THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:43 pm

mwest42 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:54 pm
Hello, would be extremely grateful for advice!! Stats: 3.7/172, 1 yr out of undergrad.

Options:
Michigan with 120k total scholarship for COA of ~125k
UChicago with 75k total scholarship for COA of ~175k
Paying basically everything with loans. I have NU and Duke offers with COA similar to Michigan's, but have pretty much decided Mich is a better fit than those two. I haven't tried to negotiate with Michigan but I assume that wouldn't really work since I have no higher scholly offers in the T14.

Goals:
Want to work in Chicago or DC - strong Chicago ties. Aiming for PI/government (impact lit would be super but not 100% sure on specifics). I really want a clerkship after graduation, and while I know that depends on grades, it seems UChicago really emphasizes clerkship placement. Not interested in BigLaw but if it seems doing that for a couple years is the best path to high-level PI/gov then I wouldn't completely rule it out.

I visited both and liked both. I think I prefer Michigan's more laid-back vibes but also slightly prefer Chicago's location so those kinda cancel out in my mind. The two schools' LRAPs seem pretty comparable to me so not sure how to factor that into cost considerations, assuming I manage to stick with PI. I think it comes down to whether UChi's superior clerkship numbers and access to Chicago market make it worth the extra debt? I was thinking no but then they upped my scholly in negotiations and now I'm struggling. Thanks!!
First caveat: you should still negotiate, even if you think Michigan is the right fit for you. You have negotiating leverage until you've exhausted every negotiating angle with your current offers. LRAP is a great tool to manage debt when you're going into lower paying work in PI or government, but limiting debt is always better than not limiting debt, if you can. LRAP acts as a safety blanket, not as a blanket excuse to take on unnecessary extra debt.

I mean this in the most respectful way I can muster via an online community, but the way you describe your goals seems to be some mixture of "I want to do good!" with "I want to have prestigious outcomes!" with "I want to impress people with what I'm doing!" I know that's not completely fair, because we're basically eliminating nuance in discussing generic goals of a 0L, but it comes off that way. This mainly stems from "I really want a clerkship," which is a weirdly normal career goal in our online community, for better or worse, followed by effectively "I want to do impact lit or government, don't want biglaw, but would do it if it made sense for ultimately getting PI/gov." This isn't meant to make fun of your goals or to say that you shouldn't have any of them individually, but just that they're not really very particular (for instance, you don't specifically want to get into one particular impact lit type of organization like Sierra Club or ACLU). So just understand that any advice I give beyond this point is colored by this understanding of your goals and how they fit into the decision.

You seem pretty unsure of what you want to do ultimately, and while you have a few general goals and markets you want to end up in, nothing screams a clear answer. When that's the case, I especially warn people to limit debt (and to be fair, I warn people to limit debt more often than not, so this definitely paints my general aversion of debt, but it doesn't make it necessarily bad advice). So if you were strictly picking between Michigan and Chicago, you should limit debt and go to Michigan. If you find yourself studying for the NY bar before starting at a big firm in NYC or the IL bar before starting at a big firm in Chicago in 2021 (which seems to be your least desired goal that you'd be potentially interested in), you'll be grateful you didn't pay an extra $50k to be in that position.

All of this said: the better you can define the career you ultimately want to have, outside of platitudinal goals of a clerkship-->impact lit/elite federal gov't of some kind, the better you can make this decision. Clerkships are usually a big plus for someone wanting to be a litigator, but if you can better refine what you want in your ultimate career, you can better assess your options. Right now, you're not incredibly well-prepared to do that kind of differentiation.

I would recommend Michigan here, but I also don't think Chicago is a terrible option given your circumstances/goals. I know you're not looking for deferential advice that basically says "you just do you" I'm not trying to do that, but I want you to know that if you decide to take Chicago in this particular instance, I wouldn't shake my head and worry that I'm doing a disservice to you in the advice I provided. I just want to help you suss out this decision.

mwest42
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by mwest42 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:17 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:43 pm
mwest42 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:54 pm
.
First caveat: you should still negotiate, even if you think Michigan is the right fit for you. You have negotiating leverage until you've exhausted every negotiating angle with your current offers. LRAP is a great tool to manage debt when you're going into lower paying work in PI or government, but limiting debt is always better than not limiting debt, if you can. LRAP acts as a safety blanket, not as a blanket excuse to take on unnecessary extra debt.

I mean this in the most respectful way I can muster via an online community, but the way you describe your goals seems to be some mixture of "I want to do good!" with "I want to have prestigious outcomes!" with "I want to impress people with what I'm doing!" I know that's not completely fair, because we're basically eliminating nuance in discussing generic goals of a 0L, but it comes off that way. This mainly stems from "I really want a clerkship," which is a weirdly normal career goal in our online community, for better or worse, followed by effectively "I want to do impact lit or government, don't want biglaw, but would do it if it made sense for ultimately getting PI/gov." This isn't meant to make fun of your goals or to say that you shouldn't have any of them individually, but just that they're not really very particular (for instance, you don't specifically want to get into one particular impact lit type of organization like Sierra Club or ACLU). So just understand that any advice I give beyond this point is colored by this understanding of your goals and how they fit into the decision.

