Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

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

Best Choice?

UChi Ruby (graduate w/ ~$30k in savings)
43
32%
SLS (graduate w/ ~$80k in debt)
54
40%
HLS (graduate w/ ~$65k in debt)
38
28%
 
Total votes: 135

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spicyyoda17
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Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:51 pm

Choices:
1. UChi Ruby - would allow me to graduate w/ more than $30k in the bank
2. SLS - would require me to take out around $80k of loans
3. HLS - would require me to take out around $65k of loans

Background/Personal Situation:
Will be heading to law school with a wife and a one-year old. She will not be working during my 3 years in school. It is incredibly important to me that she and my son are happy and comfortable wherever we go. I'm confident that all 3 options would provide a decent quality of life for us, but I do recognize the various pros/cons of the 3 options in terms of QOL.

Professionally, I have 2+ yrs WE doing M&A work for F500 tech firm in silicon valley (though my office location is not in CA).

Interests:
Interested in business law issues, such as M&A, securities, financial regulation, etc. I had originally assumed I would enter the industry from the transactional side, but I have recently become interested in the areas of litigation tailored to business issues (e.g. commercial and securities litigation). I think appellate litigation would be extremely interesting and challenging, but I have no illusions about being able to break in there without a great deal of difficulty.

Desired Career Path:
I really want to do a federal clerkship upon graduating, and then work BigLaw (in the fields noted above). I would be interested in going in-house after a few years in BigLaw if the opportunity was right.

Toward the end of my career, I would be interested in teaching part-time at a local university, but I have no desire to pursue a career in academia.

Geography Preference:
I am originally from the Midwest, wife from the Mountain West. I would love to spend the early years in my career in DC, if possible. Long-term, we would love to end up in a West/Mtn West secondary market like Denver, Houston, San Diego, etc.

Final Note:
I feel extremely fortunate to have these options. I truly believe there is no wrong choice here, and that we will be happy wherever we go. I was hesitant about creating this thread because I don't want to come off as a humblebrag. TLS has done a great job over the last year educating me and my wife about current market trends, law school differences, etc. I've gained a lot from prospective/current/past students' insights, and I'm hopeful that if there are any additional considerations/insights specific to my situation, they can be offered here. Thanks.

20141023
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby 20141023 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:02 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronck
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Bronck » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:02 pm

If you want Fed Clerkships and DC, then SLS is the right choice IMO.

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:08 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Again, congrats on an awesome cycle!

Although the difference might be the same between [$0k and $110] and [-$30k and $80k], I think that the amount stops mattering as much once you get into the positive like with Chicago. Sure, it'd be great, but you have your entire career ahead of you, so I think it is well worth $65~80k of debt to attend SLS or HYS. Either of these schools are great, but as you probably know, SLS places better into clerkships, so it really comes down to whether you value that advantage at $15k.

Anyway, the only reasonable choices here (in my opinion) are SLS and HYS. :wink:


Thanks Reg - although turning down the Ruby means no awesome spreadsheets from you at UChi, which would be a downer :D

abl
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby abl » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:22 pm

Stanford does much better with clerkships than Chicago or HLS -- it fluctuates a bit every year, but if I recall correctly it's been around 28% versus 18% versus 13%. My suspicion is that for geographic and class size reasons, SLS is probably significantly better than HLS (or Chicago) for DC as well. Also, many of the top DC firms really want their associates to clerk, so that's going to be another plus for SLS.

With regards to your finaid at SLS and HLS, my understanding was that those two schools only predicted one year of finaid. Are you saying that just in your first year that SLS will cost $15,000 more than HLS? Or, is it a 5k difference just for this year that you're assuming will equate to $15,000 total difference? My understanding is that when finaid gets recalculated each year, it can change pretty significantly. I went to one of HYS and received scholarships, and I ended up getting about $15k more in aid in total than what my first year scholarship would have implied. If it's a 5k difference for the first year, I'd assume that HLS and SLS cost the same (regardless, $15,000 is really pretty negligible when spread over a career). I'd also assume that you can likely talk SLS into matching what HLS has given you for the first year, given that it's need-based aid.

dissonance1848
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:28 pm

Since you have stated that you want to do a clerkship, then Stanford is the obvious choice. The fact that your WE is in the Valley makes it even more compelling, as I think this would make killing it in the NorCal market even more likely (if you want biglaw/boutique).

I voted for Stanford here, although I do admit that the Ruby is very tempting.

Also, don't mean to pry, but why won't your spouse be working? If she was working even part-time, that could help quite a bit in constraining the amount of loans you would need to take, just a thought.

Anyways, congrats on the awesome offers!

20141023
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby 20141023 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:28 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:37 pm

abl wrote:Stanford does much better with clerkships than Chicago or HLS -- it fluctuates a bit every year, but if I recall correctly it's been around 28% versus 18% versus 13%. My suspicion is that for geographic and class size reasons, SLS is probably significantly better than HLS (or Chicago) for DC as well. Also, many of the top DC firms really want their associates to clerk, so that's going to be another plus for SLS.

With regards to your finaid at SLS and HLS, my understanding was that those two schools only predicted one year of finaid. Are you saying that just in your first year that SLS will cost $15,000 more than HLS? Or, is it a 5k difference just for this year that you're assuming will equate to $15,000 total difference? My understanding is that when finaid gets recalculated each year, it can change pretty significantly. I went to one of HYS and received scholarships, and I ended up getting about $15k more in aid in total than what my first year scholarship would have implied. If it's a 5k difference for the first year, I'd assume that HLS and SLS cost the same (regardless, $15,000 is really pretty negligible when spread over a career). I'd also assume that you can likely talk SLS into matching what HLS has given you for the first year, given that it's need-based aid.

After speaking at length with both financial aid offices, I was able to project an estimation of my aid for 2L and 3L at both schools. I recognize that the #s will fluctuate each year, but based on my assets and calculated parental contribution, I feel confident in the projections. The $15k difference is after 3 years.

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:41 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Since you have stated that you want to do a clerkship, then Stanford is the obvious choice. The fact that your WE is in the Valley makes it even more compelling, as I think this would make killing it in the NorCal market even more likely (if you want biglaw/boutique).

I voted for Stanford here, although I do admit that the Ruby is very tempting.

Also, don't mean to pry, but why won't your spouse be working? If she was working even part-time, that could help quite a bit in constraining the amount of loans you would need to take, just a thought.

Anyways, congrats on the awesome offers!

She will not be working because our son will be about 10 months old when I begin, and the cost of daycare and decreased aid (due to my wife working) exceeds the amount of take home pay from working. So financially it does not make sense.

She may look to pick up $1k here and there throughout the year via part-time opportunities, but she won't be pursuing anything full-time due to the financial reasons noted above. On top of that, I know that she would prefer to stay home and take care of our son, and I support that.

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yarsten
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby yarsten » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:55 pm

Congrats on your cycle, yoda!
From visiting the campus (S only) to talking to alumni from both H and S, it appears that S>>>>>>>>>>H for families. The atmosphere is totally different and Escondido Village (Stanford OC Housing) is really an amazing place to raise a family. I can give you more details if you want (PM me), but I think it's a very important thing to consider (happy wife = happy law student). Also, I know that H at least considers need-based aid from other schools, I'm sure S does something similar. In the long run though, the difference is negligible.

I would take S in a heartbeat, but that's probably because I'm jealous and haven't been accepted (yet??). Good luck with your choice!

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Vincent
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Vincent » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:59 pm

Agree with all that's been said, though, as someone who's grown up in the Bay Area, CoL is a huge, huge pain - especially in Palo Alto. Cambridge is far more palatable from this perspective.

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yarsten
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby yarsten » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Vincent wrote:Agree with all that's been said, though, as someone who's grown up in the Bay Area, CoL is a huge, huge pain - especially in Palo Alto. Cambridge is far more palatable from this perspective.


