Just curious- Any real merit money at T-14 Law Schools??

<p>I can't believe I am posting this- but it does look like d is going law school route. I thought I'd have another year to deal with the "inevitable", but d has signed up for LSAT's and will be taking them in December. As she is a junior, she does not have to deal with application process for another year.So I figure I should try to get some info now--
But being overly optimistic on the LSAT front, is there any merit money at top law schools, for kids who have good grades and 170+ on LSAT's???</p>

<p>(please say yes- $170,000 for Law School- Yikes!!)</p>


<p>If you can get are a sure-admit for Harvard, Columbia Law will give you a 100k+ Hamilton Scholarship.</p>

<p>You will need around a 178 or more LSAT though and a good GPA.</p>

<p>In short, you need to be brilliant and earn it.</p>

<p>She's smart- but ain't brilliant.</p>

<p>As far as I know, the only law schools that don't give any merit $ are HYS. All the others do. Whether your D has a shot at getting some will depend in large part on her LSAT. So, wait 'til she has a score to try to figure out where she might get $.</p>

<p>NYU has merit $ for do-gooders and wannabe academics. Columbia has the Hamilton. Penn has the Levy. PSedrish's (one of the moderators) D got a free ride to Michigan. (The award has a name, but I can't remember it.)</p>

<p>Even so called need aid can vary enormously. Take a look at <a href="http://www.needaccess.org%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.needaccess.org&lt;/a>. I know one person who got $20,000 more a year from Harvard than Columbia. Another got one-third off sticker price at UChicago and not a cent from NYU. </p>

<p>All she can do is apply and see the results. But, yes, 11 out of the top 14 law schools give real merit $ to SOME students.</p>

<p>I believe that the percentage of students out of any class at a T14 law school getting merit money is extremely small. There are specified scholarships at most or all of these law schools for extraordinary candidates, but the number of scholarships is very small compared to the number of students at these schools.</p>

<p>Front end and back end
Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have unbelieveably generous aid on the "back end" - i.e. after graduation. Harvard is the most explicit about their policy, but they limit your loan payments depending on your salary, so long as you are doing something law-related. As mentioned above, though, they don't give any merit money (i.e. nothing on the front end).</p>

<p>Law school admissions can be very irregular; aid is even more so. If she wants a lot of aid, beyond acing the LSAT, the best thing she can do is to apply to a lot of schools. I know someone who got about $10,000/year off Chicago but outright rejected at Cornell. </p>

<p>PSedrish's D got a 180 LSAT, if I remember correctly. Sally is correct - law school isn't like undergrad, where financial need is at least somewhat met. </p>

<p>Ultimately, the question will be how comfortable your D is with debt.</p>

<p>Thanks guys- I don't want to go too crazy with this as she hasn't even taken the LSAT's yet. But she's always been a pretty good test taker so I am hoping that she may get 170+ on LSAT. She will also be an "Ivy League" grad so it's not totally out of line to see if merit $ exists.<br>
It's funny ariesathena that you mentioned Chicago- i did wonder if d's background might be "more appealing" to Chicago or Northwestern as my d is definitely east coast and there might not be as many east coast kids "committed" to the Chicago Law schools. I figured if geographic diversity works at the undergrad level, it could work for Law School too. But I really have no facts to back that up with.
Thanks Jonri for the info to the "need access" website. Never even heard of it before. That's why I like to ask questions way in advance. You never know what you can find out.</p>

<p>I think that the best idea is not to count on any aid - merit or need-based - when choosing to go to law school. There are really no guarantees of either, and with law schools, it is arguably worth the costs to go to a T14 school, even without any aid whatsoever, rather than going to a lesser ranked law school. (I'm not trying to restart the debate about the merits of going to a T14 law school here -- just offering one viewpoint.) The qualifications of the students admitted to the T14 law schools are so incredibly outstanding that one can never have any kind of certainty going in about merit aid. In fact, at most law schools, you do not even apply for particular scholarships that are available. Instead, the admissions officers make those determinations while reviewing applications.</p>

<p>Sally- I think I agree with you. If d does get accepted to a T-14 school, it may be wiser to go T-14 without any merit $ than a lesser ranked school with merit bucks. (we should only have that type of decision to make)<br>
I guess what I would love is a T-14 who will "show us the the money". I'll dream on with that thought.</p>

<p>This is an expected value calculation.</p>

<p>It doesn't really matter whether or not you get merit aid in the long run (at least not necessarily). It matters mostly on how well you think your daughter will fare professionally.</p>

<p>The expected value of a law degree from a top 14 school can amount into millions of extra income over one's lifetime. However, these extra millions are from certain. Your daughter will have to pursue a corporate law job, do well enough to last a few years at a big corporate firm, and at least lateral into a good job as in-house counsel to continue to make big bucks (or be good enough to attract clients and make it on her own). </p>

