DC Columbia grads: How extensive do you find the alumni network in DC? I daresay Columbia is the best school to attend if one is interested in NYC transactional work, but what of DC transactional (or regulatory? My work experience at the moment is all regulatory compliance-centered, plus I plan to defer a year)? Or, specifically, I'm looking at a difference of $55k-75k to attend Columbia over UVA, and while I think I'd prefer DC in the long-term since I have family here (and btw, UVA has an exceptionally developed alumni network here, though that may be due to self-selection), I'm also open to NYC big law and developing ties in the city.
Granted, the overall COA assumes max loans, and Columbia seems to assume most everyone will do a big law summer associate position the summer between 2L and 3L. So, to grads, and most likely grads working in DC (because I think I'd prefer to be closer to my nieces upon graduation), is the debt load overly burdensome? And to current students, if you were in a similar position (I'm looking at UVA $125k not counting summer employment or savings I can accumulate by deferring, vs. Columbia $180-200k), what made you pick Columbia?