Sunday, May 27, 2007

Imelda Marcos Law Students

Tier II school will only allow prospective student to borrow $56,278 a year. Student upset.
Loyola LA (Class of 2010):
"Hollywood, sunshine, and a BMW. Who said law school can't be fun?

I actually went to the financial aid office yesterday and that is why I was so confused. The lady made it sound like we were not allowed to take out PERSONAL PRIVATE LOANS. She made it sound like they estimated the Cost of Living as $56,278, and minus Federal Loans ($20,500) the difference is $35,778.
I wrote her an email asking her if I could take out a GradPLUS for the $35,778 and then get a private loan on my own that I didn't tell the school about for the rest. I'm about $13,000 short for yearly rent. However she probably won't respond until Monday. "
Does this girl have any idea of the misery that is awaiting her in the bowls of the document review sweatshops?


Anonymous said...

Look at this guy

This is my situation. I have 17K credit card debt (bad spending, trust me im an idiot) basically, i had a job for 2 years getting paid about 5K a month. there was no need for credit cards, but i just wanted to "build credit". the job ended without notice, in a matter of 2 weeks, and well, that money stopped coming in and well, i had my money in a car, house and a whooooole lotta crap i didnt need. not to mention i was living like a baller- i was 22 when this started and 24 when my empire collapsed. after selling all my personal possessions and moving back home, parents bought the house and rent it out now, im broke as ever. my current job yields 2 grand a month and after cc payments, car payments, insurance and phone bill, i have 300 bucks left which goes to gas and mcdonalds.

and i owe 20K on my car. I wanted to consolidate these debts into my student loan because i dont want the burden of having to make a monthly payment especially when i can not work. The way i see it is, after i graduate i will still have to pay this money back, however i will not have a car payment or credit cards to deal with when i start my first job- yes, my loan payment will be higher, but my over all expenses will be lower considering the lower interest rates and the fact that i wont have extra car payments or credit card payments.

The budget i was shooting for the first year was approximately $85K, give or take. That would be for 37K first year tuition, room and board, 37K car/credit card payoff and 12K for first year living extras, including car insurance, gas, maintenance and emergency fund (hurricane evacuation travel expense, medical woes, anything that just comes up, etc)

Please let me know if i am talking over my head as i have little idea of how i go about getting budget increases!

is this even possible? will the school buy it???,88679.0.html

Anonymous said...

I am no Suze Orman, but I don't think you can afford it.

Schools generally will only lift the COA limits a small amount.

I know you are going to school in LA, but is there any way you can take public transit? Why not sell the car and downsize to a jalopy? Also, where are you going to live? Try to find roommates, if you can.

True, you will not have a car loan or CC debt, but are you aware of the fact that all student loan debt (including those private student loans) are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Why convert all of your debt into something that is non-dischargeable?

I know you are excited about attending law school, but think hard before you jump in head first. Is there any way you could put off your enrollment for one year in order to pay off your CC debt first? Does Loyola maybe have a part-time program you can attend.

I don't want to discourage you, but as you can see from this blog, being a young lawyer is not all peaches and cream.

Anonymous said...

Why do you guys care what people are taking out in loans? The majority of law schools are private and extremely expensive. It is a stone cold reality that we will all be taking out loans and paying them off for years to come. We expect debt when we choose this profession. Even with a lower end starting salary with our first jobs she would be able to make the monthly loan payments.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Loans are a reality. How do we know this person is jumping in head first? Looking at the pre law discussion it seems that she has looked for roommates with no luck, and isn't living like a "baller" at all just trying to figure out how to get loans for rent. Los Angeles is an extremely expensive rent market, sometimes the high rental prices are unavoidable. Also, what if the person already owns their car, and doesn't have monthly payments. If you take the COA for Loyola which is (according to them 56k) subtract 36k for tuition that only leaves these students 20k. Well subtract books 1k, a conservative estimate for food, gas, bills (at 100 month for groceries, 200 for bills, 160 for gas) thats another 5,500, and say about 300 dollars a month in personal expenses and emergy about 3,700 a year. That leaves about $9800 a year for rent. Well, I can tell you I live in another part of California no where near the rent market of LA, and my rent is 13,000 a year. I'm about $600 average lower in my rent market (for a one bedroom anyway). So, this person clearly does not have enough left in rent. It doesn't feel to me like they are living beyond their means unecessarily. Law school debt is what it is. It's expensive, but we take it on because we love it, and we also take care of our responsibilities later and pay it off. It is possible. So no I don't think they are dellusional or irresponsible or asking for a world of hurt. They'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

You don't want to come out of a tier II school with $200,000 of student loan debt at 7.5% interest. Believe me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Loyola LA is too expensive then. 40K should be more than enough to cover both tuition and living expensive in my opinion.

