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Messages - BigRig

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: How valuable is a full ride?
« on: March 20, 2006, 11:14:40 PM »
KC Law,

Great question. You cannot use pre-tax dollars, persay.  All I know is that there are educational savings accounts that you can setup -- the federal government offers tax advantages and there are state tax advantages as well (varies state by state).  I am not sure if these are tax deffered or what, but earnings grow tax-free and withdrawals are free when used for qualified educational expenses. Of course, this would most likely apply if you've saved before attending school. Also, you are able to write-off the interest on your personal income taxes (I do not recall the limit), which helps.

I am yet to hear, but am not optimistic whatsoever as they will average my LSAT. They like Emory grads, which might give me a shot but I doubt it. I went complete late Jan. and it still says I'm with Committee. Congrats on George Mason, awesome school.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: How valuable is a full ride?
« on: March 20, 2006, 07:38:41 PM »
people are seriously underestimating the sociopsychological effects of say a 55-60 hour work week and a 75-80 hour work week. I would argue working this long and hard pretty much requires one to eat out, go on a lavish vacation to get away, buy nice clothes, etc. to make the experience feel worth it (one will not have time to cook, buy in bulk, and count their pennies).  Also, to equivocate between being 22 and right of college and 25-26 (later for most) and right of law school is a mistake. Unless you are living with a significant other and/or planning to start a family (which in and of itself will require more expense-- although if both are working that will offset) or you are extremely introverted and do not want to let loose/live the few hours you have to socialize in a given week, I think it is extremely unreasonable to think that one will be able to live that frugally especially in the markets that pay the big bucks.  If you already have a trust fund and/or don't mind the tradeoffs aforementioned, go for the debt! Otherwise, carefully consider what you're getting yourself into when you decide to borrow $100,000+ instead of $40,000 or less.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: How valuable is a full ride?
« on: March 20, 2006, 05:55:36 PM »
Do not forget to account for taxation (federal, state, and local).  With $125,000 in New York you'd be surpised how little one takes home.  You need to do your best to asses this take home number per month and really look at your budget.  Also, when your debt/income ratio is high it severely limits one's ability to borrow (i.e. buying a home -- especially in a very expensive market) which he/she would otherwise be able to utilize to take advantage of tax shelters.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Sports Law
« on: March 20, 2006, 04:02:21 PM »
I know Tulane has a reputable program in this area.  Also, Villanova does have a notable sports and entertainment law society and journal.  They have some big name alum who's been quite influential (not sure of name). Also, this is probably not the right section to post this question (try deciding where to go).

Arguably, Villanova has a more well-rounded, broad legal curriculum than Temple, albeit smaller in size.  Temple really stands out for Trial Advocacy, which seems to dominate other specialties offered.  Villanova also has a really strong public interest law cohort that may not have made itself as present on admits day, but it's there.  Also, over 20% of the '05 class received clerkships, which is very high.  I am not arguing with the previous post, rather explaining that Villanova isn't just a Big Law track school.  With that said, when anyone attends a school as expensive as Villanova w/out scholarship he/she faces a reality that corporate jobs are about the only ones that will support his/her payment. Public Interest kids benefit from a strong LRAP, but in now way does this account for Villanova's much higher price than Temple and hence, larger numbers pursuing Big Law (don't have any numbers suggesting this though).

I think Villanova's moot court, strong professors, broad curriculum, both unique and traditional clinics and journals (sports and entertainment law, tax law clinic, civil justice clinic), respected law review, and high% placed in clerkships all demonstrate that a student will receive a highly regarded legal education.

One final note on the day that impressed me.  Every 1L and 2L I talked to (6-7) already had summer jobs lined up, and not BS ones either -- I thought that was a pretty good sign.

I also had a better-than-expected experience at the open house and agree with most of the statements here.  The law school building, while clearly outdated and aesthetically unintersting on the inside, seems to provide for the strong community feel that came across during presentations, etc. A such, I don't think it would bother me much. The only thing I am worried about is the cost.  Very few students I talked to received scholarship, especially caucasian, and most borrowed between $40,000 and $44,000 per year.  I am anxious to see how the bottom line will pan out before I commit.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Prestige vs Quality of Life
« on: March 16, 2006, 11:03:55 PM »
$100,000+ debt is a lot and you better be prepared for type of job capable of supporting it. A T-14 will give you more exposure to high-paying firms right out of the gate and you won't have to network as hard. However, a T-14 degree will not offer a significantly stonger legal education persay. With that said, certain programs and/or specialties may be much stronger if you're certain as to what you want to do with your law degree. If advancing your education is the goal, especially in regard to knowing one's rights in the event that the world economy goes to hell, a T30-T50 will give you everything you need.  Arguably, the freedom of the extra hours and benefit to your personal self as a result of opting for the better quality of life could help you to make more money. Also, has anyone been following the residential real estate market?  I don't think a T-14 degree is appreciating over and above a T-30-50 degree at a rate even comparable to the rate of return in an average residential market. You cannot compare paying $100,000 for a slight initial advantage to $100,000 in real property.

Absolutely not insane unless you are certain of a particular track and one school offers a significant advantage.  UF is very well respected and as far as Big Law/Money in NYC (which I can tell you is highly overrated).. I know a UF alum who works at Skadden and one at Schulte, Roth; both are second year associates straight outta law school. As mentioned earlier, pick where your surroundings will be most comfortable for three years, make sure the programs you're interested in are well supported, and perform to the best of your ability. Debt sucks and if you're motivated, have a personality, and know how to network (which anyone who's had significant work experience should) you'll make your mark and money for that matter. I would listen to people who are older on this issue and take the straight-outta-undergrad, ranking-obsessive comments for what they are worth; inexperienced and uninformed.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Screw it...I'm going Tier 3...
« on: March 16, 2006, 07:55:15 PM »

Hey, do you mind if I ask what your GPA/LSAT was? I applied to 'Nova as well and they are the only school I still need to hear from.  I have a 152/3.35 but it doesn't look like I'll be able to get in. 

Higher LSAT (Nova accepts) = 161/3.21 LSDAS -- I am on law school numbers, same name.

Also, you sis who is now making the big bucks (while going insane)...can you tell me a bit about her? Where did she go to school and is it the time committment to her job that makes it as bad as it is?

She attended Tulane with 1/2 scholarship still had to borrow $60,000+ and had ~$20,000 from undergrad.  Honestly, I could go on and on explaining what makes her job so bad.  It's a confluence of factors really, but ultimately it boils down to too much stress, a lack of control, a workload that continues to grow no matter how hard you work, and nothing to tangibly show for it at the end of the day. The idea is to put in the hard years in hopes of making partner, which the percentage of associates making it to partner level is very low. I suppose there are some who might enjoy this environment and personalities that will survive better than others.  You never get positive feedback, never have time to take a personal call, never feel as though you are away from work even the few hours that you are (especially with the advent of the blackberry) and then you're faced with median-priced homes over $1,000,000 and a beautful, interesting city that you never have time to see.

It does look great on a resume, however, and she currently has a job offer with Alston & Bird in Atlanta and three interviews after having worked there for 2 years; the job certainly helped in this regard. I am not saying there aren't some positive developments that will spur from it just know what you're getting yourself into and know that those high-priced jobs right out of law school aren't necessarily the only path to an important, successful, and well-paid legal career.  Also, the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. That is why she is leaving, she sees 30 somethings stuck, who will never make partner with little to show for their efforts.

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