You seem pretty unsure of what you want to do ultimately, and while you have a few general goals and markets you want to end up in, nothing screams a clear answer. When that's the case, I especially warn people to limit debt (and to be fair, I warn people to limit debt more often than not, so this definitely paints my general aversion of debt, but it doesn't make it necessarily bad advice). So if you were strictly picking between Michigan and Chicago, you should limit debt and go to Michigan. If you find yourself studying for the NY bar before starting at a big firm in NYC or the IL bar before starting at a big firm in Chicago in 2021 (which seems to be your least desired goal that you'd be potentially interested in), you'll be grateful you didn't pay an extra $50k to be in that position.

All of this said: the better you can define the career you ultimately want to have, outside of platitudinal goals of a clerkship-->impact lit/elite federal gov't of some kind, the better you can make this decision. Clerkships are usually a big plus for someone wanting to be a litigator, but if you can better refine what you want in your ultimate career, you can better assess your options. Right now, you're not incredibly well-prepared to do that kind of differentiation.

I would recommend Michigan here, but I also don't think Chicago is a terrible option given your circumstances/goals. I know you're not looking for deferential advice that basically says "you just do you" I'm not trying to do that, but I want you to know that if you decide to take Chicago in this particular instance, I wouldn't shake my head and worry that I'm doing a disservice to you in the advice I provided. I just want to help you suss out this decision.
Thanks for the input. I realize my goals sound broad and generic, and at this point I suppose they are, but I didn't think it was worth detailing my specific interests (civil rights law particularly, fwiw, but I would have felt more annoying writing "I want to work for the ACLU" than just saying I want to work in impact lit) because I think the two schools would give me similar opportunities to further explore those particular interests. I understand that cost may well be the deciding factor in this scenario; that's essentially what I was asking to confirm. I had certainly reached that conclusion myself when UChicago was going to cost about 100k more than Michigan. I guess the reduction in cost differential led me to wonder at what point UChicago would be worth paying more for, because it is the slightly better school across the board in outcomes. Which is why I'm posting. So the gist of it is, you don't think UChicago is worth much more than Michigan for someone broadly targeting a clerkship and PI? (putting aside BigLaw which is probably an entirely different discussion)

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:45 pm

I don’t, but if someone disagreed with me, I would accept that we probably just differ in how we’re doing this calculus (meaning neither of us are “wrong,” but we just see the decision you’re making differently).

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by thunder3029 » Sat May 05, 2018 7:17 pm

I posted another thread but you didn't reply so I might as well get your take here

-The schools you are considering: Wash U vs. Georgetown
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.: 100K Wash U vs. 230K GULC
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: 100% loans (but possibly partially interest free if I loan from someone I know rather than government/private
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): may want to avoid the coldest climates (think Boston), otherwise flexible
-Your general career goals: biglaw for a decade or so, eventually possibly try to find my way into sports law. Will consider federal clerkships too if my grades put me in contention for them
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: doesn't matter not retaking
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: doesn't matter not retaking
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: doesn't matter not retaking
-Other factors: Not particularly debt averse, but want to make a smart financial decision. GULC felt more special to me, but I know Wash U's placement isn't that far behind. Still heavily leaning Wash U because of the COA difference but IDK if I want to give up on GULC quite yet

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun May 06, 2018 8:04 am

thunder3029 wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:17 pm
I posted another thread but you didn't reply so I might as well get your take here

-The schools you are considering: Wash U vs. Georgetown
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.: 100K Wash U vs. 230K GULC
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: 100% loans (but possibly partially interest free if I loan from someone I know rather than government/private
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): may want to avoid the coldest climates (think Boston), otherwise flexible
-Your general career goals: biglaw for a decade or so, eventually possibly try to find my way into sports law. Will consider federal clerkships too if my grades put me in contention for them
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: doesn't matter not retaking
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: doesn't matter not retaking
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: doesn't matter not retaking
-Other factors: Not particularly debt averse, but want to make a smart financial decision. GULC felt more special to me, but I know Wash U's placement isn't that far behind. Still heavily leaning Wash U because of the COA difference but IDK if I want to give up on GULC quite yet
Ok, well you're kind of putting a few things at odds here, and casting off the "retake" advice out of hand doesn't let me fully help you. In fact, until you provide the requested information, or in the alternative, why you're unwilling/unable to retake to maximize your options, I don't think I can help you. You haven't given me enough to give you good advice on this question. WUSTL for $100k vs. GULC for $230k in a vacuum for a not cold market isn't enough to make a smart decision, and as you've hopefully gleaned from my earlier advice, I like to give thorough advice.

Give me more information to help you, otherwise I can't really give you what I would call quality advice. I'll just say that I'd pick WUSTL based on the minimal information you've provided, but that is not at all my advice and I wouldn't make this choice at all without knowing more.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by thunder3029 » Sun May 06, 2018 12:19 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:04 am
thunder3029 wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:17 pm
I posted another thread but you didn't reply so I might as well get your take here

-The schools you are considering: Wash U vs. Georgetown
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.: 100K Wash U vs. 230K GULC
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: 100% loans (but possibly partially interest free if I loan from someone I know rather than government/private
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): may want to avoid the coldest climates (think Boston), otherwise flexible
-Your general career goals: biglaw for a decade or so, eventually possibly try to find my way into sports law. Will consider federal clerkships too if my grades put me in contention for them
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: doesn't matter not retaking
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: doesn't matter not retaking
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: doesn't matter not retaking
-Other factors: Not particularly debt averse, but want to make a smart financial decision. GULC felt more special to me, but I know Wash U's placement isn't that far behind. Still heavily leaning Wash U because of the COA difference but IDK if I want to give up on GULC quite yet
Ok, well you're kind of putting a few things at odds here, and casting off the "retake" advice out of hand doesn't let me fully help you. In fact, until you provide the requested information, or in the alternative, why you're unwilling/unable to retake to maximize your options, I don't think I can help you. You haven't given me enough to give you good advice on this question. WUSTL for $100k vs. GULC for $230k in a vacuum for a not cold market isn't enough to make a smart decision, and as you've hopefully gleaned from my earlier advice, I like to give thorough advice.

