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HYS vs T-6 full ride

Hi all, hypothetical here. If you were planning to go into public interest, and you got a full ride to a T-6 (or Penn eg) vs HYS, would you take the full ride? How about if it were T-4 full ride vs HYS?

Thanks for your thoughts! :)

Comments

  • jurisprudentjurisprudent Alum Member
    326 karma

    For me, it would depend on the LRAP (loan repayment assistance program) at each school. It also depends on which area of public interest law that you would like to pursue, considering that some paths are (slightly?) more financially lucrative than others. Just my two cents.

    That said, HYS is HYS for a reason. The networks at these schools are unparalleled to those of other schools. You're paying sticker for a reason.

  • Eric25Eric25 Legacy Member
    720 karma

    Personally, I would definitely take the full ride!! Public interest law doesn't always bring home the most bacon, so I know for me even If it looked amazing going to Harvard, I would be more stressed for the next X number of years trying to pay my loans back vs a full ride at an incredible school. I personally think the rankings in the top 6ish programs have to be taken with a grain of salt. They're all amazing schools that will give you a solid education and starting point for your career, I don't believe anyone going to Yale is really going to have a different career outlook than someone who went to Unv. Penn. I hate debt though :)

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    If you are accepted to HYS, you should go to HYS. There are exceptions to this rule but not many. No matter how grim your financial circumstances may be, they probably should not count as an exception for the vast majority of applicants.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    If you are accepted to HYS, you should go to HYS. There are exceptions to this rule but not many. Financial circumstance should not count as an exception for the vast majority of applicants.

    Whoa now, your financial circumstances should most definitely be taken into account. As well as your career goals. If you are going into public interest and can take advantage of HYS's LRAPs, then it makes sense to think HYS, but if you are shooting for BigLaw, take the money. The placement of CCN/MVP is not substantially worse than HYS and not having $300k of debt for the same outcome is objectively the better choice.

    I would say even if you are shooting for public interest, you should really consider the full ride unless you are positive of that career path. Taking the money leaves you with the most flexibility. If you take out loans for HYS and end up hating public interest for whatever reason, switching means giving up the LRAP and being saddled with debt for 10 years.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    If you are accepted to HYS, you should go to HYS. There are exceptions to this rule but not many. Financial circumstance should not count as an exception for the vast majority of applicants.

    Whoa now, your financial circumstances should most definitely be taken into account. As well as your career goals. If you are going into public interest and can take advantage of HYS's LRAPs, then it makes sense to think HYS, but if you are shooting for BigLaw, take the money. The placement of CCN/MVP is not substantially worse than HYS and not having $300k of debt for the same outcome is objectively the better choice.

    I would say even if you are shooting for public interest, you should really consider the full ride unless you are positive of that career path. Taking the money leaves you with the most flexibility. If you take out loans for HYS and end up hating public interest for whatever reason, switching means giving up the LRAP and being saddled with debt for 10 years.

    HYS does need-based aid. If your finances are so grim, HYS will help you out.

    LRAPs are better at the top 3. Career opportunities are better at the top 3. The top 3 have better grading systems that will make law school much more enjoyable for most. HYS Law degrees are worth their weight in gold for so many more reasons than just, "That's a good law school!" I mean, how do you think they get away with the "no merit-based aid" thing in the first place? Despite their "stinginess," they still attract the best faculties, the best students, the best scholars, and they have been ranked in the top 3 since the dawn of USNWR.

    The rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, sure, but let's not kid ourselves completely.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    edited February 2018 756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    HYS does need-based aid. If your finances are so grim, HYS will help you out.

    Need based isn't guaranteed, nor will it cover the full tuition + COL even if you qualify. Your parents financials are taken into account unless you are 29+, even if they aren't going to contribute.

    ETA: Also, not being able to afford $300k COA without substantial loans does not equate to a grim financial situation. According to Harvard I think the average student leaves with something like $160k of debt.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    HYS does need-based aid. If your finances are so grim, HYS will help you out.

    Need based isn't guaranteed, nor will it cover the full tuition + COL even if you qualify. Your parents financials are taken into account unless you are 29+, even if they aren't going to contribute.

