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Am I T-14 Material?

lawschoolhopeful-3lawschoolhopeful-3 Alum Member
in General 5 karma

Hey 7-Sagers! I'm applying to law schools and am hoping to land somewhere in the T-14. I have a 3.87 LSAC GPA and 163 LSAT score as a Hispanic URM (the LSAT has been a tough journey for me lol). I also feel like I have a strong PS/DS and resume. Although I'm below some of the T-14's medians, do I still have a shot at the T-14s? Should I wait until next cycle and try to bump that LSAT up? Thanks for any advice!

Comments

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    If you try to improve a 163 (totally reasonable with LG mastery and solid timing in the other sections) you could be a candidate for serious scholarship $$ at almost every school. Great GPA, URM, strong resume and PS. Your score on record and GPA will probably at least get you admission to some amazing schools, but with a higher LSAT you would be competitive everywhere. I think you are going to be successful no matter what, but delaying and applying next cycle (or later this cycle) with a 170 would probably put you in the position where you would have to decide between a full ride at one T14 and an admissions offer at HYS. Scholarships could give you the flexibility after law school to pursue something you are passionate about, versus most students who have to pursue the highest paying job they can land to pay off their loans. Just think about the trade off between a 1 year wait and $200k in loans...

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    You should definitely apply this cycle. Your GPA is above the median at a good number of T14s. Your LSAT isn't unheard of for T14 schools. You're at or above the 25th for 5 schools from the T14.

    If you aren't afraid of debt, you should consider strategic early applications.

  • sophieli1995sophieli1995 Alum Member
    7 karma

    Did you read enough materials that talk about how to write a good PS? I also suggest showing it to a counselor/advisor and let them point out the areas that need improvements, if there is any. How are your letters of recommendations? Are they professors who know you well and like you? These little details can make or break your application though. And what's the ranking of your undergrad school? What major did you study? Are your courses challenging that touch on political science, philosophy or religion? All these things are going to scrutinized by the admin. Your LSAT score is good enough for a lot of the top 14 schools when it comes to their 25th percentile scores. If I were you, I will re-examine all the little stuff and let teachers look at them to make sure they are truly strong. I personally think it's a gamble to apply to top 14 with 163 but you never know what the law schools are looking for

  • blljhnsn35blljhnsn35 Free Trial Member
    64 karma

    Yes. Only because you're an URM. Congrats

  • CantStopWontStopCantStopWontStop Alum Member
    1270 karma

    @blljhnsn35 Not only because you are a URM. This comment rubs me the wrong way. But the URM helps with the LSAT. The gpa is great. With strong softs you should get in to at least one T14.

  • Regis_Phalange63Regis_Phalange63 Alum Member
    1058 karma

    @blljhnsn35 said:
    Yes. Only because you're an URM. Congrats

    Offensive. Unnecessary.

  • Regis_Phalange63Regis_Phalange63 Alum Member
    1058 karma

    @Nov2018Taker said:
    @blljhnsn35 Not only because you are a URM. This comment rubs me the wrong way. But the URM helps with the LSAT. The gpa is great. With strong softs you should get in to at least one T14.

    I cringed, too.

  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    edited October 2018 8689 karma

    @blljhnsn35 respectfully, I don't think this claim stands up to scrutiny. A 3.87 is nothing to scoff at, this is a contributing factor to T-14 acceptances. MYLSN pulls in 15 non-URM applicants who got in with those numbers to T13s, 26 non-URM applicants with those numbers who got in if we include both UT (1 acceptance) and GULC (10 acceptances). With these numbers, the 7Sage predictor puts non-URM odds at some T14 schools at decent levels, especially with ED. So I think if what we were witnessing here was “only because” op is a URM, we wouldn’t see these results for non-URM applicants.

    Op’s Original question seemed to me to be asking simply “as it stands, can I get into a single T-14?” I think the answer to that is yes, it’s possible, make sure your applications are flawless.

    But I come to the question from my own standpoint and I would also ask OP to consider a retake because if you can get that LSAT up 5 points you will have better chances and possibly a bit of scholarship money, and scholarship money is a very important factor to me. :smile:

    Edit: emoji didn’t show up

    David

  • eRetakereRetaker Free Trial Member
    2038 karma

    Personally think you should wait a cycle and get that LSAT up 5+ points like @BinghamtonDave said. You would then be looking at HYS admissions and be in strong contention for T13 full rides.

  • acsimonacsimon Alum Member
    1269 karma

    @blljhnsn35 smfh.

