H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

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

Which should I choose? (COA at Repayment)

Yale (COA: $197k)
11
58%
Harvard (COA: $255k)
2
11%
Stanford (COA: $199k)
1
5%
Penn (COA: $84k)
5
26%
 
Total votes: 19

Tasik32
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H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Tasik32 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:05 pm

Please don't quote.

**Updated to reflect more realistic reductions in need aid for 3L**

Hi all, I'd appreciate any insight into the decision I'm facing.

The schools you are considering and Cost of Attendance (COA) at repayment (from lawschool22's spreadsheet):
Yale: $197,396
Harvard: $254,693
Stanford: $199,811
Penn (Levy): $83,975
* For my 3 year COA, I assumed an adjusted need aid offer based on a SA that paid the average of 5 DC biglaw firms as reported on Vault ($3126/week). This was a 20k reduction in aid for Yale, nearly 12k reduction for Stanford, and a $17k reduction for Harvard. (Thanks to lc39 for a more realistic - albeit painful - adjustment from a biglaw 2L summer.)

Also, received 90k scholarship at UChi, Butler at CLS, and Charles Hughes at Cornell, but not considering those schools as much at this stage.

How you will be financing your COA: Loans.

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
- Home and most significant ties in small law market. I don't think I should have a problem going back from any of these schools with some time in Big Law or Big Fed.
- As far as Big Law markets, probably targeting DC and SF. Long term SO is in DC for the immediate future (1+ years) and would more likely be able to find a job/choose grad school in SF or Boston than New Haven or Philly, but no guarantee that she is moving. We met while working abroad and are both interested in living abroad again for a few years, but I know it's not the easiest thing to make a jump between international and domestic.

Your general career goals
- I'm a paralegal at a regulatory firm that works on a lot of international issues (OFAC, BIS, CFIUS), which I find interesting, but I'm not exactly set on. I think I would like to spend some time both in Big Fed and Big Law for the first several years after. Clerking sounds like it could be a great opportunity, but not sure how much value it would have if I decide to steer more toward regulatory than litigation.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers: LSAC GPA: 4.01, 167/173

I may be trying to maintain an unrealistic amount of flexibility here. I also appreciate that there is the flexibility of low debt vs. the more intangible flexibility of the name of HYS (that I know people disagree about how much this exists - if at all).

Thanks in advance all.

Edited for clarity, adjusted fin aid numbers, and a poll.
Last edited by Tasik32 on Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Winston1984
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Winston1984 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:16 pm

Really I think you are deciding between Yale and the Levy. I don't think Yale is crazy expensive here, and with difficult markets, Yale probably gives you a serious edge. I would go to Yale here. But you wouldn't be making a bad decision with Penn (or really Stanford for that matter).

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Winston1984 wrote:Really I think you are deciding between Yale and the Levy. I don't think Yale is crazy expensive here, and with difficult markets, Yale probably gives you a serious edge. I would go to Yale here. But you wouldn't be making a bad decision with Penn (or really Stanford for that matter).


+1. I think all are defensible...even the Hughes at Cornell you've already decided is out. I'd probably take Yale though.

ETA: Congrats on some great outcomes!

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LoganCouture
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby LoganCouture » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:20 pm

Plan for more like 14-16K reduction if you have a high paying SA.

Yale: http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/F ... 281%29.pdf
As a need based aid institution, YLS students are expected to contribute towards the cost of their education through summer employment. The determination of the expected summer contribution for continuing students is based on the following steps:
1. The calculation of gross earnings based on the weekly rate of pay applied to the number of weeks worked.
a. Gross earnings for students who split compensated employment between two employers will be derived by calculating an average weekly income for all weeks worked then applied to the actual number of weeks worked up to the 12 week maximum.
b. Gross earnings for students who work beyond twelve weeks will be derived by calculating an average weekly income for all weeks worked applied to the maximum of 12 weeks only.
2. The calculation of net earnings based on a 30% adjustment to the gross to account for federal, state, local income tax and FICA;
3. The exclusion of the first $6,000 of net summer earnings to be retained by the student to meet summer living expenses;
4. Net income in excess of the $6,000 exclusion will be considered as available to meet academic year expenses and will be termed the summer employment contribution.
5. Summer contributions of $2,500 are imputed to students in all classes who choose not to work during the summer.

Stanford: https://www.law.stanford.edu/sites/defa ... ndbook.pdf

Student’s Contribution from Summer Income
In determining tuition fellowship eligibility for all students, any earnings over $6,000 will require 57% of the amount over $6,000 as a resource. For continuing students, if you opt not to work during the summer, we will still expect a minimum contribution of $2,000. If you are volunteering for the summer and your organization can document your employment, the minimum contribution for the student may be waived. For returning students, total summer earnings are determined by taking gross weekly earnings and multiplying by a minimum of ten weeks or up to a maximum of twelve weeks.

