Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

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

Pick one

Chicago, $90k
63
78%
Columbia, $60k
6
7%
NYU, $87.5k
12
15%
 
Total votes: 81

Mista Bojangles
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Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Mista Bojangles » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:53 pm

I apologize for making a second thread on this, but I have another couple pieces of info at this point along with a frustrating lack of clarity, and I'd love any more input I could get before my NYU deadline in 48 hours - so I figured I'd create a new thread rather than bump the old one with the poll based on older info.

In a nutshell: from California, with a slight preference to end up there eventually, if not necessarily right after law school. Most interested in international law (I have a military background and definitely want to pursue something relevant to my experience in my career), but I figure there's a good chance I'll end up looking to go the private practice route at least to start out after school. I have close to zero familiarity with either NYC or Chicago, though I understand Chicago's cost of living is lower, which is a significant consideration for me. I recently visited both Columbia and NYU (though not on ASW unfortunately) and liked Columbia's campus and vibe slightly more from what I saw - I also confess I felt a little overwhelmed by the dense/cramped/urban NYC deal (did not grow up a city boy), but I suspect it's something I'd get used to and maybe even grow to love given enough time there. Have not been able to visit Chicago.

All scholarship offers are final. If any other info would be helpful let me know. Thanks for thoughts.
Last edited by Mista Bojangles on Wed May 02, 2012 3:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Nelson
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Nelson » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Chicago has the biggest scholarship and the lowest cost of living. You'll be able to afford a much bigger and nicer apt in Chicago. Hyde Park is significantly lower density than either of the Manhattan schools. This seems like an easy choice.

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soj
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby soj » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:01 pm

Chicago. Feel free to withdraw from NYU, but don't deposit at Chicago until you have to.

bdubs
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby bdubs » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:04 pm

Sounds like an easy call for Chicago. You have no strong preferences that would suggest that Columbia or NYU would provide anything better. Also, if you dislike the cramped city campuses of NYU/Columbia then you will greatly prefer Hyde Park.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Mista Bojangles » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Mind if I ask which of these schools is likely to have the most portability specifically back to California? My ideal outcome, I think, would be to start in a big firm in CA out of law school, though I'd prefer biglaw elsewhere to a smaller gig in CA.

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soj
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby soj » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:08 pm

Chicago grads spread out nationally more than CLS or NYU grads do, but you'd expect that since NYC has so many jobs. I'm not sure if Chicago is stronger in CA, but it's certainly at least as strong.

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Nelson
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Nelson » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:09 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:Mind if I ask which of these schools is likely to have the most portability specifically back to California? My ideal outcome, I think, would be to start in a big firm in CA out of law school, though I'd prefer biglaw elsewhere to a smaller gig in CA.

Careful with that kind of question, you'll wake the Chicago trolls. These are peer schools so you should just pick on personal preference and cost.

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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:26 pm

I voted Chicago because the scholarship is larger, the cost-of-living lower, less cramped & a shorter plane ride to California. I suspect that both Chicago & Columbia transfer equally to the West Coast, but most biglaw jobs are in NYC, then DC & Chicago. The good news is that if you fall for the city of Chicago, Chicago Law places well in all major markets. NYU & Columbia are large law schools whereas Chicago is small in terms of number of students. If you visit Hyde Park, make sure to also visit Northwestern's law school campus since it offers a view of the most upscale dining, shopping & hotel waterfront area.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Mista Bojangles » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:40 pm

Nelson wrote:
Mista Bojangles wrote:Mind if I ask which of these schools is likely to have the most portability specifically back to California? My ideal outcome, I think, would be to start in a big firm in CA out of law school, though I'd prefer biglaw elsewhere to a smaller gig in CA.

Careful with that kind of question, you'll wake the Chicago trolls.


lol'd. I'm not sure exactly what a Chicago troll is but I admit I'm curious as to what one would have to say.

In any case the poll results are pretty convincing in Chicago's favor. I'll do some more research and soul-searching before depositing but it does look like the best option for me at this point.

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bk1
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:53 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:Mind if I ask which of these schools is likely to have the most portability specifically back to California? My ideal outcome, I think, would be to start in a big firm in CA out of law school, though I'd prefer biglaw elsewhere to a smaller gig in CA.


I'd hazard the differences between these schools in regards to CA is marginal at best.

The more limiting factor will be competition for CA's shitty job market.

