Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

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everything_bagel
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Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby everything_bagel » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:54 pm

Please, please, please don't quote.

Hello all,

I'd love your take on my upcoming decision. I know there are a few (admittedly somewhat annoying) threads about the Yale vs. Ruby/Hamilton choice floating around, but I'd love to get specific comments on the public interest side of things. It goes without saying that I'm so lucky to have these choices--but the choice still feels like a hard one! Here are the basic details:

---
The schools you are considering and COA
(I used lawschool22's spreadsheets...but probably not perfectly, because I'm too lazy to confirm everything right now. I've assumed I'll borrow the max but I'm a pretty frugal person so suspect debt will be close to negligible at Chicago).

Chicago -- Debt at <30k
Yale -- Debt at ~240k

These figures represent a small grant at Yale and the Ruby at Chicago.

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
Loans, to be paid off via LRAP/COAP

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
I'm interested in working anywhere with opportunities in my specific interest areas. Maybe lean NYC. I have an SO who says she will look for a job in NYC or Boston if I go to Yale and Chicago if I go to Chicago, so managing an LDR and related costs (time, energy, money) is also a factor.

Your general career goals
Civil liberties impact litigation and/or legal aid. I have work experience and connections in these areas (ACLU type work) but don't want to underestimate the difficulty of attaining these jobs. I'd love to keep doors to both open, as well as the option of doing clerkship(s) on the way.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers
172ish/3.9ish

How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once
---

I'm not particularly debt-averse because I am willing to rely on COAP/LRAP, but obviously appreciate the flexibility (and security) that comes with no debt. My main goals are maximizing access to some of the more interesting job opportunities in my interest area and trying to stay happy while I'm at it--the latter implicating my long-distance relationship, grades at Chicago, and who knows what else.

FWIW, most of the attorneys I know in the specific PI jobs that interest me have urged me strongly to attend Yale (or Harvard or Stanford) due to the opportunities those names/institutions unlock. Many of these people are happily paying off debt of their own. They are particularly skeptical about Chicago because they know very few Chicago alumni practicing in their area. I don't think they are correct that the HYS are necessarily better choices--for many of the reasons TLS is too familiar with--but I respect the fact that they are or resemble the hiring managers I'll be trying to impress in a few years.

So, what do y'all think?
Last edited by everything_bagel on Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby DCfilterDC » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:57 pm

0L, but for your goals Yale is the only thing that really makes sense.

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sd5289
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby sd5289 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:00 pm

FWIW, you don't need Yale over Chicago to get Legal Aid, and combined with that huge COA difference, Chicago is the clear winner on this front. Legal Aid is far more concerned with your experience, dedication, common sense (which you would display during the interview process), etc.

If you're thinking DOJ Honor's Program, then Yale would likely give you a leg up. Yale will certainly give you an advantage in clerkship land, no question.

I'm not familiar enough with the NAACP, or what they look for, to offer anything valuable here.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:05 pm

if you're truly committed to a public interest career, I'd probably take Yale.

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everything_bagel
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby everything_bagel » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:05 pm

sd5289 wrote:I'm not familiar enough with the NAACP, or what they look for, to offer anything valuable here.


Thanks for your input, sd (edit: and everyone); I've heard similar things about legal aid.

To clarify, I'm not specifically interested in the NAACP, which hires like one person every five years, or the ACLU, but this and similar opportunities. It's only an example; there are many (or, well, some) others.
Last edited by everything_bagel on Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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LoganCouture
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby LoganCouture » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:16 pm

Chicago because not having to do an LDR.

Sorry to not give career specific advice but I'm just a 0L and it seems like QOL would be greatly impacted by the LDR issue.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:27 pm

I don't understand why this is a difficult decision. Chicago with less than $30,000 of student loan debt gives you freedom & a world of opportunity. Yale offers prestige and imprisonment to almost a $250,000 of debt which will control a large part of your life for the next decade or two. If you really need something that says "Yale" on it, buy a sweatshirt or a hat, not a quarter-million dollar horsecollar around your neck.

