Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

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

Where should I go?

Duke ($128k)
5
31%
Chicago ($167k)
10
63%
NYU ($176k)
1
6%
Berkeley ($209k)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 16

slurpy
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby slurpy » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:09 pm

Update to previous thread from a couple months ago - my options have changed significantly after new offers and negotiation.

Will be financing primarily with loans.

COA:
Duke - $128,000 (appealed original offer and was denied)
Chicago - $167,000
NYU - $176,000 (appealed original offer of $0 and was successful)
Berkeley - $209,000 (received some need-based aid)

I'm waiting on a matching scholarship application to Berkeley. If that is miraculously granted, I'll definitely be at Berk, but, as deposit deadlines approach, I'm weighing my fallback options.

I'm from Hawaii. I want to end up working in public interest on the west coast, but no real ties to the area. I did my undergrad in New York City.

I visited Berkeley and loved it, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra cost assuming they don't match. And I'm particularly curious about what people think re: Duke vs. NYU/Chicago for west coast public interest.

If it matters, I'm also riding the Harvard waitlist.

Low 170s LSAT, 3.7x GPA. Took the LSAT once.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby Nomo » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:39 pm

I would hesitate before banking on an LRAP program that's tied to IBR. For that reason, I'd pick Duke. It may not have the biggest name in CA, but its still respected there. And you can pay off 128k on a small salary if you have to, its hard, but you can do it.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:53 pm

Nomo wrote:I would hesitate before banking on an LRAP program that's tied to IBR. For that reason, I'd pick Duke. It may not have the biggest name in CA, but its still respected there. And you can pay off 128k on a small salary if you have to, its hard, but you can do it.


+1

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby rpupkin » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:03 pm

I worry that PI-oriented people get really shitty advice on TLS. Unlike with big law employment, folks just don't have the data to back up their intuitions and suggestions about PI. There's too much ignorance.

I'm one of the ignorant, btw. I can sort of understand why the two posters have recommended Duke so far, but I'd be pretty cautious about assuming you can get West Coast PI from there. This is one of those questions where you should probably reach out to graduates who work in public interest. Most of the advice and votes in the "Choosing a Law School" forum come from 0Ls who, though well intentioned, aren't really in a position to offer you meaningful guidance.

User avatar
sesto elemento
Posts: 1534
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:29 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby sesto elemento » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:39 pm

rpupkin wrote:I worry that PI-oriented people get really shitty advice on TLS. Unlike with big law employment, folks just don't have the data to back up their intuitions and suggestions about PI. There's too much ignorance.

I'm one of the ignorant, btw. I can sort of understand why the two posters have recommended Duke so far, but I'd be pretty cautious about assuming you can get West Coast PI from there. This is one of those questions where you should probably reach out to graduates who work in public interest. Most of the advice and votes in the "Choosing a Law School" forum come from 0Ls who, though well intentioned, aren't really in a position to offer you meaningful guidance.


+1 on the bolded.

I attend one of the school you list and I have no clue how PI hiring works. However, just from listening to other 2L/3Ls committed to PI it seems like its mostly networking and they all wanted to practice in the state where the school is.

How committed to PI are you?

slurpy
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby slurpy » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:49 pm

sesto elemento wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I worry that PI-oriented people get really shitty advice on TLS. Unlike with big law employment, folks just don't have the data to back up their intuitions and suggestions about PI. There's too much ignorance.

I'm one of the ignorant, btw. I can sort of understand why the two posters have recommended Duke so far, but I'd be pretty cautious about assuming you can get West Coast PI from there. This is one of those questions where you should probably reach out to graduates who work in public interest. Most of the advice and votes in the "Choosing a Law School" forum come from 0Ls who, though well intentioned, aren't really in a position to offer you meaningful guidance.


+1 on the bolded.

I attend one of the school you list and I have no clue how PI hiring works. However, just from listening to other 2L/3Ls committed to PI it seems like its mostly networking and they all wanted to practice in the state where the school is.

How committed to PI are you?


Good points here. I'm firmly committed. I currently work for a well-known PI law organization as a legal assistant. I can't see myself doing biglaw.

I've spoken with current students doing PI at all of these schools except for Duke (which would obviously be the most difficult to get west coast PI from), but I will look for graduates to talk to as well. It's just a little harder because the admissions offices seem to focus on having current students make contact.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby BiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:18 pm

PI hiring is a lot about connections (aside from ACLU or whatever). Going to a "prestigious" school doesn't really help you that much for most jobs. Plus the pay is absolute crap pretty much everywhere.

