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peanut
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Postby peanut » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:18 pm

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Last edited by peanut on Mon May 28, 2012 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

peanut
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby peanut » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:22 pm

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Last edited by peanut on Mon May 28, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:25 pm

peanut wrote:Oops, meant to put this in "Choosing a Law School." Mods, can you move it?

Done.

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Chucky21
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby Chucky21 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:37 pm

I think the quality of the LRAP matters significantly in this decision, and Chicago comes out on top for the reasons you mentioned. You want a PI career, and you should be able to do it wholeheartedly without worrying about having those loans thrown back on top of you with interest being charged on interest etc. Also, should you get married to someone making more money, you will also be 'penalized' for that.

Chicago gives you the most flexible career track because you will not have to worry as much about loan repayment. Sure, there are the cons you mentioned, but you are still going to do well from this school. It's LRAP is great, the best as you said, I think you should go for it. Good luck.

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Emma.
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby Emma. » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:26 pm

peanut wrote:I

Chicago

Pros:
-Chicago location--lots of non-profit opportunities (though not as good as NYC).
-Good financial support from the school.
-Not much competition for resources, since only a few people in each class do PI.
-Best LRAP. $80,000 soft cap and completely excludes spousal income (meaning that your spouse can make $150,000, you can make $75,000, and if you work for 10 years in a qualifying position you pay nothing for law school). This seems huge to me, since I am committed to PI and am in a long-term relationship with someone in consulting whose salary might eventually push us over the cap.

Cons:
-Smallest PI community/alumni base. I was a little surprised by the fact that, at ASW, they didn't even go through the motions of putting someone at a non-profit on their young alumni panel--five of the six were at firms and one in government. It seems like PI at Chicago would be a little isolating. Please correct me if this is wrong!
-It seems that PI prospects are improving, but the school's push is only a few years old, so it's obviously way behind NYU (and maybe even Columbia) in the number of students who consider it to be a realistic option, let alone choose the school for that reason.

So my question is--which would be the best school for someone with the following interests (in order)?

(1) Clerking, if possible (covered by all three LRAPs--outright at Chicago; only if you go on to PI at Columbia and NYU).
(2) Competitive non-profit/government positions: DOJ, ACLU, Skadden, etc.
(3) All other non-profit work.

Note: I like both Chicago and NYC and would be happy in both.

Thanks!


I think this is wrong. I'm not sure why they didn't have more of a PI focus on the alumni panel, but maybe it just came down to availability/luck of the draw. I'd also point out that Chicago has only recently become more PI focused, and in the past there was a much smaller group of Chicago kids doing PI so maybe that made it a little tougher to find a "young alumni" for the panel. However, I think the last two classes (mine, and even more so the current 1Ls) have shown an increasing dedication to PI causes. Maybe part of that is our new LRAP. Considering the fact that a majority of UChi kids do head into private law, I'm impressed at how many members of our faculty have strong PI connections... And they'll definitely go to bat for you to help you get the jobs you want.

Yes, you'd be in the minority, but I think the minority isn't isolated at all. My PI friends have a great thing going at UChi, and they both have their own strong community amongst themselves and are also well integrated into the school at large.

peanut
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Postby peanut » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:54 am

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Last edited by peanut on Mon May 28, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Perdevise
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby Perdevise » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:04 am

How much scholarship money did you get from each?

I think Chicago wins for clerking, but you'd have to do well grades-wise at any of these schools to have a go at it.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:03 pm

It's funny, because when I applied in 2009-10, I eliminated Chicago precisely because there seemed to be zero public interest support, and the LRAP was a total joke at the time. Now that the LRAP is revamped, though, I think it merits serious consideration. NYU still has, in my opinion, a top-notch public interest network and alumni base, which is important. But it is also true that the size of the community cuts both ways; public interest people at NYU do seem to feel some measure of competition and pressure. (Though it's probably like that at most schools these days to some degree; frankly, the economy has decimated public interest hiring.) And it is almost impossible to overvalue Chicago's LRAP not taking spousal income into account. That is just an enormous benefit. Especially if you end up marrying, say, a private sector lawyer.

