Law School Discussion

155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2008, 07:46:35 AM »
I agree with yoyodog.  I've been reading this board for a month or two and I'm sick of the T14 snobs who look down on anyone no applying to Boalt.

This has NOTHING to do with snobbiness and EVERYTHING to do with economics.  For the record, I graduated from Temple University School of Law in 2006.  This is a Tier 2 school with a good regional rep, but nothing special nationally.

Suppose the OP gets into Syracuse Law.  The OP's LSAT/GPA aren't spectacular, but he is sort of within Syracuse's range.  http://www.law.syr.edu/overview/facts.aspx

Tuition is $41,000/year for the current 1L class.  http://www.law.syr.edu/overview/facts.aspx

Living expenses (housing, food, books, supplies, insurance, transportation) are estimated to be $16,175/year.  http://www.law.syr.edu/financialaid/attendance_costs.aspx

That's a total of $57,175/year to attend. 

Assume that the OP receives no scholarship $, which is reasonable because his #'s are not very high for Syracuse.  Assume that inflation is sufficiently low that living costs do not appreciably increase over the next 3 years.

So the OP would have to borrow about $171,525 to pay for 3 years of law school. 

If the OP borrows $61,500 in Staffords at 6.8% fixed http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml and the rest (110,025) at 8% fixed on a federal PLUS loan.  This is about 7.57% interest on the total. 

The finaid.org calculator says:

Loan Balance:  $171,525.00 
Adjusted Loan Balance:  $171,525.00 
Loan Interest Rate:  7.57%
Loan Fees:  0.00%
Loan Term:  30 years
Minimum Payment:  $50.00 

 
Monthly Loan Payment: $1,207.56 
Number of Payments:  360


 
Cumulative Payments:  $434,721.64 
Total Interest Paid:  $263,196.64 

$1,200/month IS NOT a fun amount to pay off for 30 years.  This doesn't even take into account that the PLUS loans accumulate interest while you are in school.  It's downright awful if you get a job at a small firm making 43k/year.

Suppose further that the OP decides to work for a small firm or government office in Philadelphia, for $43,000/year. After paying federal, state, and city wage tax (4.26% as of 1 Jan 2007), OP will be taking home a meager $607.55/week, or about $2,600/month [calculated at paycheckcity.com, assumptions: single taxpayer, 2 exemptions, PA resident living in Philadelphia County].

Paying 46% of your after-tax salary to service loans is horrible.  You can only get a tax deduction for $2500 in interest.  And people wonder why lawyers start doing document review.

More doom and gloom. Nice. You've picked the worst possible hypothetical. You could flip it around just as easily. What if the OP doesn't get a scholarship at first, but then he gets a scholarship after he does well in lawlschol? What if he works as a summer associate during his 1L and 2L year, and works as a law clerk at a local firm his 2L and 3L year and uses that money to pay his living expenses during the school year? What if the OP only graduates with less than 80K in debt because of this? What if the OP gets a six-figure a year job coming out of lawschool? What if he pays off his loans in 5 years because of his high income? What if this in turn allows him to do what ever he wants with his career path after this? What if, what if, what if....You can bring up hypotheticals all day long.

To the OP: If you want to go to lawschool, go to to lawschool.  Its been my experience that if you want to do something, then you should just do it. You never know whats going to happen until you actually do it.  Up until the point of action, everything is just a hypothetical.

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Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2008, 08:20:26 AM »
I think a lot of it depends on why you want to be a lawyer. If you actually want to practice law and don't mind a little sacrifice in order to do something you love, then go ahead and go to law school. But if you are going because you can't do anything else with your college degree and you figure lawyers get paid well, then you might want to rethink your decision.

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Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2008, 08:28:30 AM »
Getting a scholarship while in law school is incredibly rare.  (there is really no benefit to the school to give these scholarships)

His loans will not be paying living expenses over the summer, he will be using most of his income over these summers to pay his bills.  (Small law SAs do not make much).


I am NOT saying that he should not go to law school, only that I wouldn't go to law school in his situation.  I have been the champion of those minimizing debt by attending second and third tier law schools on scholarship, but this is not the case here.

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2008, 09:18:46 AM »
Getting a scholarship while in law school is incredibly rare.  (there is really no benefit to the school to give these scholarships)



I have received a partial scholarship since beginning law school. Its because I have done quite well in school. If you have a high enough rank in school, they will reward you with a scholarship. The benefit to the school is that they are retaining talent.

Also, I like how you assumed the OP could only work as a "small law" SA.

Anyway...if you work as a law clerk DURING the school term, you can make money to offset living expenses. I worked as a summer associate at a small law firm the summer after my 1L year, and I continued working there during 2L year. This helped out quite nicely. I then worked at a large firm as a summer associate after my 2L year. I had money left over from that gig that I used during the first semester of my 3L year. (Notice: These aren't hypotheticals, they are actual facts)

I'm glad you're a "champion" of minimizing law school debt. You must fancy yourself as the Clark Howard of law school. How did you attend law school? Did you have a free ride, or did you go to a T14? How does that make you self-proclaimed champion? Does it make you feel better about yourself as opposed to the person that had to pay for his or her school to accomplish their dream of becoming an attorney?

