What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

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pancakes3

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:51 pm

greatspirit wrote:Came to this board to see what TLS has to say about Vandy, as it is my #2 choice and I grow more excited about it by the day.

According to TLS, Vandy gives you "mediocre job opportunities."

No wonder my friends in law school tell me to stay off of TLS. The anxiety this board has given me over the years is absurd.


*gives you a mediocre shot at certain job opportunities, but also requires a consideration of cost, career goals, and location preferences, and possibly other factors.

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greatspirit

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby greatspirit » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:54 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
greatspirit wrote:Came to this board to see what TLS has to say about Vandy, as it is my #2 choice and I grow more excited about it by the day.

According to TLS, Vandy gives you "mediocre job opportunities."

No wonder my friends in law school tell me to stay off of TLS. The anxiety this board has given me over the years is absurd.


*gives you a mediocre shot at certain job opportunities, but also requires a consideration of cost, career goals, and location preferences, and possibly other factors.


Any person who halfway plans can get biglaw out of Vandy. There's this almost social retardation on this board, as if networking isn't a thing - GET INTO HYS AND BIGLAW JUST FALLS INTO YOUR LAP, OTHERWISE YOU'RE SCREWED.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:57 pm

Can you link to who said that and in what context?

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pancakes3

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:03 pm

the same guy posting about TLS being prestige snobs just posted in a thread where TLS consensus was to take Tulane for free over T14/retake.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:35 pm

greatspirit wrote:Any person who halfway plans can get biglaw out of Vandy. There's this almost social retardation on this board, as if networking isn't a thing - GET INTO HYS AND BIGLAW JUST FALLS INTO YOUR LAP, OTHERWISE YOU'RE SCREWED.


Ooooohhh, I get it! All the people at Vanderbilt who don't land biglaw just didn't do enough planning. They probably didn't want it hard enough.

But you... you're different. You plan things halfway. And you're gonna go the distance.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby dabigchina » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:11 pm

guynourmin wrote:
Colonel_funkadunk wrote:whats the max amount of debt you'd take out for a motorcycle


For a Honda, probably $55,000. If Bentley made a motorcycle probably $120,000, though, or maybe even more. You can't tell me that's unreasonable because its a personal decision.

What kind of Honda Motorcycle costs 55,000?

edit: Read more of the thread and I got wooshed bad.
Last edited by dabigchina on Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby J Eazy » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:17 pm

This thread has inspired me to ask something I've been wondering related to big law rates, and desirable outcomes at large. We know what percentage of students exit each law school working in big law, but what percentage of students enter each law school pursuing big law, and what percentage of students begin pursuing big law while in law school?

TLS typically talks about big law (and federal clerkship) numbers as if basically 100% of the student body pursued it. I.e. Vandy has a 47% BL rate, so a Vandy student who wants BL has a sub-50% chance of getting it. But that's not necessarily true. Maybe only 85% of Vandy students want BL, so a Vandy student who wants BL has a 55% chance of getting it. A small difference, but a difference.

Is the average BL-pursuit rate at a T14 or a T15-20 90, 80, 70 percent? Has anyone actually done a survey on this? In general, law school surveys that move beyond solely outcomes, to both inputs and outcomes, would be really informative.

1) When you entered law school, what field did you plan to pursue, and how sure were you?
2) While in law school, did your career goals change? If so, to what?
3) X months after graduating law school, what field are you working in? Are you satisfied with your outcome?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:30 pm

I can't remember the source, but I'm pretty sure there are schools that have tracked this, and especially for T14 schools where biglaw is realistic, IIRC lots of students come in wanting PI and switch to biglaw along the way; it's extremely common. (Sorry this is so vague - hopefully someone else will remember the source.)

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby bretby » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:21 pm

fazzvm56 wrote:I just deposited at Fordham and with my scholarship, I'll probably be taking out 60k total over three years. I think this is the max I would do but if you asked me pre-scholarship money I would probably have a very different answer. I was fully prepared to be 150k deep to go to Georgetown until I was faced with half tuition at Fordham which places very well in NYC (I'm from New York). Seemed like a reasonable option and now that I'm there, I probably wouldn't go anywhere non-T14 without at least half tuition in schollys. I wouldn't go anywhere T2 in general, but going anywhere T2 without a full-ride is crazy, in my opinion.


How does a half scholarship get you only 60k in debt? Full tuition per year is a little over $50k, which would leave you paying 75k in tuition plus any living expenses. And even if people live at home, they have to have some expenses, don't they? Train fare, money to eat/go out occasionally, clothes, etc. Genuinely curious.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby J Eazy » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:52 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I can't remember the source, but I'm pretty sure there are schools that have tracked this, and especially for T14 schools where biglaw is realistic, IIRC lots of students come in wanting PI and switch to biglaw along the way; it's extremely common. (Sorry this is so vague - hopefully someone else will remember the source.)

