NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:59 am

I know it seems like an obvious choice, but I have a very strong preference to spend the next three years in NYC. I went to undergrad there and nearly all of my friends and extended family are there as well. On the other hand, I hardly know anyone in Boston and won't be able to come visit before making my decision. I don't want to choose the big name only to be unhappy for the next three years, all for a slim boost in my career prospects. Assuming my grades fall around the median at both schools, how many more opportunities will I be likely to have coming out of Harvard?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby dingbat » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:19 am

Beware of 0Ls giving you bad advice because they're riding the waitlist.

That being said, you know the answer and are just looking for validation. There is no wrong choice

User avatar
Tadatsune
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:40 am

What do you want to do?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:41 am

If you make the assumption that you will be below median at either law school, then the answer is clearly Harvard.

If you plan to work outside of the US, then the answer is clearly Harvard.

If you plan to do PI work after law school or during the break between 2L & 3L, will NYU increase your scholarship ?

What are your career plans & goals ?

Will you qualify for financial aid from Harvard ?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby dingbat » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:20 am

CanadianWolf wrote:If you make the assumption that you will be below median at either law school

Then you are making a wise decision.

User avatar
Tadatsune
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:27 am

If you just wanted NYC biglaw, you could make the case for NYU.

On the other hand, if you want anything prestigious it's Harvard.

Also, Harvard gives you a much better safety net. You are more likely to get jobs under median, and from what I understand the LRAP equivalent covers low-paying private sector work.

Go to Harvard, make new friends. Plus, Cambridge is pretty nice.

snehpets
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby snehpets » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:37 am

dingbat wrote:Beware of 0Ls giving you bad advice because they're riding the waitlist.

That being said, you know the answer and are just looking for validation. There is no wrong choice


Haha, you are a 0L, correct?

mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:50 am

CanadianWolf wrote:If you make the assumption that you will be below median at either law school, then the answer is clearly Harvard.

If you plan to work outside of the US, then the answer is clearly Harvard.

If you plan to do PI work after law school or during the break between 2L & 3L, will NYU increase your scholarship ?

What are your career plans & goals ?

Will you qualify for financial aid from Harvard ?

1. Given my undergraduate experience, I don't think I'd be below median, especially at NYU. Then again, I'm sure everyone else thinks the same thing.
2. Not necessarily planning to work outside the US, though it would be nice to have the option.
3. It's 90K with PI
4. I'd ideally like to clerk for a year and then do big law, maybe eventually move into PI, if that's even feasible.
5. I don't think so

User avatar
Chucky21
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:36 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Chucky21 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:51 am

Harvard all the way.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby kaiser » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:54 am

If your goal is NYC biglaw firm, then just take the $$ at NYU

mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:11 am

kaiser wrote:If your goal is NYC biglaw firm, then just take the $$ at NYU


I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:16 am

Based on your answers, the better choice seems to be Harvard, in my opinion.

You might be surprised to discover that many of the hardest working law students--even those with stellar LSAT scores & outstanding undergraduate GPAs--finish below median.

Since your $90,000 at NYU assumes PI work, some of it is contingent.

If you want to work abroad, then Harvard is the better choice due to positive worldwide recognition.

Even though Harvard seems to me to be the better & safer choice, it's still a personal decision with no wrong choice. Congratulations !
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stinson
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:01 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Stinson » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:16 am

mworee wrote:

1. Given my undergraduate experience, I don't think I'd be below median, especially at NYU. Then again, I'm sure everyone else thinks the same thing. [/quote]

First of all, everyone does think the same thing, and half of those people are wrong. It's good that you acknowledge that but I was disturbed by the "especially at NYU." In the grand scheme of things, NYU's average admits and Harvard's average admits are extremely similar - they are separated by a couple of questions on the LSAT and a few bad grades (read, A-'s) in undergrad. Even as someone at HLS I would not be assuming I would finish higher in the class at any of the top 10, let alone NYU.

So I look at the choice this way:

Clerkship, which you mentioned, is a clear go-to-Harvard.

If you do PI the scholarship difference disappears and you have the differences between NYU's and Harvard's LRAPs. That, basically, is paying potentially less money with a lot less flexibility (locked into 10 yrs with NYU's because it relies on IBR/PSLF) vs. paying potentially a little more money with way more flexibility. (Can drop in and out, not tied to federal program.)

If you do private work, the money matters. (Though make sure you think about what the scholarship will be if you don't do PI 2L summer at NYU. I'm guessing $75k as NYU's typical PI bump seems to be $15k.) There you would be balancing $$ vs. assuredness of snagging a job should things go wrong. I am a somewhat risk-averse person, so I would go with Harvard.

