UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard) v. NYU (Vanderbilt)

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

UChicago or UVA?

Chicago
32
63%
UVA
5
10%
NYU
12
24%
Other
2
4%
 
Total votes: 51

mccracal

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UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard) v. NYU (Vanderbilt)

Postby mccracal » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:56 pm

I always imagined I would pick Chicago in a heartbeat, but I’m genuinely having a lot of trouble deciding between the three, largely due to concerns about overall quality of life/career interests. I just graduated last spring from a pretty social school, and I really like the idea of being in a young-ish, warmer, more welcoming community. UVA is pretty well-known for being super *collegial* and *fun*, while UChicago is…not. NYU doesn't seem to have a reputation either way. Also, I really tend to get bummed out by any weather below 50°.

Career Goals
I don’t have much interest in the Biglaw lifestyle, but I’m sure I could put up with it for a couple years to save some money/pay off COL loans. I’m definitely more interested in pursuing something more public interest/government related, but my goals are pretty undefined right now. Fairy tale job would be either a judge or a professor, but I think I'd be reasonably happy with anything that could give me a moderately comfortable standard of living and a nice work/life balance. I’m sure I’ll definitely be interested in doing a clerkship, and I think I’ll probably want to settle down in California or the Southeast eventually (I <3 sunshine). I’d love the idea of having visible options for more international-focused work; NYU seems to put me at much more of an advantage on that front, but its clerkship numbers/geographical placement outside of NYC isn't all that great.

COA
UVA: $35-55k
UChicago: $10-30k
NYU: $55-75k

I have pretty limited savings, and my family won’t be providing any financial support, so it'll basically all be financed by loans.

I know that UChicago is the most “prestigious” and the least expensive pick—if UVA’s reputation for collegiality is overblown and/or I’d be perfectly happy with the social scene at Chicago, it'd be silly to throw away the Rubenstein opportunity. On the other hand, if I really would be a lot happier at UVA, then I wouldn't mind taking out more in loans to cover the difference in COL. I'm sure I'd really enjoy NYU, too, but it'd definitely be the priciest of the three.

Unfortunately, I’m currently living abroad, so I won’t be able to visit any of the schools. Input from anyone would be appreciated, but I’d especially love to hear from anyone with first-hand knowledge about the UVA/UChicago/NYU culture.

Thanks!

P.S. Oh, I’m also gay—not sure if that would change anything.
Last edited by mccracal on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:03 pm

Don't pick a school for "collegiality" or social life. You'll find friends no matter where you are, even if they're weird friends because you go to Chicago with weird people. But picking a school based on its vibrant social scene is a terrible move. Both of these schools have weather below 50, but of course, Chicago is worse. That is also a dumb criterion for picking a school. You're going to law school to join a profession, not to have a second undergrad experience.

All that said, I think UVA puts you in the better position for government/PI, especially if you want to work in DC. But Chicago will definitely be better if you want to be a professor. Both of the schools can place you in California, but if you can get Stanford or Berkeley with money, those schools are obviously in a better position to place you on the West Coast. If you already have ties to California, then just make sure you work with career services wherever you end up to help position yourself to get there.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:24 pm

mccracal wrote:I always imagined I would pick Chicago in a heartbeat, but I’m genuinely having a lot of trouble deciding between the two, largely due to concerns about overall quality of life. I just graduated last spring from a pretty social school, and I really like the idea of being in a young-ish, warmer, more welcoming community....
Career Goals
...Fairy tale job would be either a judge or a professor, but I think I'd be reasonably happy with anything that could give me a moderately comfortable standard of living and a nice work/life balance. I’m sure I’ll definitely be interested in doing a clerkship, and I think I’ll probably want to settle down in California or the Southeast eventually (I <3 sunshine). I’d really like to have options for more international-focused work, but neither UVA nor UChicago seem to be particularly great on that front, so it’s not a major concern.

...
...I wouldn't mind taking out more in loans to cover the difference in COL.

Thanks!

P.S. Oh, I’m also gay—not sure if that would change anything.


If you are getting a Rubenstein at UChicago, you should easily be in at Stanford and probably not have a big debt load to go with that.

Stanford seems to fit everything you seem to want. Yes, COL is much higher in Bay Area, but you'll still probably have a low COA from a halfway good scholarship package that you'll easily pay off with any opportunity from Stanford. You'll already be in California and sunshine. Getting clerkships, or academia/judge later on in life might be easier from Stanford pedigree. Very open community in Bay Area.

If somehow you are against that --> UChicago wouldn't even blink.

