Duke w/$ vs. NYU

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fdo15
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Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby fdo15 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:08 pm

Saw another thread about this, but my circumstances are a bit different and I'm having a tough time making this decision.

Planning on going to Duke for 150k, got off the waitlist at NYU. NYU would cost me 245k.

Don't really want to live in New York. Three years wouldn't bother me, but NYC is pretty low on my list of destinations (I understand I may end up there anyway because that's where the jobs are). The other factor I'm considering is that I am thinking pretty seriously about doing PI.

So, my questions are:

1) Does NYU make any sense here if I don't want NYC? Is any advantage they have in placement exclusive to NY, or will other markets also go deeper into NYU's class than Duke's?

2) How should the fact that NYU's LRAP is better than Duke's factor into my decision? How much is a stronger LRAP worth for someone planning on PI?

I'm leaning toward Duke based on the cost, but any advice would be appreciated.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:42 pm

NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:00 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.


If biglaw was the goal, I would definitely say Duke.

However, given OP's goals, NYU LRAP makes that debt much less frightening tho. If OP is a true PI gunner (and won't change his/her mind later), he could attend NYU, receive the superior PI support that school offers, and not end up paying the extra debt anyway. NYU LRAP goes up to $80K I believe. I honestly think it could go 50/50 here if you are entirely committed to PI. It's unlikely that you would miss out on an eligible position from NYU.

As far as working in NYC is concerned, realistically, Duke feeds into NYC too so you can't really dodge the long term bullet there with either of these choices.

You have to decide how sincerely committed to public interest law you are, and if you could stomach working ~10 years on a <$80K salary. There are ways in which NYU is the better choice.

ETA: also it's worth noting that the Duke debt is still prohibitively high to miss biglaw or go on LRAP. Duke LRAP is only 100% covered under $60K, which limits your earning potential/lifestyle/job options more if you go into PI.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:10 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.
If OP is a true PI gunner (and won't change his/her mind later), he could attend NYU, receive the superior PI support that school offers, and not end up paying the extra debt anyway.


"Thinking pretty seriously about doing P.I." does not a P.I. gunner make. OP, are you 100% P.I. or bust? If not, you aren't a P.I. gunner and you shouldn't do NYU.

NYU LRAP goes up to $80K I believe. I honestly think it could go 50/50 here if you are entirely committed to PI. It's unlikely that you would miss out on an eligible position from NYU.


Because PSLF qualifying P.I. jobs are so easy to come by?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:14 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
Because PSLF qualifying P.I. jobs are so easy to come by?


For the average law student, not at all, but NYU is probably the best school in the country after HYS at getting their students LRAP-eligible positions. They take that shit seriously and I didn't meet a single NYU alumn who had gone into public interest and failed to procure an LRAP eligible position within the required time frame.

Your point is well taken, which is part of the reason I wouldn't depend on LRAP to save my skin, but it's pretty undeniable that NYU's LRAP offers more than Duke's, and as I said, if there was one school I would attend with the full intention of depending on LRAP, it would be NYU.

kaiser
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby kaiser » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Only if you are damn sure that you want PI. "Leaning toward PI" wouldn't really justify it. You have to be sure that PI is your goal to justify that extra 100K, especially if NYC isn't really your thing.

Paul Campos
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:39 pm

An iron rule of elite law schools is that anyone who says they're "leaning" toward PI is going to end up trying to get a job with a big firm, which in turn will preclude them from being competitive for most PI jobs. Basically the OP would be lighting $100K on fire by going to NYU.

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untar614
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby untar614 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:42 pm

OP, where are you from, and where would you potentially want to wok if not NYC?

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sinfiery
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby sinfiery » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Paul Campos wrote:An iron rule of elite law schools is that anyone who says they're "leaning" toward PI is going to end up trying to get a job with a big firm, which in turn will preclude them from being competitive for most PI jobs. Basically the OP would be lighting $100K on fire by going to NYU.

