Chicago ($) v. NYU

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Chicago ($) or NYU?

Chicago (with $30k)
49
79%
NYU (at sticker)
13
21%
 
Total votes: 62

Law'sDelay
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Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Law'sDelay » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:27 am

Hey everyone—long-time lurker, first-time poster, more or less.

First, two disclaimers. One: I’m aware of (and apologize for) the fact that there have been a number of threads on this exact topic already. Be assured I have perused and considered them. It’s just that many of them are older, and it’s hard to resist the prospect of personalized advice. And two: I’m well aware that referring to my situation as a “problem” absolutely merits a response to the effect of “Yeah well cry me a friggin’ river, Little Lord Fauntleroy.”


That said, here’s my problem.

I put down my deposit at NYU last month. I was fortunate in the admissions cycle and had some great options, but felt NYU was the best of them, even at sticker. Last week, Chicago let me in off the waitlist and this week informed me that they’d awarded me $30k—a pretty big surprise (given my waitlist status) for which I am, of course, grateful. Decision by Friday.

To provide some context: I’ve been out of undergrad for a couple of years, working both in nonprofit and federal government contexts. Definite interest in PI, but even more specifically in government. I’d love to work for the DoJ, and have been eyeballing the Honors Program since I decided on law school. Also firmly in my post-JD pipe dream category would be a clerkship, and/or the prospect of academia, though I haven’t researched that one enough to claim it as an ambition AND understand the odds are even slimmer there. Given all that, though, I am open to the possibility of my interests shifting during school, and so would also put some weight on the program that would be most versatile overall.


Now I know there’s an argument that Chicago is the easy choice here: roughly peer schools (give or take, depending on whose flag you fly), and one now moderately less costly with the scholarship. And Chicago was my top choice early on: I lived in the city—albeit the north side—for a few years and loved it, and its reputation as a rigorous intellectual bootcamp is pretty damn compelling to me. (Though do I worry about the extent to which the “gunner self-selection” hypothesis is true.)

BUT, I can see how NYU might be more geared towards my interests with the PI orientation, and I do want to get some solid course offerings in international law. The NYC location is a big advantage, both professionally and in terms of not getting completely swallowed up by the books while I’m there. And NYU's LRAP is what made me feel at least marginally better about the financial investment to begin with, though I’ve come to understand that Chicago’s is now comparable, if not better.


So I’d appreciate any input you have, if you’ve read this far. Would anyone considering my scenario make the case for NYU? Or is this really an easier decision than I’m making it out to be?

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Bronck
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Bronck » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:28 am

At that price point, either school will require LRAP or big law to pay off the debt. My rough guess is that NYU would end up costing 270k after 3 years of interest and Chicago would end up costing around 230-235k.

NYU has more institutional support for PI, but I don't think you'd be at a disadvantage at Chicago either. Since you seem to like the city of Chicago a lot, I'd just go with the cheaper option here.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:53 am

Peer schools are peer. Both have solid biglaw placement numbers. Both have a sizable amount of alums in government work (although probably more NYU). They have nearly identical clerkship rates (12% for Chicago, 11% for NYU). They both can get you back into academia 5-10 years down the road if you work for it. The money isn't really enough to make a big difference.

I think this comes down to which school's environment is more engaging for you. This is one of those rare choices where you really don't have a wrong decision. Do you want to live in NYC or Chicago more? Would you prefer to have your home market for OCI be NYC or Chicago?

Real Madrid
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Real Madrid » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:17 pm

NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:42 pm

Ask each law school for more money before deciding. If none is forthcoming, then you are left with two great, but expensive, options that depend upon your personal preferences.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:10 pm

Pretty similar choices, IMO. Pick NYU since you seem to like it a lot, and because I'd love your spot off Chicago's wait list

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:58 pm

Unless your back up to DOJ is DA/PD, in my understanding, the PI you want isn't the kind of PI you need institutional support for--instead you need several years of lit experience in biglaw (or PD/DA I guess) and maybe even a clerkship.

I'm an 0L, but I'm 90%+ sure you're going to be doing OCI. So don't worry about PI self-selection at NYU. Chicago is cheaper, and probably gives you a marginally better shot at big law and clerkships.

