Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Where should I go to Law Ѕchool?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:30 pm

Columbia Law Ѕchool with $50,000
80
48%
NYU School of Law with $75,000
87
52%
 
Total votes: 167

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Sogui
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Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:30 pm

I know we had a similar poll last week but I've got a few nuances to this classic question:

1. I am about 80% sure I want to go into Big-law
2. I did prefer Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights, but not a huge deal
3. I am saddled with $40,000+ in UG loans
4. This means total debt upon graduation will be around $200,000 at CLS versus $175,000 at NYU
5. As it is I'm leaning pretty heavily toward CLS, but I would like to hear arguments for picking NYU/not CLS
6. I'm still waiting on Harvard, but I'm not overly optimistic (doesn't really affect this poll though)
7. I might have to make a decision by tomorrow
Last edited by Sogui on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

legalnoeagle
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby legalnoeagle » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:32 pm

Sogui wrote:I know we had a similar poll last week but I've got a few nuances to this classic question:

1. I am about 80% sure I want to go into Big-law
2. I did prefer Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights, but not a huge deal
3. I am saddled with $40,000+ in UG loans
4. This means total debt upon graduation will be around $200,000 at CLS versus $175,000 at NYU
5. I'm still waiting on Not YLS, but I'm not overly optimistic (doesn't really affect this poll though)



Biglaw where? If NYC, then I don't think the oh-so slight edge CLS has over NYU is worth the extra cost.

270910
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:36 pm

If you pick CLS, I will hunt you down and destroy you for being the most petty, small-minded, warped individual I have ever encountered.

It would be a catastrophically deficient life choice that would forever brand you as unfit for interaction with the rational humans that walk the earth.

Mother of God... this poll has to be an April Fools thing. It can't have gotten this bad.

It can't

Somebody hold me?

scionb4
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby scionb4 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:38 pm

disco_barred wrote:If you pick CLS, I will hunt you down and destroy you for being the most petty, small-minded, warped individual I have ever encountered.

It would be a catastrophically deficient life choice that would forever brand you as unfit for interaction with the rational humans that walk the earth.

Mother of God... this poll has to be an April Fools thing. It can't have gotten this bad.

It can't

Somebody hold me?


Chill dude. I'm a hothead on this website, and even I think that was a bit of a strong response. I agree, the OP should take the larger amount at NYU, but . . . sheesh, jsut take a breather or something.

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Sogui
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:38 pm

legalnoeagle wrote:
Sogui wrote:I know we had a similar poll last week but I've got a few nuances to this classic question:

1. I am about 80% sure I want to go into Big-law
2. I did prefer Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights, but not a huge deal
3. I am saddled with $40,000+ in UG loans
4. This means total debt upon graduation will be around $200,000 at CLS versus $175,000 at NYU
5. I'm still waiting on Not YLS, but I'm not overly optimistic (doesn't really affect this poll though)



Biglaw where? If NYC, then I don't think the oh-so slight edge CLS has over NYU is worth the extra cost.


Probably, only been to NYC once, liked it... but after 3 years of school there I don't know how eager I might be to stay in the market.

Also I have a significant other/future spouse who might be living with me and she has her own array of desires and ambitions that could take her just about anywhere in the country/world. Not saying I'm going to end up in those places but if she gets a job in D.C. somewhere down the road then I might need to follow.

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Sogui
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:39 pm

scionb4 wrote:Chill dude. I'm a hothead on this website, and even I think that was a bit of a strong response. I agree, the OP should take the larger amount at NYU, but . . . sheesh, jsut take a breather or something.


He's just a flame, I'd ignore him

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:41 pm

Sogui wrote:
scionb4 wrote:Chill dude. I'm a hothead on this website, and even I think that was a bit of a strong response. I agree, the OP should take the larger amount at NYU, but . . . sheesh, jsut take a breather or something.


He's just a flame, I'd ignore him


:shock:

I.... am the flame?

You're choosing between two of the most similar schools in the country, and one of them has offered you $25,000 more, yet still manages to not be your top choice?

More money than many make in an entire year?

And I... am... the flame.

This place. What is. I don't even. I can't.

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legalease9
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby legalease9 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:41 pm

NYU the extra cash is worth it.

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puppleberry finn
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby puppleberry finn » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:42 pm

is the 75k actually 75k, or is it 62,500 or whatever unless you do PI 2L? if it's the latter, whatever. 12k is a drop in the bucket, almost completely negligible, and if you like CLS better then go for it.

