Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9647
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:50 pm

WheninLaw wrote: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.


Some of the posts are truly idiotic (like those trying to put all of TLS on blast as ignorant, unaccomplished 0Ls).

However, I'm in the latter category and I think Yale is fair here. I always instruct the large scholarship at top school over the debt at another top school for private sector and government jobs, where hiring is a little more transparent and I know for a fact people from a school like Chicago have no trouble getting those jobs. For legitimate public interest careers, it's way more obscure and going to Yale must confer an advantage. Besides, if you're committed to that track, the loan repayment program at Yale is absolutely unbeatable.

That being said, if OP just wound up at a firm from Y, yea, they'd be kicking themselves for making such a stupid choice to take on that debt. If OP knows what they are getting into they won't wind up in that boat though.

Julius
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Julius » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:54 pm

If you go DOJ, COAP is going to pay a fraction of your loans. You'll be outside the income bracket pretty early into your career. But Yale will give you a better shot at the job.

If you want NAACP-LDF or like places, you'll probably be facing something similar to the DOJ option, with a little more COAP contribution. Just COAP the debt ignores the fact that a lot of impact litigation places price you out of COAP a few years after the JD. If you're making 90k-110k in NYC, those loan payments sting. But Yale places much better into such places than Chicago and you're only making loan payments once you're established.

Legal Aid doesn't need a fancy Yale degree, so if that is your actual path you're basically losing the freedom of no debt for the preftige/better QOL at Yale for three years. But COAP will take care of most of your loans if you go this route (unless you marry rich).

Without more, I'd avoid the quarter of a million debt.

omegaweapon
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:19 am

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby omegaweapon » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:58 pm

Julius wrote:If you go DOJ, COAP is going to pay a fraction of your loans. You'll be outside the income bracket pretty early into your career. But Yale will give you a better shot at the job.

If you want NAACP-LDF or like places, you'll probably be facing something similar to the DOJ option, with a little more COAP contribution. Just COAP the debt ignores the fact that a lot of impact litigation places price you out of COAP a few years after the JD. If you're making 90k-110k in NYC, those loan payments sting. But Yale places much better into such places than Chicago and you're only making loan payments once you're established.

Legal Aid doesn't need a fancy Yale degree, so if that is your actual path you're basically losing the freedom of no debt for the preftige/better QOL at Yale for three years. But COAP will take care of most of your loans if you go this route (unless you marry rich).

Without more, I'd avoid the quarter of a million debt.


With DOJ it won't help as much, but COAP still helps a fair amount at 110k a year if you have 220k debt. I'm estimating 180k of for myself, and 115k is about the level where I stop getting any substantial assistance. The 15/5 thing could also be beneficial since government jobs tend to stall out in the low six figures.

Edit: It looks like with 220k debt, meaninful COAP help stops around 125k a year for the first 5 years of COAP. It looks DOJ is like 3-4 years of real help, 2-3 of minor help, and around 3-5 with no help if you assume DC locality pay.
Last edited by omegaweapon on Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:58 pm

starry eyed wrote: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.


I also think most of these jobs (DOJ, NAACP) suck when you work them...not sure it's worth the debt. DOJ is 'prestigious' but stressful and still requires long hours (like biglaw) if you're doing trials all the time. Plus you have to put in like 5 years in biglaw and clerk for a federal judge first....

0Ls have no conception of what it means to actually practice law though, so JUST TAKE OUT DAT dem loans.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22848
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:59 pm

FWIW, I think any LDR where a 3-hour train ride gets you to the SO is super manageable. Of course it's not ideal, but very very doable. I'm not sure it's enough of an issue to make Chicago the obvious choice, barring all the other considerations.

(Sorry not to have any insight on the underlying question, but congrats on your options.)

Also, Biglaw Associate, you think all law jobs suck.

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

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:00 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:FWIW, I think any LDR where a 3-hour train ride gets you to the SO is super manageable. Of course it's not ideal, but very very doable. I'm not sure it's enough of an issue to make Chicago the obvious choice, barring all the other considerations.

(Sorry not to have any insight on the underlying question, but congrats on your options.)

Also, Biglaw Associate, you think all law jobs suck.


No, I think some federal gov jobs are good (not the ones involving trials...which is a lot of them) and certain PI jobs (not policy oriented/"high impact litigation" types) but more the client-service oriented ones. And some in house jobs (like working for a university or other chill corp) is good. But most law jobs suck.

User avatar
UnicornHunter
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:13 pm

How serious is your SO? Is there a chance you'll get married? If so, how would that affect loan repayment?

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

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

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

Also QOL should be a consideration, I'm guessing most people would rather live in south loop Chicago than New haven. Or anywhere other than New haven

User avatar
zombie mcavoy
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:11 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby zombie mcavoy » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:03 pm

idk stars hollow seems pretty pleasant maybe you could commute to yale from there

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby 2014 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:35 am

That is a massive debt differential for a not massive career differential. I see the argument for Yale and agree that it improves your odds by some margin at several jobs that interest you but I really doubt it's worth 200K+ when you discount it out.