<p>With this in mind, if you are certain that your daughter will be successful no matter where she goes, it would probably be best for her to go to the best law school she can because every edge counts, no matter her debt load. Nearly 200k of debt may seem like a lot now, but if she lands herself a partnership track at a major corporate law firm, that money will be a pittance in a few years of hard work post-law school. Landing that job, however, is far from certain and will depend on your daughter's grades in law school, getting on a law journal, and the prestige of her law school.</p>

<p>Its all math and probability in the end, but you should probably let your daughter apply first and see where she gets in before making a decision based on merit aid.</p>

<p>This is an expected value calculation only if you live in a vacuum.</p>

<p>Do I think that the cost of a law school education is worth it? Absolutely. Do I think it is worth taking out extraordinary amounts of student loans to get that law school education? Yes, at a T14 law school. Why? Well, because if you make it through the tough years of working 80+ hours per week and living frugally to pay off those student loans, you can have a nice lifestyle. However, there are no guarantees of how your daughter will do professionally, or whether she will enjoy the practice of law sufficiently to stick with it despite any personal sacrifices she may have to make. </p>

<p>I think that any prospective law student's best bet is to assume that he or she will have a tremendous amount of loans to pay. Decide whether he or she wants to and/or is capable of living the often-described-on-this-forum lifestyle of a big firm associate attorney in a big city. Then, go for it. You cannot count on merit or financial aid, you cannot count on getting a job at a big firm in a big city and you cannot count on staying at that big firm even if you get in there in the first place. That said, plenty of people make it work, sucking up the lifestyle and personal sacrifices, and have very successful careers. </p>

<p>In fact, I attribute much of my professional success today to all of the things that I learned in those first six years of 80+ hour workweeks -- I basically packed two years of professional experience into every one. Remember - those kinds of hours are required not because some sadistic partner decided to crack the whip, but instead because at these firms, you are often working on the most cutting edge, market moving deals and litigation matters, that test and challenge what has come before. You won't typically find that kind of work outside of these several large big city law firms.</p>

<p>Sorry to interrupt, but what does T14 mean?</p>

<p>What T14 represents is that there are 14 "top ten" law schools in the U.S. At least, if you ask the average legal practitioner (lawyer, judge, professor, etc.) to list the top ten law schools, the will usually list the some or all of the following 14 (as taken from the 2007 U.S. News and World Report best law schools list):</p>


<p>There is a drop off after these "top ten" schools in terms of prestige, recruiting opportunities and selectivity of student body. So, even if you completely discount the US News rankings, by all accounts, this is still a fairly accurate representation of the law schools perceived by most to be the "top ten" in the country.</p>

<p>sallay, if u dont mind me asking, whre did u attend law school and undergrad?</p>

<p>? This is in the end an expected value calculation. I don't know where you get the vacuum from. Sally is right in that nothing is for certain. But you have to take into account your daughter's past successes and the information you have available and calculate her chances of making a certain career path in order to determine whether or not a law school degree will be worth it.</p>

<p>If she's not a very good student, not very aggressive, wants to work in public interest, or has some other discerning trait that would lessen the value of a law degree for her economically you should definitely take that into account when deciding where to go.</p>

<p>Any rational person would weigh the risks carefully before getting a 200k debt load, and you should be no different.</p>

<p>I have two friends at Georgetow law...well one just graduated in May, the other is now a 2L who both got full rides to go there. Surprisingly they're brother and sister. Smart family.</p>

<p>Not going to make any lottery comparisons- but I am also picking up the vibe--"you gotta be in it to win it"-- Merit doesn't seem to be as prevalent at top law schools, but there does seem to be money out there for the lucky few.<br>
My gut reaction is that (assuming LSAT's are good) d will apply to a bunch of T-14 schools. As we are from NY, she might throw Fordham and GW (DC is probably a good place to go to law school too) in the mix too. My guess is she will be applying to the same group of schools that alot of top students apply to- so we'll just see how this all plays out.<br>
Full ride at Georgetown- now that's something to dream about!!</p>

<p>Sally- I just read your response on another post. I have similar feelings. I see the merit of applying to top schools. If she doesn't get in-- a year or two of work experience may make her a stronger candidate and she could re-apply.
Not to sound elitisit- but law school is so darn expensive that if you can't get into a top school, is it ever going to be worth the investment?<br>
We're hoping for a good LSAT and good choices!!</p>

<p>marny -- good luck to your daughter in her application process. We'll be here to help if any more questions come up.</p>

<p>Thanks sallyawp- We have a year to go before we reach that stage. Another year on CollegeConfidential??? Could be.</p>