dixiecupdrinking wrote:NYU 1L. Will try not to troll too hard.
NYU has the PI rep for a good reason. It's difficult to imagine comparable schools having the level of institutional support for those pursuing (some might even call it institutional pressure to pursue) PI. The school has a separate career office for public interest, which is unique as I understand it. We host the largest PI job fair in the country every year and NYU students have to be given a certain percentage of interviews. There are almost nonstop talks from really prominent people working in just about every area of PI law. I could go on. None of this should be a deal-breaker for CLS, because anything PI-related you can do at NYU you probably can do there too, but my sense is it may be easier to get on the right track at NYU, and the environment is more encouraging. I think that is undeniably reflected in the statistics – 6% of 2008 CLS grads went into PI/government; 24% of 2009 NYU grads did. Whether this is self-selection or a product of the school's emphasis (or as some will say, NYU's inability to place people in biglaw), it is a huge difference.
That said, NYU's LRAP is no longer best-in-class, no matter what they may claim (though it's still quite good). It's comparable to CLS's now, and can be worse in some scenarios depending on a things like your salary, whether you leave the program before ten years, your assets, whether you're married, etc. It's also unnecessarily complicated. I believe they are revamping the LRAP program before the end of this academic year though, so this may be moot soon.
When I was looking at Chicago last year, they seemed basically to pay lip service to PI careers. The LRAP was a joke -- they would give you $10,000 a year in seven out of your first ten years or something like that, good luck living on a $40,000 salary. Maybe this has changed. Berkeley struck me almost as NYU West in a lot of ways, with a similar institutional focus on PI jobs, but I don't know that much about it. (I'm also okay with being Cal East.)
I want to address a few things in this post:
1.In those pages NYU includes clerkships as "public interest/government" (where they generally send anywhere from 8-16 %) and CLS counts it separately. Generally, CLS sends around 4-9 % in public interest, and NYU generally sends around 8 - 12 % (not counting clerkships). Looking at the pages you linked to, 75 % of NYU grads went into law firms or business and 83 % of CLS grads went to law firms. The differences are there, but they're not nearly as big as people make them out to be.
2. I think most top ten schools have a public interest career office (I only know for certain about CLS though).
3. The NYU career fair is, IMO, the only meaningful difference between NYU and other schools in terms of PI support. It gives significant home court advantages to NYU students too, though I sometimes wonder how much it really helps NYU students in the end. Still, I have to give credit where credit is due. It's a great career fair (it's also where I got my 2L summer and my current job).
Look, NYU is a great place to go for public interest, but I think it's PI reputation can be overstated in comparison to other schools. I don't think going to NYU or CLS gives you a better chance to land a top-notch career in PI across the board.
I do concur that U Chicago's LRAP is a joke (or was; I'm not sure if they've updated it recently).