Plus let's be honest there's a real chance you just do BigLaw anyway (like 2/3 of the PI gunners going in do) and going to UChi gives you the same odds for firms and the lower debt gives you the freedom to jump ship sooner.

User avatar
everything_bagel
Posts: 432
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:10 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby everything_bagel » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:09 am

Thanks for the input, y'all.

A few clarifications --

2014 wrote:Plus let's be honest there's a real chance you just do BigLaw anyway (like 2/3 of the PI gunners going in do) and going to UChi gives you the same odds for firms and the lower debt gives you the freedom to jump ship sooner.


There is no chance I will end up doing biglaw. I'm quite sure what I want to do, I'm just concerned that I have to be content with other options, like legal aid.

The biggest factor I am trying to understand is what Yale's value added is (and why) in those job searches. Why does DOJ care if my diploma says YLS on it?

TheUnicornHunter wrote:How serious is your SO? Is there a chance you'll get married? If so, how would that affect loan repayment?


My SO and I are serious, I guess, but also pretty independent. As a few other posters have noted, the real danger I face is slipping over the COAP ceiling with a gov't salary (if I win the employment lottery)--not costing out on somebody else's income.
Last edited by everything_bagel on Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
chuckbass
Posts: 9957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby chuckbass » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:14 am

Ok I switch my vote, go to Yale.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Tanicius » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:00 am

everything_bagel wrote:
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, but this and similar opportunities. It's only an example of a civil rights impact lit organization; there are many (or, well, some) others.


Yale's LRAP is so good anyways that even if IBR blows up and you don't get your debt forgiven 10 years from now, you would still be fine. Hell, you could switch careers and become a school teacher and Yale would still cover you.

The biggest factor I am trying to understand is what Yale's value added is (and why) in those job searches. Why does DOJ care if my diploma says YLS on it?


It's more about connections. Most people in DOJ are from HYS or were top of their class at the other schools. Nothing about Yale's educational value is better than any other school. They just have the professors with the most clout when writing letters of recommendation, and most employers go in with a bias for HYS students because they are told to have that expectation or because of their personal biases having attended those schools themselves.

User avatar
UnicornHunter
Posts: 13507
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:06 am

I think it is really really hard to nail down exactly what advantage Yale gives because you're not comparing similar inputs, even when compared to the rest of the T14. I think someone with a typical Yale background would do very very well in PI hiring from most T14s... You need an awesome resume to get into Yale. You also need an awesome resume to get hired for prestige PI.

Personally, I don't think the advantage is worth the price difference regardless of goals. The people who target PI from Chicago tend to do very well. But I have no data to back this up, so take it with a grain of salt.

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby swampman » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:29 am

Most of the jobs you're talking about are extremely competitive and essentially require a clerkship. Take a look at bios at impact lit firms or linkedin for the government positions.

Yale sends 35% of grads straight to clerkships, and probably closer to 50% when you count alumni clerks (the school funded positions are very prestigious and often followed by clerkships).
Chicago sends about 10% of grads straight to clerkships.

Beyond that, DOJ cares that your resume says Yale because someone has pre-vetted you as outstanding, because lawyers care about prestige, and because they will be getting 5000 applications for the job and they have to decide somehow. Plus there is a large network of Yale alums in elite PI jobs. This is less true for Chicago, and knowing people gets you jobs.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:38 am

The same public interest positions are open to graduates of both Yale & Chicago. Having the Rubenstein (Ruby) Scholar designation from the University of Chicago should also get you favorable attention. Also, OP already seems to know several attorneys who work in his targeted industry so he has already paved the way for getting an interview for summer placement or for a permanent position (even though UChicago law with demonstrated interest should be enough with or without personal connections).

OP seems to be leaning toward sacrificing financial freedom & the lower level of stress that accompanies financial freedom for the possible misperception of greater opportunities and a ten year period of a modern-day version of indentured servitude. People change, programs change, economies fluctuate & situations beyond our control intervene. Yale & a quarter million dollars worth of debt is not worth the risk.

(Chicago has vetted you by designating you as a Ruby scholarship recipient. If you want a federal clerkship, Chicago is certainly capable of getting you there. Many find it easy to encourage you to take on the huge debt burden of a Yale education because it's not their problem. Too many what-ifs career wise, health wise & economically. Not worth the risk.)

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9647
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:41 am

swampman wrote:Most of the jobs you're talking about are extremely competitive and essentially require a clerkship. Take a look at bios at impact lit firms or linkedin for the government positions.

Yale sends 35% of grads straight to clerkships, and probably closer to 50% when you count alumni clerks (the school funded positions are very prestigious and often followed by clerkships).
Chicago sends about 10% of grads straight to clerkships.

Beyond that, DOJ cares that your resume says Yale because someone has pre-vetted you as outstanding, because lawyers care about prestige, and because they will be getting 5000 applications for the job and they have to decide somehow. Plus there is a large network of Yale alums in elite PI jobs. This is less true for Chicago, and knowing people gets you jobs.


