I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

UCLA ($60k) or NYU (sticker) for someone hoping to eventually end up in CA?

UCLA
50
38%
NYU
83
62%
 
Total votes: 133

tar2009
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I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby tar2009 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:19 pm

Hello! I would really appreciate any insight. I have a few questions regarding these options and no one to really ask.

My first inclination is to go with the higher ranked school... but here is my situation. I am almost positive that I want to end up working in CA after law school, but I think the experience living in NY would be great. What will my job prospects look like in California if I went to UCLA v NYU??

Also, I have NO IDEA what type of law I want to practice, so I am worried that if I don't end up starting out at some big law firm, the $80k+ extra I will have as debt from NYU won't be worth it. Maybe it will be, but are salaries that different for NYU and UCLA grads?

Please feel free to ask questions, and I would be thrilled to hear any sort of response. Thanks!

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:21 pm

tar2009 wrote:Hello! I would really appreciate any insight. I have a few questions regarding these options and no one to really ask.

My first inclination is to go with the higher ranked school... but here is my situation. I am almost positive that I want to end up working in CA after law school, but I think the experience living in NY would be great. What will my job prospects look like in California if I went to UCLA v NYU??

Also, I have NO IDEA what type of law I want to practice, so I am worried that if I don't end up starting out at some big law firm, the $80k+ extra I will have as debt from NYU won't be worth it. Maybe it will be, but are salaries that different for NYU and UCLA grads?

Please feel free to ask questions, and I would be thrilled to hear any sort of response. Thanks!


I say UCLA, especially if you want to work in California.

miamiman
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby miamiman » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:23 pm

given in-state tuition and the CoA differential, you're looking more at NYU vs UCLA + 80-90k. My vote favors your pocketbook

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holydonkey
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby holydonkey » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:24 pm

tar2009 wrote:I am almost positive that I want to end up working in CA after law school

Almost is hard to quantify. If positive, UCLA. If not, NYU.

tar2009
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby tar2009 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:26 pm

holydonkey wrote:
tar2009 wrote:I am almost positive that I want to end up working in CA after law school

Almost is hard to quantify. If positive, UCLA. If not, NYU.


Good point... for the purpose of this thread lets say I am positive. Are you saying I'll have better job prospects for CA at UCLA?

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:31 pm

tar2009 wrote:
holydonkey wrote:
tar2009 wrote:I am almost positive that I want to end up working in CA after law school

Almost is hard to quantify. If positive, UCLA. If not, NYU.


Good point... for the purpose of this thread lets say I am positive. Are you saying I'll have better job prospects for CA at UCLA?


You won't have better prospects per se, but any advantage that NYU could give you (which is debatable at that) is outweighed by the difference in costs.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:44 pm

Can't believe no one has mentioned this...

Where in CA do you want to practice? LA? San Diego? If so, you're probably better off at UCLA since it is the best school in Southern California.

But if you're looking at SF, then UCLA is good not great. There are a bunch of Boalt and Stanford kids that want the same jobs, not to mention the rest of the T-14 that wants to live in SF. People from SF are pretty snooty about their superiority to SoCal, with specific respect to Los Angeles. The only thing that really impresses/intimidates them is New York City.

Plus, since so many NYU students probably end up in NYC firms, you'd offer diversity as well.

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:49 pm

quickquestionthanks wrote:Can't believe no one has mentioned this...

Where in CA do you want to practice? LA? San Diego? If so, you're probably better off at UCLA since it is the best school in Southern California.

But if you're looking at SF, then UCLA is good not great. There are a bunch of Boalt and Stanford kids that want the same jobs, not to mention the rest of the T-14 that wants to live in SF. People from SF are pretty snooty about their superiority to SoCal, with specific respect to Los Angeles. The only thing that really impresses/intimidates them is New York City.

Plus, since so many NYU students probably end up in NYC firms, you'd offer diversity as well.


Joking?

Renzo
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:03 am

Pick which coast you're more likely to want to work on, and go there.

KG_CalGuy
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:05 am

I too have struggled with this exact same question (though my financial aid package is a little different). Let me share some advice with you that has been pretty influential in my decision-making process.

