already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

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senseandref
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already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby senseandref » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:15 pm

I know there have been other topics very similar and I am grateful to be struggling with this decision at all but I could really use some perspective (or a kick in the ass).

I have close to $100k at UVA, $90k at Duke, and nothing at NYU (I probably should have appealed but I sent them the two other offers initially and they wouldn't budge). I am 32 and changing careers specifically to do public interest law. I am 100% dedicated to public interest but not eligible for LRAP for slightly absurd technical reasons not worth discussing. I have savings and family support to pay for NYU and would very much prefer it to the other options but the opportunity cost is so high. I'm not so fortunate nor saved so much that $270k is couch change - it would be felt.

I have zero desire for Big Law or to live in New York long term. My target job is public interest in DC.

I worry that a single 32 year old will be a fish out of water in Charlottesville or Durham. I would have loved those places in my early 20's but that's not me any more. I don't drink, nor do I care for softball. I am also extremely liberal and enjoy being around like minded people (I'm old enough to have had my beliefs challenged and changed plenty already). I would like to have an enjoyable social life and build friendships and contacts while in school and worry that might be harder in a small town. Perhaps someone can comment on how realistic these worries are?

My primary goal for law school is to do well enough to get a federal clerkship (I have fleeting aspirations toward academia but I realize none of these schools give me much of a chance), and I worry that many of the UVA clerkships are geared more toward conservative judges?

Any perspective or criticism is welcome! Especially from people at the respective schools or who can comment on the towns.

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Clearly
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Clearly » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:22 pm

For your goals, either UVA or Duke. Prob UVA if you're set on DC.

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jbagelboy
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:23 pm

UVA seems like the easy answer here.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:38 pm

jbagelboy wrote:UVA seems like the easy answer here.


Duke's not a bad choice either. The only wrong answer here is NYU.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:59 pm

I'd choose between UVA and Duke on public interest support. You need to really keep in mind that most people on here form opinions about schools based on biglaw opportunities, and the criteria really are a bit different. Having support for like-minded people, and having career services staff you can trust for advice, is pretty important for public interest stuff, as is the alumni networking and, depending on what you want to do, opportunities to intern during the semester. From what I've gleaned, UVA's pretty bad on these fronts... non-guaranteed funding for summer positions, little institutional support or advice, etc. Anecdotal but it's info I've heard straight from the horse's mouth (students/grads).

Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?

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Tom Joad
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:05 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I'd choose between UVA and Duke on public interest support. You need to really keep in mind that most people on here form opinions about schools based on biglaw opportunities, and the criteria really are a bit different. Having support for like-minded people, and having career services staff you can trust for advice, is pretty important for public interest stuff, as is the alumni networking and, depending on what you want to do, opportunities to intern during the semester. From what I've gleaned, UVA's pretty bad on these fronts... non-guaranteed funding for summer positions, little institutional support or advice, etc. Anecdotal but it's info I've heard straight from the horse's mouth (students/grads).

Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?

I think UVa has made a big push to recruit and help PI oriented people in recent years. The non-guaranteed funding thing kind of sucks, but it does have some good incentives. To be eligible for funding you have to do a certain amount of pro bono, so you are actually getting experience and getting your foot in the door that way. There might be more details I am missing since I didn't apply for funding.

But from a financial standpoint, NYU is way scary at your age. Most 32 year olds are finishing paying off their first house, not going $250,000 in the hole.

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Cobretti
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Cobretti » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:09 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I'd choose between UVA and Duke on public interest support. You need to really keep in mind that most people on here form opinions about schools based on biglaw opportunities, and the criteria really are a bit different. Having support for like-minded people, and having career services staff you can trust for advice, is pretty important for public interest stuff, as is the alumni networking and, depending on what you want to do, opportunities to intern during the semester. From what I've gleaned, UVA's pretty bad on these fronts... non-guaranteed funding for summer positions, little institutional support or advice, etc. Anecdotal but it's info I've heard straight from the horse's mouth (students/grads).

Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?

I think UVa has made a big push to recruit and help PI oriented people in recent years. The non-guaranteed funding thing kind of sucks, but it does have some good incentives. To be eligible for funding you have to do a certain amount of pro bono, so you are actually getting experience and getting your foot in the door that way. There might be more details I am missing since I didn't apply for funding.

But from a financial standpoint, NYU is way scary at your age. Most 32 year olds are finishing paying off their first house, not going $250,000 in the hole.

Maybe in 1955... most 32 year olds today are renting and still paying off undergrad debt.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:13 pm

edit: double post
Last edited by dixiecupdrinking on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:13 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I think UVa has made a big push to recruit and help PI oriented people in recent years. The non-guaranteed funding thing kind of sucks, but it does have some good incentives. To be eligible for funding you have to do a certain amount of pro bono, so you are actually getting experience and getting your foot in the door that way. There might be more details I am missing since I didn't apply for funding.

Sure, but students at NYU (or anywhere else) who are interested in PI work are also definitely doing a lot of pro bono because it's what you have to do to be competitive in the job market anyway. And at NYU you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get the funding, too, but if you do it it is guaranteed. I just think that if I were a public interest student at UVA I'd think it's a pretty nasty message about the school's priorities that it won't commit to funding these positions when many or most of its peers do without caveats.