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Bronck
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Bronck » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:05 pm

Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.

law2015
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby law2015 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:12 pm

Bronck wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.


+1.

NYU has ungraded LRW and is in the village. If you want to be in NYC post graduation then go with NYU.
Last edited by law2015 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:18 pm

Bronck wrote:You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.


They're peers for NYC biglaw but if you want to work somewhere outside of NYC Chicago is better period. So in that sense they aren't peers. And since OP didn't mention NYC biglaw as his goal then people are doing him a disservice by telling him that the two schools are peers. I know that NYC biglaw tends to be what people gauge things by on here but that isn't this particular person's interest. If it was then that would be another story. Realistically for the OP's goals going to NYU isn't any different than going to Michigan etc.

Further, not to be negative OP but your goals (DOJ Honors) are such that, unless you get into HYS, they aren't particuarly attainable from any school. Getting a clerkship will be the most important thing; in the alternative you will want to aim for the sort of firm job that gives you the best entry way into a DOJ job as a lateral. Those would be the well known DC lit firms--in which case Chicago will be a better option since it does better in non NYC markets than NYU does. The 30K scholarship basically ices it for Chicago.

law2015
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby law2015 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:24 pm

Out of curiosity, anyone has a link to show some evidence of Chicago's better placement in DC?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:24 pm

Bronck wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.

"peer schools" isn't some magical phrase that means there's no difference between two schools, and even if it was there's still a big difference here in the $30,000 scholarship. Is $30,000 not a lot of money? Does "peer schools" mean that there's no clear winner between the two? Even if you take price into account?

OP: Come to Chicago.

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Bronck
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Bronck » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:28 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
Bronck wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.

"peer schools" isn't some magical phrase that means there's no difference between two schools, and even if it was there's still a big difference here in the $30,000 scholarship. Is $30,000 not a lot of money? Does "peer schools" mean that there's no clear winner between the two? Even if you take price into account?

OP: Come to Chicago.


I already told him to go to Chicago in a previous post for some of those reasons, if you read the rest of the thread.

Just saying that if you say "Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is", that's a bit shortsighted.

pballer
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby pballer » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:38 pm

This doesn't even seem close.

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thelawyler
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby thelawyler » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:52 pm

lol @ everybody being so passionate about this decision. Its a close enough call that personal preference can actually be the right choice here. In fact, I would say itd be dumb to go just where you think is objectively a bit better if you'd much prefer to be somewhere else.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:53 pm

thelawyler wrote:lol @ everybody being so passionate about this decision. Its a close enough call that personal preference can actually be the right choice here. In fact, I would say itd be dumb to go just where you think is objectively a bit better if you'd much prefer to be somewhere else.

objectively better, as well as $30,000 cheaper. But then I suppose there's a certain allure to living in a trendy NYC neighborhood that's more valuable than $30,000 (really $60,000 when you consider the interest you'll pay over the life of the loan) and better employment.

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rayiner
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby rayiner » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:54 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Bronck wrote:You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.


They're peers for NYC biglaw but if you want to work somewhere outside of NYC Chicago is better period. So in that sense they aren't peers. And since OP didn't mention NYC biglaw as his goal then people are doing him a disservice by telling him that the two schools are peers. I know that NYC biglaw tends to be what people gauge things by on here but that isn't this particular person's interest. If it was then that would be another story. Realistically for the OP's goals going to NYU isn't any different than going to Michigan etc.

Further, not to be negative OP but your goals (DOJ Honors) are such that, unless you get into HYS, they aren't particuarly attainable from any school. Getting a clerkship will be the most important thing; in the alternative you will want to aim for the sort of firm job that gives you the best entry way into a DOJ job as a lateral. Those would be the well known DC lit firms--in which case Chicago will be a better option since it does better in non NYC markets than NYU does. The 30K scholarship basically ices it for Chicago.


All of this, yes.

legalmindedfella
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby legalmindedfella » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:21 pm

First off, OP, congrats. I had to choose between NYU w/ a bit of $ and Chicago this past spring, and I know it's a tough call when the $ isn't enough on its own to make the difference.

I'm currently at NYU, so let me give you a few arguments for coming here. Grain of salt, of course, since I attend NYU and not Chicago so I'm not as intelligent or well-regarded, and when I leave New York people spit on me.

