TrialLawyer16 wrote:You're not even taking into account what the OP wants to do career-wise.
Median = 50%
I already said that based on the information given there's a 85% chance OP would be making the right decision by going to UT.
If the OP lands in between 1-35% at UT= OP gets the job he wants
If OP lands between 51%(below median)-bottom of class at UT = OP ends up doing something he doesn't want to do with 40k debt
If OP lands between 51%(below median)-bottom of class at NYU/UVA/DUKE = OP ends up doing something he doesn't want to do with 160k/120k/105k debt respectively.
The only way OP loses out is if he happens to fall between 35%-50% at UT because he could have gotten the job he wants at one of the other three schools. If he ends up falling anywhere below median, he will end up doing something he doesn't want to do regardless of where he goes.
Now the disclaimer is this is all working on the assumption that what those Texas firms told the OP is accurate, which is obviously a huge assumption. Unfortunately firm hiring isn't an exact science, but based on the information we have at our disposal this is how the situation plays out for the OP.
All I'm trying to say is that there's not a "15% chance" he lands in that 15% gap. You don't have a 35% chance of landing in the top 35% of your class -- you have some unknown chance. If the OP had the ability to go through law school some large amount X of times, there wouldn't be some normal distribution of his place in the class -- his performance would pretty much be the same. That doesn't translate into a 35% chance of making the top 35% of your class. It seems more appropriate to see what his options are at median (where you should assume you'll end up). Median at UVA/Duke/NYU gives him a better shot at the job he wants -- median kids at NYU end up at V10s. And all of these options give the OP a good shot at TX at the median, because of his strong ties. These other 3 schools have a very similar ability to get him back to texas if he wants it.