This was my thought. Especially after reading this thought a few times on TLS that soj just expressed again recently:

soj wrote:
I know this doesn't apply to you, Jaqen, but here it is: If you don't want biglaw, you're probably still going into biglaw. Look into the annoying paperwork and restrictions involved in your school's LRAP (that your school won't tell you about); talk to your biglaw friends who are getting wined and dined at their summer associate positions and (because they're annoying law students) can't shut up about them; consider the lack of job security (most PI people don't get their jobs until after graduation, if at all), financial uncertainty, and bad credit you'll be facing as a young adult trying to start a family. Are you sure you still don't want biglaw? When the law school herd mentality catches up with you, will you really be among the few who stick to the PI path? If you think you're going into government or academia, god help you because you're almost definitely wrong. And even if you do stay away from biglaw, you're still at the mercy of your school's LRAP program. HYS probably won't eliminate LRAP (though you can never be sure), but they are chipping away and will chip away at their programs. Don't make a poor financial decision because you're starry-eyed.


The only benefit NYU has is in v5 firms in NYC. Take the money.

fdo15
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby fdo15 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:09 pm

DC or Cali would be my top choices. From what I understand firms in these markets look at Duke and NYU students similarly.

This is pretty much the response I expected to get. I guess I need to think long and hard about how committed to PI I am.

Paul Campos, you say that taking a job with a firm would preclude me from being competitive for most PI jobs. Can you explain that a little more? Is doing ~5 years of biglaw to pay down loans (assuming I get biglaw) and then exiting into PI not a realistic option?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:17 pm

fdo15 wrote:DC or Cali would be my top choices. From what I understand firms in these markets look at Duke and NYU students similarly.

This is pretty much the response I expected to get. I guess I need to think long and hard about how committed to PI I am.

Paul Campos, you say that taking a job with a firm would preclude me from being competitive for most PI jobs. Can you explain that a little more? Is doing ~5 years of biglaw to pay down loans (assuming I get biglaw) and then exiting into PI not a realistic option?


I think he meant right out of school, if you do a 2L SA you're setting yourself on a corp track.

Either way, OP, this seems stupid to me.. Why would you work in biglaw to pay off loans and save nothing rather than work in PI initially and have LRAP excuse the loans if you want to head PI anyway? This makes no sense and seems to be putting you through a lot of extra pain to pay off loans unnecessarily

fdo15
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby fdo15 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:34 pm

It's not a great plan, but it's something that I've thought about. It would give me flexibility because I don't think I'm 100% ready to decide about PI yet. If I go all out for PI (from Duke or NYU) I really need to stick with it for 10 years to get the loans forgiven. Also I've heard that LRAP isn't always reliable. For example, I could not get a PI job, I could lose my PI job, if I got married in that 10 year window and my wife made money I could get kicked out of LRAP, the school could change LRAP, etc.

I know the work I want to do is PI, but racking up 150k or 245k in debt to depend on an LRAP program that is no guarantee seems like a pretty huge gamble, and I'm not saying that as someone who is particularly risk averse.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby beepboopbeep » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:48 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I think he meant right out of school, if you do a 2L SA you're setting yourself on a corp track.


We're both 0Ls, so I'm mostly saying this in hopes that someone with actual knowledge will weigh in.

But my understanding is that PI firms/DA offices/etc want to see extensive commitment, and that means clinics, moot, PI internships. 2L SA is definitely part of why a lot of initially-PI-focused students end up in biglaw, but it's also that it's just a lot easier and more secure to go that route, and that that tempts many people away. Especially since prestigious PI is such a huge gamble, and not one many people are willing to take with 100k+ debt.

PC's post meant to me that unless you are a diehard PI gunner, the path of least resistance will pull you into biglaw 95% of the time. Before you rack up debt it's easy to say, oh, yea I'd like to do interesting, fulfilling PI work. Once you're staring down the barrel of repayment, well...

Paul Campos
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby Paul Campos » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:14 pm

The combination of soaring law school costs, a contracting employment market for lawyers of all types, but especially in the PI/government sector, and the increasing financial value of PSLF/LRAP for people with big educational debts has made the PI world much more competitive than it used to be. Furthermore, many cause lawyers tend to be cynical about or contemptuous of anyone they suspect is treating the non-profit world as a backup plan. This has added up to a situation where even people from elite schools have to be PI-committed to get considered for PI positions of all types. In short, if you go for a 2L SA and strike out, or get no-offered, or get laid off, or decide after a couple of years that you can't stand big law, you're going to be competing for public sector jobs with people who have similar credentials in terms of school rank and grades but who have been gunning for those jobs since before they even enrolled in law school. You will almost certainly lose out in that competition.