1. On DOJ Honors: NYU has done remarkably well in the past few years. But the more important point is that the choice between C and N won't make any difference on this. No one sneaks into DOJ - you're going to need a phenomenal academic record. And on clerking, NYU is competitive with Chicago recently, if not historically, and they're making a big push in the administration to keep up the momentum.

2. It sounds like your interest is primarily in working in the federal government; if you're interested in local or state government, NYU is far more connected institutionally to its surroundings than U-Chicago is and will offer better opportunities, that's no contest.

For federal, NYU is significantly closer to D.C., and has a solid cluster of students interested in working in the market. This means trips to the city during your 1L year, student groups focused specifically on DC networking, and, by virtue of the larger class size, more opportunities to hear things, talk through strategies, and otherwise do the research and education necessary to find a job. Government hiring isn't really like EIW, and you're going to be much more on your own, and having a group of students in the same boat will make a difference.

3. NYU is also bigger, generally. This means more faculty, and the NYU faculty ranks are full of people who used to work in government and are insanely well-connected. You're going to have a wider net of people being able to direct you toward and help you secure the kinds of jobs you're after, and they're going to be able to speak more knowledgeably about D.C. culture and what to avoid.

4. Last, the mere existence of Chicago's LRAP doesn't mean it's a PI peer with NYU; further, if the government pulls the rug out of that program, NYU has real resources and LRAP options in place to have you covered, while Chicago has nothing of substance. Chicago also doesn't help you much at all with amortized debt, whereas NYU does; if for any reason you want to check out of the LRAP program and transition into the private sector, say, by moving from government to a firm, then you're going to be much better off with NYU than with Chicago.

NYU's PI commitment, as many other have said, also goes beyond a bigger institutional commitment and a much more substantial history of PI. There's a culture here that makes choosing to work in PI or government much easier, and that makes a difference.

Of course, also, in the likely event that you decide you want to go work for a firm (and strike out at DOJ, sorry), NYU isn't going to screw you over, including for D.C. markets. Chicago might have a better reputation nationwide, but grades are going to be the biggest difference-maker for D.C. firms, and again, that's something that's not going to hinge on choosing one school or the other.

Feel free to message me if you have any more questions, and again, don't feel bad about asking. It's a tough choice - just know you're not going to go wrong with either.

Real Madrid
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Real Madrid » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:52 pm

Bronck wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.


Haha, not really. I just think it's a bit overrated on TLS simply because NYC big law (as mentioned previously in this thread) seems to be the be-all, end-all career goal of so many aspiring lawyers on here. There's no doubt that NYU is a fantastic school.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:37 pm

I think PI support is really important if you think you might want to do it. Chicago was sending something between like zero and three people a year into public interest jobs for years. That is abysmal if you have anything like a real interest in doing public interest work. I know they have improved their LRAP and scholarships and yadda yadda but I just don't believe you can change that sort of institutional focus on a dime. You wouldn't feel like the black sheep at NYU for wanting to do anything PI oriented.

Chicago struck me when I was looking as a place where the priorities went something like: money >> "rigor" (for lack of a better word, e.g. glorifying clerkships, love of The Law) >>>>>> doing something good with your degree. At NYU I think it's more like money >> doing something good with your degree >>>>>>>>> "rigor" (as defined above). I think this is a real difference, though note that most people are still going after the money.

Others are right, of course, that if you are at all wishy-washy about your public interest/government goals as a 0L you will almost certainly end up doing OCI and working (or at least trying to work) for a firm. Considering that, and considering your scholarship situation, and considering that you seem pretty okay with either school, there's a pretty good argument for Chicago. I just would take with a grain of salt the actuarial approach to choosing a school that TLS people endorse. There are real cultural differences between schools and those translate into real quality of life differences. It's not as simple as boiling down some employment statistics.

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thelawyler
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby thelawyler » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:16 pm

Real Madrid wrote:
Bronck wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:NYU may have better institutional support than Chicago for PI, but Chicago is stronger for pretty much everything else you wanna do and you admittedly aren't 100% sure what that is yet.

Chicago is a better school than NYU as it is, and now it's cheaper. Go to Chicago.