I wouldn't take any of these options for PI, imo. Getting a full ride at somewhere lower ranked is probably a better option for PI. Often you might have to work for free or school funded fellowships for a year before landing a full time job, if you get one at all since it's all grant dependent.

Also taking out 128k (which will be more like 150k) in loans for a 50-60k PI salary job is insane.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slurpy
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby slurpy » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:54 pm

BiglawAssociate wrote:My spouse is a supervising attorney at a large non-profit, and would advise people who want to pursue PI to NEVER TAKE OUT MASSIVE LOANS. PI hiring is a lot about connections (aside from ACLU or whatever). Going to a "prestigious" school doesn't really help you that much for most jobs. Plus the pay is absolute crap pretty much everywhere.

I wouldn't take any of these options for PI, imo. Getting a full ride at somewhere lower ranked is probably a better option for PI. Often you might have to work for free or school funded fellowships for a year before landing a full time job, if you get one at all since it's all grant dependent.

Also taking out 128k (which will be more like 150k) in loans for a 50-60k PI salary job is insane.


I appreciate the input.

For me, it's an important point that more prestigious schools tend to have better LRAPs. I understand what everyone on TLS says about relying on LRAPs, but I am skeptical that places like Chicago and NYU would leave PI grads completely out in the cold if PSLF were cut, especially given that both schools have sold their programs hard to incoming PI students. Imagine the PR nightmare.

Regarding connections being important, wouldn't I have access to a more influential and widespread network coming from a more prestigious school? I feel like lower-ranked schools have regional advantages, but that obviously isn't nationwide. I may have just had a different experience with this than your spouse, but one of the main reasons I got an interview for my current job at a PI nonprofit is the prestige of my undergraduate university. Also, can you explain what you mean by the ACLU bit? Why is that in a different category?

Also, a full ride at somewhere lower ranked doesn't just happen. I applied to Vanderbilt and UCLA and got about the same scholarship from them as I got from Duke.

User avatar
BiglawAssociate
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:05 am

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby BiglawAssociate » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:02 am

slurpy wrote: I appreciate the input.

For me, it's an important point that more prestigious schools tend to have better LRAPs. I understand what everyone on TLS says about relying on LRAPs, but I am skeptical that places like Chicago and NYU would leave PI grads completely out in the cold if PSLF were cut, especially given that both schools have sold their programs hard to incoming PI students. Imagine the PR nightmare.

Regarding connections being important, wouldn't I have access to a more influential and widespread network coming from a more prestigious school? I feel like lower-ranked schools have regional advantages, but that obviously isn't nationwide. I may have just had a different experience with this than your spouse, but one of the main reasons I got an interview for my current job at a PI nonprofit is the prestige of my undergraduate university. Also, can you explain what you mean by the ACLU bit? Why is that in a different category?

Also, a full ride at somewhere lower ranked doesn't just happen. I applied to Vanderbilt and UCLA and got about the same scholarship from them as I got from Duke.


I meant much lower ranked than Vanderbilt/UCLA.

The most competitive PI jobs are prestige oriented, but based on "middling" non-profits, it seems like they look more on your dedication to PI (which you have). I don't know what kind of nonprofit you work at now, but I know that when my spouse's non profit hire people they regularly turn down Harvard/NYU/Columbia grads for non T-14 grads with more PI experience and bilingual abilities.

I just think it's risky relying on LRAP, etc. because I don't know where that program is going to be a few years from now, but that's my personal opinion.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tswkb4
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:08 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby Tswkb4 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:32 am

Check out the specifics of each LRAP Program. For example, NYU has an 'integrated' and a 'standard' LRAP. One works in tandem with the federal programs currently in place, but the other one is independent. It might address some of the risk of an LRAP funded PI career. Also, it seems PI is often even more prestige-centric and dependent of networking than a lot of private sector jobs. Going lower ranked might not give you the ability to get in the door.

slurpy
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 pm

Re: Duke/Chicago/NYU/Berkeley

Postby slurpy » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:30 pm

Tswkb4 wrote:Check out the specifics of each LRAP Program. For example, NYU has an 'integrated' and a 'standard' LRAP. One works in tandem with the federal programs currently in place, but the other one is independent. It might address some of the risk of an LRAP funded PI career. Also, it seems PI is often even more prestige-centric and dependent of networking than a lot of private sector jobs. Going lower ranked might not give you the ability to get in the door.


This is interesting - thanks! I knew there were LRAPs before IBR and PSLF were things but that's a good example of a program. And I would tend to agree with you about the prestige, though it seems that is not a universal experience.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests