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Messages - Yankees Fan

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731
Happy New Year All!

Congratulations.  Many of you have managed to scare the hell out of me.  :)

I was not thinking of going to law school as a quick fix to get rich.  That said, I'd be lying if I said the money isn't important.  Spending 150k on law school, losing 3 years salary of 60-80k and working my ass off for 3 years sounds a lot less appealing when you say it's improbable I'd get a high paying (90k+) job from a Tier 2 school.  Also, all this discussion on Fordham is great, but my chances of getting in there are very slim.  More than likely if I start in Fall 2007, I'll be at Cardozo or Brooklyn if I'm lucky, otherwise Seton Hall or St. John's.

I could stay in my field, software development, and be making around 100k/yr by the time I'd graduate law school.  Unfortunately, I absolutely hate what I do and the thought of doing it even past this summer makes me sick.  Good enough reason to go to law school?  Perhaps.  But not if I can only get into a school where the job prospects are piss poor, which many of you imply.

I know the numbers are inflated somehow, but all these schools (Fordham, Cardozo, Seton Hall, Brooklyn) say their median salary for grads is around 95-125k.  Therefore I thought that was a realistic salary coming out of one of those schools.  It still may be, who knows, but it's quite discouraging to hear so many people say it's unlikely. 

732
Acceptances / Re: Fordham
« on: December 31, 2006, 06:12:42 PM »
Do I have a prayer of getting in FT with a 3.5 undergrada, a 160 LSAT and 1.5 years work experience?


How long as a PT would it take to transfer into the FT program since you're not taking as many credits?

733
I think it is very fair to discourage people from taking huge debt to go to some tier 2 schools. Living in the tri-state area making 60 grand a year while having to pay 12k a year in interest alone on your debt is pretty serious.

Thanks. I wasn't trying to prestige whore. Law school really is only a good economic investment at full price at a handful of schools, when you take into account the risk of not finishing at the top of your class.

See, it's posts and articles I read similar to yours that worry me.  However, I'm not looking at this as just a short term thing.  Sure things will be tough the first several years after law school, but isn't the potential to make far more money down the road there regardless of where you graduate from?  Pretend I had no debt after law school, would you change your tune?

Do you really mean to tell me that almost all of the very successful lawyers came from a top 25 school?  I'm not asking sarcastically, I just am curious your take on it.  I couldn't imagine that being true, but you never know...  I don't know enough real world lawyers to get an idea, hence the post.

I am confident in my abilities to perform on the job once I get there, I just want to ensure I'll have the opportunity if I don't go to a t14 school, which obviously I won't unless I can transfer in for year 2.

734
You may have a shot at Fordham or Cardozo PT. I think you have a better shot at the other schools FT.

I think Fordham is worth it. I don't know where you're getting 200K from, considering 36K x 3 years is 108K. Judging by your school spread, you're from the tri-state area, so maybe commuting is a possibility which would reduce your expenses.

And I'm not sure where that 1/4 figure is from. Fordham doesn't rank, according to NALP. Figures thrown around on this board that I've seen tend to indicate that somewhere between the top third and top half end up with biglaw positions.

I got the 108k, and then added in living expenses which will run me about 18k/yr.  That adds up to just under 150k and I have about 1/3 of that saved.  Commuting would only be an option for St. John's, which is also my last choice.

I heard PT programs are not as good as FT programs.  Is there any truth to this?  What I do like about Cardozo's PT and January program is that both filter into their September FT class in the 2nd year, so you all graduate as full time students from the same class.  However, if I wait to apply for their January program, I may decline an offer for Sept '07 and then not get into Cardozo's January program, thus screwing myself.

Man this is stressful...

735
If you are going to be in that much debt, TAKE THE LSAT AGAIN or go with a full ride to a law school. For $200k in debt, the law schools you've listed, including Fordham, probably do not make much economic sense. Remember, only 1/4ish of the class at Fordham will make enough to comfortably pay off the $200k debt. The new LSAT rule will help you and with a 3.5 in computer science you should have the ability to score higher.

Note about Fordham: it is a great school for NYC, but not if you are going to be $200k in debt. The risks of not finishing high enough are too great considering the debt you'll have to pay back.