Give me more information to help you, otherwise I can't really give you what I would call quality advice. I'll just say that I'd pick WUSTL based on the minimal information you've provided, but that is not at all my advice and I wouldn't make this choice at all without knowing more.
I have personal reasons that I won’t be retaking or reapplying, but I’ll gladly fill in any other holes to help you provide advice on my current situation. You didn’t give enough clarification on what I’m missing for my wash u vs gulc decision though. I don’t want to be rude, and I appreciate your taking time out to help people on this sub, I’m just realistically telling you where I’m at now and I will be attending law school in the fall.

Other info I guess may help: I am a k-jd but I had good business internship experience in college, I’ll be able to take out however much in loans I need but I will probably borrow some money from people in my life and pay that back without interest which makes debt not as scary. I prefer Georgetown’s OCI method of letting students get partial selection power over who they get to interview with, as well as the big delta in the 500+ firms which would be my ideal landing spot. Wash U I would most likely be able to live alone which could help my studying, GULC I would life in student housing.

Let me know what other info I can add in

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun May 06, 2018 1:32 pm

thunder3029 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 12:19 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:04 am
thunder3029 wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 7:17 pm
I posted another thread but you didn't reply so I might as well get your take here

-The schools you are considering: Wash U vs. Georgetown
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.: 100K Wash U vs. 230K GULC
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: 100% loans (but possibly partially interest free if I loan from someone I know rather than government/private
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): may want to avoid the coldest climates (think Boston), otherwise flexible
-Your general career goals: biglaw for a decade or so, eventually possibly try to find my way into sports law. Will consider federal clerkships too if my grades put me in contention for them
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: doesn't matter not retaking
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: doesn't matter not retaking
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: doesn't matter not retaking
-Other factors: Not particularly debt averse, but want to make a smart financial decision. GULC felt more special to me, but I know Wash U's placement isn't that far behind. Still heavily leaning Wash U because of the COA difference but IDK if I want to give up on GULC quite yet
Ok, well you're kind of putting a few things at odds here, and casting off the "retake" advice out of hand doesn't let me fully help you. In fact, until you provide the requested information, or in the alternative, why you're unwilling/unable to retake to maximize your options, I don't think I can help you. You haven't given me enough to give you good advice on this question. WUSTL for $100k vs. GULC for $230k in a vacuum for a not cold market isn't enough to make a smart decision, and as you've hopefully gleaned from my earlier advice, I like to give thorough advice.

Give me more information to help you, otherwise I can't really give you what I would call quality advice. I'll just say that I'd pick WUSTL based on the minimal information you've provided, but that is not at all my advice and I wouldn't make this choice at all without knowing more.
I have personal reasons that I won’t be retaking or reapplying, but I’ll gladly fill in any other holes to help you provide advice on my current situation. You didn’t give enough clarification on what I’m missing for my wash u vs gulc decision though. I don’t want to be rude, and I appreciate your taking time out to help people on this sub, I’m just realistically telling you where I’m at now and I will be attending law school in the fall.

Other info I guess may help: I am a k-jd but I had good business internship experience in college, I’ll be able to take out however much in loans I need but I will probably borrow some money from people in my life and pay that back without interest which makes debt not as scary. I prefer Georgetown’s OCI method of letting students get partial selection power over who they get to interview with, as well as the big delta in the 500+ firms which would be my ideal landing spot. Wash U I would most likely be able to live alone which could help my studying, GULC I would life in student housing.

Let me know what other info I can add in
I'm going to start with the advice I think most applicable here: you're choosing not to retake, and I think that's a mistake unless you're something like a 178/2.5 numbers profile. You're a k-jd that would more than likely benefit from a few years in a real job having real adult responsibilities and learning some things about yourself that can really only be learned once you are out on your own without help or assistance.

That said, I'm under no illusion that you'll believe me when I tell you it's a mistake to do what you want to do, so my advice from here on out will be under the guise of you throwing caution to the wind and going as a k-jd with pretty typical, but ill-defined goals.

You say you're flexible, but you didn't answer where you have ties. That can be important here, because GULC will have the better ability to reach back to your markets where you have ties if they are outside of the Midwest. If they are in the Midwest, then WUSTL may reasonably have reach into those markets as well though. So depending on where you're from and where you have significant ties that you could sell to employers could have an impact on this choice (albeit only a marginal one).

$230k is just too much debt to take on for GULC. It's a big risk, particularly as a k-jd, to go into GULC thinking you'll be on the right half of the giant class that gets a Biglaw outcome. If you struck out, you'd be sitting on a massive pile of debt at 24-25 years old without a substantial way to pay that off besides living under a looming debt cloud for 20 years and hoping the tax bomb at the end of it doesn't destroy you. And even if you took on some debt from family members or personal contacts that would be interest free just means your debt isn't irrationally spiraling out of control, it's just a giant boulder that you can chip away at with whatever chisel you can find (in this case, the chisel is a metaphor for whatever non-biglaw job you get and whatever that job pays). At both WUSTL and GULC, you'll need backup plans if Biglaw didn't work out. It's just too likely of a reality to not be planned for.

