Would be cool if you vote for one of Stanford, Harvard or RTK assuming no Yale acceptance. And then add choose again under "If Yale..." Thanks for the opinions.
Edit: update: No RTK at NYU (over 100k in $) and just got my Yale acceptance
Here's the breakdown:
I'm planning a career in public interest environmental law/policy (mainly been working on international climate policy to date, but also renewable energy development); might stray from the legal field a little down the road, but not completely. I am not sure how concerned I am about debt with Harvard or Stanford's LRAP. It is certainly emotionally a factor during law school to know that what I am doing is getting me into massive debt, but I don't THINK I'm that concerned about how it will be to get it all paid off, as I have the feeling that either Harvard or Stanford's LRAP programs will work fine for me (but maybe I'm wrong).
The main draws of Stanford:
I have the opportunity to get a joint MS degree (currently getting MA in enviro policy, this second masters would be more climate science, which is important to me). Excited about environmental law program/clinic. Generally enthused about culture/weather/potential for happiness*.
General decline in employment numbers. Ability to get PI jobs on east coast reduced?
Stanford was my first choice going in for a number of reasons, but I am also worried this is because it is the only school from this list that I've already visited (and perhaps I just got excited about *law school* and not *Stanford Law School* from my visit last year)
*Happiness-potential caveat: Reduction of CalTrain service scares me; Not a Stanford/Palo Alto bubble kind of person; I need access to the rest of the Bay and do not drive/have a car.
The main draws of Harvard:
I've lived much of my life abroad and will probably move around a fair bit around the world later in life, so international prestige does mean a fair amount (in terms of jobs, not impressing people at cocktail parties). This also applies for possible non-legal work in the future. I'm not a prestige whore, but since I do want to build a career that isn't quite as simple as joining a BigLaw firm and working my way up, I do want to maximize brand value across a varied spectrum.
Feel like I need to visit (wouldn't have that option if I decide to take RTK) to check out the school culture. In my head, I am fairly biased against Harvard in this regard. Don't want to spend 3 years with assholes, but I'm not sure how much perception actually reflects facts.
I've never been to Cambridge/Boston and therefore have no opinion on location.
Also, I'm not too sold on Harvard being the right place for environmental law, but also not that concerned in the face of general strengths in regulatory law/law&government.
The main draws of NYU with RTK:
Elimination of 3 years of tuition debt is obviously the main draw. But being in RTK also has its own benefits (network, support) beyond money.
NYU also drew me in initially with its (urban) environmental planning/law tie-ins.
I actually am quite excited about NYC, at least for a short-period (3 years) of my life.
Obvious reduction in prestige and impacts on job opps. Not sure how much this could be offset by RTK.