    Sorry, I added a lot to my post after I posted. I wasn't trying to sneak one past you or anything.

    I understand it isn't guaranteed, but if you're in debt up to your eyeballs or something else terrible has happened in your life that's put you way behind on finances, I'm positive HYS will be receptive to that. Yes, parents' finances are taken into account, and most students who attend HYS will either receive need-based aid because their parents are poor, or their parents will have the ability to help pay tuition.

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    ETA: Also, not being able to afford $300k COA without substantial loans does not equate to a grim financial situation. According to Harvard I think the average student leaves with something like $160k of debt.

    This complaint seems geared more towards the Law School -> BigLaw pipeline/industry, which I totally agree is a problem for students. Remember, though, if HYS takes you then they're likely going to work with you so that you are able to manage all your debt. LRAPs at the top 3 are pretty great, too.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    For perspective, it's important to note that the top 3 don't have traditional grading curves and that they don't rank their classes. The implications of this approach are tremendous.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    edited February 2018 756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    Career opportunities are better at the top 3.

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for HYS:
    H: 75.9%
    Y: 72.9%
    S: 74.8%

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for CCN/MVP:
    Ch: 78.1%
    Co: 82.5%
    N: 74.4%
    M: 66.4%
    V: 77.0%
    P: 77.1%

    If my goal is BigLaw, why would I pay $150k+interest (or in my case $300k+interest) to go to HYS instead of taking a full ride to CCN/MVP when your outcome is essentially the same/in some cases better.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    Career opportunities are better at the top 3.

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for HYS:
    H: 75.9%
    Y: 72.9%
    S: 74.8%

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for CCN/MVP:
    Ch: 78.1%
    Co: 82.5%
    N: 74.4%
    M: 66.4%
    V: 77.0%
    P: 77.1%

    If my goal is BigLaw, why would I pay $150k+interest to go to HYS instead of taking a full ride to CCN/MVP when your outcome is essentially the same/in some cases better.

    I think you're missing the point. Big Law is not always just about getting your foot in the door. It's also the case that not all Big Law firms are created equal.

    I believe it's also the case that many HYS graduates take unorthodox career paths and so the stats aren't entirely representative.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    I think you're missing the point. Big Law is not always just about getting your foot in the door. It's also the case that not all Big Law firms are created equal.

    I don't really have the time to keep arguing this, but this view you have of always choosing HYS regardless of the finances is in direct opposition to the advice given by current BigLaw lawyers, consultants like Spivey, etc. It is not always the best decision. Everyone should do their research and understand what they are getting and not chase prestige because they think that's how the world works. There are certain outcomes that make more sense for HYS (firm in your public interest goals and know you'll be taking advantage of an LRAP or the more exclusive outcomes like wanting to get into academia/be a supreme court clerk), but it's not always the best choice. In my opinion, if you can reach your goals without taking on debt, that should always be preferred.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    edited February 2018 973 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    There are certain outcomes that make more sense for HYS (firm in your public interest goals and know you'll be taking advantage of an LRAP or the more exclusive outcomes like wanting to get into academia/be a supreme court clerk), but it's not always the best choice. In my opinion, if you can reach your goals without taking on debt, that should always be preferred.

    I really do think it depends on your career goals. If you want to clerk for a Supreme Court justice, become one of the most esteemed professors, be one of the most prominent lawyers in corporate law, win a Nobel Prize, whatever, then perhaps you should consider HYS. Alternatively, if money was no problem, then I'd say go to HYS. But if you do have to consider finances, don't shoot for HYS just for prestige's sake.
    Moreover, there's lawyers out there who are miserable, working 90-hour BigLaw weeks because they need to pay off crippling debt. While HYS gives you a lot of freedom in terms of career options, having no debt is another kind of freedom as well.

    Definitely I'd be asking myself a lot of questions––if I'm married or if I have a family, what kind of opportunities would we/I be sacrificing with either choice? What kind of future do I see myself wanting five years down the road after my JD? Would I be okay with working really, really hard for several years to pay off that debt? If my goal is public interest law, what kind of salary would I be looking at? Would that be worth the debt I'd have to take on? Where do I want to work? If I want to work in State A, and the law community there is really insular, maybe I should just take State Law's scholarship. Etc, etc.