  • mizbanismizbanis Member
    55 karma

    @emnanvel, since you mentioned that the LSAT has been a rough journey for you, one advice I have is to step back try to think what contributed to that. Try to evaluate if you can create a more positive association with both studying and taking the LSAT, what tangible steps you can take to avoid a rough journey again, and if you are able to do those things, re-take it if you don't get into your schools this year (no harm in trying I think).

    From my own personal perspective, I am so done with the LSAT, and I personally have too much negative association placed on waiting another year (I already took two years off), and I will just jump in and see what offers I get. You could do the same, and re-evaluate your position again in April once you get offers on the table. I would also suggest you set a realistic goal for yourself right now - do you want/need that HYS? T14 with full or partial scholarship? T14 without scholarship? Decide now, and that will make it easier to decide to accept or try again once offers come in later

  • msk12345msk12345 Alum Member
    247 karma

    I bet so! 3.87 is a good gpa. Why not retake in November and apply this cycle?

  • ezrafezraezrafezra Alum Member
    47 karma

    @blljhnsn35 said:
    Yes. Only because you're an URM. Congrats

    This a rude and misleading thing to say. I personally believe that 7Sage should remove shallow comments like these because it contributes nothing to the discussion. This candidate is a person with a compelling background and strong academic record. I am confident that his shot at a T14 is totally reasonable and likely because of that – and not his URM status.

  • Kermit750Kermit750 Alum Member
    edited October 2018 2124 karma

    @blljhnsn35 said:
    Yes. Only because you're an URM. Congrats

    Quite disrespectful. You discount the parts of OP's application that makes them a strong applicant. You could have just read the post and kept it pushing. Have a nice day :)

  • pddkr1pddkr1 Alum Member
    edited October 2018 52 karma

    Let's not ascribe malicious intent or a dismissive attitude to the comment by @blljhnsn35 that go beyond the few words that they used. It's just as likely that they didn't articulate the point that, were you to compare two people of the same stats as OP, it would be far more comfortable for the URM candidate than the non-URM in the applications process.

    The comment by @BinghamtonDave would seem to indicate a bump for URM applicants. The use of "Only" might have been a poor one, but the comment and the person? I don't think they've done anything to invalidate OP's humanity or their experiences or their accomplishments; I think we can honestly say that it is a degree easier for a URM with the same stats as a non-URM to get in to the same institution.

    That said, if you agree or disagree, all good and well, but I would say let's not stress over it and cause a flame war. Let's not get carried away trying to apply the ban-hammer. Give OP good advice. Ask @blljhnsn35 to elaborate if the comment has got you that turned around, and if they don't, let it go. It's the 7Sage forum, just be positive and lift up the people that you can, and let's not quibble over things that are of no benefit to anyone, egos and ideological underpinnings aside. This really is a great forum and space for discourse and support. Let's remember that.

    Wishing y'all nothing but success in your endeavours.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited October 2018 3652 karma

    Reverse splitters have unpredictable cycles but I would bet that you'd have at least 3 options at t14s. if you're aiming for a t6 or if you are willing to wait another cycle just to give yourself more options and scholly money, retake! you have a great GPA and I think you're selling yourself short with that score. test stress could've made you get 3 points lower then your potential, as in you could've gotten a 166 on that last test. so you're clearly capable of getting in the high 160s or even breaking into the 170s.

  • Regis_Phalange63Regis_Phalange63 Alum Member
    1058 karma

    @pddkr1 said:
    Let's not ascribe malicious intent or a dismissive attitude to the comment by @blljhnsn35 that go beyond the few words that they used. It's just as likely that they didn't articulate the point that, were you to compare two people of the same stats as OP, it would be far more comfortable for the URM candidate than the non-URM in the applications process.

    The comment by @BinghamtonDave would seem to indicate a bump for URM applicants. The use of "Only" might have been a poor one, but the comment and the person? I don't think they've done anything to invalidate OP's humanity or their experiences or their accomplishments; I think we can honestly say that it is a degree easier for a URM with the same stats as a non-URM to get in to the same institution.

    That said, if you agree or disagree, all good and well, but I would say let's not stress over it and cause a flame war. Let's not get carried away trying to apply the ban-hammer. Give OP good advice. Ask @blljhnsn35 to elaborate if the comment has got you that turned around, and if they don't, let it go. It's the 7Sage forum, just be positive and lift up the people that you can, and let's not quibble over things that are of no benefit to anyone, egos and ideological underpinnings aside. This really is a great forum and space for discourse and support. Let's remember that.