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Dany
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Dany » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:02 pm

I think Columbia is out because it's not worth $30k more than Chicago, and between Chicago and NYU I think you would enjoy UChicago's campus and lower COL more, so I voted for Chicago.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:09 pm

I'm from California. Chicago's small class size made it near impossible to not land a CA gig if you were from CA. I applied from around the median (where 80% of the students end up) to all of the law markets in CA except San Francisco and Santa Barbara and got callbacks to all of them. Also, it seemed like Chicago had a larger alumni network in Southern California when reviewing #s of attorneys at each major firm (which is significant because the other two schools have 2x the class size).

NYU doesn't place well on the West Coast. Columbia should in theory place well in CA, but their grads self-select more into Eastern markets.

Kimberly
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Kimberly » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:12 pm

I vote Chicago. I had a choice between attending grad school in New York or Chicago previously. I had interviews and visits to both. I am also from Southern California. I was very overwhelmed by the city in New York. But, Chicago is very different. I chose Chicago. I loved it. Chicago is a big city with a small town feel. People are very friendly and warm (not my experience in NYC). That said, Hyde Park is VERY DIFFERENT from downtown proper. I was at Northwestern, which is in the heart of DT. It was AWESOME! When I applied for law schools this year, I applied to U of C but completely disregarded it once I was accepted to other T6 schools because I would NOT want to live in Hyde Park given the lack of good city life in the immediate area and the need to commute if I wanted to live in the city... I am lazy lazy lazy though when it comes to commuting. It is a relatively easy commute from DT proper if you want to make it and don't like living in Hyde Park area. Again, I vote Chi town! COLD AS HELL THOUGH- just be prepared! Nice problem for you to have with such decisions...

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:20 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago's small class size made it near impossible to not land a CA gig if you were from CA.
TaipeiMort wrote:NYU doesn't place well on the West Coast.
Nothing personal, but you are truly one the worst trolls around.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:05 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago's small class size made it near impossible to not land a CA gig if you were from CA.
TaipeiMort wrote:NYU doesn't place well on the West Coast.
Nothing personal, but you are truly one the worst trolls around.


Apologies, just trying to be helpful. I can name the negatives of Chicago too if you'd like. Tell me when to stop.

Negatives: Chicago is cold. Chicago is surrounded on three sides by a impoverished area with tons of crime. Chicago has a smaller class size which makes it feel like a 17th century transatlantic pilgrim ship at times. This also means everyone knows everyone's business. Chicago has a higher percentage of vocal conservative students than Columbia or NYU which may be annoying to folks. Chicago has a higher percentage of older folks and people with families than the other two schools which may be awkward for younger people. Chicago has an undergrad that is nerdier than MIT's and CalTech's combined. Hyde Park is boring and has no scene except one or two above-median restaurants. Because the school building is small, everyone gets sick with eachothers' diseases during the winter. Hyde Park is racially diverse, so if you come from the burbs or are a racist you may find it scary (even though crime is at the national median). Chicago has fewer faculty members which makes finding subspecialties harder. Chicago has fewer young faculty members. Chicago doesn't have Conlaw 1L year. Chicago is on the quarter system which means you have more breaks, but start and end school later in the year and go into less depth in some classes. Chicago has weird grades which help the people on the bottom and make it hard to differentiate yourself if you are outstanding. Chicago pushes "ideological diversity" which means that you will get speakers who are anti gay marriage and pro incestuous marriage, so everyone will be offended by a speaker at some point. Many students and professors live in the same building/block and you see people in their PJs/ drunk and with whoever they are returning home/ meet their kids while you are drunk/ see your professors in their swimsuits and street clothes. Everyone works really hard 1L year and doesn't care the last 2 years, both of which are really, really hard to adjust to and you are always not sure how hard you should work.

As for the NYU comment, I didn't mean to hate. It could be self-selection, and NYU does well in LA and SF BigLit which aren't hiring many. But, most of the jobs in CA's market are in business areas like Silicon Valley, OC, San Diego, Business LA, and Century City. NYU hasn't placed many people at these firms and I still saw significant #s Columbia people at each of the 20+ firms I researched so I inferred there weren't the same player in CA job placement.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:08 pm

Haha, okay, I respect that.