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najumobi
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby najumobi » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:43 pm

Sogui wrote:I know we had a similar poll last week but I've got a few nuances to this classic question:

1. I am about 80% sure I want to go into Big-law
2. I did prefer Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights, but not a huge deal
3. I am saddled with $40,000+ in UG loans
4. This means total debt upon graduation will be around $200,000 at CLS versus $175,000 at NYU
5. As it is I'm leaning pretty heavily toward CLS, but I would like to hear arguments for picking NYU/not CLS
6. I'm still waiting on Not YLS, but I'm not overly optimistic (doesn't really affect this poll though)
7. I might have to make a decision by tomorrow

just take whichever one you feel is a better fit for you.

zanyventer
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby zanyventer » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:44 pm

probably fewer dbags at nyu

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Sogui
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:56 pm

puppleberry finn wrote:is the 75k actually 75k, or is it 62,500 or whatever unless you do PI 2L? if it's the latter, whatever. 12k is a drop in the bucket, almost completely negligible, and if you like CLS better then go for it.


90k with the PI 2L.

I would love to do PI someday, but I really want to tackle my debt head-on and try my hand in biglaw so it's highly unlikely that I will end up doing PI work during my time at school.

disco_barred wrote:You're choosing between two of the most similar schools in the country, and one of them has offered you $25,000 more, yet still manages to not be your top choice?


Yes, objectively $25,000 is a TON of money, however lawyers do not make as much as "most people".

Should I survive and make it into big law that is less than two month's pay. That's my perspective anyway, I'd love to hear polite critique of this view. I also feel like if I should step out of law some day that Columbia might have a better network/more lay prestige that could help me down the road.

Does anyone have that chart comparing biglaw recruitment at CLS compared to NYU?

zanyventer wrote:probably fewer dbags at nyu


At the school, I dunno, but I heard Greenwich Village is by far a douchier part of town than Morningside Heights.

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soullesswonder
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby soullesswonder » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:59 pm

Sogui wrote:
Does anyone have that chart comparing biglaw recruitment at CLS compared to NYU?



http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202443758843 for the NLJ 250

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Sogui
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:01 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
Sogui wrote:
Does anyone have that chart comparing biglaw recruitment at CLS compared to NYU?



http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202443758843 for the NLJ 250


Thanks, I remember CLS being #1 with closer to 75% before the recession as well. I don't know if $25,000 justifies 4% better recruitment rate, and that doesn't even account for NYU's more PI-friendly image.

On the other hand that list includes 250 firms, maybe CLS has more luck placing associates in the Vault 100 or other top-top firms... that's a completely unsupported hypothesis on my part though.

If I went to work on the West Coast would the NYU/CLS spread widen?

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SoCalStudent
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby SoCalStudent » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:03 pm

You have to go with the school that you want to go to the most and has the program that fits with what you want to do. $25K isn't much of a difference, so if you want to go to CLS, go for it!

I would personally pick CLS over NYU. :)

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:06 pm

Sogui wrote:Yes, objectively $25,000 is a TON of money, however lawyers do not make as much as "most people". [...] That's my perspective anyway, I'd love to hear polite critique of this view.


OK, you have a good point. I realize I don't know everything, but having spend ~3/4 of a year at law school and done a lot more research (both first hand and second hand) things like this just seem crazy to me. That being said, it doesn't do any good to people to be snarky. I'm sure it just make people less likely to take my argument seriously in the long run.

The long and short of it as that the job prospects out of CLS and NYU are laughably close to identical. And 'lay prestige' means very close to nothing in the legal world. An insignificant portion of lawyers spend time attracting clients, and those that do are successful based on prior success, expertise, and resources not the name of the law school on the wall. That kind of thing matters to a firm in the aggregate, but every lawyer in the world will view a CLS degree the same as an NYU degree - barring those who went to either school ;)

As for the salary, that hurts me to read. The market out there is really, really bad. At my top 14 law school, so many people came in with an attitude like yours - aware that the big law dollars weren't guaranteed but were the default mindset - and got shut out. Permanently. People well above median even. It didn't take a character defect... the market just got really, really bad really, really quickly. And real people - friends of mine - are stuck holding their tabs. Friends who would gnaw off a limb to take $25,000 off of their accumulated debt.

It's so much easier to pay this money off in your head prior to signing on the dotted line.

I'll grant you that if you make biglaw, like biglaw, and stay in biglaw the finances will be relatively irrelevant. But even from NYU and CLS it's just risky to count on it. And hey, I'm a 1L - I pray and hope and psychically will the market upward every day, but it's just an uncertain and scary world.

