NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

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NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

NU (150k)
30
67%
U Chicago (75k + Doctoroff Program)
12
27%
Columbia (40k)
3
7%
 
Total votes: 45

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NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:27 pm

Hi all,

I'm currently trying to decide between a 150k scholarship at NU vs 75k at Uchicago (also accepted into the Doctoroff program) vs 40k at Cls and would greatly any advice/insight into what would be the correct decision.

My only hesitation in moving to Chicago is that my spouse currently makes ~50k here in NYC and I have no idea if/when she can find a job there.

Also, I'm curious if you think being accepted into the Doctoroff program effects the decision at all.

173/3.9 fwiw and want NYC Big law.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:38 pm

NU if you just want NYC Biglaw. The SO part somewhat matters, but not enough to make the extra $110k at Columbia worth it.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:48 pm

UVA2B wrote:NU if you just want NYC Biglaw. The SO part somewhat matters, but not enough to make the extra $110k at Columbia worth it.


The spouses income is likely a big deal debt wise though if they can't get another job? I would take Chicago's offer back to Columbia (and NYU if you got in.)

Although if you're cool with moving to Chicago, then I'd definitely do NU.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:54 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
UVA2B wrote:NU if you just want NYC Biglaw. The SO part somewhat matters, but not enough to make the extra $110k at Columbia worth it.


The spouses income is likely a big deal debt wise though if they can't get another job? I would take Chicago's offer back to Columbia (and NYU if you got in.)

Although if you're cool with moving to Chicago, then I'd definitely do NU.

I already sent them that offer but, unfortunately, I think they are calling my bluff that I would rather stay in NYC.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby UVA2B » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:55 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
UVA2B wrote:NU if you just want NYC Biglaw. The SO part somewhat matters, but not enough to make the extra $110k at Columbia worth it.


The spouses income is likely a big deal debt wise though if they can't get another job? I would take Chicago's offer back to Columbia (and NYU if you got in.)

Although if you're cool with moving to Chicago, then I'd definitely do NU.


Agreed, but we're talking about "whether" they can, not that they can't. I'd be skeptical there are many careers in NYC that won't pay substantially similar in Chicago, even if it takes a little while to land a position. It obviously depends on the type of job, but I assumed based on the SO income being relatively modest that it's relatively attainable in a metropolitan city like Chicago too.

Like I said, it matters some, but that risk pales in comparison to the extra $110k (assuming Columbia won't budge).

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:03 pm

UVA2B wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
UVA2B wrote:NU if you just want NYC Biglaw. The SO part somewhat matters, but not enough to make the extra $110k at Columbia worth it.


The spouses income is likely a big deal debt wise though if they can't get another job? I would take Chicago's offer back to Columbia (and NYU if you got in.)

Although if you're cool with moving to Chicago, then I'd definitely do NU.


Agreed, but we're talking about "whether" they can, not that they can't. I'd be skeptical there are many careers in NYC that won't pay substantially similar in Chicago, even if it takes a little while to land a position. It obviously depends on the type of job, but I assumed based on the SO income being relatively modest that it's relatively attainable in a metropolitan city like Chicago too.

Like I said, it matters some, but that risk pales in comparison to the extra $110k (assuming Columbia won't budge).


Yea that's fair, I was assuming that it would be harder for the spouse to find a comparable job in Chicago than it might actually turn out to be. I was also thinking that it probably sucks for them to have to change jobs twice because of OP's law school, and that might hurt their spouse's career. 200k of debt also really sucks though.

I guess I'd tentatively agree with NU.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:43 am

Can someone who voted for Uchicago walk me through your rational? Do you just believe that it's worth 75k more than NU? Does the Doctoroff program have anything to do with it? TIA!

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby Dcc617 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:35 am

CPA-->JD wrote:Can someone who voted for Uchicago walk me through your rational? Do you just believe that it's worth 75k more than NU? Does the Doctoroff program have anything to do with it? TIA!


They're probably just ranking whores who always pick the higher ranked school. That's not a good way to pick schools.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:41 am

You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:54 am

jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


Absolutely agree that these personal decisions should never really reach the level of internet strangers weighing in on them. It'd be the financially un-wise decision to make in the abstract, but there could be countless factors where uprooting life and career significantly shifts the calculus. It could be home life situation, SO's job being hyper NYC-centric, or a litany of other possibilities. And those things shouldn't be discounted in the least. But absent that sort of thing, NU as it stands is the best choice for their future financial and professional security, and really no one should be recommending Columbia (and even less so Chicago since that would entirely be prestige-seeking and has nothing to do with the above mentioned personal factors) without knowing those third dimension factors.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:55 am

jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.

