Rubenstein vs. HLS

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Rubenstein or HLS (sticker)

Rubenstein
137
83%
HLS
28
17%
 
Total votes: 165

thestillpoint
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Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby thestillpoint » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:29 pm

I'm sure there are tons of other threads on this, and I've read through some of them. However, I am also just interested in more information about Chicago generally. At the risk of clearly identifying myself, I received a Rubenstein offer on Friday night -- but no extension to the acceptance deadline. So I have to decide today, without having visited UofC, whether I would like to take the Rubenstein. While I am very grateful for the opportunity, the short timeframe (2 days!) to decide is also quite stressful.

The full tuition, living stipend ($10,000/yr) and lower CoL in Hyde Park is very tempting. I received no money whatsoever from Harvard, but my parents will not be paying for any part of my law school education. So that's ~$75,000/yr in loans at Harvard (at 6.8% / 7.9% interest rate with accruals starting at disbursement). Even with 2L summer employment, I'll still be looking at more than $230,000 in debt after graduation. I really liked Harvard when I visited though. The students seemed happy, I could see myself thriving at the school, I'm attracted to the grading system, and I have friends in the area.

I know I want to clerk, but I'm not entirely sure about my other options. I'm not interested in academic. I really would like PI work to be a possibility, either right after clerking or a few years down the road. I have a background for it, and I could see myself being much more gratified in a good PI job than in biglaw. But I'm currently working as a paralegal in NYC, and I don't hate it -- so I could also see doing the standard 3-5 years at a firm. I think I could be happy in either Cambridge or Hyde Park, with Cambridge having a slight edge (though I like Chicago more than Boston). I see myself ultimately ending up on the East Coast, and that's where my family is located. I also don't have a huge preference about the size of the law school.

I would really appreciate any input since all I know about Chicago is internet research / TLS / talking to a few current students -- but I have not visited the school (bad weather out there this weekend plus expensive flights and limited time). I'd especially like to know about comparative clerkship opportunities and the public interest community, which Chicago appears to have become more committed to recently. I'd be happy to hear about quality of life generally at Chicago, the connections people make, the alumni network, etc. All of those factors seemed strong at Harvard. I am going back and forth every minute on this, and I need to decide in the next couple of hours -- so it'd be great to have some constructive input.

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Kabuo
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby Kabuo » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:33 pm

I would take the money. I will have less than half your HLS debt, and even with the prospect of a firm job, it's still an enormous amount of money. You will not have that paid off in 5 years at a firm. If you do public interest, their LIPP or w/e it is is nice, but it'd be nicer to have next to no debt. Don't know about clerking yet, but that Ruby stays on your resume and probably won't hurt, especially if your grades are otherwise in clerking range.

kaiser
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby kaiser » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:33 pm

Absolutely no way that Harvard is $230K better than Chicago. Full tuition scholarship AND living stipend at a T6 school? I'd take that over sticker at HYS in a heartbeat. Thats just too huge a difference in price to justify H. I have less than a third of what your Harvard debt would be, and I"m still scared by how imposing it seems. The ability to graduate debt free from a T6 school is just an unbelievably awesome way to start your legal career. I am happy to pose this Q to the lawyers I know in the big firms, and I don't think a single one would advise H in this case.
Last edited by kaiser on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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NinerFan
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby NinerFan » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:45 pm

Take the money. Please.

bdole2
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby bdole2 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:45 pm

Go for the ruby

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:46 pm

If you feel the need to ask, then HLS.
Last edited by TaipeiMort on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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monkey85
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby monkey85 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:46 pm

With that level of money + caliber of school = take the money and don't look back.

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KevinP
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby KevinP » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:49 pm

How is this even a competition? Chicago + Ruby is easily TCR here.

bdubs
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby bdubs » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:56 pm

There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.

kaiser
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby kaiser » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:57 pm

bdubs wrote:There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.


Honestly, if someone had one of those narrow niche aspirations that would make Harvard the "better" choice, my advice would be pretty simple: change your damn aspirations and take the $$.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:19 pm

kaiser wrote:
bdubs wrote:There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.


Honestly, if someone had one of those narrow niche aspirations that would make Harvard the "better" choice, my advice would be pretty simple: change your damn aspirations and take the $$.


I disagree. HLS is like playing for the Lakers, Red Wings, or Yankees for some people. Chicago is like the Spurs, Sharks, or Cardinals-- lay people might not know they exist. Plus, HLS will allow the OP to have a swinging chance at some amazing upper-end opportunities without having to bootstrap.

