Tiago Splitter wrote:Rayiner how much more would you pay for Columbia over Northwestern?
I'd have a hard time turning down full ride NU for a school that wasn't HYS.
Well I guess the question is $100k difference between Columbia and Northwestern. At that level I think it's entirely dependent on your risk tolerance and your estimation of post big-law salaries. According to the latest statistics, Columbia buys you a 10% safety net over Northwestern. If you're willing to pay $100k more for Columbia, you're betting you can make $100k / 0.1 = $1m post-tax (= $1.5-1.65m pre-tax) by getting big law than by not getting it.
Is that a reasonable bet? I believe you can grind it out for 5-6 years in big law as long as you can put in the hours, and get a stable job paying $150k or so afterward. So I think over a 35-year career, yeah, you might be able to make $1.5m pre-tax more in a big firm career trajectory than at a small firm career trajectory. So I might very well pay $100k more for Columbia, but that's probably the outer boundary, I'm not risk-averse, and I'm pretty optimistic re: post big firm career prospects.
My disagreement with bendurnotes4me is not so much the final number, but the methodology. From all of the data I have seen, Columbia doesn't give you materially different options than Northwestern. Top 1/3 at Columbia might get CSM and top 1/3 at Northwestern might get Kirkland, but top 1/4 at Northwestern has a good shot at STB or DPW and top 20% at Northwestern can get CSM too. Unless you get WLRK, the other V20 are pretty fungible (with exceptions). And guess what? The Kirkland dude getting 2x Cravath bonus but paying Illinois taxes and Chicago cost of living has as much spending money in his pocket every month as the WLRK dude making 9x Cravath bonus but paying New York taxes and Manhattan cost of living. And probably bills fewer hours. And both style on the Cravath dude making 1x Cravath bonus.
When you look at jobs that really are materially different, firms like Munger or Williams and Connolly where you have a solid shot at partner, Columbia doesn't seem to help at all. HYS does, but Columbia doesn't.
The only thing left is the extra safety net--the 10% or so better chance of landing a big firm job. That's what Columbia is worth over NU. It's not a trivial thing, and might be worth $100k to some, but that's what you need to look at, not preftige in the abstract or access to "elite" firms, because Columbia doesn't give you either of those.