A final word about your clerkship-biglaw-PI aspiration. I've spoken to people who have done that, so it's possible. Depending on how long you spent doing each, Harvard's LIPP may have a decisive advantage. If you're in Biglaw five years, paying on a ten year repayment schedule, then when you switch to PI, LIPP will help you for five years and then you're done. If you do the same thing at NYU, you would be starting over and needing to make 10 years of payments to get PSLF. That said, given less debt at NYU you could try to accelerate repayment and pay down everything in five years. Definitely doable, though NYC can be an expensive place, but that of course comes down to your preferences.

mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:51 am

Stinson wrote:
mworee wrote:

1. Given my undergraduate experience, I don't think I'd be below median, especially at NYU. Then again, I'm sure everyone else thinks the same thing.


First of all, everyone does think the same thing, and half of those people are wrong. It's good that you acknowledge that but I was disturbed by the "especially at NYU." In the grand scheme of things, NYU's average admits and Harvard's average admits are extremely similar - they are separated by a couple of questions on the LSAT and a few bad grades (read, A-'s) in undergrad. Even as someone at HLS I would not be assuming I would finish higher in the class at any of the top 10, let alone NYU.

So I look at the choice this way:

Clerkship, which you mentioned, is a clear go-to-Harvard.

If you do PI the scholarship difference disappears and you have the differences between NYU's and Harvard's LRAPs. That, basically, is paying potentially less money with a lot less flexibility (locked into 10 yrs with NYU's because it relies on IBR/PSLF) vs. paying potentially a little more money with way more flexibility. (Can drop in and out, not tied to federal program.)

If you do private work, the money matters. (Though make sure you think about what the scholarship will be if you don't do PI 2L summer at NYU. I'm guessing $75k as NYU's typical PI bump seems to be $15k.) There you would be balancing $$ vs. assuredness of snagging a job should things go wrong. I am a somewhat risk-averse person, so I would go with Harvard.

A final word about your clerkship-biglaw-PI aspiration. I've spoken to people who have done that, so it's possible. Depending on how long you spent doing each, Harvard's LIPP may have a decisive advantage. If you're in Biglaw five years, paying on a ten year repayment schedule, then when you switch to PI, LIPP will help you for five years and then you're done. If you do the same thing at NYU, you would be starting over and needing to make 10 years of payments to get PSLF. That said, given less debt at NYU you could try to accelerate repayment and pay down everything in five years. Definitely doable, though NYC can be an expensive place, but that of course comes down to your preferences.[/quote]

As far as the grades go, you're absolutely right. I withdraw my comment. Thanks so much for your advice. Despite my reticence to give up NYC, it's looking like Harvard's the better choice.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby quiver » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:58 am

mworee wrote:I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?
No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby kaiser » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:03 pm

Median at NYU can pretty easily get biglaw in NYC. Thats the bread and butter of NYU, and almost everyone I knew had their pick of good NYC firms here. Harvard is the gold standard for many things. If you want academia, prestigious government work, top clerkship options, considering going into business down the road, etc. then the Harvard name can't be beat. But if its just going to a big NYC firm, we place into the very same firms, and in huge numbers.

I wish I could link you to it, but there was a thread not too long ago where people posted the breakdowns of their summer classes (i.e. which schools the summers come from). Many of the postings were for NY offices. And it would almost always be NYU, Columbia, and Harvard as the top 3 feeders at any of the big NYC firms, and with pretty good balance among them. Some firms might be 10 from NYU/CLS, and 8 from Harvard, while some others would be 12 Harvard vs. 9 NYU/CLS.

Bottom line is that the easiest thing you can do out of NYU is get a big firm job in NYC. Just having the huge alumni network here is an invaluable asset, and interviews can be had very easily through many channels. Plus, you would have an extra nearly 100K in your pocket. Thats probably what I would choose.

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:09 pm

Sounds like OP wants us to validate his/her preference for NYU. Considering that 90k, it's an ok choice. Don't worry about it.

This being said, did you apply for financial aid from Harvard? Did you get anything?

mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:36 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Sounds like OP wants us to validate his/her preference for NYU. Considering that 90k, it's an ok choice. Don't worry about it.

This being said, did you apply for financial aid from Harvard? Did you get anything?