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existentialcrisis

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby existentialcrisis » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:52 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
mccracal wrote:I always imagined I would pick Chicago in a heartbeat, but I’m genuinely having a lot of trouble deciding between the two, largely due to concerns about overall quality of life. I just graduated last spring from a pretty social school, and I really like the idea of being in a young-ish, warmer, more welcoming community....
Career Goals
...Fairy tale job would be either a judge or a professor, but I think I'd be reasonably happy with anything that could give me a moderately comfortable standard of living and a nice work/life balance. I’m sure I’ll definitely be interested in doing a clerkship, and I think I’ll probably want to settle down in California or the Southeast eventually (I <3 sunshine). I’d really like to have options for more international-focused work, but neither UVA nor UChicago seem to be particularly great on that front, so it’s not a major concern.

...
...I wouldn't mind taking out more in loans to cover the difference in COL.

Thanks!

P.S. Oh, I’m also gay—not sure if that would change anything.


If you are getting a Rubenstein at UChicago, you should easily be in at Stanford and probably not have a big debt load to go with that.

Stanford seems to fit everything you seem to want. Yes, COL is much higher in Bay Area, but you'll still probably have a low COA from a halfway good scholarship package that you'll easily pay off with any opportunity from Stanford.


Stanford only gives need based aid. We have no idea what kind of package he'd get.

I think turning down a full ride here wouldn't be wise.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:45 pm

I'll admit I struggle to see an argument for passing on a Ruby to take a Dillard.

(And I'll admit I'm not even slightly sympathetic towards essays written about weather/social-scene preferences...they strike me as something I'd expect from an 18-year-old ASU/FSU prospective sorority girl and not a serious soon-to-be professional.)

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:59 pm

Is the concern here for Chicago's reputation for conservatism?

FWIW I have heard UVA is one of the more conservative T14 schools.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby katthegreat11 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:07 pm

favabeansoup wrote:
mccracal wrote:I always imagined I would pick Chicago in a heartbeat, but I’m genuinely having a lot of trouble deciding between the two, largely due to concerns about overall quality of life. I just graduated last spring from a pretty social school, and I really like the idea of being in a young-ish, warmer, more welcoming community....
Career Goals
...Fairy tale job would be either a judge or a professor, but I think I'd be reasonably happy with anything that could give me a moderately comfortable standard of living and a nice work/life balance. I’m sure I’ll definitely be interested in doing a clerkship, and I think I’ll probably want to settle down in California or the Southeast eventually (I <3 sunshine). I’d really like to have options for more international-focused work, but neither UVA nor UChicago seem to be particularly great on that front, so it’s not a major concern.

...
...I wouldn't mind taking out more in loans to cover the difference in COL.

Thanks!

P.S. Oh, I’m also gay—not sure if that would change anything.


If you are getting a Rubenstein at UChicago, you should easily be in at Stanford and probably not have a big debt load to go with that.

Stanford seems to fit everything you seem to want. Yes, COL is much higher in Bay Area, but you'll still probably have a low COA from a halfway good scholarship package that you'll easily pay off with any opportunity from Stanford. You'll already be in California and sunshine. Getting clerkships, or academia/judge later on in life might be easier from Stanford pedigree. Very open community in Bay Area.

If somehow you are against that --> UChicago wouldn't even blink.


Seconding this that I have very very very similar career goals (minus the judge/professor, more unicorn PI job), similar desire for reasonable work/life balance, interest in clerkship, interest in international-focused work, desire for a more welcoming community, and 100% reliance on loans after using up my limited savings... and I am 100% set on Stanford. I also don't have the numbers for a Dillard or Ruby, which makes my choice easier, just saying that it sounds like SLS is what you want.

cavalier1138

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:08 pm

dabigchina wrote:Is the concern here for Chicago's reputation for conservatism?

FWIW I have heard UVA is one of the more conservative T14 schools.


Oh, yeah. If that's the secret concern behind the "social life" comments, then UVA is absolutely known for being conservative.

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SeewhathappensLarry

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:13 pm

Isn't the Ruby considered the best possible outcome for law school admissions? I'm at UVA, but the Ruby seems like the clear choice here

Pozzo

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby Pozzo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:26 pm

.
Last edited by Pozzo on Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:44 pm

Rubenstein is the best law school outcome. I would go to Chicago.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby 20170322 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:51 pm

I love UVA and totally get your argument for being happier here.

I still think the Ruby is a better option.

