Just a little background on me. I'm an Orthodox Jew whose numbers are 165/170/3.49. I am debating between those four options and my time to decide is rather limited.
Until about an hour ago, I had decided I would attend Duke. But the more I learn about the area, the more I come to see that is isn't really a viable place for an Orthodox Jew. Getting meat and finding places to eat for the Sabbath and Holidays isn't too realistic, and a car would 100% be required. It probably is somewhat realistic, but the whole "law school experience" would be extremely lacking, as I wouldn't be able to have such a vibrant social life in that area. Basically, the QoL in Duke would be awful. In terms of money, there is a small possibility I get some need-based aid, but my gut tells me I probably won't and I'll be lucky if I get anything since it's so late.
As for GULC, there is a decent chance I get some aid. I don't know how much but it would probably be in the $15K/yr range. GULC has a solid Orthodox Jewish life, as DC is a big city, but it isn't the same as NYC. Job prospects in GULC aren't bad, but they aren't on the same level as Duke. But GULC is very livable for an Orthodox Jew. I also like the idea of working in public interest in DC. However, that isn't real money. I'll update you guys when I get more info on a GULC scholarship, if there is one.
Fordham is offering me $25K/yr and they would have the best Jewish life, as my family and friends are in NYC, and, well, it's NYC. Though, they have the worst job prospects of the three. My hope would be to work hard and end up on top of my class and possibly transfer. Yes, I understand I cannot assume ending up on the top of my class. There is no guarantee and I get that.
The last option would be to reapply early next cycle. I applied at the end of January in this cycle and only got a 170 on the February LSAT. Question, though, is: What are my odds at getting accepted ED at NYU or Penn. Which would be my best bet? I would definitely prefer NYU, and I'm assuming applying ED at Columbia would be rather pointless. I would spend my year off working and getting my applications in at the beginning of the cycle. I would also possibly tutor the LSAT.
I, however, would not retake the LSAT, as I have already taken it 3 times (one "Cancel").
What would all say is my best bet given my situation? I really appreciate all of your responses and advice.
Thanks so much!
PS - CoL isn't a real factor between Fordham and Duke, as they will end up being about the same. Also, I'm not really sure what kind of law I will end up going into, but my plan has always been ADA for 3-5 years, and then Criminal Defense. BigLaw tends to be a good option, though.
I'm currently pursuing WL at CLS, NYU, Michigan, and Cornell. Hopefully, I'll get in to one of those places.
If you don't have time to give me your opinion, I'll understand.