Where should I apply Early Decision

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Rackay

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Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby Rackay » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:25 pm

I got a 169 on my LSAT and have a 3.77 GPA.

My top choices are NYU and Berkeley and because of financial reasons (ie. It would be really expensive for me to move to CA), I decided to apply Early Decision to NYU. I just saw that Berkeley will give an automatic $75,000 scholarship to students admitted Early Decision. Because of my LSAT score I'm expecting no money from NYU and that scholarship would basically get rid of my moving to CA expenses worry.

But from what I've heard, Berkeley gives preference to CA residents. I went to a small school that has a decent reputation in NY, but isn't really known outside. My advisor thinks I have a good chance of getting into NYU if I do Early Decision (and a much smaller chance if not).

So what do I do? Do I apply to Berkeley Early Decision, probably giving up my chance of getting into NYU, for the chance of getting their scholarship? Am I unlikely to get in there?

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UVA2B

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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby UVA2B » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:56 pm

Why are those your top two choices, and why do you need to apply ED to either of them? With a 169/3.77, you could actually negotiate for aid within the T14 and easily get $75k at a school that will likely provide for your eventual career.

It makes sense for some people to apply ED (albeit somewhat rare), but you haven’t given a good reason to apply ED yet. So outside other reasons (you’re winning mega millions this weekend, your parents are about to IPo palantir, etc.), why ED at all?

Rackay

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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby Rackay » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:26 pm

In general, I like NYU and Berkeley out of all of my options. Both have a commitment to public service (which I'm somewhat strongly considering), I like the general attitude of the schools (from what I can tell), both offer many clinics (as opposed to, say, Columbia), and my preferences are to stay in NY or move to California. My husband is going to start working next year, so the location matters too. I can't apply to a school like Cornell that is pretty far from a big city. Columbia is probably out because of my score and I think it's safe to say Stanford is out too. The schools I'm applying to are NYU, Berkeley, Columbia, UCLA, Georgetown, and as safe schools, Fordham, and USC Gould.

I don't think I have a great chance of getting into NYU without ED. I'm not sure about Berkeley. Either way, my LSAT is between the 25-50% of most of the T-14 schools I'm applying to, with the exception of Berkeley. I'm not sure why any of those schools would give me good scholarships.

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UVA2B

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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby UVA2B » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:49 pm

Ok, respectfully, you're approaching your law school applications poorly. You created a somewhat arbitrary list of schools based on personal preferences based entirely on geographic location (which isn't inherently a bad thing, but it's also incomplete and not based in any sort of reality in your applications and your goals, to the extent you've defined them so far here).

Without chastising you too much, I just want to warn you that the T14 schools materially differ from one another outside of some meaningful measures relatively little (albeit occasionally significant, especially in LIPP/LRAP/COAP payment plans).

You seem very focused on NY and CA, which isn't inherently bad, but when you're considering T14+NY/CA regionals, you really need to keep all options in mind, especially when you're public service focused and considering living under LRAP/PSLF that is teetering on reliable at this point (putting aside the political rights/wrongs of whether people should be rejected for their PSLF filings).

The T14 can, generically, place you anywhere in the country, even though there will be advantages to be at NYU vs. i.e., Duke for public service in NY. Going to NYU or Berkeley should be worth something to you, but full price that relies on LRAP that is tied to PSLF should make you pause and realize that you're considering significant debt that is not guaranteed to be repaid/repayable (I doubt any of the T14 would let their LRAP-reliant students flounder if PSLF went belly up, but we're getting close to that reality).

You have some shot of getting into NYU without an ED, and you have a better chance of getting into NYU with an ED, but you're asking all of the wrong questions. What career do you want, where do you want it, and what schools will set you up for that career at a debt load that you'll be able to manage, even if governmental programs let you down?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:54 pm

Rackay wrote:Both have a commitment to public service (which I'm somewhat strongly considering)


Public service and early decision don't mix. It's a great way to spend the next two decades of your life digging out of law school debt. Even with PSLF, you're locking yourself into a specific and low paying profession for a decade, and you will have hundreds of thousands of reasons why you can't change your mind. As mentioned above, PSLF and LRAP programs aren't set in stone. Think about the worst case scenario alongside the best case scenario.

You have a fighting chance at NYU and Berkeley regular decision.
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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby QContinuum » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:00 pm

While I agree with UVA2B and totes that OP's approach to choosing a school doesn't seem to be entirely correct, IMO the list of schools she's come up with isn't a bad one. She says she's going to apply to, among the T14: NYU, Berkeley, Columbia, and Georgetown. Those are great schools for public service and I think she is absolutely right to apply to them. But given her stats, OP should definitely add more T13s/T20s to the list. I understand OP has certain constraints due to her husband, so Ithaca's out and perhaps likewise for Ann Arbor, but there's no reason why she should rule out Northwestern or Duke or UVA.

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UVA2B

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Re: Where should I apply Early Decision

Postby UVA2B » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:06 pm

QContinuum wrote:While I agree with UVA2B and totes that OP's approach to choosing a school doesn't seem to be entirely correct, IMO the list of schools she's come up with isn't a bad one. She says she's going to apply to, among the T14: NYU, Berkeley, Columbia, and Georgetown. Those are great schools for public service and I think she is absolutely right to apply to them. But given her stats, OP should definitely add more T13s/T20s to the list. I understand OP has certain constraints due to her husband, so Ithaca's out and perhaps likewise for Ann Arbor, but there's no reason why she should rule out Northwestern or Duke or UVA.


Whether Ithaca or AA are out or not, they shouldn't be excluded (outside extreme financial pressure where applications are a huge financial burden). The entire point of applying broadly is to create maximum amount of leverage in negotiations. So even if Cornell or Michigan are never getting a seat deposit from the applicant, that shouldn't stop the applicant from applying and potentially getting a Darrow that they can leverage into a Mordecai, Vanderbilt, Dillard, or another full/named scholarship.

Where you apply and where you ultimately consider attending can be two wildly different things, and no one should fault/advise against applicants for applying broadly, even if they wouldn't ultimately attend.



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