How many of the lawyers with whom you discussed your choice were offered a Ruby from Chicago ? If, in your situation, both Yale & Chicago costs were similar, then the decision shifts to Yale, in my opinion, since you believe that Yale offers more opportunity in your targeted field.

P.S. Chicago is a great city.

P.P.S. Also, what type of folks are "happily paying off debt of their own." Sounds like they are relieving stress by paying down their debt burden rather than "happily" doing anything.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby RunnerRunner » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:31 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If you really need something that says "Yale" on it, buy a sweatshirt or a hat, not a quarter-million dollar horsecollar around your neck.


But... COAP. Lol.

omegaweapon
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby omegaweapon » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I don't understand why this is a difficult decision. Chicago with less than $30,000 of student loan debt gives you freedom & a world of opportunity. Yale offers prestige and imprisonment to almost a $250,000 of debt which will control a large part of your life for the next decade or two. If you really need something that says "Yale" on it, buy a sweatshirt or a hat, not a quarter-million dollar horsecollar around your neck.

How many of the lawyers with whom you discussed your choice were offered a Ruby from Chicago ? If, in your situation, both Yale & Chicago costs were similar, then the decision shifts to Yale, in my opinion since one you believe that Yale offers more opportunity in your targeted field.

P.S. Chicago is a great city.


If OP is really 100% PI all the way though, they're pretty much assured of always being in a job that qualifies for COAP right? Even if they leave law, they still qualify. (0l but making a similar decision)

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chuckbass
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:34 pm

lc39 wrote:Chicago because not having to do an LDR.

Sorry to not give career specific advice but I'm just a 0L and it seems like QOL would be greatly impacted by the LDR issue.

Yeah I'd honestly think in your case you can lend more weight to this in your decision-making process so I'd vote Chicago.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:35 pm

Both people & programs change.

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everything_bagel
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby everything_bagel » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:51 pm

CanadianWolf wrote: Also, what type of folks are "happily paying off debt of their own." Sounds like they are relieving stress by paying down their debt burden rather than "happily" doing anything.


LRAP

lc39 wrote:Chicago because not having to do an LDR.

Sorry to not give career specific advice but I'm just a 0L and it seems like QOL would be greatly impacted by the LDR issue.


I think this is generally really good advice, but I should have clarified: if my SO can't find a good job in Chicago a seriously long-distance LDR is guaranteed since there are no other metro areas nearby. I'm not gonna ask her to take a shitty job. At least the job markets in Boston/NYC are so large that any LDR we have is unlikely to be longer than a 3-hour train ride. I guess I'm just saying I'd hate to pick Chicago for this reason and then find it won't work out.
Last edited by everything_bagel on Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chuckbass
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:53 pm

If that's your main drawback, SO should be looking for a job in Chicago NOW.

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DCNTUA
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby DCNTUA » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:56 pm

If truly committed to PI (particularly prestigious PI), I think Yale hands down. The name, not having grades, and you won't pay back (most of) the debt anyway with PI.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:00 pm

If you want DOJ, then you likely have to clerk and do biglaw for 5 years, so Yale.
If you want NAACP, then Yale.
If you want legal aid, go to Chicago.

It sounds like you have no idea what the fuck you want, so Chicago is the safer option. If your SO can cover your COA and shit though, maybe go to Yale.

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LoganCouture
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby LoganCouture » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:01 pm

everything_bagel wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote: Also, what type of folks are "happily paying off debt of their own." Sounds like they are relieving stress by paying down their debt burden rather than "happily" doing anything.


LRAP

lc39 wrote:Chicago because not having to do an LDR.

Sorry to not give career specific advice but I'm just a 0L and it seems like QOL would be greatly impacted by the LDR issue.


