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Messages - contrarian

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Actually accumulating $15,000 a year at 8% interest will leave you with $67,500 debt.  Better to know that now than find out in four years that you didn't factor in that 8%.
Are you sure about that figure?

You're right, I was basing it on four years in school and $15,000/year.  It actually comes closer to $48,700 for three years.

Actually accumulating $15,000 a year at 8% interest will leave you with $67,500 debt.  Better to know that now than find out in four years that you didn't factor in that 8%.

Do you know what kind of law you want to practice? This could make the decision a no-brainer. 

I am planning to attend Kent's ASD too. I too am looking to commute via the BNSF. But, I wonder if I will miss important functions or not be able to participate in a study group because of it. Am looking for apartments along the other routes that go into Union Station. Are you fairly familiar with the BNSF suburbs?

I live off of, and take, the BNSF now.  I'd say you're pretty safe picking a place to live near the train anywhere from the Riverside stop on westward.  I can't speak about any particular apartment complexes (and there's actually been a good handful of apartment/condo complexes built recently right off the station stops to cater to commuters), but all of the areas are generally middle-class suburbia.  Also, the Halstead stop has a lot of recently built apartments nearby for the UIC crowd, but you will probably pay city prices there.

One thing that does suck is that most of these stations have very limited parking.  Naperville & Rt 59 have 2-5 year waiting lists for the permit spots, and Lisle is 5-7 years.  There are daily paid spots, but that can also fill up quickly in the morning.  So make sure you have transportation nearby, or it's within walking distance (and by walking distance, consider if you'll want to walk daily to-and-fro in a snow storm at -10 from Dec-Feb). 

And of course don't forget to factor in the commuting time, which can also work to your advantage to use the time for reading (or sleeping or catching up on tivo'd videos transferred to an iPod).  Given both school's classes end before 9:00, you can get the 9:40 train and be home at a fairly reasonable hour.   

You can also look north along the red line.  If I had the option (and less stuff, no pet, and no mortgage) I'd get a studio or one-bedroom in a hipper part of the north side along the lake like Lincoln Park, someplace relatively close to the red line.  What you lose in real-estate you make up for in hot 20-something women. 

I was recently accepted to both DePaul and Loyola.  DePaul was my first acceptance, and is offering a $4000 a year for four years (part-time) if I keep a 2.3 gpa.  Loyola is only offering student loans, and is offering no scholarship money.  My question is, given that I have a scholarship offer from DePaul (that I am not likely to lose considering the GPA requirement), should I go there over Loyola?  Would my job prospects be better graduating from Loyola?  Or would the job prospects be about the same?  I have heard that between the two schools, they are neck and neck in the rankings, so it really wouldn't matter which school I went to.  However, I had my heart set on Loyola, but I am now seriously considering DePaul because of the scholarship money.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Better make sure you didn't mis-read that 2.3, or it's not a typo.

So, what were your thoughts?

The biggest gripe I have are those desk/chairs.  It's seems petty, but if I'm taking a 3-4 hour exam that will determine the fate of my life, I'd like to at least be sitting at a desk and chair made for adults.

We could be good friends if we both end up there. Overall, I was satisfied with the ASD. I thought Dean Weissenberger was too emphatic on the "we have never discriminated" statement because how can you promote diversity without some measure of discrimination? All in all it was good. Did you go to the IP desert reception? I am the one who was asking questions about the curve by the which I never got a concrete answer!

Hah!  I actually thought that might have been you, probably because of the discussions here.  Yeah, I thought he tapped dance around that issue as well.  Sure after first semester 30% make the grades, but what about the ones who didn't make it the first time and raise their GPA, at the expense of those who made it the first time but not the second - that's got to be a pretty significant section of people who end up not maintaining the scholarship the full 3-4 years (and a figure I am damn sure they know and count on when planning their budgets).

The other thing that bothered me was that he preemptively addressed the Catholicism issue, and even sort of negged Loyola because of it.  I'm not exactly a big fan of any kind of religion, and I'll admit I was a bit put off by seeing it's presence when I was there.  The spin about the philosophy of St. Vincent de Paul was admirable, but it's still a religious institution at heart.  Another thing that I have issue with is, as my understanding since they are a religious organization, they gain favorable tax status that an organization like Kent and JMLS wouldn't, like paying real-estate taxes on buildings, which got me to wondering how much of those benefits they have over other schools, if any, have helped them gain an advantage (those four downtown buildings can't come cheap in real-estate taxes).