I’d definitely be interested in seeing those. I’ll do some digging myself too.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby icechicken » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:00 am

bretby wrote:How does a half scholarship get you only 60k in debt? Full tuition per year is a little over $50k, which would leave you paying 75k in tuition plus any living expenses. And even if people live at home, they have to have some expenses, don't they? Train fare, money to eat/go out occasionally, clothes, etc. Genuinely curious.


COA doesn't have to be 100% debt. They might be dipping into savings or spending some of their parents' money.

greatspirit wrote:Came to this board to see what TLS has to say about Vandy, as it is my #2 choice and I grow more excited about it by the day.


why do you hate Vandy so much

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:14 am

too tired to fight the battle against 0Ls trying to justify a <50% gamble that costs $100k+ to pay

god bless you uva and nony and zuck

0Ls: please do note that these threads happen a lot on TLS and it is always graduates / working lawyers holding up the warning signs, and then a bunch of 0Ls going "yea, i mean, you have real experience with this, but i just know it'll be different for me because [i'm frugal / i know how to network / etc]"

hmm what an enigma i wonder why it always plays out like this

edit: (he says, knowing he did the same thing as a 0L four years ago)
Last edited by beepboopbeep on Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:22 am

guess ill answer the op rather than just pissing in the pool. $30k for T25, $50k for T13, $75k for T6 sounds reasonable. and by reasonable i mean "fucking insane by sane world standards, but we live in a world where people take out that much for undergrad already, so eh."

(in real life: took out ~$130k for T6. after a year of biglaw, finally got through through all of the interest that capitalized during law school and have been making progress into the principal.)

edit: oh the OP asked about non-T14. idk if there's that much practical difference between $0 and $30k. i think once you're outside of T25ish it becomes much less about that kind of $ difference and much more "does going to law school in this particular place make sense given that my most likely employers will be local firms/DAs/PDs/etc" If no, then $0. If yes, idk you do you

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby totesTheGoat » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:41 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:0Ls: please do note that these threads happen a lot on TLS and it is always graduates / working lawyers holding up the warning signs, and then a bunch of 0Ls going "yea, i mean, you have real experience with this, but i just know it'll be different for me because [i'm frugal / i know how to network / etc]"


QFT. Law schools make you think that the normal path is taking out 6-figures in debt and getting a job making $180k when you graduate. If you take a step back and look at the reality of the situation, you begin to see the insanity of it all. I'm paying more on my student loans than on my mortgage right now, and I had a 50% scholly to a T25-T50 private school. Granted, there was a heck of a lot of poor financial decision making in my household for 3 years. Based on a few assumptions I made at the start of law school, I thought I had a legitimate chance at cash flowing all 3 years. Turns out that my law school experience took a very different track than expected, and $175k (including interest) later, here I am. Thankfully, I have a big enough shovel to dig out of this mess in 3 years.

People always underestimate the risk they face. I certainly did. People also don't realize how much their life will change in 3 years. I certainly didn't. Through what feels like pure luck, I ended up in my dream job, so I'll be okay. Some of my classmates who had less financial assistance and significantly worse job outcomes are thoroughly screwed.

If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby Sullanfield » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:32 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.


I'm strongly considering going this route- I haven't gotten a decision from most places yet but I'm staring down a full-tuition scholarship to BU, which obviously lacks the prestige and placement stats of t13 schools, but I'd love to stay/work in Boston and with current savings I'd graduate with 40-50k COL debt. If I get a good offer of dollars to Penn or someplace I'd of course have to take a really hard look at it but considering the debt nightmares I hear about I'd be pretty content with this Boston outcome if I get dinged everywhere else.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby blackmamba8 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:38 pm

Sullanfield wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.


I'm strongly considering going this route- I haven't gotten a decision from most places yet but I'm staring down a full-tuition scholarship to BU, which obviously lacks the prestige and placement stats of t13 schools, but I'd love to stay/work in Boston and with current savings I'd graduate with 40-50k COL debt. If I get a good offer of dollars to Penn or someplace I'd of course have to take a really hard look at it but considering the debt nightmares I hear about I'd be pretty content with this Boston outcome if I get dinged everywhere else.

I'm in basically the exact same situation as you right now! Seeing the debt horror stories is going to make it very hard to turn down, especially since Boston is where I want to end up.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby goldenbear2020 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:00 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

COL easily totals at least 50k, so you basically wouldn't attend any law school without a full scholarship.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby J Eazy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:19 pm

goldenbear2020 wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

COL easily totals at least 50k, so you basically wouldn't attend any law school without a full scholarship.

Yeah a lot of responses are throwing me off because as far as I know, only a few people each year get to attend a decent law school with a scholarship covering full tuition plus 1/2 or more COA. Basically means you shouldn't attend a non-T14 without a full scholarship and $50K or more in personal savings or familial support. If that were the case, I think at least 50%, probably closer to 75% or more, of graduates at UCLA, Vandy, WUSTL, etc. would regret their decision. Seems kind of crazy to me.
Last edited by J Eazy on Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby UVA2B » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:21 pm

J Eazy wrote:
goldenbear2020 wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

COL easily totals at least 50k, so you basically wouldn't attend any law school without a full scholarship.

