Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which should I choose?

Harvard ($21,000 per year grant)
49
38%
UChicago (Rubenstein Scholarship)
74
57%
Columbia (Butler)
4
3%
NYU ($87,500 total)
2
2%
 
Total votes: 129

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bk1
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:50 pm

soj wrote:Yeah, I agree. And since deferring's not an option, OP should really choose Chicago.


If OP definitely wanted to do 501c3 or govt legal work then I might see a case for deferring and applying to Stanford (assuming I'm reading it correctly and they cover all undergrad debt). But that's risky since there's no guarantee OP would get SLS.

nametaken
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby nametaken » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:07 pm

Also, I should say that my father is currently working at chipping away my UG debt, although very slowly. He insists he wants to pay for all of it (male ego lol), but I definitely would like to be in a position (aka BigLaw) to make the $$ to help pay everything off.

BigLaw is appealing to me, I just meant that probably not as something I would do forever. I am fine with working as much as I need to to pay off the debt. With that said, I do not want to take on more debt than I need to if UChicago can land me in NYC BigLaw which could then hopefully open up more doors for me in the future.

EDIT: Also, would Harvard v. UChicago really matter more than my work experience and connections on my resume say 5-10 years into my career if I wanted to go into PI or a field Harvard would have a definite leg up in straight out of school?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:12 pm

nametaken wrote:Also, I should say that my father is currently working at chipping away my UG debt, although very slowly. He insists he wants to pay for all of it (male ego lol), but I definitely would like to be in a position (aka BigLaw) to make the $$ to help pay everything off.

BigLaw is appealing to me, I just meant that probably not as something I would do forever. I am fine with working as much as I need to to pay off the debt. With that said, I do not want to take on more debt than I need to if UChicago can land me in NYC BigLaw which could then hopefully open up more doors for me in the future.


If you think that NYC biglaw is your likely path, then baring Columbia offering a Hamilton, you take Chicago without a second thought. I would say that to someone even without the UG debt. I "only" (gag) had $160k in debt at graduation, and it's still a dominating focus of my life for the next several years (even with the clerkship->biglaw path locked down). It has made wedding planning financially difficult, it will probably force a year or more of long-distance relationship down the road, etc. And all of this is with Chicago - as opposed to NYC - COL. Don't underestimate how severely it screws with your life after graduation.

Edit: Going into PI 5 years down the road doesn't make sense financially because of how PSLF works (especially for someone with your debt-load), which is why people focus on programs coming straight out of school.

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soj
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby soj » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:21 pm

If your financial situation changes, your scholarship at HLS could also change. Your scholarship might be reduced, for instance, if you work in biglaw over your summers.

Someone brought up using the Rubenstein for a prestige bump in the job search. I talked to some Hamilton fellows, and they said listing the Hamilton on the resume was marginally helpful at best, and many interviewers (especially older ones) didn't even know what it was. The faculty mentoring and other non-financial benefits are apparently pretty lame, too. The prestige associated with the Rubenstein, which is new and could be discontinued after next year, is a non-factor. The only reason to take a named scholarship is the money.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Tadatsune » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:28 pm

With 100,000 in undergrad debt, the Ruby starts to look even more appealing. I'd still wait to hear from Columbia, though.

nametaken
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby nametaken » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:10 pm

soj wrote:If your financial situation changes, your scholarship at HLS could also change. Your scholarship might be reduced, for instance, if you work in biglaw over your summers.

Someone brought up using the Rubenstein for a prestige bump in the job search. I talked to some Hamilton fellows, and they said listing the Hamilton on the resume was marginally helpful at best, and many interviewers (especially older ones) didn't even know what it was. The faculty mentoring and other non-financial benefits are apparently pretty lame, too. The prestige associated with the Rubenstein, which is new and could be discontinued after next year, is a non-factor. The only reason to take a named scholarship is the money.


I didn't think about my HLS grant going down. Good point. Shame about the lack of prestige the Rubenstein carries, but I guess that makes sense.

