macunaima wrote:Well, that just makes this all that much harder. If $210k is a more realistic number we're talking a $100k difference. Are the increased job opportunities really worth that much? Supposing I go to UT and get a good job in Texas, how hard will it be to move out of state (to the Northeast or CA) after a few years?
If you work biglaw (guaranteed from CLS if you want it) you can comfortably pay off that debt within 10 years. They also have one of the better LRAPs. Going from UT --> Texas biglaw --> move elsewhere seems harder than all the doors CLS will open.
I have to disagree with this bolded statement. Once you get your first biglaw job out of law school, your performance at that job matters a hell of a lot more than where you got your degree, particularly when your degree is from a very good school like UT.
Where the degree makes the biggest difference is your ability to get that first biglaw job (or a prestigious clerkship or academia). Personally I'd pick Columbia unless you like the more laid-back environment in Austin, and if the (substantial) difference in debt is an issue.
You should probably deposit at UT today and continue to think it over.