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Messages - lyrarain
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« on: May 18, 2005, 05:30:51 PM »
I don't think Columbia's LRAP is that great. It's better than UCLA, sure, but Mich might be preferable (I haven't researched theirs).
I researched Columbia's when I got the reserve notice. What I found made me not bother to respond and stay on.
A cursory examination shows that if you take a low paying position out of school($25,000-$35,000) UVA, NYU, and other good LRAPs will pay all your costs while Columbia only pays some. It's important to be well-endowed which I'm sure they are, but flexibility is also important. that's where Columbia blows. http://www.law.columbia.edu/current_student/financial_aid/LRAP/Awd_Calcs
To contrast, UVA's prog is well endowed and will forgive all the loans it has made to you at the end of each year--this is good if you might want to switch tracks, start your own business, etc, but aren't able to pay back loans to the school as well as remaining law loans. http://www.law.columbia.edu/current_student/financial_aid/LRAP/Loan_Forgivenes
Contrast w/ Columbia, who will not forgive your LRAP loans completely for TEN YEARS. That is suckier than almost any school I have looked at.
I thought Columbia's LRAP would be wonderful because they are well ranked. That was why I responded to their silly yield-boosting fee waiver. Look twice, kids.
« on: May 18, 2005, 05:16:25 PM »
I don't know what exactly I want to do, and I will likely want to end up in either Southern California, Northern California, or New York. The 20,000 and 45,000 are totals for 3 years.
So, did you visit USC? I did. It was yucky in their law building. Not knowing anything at all about Duke, and also wanting to practice in CA, I would still pick Duke. They can't be that gross.
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:59:08 PM »
If you don't mind me asking, how long does the gray period last? Through April? May? I read that Eugene averages about 139 days of rainfall (http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/oregon/eugene/) each year.
The gray period can feel like it lasts six months. It doesn't really, but there is a hell of a lot of gray, and you see the sun in the morning and evening. Advice: Drive to Portland for a weekend. It is amazing to get out from under the valley cloud and into the Gorge breeze. Also, get a dawn simulator to keep your circadian rhythm going during the winter. You need like 10,000 lux of bright light in the eyes to tell your pituitary gland to stop making melatonin in the morning. You will feel less groggy and need less sleep than otherwise. I recommend whatever Apollo puts out next (that's what I want). They are expensive but nothing is more expensive than falling down into depression in school.
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:42:07 PM »
I'm curious why no one is trolling for Penn, telling me I'm making a disastrous choice if I pick UVA over them. I keep getting close to just picking UVA, but then I look at Penn and Philly and think "How can I not?" and then I reread the UCLA public interest program site and pine.
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:30:05 PM »
I think UVA may have been much less public interest-y, but they are trying to change. Which is probably why they like me, seeing as I lived on a commune and did an organic farm apprenticeship before applying to law school. They also have a dedicated PI career office with its own support staff--versus Penn who just has a PI counselor in the regular office and a pro bono office for getting volunteer while you're a student--a recently ramped up LRAP, and they seem to be sprouting new PI orgs and associations left and right.
That said, if UCLA had UVA's LRAP; I'd be there in a flash. I love the students there, they are so down to earth. And UVA doesn't have the kind of programmatic support for guiding a new PI person who's not quite sure of herself. UCLA practically feeds and burps you. In a nice way.
I keep hearing bad things about the quality of teaching and student meanness at GULC, which makes me wonder about them. I honestly expect UVA will be a better learning environment in class, but GULC would offer more pro bono options outside it.
Keep in mind that the top public interest groups/firms are also pretty snobby. Any top school should do you well with these groups. The fact that UVa will cover your ass much better than UCLA or the other options thus becomes pretty vital.
Who is snobby? I didn't imagine legal aid orgs would be super full of themselves. Are we talking about the ACLU?
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:45:09 AM »
This decision thing is taking WAY too long. I need help! Below is some background stuff on the choices and how they fit me:
I plan to do public interest, particularly work in Community Development, but I have some interest in policy. I expect to survive on LRAP, though it's possible there are acceptable corporate pro bono options I don't understand. I promised myself I'd be debt free 10 years out of law school so I can switch careers and become an organic farmer if I need to.
- UCLA's Public Interest Law & Polic Program is killer. They gave me $17,500 merit and need aid.They have a CED clinic and smart hip students.
- UVA is in a small town with no CED clinic and limited pro bono possibilities. They offered me $39,000. I don't like beer.
- GULC has a CED clinic and a kicking pool they keep at 82 degrees.[Update] No aid though.
- Penn offered no money. They have no CED clinic, but a semi-appropriate small business clinic. They're in a city and have the Wharton school for taking nonprofit management classes.
The debt/LRAP situation at each looks like so:
- UCLA: $122,894 debt; LRAP craps out at $60,000. I get to come up with $43,000 in 10 years myself.
- UVA: $107,000 debt; LRAP pays all at incomes under $35,000 and helps out up to earnings of $60,000. No limit on total awards!
- GULC: $162,000 debt; LRAP makes you repay over 20 years, not 10 like normal schools
- Penn: $153,000 debt; LRAP craps out at $100,000 ($10K/yr), leaving me holding the $53,000 bag
Vote! Put me out of my misery so I can get some sleep!
« on: May 18, 2005, 04:17:30 AM »
I am curious: how do you see yourself paying off $112K or $175K or even $75K in five years on a public interest salary?
[li]I want to be out of law school debt no later than 5 years after graduation (even with a PI job)[/li][li]I really liked Columbia when I visited, would have gone over other schools if they had gotten me to $100K in debt at graduation (w/o assistance Columbia is $175K) - they do have this great program where you can spend your 3L year in London and come away with a JD/LLM[/li][li]UCLA is a joint degree JD/MA (4 years)[/li][li]Here is the debt load of each school at graduation: [/li]
- Columbia: $175,500
- Michigan: $112,500
- U Washington: $79,000
- UCLA: $78,000
- Lewis & Clark: $41,000
Thanks for your vote!
« on: May 17, 2005, 04:37:02 AM »
It's worth the money only if you want to work in Chicago. Do you really want to leave California for Chicago? I wouldn't worry about the money, if you want to do public service you have LRAP, if you want a high paying job you have it. 100k debt for two people isn't much at all considering the kinds of jobs you can attain in California. UCLA and USC would probably have better national placement as well, though UI might have the edge in Illinois.
I would choose UCLA/USC over UI in an instant.
UCLA's LRAP currently tops out at a maximum award of $60K. Run your loans by the debt and payment calculator at Access Group http://www.accessgroup.org/calculators/index.htm
to see what it would be like to pay those off month to month. USC's LRAP pays something like 75% of your payment within certain eligibility limits. They may have a maximum award as well but I don't know (I'm not going there; not researching them anymore). You typically have to email the public service dept a bunch of questions to get the whole story. USC also looks really gross, though I hear they're renovating. Not much they can do about the ugly outside of their law building though.
« on: May 05, 2005, 03:47:37 PM »
I'm 60% decided on Penn. Friends in DC make it hard not to pick Georgetown, UVA's LRAP is super enticing and I loved their career office (what's with Penn and the all-we-need-is-a-dedicated-counselor routine?)
Sigh. I guess it's still a 4-way between Penn/GULC/UCLA/UVA.
But. Penn's a good school, with lots of pro bono possibilities, and a fascinating small business clinic.
And if I go to Penn, I'll probably find davisxa and her stunning bibs. Not to mention, relatively cheap housing. Oh, and I'm bringing both my kittens too, and boy (if he can get his *&^% together in time).
davisxa we could room and put all our cats together in one house! Yikes.
I'm 85% decided on Penn.
When I think about poing to Penn this fall, it makes me want to...
do the snake.
(Anybody remember that dance?)
I'm living off-campus with my cat family (myself & 2 cats).
I have a friend in Philly who I'm going to stay with while I look for housing. We might get a place together, I don't know. One thing that I haven't decided on is whether I should try to live with roomates my first year or live alone. I wouldn't want to risk having some totally lame living situation during my first year of law school.
« on: April 27, 2005, 04:29:54 PM »
Ivy league, gorgeous facilities... other than that, I don't know. Look on the web, and congrats!
I'm going to look on the web tonight when I get off work. I'm hoping lots of people will weigh in with those needed details in the meantime.
I feel like I'm going to pee my pants; this happened so fast!
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