Anonymous said...


How are they "going to be fine" if they make $65,000 but have to pay $2,200 each month for student loans? That's $3,500 before taxes, but after student loan payments they only have $1,300 to live on.

Did you get that? With her massive loan debt and TTT job prospects, she will only have $1,300 to live on after she graduates.

$1,300 to live on after she graduates.

Anonymous said...

Private law schools are absolutely too expensive in light of the low paying jobs they offers their graduates.

Anonymous said...

Loyola is a rip-off.

Anonymous said...

She'll have to stretch out the life of the loan or opt for one of those income sensitive or graduated repayment plans. She'll be in debt forever, but if you really want to be a lawyer, I guess that's the price you pay.

Anonymous said...

The interest on $200,000 is $1,300 a month. I really don't understand how someone making $55,000, or whatever toilet grads make these days, can afford this much debt.

Who is she going to call for another $13,000 a year after she graduates?

Anonymous said...

I guess she will be doing alot of doc. review overtime.

Anonymous said...

sad, but all to common. Everyday there are more lemmings going over the cliff...the difference in 2007 the cliff is much higher than ever before.

Anonymous said...

....a few wrap-up thoughts on law school, seeing as how I am almost a year removed from it, and have a little more perspective. I don't practice law, and I didn't even take the bar. I have a job that I like, in an industry that interests me. I am very lucky. You can agree with me if you want, you can disagree with me if you want, and either way I'm fine. And probably right.

For most people, law school is a mistake. The size of that mistake varies from person to person, ranging from "ate the worm from the tequila bottle and felt like shit all weekend" to "knocked up my 1st cousin and felt like pushing her down a flight of stairs was the best remedy," and all points in between. I documented this on my old blog, so I see no need to go into any detail, but the people for whom law school is a smart decision are those people who know exactly what they are getting themselves into, and actually want it. Everyone else is chasing a pipe dream.

Everyone has something that exposes their inner nerd, and mine is economics. I love it, I wish I had just gone to grad school for that instead. Regardless, it doesn't take a PhD to tell you that the economics of law school are fucked up. And I mean, seriously fucked up. Michael Lewis should write a book on it. Let me lay it out there for you:

Anyone can go to law school. There are way too many law schools out there. Probably at least 100 too many, maybe more. And more open every year. If you have a degree from an accredited university and an LSAT over 140 (and if you can't get over a 140 on the LSAT that degree from an accredited university is probably fraudulent) you can find a school to accept you. Might not be your first choice, or second, or tenth, but if you want it enough, you can go. How is this at all selective or exclusive? Easy answer: it isn't. As a result...

The market is flooded with law school graduates. This is simple supply and demand. The demand for lawyers is low, compared to the supply of lawyers available. This is really the shit you cover on the first day of Macroeconomics. Every year, tens of thousands of freshly minted JDs come on the market, and there aren't enough jobs for them. They simply don't exist. This benefits legal employers, because they can pick and choose who they want for the select few open jobs, but this means the law grads are the ones being screwed over. In an macroeconomic sense, this isn't a problem, except...

Law school is fucking expensive. Even the shittiest of schools charge an arm and a leg for the right to attend. Now we're moving into microeconomics, which frankly, is more important to you, the individual. Prospective lawyers take on massive amounts of debt, usually well into the six figure range, to finance their education, and upon graduation, find little to no interest in their services. The "lucky" ones - those who attend a small number of elite schools, or who can graduate at the very top of their classes at the non elite schools- get to slave at a big firm for lots of money to pay off that debt. Some are stuck to fend off that bitch Sallie Mae while working relatively low playing legal jobs, and everyone else is strapped with debt, yet in the lawyers market, is virtually unemployable. This is hardly fair, but we forget...

Law schools are a business. The first goal of a business is to make money. By admitting more, less qualified students, or by creating new law schools, universities are simply exploiting another revenue stream. They don't care about the individual students. They care about the bottom line. Sure , they give lip service to caring about students, but that's all it is. Try this: go to your school, tell them you don't like your job options, and ask for a refund of your money. You already know what the reaction will be. They don't care about you, they care about your money. As long as you are paid in full, they're happy. If you happen to find success after, all the better, they'll use your story to sell it to future unsuspecting prospective students while conveniently ignoring all the grads who are working for low pay in shitty jobs, or can't find a law job at all. To me...