Harvard: http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/student ... er-income/

Summer 2014 Gross Income (max. 12 weeks)
Less Taxes
Less Base Summer Living Allowance ($7,400 in 2014)
Equals Net Income
Times 90%
Equals Student Contribution From Income

smiles123
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby smiles123 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:22 pm

^Agreed. H/S would not make sense considering Yale is less $. I think the choice should be Yale or Penn. IMO both situations are ideal and almost impossible outcomes, so CONGRATS.

Tasik32
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Tasik32 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:27 pm

lc39 wrote:Plan for more like 14-16K reduction if you have a high paying SA.

Yale: http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/F ... 281%29.pdf
As a need based aid institution, YLS students are expected to contribute towards the cost of their education through summer employment. The determination of the expected summer contribution for continuing students is based on the following steps:
1. The calculation of gross earnings based on the weekly rate of pay applied to the number of weeks worked.
a. Gross earnings for students who split compensated employment between two employers will be derived by calculating an average weekly income for all weeks worked then applied to the actual number of weeks worked up to the 12 week maximum.
b. Gross earnings for students who work beyond twelve weeks will be derived by calculating an average weekly income for all weeks worked applied to the maximum of 12 weeks only.
2. The calculation of net earnings based on a 30% adjustment to the gross to account for federal, state, local income tax and FICA;
3. The exclusion of the first $6,000 of net summer earnings to be retained by the student to meet summer living expenses;
4. Net income in excess of the $6,000 exclusion will be considered as available to meet academic year expenses and will be termed the summer employment contribution.
5. Summer contributions of $2,500 are imputed to students in all classes who choose not to work during the summer.

Stanford: https://www.law.stanford.edu/sites/defa ... ndbook.pdf

Student’s Contribution from Summer Income
In determining tuition fellowship eligibility for all students, any earnings over $6,000 will require 57% of the amount over $6,000 as a resource. For continuing students, if you opt not to work during the summer, we will still expect a minimum contribution of $2,000. If you are volunteering for the summer and your organization can document your employment, the minimum contribution for the student may be waived. For returning students, total summer earnings are determined by taking gross weekly earnings and multiplying by a minimum of ten weeks or up to a maximum of twelve weeks.

Harvard: http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/student ... er-income/

Summer 2014 Gross Income (max. 12 weeks)
Less Taxes
Less Base Summer Living Allowance ($7,400 in 2014)
Equals Net Income
Times 90%
Equals Student Contribution From Income


Thanks for the information! I think I may have been seriously underestimating the amount that biglaw SAs make.

Tasik32
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Tasik32 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:30 pm

OhBoyOhBortles wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Really I think you are deciding between Yale and the Levy. I don't think Yale is crazy expensive here, and with difficult markets, Yale probably gives you a serious edge. I would go to Yale here. But you wouldn't be making a bad decision with Penn (or really Stanford for that matter).


+1. I think all are defensible...even the Hughes at Cornell you've already decided is out. I'd probably take Yale though.

ETA: Congrats on some great outcomes!


Thanks! I don't think I've really given the Hughes the consideration it deserves. I found out about it a bit later on and I really enjoyed my visit to Penn, which combined with my first preference of non-NYC big law and SO in DC, made Penn kind of the main option for lower cost.

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jbagelboy
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:47 pm

As everyone said, Yale or Penn, and I'd hedge Yale unless you're very debt averse.

abl
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby abl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:52 pm

I'd visit and see where you feel the happiest. You can't go wrong with any of your options. Assuming you like all of these schools equally, I'd probably go with Yale (followed by Stanford and then maybe Harvard/Penn)--but the differences are small enough to easily justify choosing any one of these based on a better "fit."

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Auxilio
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Auxilio » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:27 pm

I would lean towards Yale at that price. If you are 100% sure you want Biglaw than Penn is the better choice, but I think Yale's extra money is worth the flexibility to go for different job opportunities. Also with Yale's very nice COAP the difference in COA may be negligible/in Yale's favour if you do not go to Biglaw.

hawnee86
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby hawnee86 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:38 pm

I'd jump at Yale in this case. Congrats on your results!

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WeeBey
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby WeeBey » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:39 pm

Penn placed 78% into BL + FC, if youre willing to target only NYC and bid smart, even with below median grades you should get big law. Imagine how sweet that 160k will be with only 80k in debt.

FSK
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby FSK » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:41 pm

You mention you want DC or SF as markets. Both are among the most competitive. I say the answer is clearly yale.

eph
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby eph » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:43 pm

Yale. Guaranteed success. At Penn they have grades and competition... yuck. Congrats.