Now, on another important point: planning on being in Biglaw for a decade as a 0L, particularly a k-jd 0L who has never really experienced a professional working environment and whether it'll fit you. And I also don't exactly know what you mean by sports law, but given everything else, I worry that you're just dreaming of being an agent or somehow being heavily engaged in NBPA or NFLPA collective bargaining. Those types of outcomes, while not non-existent, are not reasonable goals to have as a 0L. So even if you work under the assumption that you'll get Biglaw from either, you have to understand that many/most who work in Biglaw are gone from it by year 5, and further, have more than likely not done anything remotely close to "sports law," depending how you're defining it.

Because GULC is too expensive, your only realistic option here is WUSTL, but that runs headlong into being in cold climates such as Chicago, STL, and NYC if you're thinking you'll snag Biglaw. They aren't likely to put you into a warmer climate at all. So would you be comfortable if you missed out on Biglaw and had to shoot for less prestigious (and lower paying) outcomes like a smaller firm or local government jobs? If yes, WUSTL is reasonably priced for your goals. If not, this comes back to my original point: you might just be making a mistake by going to law school this year without getting a couple years under your belt in the work force. It'll help personally, and it'll likely help professionally when you go to law school and have more than the UG clubs and awards you've gotten on your resume that you can talk to potential future employers about. Take that seriously.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by gayfish » Fri May 11, 2018 11:57 am

-The schools you are considering: Berkeley v Harvard
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each: Berkeley: $175k, Harvard: sticker or close to (on WL, but got feeler call and may need to make a snap decision)
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: About $10k total family support, $10k savings, the rest loans
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): from California, but spent last 6 years on east coast. Want to be back in CA in the near future / now
-Your general career goals: impact lit for health / disability issues, not a prestige whore but also a little bit of a prestige whore. Open to gov work on these issues as well
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: n/a
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: n/a
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: n/a
-Other factors: Visited Berkeley and loved it, know that I would be very happy there and have a good personal life outside the school. Have not visited Harvard since I was waitlisted, but have been to Boston for a weekend (was pretty neutral on how much I liked it). Will use LRAP at either school, 100% committed to a PI career. I want to be in Berkeley, but really don't want to pass up HLS if it will have a noticeable impact on the kind of career I have. Really stuck here, and have no idea what to do. My brain says HLS but my heart says Berkeley

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Tue May 15, 2018 10:41 pm

gayfish wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:57 am
-The schools you are considering: Berkeley v Harvard
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each: Berkeley: $175k, Harvard: sticker or close to (on WL, but got feeler call and may need to make a snap decision)
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings: About $10k total family support, $10k savings, the rest loans
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any): from California, but spent last 6 years on east coast. Want to be back in CA in the near future / now
-Your general career goals: impact lit for health / disability issues, not a prestige whore but also a little bit of a prestige whore. Open to gov work on these issues as well
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers: n/a
-How many times you have taken the LSAT: n/a
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost: n/a
-Other factors: Visited Berkeley and loved it, know that I would be very happy there and have a good personal life outside the school. Have not visited Harvard since I was waitlisted, but have been to Boston for a weekend (was pretty neutral on how much I liked it). Will use LRAP at either school, 100% committed to a PI career. I want to be in Berkeley, but really don't want to pass up HLS if it will have a noticeable impact on the kind of career I have. Really stuck here, and have no idea what to do. My brain says HLS but my heart says Berkeley
My first inclination is to tell you that all of the questions you answered with N/A are never actually N/A. They might not be dispositive of the decision you're making, but they always matter in order to give the most complete and quality advice. But since it's not dispositive of the decision, I'll take that at face value and just say that you can't placate me by saying "please don't consider this." If you want my best advice, you should include everything I've asked for in the OP.

Can you at least potentially anticipate your financial aid at Harvard if you got in? You say sticker or close to it, so I'm assuming you have considered whether you're eligible for need-based aid, but if not, you'll want to know the approximate debt load you're considering here.

I always have a hard time giving advice based on people who are clearly considering LRAP/LIPP goals because I typically caution against living under that umbrella protection for a decade, but I also recognize that someone could realistically rely on it. So all I'll say on the debt issue, considering you're taking on a debt load that PI outcomes won't pay off either way, is that you better be certain that you'll vigorously pursue LRAP/LIPP-eligible jobs for at least a decade and have no plans in your personal life that could affect your eligibility under those programs. I can't emphasize this enough, but not many can accurately predict what their lives will be like in 5-7 years following 3 years of law school, so appreciate that getting married (or alternatively choosing not to so as to stay on LRAP/LIPP), buying a house, or having a family may not matter to you now, but that could change in that period, and you may end up resenting your ballooning debt that affects your personal decisions for a decade. I don't mean this to be condescending, but it's rare 0Ls as a group fully appreciate how the other aspects of their lives will impact/will be impacted by the choices they make in attending law school. So long as you appreciate that and understand the implications of relying on LRAP/LIPP for a decade, we can move on.