    Wishing y'all nothing but success in your endeavours.

    Not true. If you look at comments he has written previously, he did initiate a flame war regarding another fellow 7sager who was admitted to a T3 school with an URM status several months ago. Quite a lot of people were upset. So it is most certainly not true that a lot of us are erroneously ascribing malice to him.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    I couldn't agree more with @BinghamtonDave. I think as it stands, you have a solid shot at acceptance to several T14s. Scholarship money is another story. Personally, I am extremely debt averse. I think it'd be wise to re-take for at least a 168 or even 166. Just breaking into the high 160s would make you a lot more competitive. But, you could give it a shot with your current LSAT score and see what happens. I'd bet that you get at least 1or 2 acceptances, and wouldn't be surprised if there were more.

  • edited October 2018 534 karma

    Just want to throw out there that even if their application is given a boost because of URM status, THAT'S OKAY. There's are many historical, political, and societal reasons that validate the need to look at URM applicants differently. That's actually the entire point.

    Back to the original post: I think you should apply this cycle. Your GPA is awesome and your LSAT is fine. If the rest of your application is great, you'll definitely be accepted into T14 schools. Maybe you won't get as much scholarship money, but at the end of the day, many lawyers are able to deter paying off most of their school debt until money is not a huge issue (years into their career). I was given that exact advice by the LSAC advisement person at one of the LSAC fairs; it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited October 2018 3652 karma

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" said:
    it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

    I'm sorry but that's really bad advice. $350k in loans, + interest, is a huge deal. And people likely have undergrad loans on top of that. Even if you graduate from a t12 and make $200k a year, it's going to take a decade to pay that off. Being tied to that much debt can make life really difficult and someone in that much debt will have less options in life than someone who doesnt. I would say, getting in is nice, but the biggest goal is to get scholarship money. If the goal was just to get into a school then the LSAT really doesnt matter and everyone should just pay sticker at Whittier.
    I'm not sure who told you that at the LSAC forum but I went to the "paying off your student loans" speech and the takeaway from that is to have as little debt as possible.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @oshun1 said:

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" said:
    it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

    I'm sorry but that's really bad advice. $350k in loans, + interest, is a huge deal. And people likely have undergrad loans on top of that. Even if you graduate from a t12 and make $200k a year, it's going to take a decade to pay that off. Being tied to that much debt can make life really difficult and someone in that much debt will have less options in life than someone who doesnt. I would say, getting in is nice, but the biggest goal is to get scholarship money. If the goal was just to get into a school then the LSAT really doesnt matter and everyone should just pay sticker at Whittier.
    I'm not sure who told you that at the LSAC forum but I went to the "paying off your student loans" speech and the takeaway from that is to have as little debt as possible.

    Some wise, wise words here. As a 34 year old who still has undergrad debt... lemme tell you... debt sucks. I wish that I had had better perspective on that before I went to undergrad. We had no savings for my college, and I ended up at a private school for 3 of those years with only a modest scholarship. It was not the best financial choice. I'm determined that if I go to law school, I'll be much wiser about it this time around.

  • @oshun1 said:

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" said:
    it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

    I'm sorry but that's really bad advice. $350k in loans, + interest, is a huge deal. And people likely have undergrad loans on top of that. Even if you graduate from a t12 and make $200k a year, it's going to take a decade to pay that off. Being tied to that much debt can make life really difficult and someone in that much debt will have less options in life than someone who doesnt. I would say, getting in is nice, but the biggest goal is to get scholarship money. If the goal was just to get into a school then the LSAT really doesnt matter and everyone should just pay sticker at Whittier.
    I'm not sure who told you that at the LSAC forum but I went to the "paying off your student loans" speech and the takeaway from that is to have as little debt as possible.

