Nice to see objective facts used. I really think one guy gave a perfect analogy of big law saying it is like trying to get drafted into the NBA it can happen, but the odds are pretty miniscule. I am sure even Harvard Grads have a hard time getting into it. So you might as well stay at a tier 4 and get scholarship money so you can have as little debt as possible that is my opinion at least.
Why Big Law? I can settle for a decent mid-size firm or a boutique. I would have 170-175K debt if I graduate from Camden, and 140-145K debt if I graduate from my current school (I have loans from my previous education). After Camden, my payments will be close to 1000$, after my current school, about 750$. With extended payment plan, I would need to make min of 70K after Camden or min of 60K after my current school. I am not sure if there is such a huge difference in terms of costs at this point. If I get an interesting position in the government, which is a possibility due to my background, I can choose to deffer my payments or get my debt eliminated after 10 years of service. Any thoughts?
Thank you for all the answers. Big Law is not for everyone. I already used to work in law firms before and there are pros and cons to every type of firm. 140K by itself sounds pretty bad. However, 140K debt after not well known T4, or 170-175K ater decent T2 in one of major legal markets, that is the issue. About government - I have credentials to get hired. I could even get hired for certain jobs in gov that pay 60-80K to start because of that. However, those are not necessarily attorney positions and I have 2 more years to think about it. I agree that gov job is not about money - it is about contacts, experience and benefits. Big Law will make you do research for 2-3 years before you talk to client. Government attorneys do more staff way sooner. It is never easy to get a decent job, that's why I posted a question about opinioins on: What would you do in my situation? By the way, this board is generally more pessimistic than another board, where I posted similar question. Just an observation.
IMO, you will still have to place within the top 10-15% at Rutgers to practice in the markets you specified. The question then becomes: "How likely is it that I will place within the top 10-15% of Rutgers?"Here are some statistics for you to consider:There were 18 summer associates from Rutgers this past year in Philadelphia Big/Midlaw. (see http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2009/06/01/story6.html)Starting salary for these associates would probably be around ~$110K. # of Rutgers Graduates = ~220 grads (assuming about 15% of each class transfer / drop / defer / etc.)60% of the summer associates get offers. (Via NALP: Ballard Spahr offered 14/18, Blank Rome offered 7/14, Cozen offered 14/18, Dechert offered 14/22, Drinker Biddle offered 13/19, Duane Morris offered 8/15, Morgan Lewis offered 8/23, Pepper Hamilton offered 7/14, Reed Smith offered 3/5, Saul Ewing offered 3/9) = 91/157 = ~58% offer rateSo, 10.8 (18*.60) students from Rutgers get Biglaw jobs in Philadelphia. That means you'll have a 10.8 / 220 (4.9 %) chance at landing Philadelphia Biglaw from Rutgers. Let's now assume that Rutgers feeds the same number of summer associates to two more major markets. This means you'll have about a 14.7% chance at landing Biglaw in a major market from Rutgers. Are those chances worth it? Can you place within the top 15% at Rutgers?