Anyway, it may be a minor point in practice, but I would just pay very careful attention to whether these schools are making students with your interests a priority or if they're just paying lip service. Most schools are in the latter camp—and it does make a difference.

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untar614
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby untar614 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:14 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:I'd choose between UVA and Duke on public interest support. You need to really keep in mind that most people on here form opinions about schools based on biglaw opportunities, and the criteria really are a bit different. Having support for like-minded people, and having career services staff you can trust for advice, is pretty important for public interest stuff, as is the alumni networking and, depending on what you want to do, opportunities to intern during the semester. From what I've gleaned, UVA's pretty bad on these fronts... non-guaranteed funding for summer positions, little institutional support or advice, etc. Anecdotal but it's info I've heard straight from the horse's mouth (students/grads).

Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?

I think UVa has made a big push to recruit and help PI oriented people in recent years. The non-guaranteed funding thing kind of sucks, but it does have some good incentives. To be eligible for funding you have to do a certain amount of pro bono, so you are actually getting experience and getting your foot in the door that way. There might be more details I am missing since I didn't apply for funding.

But from a financial standpoint, NYU is way scary at your age. Most 32 year olds are finishing paying off their first house, not going $250,000 in the hole.

Maybe in 1955... most 32 year olds today are renting and still paying off undergrad debt.

Has that full-priced art history degree from Johns Hopkins not paid off by then?

PRgradBYU
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby PRgradBYU » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:08 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:UVA seems like the easy answer here.


Duke's not a bad choice either. The only wrong answer here is NYU.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby rickgrimes69 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:39 pm

PRgradBYU wrote:
MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:UVA seems like the easy answer here.


Duke's not a bad choice either. The only wrong answer here is NYU.

senseandref
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby senseandref » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:30 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?


Georgetown might match my $$$, I hadn't really considered it but perhaps for my public interest goals it might be better? I also really like the idea of their section 3 curriculum. Would it be foolish to take Georgetown over UVA or Duke given my situation?

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Dmini7 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:32 pm

senseandref wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?


Georgetown might match my $$$, I hadn't really considered it but perhaps for my public interest goals it might be better? I also really like the idea of their section 3 curriculum. Would it be foolish to take Georgetown over UVA or Duke given my situation?


See if Georgetown is willing to offer more than UVA and Duke. I wouldn't call it foolish to go for it if you goal is DC and public interest in DC, as it would be the best option available, but definitely do not go at sticker. For that matter I would caution going at equal money due to the expensive CoL in D.C. If all money were equal between UVA, Gtown and Duke I would do: UVA, Georgetown, Duke.

If georgetown offered enough to offset CoL differences: Gtown, UVA, Duke.

This is taking into accounts some of my own personal interest (as stated earlier, Duke and UVA are virtually interchangeable at this point).

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:36 pm

senseandref wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Don't really know anything about Duke but I'd guess they're at least a little better. And Raleigh/Durham is much bigger than Charlottesville, which helps with getting term-time practical experience in the field.

NYU would really be the best place for you of these three, but if you aren't going to get forgiveness then it probably isn't justifiable to pay that much more.

No Michigan? No Georgetown?


Georgetown might match my $$$, I hadn't really considered it but perhaps for my public interest goals it might be better? I also really like the idea of their section 3 curriculum. Would it be foolish to take Georgetown over UVA or Duke given my situation?

I would probably take it over either of those for your goals.

I think it's really, really important to recognize that you're shooting at a small target here. And at Georgetown you'd be competing with a lot of people who are interested in the same thing. But it seems to me that the network, the internship opportunities, etc. are a whole lot better there than Duke or UVA.

If I were you I'd seek some advice from some Georgetown students/alums. I think it would be worth exploring.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby senseandref » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:34 pm

I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?

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Tom Joad
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:43 pm

senseandref wrote:I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?

I think the definite choice there would be the Law Center.

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untar614
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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby untar614 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:35 am

senseandref wrote:I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?


What are the realistic COAs (that is, not using the incredibly unreliable estimates they give you)? Would you get in-state tuition at UVA? DC is pretty expensive, and I feel like u could live for pennies in Charlottesville. Also, I don't think GULC offers full-tuition - I think 120k is the max. That being the case, its a 20k difference, minus whatever to COL difference may be (which over 3 years may cover that). So I'd say UVA with 100k wins.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby legalmindedfella » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:58 am

It's extremely relevant, also, what you mean by public interest in DC. Policy? Then it may depend on whether the school has (a) faculty with a real policy mindset in your area of interest, as opposed to traditional legal academics (b) additional strong policy graduate schools that you could connect with (c) any kind of pipeline to/history with DC policy shops. Working in politics on the liberal side? Then generally speaking you want the least debt possible, I'd assume, since the connections will (mostly) be made outside of law school, and would seem to involve, if anything, the strength of local Dem/ACS organizations. Government? Then know that hiring trends a few years out are unpredictable, and there a ton of different entry points with different criteria, but there are probably real differences in the level of government connections offered at these schools, and my unscientific hunch is UVA/NYU would bat stronger than Duke on that front; moreover, going into government might involve a stint in private practice in DC, which is a tough nut to crack from anywhere. Are you interested in doing direct legal services in DC? Then Georgetown is probably worth a call.