More like 20-25% of chicago students ultimately clerk, but your point is taken, just less extreme

User avatar
havemercylorde
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby havemercylorde » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:10 pm

everything_bagel wrote:
The biggest factor I am trying to understand is what Yale's value added is (and why) in those job searches. Why does DOJ care if my diploma says YLS on it?


I say Yale in part because of the way PI hiring works: as I think you're aware at this point, it's nothing like biglaw hiring, and you basically have to bust your ass all the way through school to nail down a paying PI job at the end. (Unless you're at YLS.) If you go to Chicago, you may watch many of those internships, summer positions, clerkships and eventual jobs go to YLS students with similar or less experience than you.

Why? Because the profession you're entering is a prestige-obsessed one. It seems like that's the argument you're trying to have: Why does the legal profession care so much about the difference between Yale and Chicago? It's stupid and baseless! This is fine as an intellectual exercise, and if you go to Yale it'll be a good thing to keep in mind, but in terms of your decision-making you're not going to get the answer you want, which is: Go to Chicago! It won't matter!

It is stupid and (mostly) baseless, but this is the profession you're entering. It may not be fair that YLS grads would generally be privileged over a similarly qualified Chicago candidate, but it's reality. You will likely make life a lot easier on yourself in terms of the hiring process and the stress you'll be under if you pick Yale now. You may literally save yourself two or three years of work (or more) to get where you want to go by getting a YLS degree, plus a hell of a lot of stress 2L and 3L years (plus other intangible benefits throughout your career that I won't emphasize too much for fear of getting the TLS Debt-Averse Hammer thrown down upon me). Is that worth it for the debt? With COAP, I'd say it's worth it, no question.

In terms of alumni, the best-represented schools in prestigious civil rights impact lit are probably Yale and NYU. If you were offered a full-tuition scholly + living at NYU, that'd be an arguable choice given your career goals and NYU's great PI rep, but NYU doesn't have a Ruby equivalent, right? (NYU for PI is another thing that's generally lost on TLS.) Again, it's not that you can't get where you want to be from other schools, just that you're making the process of getting the job you want harder for yourself.

TLS gives great advice to the majority of 0Ls, but you're a unicorn-y type looking for a unicorn-y job, and this may not be the best place for you to seek advice. There's a very small handful of people on TLS who know anything about prestigious PI hiring or the PI job market. That gets pretty negligible when you look at civil rights lit specifically.

If you are still unsure (which you should be, given that I'm an anonymous stranger), I would rely on the advice of the practicing attorneys you spoke with, talk to a few (indebted, COAP-eligible) YLS alums 5 or 6 years out (and, if you can find them, Chicago grads practicing in your specific area of interest), and maybe discuss this with some PI-focused 2Ls and 3Ls who can help.
Last edited by havemercylorde on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby swampman » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:14 pm

^^^^ This

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Skool » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:26 pm

Is Consensus that if you want DOJ/LDF, you need to spend some time in big law anyway. If so I'd do Chicago. While you're there you can build even more financial security because you won't have debt.

Networking with summer and term time internships will give you a chance to get to know people in the local USAO or Doj component you're interested in. If they're making a choice between two unknown people and only one has yale, sure yale probably wins. Keep building your network (as you seem to be skilled at already) and it will be hard for them to say no to a Chicago kid they already like.

You defer to the degree when you don't know people. When you know the quality of the work, a rose is a rose is a rose.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Talk to those Yale alums with a quarter million dollars of law school student loan debt who turned down a Rubenstein from the University of Chicago law school---if you can find one. OP: You already have the connections & the commitment. Continue on while at Chicago if, as you develop further, this remains your chosen career objective. Being COAP eligible simply means that you've got law school student loan debt & a low paying PI job after law school.

Also, prestige conscious or not, UChicago law offers plenty of prestige.

Nevertheless, anyone willing to accept an enormous law school student loan debt burden when unnecessary & largely for a minor bump in prestige value for the opportunity to serve in a present day form of indentured servitude for 10 years is definitely one who sees the glass as half-full but fails to fully appreciate what the glass contains.

kfh37
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby kfh37 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:33 pm

.
Last edited by kfh37 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:39 pm

Did all of you turn down Rubenstein scholarships from Chicago ?

User avatar
havemercylorde
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby havemercylorde » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:49 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:OP: You already have the connections & the commitment. Continue on while at Chicago if, as you develop further, this remains your chosen career objective.

Also, prestige conscious or not, UChicago law offers plenty of prestige.


Don't want to get into too much of a spitting match here, CanadianWolf, but are you passionately committed to seeking a job in civil rights impact lit (or any other PI job), like OP is? What do you know about it?

It is much harder to get the prestigious PI job OP wants than it is to land a biglaw job. That's the reality. "Prestige" in OP's career field is not a mere appeal to the T-14 rankings. OP wants to know how to get the job they want, not how to get biglaw and get $$$. OP may be in the wrong forum for that.

Julius
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Yale vs. Chicago ($$$)

Postby Julius » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:31 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Ok I switch my vote, go to Yale.


+1. COAP might not pay off all your loans but it sounds like you have a clear career path where Yale has a placement advantage and an advantage in postgraduate support.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests