Thank you so much kappycaft1! So helpful to see it depicted this way. I agree the amount is not totally unmanageable, but we would really have to commit and stick to this 5/6 year plan. 60K to live on is reasonable I believe, especially since there'll be two of us thus living costs can be more easily minimized.
So basically it's like DaleCooper said: there isn't a WRONG choice, there are just DIFFERENT choices. Life 5 years post law school might look very different depending on where we go to school and how much debt we still owe/ our options. However, after that point, when law school is over and paid for, which degree will we value just a tiny bit more? I still think it would be Columbia for me, but also acknowledge that at that point I might be so mentally and physically exhausted that I'm just bitter
As far as debt's concerned, look up the thread on IBR. Briefly, it doesn't matter how much you borrow anymore. Your payments are limited to just under 10% of your income and forgiven in 20 years if a balance remains. Duke and NYU are equivalent for placement, but CLS is better. FYI, wont is spelled without an apostrophe when it's not a contraction.
Elite Outcomes (Combined “Big Law, More or Less” and “Federal Clerks” categories)
1. Stanford University 72.9%
2. Columbia University 69.5%
3. University of Pennsylvania 67.1%
4. Yale University 66.4%
5. Harvard University 65.0%
6. Northwestern University 61.4%
7. Duke University 56.1%
8. University of Chicago 54.2%
9. New York University 54.1%
10. University of California—Berkeley 51.3%