Not everyone has a great LSAT score or has a great GPA coming out of undergrad. People's life stories are not the same. People take different paths to law school. Just because someone can't attend a T-14 or get a full ride somewhere does not mean that they shouldn't go to law school. If you want to be an attorney, you should just bite the bullet and do it. Law school is a second chance for many. You shouldn't be afraid to attend just because of the possibility of some debt. 

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Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2008, 09:26:09 AM »
Congrats on doing well in law school, you must (at the very least) be in the top 15% of your class.  You rolled a seven, but the op might not be so lucky.

PS: I assume you kept your work to a minimum during the school year, don't get ABA-pwned.

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2008, 03:17:53 PM »
More doom and gloom.

whatifwhatifwhatif...

The difference between your "whatif" and my calculations is that my calculations are the typical case while yours are the extreme exception.  Only 10% of the class makes the top 10%.  From a T3 school like Syracuse, a shot at that 6-figure job probably requires top 5% or even top 2%. 

If you think your scenario is so great, show me some big scholarships that schools give after admissions.  Give some links to biglaw firms that hire 1L summer associates from T3 schools like Syracuse. 

I've shown hard numbers and real calculations.  You've shown absolutely nothing save one anecdote.


Quote
Its been my experience that if you want to do something, then you should just do it. You never know whats going to happen until you actually do it.  Up until the point of action, everything is just a hypothetical.

Great! That's exactly the strategy of people who took out subprime mortgages!  I want a house!  I'll buy it!  Who cares what my earnings are and what the interest rate will be next year!  I want a plasma TV even though I have no job!  I'll put it on a credit card!  Taking actions without weighing the risks is an easy way to get into huge trouble.

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2008, 03:29:08 PM »
Does it make you feel better about yourself as opposed to the person that had to pay for his or her school to accomplish their dream of becoming an attorney?

I'll tell you exactly how I feel: I see friends and co-workers barely able to make ends meet, struggling along with six figures of debt.  They've mortgaged their lives and they are miserable.

A select few made it to the top.  This is perhaps 10-15% at most.  They can pay off their loans in ten years.  The rest are not so lucky.

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2008, 07:04:16 PM »
My 2 cents:

Try to get some work experience after undergrad. That will not only boost your resume but will also allow you to save up some money to either pay off existing loans or use to help pay for future law school costs.

Take a prep course to boost your LSAT. Even a five point increase will help a lot.

A 160/2.5 with WE + URM looks a lot better then 155/2.5 fresh from UG.

And also: Kill your personal statement! Talk about the person behind the numbers, about adversity and resiliency, and a determination to overcome obstacles- just make a bold statement.

Good luck!  :)

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2008, 09:39:21 PM »
More doom and gloom.

whatifwhatifwhatif...

The difference between your "whatif" and my calculations is that my calculations are the typical case while yours are the extreme exception.  Only 10% of the class makes the top 10%.  From a T3 school like Syracuse, a shot at that 6-figure job probably requires top 5% or even top 2%. 

If you think your scenario is so great, show me some big scholarships that schools give after admissions.  Give some links to biglaw firms that hire 1L summer associates from T3 schools like Syracuse. 

I've shown hard numbers and real calculations.  You've shown absolutely nothing save one anecdote.


Quote
Its been my experience that if you want to do something, then you should just do it. You never know whats going to happen until you actually do it.  Up until the point of action, everything is just a hypothetical.

Great! That's exactly the strategy of people who took out subprime mortgages!  I want a house!  I'll buy it!  Who cares what my earnings are and what the interest rate will be next year!  I want a plasma TV even though I have no job!  I'll put it on a credit card!  Taking actions without weighing the risks is an easy way to get into huge trouble.

You're totally right...ha!

What you've shown is the same crap you show on your "blog."

Whatever man. Continue to sprout your doom and gloom. Aren't you a practicing attorney? (allegedly) No wonder you're so miserable. You waste your time posting on an internet chat board when you should be out hustling clients. But then again, that would require social skills....

Note to everyone who wants to actually be a successful attorney: YOU NEED SOCIAL SKILLS!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't, then you'll be like "stateofbeasly" and have to pump up your own self-worth on an internet chat board.

Re: 155 LSAT, 2.5GPA, URM.. where can I go?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2008, 03:51:52 AM »
Note to everyone who wants to actually be a successful attorney: YOU NEED SOCIAL SKILLS!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this is true.  A former boss advised me that "half of all practice is getting clients".  That means a lot of networking with other lawyers to get referrals and getting out into the community to put your name out there.

yoyodawg, you still haven't provided any evidence as to why people should go to law school just because they feel like it.  If you were buying a house or a car, you'd want to compare prices, right?  You'd want to do some research and make sure there were no problems, right?

Merely insulting people, saying things like "You're totally right...ha!" are not going to win you any arguments, here or in the courtroom (try saying that to a co-worker or worse, a judge).