Berkeley v. NYU

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

Where should I go?

NYU at $220k
13
20%
UVA at $170k
12
18%
Michigan at $150k
25
38%
Columbia at $240k
4
6%
Berkeley at $160k
12
18%
 
Total votes: 66

Anonymous Ivy Grad

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Berkeley v. NYU

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:00 pm

Updating this because I just heard back from Berkeley with a better grant. I'm interested to see how it changes people's views.

My SO and I work in NYC right now, but my SO is from the LA area, and I want to end up there after graduation. My SO would move with me if I chose a school outside NYC (she works in an industry with lots of jobs near universities), but it would obviously be easier not to have to relocate.

My immediate goal after graduation is a federal district court clerkship, and I see myself practicing some flavor of public interest civil litigation at a non-profit or in government, but I’ve also thought about plaintiffs’-side firms, maybe in civil rights or employment.

I have a 3.67/174 with work experience and don’t want to retake (my score is old and I’d have to start from scratch). The two options I’m considering most seriously are:

Berkeley ($105k grant, $160k CoA): This is the obvious choice right now, since nowhere else has a better network of alums working public interest in CA. I haven't visited, but will be flying out this week. I only have two serious reasons to choose NYU over Berkeley. First, Berkeley's LRAP isn't as strong as NYU's, but since there's a chance I'll be in private practice at some point, the lower cost probably offsets that. Second, I worry about whether a degree from Berkeley is less portable if I end up outside of CA in the future.

I have a few other less serious concerns about Berkeley. Relocation will be costly and may involve some loss of income while my SO looks for a new job, although probably nowhere near the extra cost of attending NYU. Also, I've heard some complaints about the administration and wonder how much support I'll get during the job search and clerkship process. Finally, as a somewhat uptight and relatively moderate white heterosexual male liberal, I wonder whether the culture will be the right fit for me. But all of these things seem insubstantial compared to the placement advantage and reasonable cost.

NYU ($90k grant, $220k CoA): Great PI network and best LRAP program besides Columbia’s. Even though I’ve been in the NYC area for a while, the Village would be an awesome place to be. But the higher cost of attendance would be an issue if I ended up working at small to mid-sized firm, and finding a job in LA would be easier from Berkeley. Conversely, if ever work outside of CA, a degree from NYU might carry more weight.

The options that I'm not really seriously considering anymore are:

Michigan: ($120k grant, $150k CoA): This is still the cheapest option, but not by much. I haven't visited. Berkeley has better LRAP, a placement advantage in the area and region I'm interested in, better weather, and the opportunities that come with proximity to a large city.

UVA ($105k grant, $170k CoA): I love Charlottesville and am very impressed with UVA’s clerkships stats. I know that Berkeley and NYU will say people self-select out of clerkships or clerk after working, but I also think that part of the explanation must be that UVA is better at placing people in clerkships outside NY/CA. The amount of support that UVA provides for public interest was also pleasantly surprising. Still, the PI community is pretty small, and I worry about not being able to finding a network of students/alums in the area I end up in. Also, UVA is now more expensive than Berkeley.

Columbia ($75k grant, $240k CoA): The considerations in favor of Columbia are lay prestige, a more livable neighborhood compared to NYU, and a slightly better LRAP program (no loan payments below $100k). However, Columbia’s biglaw and clerkship outcomes seem to be equivalent to NYU (NYU even seems to have a slight advantage in clerkships), and it has a much smaller PI community, and fewer litigation-based clinics and black letter or practice-oriented classes. All that plus the extra $20k in debt seems to be enough to rule it out for me.

I’ve shown Michigan’s grant to Columbia, NYU, UVA, and Berkeley. NYU and UVA declined to increase their grants, Berkeley increased their grant to the amount above, and Columbia hasn't responded.

In case anyone suggests any options not on this list, I was waitlisted at Harvard and am waiting to hear back from Yale and Stanford, but assume that I will be rejected or waitlisted there too. I applied across the T14 plus UCLA and USC, but the best grant I got is a match from Georgetown.
Last edited by Anonymous Ivy Grad on Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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OneHandedEconomist

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby OneHandedEconomist » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:03 pm

I say NYU. Semi-reasonable cost, and you and your SO can stay together.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby presidentspivey » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:09 pm

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:Sorry in advance for the wall of text.

My SO and I work in NYC right now, but my SO is from the LA area, and I want to end up there after graduation. My SO would move with me if I chose a school outside NYC (she works in an industry with lots of jobs near universities), but it would obviously be easier not to have to relocate.

My immediate goal after graduation is a federal district court clerkship, and I see myself practicing some flavor of public interest civil litigation at a non-profit or in government, but I’ve also thought about plaintiffs’-side firms, maybe in civil rights or employment.

