc. but you’ll be chilling and not worrying much about job security. Also, check out the stats on how many people from U Minn go to DC. It’s likely single digits. But if you go to Gtown half your class stick around DC and you’ll get to keep your friends and social life. Yeah, the psychological pain of massive debt is real, but it’s less painful if you enjoy your life doing Fed gov and you don’t feel like a slave to the biglaw grind that you hate. Take a hard look at the LRAP numbers before you decide.

nixy

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Re: Minnesota Law ($$$$) vs. GULC (~$$)

Post by nixy » Wed May 22, 2024 8:36 am

If you commit to fed gov, you’ll be eligible for PSLF aside from Georgetown’s LRAP. I know a bunch of federal employees who’ve had their debt forgiven now, and it was pretty straightforward and the debt didn’t hinder them much during the process (in terms of things like credit/home loans etc).

You do have to gamble on getting a federal (or other government) job, though, and you are stuck in it for 10 years. By the time that’s done it feels like it goes quickly, but can still feel a little daunting/limiting while you’re in it.

All that said, you certainly *can* get a federal job out of Minnesota - the feds are relatively school-agnostic, and will be more interested in your overall resume (assuming good grades, but you’ll need decent grades from either school). Far fewer MN grads will go into fed gov out of school than Georgetown grads, but a lot of that is self-selection, because a lot of people go to MN to work in MN, and a lot of people go to GT to work in fedgov. A federal job out of MN isn’t going to the sort of easy, default path that the school will place in front of you, but it is doable, at least to the extent that fedgov straight out of school is doable for anyone - there aren’t a ton of entry level fed jobs, a lot of people end up lateraling in regardless of where they go to law school.

I honestly think either option is defensible here, depending on what your back-up plan is for not getting fedgov right away. Would you try for state/local government, which would retain your PSLF eligibility? Would you go work in a firm? I don’t know that either school offers such a strong advantage/carries such a strong disadvantage for a firm job that there’s a clear winner, apart from geography - you’re most likely to work in MN out of the U of M (which has fewer big law jobs) and probably DC if you go to GT (which will have more big law jobs as well as just jobs generally, but also a lot more competition - more people from all over the country will want to end up in DC than will want to end up in MN). I’d presume that firm work in DC will get you more fedgov-related work than it would in MN, but not sure how far that will go for a future fedgov job.

(Of course, this depends too on what you mean by fedgov, which covers a huge range of potential jobs.)

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