No, I haven't, since I only just got accepted and had been expecting a waitlist. That said, I can't imagine that I'd really qualify for much need-based aid.

mworee
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby mworee » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:46 pm

quiver wrote:
mworee wrote:I suppose my realistic goal is NYC biglaw, since it seems pretty unrealistic to bank on getting prestigious PI (i.e ACLU) or a federal clerkship anywhere that I would actually want to live. Assuming again that I'd fall around median at Harvard, the latter wouldn't really be all that accessible to me, would it?
No. Zero chance at fed clerkships absent some ridiculous connection and an almost zero chance at prestigious PI, again absent some connection. PI is supposedly less numbers based but there are so few jobs in this area that they have their pick of people with great grades AND a demonstrated commitment to PI anyway. If you're 100% fine with just going NYC biglaw, then I'd say NYU. If you really want to gun for clerkships or prestigious gov/PI, I'd go Harvard (the difference in cost isn't astronomical enough to choose NYU over Harvard IMO).


And then there's this. So, if I'm highly unlikely to ever be in the running for the super prestigious stuff at Harvard, it seems like the only point in choosing it over NYU is to hedge against falling into the bottom of the class.

User avatar
Tadatsune
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby Tadatsune » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Well, if you don't want to go to Harvard, I'm sure there are many TLSers who will be happy to take your place...

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:20 pm

It's not crazy to go to NYU if you want to. That seems to be what you need to hear and it's the truth. There are people at NYU who turned down Harvard, Yale, etc. Not many but they exist. You would be getting two things at Harvard. One is broader access to prestigious things at the high end: clerkships, academia, other competitive jobs. The other is a bigger safety net at the low end. For the broad middle of the class it probably doesn't make all that much difference which one you go to.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby kaiser » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:23 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:It's not crazy to go to NYU if you want to. That seems to be what you need to hear and it's the truth. There are people at NYU who turned down Harvard, Yale, etc. Not many but they exist. You would be getting two things at Harvard. One is broader access to prestigious things at the high end: clerkships, academia, other competitive jobs. The other is a broader safety net at the low end. For the broad middle of the class it probably doesn't make all that much difference which one you go to.


Just the other day here at NYU, during one of the accepted students weekends, I came across not just one, but two kids who had decided on NYU over Harvard. One had gotten the RTK public interest scholarship, and the other just seemed like he really wanted to be in NYC (and he probably got some decent scholarship as well). So yes, it definitely happens, though its obviously not the norm.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby dingbat » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:15 pm

snehpets wrote:
dingbat wrote:Beware of 0Ls giving you bad advice because they're riding the waitlist.

That being said, you know the answer and are just looking for validation. There is no wrong choice


Haha, you are a 0L, correct?

Yeah, but I'm not riding out a waitlist.

User avatar
hung jury
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:52 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby hung jury » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:12 pm

OP, I'd go back to NYU and say you either (a) want to wait until you hear your Harvard financial aid offer or (b) will deposit but won't withdraw from Harvard until you know your actual offer. Don't do something they forbid behind their backs but they shouldn't be forcing a decision before you know your full offers from other schools. A lot of people are surprised at their financial aid offers from HYS. I think the cutoff for finaid at Harvard is 150k income (you or parents) or so.

AtticusJimbo
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:51 am

Re: NYU (90K) vs. Harvard--2 days to decide

Postby AtticusJimbo » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:22 pm

Disclaimer: writing this as a 0L headed to NYU (with minimal $) who did not get in at Harvard, but who would have taken 90k at NYU over HLS happily.

I think TLS's collective love affair with prestige for prestige's sake is pretty severe. The way I see this, OP has perfectly compelling reasons to be staying in NYC to go to NYU - as Doorkeeper/dixiecup mentioned, even the way the thread is written suggests the OP wants to be validated in terms of choosing NYU over H.

OP, I would just say to you in the broadest terms to consider your happiness. It seems obvious that you'd be happier at NYU than at H, but consider that fact not only in terms of the obvious inherent value of having 3 happier years in your youth, but also with regard to the fact that a happier you is almost definitely a more productive and higher-performing you academically (this second bit, by the way, is why I personally would have felt more than justified taking 90k at NYU over HLS, had I been blessed with such options).

I don't think it's unreasonable for you to expect you'd perform better at NYU than at H, but not for the reasons you describe - I doubt there's much substantive difference in quality of students between the two schools.

Some people have already suggested it'd be crazy to turn down H, but personally I think it'd be crazy to go to Boston and leave your heart behind in NYC, when you've got such an extraordinary option waiting for you right there. My $.02




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: haus, kolikotime and 3 guests