I just think to say that a Californian can't help but get a California job from Chicago, and then to say that at NYU it will be some uphill battle, is extrapolating the wrong things from limited anecdotal experience. Most of the people I know from NYU who are from California (or Texas, or the Midwest, or the southeast) and wanted jobs there got them, too, but I would never tell a 0L that firms will throw jobs at your feet or that Chicago doesn't place well in Atlanta because there's only one associate from Chicago at Alston & Bird (yes, I just checked), because I don't actually know what I'm talking about.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Mista Bojangles » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:56 am

TaipeiMort wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago's small class size made it near impossible to not land a CA gig if you were from CA.
TaipeiMort wrote:NYU doesn't place well on the West Coast.
Nothing personal, but you are truly one the worst trolls around.


Apologies, just trying to be helpful. I can name the negatives of Chicago too if you'd like. Tell me when to stop.

Negatives: Chicago is cold. Chicago is surrounded on three sides by a impoverished area with tons of crime. Chicago has a smaller class size which makes it feel like a 17th century transatlantic pilgrim ship at times. This also means everyone knows everyone's business. Chicago has a higher percentage of vocal conservative students than Columbia or NYU which may be annoying to folks. Chicago has a higher percentage of older folks and people with families than the other two schools which may be awkward for younger people. Chicago has an undergrad that is nerdier than MIT's and CalTech's combined. Hyde Park is boring and has no scene except one or two above-median restaurants. Because the school building is small, everyone gets sick with eachothers' diseases during the winter. Hyde Park is racially diverse, so if you come from the burbs or are a racist you may find it scary (even though crime is at the national median). Chicago has fewer faculty members which makes finding subspecialties harder. Chicago has fewer young faculty members. Chicago doesn't have Conlaw 1L year. Chicago is on the quarter system which means you have more breaks, but start and end school later in the year and go into less depth in some classes. Chicago has weird grades which help the people on the bottom and make it hard to differentiate yourself if you are outstanding. Chicago pushes "ideological diversity" which means that you will get speakers who are anti gay marriage and pro incestuous marriage, so everyone will be offended by a speaker at some point. Many students and professors live in the same building/block and you see people in their PJs/ drunk and with whoever they are returning home/ meet their kids while you are drunk/ see your professors in their swimsuits and street clothes. Everyone works really hard 1L year and doesn't care the last 2 years, both of which are really, really hard to adjust to and you are always not sure how hard you should work.

As for the NYU comment, I didn't mean to hate. It could be self-selection, and NYU does well in LA and SF BigLit which aren't hiring many. But, most of the jobs in CA's market are in business areas like Silicon Valley, OC, San Diego, Business LA, and Century City. NYU hasn't placed many people at these firms and I still saw significant #s Columbia people at each of the 20+ firms I researched so I inferred there weren't the same player in CA job placement.


Such an awesome post. Thank you for this, this is exactly what I needed to see.

The truth is, though, none of it was a huge surprise to me except for the bolded; could you elaborate just a bit on that? I had kind of been under the opposite impression, that Chicago's grades are especially ruthless - that they're numerical and more spread out than a traditional A-F scheme, and thus more isolating of students who perform either very well or very poorly. But it seems like you're saying that under Chicago's system students who might otherwise stand out at one of the two extremes are more likely to be blended toward the middle?

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Dany
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Dany » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:05 am

I go to UChi and that part makes no sense to me. Outstanding students get As, make law review, are K&E Scholars (top 5% I think), which is plenty of differentiation.

Also I don't think our grading system is "ruthless" at all, because the vast majority of a given class will get pretty much median.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:56 am

TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago doesn't have Conlaw 1L year.

Chicago has weird grades which help the people on the bottom and make it hard to differentiate yourself if you are outstanding.

These two comments make me sad.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby TaipeiMort » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:42 am

Mista Bojangles wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago's small class size made it near impossible to not land a CA gig if you were from CA.
TaipeiMort wrote:NYU doesn't place well on the West Coast.
Nothing personal, but you are truly one the worst trolls around.


Apologies, just trying to be helpful. I can name the negatives of Chicago too if you'd like. Tell me when to stop.