    That advice is not even from just the LSAC forum, many of my attorney mentors have held the same sentiment. I suppose it depends on what career path you’re choosing and how much you care about student loan debt. If you are $270-300k in debt after graduating from a T14 and you start working for a $170-$200k yearly salary, you are going to pay off your debt with no hesitance in the matter of a decade. Will you technically be in debt? Yes, but it’s not going to impact your ability to pay for things you want (house, car, helping family, etc.). Student loans are not due in full at graduation and you can get away with paying for quite a small amount per year without penalty. Many lawyers are able to get much of it forgiven if working for specific government jobs or get much of their payments delayed via taking education classes every few years. What the LSAC person was getting at is that it’s very very normal to have debt leaving law school, but many t14 attorneys with high-paying and/or government jobs do not find it debilitating in the least. Again, scholarship money is a great goal, but if you’re aiming for T14 and a biglaw job, getting into a great school without scholarship money (which is definitely the case for MANY students... not everyone gets $$) is not a travesty.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Member
    edited October 2018 1804 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:

    @oshun1 said:

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" said:
    it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

    I'm sorry but that's really bad advice. $350k in loans, + interest, is a huge deal. And people likely have undergrad loans on top of that. Even if you graduate from a t12 and make $200k a year, it's going to take a decade to pay that off. Being tied to that much debt can make life really difficult and someone in that much debt will have less options in life than someone who doesnt. I would say, getting in is nice, but the biggest goal is to get scholarship money. If the goal was just to get into a school then the LSAT really doesnt matter and everyone should just pay sticker at Whittier.
    I'm not sure who told you that at the LSAC forum but I went to the "paying off your student loans" speech and the takeaway from that is to have as little debt as possible.

    Some wise, wise words here. As a 34 year old who still has undergrad debt... lemme tell you... debt sucks. I wish that I had had better perspective on that before I went to undergrad. We had no savings for my college, and I ended up at a private school for 3 of those years with only a modest scholarship. It was not the best financial choice. I'm determined that if I go to law school, I'll be much wiser about it this time around.

    This reminds me of an Admitted Students Weekend that I attended two years ago... I was at a professors' panel. One of the professors -- I think (s)he was tenured -- came in late. When a colleague commented on his/her tardiness, the professor gloated about how (s)he just made his/her last student loan payment.

    There's something scary about the thought of a mid-career law professor gloating about being liberated from his/her student loans. (Granted, a law professor may need to spend more than average, that professor may had other priorities, etc... But still.)

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    @FixedDice said:

    @"Leah M B" said:

    @oshun1 said:

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" said:
    it's nice to have scholarship money, but the biggest goal is to GET IN.

    I'm sorry but that's really bad advice. $350k in loans, + interest, is a huge deal. And people likely have undergrad loans on top of that. Even if you graduate from a t12 and make $200k a year, it's going to take a decade to pay that off. Being tied to that much debt can make life really difficult and someone in that much debt will have less options in life than someone who doesnt. I would say, getting in is nice, but the biggest goal is to get scholarship money. If the goal was just to get into a school then the LSAT really doesnt matter and everyone should just pay sticker at Whittier.
    I'm not sure who told you that at the LSAC forum but I went to the "paying off your student loans" speech and the takeaway from that is to have as little debt as possible.

    Some wise, wise words here. As a 34 year old who still has undergrad debt... lemme tell you... debt sucks. I wish that I had had better perspective on that before I went to undergrad. We had no savings for my college, and I ended up at a private school for 3 of those years with only a modest scholarship. It was not the best financial choice. I'm determined that if I go to law school, I'll be much wiser about it this time around.

    This reminds me of an Admitted Students Weekend that I attended two years ago... I was at a professors' panel. One of the professors -- I think (s)he was tenured -- came in late. When a colleague commented on his/her tardiness, the professor gloated about how (s)he just made his/her last student loan payment.

    There's something scary about the thought of a mid-career law professor gloating about being liberated from his/her student loans. (Granted, a law professor may need to spend more than average, that professor may had other priorities, etc... But still.)

    Or they had a really low interest rate.

  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    8689 karma

    This conversation has deviated a bit from OP's initial question and the responses to what I (and others) viewed as 1 specific factually incorrect answer to that question. The thread has moved onto the idea of debt and what people are comfortable taking on. Many, many others can make the case far better than I can, but for many of us $270-300K in debt is not something that should be taken lightly, and I mean that with the utmost respect to the previous commenter.

    As others have pointed out, for many of us (present company included) this debt burden comes with possible UG debt and possibly a bit of spousal debt/home debt etc. I'm not at all trying to be disrespectful to the previous point made, but for many of us, half a million in debt by mid 30s (law school, UG, spousal, home etc) is what we might be looking at with the inclusion of law school at sticker. So the debt itself is something many people (rightfully, in my opinion) attempt to avoid. So, I believe personally that that level of debt is something that should be taken very seriously. I'm in total agreement here with @oshun1

    The next idea here that I genuinely wanted to admit my ignorance of is this idea of starting with a 170K salary. How common is this from T14? I plan on going into public interest so this is far more than I expect to make, but: are these jobs sustainable? Are they common? Can something like a job like this be really counted on from L1 on as a major mitigating factor of the initial debt? @"Leah M B" @10000019 @FixedDice you three are opinions I trust on this from reading previous posts of yours.

