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Author Topic: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.  (Read 1792 times)

stateofbeasley

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Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« on: September 16, 2007, 06:43:36 PM »
This was posted on jdunderground: USNEWS Average Debt figures

Some sample #'s

School,   Average Debt Amount,   % of students who took out loans.

Expensive T2's:
Yeshiva University (Cardozo) (NY)     $100,292     84%
Villanova University  (PA)     $98,326     81%

Expensive TTTs:
New York Law School      $95,318     93%
Florida Coastal School of Law      $93,370     92%
Thomas M. Cooley Law School (MI)    $93,067    98%

Better Buys:
Ohio State University (Moritz)     $53,179     78%
University of Wisconsin--Madison      $64,535     85%
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill      $59,329     81%

Your debt load will of course depend on your personal circumstances, but there are plenty of solid law schools out there that will not place you under burdensome loans. 

ohnowtf

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 12:08:18 AM »
ouch, cardozo is one of my top picks

botbot

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 11:21:27 AM »
Lol at SMU's numbers.

I would not put a ton of faith in these numbers.

stateofbeasley

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 09:43:10 PM »
ouch, cardozo is one of my top picks

Yeah, it's big time ouch.  I currently advise people to avoid lower tiered private schools like Cardozo.  It's not worth it because public universities of similar rank (and probably more brand name recognition) cost a lot less.

muharulz

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 09:49:30 PM »
yes, but what if its your only choice?

e.g. i want to practice law in pittsburgh... but my scores are too low to make it into pitt but are acceptable to duquesne.

in some cases, the private school is easier to get in than the public.

same applies to capital and ohio state or even cooley and michigan state.

if taking the LSAT isnt an option and you want to practice law, then what do you do?

stateofbeasley

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 07:24:31 PM »
yes, but what if its your only choice?

If your only choice is an expensive, lower tier private school, then the only thing you can do is consider whether you are really willing to take the risk that your life will be financially difficult for several years, or even decades, out of school.

Determine the amount you expect to borrow.
Figure out what your monthly loan payments will be at a website like finaid.org
Compare this to the pay in the area you expect to work.

If you are willing to take the financial hit, then go for it.  The problem is that people don't think about what they are getting into when they take big loans. 

big - fat - box

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2007, 04:22:22 PM »
You go to the nearest in-state public school you can. For Pittsburgh, you should be looking into relatively nearby public law schools like Akron, Cleveland State, and
West Virginia University. Even though these schools aren't in Pitt, you shouldn't have trouble getting a job if you have ties to Pitt, and can pass the PA bar.

Sad to say, but you will probably not find work from any of these schools until your bar passage results come in. That is the reality of the legal job market and the situation most law grads are faced with.

Now, you may not have residency in Ohio or WV, but you can find out from the schools what it would take to establish residency. Many schools will allow you to get in-state tuition for years 2 & 3, which would save you $40-60K over the total cost of your law school education.

As for the LSAT, retaking is always an option, unless you've already done the max number of retakes within the alotted time period. Even then, you could wait two years and retake again.

Yes, moving to another state and trying to establish residency might be a huge hassle. Retaking the LSAT might be a huge hassle depending on your personal situation.

BUT when you graduate from a school like Duquesne with over $150K in student loans and realize your chances of getting a big bucks job to pay those loans off is slim to zero, you will wish you would have explored other options.



yes, but what if its your only choice?

e.g. i want to practice law in pittsburgh... but my scores are too low to make it into pitt but are acceptable to duquesne.

in some cases, the private school is easier to get in than the public.

same applies to capital and ohio state or even cooley and michigan state.

if taking the LSAT isnt an option and you want to practice law, then what do you do?

t...

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 05:51:43 PM »
Many of my friends at Santa Clara are still looking for jobs. These are people at the median, just below the 1/3 cut, many of whom are on a journal.

A lot of them have applied for temp agencies until they get their bar results. They're making 13-15/hr with a JD. From a pretty decent school in the area. And their repayments kick in a few months. They're literally shitting bricks right now.


If you're in the position where you're considering schools ranked approx. 50 and below, you really need to a) make sure the school has decent career prospects in its region, and b) you're going as cheaply as you can.


Quote
Cady on October 16, 2007, 10:41:52 PM

i rhink tyi'm inejying my fudgcicle too much

Quote
Huey on February 07, 2007, 11:15:32 PM

I went to a party in an apartment in a silo once.

tranandy

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007, 07:53:17 PM »
Speaking of Santa Clara, I have a friend from high school who went there and could not find any decent paying job after graduating with an above average GPA.  He married an Italian girl and left for Italy -- skipping out on his law school loans -- after he couldn't afford to make the payments.  True story.

Moral of the story:  private schools outside the top 25 are generally a bad value even if you do get a decent job after law school.

muharulz

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Re: Law school debt: Class of 2006 -- it's pretty ugly.
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 08:29:15 PM »
You go to the nearest in-state public school you can. For Pittsburgh, you should be looking into relatively nearby public law schools like Akron, Cleveland State, and
West Virginia University. Even though these schools aren't in Pitt, you shouldn't have trouble getting a job if you have ties to Pitt, and can pass the PA bar.

Sad to say, but you will probably not find work from any of these schools until your bar passage results come in. That is the reality of the legal job market and the situation most law grads are faced with.

Now, you may not have residency in Ohio or WV, but you can find out from the schools what it would take to establish residency. Many schools will allow you to get in-state tuition for years 2 & 3, which would save you $40-60K over the total cost of your law school education.

As for the LSAT, retaking is always an option, unless you've already done the max number of retakes within the alotted time period. Even then, you could wait two years and retake again.

Yes, moving to another state and trying to establish residency might be a huge hassle. Retaking the LSAT might be a huge hassle depending on your personal situation.

BUT when you graduate from a school like Duquesne with over $150K in student loans and realize your chances of getting a big bucks job to pay those loans off is slim to zero, you will wish you would have explored other options.
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the residency thing isnt a problem... as long as i have loans to take care of living expenses and moving, then its fine. hell, i live in dc now so nowhere im looking has a higher rent or whatever.

the lsat stuff just isnt possible right now.

one thing to look at though... wouldnt duquesne place better in pittsburgh than akron or wvu? i mean... the legal market in pittsburgh is either pitt, duq, or penn state as far as ive seen.