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Author Topic: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take  (Read 3236 times)

michelle d

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2007, 03:58:29 PM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

excellent post

very true, but also consider that you can pay off debt in five years while the name on your degree will be there forever.
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vap

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2007, 04:52:41 PM »
But again, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do biglaw, and as such I'll be taking a much lower paying job, perhaps PI, perhaps not even law related, and the debt would be crippling and force me into certain jobs I might not want.

...

So wouldn't it be smarter just to take T3 w/ $$$ for my 1L year, and see what happens?

I think the T3 is the smart choice, and it sounds like you've already made up your mind on the topic.  I think, especially considering the bolded, you should take the free legal education.  It sounds like you're not 100% sure a career in law is for you, so I think taking a free stab at it is a good option (other than working as a paralegal to see if you like what real lawyers do).

I chose a lower ranked school over sveral T1s because of a scholarship and the fact that I know I don't want to do BigLaw (at least as a career or long enough to pay back $150,000 in loans from another school).

Of course...
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

TITCR.  If the lower-ranking of the T3 is mainly closing doors to opportunities that you don't particularly desire (BigLaw), then the drawback appears to be less than that of the higher debt (which, to a certain extent, closes doors to your desired employment).

Another good bit of advice that floats around on these boards is to assume that at any school you will be in the middle of the class.  Ask yourself 1) Would you be content at the T3 school if you end up in the middle of the class?  Regardless of your answer to question 1, ask yourself 2) Would being middle of the class at the T3 school be a better situation than being middle of the class at the higher ranked school with $100,000 debt (that is, do "average" students at the higher ranked schools easily secure large or medium size law firm jobs with salaries high enough to pay back your debt in a few years)?

Other thing to consider... do you have to maintain a specific class rank to keep your scholarship?

big - fat - box

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2007, 07:51:42 PM »
Assess your situation as if you would lose the scholarship. If you lose it, can you get in-state at the T3?

Can you get in-state at any of the higher ranked schools you've been accepted to?


NEVER bank on keeping a lower ranked school's scholarship. Over half of the scholly students at my T2 do not keep them after first year.

michelle d

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2007, 12:31:10 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

excellent post

very true, but also consider that you can pay off debt in five years while the name on your degree will be there forever.

Famous last words.


If you stay longer or cultivate an extravagant lifestyle and feel *obligated* to stay that's a different issue and probably indicative of problems you'd have in any field.
U of Chicago 2010.

john jacob

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2007, 01:01:36 AM »
I find it kinda silly that you are so willing to limit your options so early. I mean, yes, right now you have no interest in BIGLAW but you might in the future, no? In either case, you could work at your desired public interest with a degree from a T1 school, not to mention that the LRAP programs at higher ranked schools (which typically have much more money) are much more generous.

sno

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2007, 02:52:18 AM »
here's the thing...even if he decides on biglaw, t1 doesn't automatically = biglaw...u have to do well too...additionally, as i mentioned earlier (in this post i think), you may change your mind about what field you want to work in, but you probably won't suddenly decide you want to work 70 hours a week...and between having little debt and having to rely on LRAP, i'll take little debt any day...if you know you're staying in a certain area and aren't interested in biglaw, take the money and run...rankings typically don't mean as much to a small market where most of the attorneys went to local schools...
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queencruella

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2007, 09:17:45 AM »
I find it kinda silly that you are so willing to limit your options so early. I mean, yes, right now you have no interest in BIGLAW but you might in the future, no? In either case, you could work at your desired public interest with a degree from a T1 school, not to mention that the LRAP programs at higher ranked schools (which typically have much more money) are much more generous.

Most LRAPs are complete crap. Never rely on them, especially if you ever plan on getting married because your spouse's income will end it for you. Outside of this board there are plenty of people who go into lower priced state schools because they know they want to stay in that state and don't care for the debt.

I also think that people who don't want to do biglaw know full well what it entails and are not suddenly going to wake up one morning and want to work 60 hours a week. As it is, half the people who end up in biglaw go there because of peer pressure anyway because they feel they have to go there due to prestige or to pay off loans.

vap

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2007, 09:42:08 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

excellent post

very true, but also consider that you can pay off debt in five years while the name on your degree will be there forever.

Famous last words.


If you stay longer or cultivate an extravagant lifestyle and feel *obligated* to stay that's a different issue and probably indicative of problems you'd have in any field.

You can't pay off $150,000 loans in five years if you are an average student at a T1.  You probably won't get a job that allows you to do so.

queencruella

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2007, 09:47:22 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

excellent post

very true, but also consider that you can pay off debt in five years while the name on your degree will be there forever.

Famous last words.


If you stay longer or cultivate an extravagant lifestyle and feel *obligated* to stay that's a different issue and probably indicative of problems you'd have in any field.

You can't pay off $150,000 loans in five years if you are an average student at a T1.  You probably won't get a job that allows you to do so.

Depends on what T1, where you live, and how well you can budget. It's not easy, but if you're dedicated to paying off your loans, it's certainly not out of the question. 

Kittyl30

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2007, 10:16:46 AM »
Don't bite my head off for saying this but i really think that even at a T1 unless you go to  a t14 you STILL likely need to be in the top of your class (at LEAST top 25, maybe even top 10-15%) to get a BIGLAW job. esp at a school outside of the top 20. its not like a t1 is gold or something. i say take the T3 b/c at the T1 and the T3 you still need to do well but if you dont do well you'll come out debt free whereas you might do poorly at the T1 (or not even poor- just average in your class) and have a shitload of loans
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