While this is true of these places in general, housing for families at S starts at $1873/mo (2br, fully-furnished) which is pretty reasonable- especially since parking and utilities is included. You'd be lucky to find anything close to HLS at that price range, though you could get a little cheaper if you're willing to take a 25 min bus ride.

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Borg
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Borg » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:23 pm

I'd go to Stanford. $80k is serious money, but it's pretty insignificant over the life of the loan repayment schedule. It's probably in the most family friendly location of the three (definitely a million times better than Chicago), the weather is nice, and it gives you the best chance to clerk. The Rubenstein offer is great, but man it would be tough dealing with a new baby through three Chicago winters on the South Side. Harvard is the choice that makes the least sense of the three I think - almost as expensive as Stanford with a much bigger class size and a lower percentage of clerks in a city that gets just as cold as Chicago and offers less space and resources for your family.

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jselson
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby jselson » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:44 pm

Your Silicon Valley connections and SLS's clerkship rate make it a pretty clear winner to me.

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Tanicius
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Tanicius » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:10 pm

Image

That UC-Irvine figure cannot be accurate....

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Micdiddy
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Micdiddy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:24 pm

Tanicius wrote:[img]spreadsheet[/img]

That UC-Irvine figure cannot be accurate....


Well, it is. Keep in mind the graduating class was 56 people.

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dr123
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby dr123 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:32 pm

Chicago.

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UtilityMonster
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby UtilityMonster » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:11 am

Tough call. I don't even know so I'm not voting.

Good call on the wife doing stay at home. One of my coworkers had a 2 year old and after day care expenses she made $3,000 over six months *facepalm*

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Nelson
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby Nelson » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:53 am

Take the Ruby and save the money for the inevitable private school tuition for your kid.

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ph14
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby ph14 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:38 pm

Where will you be happiest living? Palo Alto, Chicago, and Cambridge are quite different and you might not enjoy all three of them equally. I know that if I had a wife and a one year old kid, I would pick Stanford in a heartbeat (and I say this as a HLS student), especially if I wanted to end up out west or in the mountain west.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby shifty_eyed » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:46 pm

ph14 wrote:Where will you be happiest living? Palo Alto, Chicago, and Cambridge are quite different and you might not enjoy all three of them equally. I know that if I had a wife and a one year old kid, I would pick Stanford in a heartbeat (and I say this as a HLS student), especially if I wanted to end up out west or in the mountain west.

I agree

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loomstate
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby loomstate » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:50 pm

willing to bet most women and children would prefer california > cambridge and chicago

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:59 pm

Harvard and Chicago, aside from DC gov jobs, have similar outcomes. Hyde Park sucks with kids. SLS has slightly better outcomes, is nicer for a fam, and less stressful. Take it.

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:27 pm

Thank you everybody for your insights and feedback. For most of these threads, the OP doesn't come back and state what he or she has chosen, but I will make sure that I do that once the decision is made.

Thanks again!

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Ruby vs SLS vs HLS - Best Choice?

Postby spicyyoda17 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:31 pm

I decided to deposit at SLS. I think that Stanford will provide the highest quality of life for my family, and specifically for my wife and son. This is really important to me, which is why SLS got the nod over HLS. Between the two, I felt like academically and employment-wise, there were only marginal differences. So knowing that Stanford would be the place best suited for my family, it wasn't too difficult to choose it over HLS.

As for declining the Ruby from UChi, again, I just felt like Stanford would be the best place for my family, and I felt comfortable with the projected debt figures coming out of Stanford. Rather than focus on the money I would be losing out on at UChi, I realized that graduating from Stanford with a manageable amount of debt was a great position to be in.

I respect and understand those who have chosen and will choose otherwise. These decisions are very personal and dependent on numerous factors. I feel confident that SLS is the right choice for me and my family, but I know that HLS and UChi are a great fit for others.

If anyone has any additional questions about how I arrived at my decision, feel free to PM me.

Thanks everybody!




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