Yeah a lot of responses are throwing me off because as far as I know, only a few people each year get to attend a decent law school with a scholarship covering full tuition plus 1/2 or more COA. Basically means you shouldn't attend a non-T14 without a full scholarship and $50K or more in personal savings or familial support. If that were the case, I think at least 50%, probably closer to 75% or more, of graduates at UCLA, Vandy, WUSTL, etc. would regret their decision. Seems kind of crazy to me.


There is a certain amount of hindsight bias for those who have graduated already, plus TLS is generally pretty debt averse as a community. But when you put debt levels combined with specific school options, the advice here is usually more able to tell you what your best option is, while digging into whether it’s actually a good option for your specific goals.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby jdcumlaude » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:22 pm

....263k later.....what do you think the answer should be?

I am not a T14 snob, my school was not even ranked....thank you Campbell...

Debt is okay, but look at the outcomes. I fell for the whole "regional prestige" BS and my family is suffering because of it.

I am not going to tell you that law school is not worth going into debt, but look before you leap.

Law school is a life altering choice, and it can cut both ways.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:36 pm

J Eazy wrote:
goldenbear2020 wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

COL easily totals at least 50k, so you basically wouldn't attend any law school without a full scholarship.

Yeah a lot of responses are throwing me off because as far as I know, only a few people each year get to attend a decent law school with a scholarship covering full tuition plus 1/2 or more COA. Basically means you shouldn't attend a non-T14 without a full scholarship and $50K or more in personal savings or familial support. If that were the case, I think at least 50%, probably closer to 75% or more, of graduates at UCLA, Vandy, WUSTL, etc. would regret their decision. Seems kind of crazy to me.


there's a difference between regretting the decision and completely ruined their lives. it's not a crazy notion to say that someone with 3.5+ uGPAs (ostensibly "good" GPAs for the general job market) didn't need law school to be "successful" and probably regrets not having just taken a 9-5 or pursued some alternative grad degree.

the fact that there are twice as many law grads a year than there are job openings is the driving factor for your particular dissonance. med school by comparison offers MDs (who take on even more debt than lawyers) a 97% place rate and their salaries are higher on average, and more sustainable than legal salaries.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:31 pm

goldenbear2020 wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:If I were to do it again, I'd set a hard cap of $50k debt. I'd go to the best school that showed me a legitimate path to graduating under that cap.

COL easily totals at least 50k, so you basically wouldn't attend any law school without a full scholarship.


1) Save money beforehand
2) Go to a school that gives you a ton of money
3) Work as much as possible during and between semesters without compromising your GPA
4) Live like a broke person

I broke rules 1, 2, and 4. Is my life ruined because of $175k of student debt? No. My family will be debt free except the house by the end of 2020. The belt's a little tight, but it's not like we're eating cat food.

However, I got one of the better outcomes out of all my classmates. There are plenty of classmates who have more debt and get paid half as much as me. One thing you can't appreciate as a 0L is the competitiveness of the legal market. Drop a tenth of a GPA point, and your $150k student loan goes from annoying to life-altering.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:41 pm

J Eazy wrote:Yeah a lot of responses are throwing me off because as far as I know, only a few people each year get to attend a decent law school with a scholarship covering full tuition plus 1/2 or more COA. Basically means you shouldn't attend a non-T14 without a full scholarship and $50K or more in personal savings or familial support. If that were the case, I think at least 50%, probably closer to 75% or more, of graduates at UCLA, Vandy, WUSTL, etc. would regret their decision. Seems kind of crazy to me.


Depends how debt and risk averse you are. Do you still want to be paying for your law degree in 13 years? I know that I don't. I'd like to enjoy the entirety of my salary at some point in the next few years. What happens if you don't get your dream $180k job? $125k in debt is going to absolutely smother you if you're making $70k a year. (Yes, yes, income based repayment... you're still stuck with this millstone around your neck for 10 years and a tax bomb at the end)

Some would say that the crazy person is the one going into 6-figures of debt to pay for a less than 50% chance to make enough money to actually pay that debt back within a decade.

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Re: What level of debt are you comfortable with for nont14

Postby girlinthecity » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:58 pm

loslakers wrote:so im sitting bored at work, and this question popped up in my mind...Pretend you have acceptances from every school from 15 to say 25 (just an arbitrary cut off) and no t14. at what total COA would you be okay with if you had to finance law school exclusively through loans. lets also assume that you'd be perfectly happy working in the regions where these schools feed primarily into.


Honestly, none.

If I could not get into a t-14 I would go to the school which was highest ranked and gave me a full scholarship. I am extremely debt averse; so much so that I choose to spend longer now in undergrad so I can pay out of pocket while I go.



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