    What everyone says "looks best," isn't really the most important––it really depends on what's right for you. There's no shame in going either way. But don't make a decision because you were pressured by folks either way––to take the name or take the money.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    I think you're missing the point. Big Law is not always just about getting your foot in the door. It's also the case that not all Big Law firms are created equal.

    I don't really have the time to keep arguing this, but this view you have of always choosing HYS regardless of the finances is in direct opposition to the advice given by current BigLaw lawyers, consultants like Spivey, etc. It is not always the best decision. Everyone should do their research and understand what they are getting and not chase prestige because they think that's how the world works. There are certain outcomes that make more sense for HYS (firm in your public interest goals and know you'll be taking advantage of an LRAP or the more exclusive outcomes like wanting to get into academia/be a supreme court clerk), but it's not always the best choice. In my opinion, if you can reach your goals without taking on debt, that should always be preferred.

    Of course, everyone has their opinion! It's hardly about prestige for me, though prestige is definitely the factor for some. I will concede that if your actual goal is Big Law, AND you have zero interest in public service, AND you have no problem busting your ass harder than the majority of your classmates, then T-6 with a full scholarship is worth some consideration. Mainly, though, I think the aversion some people have to HYS is shortsighted. We can scoff at the concept of 'prestige' all we want, but it would be silly to act like humans don't value brands like Nike and Adidas and Tesla and Ferrari and HYS.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    edited February 2018 756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    Of course, everyone has their opinion! It's hardly about prestige for me, though prestige is definitely the factor for some. I will concede that if your actual goal is Big Law, AND you have zero interest in public service, AND you have no problem busting your ass harder than the majority of your classmates, then T-6 with a full scholarship is worth some consideration. Mainly, though, I think the aversion some people have to HYS is shortsighted.

    I have a friend at MVP right now that got multiple prestigious internship offers this year in the public/government sector. He would be considered median in his class. You are definitely over blowing the situation at slightly lower ranked schools. If we are talking T20 instead, maybe your advice makes some sense, but even there you can find great outcomes from the top 30-50% of the class. And 80% of students getting into BigLaw/FedClerk from Columbia is hardly you having to bust your ass harder than the majority of classmates. My advice to everyone would be to take a trip over to LawSchoolTransparency and read through the employment disclosure data before making a decision.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited February 2018 3072 karma

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    Of course, everyone has their opinion! It's hardly about prestige for me, though prestige is definitely the factor for some. I will concede that if your actual goal is Big Law, AND you have zero interest in public service, AND you have no problem busting your ass harder than the majority of your classmates, then T-6 with a full scholarship is worth some consideration. Mainly, though, I think the aversion some people have to HYS is shortsighted.

    I have a friend at MVP right now that got multiple prestigious internship offers this year in the public/government sector. He would be considered median in his class. You are definitely over blowing the situation at slightly lower ranked schools. If we are talking T20 instead, maybe your advice makes some sense, but even there you can find great outcomes from the top 30% of the class. And 80% of students getting into BigLaw/FedClerk from Columbia is hardly you having to bust your ass harder than the majority of classmates. My advice to everyone would be to take a trip over to LawSchoolTransparency and read through the employment disclosure data before making a decision.

    No one said these things don't happen at schools ranked lower than HYS. Law graduates from all the top-ranked schools have an insane amount of opportunity! No one could reasonably dispute that; no one said you have to go to a top 3 school to have an amazing career and a comfortable future.

    Still, HYS separate themselves for so many reasons, a bunch of which I have detailed but you have provided no response to. (No class ranks, no 'grades,' BigLaw firms not created equal, foot-in-door is not the end of the road, best professors/best students/best scholars, academic flexibility, prestige matters to many/opens more doors, etc.) Don't get me wrong, though, Duke was my first choice outside the top 3 precisely because they punch way above their weight in law school employment statistics. Everyone should always make as informed a decision as possible!

    Mitchell, if you were accepted to Yale with no scholarship and Columbia with a full-ride, which would you choose? I'm genuinely curious.

