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Lawyer, Law School, BigLaw FAQ

Connemara

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Government jobs of many types often forgive student loans. Whether they do that for "all" of law school loans, I don't know.
 

DNW

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Originally Posted by cheessus
I've heard that if you work for the government, a lot of, if not all, of your student loans may be forgiven. Also I've seen that if you promise to work for the government (in what capacity, I forgot), they will give you 50K straight up. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

I'm in law school right now, and I have little to no intention of working for the government, so I haven't really looked into this at all. I may be making up this whole thing, I don't know...


Here you go: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/...orgiveness.pdf
 

RedLantern

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Some individual schools offer special scholarships/debt forgiveness for students who intend to go into public interest (and actually do). For instance I believe Bill Gates SR sponsors a program that will let one get out of UW law school with no debt if they work for 4-6 years in public interest after graduating.
 

cheessus

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Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
Here you go: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/...orgiveness.pdf
Edit: Actually now that I think about it, it doesn't seem like a good deal. I failed to realize that it basically refers only to federal student loans. These loans, I believe typically max out at 20K per year and has a fixed interest rate of somewhere in the low 4%, if not a lot lower this year. Ten years at 50K will cover a lot of those loans already, so you are going to be forgiven not that much compared to those private loans which normally comprise of a greater percentage of the loan package with an interest rate that is two times as high and variable.
 

crazyquik

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I think the rule is that after 10 years of government work, all outstanding federal loans are foregiven. So you still have to make the minimum payment for 10 years. So basically, if you go to a private school you'll get substantial foregiveness but not if you went to a public school.

You may want to lookin into Erwin Chimerinsky's new law school at UC-Davis. You might have had his conlaw casebook or treatise for your undergrad class. Aside from having an anteater as a mascot, you've got the reigning dean of constitutional law running a public interest school.
 

yerfdog

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^^^ I know you were thinking of UC Irvine since you mentioned the anteater, and you just typed Davis by accident, but in case the conlaw kid doesn't catch the typo:
Chemerinsky is running the new law school at UC Irvine, not the existing law school at Davis.
 

hipcathobbes

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Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
Law school, for many kids, is a terrible investment. Affirmative Action at law schools should be outlawed.

Not to get into an argument over the merits of what you wrote, but the juxtaposition of these two sentences is a non sequitur.

Originally Posted by Swag22
So most people that go to good law schools try to endure the couple years of suffering at a BigLaw firm with aspirations of leaving for something better after a couple years of experience under their belts? ¶ What does it take for one to open their own firm? Does someone need BigLaw/Government experience under their belts? Can one become successful in their own business straight out of law school? ¶ Does working for yourself mean more feasable hours?

(1) A lot of people say that at top schools. My understanding is that many stay in biglaw and then lateral or go to midlaw, go inhouse, whatever -- and many are still chained with the golden handcuffs. Big firms have up-or-out partnership tracks, and most associates do not make it to partner, but their tastes stay the same.
(2) Experience, or even not. Many people put out a shingle, but I assume that's not what you mean. Presumably you need some good experience doing whatever work you want to specialize in (generalist seems like a bad call, career-wise) and then finding other people who have similar or complimentary specialties (for boutique or leveraged small firms respectively), and then working with them.
(3) My understanding is that working for yourself can mean more feasible hours, but if you don't already have a good practice going with ability to make business for yourself, you will be working much harder than you would as a firm associate in order to find and complete that business at lower rates.

Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
In short, ConLaw is not the field that pays. If you're passionate about it, it will make your life more enjoyable even if you can't afford most of the stuff your corporate counterpart makes.

What I snipped from the quote is also good advice. But what I left is still really important: that there are many ways of being a lawyer, and if you can find a way to get the economics right, you can possibly have many options for the public interest law that (I think) makes the field exciting.

If you're looking for more advice about law school and legal careers, you might check out http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org.
 

teddieriley

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Originally Posted by yerfdog
^^^ I know you were thinking of UC Irvine since you mentioned the anteater, and you just typed Davis by accident, but in case the conlaw kid doesn't catch the typo:
Chemerinsky is running the new law school at UC Irvine, not the existing law school at Davis.


the first class will have their entire tuition paid. Not sure if they give money for living expenses on top of that.

UCI's goal is to be regarded a top 20 law school off the bat. Good luck with that. But they want a new innovative approach to teaching the law, which is desperately needed.

But because of its ambitious goals, I think if you graduate from UCI, the faculty will do everything in its power to get you a job after graduation, and I'm pretty sure you will be hooked up big time - especially if you take the opportunity to get to know the top faculty they have recruited thus far.
 

FLMountainMan

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Originally Posted by hipcathobbes
Not to get into an argument over the merits of what you wrote, but the juxtaposition of these two sentences is a non sequitur.

No, not really. Read up on the subject.
 

j

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Thread TL/DR, but

Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
Why don't you just read the other threads first and ask here questions that haven't been answered?

laugh.gif
 

LesterSnodgrass

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There is no better job for a lawyer than being a prosecutor. This is not an opinion, it is a fact. If you are becoming a lawyer for money, you will earn your misery one sixth hour at a time.
 

samblau

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Originally Posted by LesterSnodgrass
There is no better job for a lawyer than being a prosecutor. This is not an opinion, it is a fact. If you are becoming a lawyer for money, you will earn your misery one sixth hour at a time.
What is one to do if, like myself, they realize by their junior year of college that they want to enter the field of law? In order to get a good job you must attend a good law school. In order to attend a good law school you must attend a good college. The amount of money involved is staggering, typically between $100k and $250k+. Even 7 years of all state schooling will cost towards the lower end of that spectrum. A 20 year old cannot fathom how much money that is going in. Going in to law, or any field for that matter, thinking you will strike it rich, especially at the outset, is absurd. That said, one should be able to live decently as an attorney. Sadly, many of my colleagues cannot. Lastly, prosecutor jobs are not that easy to come by. The standards in NYC are ridiculous. Manhattan and Brooklyn are ridiculously hard to get in to, their hiring standards mirror those of BigLaw. Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island are also very difficult. Smaller towns that do less hiring typically want experience and in some cases prefer to hire from regional schools. Even if one can get a decent public interest type job paying back the loans is nearly impossible. The subject of loan forgiveness was discussed earlier. A large factor is what school you go to. My friend who will become a NYC Asst. DA will make $55k BUT Columbia will re-pay all of his loans if he stays for ten years, and a pro-rata portion after five. Thats roughly $800+ a month minimum of untaxed money. He will essentially be earning the equivalent of over $70k if he in fact stays past 5 years. As for my school, I considered looking for a public interest job and required about loan forgiveness. The person I spoke to essentially thanked me for giving them a good laugh. In short, becoming a prosecutor is a wonderful career path for a young attorney however it is not an option for many for various reasons including job availability an financial concerns. It is terrible how the system prevents qualified young people from taking public service jobs. Many say they will leave he firm's, but as we know the golden handcuffs are not easily removed.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by samblau
In order to attend a good law school you must attend a good college.

This isn't true. You can go to a no-name college and still get into the best law schools. They really only care about your GPA, LSAT, and race.
 

RJman

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
This isn't true. You can go to a no-name college and still get into the best law schools. They really only care about your GPA, LSAT, and race.
This I don't agree with but whatever. Life is too short.
 

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