I have a 3.67/174 with work experience and don’t want to retake (my score is old and I’d have to start from scratch). The three options I’m considering most seriously are:

NYU ($90k grant, $220k CoA): Great PI network and best LRAP program besides Columbia’s. Even though I’ve been in the NYC area for a while, the Village would be an awesome place to be. I liked the law school when I visited, and the only concern I have is difficulty of finding a reasonably-priced apartment nearby. What’s stopping me from depositing right now is the huge amount of debt I’d be taking on. If I ended up doing something that doesn’t qualify for LRAP, but isn’t as lucrative as biglaw, I don’t know how I could pay $2.4k a month. I should point out that the grant drops $12k if I decide to get a summer associate position my second summer, but that’s not the direction I’m heading.

UVA ($105k grant, $170k CoA): I love Charlottesville and am very impressed with UVA’s clerkships stats. I know that NYU will say people self-select out of clerkships or clerk after working, but I also think that part of the explanation must be that UVA is better at placing people in clerkships outside NY/CA. The amount of support that UVA provides for public interest was also pleasantly surprising. Still, the PI community is pretty small, and I worry about not being able to finding a network of students/alums in the area I end up in.

Michigan: ($120k grant, $150k CoA): I wasn’t seriously considering Michigan until recently. I’m not drawn to the idea of moving halfway across the country only to end up somewhere colder. I also thought I’d get a better offer from Berkeley, and that I’d have more leverage to negotiate with UVA. At this point, however, it’s looking like Michigan will be the cheapest option, and I know that people have great experiences there and that it has a solid PI community. Should I be planning a last minute visit?

Two other options that I’m not really considering seriously are:

Columbia ($75k grant, $240k CoA): The considerations in favor of Columbia are lay prestige, a more livable neighborhood compared to NYU, and a slightly better LRAP program (no loan payments below $100k). However, Columbia’s biglaw and clerkship outcomes seem to be equivalent to NYU (NYU even seems to have a slight advantage in clerkships), and it has a much smaller PI community, and fewer litigation-based clinics and black letter or practice-oriented classes. All that plus the extra $20k in debt seems to be enough to rule it out for me.

Berkeley ($45k grant, $230k CoA): Berkeley initially looked like a great option because I want to be in CA and because it has a relatively huge PI community, but with the low grant, I can’t justify the hassle of moving across the country and a job search for my SO. I also worry that Berkeley’s apparent lack of resources will also result in less support in my clerkship and job search relative to NYU.

I’ve showed Michigan’s grant to Columbia, NYU, UVA, and Berkeley. NYU and UVA declined to increase their grants, and Columbia and UVA haven’t responded.

In case anyone suggests any options not on this list, I was waitlisted at Harvard and am waiting to hear back from Yale and Stanford, but assume that I will be rejected or waitlisted there too. I applied across the T14 plus UCLA and USC, but didn’t get any other grants in the neighborhood of Michigan’s. I made some halfhearted attempts at negotiating with Duke, Northwestern and Georgetown, but the best I expect is for them to match Michigan, which wouldn’t be enough to put them in the running this late in the game.


If you're serious about PI, you should go NYU. NYU will also give you the option of biglaw if you become disillusioned as a 1L. Relocating can be a real pain in the ass, and that should mean something as well imo. You may be right about UVA's clerkship placement, but it's not like you're going to have trouble clerking if you do well at NYU.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:15 pm

I'd go NYU if truly committed to PI. The superior LRAP and PI placement/community makes it worth the extra debt imo. Also, you can easily live in Brooklyn or something and commute to NYU if you can't find suitable affordable housing in the area.
The personal factor of your SO not having to move is the cherry on top for NYU.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby LoganCouture » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:12 pm

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote: I’ve showed Michigan’s grant to Columbia, NYU, UVA, and Berkeley. NYU and UVA declined to increase their grants, and Columbia and UVA haven’t responded.

Should one of those UVAs be Cal? The following answer is premised on the assumption that Cal declined to increase and UVA is still considering.

I think there is more opportunity for negotiation with NYU here (maybe with an increased offer from UVA/Columbia) but otherwise I think NYU is probably where I'd go if committed to PI. If you think there is a chance you might go the biglaw route, go to Michigan or UVA if they can bump up the scholly.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:15 pm

Go visit Michigan though. Most really like Ann Arbor. Might as well visit your most affordable option if you're truly considering it.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Alexandros » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:26 pm

If seriously committed to PI, NYU (maybe Columbia). If not, Michigan. I would also try to negotiate for more $$.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:34 pm

LoganCouture wrote:
Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote: I’ve showed Michigan’s grant to Columbia, NYU, UVA, and Berkeley. NYU and UVA declined to increase their grants, and Columbia and UVA haven’t responded.

