I have no interest in academia, but I am very interested in doing a federal clerkship.
Here are my thoughts on each:
Pros: Higher ranking, in a city with a lot of opportunities, and great placement into clerkships and prestigious firm jobs.
Cons: Very expensive. High cost of living. South Chicago doesn't seem like the greatest place, and I don't know if I would fit into the UChicago culture that well. I'm not convinced that UChicago has the prestige to make it a better deal than some of the other schools.
Pros: This is the only school that I've visited, and I really enjoyed Charlottesville. The people I met were all nice, and I definitely could see myself at UVA. Money is nice. Biglaw/clerkship prospects are good. The numbers they gave us at ASW were all very encouraging.
This is where I'm currently leaning.
Cons: Lower prestige. It might distance myself from West Coast markets, but everything I heard from west-coast bound students at ASW seems to counter that. There's even a student-group for west-coast-bound students.
Pros: Seems to have an atmosphere similar to UVA. A little more $$. Numbers suggest that clerkship and biglaw placement are on the rise.
Cons: I've heard a lot of poor reviews about Durham. Everything seems much more spread out. Not sure if the extra 6k is worth giving up the (slighter) lower placement numbers when compared to other schools.
Cons: The only reason I would go here is for the money. Ithaca weather seems awful and I'm not interested in NYC except as a last resort. But maybe the money's worth it?
There are all my initial thoughts, so I apologize if they read as if a drunken 4-year-old wrote them. Thanks for all the help. TLS has been great from the LSAT through this cycle, so I really want to know this board's opinion.
*I'm waitlisted at Harvard and still waiting on Stanford. If any of these options come through, I'll probably take them in a heartbeat. If you think that'd be a bad idea, feel free to speculate on this point as well.