In other words, "public interest in DC" is probably about as wide a net of possible meanings as "public interest in New York" or "practice law in California." In making this choice it will help to zero in and define what you're actually after. It's not necessarily the case that TLS can help you, once you have a greater specificity, but if you zero in, and use that as your focus, it might help you in making your decision. And understanding that the considerations will vary depending on the (specific-sounding) goal you have, so take generalist advice with several grains of salt.

Good luck regardless, you certainly have a lot of good options - though sucks about LRAP.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby NinerFan » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:07 am

senseandref wrote:I worry that a single 32 year old will be a fish out of water in Charlottesville or Durham. I would have loved those places in my early 20's but that's not me any more. I don't drink, nor do I care for softball. I am also extremely liberal and enjoy being around like minded people (I'm old enough to have had my beliefs challenged and changed plenty already). I would like to have an enjoyable social life and build friendships and contacts while in school and worry that might be harder in a small town. Perhaps someone can comment on how realistic these worries are?



Man, don't believe everything you read on ATL about UVA and Duke.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:13 am

jbagelboy wrote:UVA seems like the easy answer here.

This.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:36 am

untar614 wrote:
senseandref wrote:I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?


What are the realistic COAs (that is, not using the incredibly unreliable estimates they give you)? Would you get in-state tuition at UVA? DC is pretty expensive, and I feel like u could live for pennies in Charlottesville. Also, I don't think GULC offers full-tuition - I think 120k is the max. That being the case, its a 20k difference, minus whatever to COL difference may be (which over 3 years may cover that). So I'd say UVA with 100k wins.

You're assuming UVA is the better school for OP, which I think is wrong. At equal cost, I think GULC is probably the right move.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby laotze » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:51 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
untar614 wrote:
senseandref wrote:I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?


What are the realistic COAs (that is, not using the incredibly unreliable estimates they give you)? Would you get in-state tuition at UVA? DC is pretty expensive, and I feel like u could live for pennies in Charlottesville. Also, I don't think GULC offers full-tuition - I think 120k is the max. That being the case, its a 20k difference, minus whatever to COL difference may be (which over 3 years may cover that). So I'd say UVA with 100k wins.

You're assuming UVA is the better school for OP, which I think is wrong. At equal cost, I think GULC is probably the right move.


Why? UVA places 95% of students employed in legally-related fields, 14% in clerkships and 11% in public interest. At GULC, on the other hand, only 73% of students acquire employment in legally-related fields, only 4% attain federal clerkships, and 15% work in public interest.

UVA seems like the safer choice to me. GULC may have the slight edge in public interest, but that pales compared to UVA's vastly superior overall employment prospects (95% vs 73% is a pretty big deal) and more than triplicate chances over GULC of snagging a clerkship.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby Lumieres » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:19 pm

Retake.





Just kidding. UVA.

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Re: already ad nauseum but... NYU vs UVA $$$ vs Duke $$

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:17 pm

laotze wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
untar614 wrote:
senseandref wrote:I think I have eliminated NYU from this decision. But Georgetown may offer full tuition. Any advice on UVA with 100k vs full tuition at Georgetown with the goal of clerking and public interest, absolutely no interest in big law...?


What are the realistic COAs (that is, not using the incredibly unreliable estimates they give you)? Would you get in-state tuition at UVA? DC is pretty expensive, and I feel like u could live for pennies in Charlottesville. Also, I don't think GULC offers full-tuition - I think 120k is the max. That being the case, its a 20k difference, minus whatever to COL difference may be (which over 3 years may cover that). So I'd say UVA with 100k wins.

You're assuming UVA is the better school for OP, which I think is wrong. At equal cost, I think GULC is probably the right move.


Why? UVA places 95% of students employed in legally-related fields, 14% in clerkships and 11% in public interest. At GULC, on the other hand, only 73% of students acquire employment in legally-related fields, only 4% attain federal clerkships, and 15% work in public interest.

UVA seems like the safer choice to me. GULC may have the slight edge in public interest, but that pales compared to UVA's vastly superior overall employment prospects (95% vs 73% is a pretty big deal) and more than triplicate chances over GULC of snagging a clerkship.

1. Actual placement ≠ placement power.
2. Biglaw placement is irrelevant to someone who doesn't want it.
3. Living in Charlottesville for three years is vastly inferior to living in D.C. for getting practical experience during law school, which is very important for public interest jobs.
4. I don't know where you're getting your data but LST says UVA has 19.8% public interest with 15.1% school-funded, so you're really looking at something like 4-5% "actual" public interest jobs. GULC has 25.6% public interest with 13.3% school-funded, so 12-13% "actual" public interest jobs. I think the utility of the data is limited when it comes to public interest work, because self-selection is hard to capture, but to the extent the numbers say anything, they don't say what you're claiming they do.




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