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Messages - Marvin_the_Martian

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I live in the DC area and know a few people with public policy degrees. The ones who have jobs are in low paying, long work hour jobs working as staffers on Capitol Hill. Other than working for some lobbying firm in DC, I don't know what else you could do with such a degree.

Compare that to being a lawyer. The work you can do includes corporate, personal injury, real estate, wills and trusts, family law, criminal law, politics, gov't administration, etc. Not everyone is a trial attorney, and not everyone does court-related work.

Once you pass the bar exam, there is a wide range of things that you can do that no M.A. in public policy is allowed to do. And you can do what they do - work as a legislative aide at the local, state, or federal level.

Some of the schools you listed have loan payoff programs for people who work for the gov't or do public interest work. I'd recommmend you look in that direction. That way you won't have to work for a big firm if you don't want to.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Thin envelope from GULC
« on: March 24, 2005, 03:54:14 PM »
You know what that means!

The typical boilerplate. Not really a surprise, but still a little disappointing.

Looks like I'm going to have to retake the LSAT. I haven't yet heard from GW or American, but after GMU's ding, I'm not optimistic.

GW's chart on LSN shows that anyone at or above 165 is in. It doesn't get any more straightforward than that.

FWIW, I think the two factors you need to keep in mind are:

1) Debt
2) Where you will want to live

I think the emphasis on Telecomm Law is way down the list, becuase you may end up changing your mind about you practice area. And  taking a class or two in the field in law school isn't what will get you the job - one way or the other.

Also, whether their building is nice or not is relevant only if you're willing to go $100k in debt in order to pay for their nice building.

For both of these reasons, I think you should strike Catholic off your list. Unless you really want the divorce, and the debt.

I would also rule out Case, because they didn't offer you any $$$. And you will probably have to relocate again after graduation.

So I think your real debate is between Toldeo and the Chicago schools. You didn't write how much debt you will have if you go to DePaul or Kent. They have an advantage in terms of hiring in Chicago (which is where most of the jobs will be).

IF it was up to me, I'd take the cash on the table (Toledo). And maybe move to Chicago after graduation.

So does this mean no more chalupas and guam t-shirts?

I'm in my 30's, have worked for a while, and am now applying to study law PT. My advice to anyone and everyone who asks is TAKE THE FREE RIDE. Here are the reasons, in no particular order:

1. $105,000 is not chump change. You will have $1,000 monthly student loan payments for years after you graduate. Don't forget that at some point you will also want to take out a mortgage to buy a house. That $105,000 spent on tuition could have come in handy for the house ...

2. What if you decide that you don't like law when you graduate? Or that you want to work for the gov't or for a non-profit? Or that you want to start a business or take time off to start a family? You will have to postpone those plans for YEARS until you have your debt under control. This is called "debt peonage" and "indentured servitude".

3. When there's a recession (like a few years ago), not only don't firms hire new grads, they also lay off people ... can you imagine the stress being unemployed with that kind of debt hanging over your head? It's great to hope for a booming economy when you graduate, but do you really want to make such a huge bet on it?

4. I don't know what the starting salaries of Pitt grads are vs. GW grads. I'm sure a lot has to do with location. It could be that after Cost of Living calculations, working in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in the midwest at $100k is more than earning $125k in DC.

5. In your specific case, your boyfriend can really help you out, with his advance knowledge of the Pitt campus, and assuming he's a law student, with classes, etc. And that's not even mentioning the fact that you get to be with him for a few years! That should be worth something too ...

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Please be considerate
« on: March 23, 2005, 10:12:14 AM »
Be thankful you're on the wait list ... some of us are still waiting for initial responses from schools.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Northwestern punch in the gut
« on: March 22, 2005, 07:35:17 PM »
burghblast, some schools have part-time programs. I don't know which, if any of the schools that you applied to fall into this category.

If you're working and studying it helps cut down on the debt. Also, some employers (lay firms) will be willing to pay your tuition if you work for them. I know this is the case for patent agents.

LaneSwerver, I'd like a chalupa too!

I'm in my 30's and have worked as an engineer and as a patent agent. Maybe that's why I completely disagree with lulu, who's still an undergrad. I say TAKE THE MONEY.

(1) If you want to work in patents (IP), it doesn't matter if you go to NYU or NW.

(2) If you want to do entertainment law, LA is where the action is (NY to a lesser extent). In any case, you can always move to LA or NY after graduation.

(3) $105,000 is a lot of money. It's a lot of money to have in your bank account, and it's a lot of money to OWE.

(4) I don't buy this argument that there is such a big difference between NYU and NW.  Just out of curiosity, I looked up Skadden Arps at the web site. Both their Chicago and NY branches interview at NW. And, I would note, starting grads from both schools earn the same starting salaries.

(4) There's always a chance that when you graduate from law school there's a recession, and nobody is hiring (like 3 years ago). Would you rather graduate with a clean slate or $105,000 in debt?

(5) Let's say you graduate and you decide to work for the gov't or for a non-profit advocacy group. Or you change your mind about law. You want to start your own business, join the peace corps, or maybe take some time off to start a family. If you're $105k in debt, you will have to postpone those plans, because you will be in debt peonage. You will have to pay off your debts AND ONLY THEN do what you want to do.

Very few people get the offer of a free ride that you got. If I were in your shoes, I would TAKE IT without thinking twice.


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