You're a pretty egregious anti-NYU troll aren't you, lol? They're peer schools.


Haha, not really. I just think it's a bit overrated on TLS simply because NYC big law (as mentioned previously in this thread) seems to be the be-all, end-all career goal of so many aspiring lawyers on here. There's no doubt that NYU is a fantastic school.


I don't think it's overrated but it's probably actually feels underrated in some circles, which means it might be rated just where it is supposed to be lol. I'd take NYU if I had these options, but for OP who loves Chicago, I think Chicago is probably the better choice. I'm some 0L who doesn't know shit though.

Law'sDelay
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby Law'sDelay » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:01 am

Many thanks to everyone for your replies! I greatly appreciate all of your perspectives on the matter.

The poll results obviously favor Chicago, but there have been enough compelling arguments for NYU to give me some pause.

I'd clarify one point that seems to be recurring: while I do love the city of Chicago, I've never lived in Hyde Park, which is where I have to figure I'd be spending the vast majority of my time, at least during 1L year. In fact, I'm also quite fond of NYC; I've never lived there for an any extended period, but that actually makes it a little more attractive as an option. But more broadly: I'm not going to law school to have a good time, but I am sensitive to the fact that I'll be finishing out my twenties wherever it is I'm attending, so I want to be somewhere where I'll have the opportunity to go out and blow off steam when necessary. I get the sense that this is immensely easier in the Village than in Hyde Park. Anyone who lives in the latter and would offer an opinion to the contrary, please do so.


A couple of follow-up questions that I would put to the Committee, if you're willing:

(1) Chicago seems to have a rather idiosyncratic academic approach. I wonder whether anyone (Chicago students or alums especially) could speak to whether you'd regard the elements of this--backloaded quarter system, unique grading schema, graded LRW--as positives or negatives. Each of them, like everything else I suppose, seems like a double-edged sword.

(2) dixiecupdrinking, on a point that you made: this question will no doubt reveal my early ignorance on the way law school works, but what exactly would constitute being wishy-washy during 0L regarding government/PI aspirations? Lack of pertinent coursework? No extracurricular activities indicating the interest? Also, you and others have indicated a high likelihood that I'll end up doing OCI; this is just a gap in my understanding, but wouldn't I be doing OCI anyway? How exactly does one get around OCI? Is it just for private-sector work? Again, forgive the ignorance.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:04 am

Law'sDelay wrote:(2) dixiecupdrinking, on a point that you made: this question will no doubt reveal my early ignorance on the way law school works, but what exactly would constitute being wishy-washy during 0L regarding government/PI aspirations? Lack of pertinent coursework? No extracurricular activities indicating the interest? Also, you and others have indicated a high likelihood that I'll end up doing OCI; this is just a gap in my understanding, but wouldn't I be doing OCI anyway? How exactly does one get around OCI? Is it just for private-sector work? Again, forgive the ignorance.

By wishy-washy (which sounds more pejorative than I meant, mea culpa) I mean more not having a really well-researched plan. DOJ and its ilk are really really difficult to get and not really a realistic plan. Your question about OCI kind of drives this home (not to pile on, I barely understood this stuff either as a 0L). OCI (by which I mean the summer/fall recruiting season; there may be other "OCIs" where employers come on campus during the year) is 99% private employers. There may be a handful (literally 3-5) government employers there but the majority of government hiring takes place on a separate schedule. People who are dead serious about PI/government don't do OCI because the employers there aren't who they want to work for.

EdgarWinter
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby EdgarWinter » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:19 pm

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Last edited by EdgarWinter on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gatorspader
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Re: Chicago ($) v. NYU

Postby gatorspader » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask each law school for more money before deciding. If none is forthcoming, then you are left with two great, but expensive, options that depend upon your personal preferences.


I was accepted off of Uchicago's waitlist 3 weeks ago. They initially offered me 30,000. I asked about the possibility to greater financial aid and they raised the offer to 75,000, albeit I did have an offer for considerably more money at a lower T-14 school. Definitely complete the financial aid consideration form. I was already excited about the 30,000, and although I didn't decide on Uchicago, no reason to miss out on a possible increase. You have nothing to lose!




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