cavalier1138 wrote:..and the central issue is that if the OP won't be able to service any of these levels of debt, they should take the best LRAP program.
True to an extent, just don't overlook the difference between being $300K vs. $180K in debt. One is a burden that you will never get out of until LRAP takes care of it. The other is one that is manageable and can be serviced even without a biglaw salary.
Day to day, you end up thinking of money quite a lot after law school, even if you aren't that interested in it. NYU's advantage over Michigan law school-wise is questionable in my eyes anyway, and is certainly not worth the daily realization that you have a debtload that is just not serviceable even with a biglaw salary.
I am grateful every single day I attended my T10 at $$ and not a T6 at sticker. At $300K, about $1500 a month is accruing in interest, vs. $900/month at $180K. The margins here are important. You never know if you want to do biglaw, not do law, etc. etc. Picking NYU now is resigning to LRAP. Picking Michigan is still keeping the options open (to an extent).
Picking NYU is totally defensible. You just have to think long and hard about what you want to do and how likely you are to change your mind about that. (Additionally, though I don't know a great deal about either school, will NYU really offer that much more than Michigan? My understanding is that Michigan also does super well for public interest. https://www.skaddenfellowships.org/fellows-list/