If we were just talking full tuition scholarships at either, making Chicago 10-15k more expensive, then I'd def see the case for UVA.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby T3TON » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:58 pm

katthegreat11 wrote:Seconding this that I have very very very similar career goals (minus the judge/professor, more unicorn PI job), similar desire for reasonable work/life balance, interest in clerkship, interest in international-focused work, desire for a more welcoming community, and 100% reliance on loans after using up my limited savings... and I am 100% set on Stanford. I also don't have the numbers for a Dillard or Ruby, which makes my choice easier, just saying that it sounds like SLS is what you want.


I'd also counsel giving this some thought. The Ruby at Chicago is incredible and the right choice for many people. However, most everything else in your initial post (wanting non-big law/unicorn jobs, wanting to be in California, wanting a clerkship, considering academia, wanting good work-life balance, wanting a place with good support for LGBT students...) has Stanford written all over it.

I would be curious to know what your aid package looks like. If you'd be being paying sticker, Chicago is probably your best bet. If tuition is discounted, it is worth considering if the increased access to the above is worth the difference in cost, especially when you have the option to avail yourself of the LRAP to forgive debt. People come out both ways on this question.

For your stated interests, I can't think of a reason to take the Dillard over the Ruby unless your preference for the southeast is very strong.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby charmonster » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:13 pm

Chicago easily.

1. There are plenty of fun people at UChicago. It's got a strong dose of taking itself seriously/hyperintellectualism but to some extent that is law and you don't have to play that game if you don't want to. More importantly, having low to no debt will have a much bigger impact on your long-term happiness than how many bar reviews you go to. I agree with other posters that your priorities seem kind of out of whack here. Law school is hard and will be hard anywhere you go. The best way to make it more chill is to figure out what you can do to reduce pressure on yourself, and there's an easy answer here.
2. Additionally, from what I have heard the vast majority of the Rubies go on to clerk. We can debate about the causal factors there but if you really have more than a passing interest in becoming a professor or a judge I think you should find that compelling.
3. Claudia Flores, the director of the International Human Rights Clinic, is incredibly well-connected in that world. UChicago doesn't have infinite international offerings unlike some peer schools with larger faculties, but you can take 1-2 internationalish classes per quarter and if you participate in the international clinic and get to know Claudia you'll be in a good position.
4. Can't help with the weather but you'll have a 15-17 week summer if you come here.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:49 pm

OP has two full rides. Can we stop pushing Stanford out of the blue?

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:56 pm

Chicago is in a big city, so even if the student body is miserable (they probably will be because UC is full of weirdos) you can branch out. There is an active gay community and its a liberal city with a lot of cool things to do. Charlottesville would be more isolating on that front since it's a decently far-removed college town.

If you're thinking PI, compare the LRAP's. At that price point though it'd just be a small factor.

Honestly, I'd just follow the money and do the Ruby if you are unable to visit and truly get a feel for yourself. Get a Vitamin D light and start your career somewhere more pleasant after 3 years.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:16 pm

Rigo wrote:OP has two full rides. Can we stop pushing Stanford out of the blue?


It's not exactly "out of the blue". OP explicitly stated he wants to work in PI/government in California. I don't disagree with everyone else that a Ruby is a fantastic outcome, but Chicago isn't exactly known for its PI placement.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:25 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Rigo wrote:OP has two full rides. Can we stop pushing Stanford out of the blue?

It's not exactly "out of the blue". OP explicitly stated he wants to work in PI/government in California. I don't disagree with everyone else that a Ruby is a fantastic outcome, but Chicago isn't exactly known for its PI placement.

Is OP accepted at Stanford? Did OP apply?

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby UVA2B » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 pm

Yeah, this is pretty clearly UChi. At equal COA, you could start to rationalize UVA as a better choice for vague reasons like those mentioned. But your fairly vague goals all point to Chicago being the better shot as they do better at clerkships, and have every bit the ability in placing in PI and definitely have a leg up in academia (not that the determination here should be based on getting tiny improvement of odds for academia generally). Enjoy Chicago.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby armc808 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
dabigchina wrote:Is the concern here for Chicago's reputation for conservatism?

FWIW I have heard UVA is one of the more conservative T14 schools.


Oh, yeah. If that's the secret concern behind the "social life" comments, then UVA is absolutely known for being conservative.