On to the substance of your post, which seems to be basically "I love Berkeley, but I'm afraid HLS will get me to that super special disability PI goal where Berkeley might not," but I think you need to appreciate something here, especially since you're theoretically looking to do that kind of work in CA. Name cachet matters, and without inputting any other factors like ties to the region and dedication to the work of the PI organization, HLS may get hired over a Berkeley grad. But this type of hiring will be dynamic, and it's not like they'll pick up your dedicated SF/disability health PI resume from Berkeley and toss it aside the moment they see someone else from Harvard out of hand also applying to their limited positions. Prestige is a thing in PI, and others who have PI focuses here can speak more knowledgeably to the hiring practices of 501(c)(3) PI orgs, but intuitively, this is very different than picking between Hastings and GULC for that type of work. Berkeley has a sterling reputation in CA, and their PI grads can do really interesting things in a wide swath of professional fields.

With all of the above considered (and to be clear, the reasons above that I outlined about how living on LRAP/LIPP could impact your life, those are illustrative, not exhaustive), I would take less debt at Berkeley unless you do additional research and find that disability health PI attorneys in CA (also, to be clear, have you researched organizations in CA that do this sort of work and who they hire among younger/less experienced attorneys?) may get priced out of Berkeley's LRAP where Harvard's LIPP will still offer protection. And if you're really worried about whether PSLF will protect you, then you could also reasonably lean toward Harvard, since their LIPP is not reliant on PSLF. It's possible Berkeley would maintain their LRAP if PSLF went away, but there's also no guarantee there. I don't think you should make a decision based on the future of PSLF, but I also understand others may consider that as a possible problem.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by et84 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:19 am

Hi! I wanted to get your thoughts on the Harvard Junior Deferral program. I know there’s not information out currently about stats for getting in, but I just would like some general feedback. I’m a rising Junior at a large state flagship university considered a pretty top public school. I’m interested in appellate or human rights law and probably will be pursuing the clerkship route with the ultimate goal of Supreme Court clerk even though I know it’s a very far reaching goal. I took the June lsat a few days ago and feel pretty good, my final PT scores were between 174-176. My gpa currently is a 3.84 but should be up to a 3.88 or 3.9 by the time I apply! I know harvard doesn’t provide any aid but I’m prepared for that in order to boost clerkship chances, I’ll be paying for about half of tuition and half of living costs through loans likely with the other half coming from family education savings. Should I be looking at JDP even? It seems to get negative commentary on these forums but I see appeal in the certainty of law school while still having the ability to go work in the “real world” for two years. Any feedback or commentary would be appreciated.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:56 am

et84 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:19 am
Hi! I wanted to get your thoughts on the Harvard Junior Deferral program. I know there’s not information out currently about stats for getting in, but I just would like some general feedback. I’m a rising Junior at a large state flagship university considered a pretty top public school. I’m interested in appellate or human rights law and probably will be pursuing the clerkship route with the ultimate goal of Supreme Court clerk even though I know it’s a very far reaching goal. I took the June lsat a few days ago and feel pretty good, my final PT scores were between 174-176. My gpa currently is a 3.84 but should be up to a 3.88 or 3.9 by the time I apply! I know harvard doesn’t provide any aid but I’m prepared for that in order to boost clerkship chances, I’ll be paying for about half of tuition and half of living costs through loans likely with the other half coming from family education savings. Should I be looking at JDP even? It seems to get negative commentary on these forums but I see appeal in the certainty of law school while still having the ability to go work in the “real world” for two years. Any feedback or commentary would be appreciated.
Please understand that I don't know a ton about the program either, so this will be more advice in generalities.

In a vacuum, the JDP is accomplishing what I usually advocate pretty hard for, and that's the real world experience you mention, but it also potentially ties down that real world experience and limits it if you decide you really like your job and want to stay longer (obviously you could just give up your seat at Harvard if this happens, but there will likely be a psychological and emotional pull to just go now when you're not sure you want to). My other reservation about it is the financial situation. If you're looking at ~3.9/174, you'll be in a really strong position to get really good scholarships at some lower ranked schools like CLS, NYU, Penn, UVA, Duke, (so basically the T13). Depending on your need-based aid prospects at Harvard (or as you mention, the half you'll have to pay using loans and assuming the education savings is usable at the other schools too), these will likely be better financial options than Harvard would be through the JDP. That's not to say you can't decide to pay more to go to Harvard, because you're fully allowed to do that, but I typically advise against it because the likelihood of your outcome after graduation being materially different than it is from those other schools just isn't enough to pay significantly more for that Harvard name showing up on your diploma.

Harvard is a fantastic institution, and you wouldn't be wrong to try for the JDP program because your reasoning for choosing it is mostly sound, but my only caution is to consider the financial ramifications of that decision when you could likely have a much cheaper option for what will likely be materially the same outcomes following law school. That should be the real cost-benefit analysis you're doing.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by DorkothyParker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:04 pm

I thought I had a plan, but I just got an offer off the waitlist for my #1 school. Do note, I am married and have a child. Husband will be working full time in either situation, but we are expected to be <50% AMI for the purpose of affordable housing. (which is competitive and requires impeccable timing.)

The schools you are considering University of Washington vs Seattle University (both in Seattle)

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. UW $124,552 (this includes school family housing) vs Seattle $68,316-$89,916 (Dependent on housing and ability for Affordable Housing vs lowest end market rates in city.)