Should one of those UVAs be Cal? The following answer is premised on the assumption that Cal declined to increase and UVA is still considering.

I think there's more opportunity for negotiation with NYU here (maybe with an increased offer from UVA/Columbia) but otherwise I think NYU is probably where I'd go if committed to PI. If you think there is a chance you might go the biglaw route, go to Michigan or UVA if they can bump up the scholly.


No, UVA declined to increase and Berkeley is still considering. I fixed that in my post above.

If anyone has suggestions for how to negotiate with NYU, I'd definitely be interested. I was a bit surprised that they didn't give me even a token increase. I didn't show them Columbia's offer (because I didn't have it at the time). Besides that, the only other leverage I might get is a better offer from Berkeley or (unlikely) admission at Yale or Stanford. I guess they may be more open to negotiation closer to the scholarship deadline?

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:44 pm

Does anyone who voted for Michigan have any reasons beyond the obvious ones? Only the people who voted for NYU seem to be posting. I'd guess the reasoning is that whatever edge NYU has for PI isn't enough to make up for the extra debt if I do something else?

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:29 pm

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:If anyone has suggestions for how to negotiate with NYU, I'd definitely be interested. I was a bit surprised that they didn't give me even a token increase. I didn't show them Columbia's offer (because I didn't have it at the time). Besides that, the only other leverage I might get is a better offer from Berkeley or (unlikely) admission at Yale or Stanford. I guess they may be more open to negotiation closer to the scholarship deadline?


Columbia and NYU are likely to only negotiate based on each other's offers.

But based on what you've said, NYU is the best choice for your goals.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:43 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:If anyone has suggestions for how to negotiate with NYU, I'd definitely be interested. I was a bit surprised that they didn't give me even a token increase. I didn't show them Columbia's offer (because I didn't have it at the time). Besides that, the only other leverage I might get is a better offer from Berkeley or (unlikely) admission at Yale or Stanford. I guess they may be more open to negotiation closer to the scholarship deadline?


Columbia and NYU are likely to only negotiate based on each other's offers.

But based on what you've said, NYU is the best choice for your goals.


Do you think there's any point in showing my current offers at Columbia/NYU ($75k and $78/$90k) to the other school? Or should I be waiting for Columbia to increase in response to Michigan's offer (as unlikely as that is)?

nyu2019maybeplease

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby nyu2019maybeplease » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:22 pm

I could be totally missing something, but I'm not sure I follow how NYU offers a significantly better chance at PI in CA than Michigan does. Hence, Michigan.

Unless you're too cost sensitive to do NYU, I'd visit both and see which you like better. Go there.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Rigo » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:38 pm

I'm too lazy to rehash a debate we just had for Michigan v. NYU for PI so I'll just link you to the other thread if you haven't seen it already.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=275957

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:48 pm

nyu2019maybeplease wrote:I could be totally missing something, but I'm not sure I follow how NYU offers a significantly better chance at PI in CA than Michigan does. Hence, Michigan.

Unless you're too cost sensitive to do NYU, I'd visit both and see which you like better. Go there.


Besides better LRAP, the advantage would be a larger network of alums working in PI in CA. In 2015, NYU had 96 graduates work in public interest or government, while Michigan had 67. Since both schools had around the same number of people in CA (36 for NYU and 40 for Michigan), I assume that NYU is consistently placing a few more people in PI in CA every year.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:59 am

Bump.

Leaving aside relocation and NYU's LRAP, I can't let go of the idea that there's some opportunity - a clinic, an externship, or great professor - that I'll be missing out on if I choose Michigan or Virginia over NYU. Any validity to this?

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:03 am

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:Bump.

Leaving aside relocation and NYU's LRAP, I can't let go of the idea that there's some opportunity - a clinic, an externship, or great professor - that I'll be missing out on if I choose Michigan or Virginia over NYU. Any validity to this?


No, no validity to that. All these schools have excellent teachers and clinic/externship opportunities.

None of that is particularly relevant when it comes to jobs, and NYU has much better PI placement.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby nyu2019maybeplease » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:46 am

Again, I don't know anything about NYU in CA (or really NYU generally) so this could totally be a sound theory, but it does have a significant assumption baked in. Maybe ask the admissions offices to get more broken down numbers from the careers offices?
In terms of your experience at school/resources dedicated to your path/similar considerations I think you'll find Michigan has a lot to offer. I'd be happy to put you in touch with a friend of mine who is graduating next year and heading to CA for Public Interest.

Lastly, I'm sure you've figured this out already, and it doesn't do any damage to your theory, but that gap is more of a size of class thing than anything else. NYU's Fall 16 class is 431 full time students. last year they took at least 43 transfers (and lost 5). Jamming all these #s together (i know your PI number is from 2015, but whatevs) that gives you a "kids doing PI" figure of about 20.4%.