So the long and short of it is that I can't fathom giving up that sizable chunk of change. If you do, your life won't end. But I think that whatever 'fit' or 'life style' or 'lay prestige' concerns you have right now are going to seem awful silly compared to 5 figures worth of debt you could have avoided 3 years from now.

A little time in law school does a lot for changing perspective. But, let me say once more, that me screaming and yelling (in internet form) isn't going to do any good to the people I'm actually trying to warn / counsel / advice / tell war stories too, so I apologize.

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:14 pm

Continued effort to be helpful:

Sogui wrote:On the other hand that list includes 250 firms, maybe CLS has more luck placing associates in the Vault 100 or other top-top firms... that's a completely unsupported hypothesis on my part though.


Educational moment:

The NLJ 250 is a list of the 250 largest law firms in the country. That's it - a body count, and nothing else. Every firm in the Vault 100 is in the NLJ 250*

That being said, the vast majority of the NLJ 250 pay 6 figure starting salaries, so...

As the the Vault 100, the way those rankings are done - I shit you not - is a survey of associates at law firms asking them to rank firms based on 'prestige'. Surprise, surprise - big firms, big city firms, and NYC firms dominate.

The rankings are good for a rough and general sense of how firms stack up, but that's it. The methodology is comical, and much worse than even the oft-derided U.S. News.

A good example: The vault 10 is dominated by massive NYC firms that do transactional work. If that's your cup of tea... then by all means, the Vault rankings will lead you well! But if you DON'T want to do that kind of work, and do want - say - to work at a big firm in the south, you'll make a comparable salary (possibly more disposable income after tax / cost of living disparities) at a non-top-of-the-vault-rankings firm down south. And at that point, the firms are just different. If you want to work at a firm representing amusement parks in Florida, representing trade associations in DC, representing investment banks in NYC, or representing whatever CA firms represent - then it won't really matter to you what the 'other guys' are doing. If you've wanted to lobby congress your whole life, I doubt you'll have a good time at the V1 firm since it's a 200 person firm in NYC that does nothing but transactional work. If you want to do transactional work, you'll be miserable at Vault's second most selective firm, Williams & Connolly, that does litigation in DC.

Anyway, if you (like most law students) have only a vague sense of career ambitions, the NLJ 250 is your best proxy for high starting salary big firms, because it does include almost all of them.

Sogui wrote:If I went to work on the West Coast would the NYU/CLS spread widen?


Nope. Once your outside of a non-HYS T14 major market, they all sort of wash together. Many, many fewer CLS grads go to DC than from UVA, many fewer CLS grads go to CA than from Berkeley - so you'll miss out on some networking and cheaper travel, but your degree - as promised - will be just as portable. Grades will make or break you.

*I haven't verified this, but I'd eat my shoe if more than 2-3% of the V100 are not in the NLJ 250.

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Rand M.
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Rand M. » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:17 pm

Even the mention of DC or another market means Columbia is probably TCR. NYU seems to be much more chained to the city, which is not a bad thing if you are certain that NYC is what you want, but with any doubt in that Columbia becomes the probable right answer. This is only strengthened by the fact that you already like CLS better. 25k isn't a deal-maker; full disclosure: I am turning down NYU for 25k less somewhere else.

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:31 pm

SoCalStudent wrote:You have to go with the school that you want to go to the most and has the program that fits with what you want to do. $25K isn't much of a difference, so if you want to go to CLS, go for it!

Yeah. I have to say, from seeing your posts the last few weeks, I get the vibe that you have no love whatsoever for NYU. You should go to CLS, because in the long term, it seems like you'll be happier with that. The fact that you're even wrestling with this shows that you place some emotional/intangible value on CLS.

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Sogui
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby Sogui » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:34 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
SoCalStudent wrote:You have to go with the school that you want to go to the most and has the program that fits with what you want to do. $25K isn't much of a difference, so if you want to go to CLS, go for it!

Yeah. I have to say, from seeing your posts the last few weeks, I get the vibe that you have no love whatsoever for NYU. You should go to CLS, because in the long term, it seems like you'll be happier with that. The fact that you're even wrestling with this shows that you place some emotional/intangible value on CLS.


Undoubtedly, I had CLS set as my "goal" my "reach" when I first started researching schools and when I entered this cycle. I did better on my actual LSAT than my average PT so suddenly other schools like HLS became considerations too. I think it's really silly that I've let one number (LSAT) skew my perspective so much in a matter of months. I would have killed for Columbia last August.

There's just a lot of momentum going for Columbia, my initial reach/dream school, the one that my significant other has been pushing me towards, etc...