  • cstrobelcstrobel Alum Member
    228 karma

    What kind of public interest law? If you want to specialize it a specific issue then it's worth also considering the centers and faculty research specialties. For example, Harvard has resources for religious discrimination and islamaphobia that is unique.

  • AllezAllez21AllezAllez21 Legacy Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    1917 karma

    I'd probably take the money.

    The differences in outcomes between schools are marginal, but the differences in cost are astronomical.

    Yale is probably an exception if you want to go into academia or shoot for a super prestigious government-related job.

    Here's the thing: you're unlikely to be above median at HYS (and also T14). So that seems to go both ways. On the one hand, it means you're probably not getting those ultra-prestigious jobs that are for the top of HYS grads. On the other hand, it probably means it's going to be a little less secure that you get biglaw out of lower T14.

    I think at the end of the day, you're likely to land in roughly the same career spot either way, just with a much larger difference in your financial net worth.

  • acsimonacsimon Alum Member
    edited February 2018 1264 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    If you are accepted to HYS, you should go to HYS. There are exceptions to this rule but not many. No matter how grim your financial circumstances may be, they probably should not count as an exception for the vast majority of applicants.

    I know that there was a lengthy back and forth about this, but you really have to consider what would be the rational choice under less than perfect knowledge. It seems like the reasons offered for HYS under such circumstances rest on a “whim and a hope” that are not applicable in a vast majority of cases (as in—the possible occasions in which you’ll receive a job/raise by having attended HYS where you wouldn’t have had you attended a T-6). These cases are more marginal than some would care to admit and so you have to weigh the probability that you’ll fall within the margins (for instance, perhaps it is significantly more probably that you’ll obtain some unicorn job x if you go to HYS than other schools, and your life goal is to do x). While you weigh this, what you do know is that HYS is gonna cost you a shitton more money up front than a full-ride (and is this a named scholly?) and that’s even taking into account need-based aid.

    Even just these considerations are things that make the choice less cut and dry than you make out. Mentioning things like “not every big law firm is equal” (implying that HYS give you a significantly better chance with those firms on top of the heap) really feels like it is a reflection of an article of faith more than anything else. And in saying this, it might actually turn out that if you had attended HYS instead of chosen the full ride than there would be some significant opportunity that you would have gained—i.e., in the final analysis, it would’ve been better for you to have gone to HYS. But this doesn’t impugn what it is most prudent for you to do now, given your options, without full knowledge as to how each would turn out if you so choose.

    All of this is just to say that these deliberations are difficult. But they are good difficulties to have and kudos to you if you are faced with them.

    I guess, I should say what I would choose. Nonanswer(!): it depends on what type of full ride. If it is a named scholarship (ruby, Darrow) then that would play more of a role in my decision making process than if it weren’t named. Another factor that would play a role is whether or not there is some program (Furman), besides money, attached to the scholarship and the nature of that program. If it’s just the money then I would be more inclined to pick HYS than otherwise.

    To be honest, no one metric is such that it defeats every other in my consideration of options. Not prestige, not location, not specialty, money, and so on. Obviously, I weight these differently against one another but I’m afraid that there is no trumping kind of consideration. Hats off to those whose choice procedure is a bit more streamlined!—A.c.S

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    as many have stated above, it depends on your goals for PI. If you want to work as a local DA, you are better off just going to a school with massive scholarships. Not having to deal with loans is a huge burden off your shoulders and people always tell me that you never know how burdensome loans are unless you start paying them yourself. If you want to enter academia or work in BigFed or do clerkships, your best bet would be to go into HYS. While HYS are in a league of their own, T6 is nothing to scoff at. HYS arguably has a more forgiving grading system. HYS don't give out letter grades but evaluate students on some variation of a pass/fail system. This grading scheme ends up fostering more collegiality since it is often difficult for employers to find your rank on the basis of such grades.

  • Mitchell-1Mitchell-1 Legacy Member
    edited February 2018 756 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    Still, HYS separate themselves for so many reasons, a bunch of which I have detailed but you have provided no response to.

    Like I said above, I don't have the time to keep arguing and responding to each individual point would have taken time (especially for me to verify certain points I would have made, etc).