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Xifeng
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby Xifeng » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:25 pm

bdubs wrote:There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.


+1

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions about Chicago, but nothing popped out to me that would make HLS seem a better choice.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby bernaldiaz » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:28 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:If you feel the need to ask, then HLS.


Upset of the century. Tapei white knighting Harvard over Chicago.

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Emma.
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:31 pm

If you want to talk to someone else from UChi, PM me.

I think you'd be crazy not to take the Ruby though.

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Xifeng
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby Xifeng » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:39 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:If you feel the need to ask, then HLS.


Upset of the century. Tapei white knighting Harvard over Chicago.


Well, that's because he's all butthurt that it's even a question:

TaipeiMort wrote:If you feel the need to ask, then HLS.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:40 pm

This is the kind of decision that only seems hard because you don't already go to one of these schools. I think that if you were to poll current T10 students, 95% of them would tell you to take the money. There is really just nothing much about Harvard that is that special.

concurrent fork
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby concurrent fork » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:48 pm

kaiser wrote:
bdubs wrote:There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.


Honestly, if someone had one of those narrow niche aspirations that would make Harvard the "better" choice, my advice would be pretty simple: change your damn aspirations and take the $$.

OP said they want to do PI. I don't know that much about LIPP, but I think as long as you're making ~50K or less HLS pays back virtually all of your loans for you (including UG debt).

I'm not saying this makes HLS the better choice, but it's certainly not as lopsided as many in this thread make it seem. At the very least OP should spend some time tonight reading up on this: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/lipp/index.html

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:56 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
kaiser wrote:
bdubs wrote:There might be a really limited number of reasons to choose Harvard even facing a substantial cost difference, but I don't think you've mentioned anything that would suggest that you fit into one of those narrow exceptions. Take the money and don't look back.


Honestly, if someone had one of those narrow niche aspirations that would make Harvard the "better" choice, my advice would be pretty simple: change your damn aspirations and take the $$.

OP said they want to do PI. I don't know that much about LIPP, but I think as long as you're making ~50K or less HLS pays back virtually all of your loans for you (including UG debt).

I'm not saying this makes HLS the better choice, but it's certainly not as lopsided as many in this thread make it seem. At the very least OP should spend some time tonight reading up on this: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/lipp/index.html

thestillpoint wrote:But I'm currently working as a paralegal in NYC, and I don't hate it -- so I could also see doing the standard 3-5 years at a firm.

This to me screams, "I am going to work for a big firm." If OP is that ambivalent about pursuing PI now, the odds of passing up OCI for the uncertain prospect of getting a PI job two years later are slim indeed. That's just the way this usually goes.

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patrickd139
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:57 pm

I'd take Chicago over HLS with a far less generous scholarship than the Rubenstein. UChi for free? That's a helluva good deal.

concurrent fork
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby concurrent fork » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:04 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
thestillpoint wrote:But I'm currently working as a paralegal in NYC, and I don't hate it -- so I could also see doing the standard 3-5 years at a firm.

This to me screams, "I am going to work for a big firm." If OP is that ambivalent about pursuing PI now, the odds of passing up OCI for the uncertain prospect of getting a PI job two years later are slim indeed. That's just the way this usually goes.

Fair enough. I've lost track of how many friends going to firms wanted to save the world when they were 1Ls. Rubenstein is definitely the better choice to hedge against this risk.

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skers
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby skers » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:07 pm

I'd take a Ruby, but I'm a shameless Chicago whore.

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Xifeng
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby Xifeng » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Also, UChicago's LRAP is if you make less than $70k/year, doesn't take into account spousal income, and includes clerkships.

Basically: both great schools and will give you great options, but one is free + stipend.

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cjcregg
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby cjcregg » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:20 pm

I was told that Chicago might end up higher-ranked than Harvard in a few years. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?

kaiser
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby kaiser » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:21 pm

cjcregg wrote:I was told that Chicago might end up higher-ranked than Harvard in a few years. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?


Impossible to know (and I wouldn't exactly count on it)

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skers
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Re: Rubenstein vs. HLS

Postby skers » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:31 pm

cjcregg wrote:I was told that Chicago might end up higher-ranked than Harvard in a few years. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?


Harvard's diluted faculty is steadily tanking its ranking. This year was just the first step.




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