There is definitely a non-financial cost to moving that we are of course weighing heavily in the decision. That being said, I'm trying to isolate the value of one school over the next.
Is U Chicago worth, for arguments sake, 10k more than NU? Is it zero?
Does going to NU really give me objectively the same chance of NYC big law as the other two? Is the difference worth paying for?
Is there any value in the greater chance of landing higher up the vault rankings or is it all the same?
Does the difference between the schools matter at all 5,10, 20 years from now?
If you are laid off 1-3 years in, does school matter for helping you land on your feet?

I would love the opinion of anyone who can weigh in on any of this.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:09 am

CPA-->JD wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.

There is definitely a non-financial cost to moving that we are of course weighing heavily in the decision. That being said, I'm trying to isolate the value of one school over the next.
Is U Chicago worth, for arguments sake, 10k more than NU? Is it zero?
Does going to NU really give me objectively the same chance of NYC big law as the other two? Is the difference worth paying for?
Is there any value in the greater chance of landing higher up the vault rankings or is it all the same?
Does the difference between the schools matter at all 5,10, 20 years from now?
If you are laid off 1-3 years in, does school matter for helping you land on your feet?

I would love the opinion of anyone who can weigh in on any of this.


Chicago and Columbia give you a better chance of NYC Biglaw, but the value of that added security is sort of internal to you. Here's my personal take on your questions.

1. Is U Chicago worth, for arguments sake, 10k more than NU? Is it zero? Does going to NU really give me objectively the same chance of NYC big law as the other two? Is the difference worth paying for?

I don't really think so, but there's absolutely an argument that Chicago and Columbia are worth more. To me, I think it's best to look at the median outcome for a student at that school and compare, considering you're most likely to be amongst the median students at any of these schools. And looking at the median student at NU vs. the median student at Chicago or Columbia, the outcome is largely the same. They are going to biglaw jobs somewhere. There is obviously some merit to having more access to more prestigious jobs at Chicago or Columbia, but given above discussion on being median, it doesn't make a ton of sense to calculate value of the degree based on that. What you're buying when you go for Chicago or Columbia over NU is added security if you mess up 1L and end up below median plus some difference in access to less likely outcomes like Cravath, SullCrom, etc.

2. Is there any value in the greater chance of landing higher up the vault rankings or is it all the same?

Not particularly. Vault rankings are fun for people like prospective law students and law students to cull over, but the rankings don't really mean much, particularly when you're entirely focused on NYC. There is something to be said for slightly different exit options from Cravath, for instance, but that value (and underlying likelihood of ending up at Cravath) shouldn't really concern you in picking a school. As already discussed, look at the median outcome at the schools, and they're largely the same. Being at V1 vs. V50 vs. V100 has been discussed ad nauseam around TLS, and pretty much every practicing attorney weighing in on it laughs every time a law student labors over these distinctions, because they won't change anything about the arc of your career.

3. Does the difference between the schools matter at all 5,10, 20 years from now? If you are laid off 1-3 years in, does school matter for helping you land on your feet?

Not really, because what you do as an attorney will matter significantly more than what school you went to for law school. Alumni networks can be great for shaping your career post-NYC biglaw (should you find yourself leaving or being forced out), but all of your options have strong alumni networks, so the difference would at most be marginal, and more likely non-existent. The work you do in your firm will weigh much heavier in getting that next job than the school you came from will. And when it comes to post-biglaw hiring, it'll be mostly about hustle and ability to market yourself to those lateral firms or in-house jobs you're trying to get.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby guynourmin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:31 am

I don't know what your spouse does, but I could see some hesitation in that because from personal job searches I've conducted as well as friends moving from Chi to NYC or the other way, it seems like there's a significant income difference between the cities. If your spouse makes 50k in NYC, a comparable job in Chicago could be 35-40k in Chicago, right? Have they looked at openings in the area/is it a job they could find out here?

I would be really tempted to reapply. Your stats should be getting better money at NYU or Columbia (anyone disagree?). K-JD? late app? shitty PS? You have the numbers such that wanting to stay in NYC isn't unreasonable imo.

Chicago doesn't make a ton of sense to me because if you're moving, NU > Chicago, and since you don't want to move and moving is expensive, CLS seems worth a little extra money.