When speaking to an NYU Alum ('07) about UCLA vs. NYU, he provided me with this useful information:
Here is the bottom line: law school recruiting has changed. Fewer firms are recruiting and whether that is going to change any time soon remains to be seen. That said, NYU has really not suffered (along with Yale, Harvard, and Columbia). I remember what a friend of mine at Columbia said: it's always good at the top. I'm not sure about UCLA's recruiting by I can tell you that [my firm] has 2 UCLA grads compared to 80 NYU grads. And that's not just an East Coast bias thing. If you look at Latham & Watkins which is supposedly California's most prestigious firm there are only 3 UCLA grads vs. 93 NYU grads. Even at West Coast firms such as Gibson Dunn which has a large UCLA population, NYU has placed more lawyers, not to mention that 95% of the UCLA grads at Gibson Dunn work in California whereas the NYU grads work in their NY, California, D.C. and even Dubai office)


This information was also supported by some contacts my father had with some UCLA alum, both of which have done well in their careers (one is a current partner at an NLJ250 and the other recently left the firm to work in-house). They remarked (paraphrased):
Go to the best law school you can get into, even if it means passing up money to go to "good" law school (like UCLA). The opportunities afforded to graduates from the top 5 law schools cannot be matched...even in bad times those graduates will still get jobs, and the same cannot be said from those who graduate from law schools that are outside the top 5 (or 10)


Regarding finances, the same NYU alum previously mentioned ('07) confirmed the benefits that we all suspect of a career in biglaw, noting:
Believe it or not I have only ~$65,000 of debt left being moderately studious with my repayment...I could literally write a check to pay off all the loans but I see no reason to do that...money should not be a consideration when choosing a law school. I know people who took the money and ran and are now out of work. So yes, they didn't have debt, but they also didn't have jobs which definitely hurt their careers early on.


Of course, these are only a select sampling of opinions from people I've talked to so you can judge for yourself whether or not you believe those opinions. Additionally, I would ask you what exactly you want to do, UCLA will certainly get you the basic law job (and perhaps a Biglaw job if you do well), but NYU may open up some more career paths in public interest and also for clerkships.

Additionally, each and every person I talked to (UCLA or otherwise) said that debt still made a difference in their lives. However, it wasn't the life-governing burden that they expected it to be and those at NYU said that LRAP programs allowed them to choose public interest jobs if they were so inclined. I also found this article to be useful http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter ... 8256428026 in comparing debt career outcomes (make sure to view the PDFs within the article).

NOTE: I filed this earlier in the week http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=113312 so I'm glad the opportunity to use it all finally arose.
Last edited by KG_CalGuy on Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

KG_CalGuy
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:10 am

One other thing I forgot to mention. If you want to work in California it's important that you have connections to California. Speaking to hiring partners at a few southern California firms, they said while the grads out schools like NYU are certainly quality lawyers, they want to know that this isn't some sort of vacation for you. If you grew up in CA or went to undergrad in CA or have family in CA, that should all suffice. However, if you are from the East Coast, and have no connection to CA whatsoever, you'll want to make sure that you use summer internships and SA opportunities to work in CA.

Also (yes I know I said only one other thing...): UC rates are increasing at absurd rates and aren't likely to improve anytime soon. To think, in-state was only 25k a few years ago

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Hopefullawstudent
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby Hopefullawstudent » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:20 am

UCLA.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:11 am

smov_operator wrote:
quickquestionthanks wrote:Can't believe no one has mentioned this...

Where in CA do you want to practice? LA? San Diego? If so, you're probably better off at UCLA since it is the best school in Southern California.

But if you're looking at SF, then UCLA is good not great. There are a bunch of Boalt and Stanford kids that want the same jobs, not to mention the rest of the T-14 that wants to live in SF. People from SF are pretty snooty about their superiority to SoCal, with specific respect to Los Angeles. The only thing that really impresses/intimidates them is New York City.

Plus, since so many NYU students probably end up in NYC firms, you'd offer diversity as well.


Joking?


About which part? If you're gonna snark, at least be more specific.

Going to UCLA over NYU because you want to work in San Francisco is stupid. But if you want to work in LA, then you can make a case for UCLA as it is blocks away from the coolest business district in the city and you'll have three years to develop your personal and professional network.