    @goingfor99th said:
    Mitchell, if you were accepted to Yale with no scholarship and Columbia with a full-ride, which would you choose? I'm genuinely curious.

    To sort of swing this back on topic, I actually am looking to go into public interest and currently have Harvard as an option and am waiting to hear back about two different full ride scholarships at MVP/CCN. The full ride would allow me to pursue a joint degree that would be incredibly helpful for my career plans, so I will be taking the money if I get the opportunity.

    In your hypothetical and removing the potential joint degree from the equation, I'd take Columbia without hesitation. I'm not a 100% sure I don't want to try for BigLaw right out of school for 3-5 years so I can bank a decent amount of retirement money and allow compound interest to do its thing while I work in the public sector. Plus, it's not always easy to land a prestigious public interest job right out of school as they can be competitive and they don't have the resources to train new graduates. So this would grant the most flexibility and provide the most financial security.

    Not to mention, maybe I decide during 2L that I'd like to try for a clerkship or something, I know that at least Stanford doesn't allow the use of their LRAP for clerkships unless you start Public Interest work after two years. So again, taking out loans will limit your options post-graduation, even at HYS.

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    edited February 2018 877 karma

    Just to add my input- definitely would choose the full ride. HYS, while very impressive schools, are not the only impressive schools. I currently work in NYC with lawyers every day in my current occupation- lawyers with the DOJ, SEC, BigLaw, in-house counsel, etc. from NY, D.C., Boston, etc. and they all are from a mix of T-14 law schools. My biggest case right now has a team of two associates- one from Harvard and one from Georgetown. Both are equals in salary and rank and both bring unique skills to the team. The associate from Harvard even advised me to not under-consider tuition when choosing a law school. She is still paying back her loans and admits they are the reason why she is remaining in the high paying position she is currently in. If it was up to her, she would be working for the government, but her loans prevent her from doing that.

    My point is, those who overvalue the prestige of HYS and undervalue the prestige of other T-14s quite frankly just have an unrealistic perception of the legal world after law school. I have interacted with some of the best attorneys in the country at the most prestigious firms and government positions and, more times than not, they are mixed. UVA, NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Northwestern, UMich, Georgetown, etc. They are equally represented in the most competitive positions.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Get as much employment, bar passage, and placement data as you can. And take a good amount of time to weigh your options. And yes, like someone else said, find out what expenses you'd be left with after the full ride. Also, make sure you like the location where you accept as you may be practicing there.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    Yes and also realize that not all people in the Large Law firm category of LST reports actually make biglaw money. Some are actually law clerks or staff attornies for big law firms who make 60k or 70k. Check the nalp reports to see how many have the title associate vs staff attorney and law clerk, if your goal is biglaw

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    4196 karma

    Would strongly depend on what a person wants to do. If it's PI, though, I'd easily take the full ride.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    This discussion definitely got a little heated haha. If someone was lucky enough to be in this position he/she should do their research and go visit the schools to see which would be a better fit. At the end of the day it's a very personal decision and you should do what will make you happy.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    I'd take a full ride anywhere in the Top 14 over Harvard for public interest. You ar> @"ile.ile.ile" said:

    Hi all, hypothetical here. If you were planning to go into public interest, and you got a full ride to a T-6 (or Penn eg) vs HYS, would you take the full ride? How about if it were T-4 full ride vs HYS?

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)

    It would depend at least a little on financial aid from HYS. If your family is poor enough that could make a big dent in the cost difference. But for the sake of argument lets say it was HYS at full price with little to no need based grant aid.

    For public interest, I'd take the full tuition anywhere in the Top 13 and probably at UT and Georgetown. I would lean Harvard with WUSTL, UCLA, and Vanderbilt.

    If I was shakier on the commitment to public interest, I would probably make it a cut off at Northwestern. I don't like below Northwestern for Big Law chances.

    If I actually was enthusiastic about Big Law I would probably only take the scholarship down to CCN. However, this is assuming I have some unnatural preference for Big Law other than just the money.

    If I wanted to teach, you couldn't pay me not to go to the Top 3 and preferably Yale.