Everyone else: thank you for you responses! I appreciate the input and you guys have brought up a few things that I hadn't thought of yet.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:43 pm

nametaken wrote:Shame about the lack of prestige the Rubenstein carries, but I guess that makes sense.


You can always use a bulletpoint on your resume to put it into context

"Rubenstein Scholarship: Named full-tuition scholarship offered to X entering law students."
X = amount of Ruby fellows that matriculated your year

That would just about sum it up.

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bk1
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
nametaken wrote:Shame about the lack of prestige the Rubenstein carries, but I guess that makes sense.


You can always use a bulletpoint on your resume to put it into context

"Rubenstein Scholarship: Named full-tuition scholarship offered to X entering law students."
X = amount of Ruby fellows that matriculated your year

That would just about sum it up.


The point that soj was making is that this is only marginally helpful, if that.

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hung jury
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby hung jury » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:23 pm

Hasn't the Rubenstein started including 10k on top of free tuition? In any event, 300k of debt would make me want to jump off a cliff--the amount of interest you'll be paying for that extra 100k is itself a pretty chunk of change. A little under 200k debt at graduation isn't much better but at least it is manageable.

I'd ordinarily say Harvard but with 100k in prior debt I think you'd be setting yourself up for a potential disaster.

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sunynp
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby sunynp » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:27 pm

How is this even a question. You absolutely need to reduce/minimize debt. To take on more for no reason is just stupid. Even if you had no UG debt I would say Ruby, but with a huge amount of debt like you have, you don't have a choice.

JasonR
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby JasonR » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:50 pm

nametaken wrote:pay off my huge amount of undergrad debt


If you have a huge UG debt, negotiate for the Hamilton or take the Ruby. Try to wrap your mind around how scary and limiting it would be to have both huge UG debt and huge law school debt.

jd5
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby jd5 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:18 pm

soj wrote:If your financial situation changes, your scholarship at HLS could also change. Your scholarship might be reduced, for instance, if you work in biglaw over your summers.

Someone brought up using the Rubenstein for a prestige bump in the job search. I talked to some Hamilton fellows, and they said listing the Hamilton on the resume was marginally helpful at best, and many interviewers (especially older ones) didn't even know what it was. The faculty mentoring and other non-financial benefits are apparently pretty lame, too. The prestige associated with the Rubenstein, which is new and could be discontinued after next year, is a non-factor. The only reason to take a named scholarship is the money.


I don't think this is quite fair. As someone else has noted, if you put "Full-Tuition Merit Scholarship" in parentheses after Hamilton/Rubenstein, your interviewer doesn't need to have heard of it to know that it's prestigious and likely means you were offered admission at at least one of HYS.

(Full disclosure: I'm considering taking the Hamilton over HLS, so maybe I'm biased.)

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Bronck
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Bronck » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:21 pm

jd5 wrote:
soj wrote:If your financial situation changes, your scholarship at HLS could also change. Your scholarship might be reduced, for instance, if you work in biglaw over your summers.

Someone brought up using the Rubenstein for a prestige bump in the job search. I talked to some Hamilton fellows, and they said listing the Hamilton on the resume was marginally helpful at best, and many interviewers (especially older ones) didn't even know what it was. The faculty mentoring and other non-financial benefits are apparently pretty lame, too. The prestige associated with the Rubenstein, which is new and could be discontinued after next year, is a non-factor. The only reason to take a named scholarship is the money.


I don't think this is quite fair. As someone else has noted, if you put "Full-Tuition Merit Scholarship" in parentheses after Hamilton/Rubenstein, your interviewer doesn't need to have heard of it to know that it's prestigious and likely means you were offered admission at at least one of HYS.

(Full disclosure: I'm considering taking the Hamilton over HLS, so maybe I'm biased.)


No. Even then it doesn't make much of a difference.