Michigan's class is 305. It looks like last year they netted +23 transfers. Doing the same unscientific jamming, this gets you a "kids doing PI" rate of, wait for it, about 20.4%.

I don't know LRAPs from Adam, so I'll take your word for it that NYUs is better and that you know what that's worth to you. Beyond that though, I'd encourage you to go with your heart, whichever way it leads you. I picked Michigan over NYU and am ecstatic, but you know what's best for you.

TL;DR: You're gonna be fine whichever way you go. Pick somewhere that makes you happy. Law school is awesome. Enjoy!

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:
nyu2019maybeplease wrote:I could be totally missing something, but I'm not sure I follow how NYU offers a significantly better chance at PI in CA than Michigan does. Hence, Michigan.

Unless you're too cost sensitive to do NYU, I'd visit both and see which you like better. Go there.


Besides better LRAP, the advantage would be a larger network of alums working in PI in CA. In 2015, NYU had 96 graduates work in public interest or government, while Michigan had 67. Since both schools had around the same number of people in CA (36 for NYU and 40 for Michigan), I assume that NYU is consistently placing a few more people in PI in CA every year.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:44 pm

I've been convinced that not seriously considering Michigan was silly and am planning to visit this week. Thanks for all your help, guys!

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:06 pm

nyu2019maybeplease wrote:[Insert questionable math here]


I have no idea where you're getting your numbers, but if you look at this thread, there's a pretty wide gap in PI numbers between NYU and Michigan. There's also a pretty decent discussion on there about why raw numbers are more important than percentage, in general, but that's a bit of a separate issue.

This doesn't make Michigan a terrible choice for the OP, but if we're going to compare stats, let's at least use real stats.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:22 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
nyu2019maybeplease wrote:[Insert questionable math here]


I have no idea where you're getting your numbers, but if you look at this thread, there's a pretty wide gap in PI numbers between NYU and Michigan. There's also a pretty decent discussion on there about why raw numbers are more important than percentage, in general, but that's a bit of a separate issue.

This doesn't make Michigan a terrible choice for the OP, but if we're going to compare stats, let's at least use real stats.


My impression was that Michigan had a lower PI percentage than NYU, but higher than any other T14 other than Berkeley and Georgetown. I haven't done the math, though.

I definitely see why absolute numbers would matter for networking and reputation. But for my purposes, I'd imagine the difference is significant, but not huge. Am I wrong?

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:31 pm

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:My impression was that Michigan had a lower PI percentage than NYU, but higher than any other T14 other than Berkeley and Georgetown. I haven't done the math, though.

I definitely see why absolute numbers would matter for networking and reputation. But for my purposes, I'd imagine the difference is significant, but not huge. Am I wrong?


I'd actually argue that raw numbers are more important when you're going to be relying on distance-networking to get yourself into a particular market.

But the main thing to keep in mind is that there's a very large block of the T14 that hovers around 11-14% in government/PI. Michigan is in that block. NYU, Berkeley, and Georgetown all place around 20%. So it's a pretty massive gap.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby nyu2019maybeplease » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:35 pm

Numbers are from OP (# in PI), 509 reports (transfers) and school sites (class size). Cav, I'm genuinely curious what school you go to.

OP glad you decided to visit. See what you think, and let me know if you want to talk to someone doing PI in .CA. Cheers!

cavalier1138 wrote:
nyu2019maybeplease wrote:[Insert questionable math here]


I have no idea where you're getting your numbers, but if you look at this thread, there's a pretty wide gap in PI numbers between NYU and Michigan. There's also a pretty decent discussion on there about why raw numbers are more important than percentage, in general, but that's a bit of a separate issue.

This doesn't make Michigan a terrible choice for the OP, but if we're going to compare stats, let's at least use real stats.

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Re: NYU v. UVA v. Michigan

Postby michlaw » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:33 pm

If you get the chance at asw try to chat with Prof Nicholas Bagley. He is a young hotshot there and went to NYU Law. Would probably know as well as anyone the differences in the schools. In keeping with your name he is a Yale grad. And his background is on point with your interests.

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Re: Berkeley v. NYU

Postby Anonymous Ivy Grad » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:31 am

Bumping this again because I got a better grant from Berkeley.

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Re: Berkeley v. NYU

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:39 am

Anonymous Ivy Grad wrote:Bumping this again because I got a better grant from Berkeley.

Idk I think it comes down to the logistics of your relationship. When is your SO moving to LA? Word she wait 3 years or would you be LDR? Would you 100% be LDR with Berkeley?

I think it comes down to a personal decision really.



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