As for lateraling into the public sector after several years in big law, that's a more realistic option, but one that's fraught with its own hazards.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:57 pm

As usual, OP, listen to your friend Billy Zane Paul Campos. He's a cool dude, he's trying to help you out.

If you were absolutely 100% dead-set on public interest, meaning you knew exactly what kind of job you wanted in a specific field and how to go about getting it, NYU might be worth it. If you really wanted to be in NYC, NYU might be worth it. The decision would be defensible, at least, in those circumstances. But for you, there really isn't an argument for NYU here.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:46 pm

Duke, especially if OP doesn't want NYC.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby rickgrimes69 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:23 am

sinfiery wrote:
soj wrote:I know this doesn't apply to you, Jaqen, but here it is: If you don't want biglaw, you're probably still going into biglaw. Look into the annoying paperwork and restrictions involved in your school's LRAP (that your school won't tell you about); talk to your biglaw friends who are getting wined and dined at their summer associate positions and (because they're annoying law students) can't shut up about them; consider the lack of job security (most PI people don't get their jobs until after graduation, if at all), financial uncertainty, and bad credit you'll be facing as a young adult trying to start a family. Are you sure you still don't want biglaw? When the law school herd mentality catches up with you, will you really be among the few who stick to the PI path? If you think you're going into government or academia, god help you because you're almost definitely wrong. And even if you do stay away from biglaw, you're still at the mercy of your school's LRAP program. HYS probably won't eliminate LRAP (though you can never be sure), but they are chipping away and will chip away at their programs. Don't make a poor financial decision because you're starry-eyed.


The only benefit NYU has is in v5 firms in NYC. Take the money.


+1000 to this and to Paul Campos's post.

fdo15
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby fdo15 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:16 am

Thanks guys, this has been helpful. NYU was a school I never thought I would get into so it felt pretty tempting right after getting the call, but after having had some time to think about it and seeing what you guys and some other people I trust have had to say I feel pretty good about Duke.

Ti Malice
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:11 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.


Just joining the chorus here.

mr.hands
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby mr.hands » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:33 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.


Just joining the chorus here.


I'll provide some backup vocals

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:52 pm

mr.hands wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:NYU is not worth close to $100k more than Duke, especially if you don't want NYC. Duke is the easy answer here.


Just joining the chorus here.


I'll provide some backup vocals


"You know you got a sweet L-R-A-P
But I ain't got no future in NYC
And Duke is just as good up in DC
So why you tryna charge so much mon-ey?"

fdo15
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby fdo15 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:19 pm

Haha that was pretty funny.

NYU just offered me 37.5 (45 if I do PI). I'm going to talk to Duke asap. As I said in the OP I was leaning heavily toward Duke from the beginning, but now I'm honestly pretty torn. Do you think this is enough money to change things?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:52 pm

fdo15 wrote:Haha that was pretty funny.

NYU just offered me 37.5 (45 if I do PI). I'm going to talk to Duke asap. As I said in the OP I was leaning heavily toward Duke from the beginning, but now I'm honestly pretty torn. Do you think this is enough money to change things?


NYU is justifiable @ that price if Duke leaves their offer the same. Esp. if you end up doing PI, the COA difference becomes ~$40-45K.

I tend to be more pro-metropolitan though, since I wouldn't live in Durham for more than a couple weeks. So others will probably continue to say Duke is TCR.

ETA: also congratulations on the scholarship!

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:57 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
fdo15 wrote:Haha that was pretty funny.

NYU just offered me 37.5 (45 if I do PI). I'm going to talk to Duke asap. As I said in the OP I was leaning heavily toward Duke from the beginning, but now I'm honestly pretty torn. Do you think this is enough money to change things?


NYU is justifiable @ that price if Duke leaves their offer the same. Esp. if you end up doing PI, the COA difference becomes ~$40-45K.


It becomes more than that when you take into account LRAP, but that's not the safest assumption. I'm also curious whether this calculation uses official numbers or what - I imagine you could live for super cheap in Durham, but NYC rent is no joke.

That CoA difference would be enough for me to choose NYU, especially if you choose to diehard gun PI.

kaiser
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Re: Duke w/$ vs. NYU

Postby kaiser » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:03 pm

Congrats on the scholarship. If you are truly dedicated to the PI route, now I'd def say NYU tipped the scales a bit.




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