banjo wrote:NYC is indeed expensive, but 70k really seems too high for three years, especially in Queens. Take some time to find a cheap place ($600/mo) or live with your girlfriend, get rid of your car, buy groceries once or twice a week, and pregame with cheap liquor before going out. You can bring that down to 50k. I wouldn't rule out St. John's with a full scholarship just yet.
I live in a cheap ass city in the Midwest and I am somewhat modest in how I spend my money (or at least I was 1L year). I can't even keep my COL under 50k here for three full years. No way OP is gonna do it in NYC. Unless you basically have no life, never shop, eat Ramen noodles, etc. But that's just not a kind of lifestyle choice most (any?) law students are willing to make.
Don't listen to anyone who hasn't lived in NY regarding cost of living.
I lived in the middle of Manhattan (between times square and the empire state building) off of about $18k per year and know for a fact that I could have found a room for $200/month less, if I really tried.
Note that on that budget, I actually ate out more often than not, but had to keep shopping to a minimum and had to make clear choices regarding entertainment.
Outside of Manhattan (and some areas in Manhattan, like Dykman), it is possible to live off $50k over 3 years. If you insist on residing in Manhattan, it's possible to keep your COL under $60k