BTW, if it was my description on SF residents' opinions of NY/LA, that was a reference to the following:
--LinkRemoved--

Though it is exceptionally easy to put someone from San Francisco in a good mood, there are some caveats. When talking to a white person who lives in San Francisco, it is best not to bring up New York City. Though they live in a world class city, San Franciscans have a crippling inferiority complex about New York and even hinting at that will make them very sad or very defensive.

Fortunately, there is a fool-proof method for quickly returning the conversation to a positive, trust-building tone. No matter how much you have offended someone from San Francisco, you can always make them feel better by asking them how they feel about Southern California. They will instantly talk of how it is filled with crime, pollution, hegemonic culture, and the wrong kind of white people: “I swear California is like two separate countries, and I am so thankful that I live in the cultural center of the West Coast.” This will allow them to reassert their superiority and leave the conversation with a positive feeling about themselves and about you.
Last edited by quickquestionthanks on Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:28 am

quickquestionthanks wrote:
smov_operator wrote:
quickquestionthanks wrote:Can't believe no one has mentioned this...

Where in CA do you want to practice? LA? San Diego? If so, you're probably better off at UCLA since it is the best school in Southern California.

But if you're looking at SF, then UCLA is good not great. There are a bunch of Boalt and Stanford kids that want the same jobs, not to mention the rest of the T-14 that wants to live in SF. People from SF are pretty snooty about their superiority to SoCal, with specific respect to Los Angeles. The only thing that really impresses/intimidates them is New York City.

Plus, since so many NYU students probably end up in NYC firms, you'd offer diversity as well.


Joking?


About which part? If you're gonna snark, at least be more specific.

Going to UCLA over NYU because you want to work in San Francisco is stupid. But if you want to work in LA, then you can make a case for UCLA as it is blocks away from the coolest business district in the city and you'll have three years to develop your personal and professional network.


Wasn't trying to be snarky, I was just curious if you were serious about that silly statement. I agree with you that UCLA probably does better in socal then in norcal, but, there is NO reason OP shouldn't go to UCLA if he/she may want to work in SF. I think you underestimate UCLA's reach throughout Cali.

Do you really think that students from Berkeley and Stanford, two of the best schools in the country, tend to fight over, and saturate, the tiny Bay Area? Of course not. If OP does well at UCLA they will do fine anywhere in Cali. If OP blows it, they will be fighting off UC Davis, Hasting, and USC students, as well as those from Berkeley and Stanford. No doubt NYU could give OP a leg up, but I'm arguing that they isn't worth the extra expenses.

motiontodismiss
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby motiontodismiss » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:36 am

Just remember that UCLA's tuition is slated to rise 30-something % through 2012. In 2012, Boalt instate will probably cost more than NYU at sticker. UCLA will probably follow this trend and will probably wipe out any difference in tuition. Ridiculous. CoL difference is probably negligible.

If there's even a shadow of a shadow of a doubt about wanting to practice in SoCal (with Stanford and Boalt, I don't see SF firms going down to UCLA to recruit), go with NYU. Btw, LA is just as expensive if not more expensive than New York and you have to have a car.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:40 am

No, I was being absolutely serious. UCLA isn't that impressive in San Francisco, it just isn't. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is a vapid intellectual wasteland where UCLA students are king. And USC students are the noble class, I suppose.

Honestly, you're probably better off in LA with a degree from NYU, unless you have no ties to the area and don't interview well, in which case it would be good to establish some ins and some credibility for applying to those firms.

Also, $60k really isn't that much money. Listen to what KG said and choose the substantially better school.

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:45 am

motiontodismiss wrote:Just remember that UCLA's tuition is slated to rise 30-something % through 2012. In 2012, Boalt instate will probably cost more than NYU at sticker. Ridiculous.

If there's even a shadow of a shadow of a doubt about wanting to practice in SoCal (with Stanford and Boalt, I don't see SF firms going down to UCLA to recruit), go with NYU. Btw, LA is just as expensive if not more expensive than New York and you have to have a car.


Plenty of SF firms recruit at UCLA, just check the associate lists on their websites. LA is only a 7 hour drive away from SF. Don't forget that hella Stanford and Boalt students leave the bay to work in LA, NY, DC and other legal hot spots. Also, I think that the University of California has a policy to keep instate at 90% of that of other top schools. The proposed increases are contingent on schools like NYU and Stanford also raising their tuition.