I think this is generally really good advice, but I should have clarified: if my SO can't find a good job in Chicago a seriously long-distance LDR is guaranteed since there are no other metro areas nearby. At least the job markets in Boston/NYC are so large that any LDR we have is unlikely to be longer than a 3-hour train ride. I guess I'm just saying I'd hate to pick Chicago for this reason and then find it won't work out.


I guess it depends on his field but he could strike out in Boston/NYC too. At Y you are guaranteed a LDR just based on the closest major market being 90 mins away.

If you commit to Chicago this week, that gives your SO 5 months to find a job. You and SO know his field and will hopefully have a sense of whether or not that timeline is realistic.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:02 pm

Congrats on the the awesome cycle, I'd say it really depends on how committed you are to PI and how much it would impact your personal life re: LDR. Since you didn't get any need aid I'd have to be 100% sure of PI for at least ten years before going to Y, whereas from Chicago you could switch careers or do whatever.

kfh37
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby kfh37 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:08 pm

Yale, if you are committed to public interest. COAP is a fabulous program, and Yale offers amazing opportunities. With COAP, you're either making enough to pay the loans yourself or getting the money from Yale to do so. (Many years ago, I chose YLS over a significant scholarship at Chicago, and I never regretted the decision.) COAP was amazing.

anonid
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby anonid » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:26 pm

everything_bagel wrote:FWIW, most of the attorneys I know in the specific PI jobs that interest me have urged me strongly to attend Yale

[...]

So, what do y'all think?


please be meta-rational. Anonymous 0Ls vs. successful people you know and trust. Also remember that you're already way smarter/more accomplished than said 0Ls. I am one of them; I would know.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:43 pm

anonid wrote:
everything_bagel wrote:FWIW, most of the attorneys I know in the specific PI jobs that interest me have urged me strongly to attend Yale

[...]

So, what do y'all think?


please be meta-rational. Anonymous 0Ls vs. successful people you know and trust. Also remember that you're already way smarter/more accomplished than said 0Ls. I am one of them; I would know.


Alternatively shitboomers vs recent grads/current students who know the current legal hiring climate

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby zombie mcavoy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:58 pm

Again, do not underestimate the flexibility that not being a quarter of a million dollars in debt entails. Chicago with effectively no debt is an incredible outcome. Also living apart from your SO for three years is kind of a big deal. Notorious RBG still had a pretty successful impact lit career despite her spouse-induced T6 status.

It's a tough call though. I'd like to believe I would pick Chicago, were I in your shoes, but it is Yale. Good luck.

WheninLaw
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby WheninLaw » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:00 pm

Some of these posts are truly idiotic.

OP, 90% of 0Ls will tell you to take Yale. 90% of 3Ls/graduates would have you take the Ruby.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:28 pm

Isn't Yale at 50k + a year now? Lol hell no when you have UChi at 30k total as an option. You know that means you could do biglaw for a year and pay off your total debt right? Do you understand how big of a deal that is? Plus you said you have a SO. SO's like houses, kids, vacations, cars, furniture, summer houses etc. That means they don't like big ass student loan debt.

Another thing: I just saw the 2013 Chicago ABA employment data. Yeah 30k for those job prospects is one of the few times I can honestly say law school is a good gamble.

omegaweapon
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby omegaweapon » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Both people & programs change.


People changing is a fair point. Only Bagel knows how sure how likely that is.

I don't really buy program change being an issue though. I don't think HYS have ever changed an aid program in a way that hurt current students. They've always been grandfathered in. I'd rate the likelihood of Yale ditching COAP at about the same level as Chicago doing something to screw over Ruby students. I don't think either is a realistic possibility.

It seems to me that the two big questions are how committed to PI you are, and if you plan on getting married how that will screw your COAP income.

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starry eyed
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Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby starry eyed » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:35 pm

OP you sound indecisive. If you came in here with a story of how your house was burned by mexicans and now you want to join the DOJ to deport them, then i would say this is a person who knows exactly what he wants- go to Y and fulfill your goals. But in this case, the risk/reward is in Chicago's favor.




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