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Incoming 1Ls / Re: potheads
« on: May 24, 2006, 05:49:10 AM »
any lawschool-bound potheads out there who are trying to quit over the summer?

TRYING to quit?  Are you serious?  You're talking about pot here, not heroin.  You don't TRY to quit, you simply stop doing it.

Tort law, crim law, who cares?  How about common sense?  He's a freaking baby.  Charging him with this and ruining his future makes no sense.  Tragic accident, but little more.

He's not a baby, he's 8 years old.  8 is old enough to know you shouldn't be sneaking onto a bus, let alone messing around with the brakes.  I'm not saying it would be appropriate to lock the kid up and trhow away the key but I think it would be less appropriate to let the kid walk without charging him with anything.  I expect the parents of the victim would agree.

Financial Aid / Re: Financial wizards, your advice is needed!
« on: May 18, 2006, 01:39:16 PM »
... OK, at the risk of sounding crazy...

If a person has significant cash reserves before starting law school, is there any reason to hold that cash and still take the max Stafford loan ($18,500) each year?

I guess I was thinking, what if I want to buy a house right out of law school and mortgage interest rates are higher than the Stafford interest rates?

Or will the interest I'm paying on my Stafford loans during law school cancel any possible savings from decreasing a (possible) higher interest mortgage loan after graduation?

I'd appreciate opinions on this from anyone with financial know-how.

Why not buy a small house or condo right now? 

The school I'm attending graduates the part-time students in 3.5 years too.  They just take classes over the summers- a good option for sure!
I decided for full-time in the end because I want to have a "real" law school experience.  I want to work full-time during the summer like the other students do, and in our situation, I will be able to spend MORE time with my family if I go during the day

ditto ditto ditto

The family thing seemed obvious to me early on - if I worked 40 hrs, then went to school, there would be no time for them.  The other stuff was real important too.  I'm going way in debt here; I'm going to need at least a decent job when I get out; if not biglaw, well then at least with a medium sized firm at what, 70-80K per year?  I'm just not sure how I'd put myself into that sort of job as a part time student.  I figured I'd need the full time experience - summer associate job and all that - to get where I need to be financially.  Of course, the best i could do was 4th tier, so I'm probably going to have to end up top 10% to make all that happen.  If it is apparent after the first year that I'm not going to be at the top of my class, I may have to switch to PT, for financial reasons.

Not to be debbie downer here, but have you folks ever been to vegas?  I thought it was a lot of fun for the three days I was there, but I couldn't imagine spending any longer than that.  My wife agreed. 

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Paying for LS
« on: May 11, 2006, 11:18:57 AM »
Currently I do not have any public or private loans over 5.3%, yet I am earning between 8-12% on the money I have invested. It is NOT always the smartest thing to do to pay in cash. If I paid my tuition outright, I would LOSE that 8-12% time value of money. Even with borrowing it and paying interest I still have my money and minus the interest on the loans I am still making between 3-6%.

Well that seems to be a no-brainer to me, except for one problem - I don't know of any safe investments paying 8-12% right now.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Paying for LS
« on: May 11, 2006, 11:16:42 AM »
I will (hopefully) be going to law school next year.  I am wondering what you folks think is the best way to pay for it.  I could either:

  • take equity out of my house and pay cash
  • take out a home equity loan or line of credit and pay using that
  • take out an education loan and pay that way

I am wondering about the best approach to paying for law school from a tax and total cost perspective.  Thoughts?

I'm doing both - federal student loans up to the max of 18,500 per year, home equity line of credt (with interest only payments) for the balance. 

You know what I mean -- those of us who've been in the "real world" long enough to know how to cook dinner without resorting to ramen (perhaps for a child or two!), drink and socialize without the explicit purpose of getting smashed and hooking up, and who go to bed when the clock still says "PM" most nights.

How do you plan, if at all, to do things differently or keep up with your regular habits while in LS (and presumably without much income or extra time)?

My biggest issue, I think, will be food, since I never drank a lot (even in undergrad) and I'm in a committed relationship (and even if I wasn't, hooking up with random 24-year-old students isn't really a priority for me). But I don't feel well if I don't eat right, and I'm an amateur chef besides. Now, I know I will not have a lot of time to spend cooking, but I still want to be able to eat things that don't get delivered. I was warned by someone (a near-stranger) that I will be eating, breathing and sleeping law for the next three years. I will not have time to pack a lunch, or even fix myself a bowl of cereal or toast a bagel -- I'll have to eat from the box, I guess. If I want food that doesn't have a take-out menu stapled to it, someone else is going to have to cook it for me, and accept that I won't be eating with them, as my non-eating hand will be typing/turning pages/highlighting. (She also told me if I'm having sex at all during law school, I'm obviously not prioritizing my time correctly and she wouldn't hire me at her firm. Needless to say, I'm not taking much of her advice seriously.)

I still think I can find an hour, a couple times a week, to cook something of nutritional value (with leftovers).  I realize that during exams, especially, my diet's not going to be of paramount concern but still, there's got to be a happy medium.

How about you? What adjustments to student life do you anticipate?

Most people sleep 6-8 hours per night.  You'll be in class what, 4 hours per day?  That leaves 12-14 hours in each day.  If you can't find a spare hour or two in that time, you're going to have much more serious problems than malnutrition. 

The fact that my horrendous GPA is 13 years old definitely helped me get in - when adcomms looked at my sprakly new LSAT score and all the cool stuff I've been doing over the last several years, they were able to look past the one substantial black mark on my application.

It's not by chance that I have the lowest GPA of anybody accepted to my school on LSN...

Ditto.  I'd never have had a chance to convince anybody I was serious about law school 10 years ago.  And its not that I've done anything brilliant over the last 10 years, but I've grown up and done some good work and can be take seriously.  People don't get into law school with GPA's like mine. 

I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old.  I decided not to work and to go to school full time.  If I can fit it in, I'll try to work a few hours too, but the decision was made because I knew if I tried to work full time and go to school part time and study, I'd never have any time for my kids.  I'd rather sink a bit deeper in debt and be able to give school and my kids more attention.  My wife will be a stay at home mom and work part time evenings, so we'll pretty much be living on borrowed money for 3 years. 

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