I agree with you though, if OP thinks he may not want to work in Cali, NYU definitely has the edge.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:51 am

I didn't see the bolded text in your post. I edited my post to specifically address that part in case you missed it. Having lived in San Francisco as an adult, and having spent a couple weeks a year there for my entire life, I can report it is 100% true. SF natives scoff at people from LA like everyone down there just walked off the set of Jersey Shore.

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:00 am

quickquestionthanks wrote:No, I was being absolutely serious. UCLA isn't that impressive in San Francisco, it just isn't. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is a vapid intellectual wasteland where UCLA students are king. And USC students are the noble class, I suppose.

Honestly, you're probably better off in LA with a degree from NYU, unless you have no ties to the area and don't interview well, in which case it would be good to establish some ins and some credibility for applying to those firms.

Also, $60k really isn't that much money.


$60k isn't that much money? Are you rich man? That's about $600 more in monthly payments. 60k is also more like 65-70k after the accumulated interest. OP also has to account for relocation costs if he is from Cali. Since you have also lived in SF, you should know that with taxes, any sweet firm salary is immediately cut in half. Whether in LA, SF, or NY, OP might be missing that extra money.

Danteshek
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby Danteshek » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:09 am

I didn't know there was such a thing as a SF "native." I thought all SF residents were NY transplants who got off at the wrong bus stop on their way to California...
Last edited by Danteshek on Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:10 am

If you are a little below median at NYU you can still get biglaw in NYC. If you are Te median at UCLA you can't get get biglaw in California. If you do well at NYU you can still get into big law in california.

If you'd rather miss big law than work in NYC then take UCLA. But I think you'd be crazy.

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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:11 am

KG_CalGuy wrote: If you look at Latham & Watkins which is supposedly California's most prestigious firm there are only 3 UCLA grads vs. 93 NYU grads.


Actually, there are 91 UCLA grads. Search for "UCLA School of Law" not "University of Califonia Los Angeles" (the latter gets you only the undergrad).

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:25 am

smov_operator wrote:Since you have also lived in SF, you should know that with taxes, any sweet firm salary is immediately cut in half.


Whoa, what? I've never been in the top tax bracket. Not even close. But thanks for the salary boost.

Still, not sure what that has to do with the fact that $60k isn't that much money. It's a lot of money over the course of one year. But over the course of a career? It's a tiny fraction of your lifetime earnings. And your career and lifetime earnings are greatly influenced by your first job out of law school, and thus, law school.

In terms of monthly payment, it's $7,200 a year, with the interest being tax deductible. And considering there are slightly more NYU students as UCLA students in Latham's CA offices, seems to me that NYU students do much a better job at landing those $160k salaries even in California, and definitely in SF.

Which of course leads to my original question and the post you decided to snark at me for...where does OP want to live in CA?

Danteshek wrote:I didn't know there was such a thing as an SF "native." I thought all SF residents were NY transplants who got off at the wrong bus stop on their way to California...


I don't get it. But I am not above having jokes explained to me.

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smov_operator
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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby smov_operator » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:41 am

Still, not sure what that has to do with the fact that $60k isn't that much money. It's a lot of money over the course of one year. But over the course of a career? It's a tiny fraction of your lifetime earnings. And your career and lifetime earnings are greatly influenced by your first job out of law school, and thus, law school.

Whether or not its a tiny fraction of your earnings depends on what those earning are. OP is not even sure he wants Big Law. No one is saying that OP's career choices aren't better at NYU, of course they are, and he probably should go there since he doesn't seem 100% certain he wants to stay in Cali. But, if OP is sure that he wants to be in Cali, regardless of where in Cali, he should give UCLA a good look considering that 60k is not something to ignore.

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Re: I need some advice... UCLA (60k) or NYU (sticker)?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:39 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:
KG_CalGuy wrote: If you look at Latham & Watkins which is supposedly California's most prestigious firm there are only 3 UCLA grads vs. 93 NYU grads.


Actually, there are 91 UCLA grads. Search for "UCLA School of Law" not "University of Califonia Los Angeles" (the latter gets you only the undergrad).


Good look on that one, I just quoted direct from the e-mail the person sent me and hadn't even realized that.




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