It's interesting how Chicago has a reputation for being a conservative school. Aside from maybe their econ. department (which is where this reputation seems to come from), UChicago is actually a fairly liberal school--basically, not much different from other universities. I would definitely consider UVA to be the more "conservative" of the two, including their law schools.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby armc808 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:47 pm

UChicago seems to be the clear choice here. I actually disagree with some of the comments here in that I think the environment of a law school and feeling "comfortable" are actually pretty important factors (because if you're going to be investing tens of thousands of dollars and three years of your life there, don't you at least want to not hate the experience?). UVA definitely has a reputation of being a collegial, almost frat-like law school, but UChicago is also known for its tight-knight community between law students and the professors, in part due to the small size of the school. The motto for UChicago's undergrad is "where fun comes to die," but I've heard the exact opposite from students who go to the law school; they seem to really enjoy their experience there. Also, although the UVA brand does well in the DC market, a JD from UChicago can still open many doors for PI/government work in DC, if that is something you are potentially interested in doing someday. I would say go and visit both schools so you can get a feel for yourself, but since that is not an option, I think UChicago is the better deal here.

mccracal

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby mccracal » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:29 pm

Thanks for the responses!

Believe it or not, I actually understand that law school is a professional endeavor, which is why I'm talking about choosing between two different top 10 law schools, and not UChicago and some third-tier "fun" school. Based on employment data, the only clear advantage that UChicago seemed to even have was its Biglaw placement, which, as I mentioned, isn't all that significant to me. Considering that both schools have virtually identical clerkship numbers (and that UVA has much higher rates of employment in public interest/government-related jobs), I'm not sure why some of y'all found it so baffling that overall quality of life would be a relevant factor in my decision process.

Also, I did apply to Stanford, but I haven't heard back yet. Even if I get in, I don't anticipate getting any need-based aid, so it'd be hard to justify going there.

Anyway, I edited my original post to include this info, but I found out like an hour ago that I was also awarded full-tuition at NYU— they definitely have a lot more visible opportunities for public interest/international work, and NYU seems to be in a really cool part of NYC, but they don't seem to place as well in the Southeast/California, their clerkship numbers aren't as high, and I'm concerned NYC might be overwhelming for someone who isn't used to big cities. Any input?
Last edited by mccracal on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:35 pm

mccracal wrote:Anyway, I found out like an hour ago that I was also awarded full-tuition at NYU— they definitely have a lot more visible opportunities for public interest/international work, and NYU seems to be in a really cool part of NYC, but they don't seem to place as well in the Southeast/California, their clerkship numbers aren't as high, and I'm concerned NYC might be overwhelming for someone who isn't used to big cities. Any input?

Ummmmm congrats!
I'd take NYU. Greenwich Village is great. Kiss all your conservative culture worries goodbye. Vibrant PI community. Enjoy!
I think the pros make up for the higher COL and lack of stipend, but I am biased a bit as a New Yorker.

NYU has the superior LRAP of the three. You will probably never pay a penny if committed to PI for 10 years.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard)

Postby UVA2B » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:56 pm

mccracal wrote:Thanks for the responses!

Believe it or not, I actually understand that law school is a professional endeavor, which is why I'm talking about choosing between two different top 10 law schools, and not UChicago and some third-tier "fun" school. Based on employment data, the only clear advantage that UChicago seemed to even have was its Biglaw placement, which, as I mentioned, isn't all that significant to me. Considering that both schools have virtually identical clerkship numbers (and that UVA has much higher rates of employment in public interest/government-related jobs), I'm not sure why some of y'all found it so baffling that overall quality of life would be a relevant factor in my decision process.

Also, I did apply to Stanford, but I haven't heard back yet. Even if I get in, I don't anticipate getting any need-based aid, so it'd be hard to justify going there.

Anyway, I edited my original post to include this info, but I found out like an hour ago that I was also awarded full-tuition at NYU— they definitely have a lot more visible opportunities for public interest/international work, and NYU seems to be in a really cool part of NYC, but they don't seem to place as well in the Southeast/California, their clerkship numbers aren't as high, and I'm concerned NYC might be overwhelming for someone who isn't used to big cities. Any input?


I'd still definitely side with UChi, because $20-40k or $40-60k additional debt is not insignificant. Even if you see them as peers (I'd argue they mostly are for your currently abstract goals), when you're talking about PI work, you need to minimize costs to not saddle yourself with excessive debt.

You have great options, and none of them would be an objectively bad decision, but Chicago is the best decision.

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Re: UChicago (Rubenstein) v. UVA (Dillard) v. NYU (Vanderbilt)

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:17 pm

Based on your goals, I'd go with NYU (admitted bias on my part). The school has the strongest PI culture of any of the T14, and graduates regularly go to CA. It's at least as good a shot at the West Coast as you'd have from Chicago or UVA.

My only caveat would be that you should take Stanford if you get it and they offer significant money.



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