  • Michael MaMichael Ma Alum Member
    186 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    I'd take a full ride anywhere in the Top 14 over Harvard for public interest. You ar> @"ile.ile.ile" said:

    Hi all, hypothetical here. If you were planning to go into public interest, and you got a full ride to a T-6 (or Penn eg) vs HYS, would you take the full ride? How about if it were T-4 full ride vs HYS?

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)

    It would depend at least a little on financial aid from HYS. If your family is poor enough that could make a big dent in the cost difference. But for the sake of argument lets say it was HYS at full price with little to no need based grant aid.

    For public interest, I'd take the full tuition anywhere in the Top 13 and probably at UT and Georgetown. I would lean Harvard with WUSTL, UCLA, and Vanderbilt.

    If I was shakier on the commitment to public interest, I would probably make it a cut off at Northwestern. I don't like below Northwestern for Big Law chances.

    If I actually was enthusiastic about Big Law I would probably only take the scholarship down to CCN. However, this is assuming I have some unnatural preference for Big Law other than just the money.

    If I wanted to teach, you couldn't pay me not to go to the Top 3 and preferably Yale.

    I’m curious why northwestern is your cutoff, because Cornell big law plus fed clerk is higher in 2016 than NU.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    I'll have to agree with @Mitchell-1 . T6 schools already have enough prestige in their own right and not having to deal with loan payments or feel like you need do BigLaw forever is liberating too.

    @"Mitchell-1" said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    Career opportunities are better at the top 3.

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for HYS:
    H: 75.9%
    Y: 72.9%
    S: 74.8%

    BigLaw/FedClerk outcomes for CCN/MVP:
    Ch: 78.1%
    Co: 82.5%
    N: 74.4%
    M: 66.4%
    V: 77.0%
    P: 77.1%

    If my goal is BigLaw, why would I pay $150k+interest (or in my case $300k+interest) to go to HYS instead of taking a full ride to CCN/MVP when your outcome is essentially the same/in some cases better.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    I'd take a full ride anywhere in the Top 14 over Harvard for public interest. You ar> @"ile.ile.ile" said:

    Hi all, hypothetical here. If you were planning to go into public interest, and you got a full ride to a T-6 (or Penn eg) vs HYS, would you take the full ride? How about if it were T-4 full ride vs HYS?

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)

    It would depend at least a little on financial aid from HYS. If your family is poor enough that could make a big dent in the cost difference. But for the sake of argument lets say it was HYS at full price with little to no need based grant aid.

    For public interest, I'd take the full tuition anywhere in the Top 13 and probably at UT and Georgetown. I would lean Harvard with WUSTL, UCLA, and Vanderbilt.

    If I was shakier on the commitment to public interest, I would probably make it a cut off at Northwestern. I don't like below Northwestern for Big Law chances.

    If I actually was enthusiastic about Big Law I would probably only take the scholarship down to CCN. However, this is assuming I have some unnatural preference for Big Law other than just the money.

    If I wanted to teach, you couldn't pay me not to go to the Top 3 and preferably Yale.

    ^^ All of that. (Except the cut off at NU for biglaw. Might make sense, haven't researched it. Just no opinion on that one piece.)

    I'm interested in PI and, although this hypo is nowhere near an actual consideration for me lol, I would hands down take a full ride in T6 over HYS. As a 33 year old whose undergrad is still not paid off (ugh), I have pretty much no interest in taking out massive loans for law school. Yes, HYS LRAPs are great. But they're not the only schools with LRAPs. I'd much rather have an LRAP helping me pay off $90k than $200k. Because the risk of losing that assistance is astronomical. If for some reason your job didn't qualify or you leave PI, your only real option is biglaw. And if you started in PI, then you probably don't have a real affinity for biglaw.

    I only personally think HYS makes sense if money is no object for you (wealthy parents, huge college savings account, etc), or you want a very specific career that only those schools can really prepare you for (like academia). I'm a first gen college graduate, and my family did not have a very good perspective on how to approach funding college which is why I'm still saddled with debt from that. I took out more in college loans than I should have, and I regret that very much. I won't be repeating that mistake. School loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and you have no collateral. It's one of the riskiest types of debt out there. The need-based aid is nice, but they still require you to take out nearly $180k in loans. I have no interest in biglaw and intend to pursue PI so that is not a financial situation I would want to put myself in.