    I should say in summation, this might still be of value to OP's question. OP could be weighing the stress of a retake vs. this possible value of T14 debt.

    David

  • LCMama2017LCMama2017 Alum Member
    2134 karma

    @BinghamtonDave I used to be a paralegal at a huge NYC lawfirm in the late 90's and first years coming right out of law school were making $110k starting salary. Imagine that! These folks came from Columbia, NYU, etc. NYC law firms were (still are, I believe) very snooty when it came to the schools they recruited from so def T14. It wouldn't surprise me if first years are making $150 - $170k now. However, with this salary comes 60,70,80 hour weeks. That was actually going to be my plan but for many reasons it is no longer a viable plan.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited October 2018 3652 karma

    @"Michaela.Pratt1" i’m assuming your mentors are older. I’ve heard this from every older attorney as well. Over a decade ago when education was cheaper, economy was better, loan interests were better, more job options, it certainly was the case that you just needed to get into school. Talk to any young attorney in their 30s who didn’t go to a top school and is riddled with debt, they’ll joke about how they’ll be paying off their debt until they’re 50 and they can’t afford to lease a car or go on a honeymoon.

    I think this stems from a misunderstanding of loans, just bc you can pay them in small increments doesn’t mean your life is a breeze. My undergrad loans would total like $600+ a month if I hadn’t deferred them. That’s 30% of my current salary. A month ago at my previous job that was 40%. Deferring them cost $1k, and they continue to compound interest. That seemingly small $30k loan is going to be huge by the time I pay it off. Imagine that $30k loan x10 and how much that can effect your life. If you get lucky and make it into a t12, and don’t do public interest to get that $200k salary, you likely can only maintain it for a few years as people burn out of biglaw pretty quick. During those few years you’ll be living in a metropolitan area where it costs $3k for a studio apartment. And you have to take into account taxes making that $200k much smaller. And your future job options are limited as you have to choose a post-biglaw job based on highest salary, not on what you really want.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @BinghamtonDave Yes, biglaw salaries typically start at $160k for first year associates. Out of T14, it's pretty common. That rate varies some by firm and location (could be more like $110k or $120k in the midwest, for example), but the standard scale begins at $160k, give or take. If you look at ABA reports, LST reports and the such and see how many students got jobs at law firms with 500+ employees, that's the number of students who are making around that much right out of school. However, it's a lifestyle that I just have no desire for. Working until midnight or later, many or most weekends, 80+ hour work weeks... I'm too old for that now haha. A lot of people burn out after just a year or 2, or a not insignificant number are fired for not billing enough hours. It's pretty brutal. Sometimes I've considered it, if I could even survive a year or two like that to pay off loans... but the motivation is just not there for me to take on that kind of job at this point in my life.

  • Harvey_lHarvey_l Alum Member
    edited October 2018 268 karma

    Remember! Your personality is always T14 material!! :)

  • Pride Only HurtsPride Only Hurts Alum Member
    2186 karma

    So to answer the question. Absolutely. I would be shocked if you didn't get some offers from at least a handful of t-14 schools. That being said... increasing your LSAT to the high 160s would likely put you into T-5 range and I imagine you'd be looking at good money from the rest of the t-14. I'd retake. Applying next cycle also means you could get your apps in earlier, further increasing your chances.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Member
    edited October 2018 1804 karma

    @10000019 said:
    Or they had a really low interest rate.

    That too!

    @BinghamtonDave said:
    This conversation has deviated a bit from OP's initial question and the responses to what I (and others) viewed as 1 specific factually incorrect answer to that question.

    ...Which I think is a welcome change. ;)

    The next idea here that I genuinely wanted to admit my ignorance of is this idea of starting with a 170K salary.

    This goes without saying, but I must admit that what I know are entirely based on what I read and heard. Caveat emptor (?).

    How common is this from T14?... Are they common?

    More common than the rest. There are variations amongst schools (Columbia's enormous biglaw placement rate comes to my mind) and firms like @"Leah M B" mentioned, of course.