Reapply >> NU >> CLS >>>> Chicago

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby Po$eidon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:55 am

jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby OneHandedEconomist » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:58 am

Wait, why are these your only options? You should have full rides all throughout the t13.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:04 am

Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:26 pm

CPA-->JD wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.


They are not equal. CLS is non-negligibly superior for NY biglaw. Columbia students at the same grade range will be more likely to receive an offer and at a more selective firm. But not $110,000 more valuable.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby star fox » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:44 pm

guybourdin wrote:I don't know what your spouse does, but I could see some hesitation in that because from personal job searches I've conducted as well as friends moving from Chi to NYC or the other way, it seems like there's a significant income difference between the cities. If your spouse makes 50k in NYC, a comparable job in Chicago could be 35-40k in Chicago, right? Have they looked at openings in the area/is it a job they could find out here?

I would be really tempted to reapply. Your stats should be getting better money at NYU or Columbia (anyone disagree?). K-JD? late app? shitty PS? You have the numbers such that wanting to stay in NYC isn't unreasonable imo.

Chicago doesn't make a ton of sense to me because if you're moving, NU > Chicago, and since you don't want to move and moving is expensive, CLS seems worth a little extra money.


Reapply >> NU >> CLS >>>> Chicago

That's just a COL adjustment. Unless you care about the prestige of a higher salary, this should not matter since the lifestyle effect is the exact same.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby star fox » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:46 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
CPA-->JD wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.


They are not equal. CLS is non-negligibly superior for NY biglaw. Columbia students at the same grade range will be more likely to receive an offer and at a more selective firm. But not $110,000 more valuable.

Real dollars >>> A ten-ish percent cushion or better V10 placement

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:02 pm

star fox wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
CPA-->JD wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.


They are not equal. CLS is non-negligibly superior for NY biglaw. Columbia students at the same grade range will be more likely to receive an offer and at a more selective firm. But not $110,000 more valuable.

Real dollars >>> A ten-ish percent cushion or better V10 placement


I agree, depending on the volume of dollars in question. It's worth some amount of money; it's certainly not worth $110,000.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby CPA-->JD » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:20 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
star fox wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
CPA-->JD wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.


They are not equal. CLS is non-negligibly superior for NY biglaw. Columbia students at the same grade range will be more likely to receive an offer and at a more selective firm. But not $110,000 more valuable.

Real dollars >>> A ten-ish percent cushion or better V10 placement


I agree, depending on the volume of dollars in question. It's worth some amount of money; it's certainly not worth $110,000.

Am I crazy for trying to value it as follows:
Cls: 180k x 82% = 147k
NU: 180k x 67% = 120k

That's a 27k difference in (pre tax)expected value just in year 1. This obviously compounds at least for a few years.

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Re: NU (150k) vs Uchicago (75k) vs Cls (40k)

Postby star fox » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:36 pm

CPA-->JD wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
star fox wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
CPA-->JD wrote:
Po$eidon wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:You and your SO have to sit down and think about this decision. That's not something we can answer. In the abstract, I think Northwestern is the easy choice. In real life, I've seen people in this situation choose Columbia to stay in the city with their spouse or family or whatnot. We can't really weigh that for you because it's not just money, it's asking your SO to leave his or her chosen career or at least significantly uproot it and rhat has emotional consequences as well.


This. Love is prob the hardest additional consideration in the law school search as it reduces willingness to move dramatically

We are willing to move if it's the *right* move. Obviously there are financial and non-financial costs to relocating. I will try to put a $ amount on it and say it's worth x amount for me to stay. My wife is a social worker and that's not an easy field to find a good job in. However, for the 120k difference between NU and Cls, if they are indeed equal, we would be inclined to take the chance. The upside is we save 100k+, the downside is a slight loss and me going to a lower ranked school.


They are not equal. CLS is non-negligibly superior for NY biglaw. Columbia students at the same grade range will be more likely to receive an offer and at a more selective firm. But not $110,000 more valuable.

Real dollars >>> A ten-ish percent cushion or better V10 placement


I agree, depending on the volume of dollars in question. It's worth some amount of money; it's certainly not worth $110,000.

Am I crazy for trying to value it as follows:
Cls: 180k x 82% = 147k
NU: 180k x 67% = 120k

That's a 27k difference in (pre tax)expected value just in year 1. This obviously compounds at least for a few years.

Go for it



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