    Again, it's all subjective and a personal decision. But my perspective: I absolutely would take a full ride in the T6 over HYS if I was wanting PI. (On a side note, Northwestern has been trying to recruit more PI focused students and has new resources that are really good. Things like $10k summer funding for PI positions and they will pay your travel for job interviews. It's an underrated choice for PI, I think.)

  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma

    To add in we have to be very careful of LARPs as there have already been threats to eliminating the federal payback loan program PSLF may be eliminated after 2018.

    Schools usually work with this program in the LARPs so be very careful if you hinge any decisions on the PSLF and LARP programs.

    https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-10-03/the-fate-of-public-service-loan-forgiveness

  • TabbyG123TabbyG123 Legacy Member
    711 karma

    I just wanted to say that I'm grateful for this conversation. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful input. You've all taught me wonderful things and brought great insight. :)

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @"Leah M B" @"Michael Ma"
    The Northwestern cut off was a little arbitrary. Northwestern used to have particularly high BigLaw placement. That might not be true with the newest numbers. I don't know because I'm not actually interested in Big Law at all so this is just a hypothetical to me.

    Personal preferences also come in. I really like Northwestern(in my opinion the best location possible for a law school and possibly for any building) and the city of Chicago in general.

    The main point is that the cutoff where full tuition looks better than full cost should probably be lowest for public interest types, followed by those with an interest in Big Law for the money who should look at Big Law and clerkship placement to determine their cut-off, followed by those who can't imagine themselves doing anything other than Big Law or are obsessed with it who should only take CCN or so over HYS even with a scholarship, and finally those who have to get some really unlikely job like a law school prof who should go to HYS whatever the money at other schools(but are actually near hopeless since those jobs remain a long shot even at HYS).

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited February 2018 23929 karma

    It's> @"ile.ile.ile" said:

    Hi all, hypothetical here. If you were planning to go into public interest, and you got a full ride to a T-6 (or Penn eg) vs HYS, would you take the full ride? How about if it were T-4 full ride vs HYS?

    Thanks for your thoughts! :)

    It 100% depends on what type of PI job you're aiming for...

    Not all PI is created equal, as the numbers show. If I wanted to be a public defender in Pittsburgh, I choose UPenn over Harvard. If I wanted to work for the ACLU, I'd forgo a full-ride and choose Harvard/Yale.

    One thing is for sure, the difference between the schools is not marginal. HYS sends about a quarter of it's class to Federal Clerkships on any given year. CCN sends, on average, ~10-15% of it's class to those clerkships. It's not a perfect proxy for prestigious PI jobs, but it's probably not far off. It drops off even more at the lower end of the T13.

  • tylerdschreur10tylerdschreur10 Alum Member
    1465 karma

    If I were you, I would definitely take the full ride. Graduating from Columbia or Penn with zero debt will provide you with a lot of great opportunities in PI. Plus having minimal debt will allow you to take a job you want even if it doesn't pay big bucks.

    I also think @Mitchell-1 made an excellent point earlier. No matter how sure of your career path right now, you have to consider the possibility that day 1 or day 1095 of law school you'll decide you want to do something entirely different. All of a sudden Yale's admittedly awesome LRAP becomes irrelevant for you, and you're drowning in debt you might struggle to repay if plan B isn't an associate with Baker McKenzie.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @tylerdschreur10 said:
    If I were you, I would definitely take the full ride. Graduating from Columbia or Penn with zero debt will provide you with a lot of great opportunities in PI. Plus having minimal debt will allow you to take a job you want even if it doesn't pay big bucks.

    I also think @Mitchell-1 made an excellent point earlier. No matter how sure of your career path right now, you have to consider the possibility that day 1 or day 1095 of law school you'll decide you want to do something entirely different. All of a sudden Yale's admittedly awesome LRAP becomes irrelevant for you, and you're drowning in debt you might struggle to repay if plan B isn't an associate with Baker McKenzie.