    At this point, I think should disclose one more thing: I don't know what the market rate for biglaw associates is these days. (I stopped caring around two years ago -- I realized there was hardly any point in keeping track of the starting biglaw salary when I am not even in law school yet.) The last thing I remember is Cravath raising its first-year rate to 180K, with the rest attempting to keep up. A first-year associate I met at a certain school's regional reception mentioned that her starting salary was 160K, or "below market". I don't know whether the rest of the biglaw world managed to catch up; it may even have increased or decreased. You may be far more knowledgeable than I am about this.

    are these jobs sustainable?

    Depends on what "sustainable" means. If you are talking about, say, being employed at the same firm for up to nine years, then yes.

    If you are thinking about a permanent position, however, I would think it's a different story. I believe large law firms are known for their turnover rates. Every year, hundreds of the country's brightest law school graduates obtain jobs in large law firms. There may be growth and expansion, yes. But a newly minted biglaw associate probably replaces a more seasoned attorney in a solid number of cases.

    But turnover rates notwithstanding...

    Can something like a job like this be really counted on from L1 on as a major mitigating factor of the initial debt?

    ...Of course. In fact, I heard a good number of publicly-oriented law school graduates take on biglaw jobs first in order to mitigate law school debt. Big law firms will probably hold onto a new associate for, say, at least two years. Unless he or she screws up big time. A career center director mentioned a new graduate for whom the director pulled strings so he could secure a biglaw position. The graduate worked hard, to the point a partner began to eye him with genuine interest. One day, the partner decided to let the graduate sit in for an important phone conference. In the middle of the conference, the graduate pointed at his wristwatch, silently mouthed "concert", and left the room.

  • edited October 2018 534 karma

    @FixedDice said:

    @10000019 said:
    Or they had a really low interest rate.

    That too!

    @BinghamtonDave said:
    This conversation has deviated a bit from OP's initial question and the responses to what I (and others) viewed as 1 specific factually incorrect answer to that question.

    ...Which I think is a welcome change. ;)

    The next idea here that I genuinely wanted to admit my ignorance of is this idea of starting with a 170K salary.

    This goes without saying, but I must admit that what I know are entirely based on what I read and heard. Caveat emptor (?).

    How common is this from T14?... Are they common?

    More common than the rest. There are variations amongst schools (Columbia's enormous biglaw placement rate comes to my mind) and firms like @"Leah M B" mentioned, of course.

    At this point, I think should disclose one more thing: I don't know what the market rate for biglaw associates is these days. (I stopped caring around two years ago -- I realized there was hardly any point in keeping track of the starting biglaw salary when I am not even in law school yet.) The last thing I remember is Cravath raising its first-year rate to 180K, with the rest attempting to keep up. A first-year associate I met at a certain school's regional reception mentioned that her starting salary was 160K, or "below market". I don't know whether the rest of the biglaw world managed to catch up; it may even have increased or decreased. You may be far more knowledgeable than I am about this.

    are these jobs sustainable?

    Depends on what "sustainable" means. If you are talking about, say, being employed at the same firm for up to nine years, then yes.

    If you are thinking about a permanent position, however, I would think it's a different story. I believe large law firms are known for their turnover rates. Every year, hundreds of the country's brightest law school graduates obtain jobs in large law firms. There may be growth and expansion, yes. But a newly minted biglaw associate probably replaces a more seasoned attorney in a solid number of cases.

    But turnover rates notwithstanding...

    Can something like a job like this be really counted on from L1 on as a major mitigating factor of the initial debt?

    ...Of course. In fact, I heard a good number of publicly-oriented law school graduates take on biglaw jobs first in order to mitigate law school debt. Big law firms will probably hold onto a new associate for, say, at least two years. Unless he or she screws up big time. A career center director mentioned a new graduate for whom the director pulled strings so he could secure a biglaw position. The graduate worked hard, to the point a partner began to eye him with genuine interest. One day, the partner decided to let the graduate sit in for an important phone conference. In the middle of the conference, the graduate pointed at his wristwatch, silently mouthed "concert", and left the room.

    Appreciate your feedback and taking the time to highlight various aspects of starting off as an associate in BigLaw after graduating from a T14. I think an understanding of options in the long-term is VERY important for the OP's original question (whether they should apply this year or not). Some posters have been uncomfortable with my placement of a T14 acceptance over scholarship money, and as I mentioned briefy, that might not be applicable advice for some people (i.e. those swimming in debt from undergrad, household, etc.). Differing opinions offer pros and cons for the OP to consider and they will ultimately decide whether to apply and accept an offer for this cycle. Good luck to everyone!

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