Actually, the 75th percentile salary of Fordham Law graduates is 125k/year. But that's beside the point!

Unless one goes to a T14 school, an amazing salary upon graduation is never guaranteed. Unfortunately, not all of us can go to a T14 school! Chances are that graduating from a 20-80 ranked law school will make life a little harder, being in debt for over 100k and all, but certainly manageable. The same goes for a T3 or T4 school, to a greater extent. Does that mean that anyone who is incapable of gaining acceptance to a T14 school should just forget their legal aspirations? I sure hope not...

That's why I find your discouragement, Towelie, really unsettling. I think a school like Fordham, or any other 20-80 law school, makes perfect economic sense. Those schools are well respected (even outside NYC), and with good or even descent grades you'll find a job, eventually settling your debt. But more importantly, you'll be doing what you've always wanted to do (if you're like me) - practice law.

And furthermore, I beieve the same principle applies to T3 and T4 law schools. Graduates will be in debt longer, and their lives won't be as "comfortable" as that of a Penn grad, but they will be attorneys - and that's what really counts!

To the OP: if you think you'll score higher, take the LSAT again. In the last few weeks before the test I was scoring in the low 170s, yet I am still grateful for the score I got. I believe there are many good reasons to take the LSAT again - but trying to avoid debt, by declining a legal education due to your potential law school's ranking, at the expense of a possibly prospering legal career just ain't one of them!

Great post.

736
If you are going to be in that much debt, TAKE THE LSAT AGAIN or go with a full ride to a law school. For $200k in debt, the law schools you've listed, including Fordham, probably do not make much economic sense. Remember, only 1/4ish of the class at Fordham will make enough to comfortably pay off the $200k debt. The new LSAT rule will help you and with a 3.5 in computer science you should have the ability to score higher.

Note about Fordham: it is a great school for NYC, but not if you are going to be $200k in debt. The risks of not finishing high enough are too great considering the debt you'll have to pay back.

Well, with my numbers, no reputable school is going to give me a full ride.  I threw the number 200k out there, but it's probably quite exaggurated now that I think of it.  It'll probably be closer to half of that, perhaps even a little less.  Although, you do have to consider the 3 years of working I lose, but everyone has to account for that.

I am very capable of scoring higher, as the older exams I took for practice proved.  The two weeks before the test, I often scored in the mid 160s and scored as high as 167.  Of course, those don't count.  I let my nerves get the best of me.  However, taking them again does not guarantee a higher schore and it means another year in a job I hate and another year I'd have to put my life on "hold".  Not the end of the world, but certainly something I'd love to avoid if at all possible.

737
I was wondering if anyone has already been there or knows people who have that looked for a job coming out of a Tier 1 or 2 law school, but closer to the 50-80 ranks as opposed to 1-25?

My applications are almost complete.  I'm applying to a number of New York City area schools, such as Fordham, Cardozo, St. John's, Brooklyn, Seton Hall, Rutger's and maybe one or two others.  Only one of those is ranked under 50, Fordham at 32.  The others are between 50-80.  Unfortunately, my LSAT score, 160, might keep me out of my #1 and #2 choices, Fordham and Cardozo.  Even of those two, it seems only Fordham has a really great name.  I had a 3.5 undergrad GPA in Computer Science and almost 2 years of work experience, so the major limiting factor was my LSAT score, which unfortunately weighs all to heavily in this case. 

Should I not be accepted into Fordham or Cardozo, I'm trying to decide if it's worth even accepting an offer, should I receive one, from any of the other 4 or 5 schools.  I'm worried that coming out of one of these outside NYC, lower ranked schools, upon graduation, I'm going to find myself in over $200k debt with trouble finding a good job or one paying me more than what I'd already be making in my current field.  It's not all about salary to me, but I certainly would consider taking the LSATs again and maybe even finding a job at a law firm in the meantime and waiting an extra year in hopes of making it into Fordham's 2008 class if it would really pay off in the long run.  Of course, getting accepted in 2008 is not a guarantee either.

Can schools outside the top 50 land people great jobs?  Is it the norm or a rarity?

What to do, what to do?  Any thoughts?

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