    Another unexpected life change that could happend within thirteen years (3 at law school and ten in the LRAP program) is marriage. If you fall head over heels for someone not as invested in the public interest life as you, then do you really want to have to refuse when he/she the spouse of your dreams asks you to marry them on the grounds that it will mess up your plan to use the LRAP to pay off your debt? Alternatively, do you want to accept and saddle your previously loving relationship with hundereds of thousands of dollars in debt?

  • sen.noopursen.noopur Member
    6 karma

    ^^ Does the above imply that LRAPs take spousal income into account?

  • AllezAllez21AllezAllez21 Legacy Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    1917 karma

    @"sen.noopur" From info I could find online, it looks like that for all of HYS at least part of a spouse's income is taken into account. Seems like it varies in exactly how each school does it. But overall I'd say that's an important thing to consider.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    edited February 2018 4423 karma

    @"sen.noopur" said:
    ^^ Does the above imply that LRAPs take spousal income into account?

    It depends on the school and sometimes on whether you file taxes jointly or individually. You have to look at each one individually, but its a good idea to take a glance if there is some possibility you might get married during the time period the LRAP is in effect. I think it is also just a sobering glance into the magnitude of a decision to choose to go hundereds of thousands of dollars in debt with a full tuition scholarship or close to it on the table.

    Here are a couple different school's policies according to their websites:
    Berkeley
    How does my spouse or partner’s income factor into LRAP? Your annual full-time income will not be adjusted unless your spouse has a higher income, in which case we will average the gross income. Please note that you will no longer be eligible for LRAP participation if the average income exceeds $100,000.

    Michigan
    Only the participant’s income is used to calculate the IBR payment level that determines program coverage.

    Columbia
    Income to be included for purposes of the LRAP benefit calculation includes adjusted gross income as determined by the Federal tax form, plus any untaxed income and voluntary retirement contributions. In the case of married graduates, the income figure used for calculations will be either the participant’s income or one-half of the calculated joint income, whichever is higher. The Program will subtract a spouse’s annual educational loan debt service up to $10,000 per year from the spouse’s income before the joint income is determined (unless both spouses are Columbia Law School graduates participating in LRAP). In cases where the resulting spousal income figure is lower than the participant’s income, the participant’s income. figure will be used in calculating benefits. For example, if the participant’s income is $80,000, the spouse’s income is $85,000, and the spouse’s income is reduced to $75,000 by a $10,000 annual educational loan debt service, the participant’s $80,000 income will be used to calculate LRAP benefits. The Program assumes, at a minimum, a standard ten-year repayment schedule for the spouse’s educational loan debt, as appropriately documented. If examination of the required tax forms indicates possession of significant assets, further information, and an adjustment to LRAP benefits may be required. As mentioned above, documented payments for the participant’s undergraduate debt will be subtracted from the Adjusted Gross Income before benefits are calculated.

    In cases where two Columbia LRAP participants are married to each other and would be eligible for LRAP benefits based on their individual income, then. LRAP benefits for each can be calculated independently of the other.

    Edit: I think these were the current policies, but if it is actually your decision check.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" great points. I'm currently a senior in undergrad (not married yet), but I can definitely see how taking on debt and believing you're gonna work an 80 hour a week job can seem "not so bad" when you're young and single. Definitely a good thing to think about for the future––partner possibilities, family goals––career dreams and money aren't the only consideration.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @hawaiihi said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" great points. I'm currently a senior in undergrad (not married yet), but I can definitely see how taking on debt and believing you're gonna work an 80 hour a week job can seem "not so bad" when you're young and single. Definitely a good thing to think about for the future––partner possibilities, family goals––career dreams and money aren't the only consideration.

    Yes, we never know how life circumstances might alter our well laid plans. If those plans involve going deep into debt we have to know that debt might alter our flexibility in many areas of our life.

    At the same time, there is an allure to the career flexibility of a Top 6 degree especially when expecting to go into Big Law abd be able to pay off debt relatively quickly.

    I'm also a Senior in undergrad with no immediate plans to marry anyone or have children. However, 13 years is a long time(3 for law school, 10 for the LRAP). 21(the young side for an aspiring lawyer) turns into 34 in that time period. By then I might or might not have completely different personal ambitions.

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