I was at the IP reception, and learned a few things from one of the students there about the patent bar.  I'm much less interested in IP than IT related issues however, and I've been keen that they seem to have a bit to offer in this area of the law than Kent.  I've even tentatively scheduled to take off work for two days to attend their symposium in October.

I think I remember you said you were going to attend the day program.  If you were going evenings and commuted on the BNSF we could set up a study group.  I'm hoping to find a few others to form a study group with. 

Though, I'm not signing until after Kent's admitted student days and I get confirmation of student loans.

So, what were your thoughts?

The biggest gripe I have are those desk/chairs.  It's seems petty, but if I'm taking a 3-4 hour exam that will determine the fate of my life, I'd like to at least be sitting at a desk and chair made for adults.

Yeah, I think I'll go to DePaul, see you there. I hope we are in the same section so we can have some good classroom discussions. And I apologize in advance for pushing you out of the top 15% - kidding! I'll consider myself lucky to stay in the top 30%!

My top three schools that I am debating between are Cincinnati, DePaul, and Kent. Am still hoping for some Tier 1's to take me off the bench!

I shall look for you there, with your "Ohio" sweatshirt, talking up your PhD, and I'llthink... you, you are the one.  And I shall follow you.  Jamming your wifi connection, and then precariously "misplacing" the only hard copies of the critical research you need to the same shelf, just one floor above or below in the library where it should be.  I will not shower for a week, and eat a healthy bowl of chili the night before exams, and sit bribe the proctor that I can sit in front of you.  You shall rue the day...


Hmmm....your arguements are not strong enough to persuade me otherwise.

The merit scholarship looks nice on paper, but you have to maintain the 3.3 the entire time.  If you drop below it, you lose your scholarship money.  You're basically making a $30,000 bet that you'll make that GPA for 2L and 3L.  Now note that law school grades, especially first year, are nearly all dependent on one single test at the end of the semester. Plus, these tests aren't just wrote memorization exams that most people are used to, and many get caught off-guard by.   If you happen to feel sick one day, girlfriend breaks up with you, somebody close to you dies... and you blow one exam, especially in the first year, and you drop below that 3.3 mark, then you've basically screwed yourself.   Sure, DePaul is a good school, but you'll be back to paying full tuition for second and third year just as if you had gone to Kent.

Getting a DePaul degree for 15K less is locked in.  Beyond that, assume you don't make the cut and you have to pay full tuition.  If you're willing to pay full tuition minus 15K for the first year at DePaul, then I say go that route.  If you maintain the GPA requirement, then that's just an added bonus and a little less stress in your life.

However, if 15K alone wouldn't be enough for you to choose DePaul over Kent, then don't even bother. 

Plus, Kent will provide you with slightly better career opportunities.  Isn't their average starting salary like 5-10k higher than DePaul?  Sure, you might save 15K or even the full 45K now, but what do you cost your self in the long run?  Kick yourself up an extra 5,000/year on graduation and extrapolate that through 5, 10, 20, and even 30 years down the road.  You'll be 50 and wondering how much more you might have earned over your life-time, and if the choice paid for itself.

Honestly, just comparing the average starting salary of the two schools and how many years you intend to practice law should be enough to make a choice for you.  According to, Kent is 10K more a year in the private sector.  So you're looking at about a 4-5 year break-even point.  Plan to quit law in 5 years? Go to Depaul.  Plan to make it a 10-20 year career? Go to Kent.

If you want my 2c, I think you should go to Kent. 


Because I'm leaning towards DePaul and it'll be one less person who seems relatively smart enough to be competition for me to maintain my scholarship.

So like, yeah.  Kent has a better IP program.  Better facilities (lets face it, DePaul's got some dumpy class rooms and those chairs are awful),  plus you'll have that extra distance to go.. and if you take the bus each way, that's like $5, every day and that adds up fast.  Oh yeah and don't forget DePaul has the L runnin by every 20 seconds, how you gunna like that when you're trying to concentrate on an exam and you've got the room shaking like it's Jake Elwood's pad.

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