-How you will be financing your COA : Student loans for actual tuition, fees, and book. Husband's income for rent portion and day to day living expenses. We anticipate having ~35K in savings left after bills and such from the sell of our home this summer.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I am mostly from Idaho. I have friends and close relatives (sister and BIL) in Seattle. I plan to live, work, and stay in Seattle more or less forever. Especially as our daughter will be starting kindergarten there and I wouldn't want to move her after 3 years.

-Your general career goals
Not family law! I do mediation work and it's so frustrating. haha!
I also want to avoid stepping in a courtroom as much as possible. Though I'm familiar with it to a small extent as a former GAL.
I do have a strong interest in employment law as well as immigration law. I have been in banking for almost 10 non-consecutive years but it's not my passion.
Though I have volunteered with the NLG, I don't see myself moving towards non-profit work for the most part. I want something that can support my family.
I want to do what I am best at and will get paid for. I haven't taken classes yet, so I don't know *exactly* what I want. I am comfortable with long hours and tedious small print, though. :)

(Sorry if I am talking too much.)

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
163/2.90 (I'm non-trad, 9 years out from UG. My grad school gpa was 3.87. That was for my Conflict Management certificate.)

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
1 time. I was really broke/poor last summer and literally could not afford $160 or whatever for retake.

-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost

I am the Assistant Manager at a small community (retail) bank. I make annual $37,080 as of Feb 1 2018.
In this job, I can expect up to a 3% annual raise until I die.
I also get a small $55/night fee when I do the light family mediation at the courthouse. it's only 2x month.

NOTE: UW has much better placement rates, bar passage rates, really everything.
Huskies are also my favorite type of dog.
Also the school holiday schedule has more overlap with public schools so I will start classes after my daughter starts kindergarten. We also overlap most holidays, not spring break but I can cross that bridge a little later.

Thoughts?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Sinoper » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:13 pm

DorkothyParker wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:04 pm

-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. UW $124,552 (this includes school family housing) vs Seattle $68,316-$89,916 (Dependent on housing and ability for Affordable Housing vs lowest end market rates in city.) These costs are too high for both schools. Nearly 40% of Seattle's graduates don't have jobs as lawyers within 9 months of graduation. The ones that do are primarily at small firms or public interest/gov't making very little money (probably $50,000/yr) compared to the cost of the degree. I honestly wouldn't attend Seattle unless it were close to free AND you wanted to do public interest/small firm work (i.e. litigation), which it sounds like you don't want. As for UW, the employment prospects are better but 30% still don't get jobs as lawyers within 9 months of graduation. A higher % get big firm jobs, but you can't count on being in the top 15% of your class. Everyone wants to be in the top 15% and at the end of the day 85% aren't. I wouldn't go to UW for more than like $30-$50k, if that.

-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I am mostly from Idaho. I have friends and close relatives (sister and BIL) in Seattle. I plan to live, work, and stay in Seattle more or less forever. Especially as our daughter will be starting kindergarten there and I wouldn't want to move her after 3 years. Seattle is one of those cities that is getting drastically more expensive over a very short period if time as home prices soar. If you land the sort of work most people land out of UW/Seattle (public interest/small firm work), you're likely going to make too little to live within a reasonable distance from your work, which will likely be downtown.

-Your general career goals

I also want to avoid stepping in a courtroom as much as possible.
I do have a strong interest in employment law as well as immigration law.

I have been in banking for almost 10 non-consecutive years but it's not my passion.
Though I have volunteered with the NLG, I don't see myself moving towards non-profit work for the most part. I want something that can support my family. If you want something to support your family, and these are your dispositions, then you should NOT go to either of the schools you are considering. Employment law and immigration law are BOTH litigation fields (though employment has some counseling), so your primary job will be preparing for litigation (aka going to court). Your entire career will be centered around stepping in a courtroom quite frequently. If you don't want to step in a court room, then you'll want to do transactional/corporate law, but there are two problems there. (1) you've shown disinterest in banking, which has strong thematic ties to many aspects of corporate law and (2) you won't be able to land a corporate law gig out of UW/Seattle unless you're top 15% at UW and top 5% at Seattle. Why is this? Small firms don't have corporate practices for the most part. Corporate practices primarily exist at large firms. The problem on your end is that large firms are the most prestigious and the hardest to get into and rarely take graduates from either of the schools you listed.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
163/2.90 (I'm non-trad, 9 years out from UG. My grad school gpa was 3.87. That was for my Conflict Management certificate.) You can't recover your GPA, because law schools really don't care about good grad school GPAs (though they probably note very bad ones), but you can improve your LSAT.

-How many times you have taken the LSAT
1 time. I was really broke/poor last summer and literally could not afford $160 or whatever for retake.
You need to retake your LSAT, because your current school choices are bad at those debt levels. Figure out how to save up $160 now to save yourself $70,000 - $130,000 in debt. Don't be short-sighted and take this endeavor seriously. That's a lot of money you're leaving on the table.

-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost

I am the Assistant Manager at a small community (retail) bank. I make annual $37,080 as of Feb 1 2018.
In this job, I can expect up to a 3% annual raise until I die.
I also get a small $55/night fee when I do the light family mediation at the courthouse. it's only 2x month. Sounds like a pretty stable 9-5 type job. That's a perfect job for scheduling LSAT studying. Get at it. At the law schools you're looking at, you might pay $100,000 to start at a job making only $40,000. Don't pay $100,000 + interest to make $3,000/yr. more.

NOTE: UW has much better placement rates, bar passage rates, really everything. Huskies are also my favorite type of dog. But I might not be rational giving cost.
Thoughts? Neither option is rational given costs. Retake your LSAT until you can go to one of them for next to free or at most $30k-$50k at UW.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Rowdy » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:14 pm

Sinoper wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:13 pm
I have an LSAT well over 10 points higher and I didn't get any more money from UW. Not sure a retake is going to matter that much in that respect.

ETA: Similar GPA

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by DorkothyParker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:31 pm

I don't dislike anything thematically in banking. I just don't want to work for a bank (the irony would kill me!). Or an insurance company.
We have crossed the bridge on the move as my house is on the market (there are strangers looking at it as I type) and I quit my job over a month ago with July 13th as my last day.
I don't mind courtroom stuff. I'm just small(ish) and it takes sooo much work just to get taken seriously half the time so would rather avoid it if possible. (I've been interrupted mid-mediation to be told I'm "so adorable" by the mother.) Blegh.
I guess I mostly mean I don't want to do criminal law or family law.

I am 35 next month.

Seattle U is close to free at 7k/year but the cost of apartment is higher. Again, I have included the cost of two-bedroom apartments in the total COA (for three years!). Although, again, this is just normal month to month bill stuff paid from husband's paycheck (not loans). I also fully expect to take advantage of any social programs we qualify for as my husband has no higher education and will likely make 37-40k/year Seattle money.

I did crunch the numbers this morning on employment and I got:

Overall full-time long-term JD required employment w/in 6 months of graduation
UW 69% (20% “Big law”)
Seattle 38% (8% “Big law”)
Big = 100+ size.
I used latest raw scores.
Federal Clerkships
UW 4.5%
Seattle 0%

State clerkship jobs were higher but I don't remember where I typed them out earlier.

EDIT: I am out of state on UW and have 10k/year (30k total) for scholarship. I know that isn't much. I will likely qualify for in-state on years 2 & 3 based on what I have read on their application.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Stranger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:28 pm

Can you break down likely loan amounts? With a working spouse in support, I feel like this is a more relevant figure. Maybe that plus the hit to savings.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:53 pm

Stranger wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:28 pm
Can you break down likely loan amounts? With a working spouse in support, I feel like this is a more relevant figure. Maybe that plus the hit to savings.
I have additional thoughts on your plan, but this is a really good baseline question. Until we know actual debt amounts considering your SO's income, home sale, etc. You've done a good job outlining all of the things that will go into your eventual financial situation, but getting at least somewhat accurate debt figures at graduation will be helpful in framing the advice I give.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by DorkothyParker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:35 pm

Oh yeah, sorry, I was trying to keep it within the original framework.

I plan to use student loan debt pretty much to just cover school fees/tuition/books.

UW rounds up to 87k for three years (if I get in state for years 2 and 3). 107kish otherwise.
Seattle is 21k for three years.

The difference in rent does add
$200-$800 each month for Seattle. So it's not impossible that I might need to take out additional student loans for Seattle U if we can't get into affordable housing. (We qualify, just timing.)

I'd ike to use savings mostly as emergency buffer and in case something pops up as we are otherwise paycheck to paycheck.

I've got a lot of balls in the air.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Stranger » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:06 am

So, with five figures of debt, and the family relocation Rubicon already crossed, I don't see Washington as a bad option, here. It's very similar to the situation I'm putting myself into at W&L (though with lower debt, so congrats). Seattle seems to close the employment gap some at 10 months after graduation, but there's a lot of shitlaw in the mix (over 1/3 of Seattle's FTLT employment at 10 months is firms of 25 or fewer lawyers, heavily weighted to the 2-10 band), and that doesn't fit well with your "not family law" goal. Washington just gives you better options - more Gov/PI work, more biglaw, more clerkships.

Seattle is admittedly very low risk. If you avoid emergencies, you would be able to snap your fingers and make half your bank account disappear to get out of debt at graduation. But the reward is also low. Your median outcome is those shitlaw jobs, as opposed to having a reasonably strong shot at government work or the better small firm gigs (which could well include labor law - the largest employee side labor firm here in SC only has 7 attorneys, though I don't know if something similar is the case in Seattle) out of Washington.

The choice isn't as obvious as mine was, and it feels heavily dependent on your risk tolerance. I take it that Washington's school family housing is worth the price if you'd take it outright rather than gunning for low income housing. That sounds like t has some stress reduction value on its own. Only you can ultimately work out how you value the risks and rewards, here, but both choices carry a significant risk (job outcomes at Seattle, debt at Washington), without presenting a no-brainer on the other side of the ledger. But I would choose Washington, given my personal levels of risk tolerance.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:16 pm

There has been a lot of really good, valid discussion on the choice here, and I've thought a decent amount about it before answering, so hopefully my opinion will be just another data point worth considering.

Stranger is more or less spot on above with the analysis. And I think you have some competing interests that weigh in both directions. On the one hand, UW is much more likely to give you an outcome that lets you "support your family," which I take to mean earning more than a job equivalent to a minimum wage job (there's probably more nuance to this definition, but hopefully this at least broadly describes what you meant by that). On the other hand, the wage at which you can reasonably help support your family with your debt load is way less when you're in pretty minimal debt out of Seattle. So I think the question becomes: are you more comfortable with the risk of missing out on a higher income (in which case, take Seattle), or are you more comfortable with a debt load that would hurt more if you missed out on a higher income (in which case, take UW).

