Law School Discussion


What do you want to do during your summer 1L?

Work for a firm
23 (48.9%)
Work for a judge
6 (12.8%)
Public Interest work in the US
4 (8.5%)
Public Interest work abroad
6 (12.8%)
Research Assistant for a professor
0 (0%)
Governmental Job
3 (6.4%)
Interning for a special interest organization (ie NAACP, ACLU etc.)
5 (10.6%)

Total Members Voted: 36



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Re: 0L's
« Reply #130 on: July 04, 2007, 07:28:29 AM »
Lol at this thread

Re: 0L's
« Reply #131 on: July 06, 2007, 10:59:31 AM »
hmm times have REALLY changed haven't they? :D :D :D


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Re: 0L's
« Reply #132 on: July 06, 2007, 11:04:29 AM »
(Warning do not read my post if you donít want any anxiety attacks regarding financing law school)
 Thanks for the words of encouragement folks.  This whole process as really been weighing on my mind. 

MC if I go to Harvard, it would be approx 20K a year which included living expenses, books and food. Harvard didn't really give me the best financial aid package however I received a lot of outside scholarships for law school, which include my sorority (god bless those women), and the IR department at my school. Speaking of which has anyone heard from the ABA scholarship? In the event that I do decide to go to Harvard I hope that I would get summer jobs that will cover my tuition in the following semester.

The reason so much thought is going into this is because of the debt factor. I do not want to be in debt. The idea of being boggled down with 100K in debt scares the holy Jesus out of me. At night I wake up in cold sweats worrying about having such a financial burden just to go to law school. I know some of us will go the big firm route, but lets say you get a job paying 150K a year. That's great and all but realistically you will not able to pay off the 100K debt as quickly as you think. Lets think about the taxes for a moment, 150K puts you in the high tax bracket. Basically you will have to pay approx 35,717 plus 33% if you are in between the $146,750K-$319,100K range. Lets round off and say that your federal and state taxes (unless your are in TX then you donít pay state taxes. Lucky bastards) you will end up paying 49,500 if filing single. (This is a gross over estimation b/c I know people might have various write offs. However if I am that off I would appreciate the tax gurus on the board to enlighten us all).  SO 150K-49,500K=100,500K. Okay thatís still not bad piece of change, but now include rent/mortgage, health insurance, dental insurance, car insurance, tags, food, bar association fees, life insurance (something everyone should have), cell phone (every lawyer has to have a cell phone LOL), and other miscellaneous items. Based on the vibe Iím getting from the board, most of us want to live in NYC, DC, LA, and other major metropolitan areas which are VERY expensive if you want something decent. OH and finally add that big nice 100K you have to pay back from law school.  IN addition, if any of you guys have a family like mine, we help those who may be struggling themselves. Iíve seen that thread in a lot of minorities families. It is almost expected that you help out if you can. Personally  I have four siblings and two nieces who if they needed anything I would bend over backwards for and vice versa. 

 My UG is approx 42K a year and I have friends who are graduating my school with up to 90K in student loans and some of them still donít understand what that means. I know the vase majority of law students do accumulate debt, but if I can avoid it I will. Debt scares me. Having the man knock on your door asking for that student loan payment is frustrating. Heck if I can help it I might just bypass the whole big law phrase and go into Human Rights work and legislation like I want to without worrying about finances. (although the UN pays their attorneys a stupid amount of money)

Man why canít education be free like in France and Switzerland?   :'(

Has anyone obsessed over this as much as I have? Forget getting into law school, how is that b*tch going to be paid for?

education isn't free in France especially if your ass is at a grande ťcole, that said it is a lot cheaper than similarly situated universities in the U.S.
r- I've said this to you before privately, but if I were in your shoes I would probably take Columbia over Harvard no questions asked.  Tell Rbg to stfu.  Debt is no joke.  I saw another thread where they calculated that a 100k joke means paying about 1,000 each month for the next ten years.  Yikes.  For your interests I don't believe a Harvard degree will leave you in a better position than saving your money, graduating debt free, with the Hamilton on your resume at Columbia.  If you really want the Harvard name and international connections I'd suggest getting a joint degree at the Kennedy School (probably the MPA-ID given your interests)--only one more year of school and chances are you'd receive one of the tuition scholarships leaving you to only pay for a year of living expenses in Cambridge, not a bad trade-off in my book.  That said, if you do decide to go to Harvard I do believe you can drastically minimize your amount of debt by taking the firm route each summer but again that cramps your flexibility to do actual human rights work.

Welcome to the club!!!!!!!

Just be thankful that you have folks who have an IQ above 20 who had the foresight to provide for their kids by having jobs and good credit.  My folks...bless 'em, but Sands is on his own on this adventure.

This is a very legitimate concern that WE especially need to think about when going to law school, as it effects many of us more so than some of our counterparts.  When planning out something like law school, you're essentially planning out your immediate future for the next 5, 10, 15+ years.  Unfortunately, that means grappling the money problem head on.

The 6-figure Law School Debt - Big Law career path is a trap ladies and gentlemen.  Its good that most of you on this board realize that already.  As Regal pointed out here, 150k a year can get humbled real quick when you start figuring in all the expenses of life.  For those of you who have already worked in corp. america before law school, this ain't nothing new.  For the rest of you  straight outa boot camp, you probably don't realize what this means just yet.  I remember that damn thing like yesterday.  Coming straight outa college and workin at that big firm job, and I saw that starting salary they were offering and was like  :o WHOA!  Coming from undergrad that's more money that you used to live off of all semester long handed over to you in one month's salary.  So of course, from the beginning, that sh!t looks gravy.

Oh but that's the catch.  You soon find out that you're not really rich at all.  You live month to month like the rest of the drones, and maybe after a couple months or years goes by you start to ask yourself "Where the hell is all my money going?"

Good question.

As Regal just broke down, it costs a lot of money just to LIVE.  Insurance, taxes, uncle sam, 401k's...easily chip away at even a six figure salary.  It can turn 125k/yr into an 80k/yr take home, which is realistically what NYC lawyers take home each year. Trust me on that one; I know several of those cats and they'll tell you in a heartbeat.

So bottom line, don't let the zero's lure you into any false ideals or preconceived notions like everything will be alright and everything's ok if I just go to such and such school and get such and such job.  The more you think about it now the better off you'll be than the cat who just walked into it blindly.

Our fellow accountant BP can break down how long it takes to pay off $120,000 at a 2.77% variable interest rate paying let's say $1000 a month.  BP can break down the exact digits, but I'm going to guess that its somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 years or some sh!t like that.  And at the end of that 10-15 years, making the min. payments, that 120k turns into something like 145k when its all said and done.

All things to think about folks.

I'm coming into this convo on the tail end, but if we are debating between Harvard at full price and Columbia for free...the answer seems overwhelmingly obvious.  Maybe I'm missing some key facts that were discussed earlier or something.  Forget what the US news feeds you people.  The difference in the legal world between the two schools is like this [holding my pointing finger and thumb apart by about a centimeter].  You go to Harvard Law cats are like "Oh, ok. Impressive."  You go to Columbia Law cats are like "Oh, ok. Impressive."  Its not like we're talking about the difference between Yale and Cooley.

That's just my 2 cents, it ultimately comes down to the individual.  If Columbia Law... hell if Fordham Law offered me a full ride + loot I'd be a Fordham Law School sweater wearing motherf*cka talkin mad sh!t walkin out of law school for Free-99. But that's just me.

nice post!! but no matter how you break it down, some still won't listen its all about rank rank rank...hard head makes a soft behind.