Negatives: Chicago is cold. Chicago is surrounded on three sides by a impoverished area with tons of crime. Chicago has a smaller class size which makes it feel like a 17th century transatlantic pilgrim ship at times. This also means everyone knows everyone's business. Chicago has a higher percentage of vocal conservative students than Columbia or NYU which may be annoying to folks. Chicago has a higher percentage of older folks and people with families than the other two schools which may be awkward for younger people. Chicago has an undergrad that is nerdier than MIT's and CalTech's combined. Hyde Park is boring and has no scene except one or two above-median restaurants. Because the school building is small, everyone gets sick with eachothers' diseases during the winter. Hyde Park is racially diverse, so if you come from the burbs or are a racist you may find it scary (even though crime is at the national median). Chicago has fewer faculty members which makes finding subspecialties harder. Chicago has fewer young faculty members. Chicago doesn't have Conlaw 1L year. Chicago is on the quarter system which means you have more breaks, but start and end school later in the year and go into less depth in some classes. Chicago has weird grades which help the people on the bottom and make it hard to differentiate yourself if you are outstanding. Chicago pushes "ideological diversity" which means that you will get speakers who are anti gay marriage and pro incestuous marriage, so everyone will be offended by a speaker at some point. Many students and professors live in the same building/block and you see people in their PJs/ drunk and with whoever they are returning home/ meet their kids while you are drunk/ see your professors in their swimsuits and street clothes. Everyone works really hard 1L year and doesn't care the last 2 years, both of which are really, really hard to adjust to and you are always not sure how hard you should work.

As for the NYU comment, I didn't mean to hate. It could be self-selection, and NYU does well in LA and SF BigLit which aren't hiring many. But, most of the jobs in CA's market are in business areas like Silicon Valley, OC, San Diego, Business LA, and Century City. NYU hasn't placed many people at these firms and I still saw significant #s Columbia people at each of the 20+ firms I researched so I inferred there weren't the same player in CA job placement.


Such an awesome post. Thank you for this, this is exactly what I needed to see.

The truth is, though, none of it was a huge surprise to me except for the bolded; could you elaborate just a bit on that? I had kind of been under the opposite impression, that Chicago's grades are especially ruthless - that they're numerical and more spread out than a traditional A-F scheme, and thus more isolating of students who perform either very well or very poorly. But it seems like you're saying that under Chicago's system students who might otherwise stand out at one of the two extremes are more likely to be blended toward the middle?


I was just relating what people have said. Basically, the enforced curve mandates only 10-percent getting an "A" in a class, and around 80-percent ending up near the median. The grading system splits hairs, so there are 6 different types of Bs (174-179). These fine gradations may seem like they would produce a very fine order of students' GPAs. However, there is no class order and employers are only given a key which says "179.5" is top 10-percent to make determinations. Students also can't state their GPA on their resume.

In practice (anecdotally) this has meant that almost all employers either:

1) recruit everyone because the grading system is hard to decipher, almost everyone is bunched around a 177, and they can't be picky,

2) recruit everyone around the "median," or above which is a 177. This number is not the mean, and 90%+ of the class ends up around or above this median, or

3) hire at a very high cut-off, like a 180. Very, very few employers do this though. In fact, I think I can name everyone that does this: (Williams Connolly, Cravath, Wachtell, Keker, Susman, Bartlitt Beck).

The hard-to-decipher system is contributing to a situation where most everyone has a great shot at OCI of landing a job, and some of those that end up without jobs are those at the top with interviewing problems.

Also, 2 and 3L year many classes are curved at a 179 instead of a 177. This means that students can GPA inflate right before clerkships, while those with originally high GPAs drop while on journal. Also, many judges have a similar problem to employers in understanding the grading system. I know of at least one person with below median grades that landed an A3 clerkship with a prestigious judge.

I like that the grading system does this because I believe it improves A3 and OCI employment. Some don't because it removes some of the incentive to work hard. However, if you do get a very high GPA there are still significant benefits like law review, and faculty members championing you for clerkships if you get a high GPA.

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby Emma. » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:16 am

Doorkeeper wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:Chicago doesn't have Conlaw 1L year.

Chicago has weird grades which help the people on the bottom and make it hard to differentiate yourself if you are outstanding.

These two comments make me sad.


The first is true, but there are like 6 different Conlaw classes you can take as a 2/3L.

The second is objectively wrong. Our grading is weird, but there are a LOT of ways to distinguish outstanding students.

nomnomaments
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Re: Chicago 90k vs Columbia 60k vs NYU 87.5k

Postby nomnomaments » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:44 pm

oh HAI GUISE. LOL ASTHMA FTW. mr bojangles knows what i'm talking about. im not trolling




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