This sounds a lot like a scam. You put down a lot of money up front for a potential payoff, but they don't tell you the odds of winning that payoff. In fact, it could be argued that they even mislead you to think your chances are better than they are. You work hard for the right to pay that money, and at the end, for many, the payoff never comes. This sounds like a scam. I'm not saying that it is a real scam, like a pyramid scheme...but it sounds like one. And the beauty (and perhaps, genius) of it is, the people whom law school attracts are just the people who don't believe they can be scammed. They all think they're the exception. Not one of them believes they will be the one with huge debt and no real prospects. Otherwise, why would they do it?

One of the biggest cliches in law school is that lawyers aren't good at math. I'd add economics to that list. Sadly, for most of them, as I just demonstrated, it's true.

Anonymous said...

I read that salary chart. Why does E.P. Dine always pay below market?

Anonymous said...

10 32 expresses the problem in its exact form. Trying telling someone this, and they will look at you with a blank stare. The fact is - it really is econ 101- supply and demand. No one wants to hear that because we've been told "we are professionals." "we are adults." No- we are widgets. Lawyers are just the latest contestants on the game show where other blue collar and white collr gigs (think engineers) have gone before. Don't worry- others will fall others- next up MBAs. Once you understand that- it all makes more sense.

Anonymous said...

This is not just limited to law schools, it goes on to a greater or lesser extent in most fields of higher education.

Public secondary schools in this country need to do more to educate students and make them more informed consumers of higher educational services.

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Anonymous said...

Good Job.

Let's be honest. The only effect blogs like this are going to have is to maybe get one or two kids to think a little harder before they take out that extra loan money that they may not actually need.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest. The only effect blogs like this are going to have is to maybe get one or two kids to think a little harder before they take out that extra loan money that they may not actually need.

if just one schmuck is saved, then we have succeeded.

Anonymous said...

AHHHHHHH, that LSD site is scaring me:

"So a big chunk of my loans look like they'll be Graduate PLUS loans at 8.5% interest.

That's really high.

Now, my parents offered to take out a mortgage... the interest rate on that would be 6-ish."

Anonymous said...

Even more scary, from that same message board:

"The sad fact is that you probably will never see someone go into detail about paying back student loans in a book. The only person who will probably be honest with you is the financial aid counselor in the law school."

Anonymous said...

What about this one?

"180K to go to Pace?"

Anonymous said...

I dont give a crap how expensive the L.A. rental market is...its not THAT expensive. Loyola budgets you about 13K for rent ANYWAY. That woman said she needed an EXTRA 13K. Thats like 2,100/per month. I live in L.A. and unless you're planning on living in Bel Air or Beverly Hills, you can find a 1-br apartment for MUCH cheaper than that. She is clearly living above her means and is quite silly if she decides to take personal loans for that reason.

Anonymous said...

I guess Johnnie Cochran, Gloria Allred, and Mark Geragos are all struggling to pay off debt too then? Loyola is hardly a rip-off. If you want to live in LA and work there Loyola is right on par with UCLA and USC. Obviously it's a percentage of students that will grab the top jobs, but who says all these students want big law. Some of them will do Public interest and get loan forgiveness, and some will move on to top firms, clerk etc. Besides how do we know that she won't have a spouse to help with half the bills, or parents to help lighten the load. Why is everyone so concerned with other peoples loan business anyway?

Anonymous said...

If you are living MUCH cheaper than 1800 in LA you are living in a shit hole or with 12 other people in a studio. Forget Beverly hills, look at K-town or even hollywood (not the nicest area) and you'll be paying at least 1500 a month for a one bedroom thats halfway decentvand that still amounts to 18000 a year. Oh and by the way didn't you see the budget post from earlier, it seems to me that whatever the previous poster estimated as a potential budget only left 9k left for yearly rent. I'm currently living somewhere cheaper and pay 1260 for rent (average for this area) and even that amounts to 15k a year. Wouldn't be enough for me to live on. Everyone takes out loans for law school people get over it. Besides she turned down U of CO, Boulder, and Davis for Loyola she's obviously qualified, but wants to live in LA for future job prospects. The loser hanging around the LSD thread is clealy sad, lonely and in need of a job.

Anonymous said...

"I guess Johnnie Cochran, Gloria Allred, and Mark Geragos are all struggling to pay off debt too then?"

How can a person's perspective be so warped? What if you're not the next Johnnie Cochran? What if the only job you can get is at a small firm paying $50,000?

Here's the important question. Which is more likely for Loyola graduates? That you'll be Johnnie Cochran, or that you'll work at a small firm paying $50,000?

And don't get your hopes up about loan repayment for public interest work. It doesn't repay as much as you think.

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