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soj
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby soj » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:37 pm

jd5 wrote:I don't think this is quite fair. As someone else has noted, if you put "Full-Tuition Merit Scholarship" in parentheses after Hamilton/Rubenstein, your interviewer doesn't need to have heard of it to know that it's prestigious and likely means you were offered admission at at least one of HYS.

(Full disclosure: I'm considering taking the Hamilton over HLS, so maybe I'm biased.)

I'm assuming the Hamilton fellows I talked to did describe the Hamilton Fellowship on their resumes and in job interviews. Still, they thought that the distinction was marginally helpful at best in their job search, and that if it does help, it helps more in the 1L summer job search than in the 2L summer job search, which focuses heavily on 1L grades. Whatever prestige gap exists between HYS and CLS/Chicago, don't expect the named scholarship to bridge it. This is especially true of the Rubenstein, which is even less well known than the Hamilton.

I think the money is reason enough to choose CLS/Chicago in many cases.

buster
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby buster » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:55 pm

As for UChi, I don't think you should make a decision before you visit the campus. It's not for everyone; some people love it, some people hate it. While I think opportunities will be similar everywhere, I think the school you choose will definitely affect your happiness for the next 3 years, and perhaps impact your performance. So don't just look at the hard factors. Really think about if you see yourself being happy at the school you choose.

timbs4339
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:46 pm

Absolutely Chicago, it's a no-brainer. Like others have said, if you want biglaw (no, need biglaw) Chicago will get you out of debt in five years which is a realistic amount of time to stay at a biglaw firm. Then you can start helping out your family. Harvard will take at least 10 years by which point you will already be out of the firm (most people don't make it past 4-6 years) so it will take longer.

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Dany
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Dany » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:52 pm

buster wrote:As for UChi, I don't think you should make a decision before you visit the campus. It's not for everyone; some people love it, some people hate it. While I think opportunities will be similar everywhere, I think the school you choose will definitely affect your happiness for the next 3 years, and perhaps impact your performance. So don't just look at the hard factors. Really think about if you see yourself being happy at the school you choose.

To be fair, law school is law school, and the same kinds of people are going to be at all the top schools, which will offer similar classes and have similar things to get involved with. While I think your advice is fine when choosing between peer schools at the same price, it's actually not that important. Job prospects and debt should absolutely be the top concerns, because you're going to law school to get a job, not feel fuzzy inside for three years.

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Emma.
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Emma. » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:56 pm

Dany wrote:
buster wrote:As for UChi, I don't think you should make a decision before you visit the campus. It's not for everyone; some people love it, some people hate it. While I think opportunities will be similar everywhere, I think the school you choose will definitely affect your happiness for the next 3 years, and perhaps impact your performance. So don't just look at the hard factors. Really think about if you see yourself being happy at the school you choose.

To be fair, law school is law school, and the same kinds of people are going to be at all the top schools, which will offer similar classes and have similar things to get involved with. While I think your advice is fine when choosing between peer schools at the same price, it's actually not that important. Job prospects and debt should absolutely be the top concerns, because you're going to law school to get a job, not feel fuzzy inside for three years.


1L has made you cynical, Dany.

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chup
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby chup » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:37 pm

Emma. wrote:
Dany wrote:
buster wrote:As for UChi, I don't think you should make a decision before you visit the campus. It's not for everyone; some people love it, some people hate it. While I think opportunities will be similar everywhere, I think the school you choose will definitely affect your happiness for the next 3 years, and perhaps impact your performance. So don't just look at the hard factors. Really think about if you see yourself being happy at the school you choose.

To be fair, law school is law school, and the same kinds of people are going to be at all the top schools, which will offer similar classes and have similar things to get involved with. While I think your advice is fine when choosing between peer schools at the same price, it's actually not that important. Job prospects and debt should absolutely be the top concerns, because you're going to law school to get a job, not feel fuzzy inside for three years.


1L has made you cynical, Dany.

She also happens to be right.