CanadianWolf
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:58 pm

Between Yale & Penn unless you really want to focus on San Francisco, then Stanford should be considered.

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jbagelboy
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:28 pm

eph wrote:Yale. Guaranteed success. At Penn they have grades and competition... yuck. Congrats.


the idea that yale students aren't competitive is simply madness. they're just competitive about different things and for different positions.

abl
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby abl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:31 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
eph wrote:Yale. Guaranteed success. At Penn they have grades and competition... yuck. Congrats.


the idea that yale students aren't competitive is simply madness. they're just competitive about different things and for different positions.


Yea, but that's key. If people aren't competing for the same things as you are (and if your ability to get a job that will be sufficient to service your debt load isn't at issue), the negative consequences of competitiveness are greatly diminished.

eph
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby eph » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:51 pm

"Our grading system and curriculum allow a level of flexibility and freedom that is unparalleled. Students can tailor their educations however they see fit. They can do clinics, research with professors, write papers, participate in journals and other activities, and perform community service. Yale allows you to make your education truly yours without worrying about grade competition. And it is the myriad of ways that students do this that allows them to be unique, to market themselves to prospective employers, and to secure the variety of jobs that lead to the many incredibly interesting careers upon which YLS graduates embark. We competed not with each other, but with ourselves. We set our own goals, and we worked hard to achieve them."

An article on the Yale website. A different kind of competition. I like it.

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rpupkin
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:47 pm

Tasik32 wrote:Also, 90k at UChi,

Wait, so are you saying that your COA at UChi will be just $7K more than at Penn? If that's right, you really should be considering Chicago as well. Its placement into SF and DC will be better than Penn's. And it has better clerkship placement too, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:52 pm

I assume OP means it's a 90k scholly given what's comes after it. Personally I'd pay the extra 13k for Stanford over Yale.

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rpupkin
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:56 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I assume OP means it's a 90k scholly given what's comes after it. Personally I'd pay the extra 13k for Stanford over Yale.

Yeah, I think that's right. I think Penn would be fine with adjusted goals. But with the OP's current goals (SF/DC market with the hope of a few years in big fed early in career), Penn doesn't make much sense.

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rpupkin
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:02 pm

WeeBey wrote:Penn placed 78% into BL + FC, if youre willing to target only NYC and bid smart, even with below median grades you should get big law. Imagine how sweet that 160k will be with only 80k in debt.

I don't know; that salary might not seem so sweet when working till 11 p.m. every night in Manhattan. Scan the "big law" stories in the employment threads. NYC big law associates are, collectively, perhaps the most miserable group of lawyers in the entire profession. There are some things worse than debt, especially if, as in the OP's case, you can go to Yale or Stanford and have a legit shot at working at big fed in DC or SF.

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ballcaps
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby ballcaps » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:10 pm

first off, DAMN BRO.

second, and to reiterate: it's really just yale vs. levy, which depends on how debt-averse you are.

consider your finances, preferences, and talk to people on these boards who have actual debt.

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WeeBey
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby WeeBey » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:24 pm

rpupkin wrote:
WeeBey wrote:Penn placed 78% into BL + FC, if youre willing to target only NYC and bid smart, even with below median grades you should get big law. Imagine how sweet that 160k will be with only 80k in debt.

I don't know; that salary might not seem so sweet when working till 11 p.m. every night in Manhattan. Scan the "big law" stories in the employment threads. NYC big law associates are, collectively, perhaps the most miserable group of lawyers in the entire profession. There are some things worse than debt, especially if, as in the OP's case, you can go to Yale or Stanford and have a legit shot at working at big fed in DC or SF.


I thought the most common route to BigFed was BigLaw? Isnt it still very unlikely to get BigFed straight from LS?

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rpupkin
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Re: H vs. Y vs. S vs. Penn

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:27 pm

WeeBey wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
WeeBey wrote:Penn placed 78% into BL + FC, if youre willing to target only NYC and bid smart, even with below median grades you should get big law. Imagine how sweet that 160k will be with only 80k in debt.

I don't know; that salary might not seem so sweet when working till 11 p.m. every night in Manhattan. Scan the "big law" stories in the employment threads. NYC big law associates are, collectively, perhaps the most miserable group of lawyers in the entire profession. There are some things worse than debt, especially if, as in the OP's case, you can go to Yale or Stanford and have a legit shot at working at big fed in DC or SF.

I thought the most common route to BigFed was BigLaw? Isnt it still very unlikely to get BigFed straight from LS?

That's the point. If you go to Penn, then you're probably going to have to go BigLaw--->BigFed. But out of YLS, Clerkship--->BigFed isn't an unusual route.




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