NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

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NYU or Penn?

Penn w/45k diff or more
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NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

Postby TLSNYC » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:03 pm

I know NYU vs. Penn has been litigated before and so I want to try and articulate some of my career goals and circumstances in the hope of getting a response best suited for me.

So, I have 10k in UG loans (going to LS straight from UG) and the one thing that I know for certain is that I'd like to practice in NYC (the only exception is if I get a position with the FEC at some point in my career). Outside of that, I'm VERY interested in landing a federal district court clerkship (in NYC) and then working at a BigLaw firm doing litigation (4-5 years) and then landing a position preferably as an AUSA, but in an attorney general's office would be cool too. Let me say that I recognize that this is a very ambitious set of goals and that regardless of which I pick, I will have to work my butt off.

In terms of personal preferences, both are close to my SO in NJ so that's fine.
NYU -- love the library, love NYC(!). Hate the lack of a campus.
Penn -- LOVE the campus, the feel of the university, and I feel it's big plus over NYU is that it has other departments which are top notch where I could take classes. (Not trying to knock NYU, which I strongly considered attending for UG, but aside from Stern and the law school, it isn't quite at Penn's level.)

Which works better for my goals? If it comes down to money, at what point does Penn become the better deal, i.e. 30k cheaper over 3 yrs or once you hit 50k cheaper?

People often talk about CCN > P but I did notice that Penn had stronger firm + clerkship #s than NYU and I saw that NYU didn't have rep scores as strong as CN for US News (Again, not trying to knock NYU which is where I'm leaning right now, but I just want to understand the distinctions a bit better.)

Note: I did also get into Chicago ,but given that my goal is NYC and my SO would not be visiting me there, I want to put it out of the running unless anyone has a huge reason why I should go there.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

Postby dissonance1848 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:09 pm

Here is my meager input. Chicago would be much better than NYU or Penn for clerkship hunting, given its reputation, and does well in NYC for biglaw. So if you could figure something out with your SO, Chicago would make a lot of sense.

Between NYU and Penn, it depends on how debt averse you are. Also, remember that your list is a daunting one, given the grades you would need for 1L to make them happen. As such, I would recommend probably leaning to Penn if you can get money, if not, NYU. If you can get 30, 40K at Penn, definitely recommending take it.

Again, depends on debt aversion and how much of a gambler you are.

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Re: NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:13 pm

I made this decision, but NOT with an exclusive focus on NYC biglaw.

The general feeling on campus is that we don't place any worse than NYU in NYC biglaw (and might even place better due to our small class size). Accounting for bias, I'd say that probably isn't true, my guess is that NYU gives you about a 10% edge for NYC biglaw (i.e. Penn down to 60% has a respectable shot, NYU down to 70%). I wouldn't say that the PI numbers play into this a lot, if you look at the disclosed %'s of students who go into PI, they are very close.

I think Penn compensates with better prospects in some other parts of the country in which I am interested but at the end of the day, if your ONLY consideration is NYC biglaw weigh that against the 10% difference and by all means take NYU if you find the placement difference more weighty than personal considerations (if any) pulling you towards Penn. Either decision would be reasonable. I certainly feel you about the overall quality of the university, it was also a pretty big consideration for me.

For AUSA, Penn for PA, NYU for NY is the pretty obvious answer, for clerkships, both are strong in their respective federal districts. Penn and NYU both have programs in place to get their clerkship numbers up. You'll probably develop stronger relationships with profs at Penn since the school is so much smaller (which is important for clerkship). For D.C. Fed Gov work I doubt your choice matters.

I wouldn't necessarily expect to get more money from Penn than from NYU but if you do, that would make the decision a no-brainier. Penn might already be 5-8k cheaper a year once COL is factored in, which comes out to about 30g upon graduation after interest and probably more like 45k by the time your loans are paid off.[/s]

Edit: Just looked at your goals more closely. Definitely Penn. Our LRAP will cover you fully for the rest of the LRAP period if you work for a firm for a few years and then move to gov, NYU's won't. This will make a HUGE difference in cost. After 4-5 years at a firm you will likely get $0 out of NYU LRAP and probably between 50k-90k from Penn. So Penn is the obvious choice if you are serious about clerkship --> firm --> Gov.
Last edited by Veyron on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:32 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

Postby Korey » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:14 pm

I don't really have any input as I'm just a 0L. But just wanted to drop in and say congratulations on acceptances to my top 3 choices. :)

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Re: NYU vs. Penn for NYC BigLaw > AUSA

Postby twistedwrister » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:36 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Here is my meager input. Chicago would be much better than NYU or Penn for clerkship hunting, given its reputation, and does well in NYC for biglaw. So if you could figure something out with your SO, Chicago would make a lot of sense.

Chicago used to be much better than NYU for clerkships, but not over the last few cycles. I don't have them in front of me, but I compared NYU's clerkship numbers (which I have b/c I'm an NYU student) and Chicago's clerkship numbers (from the employment data Chicago previously supplied to LawSchoolTransparency -- I think that particular data is down now), and NYU placed a higher % of 3L's in Article III clerkships than Chicago did last cycle. Not a higher raw number, but a higher %, which is pretty incredible considering that (1) NYU's class is so much bigger than Chicago's, and (2) a lot of NYUer's clerk on the 2d Cir. and SDNY, which are generally more competitive than the 7th Cir. and N.D. Ill. Chicago's a great school if you want to clerk, but NYU's now up there as well.

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