Even though your decision sounds very binary, and for the most part I won't challenge you on that, but if you look at this as a strictly financial decision, is law school even the best call for you? I know you don't exactly have a passion for what you've done in the past in banking, but you also don't seem to fully grasp what type of law you'd want to practice, so you might very reasonably find yourself in three years looking at equally or less palatable options going into a profession that doesn't enthuse you, along with the debt you've incurred. Considering you're a non-traditional, I'd be very wary making that decision lightly. If your main goal is to find a career that interests you that will help support your family, and considering your time to figure out your new career is pretty limited (not that you can't go into a new career at this point, but just that this is probably one of the last career transitions you'll have in you), I would think very introspectively and figure out the areas of law that might interest you. And once you've thought about that, ask to be put in contact with alumni from UW/SU that practice in those areas. You need professional insight into this career. That way, once you've reached that critical point when you have to ultimately decide whether you should go and where your risk analysis lands, you'll have more of a plan in place when you get to school, and you'll be ready to attack what matters most: finding a job. Because this is critical: while UW is the better school, you're talking about two regional schools that place into the same, tightly insular market, and there is a very real chance you could miss out on the job if you want if you haven't focused your job interests tightly. Without being too paternal here, I just don't want you to make a mistake at this point in your life that puts you more in debt, without the equity of a home at your disposal anymore, and not better off professionally than you were before you made the move to Seattle.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Nony » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:49 am

I’m going to say UW and I don’t think it’s a bad decision. (I’m admittedly biased because of my own positive outcome in a semi-similar situation, but having gone to a school with similar employment stats, I don’t think it’s as dire as people who are looking at the T14 would think.) Happy to chat over PM if it’s at all helpful.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by DorkothyParker » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:59 pm

Thanks guys! I did decide to attend UW. Your advice was incredibly helpful and I appreciate you looking out for my financial well-being. I, of course, discussed my options with my husband, family, and close friends. And ultimately, I am EXTREMELY excited to attend UW.

The school itself isn't big on scholarships and grants, so I do feel fortunate in anything. (Although, they are having me fill out a scholarship application form now so maybe they can scrape together a little more for a first-generation college student and mom from a disadvantaged household.) But even without, I think we can make it. Husbeast just might have to work a little longer for those student loan payments.
Thanks!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by lemareschal » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:27 am

LSAC GPA: 3.6 (strong upward trend)
LSAT: 168 (2nd take)
Going on my third year of full time employment with a salary of about 50k (have a Master’s in my field). I also worked part time throughout college.
I am debt averse (who isn’t), but would be willing to take on a reasonable amount of debt that could be serviced by a non-biglaw salary.

I am from Southern California and am interested in both criminal law and litigation so I would like to give myself a chance at LA biglaw, but wouldn’t be crushed if that didn’t happen. I had a brief stint on the East Coast that I did not enjoy (hence my less than stellar freshman year GPA) so I am pretty set on staying in the LA area.

I plan on applying to UCLA, USC, and UCI (along with Pepperdine, LMU, etc. as safeties). Law school will most likely be financed by loans (don’t have significant savings, and while my dad says he wants to help pay I don’t think he can). Based on my goals, I think my best realistic outcome would be a significant scholly at USC or close to a full ride at UCI.

Two questions:

1.) Do I need to retake to have a shot at $$? I am not sure if there is room for improvement before September because I don’t have a lot of time to study and was pting around 167 before. I typically do poorly on LG, but went -1 on the June test(miracle) and lost a few more points than typical on LR (the good luck outweighed the bad). However, if I NEED to retake for my goals then I guess I should just cross my fingers and dive in and hope for the best, although I would be worried about ending on the wrong end of the variance machine this time and scoring lower than a 168.
2.) To which other schools, if any, should I apply to maximize my scholarship potential?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:56 am

Sorry for coming into dorkothy's convo late. I would have offered a lot more detailed advice re UW vs Seattle U, although I think it would have come to the same result. Chiming in now because I want to make it clear to Sinoper and anyone else reading that it is extremely unlikely to get 30-50k total COA at UW unless you land the gates scholarship (public service) or you have a 180 LSAT. They don't really do many (if any) full rides, and cost of living even with a full ride is $60k. So the numbers Sinoper is suggesting as the only justifiable reason to attend UW would mean no one should go to UW. That's not really a logical outcome unless you're a T14 or bust type.

Lemareschal, higher LSAT always helps. UCLA/USC are going to be the best for targeting LA, so whatever gets you closer to those schools with minimal debt should be your plan, imho. If someone else has more perspective on the LA market please override my opinion here if it's wrong.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:48 am

1) as dog mentions, an increase in LSAT can only help, especially when you’re specifically looking at getting larger scholarships. Also, what do you consider a reasonable amount of debt here? Because right now, assuming you’re financing complete COA, you’re likely looking at over $100k in debt. If that’s reasonable to you, great (and it probably should be since COL will always be a big expense), but how far above that you’re willing to go will matter here for whether LA Biglaw is/should be important to you.

2) as for applying and negotiations, you’ll want some T14 on your list in order to negotiate with USC/UCLA. A great way to get them to bump you up is an acceptance to a T14, especially if it also has a scholarship attached. They don’t need to know you wouldn’t go to them (the T14) for whatever reason (which is silly that you wouldn’t consider it, but I’ll set that aside for now).

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