I might still lean NYU just because 1. their LRAP is still pretty good, spousal income calculations aside, and 2. the PI community is very strong and established, while I might be a bit wary about the come-lately nature of Chicago's. But I think this is a tough call.

Columbia is a fine choice too, but doesn't have a clear advantage over either of the others, in my mind. Notably, I believe that if you do their IBR-linked LRAP program but leave before ten years, you will not get any of your debt forgiven, while at NYU, if you leave qualifying employment after, say, five years, they will pay down your loans as if you had been making regular payments for those five years. Don't quote me on this, I could be wrong, but I would look into it if I were you. I have also heard of a couple of minor but frustrating incidents that suggest CLS doesn't value PI support quite as highly as NYU. For instance, in the middle of last year I believe they suddenly cut back their summer funding from 10 weeks to 8 weeks. It's not a huge deal, but it is an extra $800-1000 or so of support that they just chopped off. Columbia of all places should have the financial resources not to have to do things like this and the message it sends is not a good one, IMO. But this is just second-hand information.
Last edited by dixiecupdrinking on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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crumpledq
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby crumpledq » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:04 pm

FYI NYU's LRAP does not consider spouse income if you file your taxes separately. This was a really big deal for me as someone who plans to do PI but is married to a biglaw associate :)

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:08 pm

crumpledq wrote:FYI NYU's LRAP does not consider spouse income if you file your taxes separately. This was a really big deal for me as someone who plans to do PI but is married to a biglaw associate :)

Are you sure? I go to NYU and was definitely under the impression this was not the case.

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crumpledq
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby crumpledq » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:10 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
crumpledq wrote:FYI NYU's LRAP does not consider spouse income if you file your taxes separately. This was a really big deal for me as someone who plans to do PI but is married to a biglaw associate :)

Are you sure? I go to NYU and was definitely under the impression this was not the case.


I was told directly by the LRAP administrator over the phone. I brought it up again at the LRAP panel at admitted students days, and the LRAP program staff confirmed that this is correct. If you file your taxes separately, they will not consider spouse income. You might have a higher tax bill, of course, but IMO that is totally worth it.

Renzo
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby Renzo » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:12 pm

As I understand it, Chicago's new LRAP is the best. However, NYU's is still pretty good, and I think that the advantage of the institutional commitment to public interest at NYU outweighs the advantages of the other schools. You are in competition will all the like-minded students from all the top schools no matter where you go, so it's not as if you are disadvantaged by being at a school where lots of those like-minded students are as well.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:13 pm

crumpledq wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
crumpledq wrote:FYI NYU's LRAP does not consider spouse income if you file your taxes separately. This was a really big deal for me as someone who plans to do PI but is married to a biglaw associate :)

Are you sure? I go to NYU and was definitely under the impression this was not the case.


I was told directly by the LRAP administrator over the phone. I brought it up again at the LRAP panel at admitted students days, and the LRAP program staff confirmed that this is correct. If you file your taxes separately, they will not consider spouse income. You might have a higher tax bill, of course, but IMO that is totally worth it.

Interesting. This is directly contrary to what I have been told by 2Ls/3Ls who are planning on using LRAP, but your info sounds more official than mine. Definitely good news and I think this would tilt my recommendation squarely back to NYU.

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quiver
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Re: NYU vs. Columbia vs. Chicago for Public Interest

Postby quiver » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:31 pm

peanut wrote:Columbia

Pros:
-Small but present PI community. Less competition for resources?
-NYC location.
-The school is currently throwing money at PI, which means that it's not too hard (from what I heard at ASW) to come up with an idea and get funding for it. I've heard that this is more difficult at NYU due to the larger community.
-Pretty good LRAP: cap for the traditional program is $50,000, but you can use another version that dovetails with the federal program and ends up being mostly like NYU's. Considers spousal income. Debt forgiven after 10 years.
Are you sure this is right? I know PSLF forgives after 10 years but I'm pretty sure the CLS LRAP forgives after 5 (meaning that you don't have to pay CLS back for them paying down your loans after 5 years). LRAP/financial stuff is complicated and a bit over my head but that's the way I understand it.

peanut
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Postby peanut » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:51 pm

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