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Dany
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Dany » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:38 pm

Emma. wrote:1L has made you cynical, Dany.

I know. :(

jd5
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby jd5 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:43 pm

Bronck wrote:
jd5 wrote:
soj wrote:If your financial situation changes, your scholarship at HLS could also change. Your scholarship might be reduced, for instance, if you work in biglaw over your summers.

Someone brought up using the Rubenstein for a prestige bump in the job search. I talked to some Hamilton fellows, and they said listing the Hamilton on the resume was marginally helpful at best, and many interviewers (especially older ones) didn't even know what it was. The faculty mentoring and other non-financial benefits are apparently pretty lame, too. The prestige associated with the Rubenstein, which is new and could be discontinued after next year, is a non-factor. The only reason to take a named scholarship is the money.


I don't think this is quite fair. As someone else has noted, if you put "Full-Tuition Merit Scholarship" in parentheses after Hamilton/Rubenstein, your interviewer doesn't need to have heard of it to know that it's prestigious and likely means you were offered admission at at least one of HYS.

(Full disclosure: I'm considering taking the Hamilton over HLS, so maybe I'm biased.)


No. Even then it doesn't make much of a difference.


Bronck, what are you basing that on (e.g., having talked to Hamiltons)? I'm genuinely interested, as I'm still on the fence between Hamilton/HLS.

Even if it makes only a marginal difference, as soj insists, you also have to consider how big the prestige gap is itself. Obviously the lay prestige gap between CLS/Chicago and HYS is pretty big, but among lawyers/judges -- especially in the Chicago market, for UChi, and the NYC market, for CLS -- it can't be as big as people on TLS make it out to be. Sure, the 2L job search is heavily focused on 1L grades, at which point Hamilton/Rubenstein on a resume becomes only marginally helpful, but that's true even for people at HYS, no? Grades are marginally less important at HYS because of name brand and because the grading system is confusing, but that marginal advantage to HYS may be at least partially neutralized by having Hamilton/Rubenstein on your resume. It's not like median students at HYS get better jobs than students toward the top of the class at CCN; prestige only goes so far. Right?

Again, I'm just a 0L trying to make my own decision, so pushback is welcome.

jd5
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby jd5 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:50 pm

Put another way: what is the difference in job prospects for the median student at HLS vs. the median student at CLS or Chicago? Certainly, other things being equal, the HLS student is at an advantage. But how great is that advantage? If it's only a marginal advantage, and if Hamilton/Rubenstein gives a marginal boost...

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Emma.
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Emma. » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:33 pm

chup wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Dany wrote:
buster wrote:As for UChi, I don't think you should make a decision before you visit the campus. It's not for everyone; some people love it, some people hate it. While I think opportunities will be similar everywhere, I think the school you choose will definitely affect your happiness for the next 3 years, and perhaps impact your performance. So don't just look at the hard factors. Really think about if you see yourself being happy at the school you choose.

To be fair, law school is law school, and the same kinds of people are going to be at all the top schools, which will offer similar classes and have similar things to get involved with. While I think your advice is fine when choosing between peer schools at the same price, it's actually not that important. Job prospects and debt should absolutely be the top concerns, because you're going to law school to get a job, not feel fuzzy inside for three years.


1L has made you cynical, Dany.

She also happens to be right.


No doubt.

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Emma.
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby Emma. » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:43 am

Dany wrote:
Emma. wrote:1L has made you cynical, Dany.

I know. :(


Hang tough. It's going to get worse for a bit, but then it gets better. Unless you have a 2L year like mine.

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drylo
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Re: Ruby at UChicago v. Harvard v. Columbia

Postby drylo » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:59 am

I rarely have an emphatic opinion because I think it is a very personal and subjective decision most of the time, but in this case, I just want to encourage you to take the money at Chicago. I think there is a much greater likelihood that you would regret not taking the money if you went to Harvard than there is that you would regret not having a Harvard degree if you went to Chicago for free.




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