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Is attending HYS Law or any of T-14 law school worth it?

Webby_GangnamWebby_Gangnam Monthly Member
edited March 2022 in General 534 karma

I have 3.55 GPA and I think I can get around 170-178 on the LSAT. I know that this is something I have to discuss after I take the LSAT but I am wondering to what extent everyone around here is willing to take a loan out to attend a HYS Law or any of T-14 law schools. I think it is worth it to take a full 380,000 USD loan out to attend any of HYS Law, but I personally don't think it is worth it to attend any of T4-T14 law schools with 380,000 USD loan. I have seen folks who have graduated from lesser well-known schools and still end up as an associate making at least 150,000 USD per year. What I am saying is people don't walk around with a sign that says which law school they have attended: I think this mindset is too premature. Could you please share your thought on this?

Comments

  • lsatnoob1991-1-1lsatnoob1991-1-1 Monthly Member
    8 karma

    If you are going into big law aka working 70 to 80 hours a week for that $150,000+ salary, then maybe. Keep in mind when you make 150k, you're getting taxed half and the other will go towards living expenses. It's rare, you can do it and others have done it, but keep in mind there are other ways towards financial freedom such as real estate, stock market, a business. Being tied to a job does not give you the freedom that you think it does. Be prepared to work your ass off for that big law salary too. They're not paying you to look pretty.

    Your biggest disadvantage with a $350,000 loan is

    1) if it takes you a while to get into a high paying job.

    2) if you end up settling for less because you have a loan that needs to be paid every month.

    3) if you end up hating your job with that loan and go into government/ other work that pays peanuts. You'll be paying the loan the rest of your life then for sure.

    After a couple years experience, nobody really cares which school you went to. Your work ethic, experience, and personal people skills with trump all. Same with most jobs. Heck, Johnnie Cochran went to Loyola.

  • cam.plummer5cam.plummer5 Alum Member
    28 karma

    It is true that you can get into BigLaw at a lower ranked school, but that requires you to work extra hard to make that high class rank and make the right connections at said school. Those big law firms in NY actually visit and start recruiting kids at T-14 schools and a big part of it is just because of the school name. If you feel like you're a grinder and you are good at marketing yourself, it's true that where you go might not matter at all. However, if you want it to be a little easier or if you know that you're not that person, T-20 is helpful.

  • zoomzoomzoomzoom Alum Member
    462 karma

    This is my perspective:

    • No school, not even HYS, is worth $380,000 in debt strictly for Big Law. That is a crippling amount of debt that will set you back years. People here need to realize that $380,000 is equivalent to taking out a mortgage for a home in America. It's unfathomable to think about.

    • Now say you did get into HYS and you have to pay $380,000. Assuming you applied broadly enough, if you are good enough to get into HYS, then you are probably good enough to get into the other T-14 schools with (hopefully) a scholarship. If Big Law is the only thing that matters, then at this point choose the cheaper T-14 school over HYS on pure sticker price.

    • T-14 is not the only path to Big Law. Sure, you will have to work harder and there is no guarantee but you can get to Big Law from many regional schools (depending on the region). For example --> Fordham to NYC, UIUC to Chicago, UNC to Charlotte, Emory to Atlanta and so forth.

  • I am not considering t-14 . Hoping to get a scholarship at a lower tier. I already have a mortgage with $380,000.

    Its worth it if you get some sort of scholarship for it so you dont drown in debt.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited April 2022 8009 karma

    Just a note that these days, while there isn't universal conformity, the pay scale starts closer to $215k base than $150k, and I would expect more firms to fall in line over time if they don't want to start hemorrhaging associates.

    Also, no school is worth sticker for BL IMO, though many people incur sticker debt and successfully pay it off + build wealth in a reasonable amount of time. So it wouldn't be crazy (amazingly like half of Columbia attends at sticker), but you'd likely have better options.

  • Webby_GangnamWebby_Gangnam Monthly Member
    534 karma

    @canihazJD said:
    Just a note that these days, while there isn't universal conformity, the pay scale starts closer to $215k base than $150k, and I would expect more firms to fall in line over time if they don't want to start hemorrhaging associates.

    Also, no school is worth sticker for BL IMO, though many people incur sticker debt and successfully pay it off + build wealth in a reasonable amount of time. So it wouldn't be crazy (amazingly like half of Columbia attends at sticker), but you'd likely have better options.

    Awesome. I think we have interacted before when I asked a question about embedded conditionals. Are you currently attending a law school? I am working almost full-time so it has been hard for me to focus only on the LSAT but I am getting there.

  • Burden.of.FloofBurden.of.Floof Monthly Member
    1040 karma

    A lot of the T-14 schools have LRAPs. I haven't done a lot of deep digging yet except at University of Michigan, which has a pretty comprehensive outline on their website. You don't have to spend the rest of your life paying off debt if you go to a top school.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    8009 karma

    @Chris_Webby_Seoul said:

    @canihazJD said:
    Just a note that these days, while there isn't universal conformity, the pay scale starts closer to $215k base than $150k, and I would expect more firms to fall in line over time if they don't want to start hemorrhaging associates.

    Also, no school is worth sticker for BL IMO, though many people incur sticker debt and successfully pay it off + build wealth in a reasonable amount of time. So it wouldn't be crazy (amazingly like half of Columbia attends at sticker), but you'd likely have better options.

    Awesome. I think we have interacted before when I asked a question about embedded conditionals. Are you currently attending a law school? I am working almost full-time so it has been hard for me to focus only on the LSAT but I am getting there.

    Yes, I'm at Cornell.

  • lawschoolhopeful-4lawschoolhopeful-4 Alum Member
    edited April 2022 66 karma

    I've thought about this for a while...

    I think it's important not to forget you also have an opportunity cost as well.

    Assuming that you're three years out of the workforce PLUS law school, you're at least half a million out the door (conservatively) in terms of "sunk cost"

    I do think that having a top school makes things easier probably in recruiting (and life in generally). It's sort of like products with a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Would people pay more for that product? Maybe. It definitely is a net positive compared to a product that doesn't have that stamp of approval I think. How much more marketable a product is with the seal of approval is hard to tell, though.

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