Interesting that a blank "CLSvNYU" thread was 70/30, $25k more at NYU tips it in NYU's favor despite my pro-CLS bias and biglaw aspirations.

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby 270910 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:13 pm

Sogui wrote:despite my pro-CLS bias and biglaw aspirations.


Pro-CLS bias is worth consideration and reflection. NYU and CLS place so damn close to identically in NYC biglaw. CLS probably wins on total placement number and percentage because more people there want it and not because more people there can get it. And it's all on the margins - so many people at both schools want NYC biglaw it's not like you won't find any comrades at NYU :P

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CoaltoNewCastle
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby CoaltoNewCastle » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:32 pm

I assume you're going to keep pressing CLS for more money. They're usually pretty good about matching money from NYU. I knew a guy with borderline numbers who prodded and prodded CLS until they gave him 70k, and they weren't even matching somebody else. You have Harvardish numbers so make sure you're persistent and persuasive.

I voted for CLS. The lay prestige difference between the schools is absurdly high, and lay prestige is something you'll have to deal with your entire life, long after you retire. Sure, people in the legal industry, the ones who will probably be hiring you, will know that the schools are close in rank, but I think TLS is too hard on people who want to go to a school that people respect. Just the other day my grandmother thought I had gotten into Case Western for law, and Northwestern (the school she was talking about) is a much more prestigious overall university than NYU.

legalnoeagle
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby legalnoeagle » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:55 pm

CoaltoNewCastle wrote:I assume you're going to keep pressing CLS for more money. They're usually pretty good about matching money from NYU. I knew a guy with borderline numbers who prodded and prodded CLS until they gave him 70k, and they weren't even matching somebody else. You have Harvardish numbers so make sure you're persistent and persuasive.

I voted for CLS. The lay prestige difference between the schools is absurdly high, and lay prestige is something you'll have to deal with your entire life, long after you retire. Sure, people in the legal industry, the ones who will probably be hiring you, will know that the schools are close in rank, but I think lishi is too hard on people who want to go to a school that people respect. Just the other day my grandmother thought I had gotten into Case Western for law, and People's College of Law (the school she was talking about) is a much more prestigious overall university than NYU.




Edit: actually re-read the statement... the word "overall" makes all the difference.

The only argument here is whether or not you want the lay prestige. If you do well at NYU, you'll have just as good a shot of landing biglaw as you would with the same grades from CLS. And this is not coming from me or some six year old biased Leiter report. It's from current associates and hiring partners that I've spoken to.

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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby AngryAvocado » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:34 pm

Sogui wrote:
Undoubtedly, I had CLS set as my "goal" my "reach" when I first started researching schools and when I entered this cycle. I did better on my actual LSAT than my average PT so suddenly other schools like HLS became considerations too. I think it's really silly that I've let one number (LSAT) skew my perspective so much in a matter of months. I would have killed for Colombia last August.

There's just a lot of momentum going for Colombia, my initial reach/dream school, the one that my significant other has been pushing me towards, etc...

Interesting that a blank "CLSvNYU" thread was 70/30, $25k more at NYU tips it in NYU's favor despite my pro-CLS bias and biglaw aspirations.


25k isn't worth giving up your dream school, in my opinion. Also, there are legitimate placement differences between the schools, even for NYC biglaw*. I'm not sure why people keep insisting they're identical, but I suppose that's another example of the TLS echo chamber at work.

*See:
http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html
http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html
http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml
etc.

legalnoeagle
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Re: Showdown: $50,000 at CLS versus $75,000 at NYU

Postby legalnoeagle » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:44 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:
Sogui wrote:
Undoubtedly, I had CLS set as my "goal" my "reach" when I first started researching schools and when I entered this cycle. I did better on my actual LSAT than my average PT so suddenly other schools like HLS became considerations too. I think it's really silly that I've let one number (LSAT) skew my perspective so much in a matter of months. I would have killed for Colombia last August.

There's just a lot of momentum going for Colombia, my initial reach/dream school, the one that my significant other has been pushing me towards, etc...

Interesting that a blank "CLSvNYU" thread was 70/30, $25k more at NYU tips it in NYU's favor despite my pro-CLS bias and biglaw aspirations.


25k isn't worth giving up your dream school, in my opinion. Also, there are legitimate placement differences between the schools, even for NYC biglaw*. I'm not sure why people keep insisting they're identical, but I suppose that's another example of the lishi echo chamber at work.

*See:
http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2006/ ... ement.html
http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html
http://www.leiterrankings.com/jobs/2008job_biglaw.shtml
etc.
Last edited by legalnoeagle on Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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