Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

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kidkasparov123

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Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by kidkasparov123 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:28 pm

In terms of general employment outcomes. Assume costs are about equal. Thanks!

Libya

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by Libya » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:10 pm

For biglaw, federal government, and clerkships—Chicago. For public interest—NYU. Both these edges are probably pretty slight. Cost should probably be the driving factor

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by QContinuum » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:06 pm

Libya wrote:For biglaw, federal government, and clerkships—Chicago. For public interest—NYU. Both these edges are probably pretty slight. Cost should probably be the driving factor
In a vacuum, absent NYU RTK, I'd actually probably take Chicago even for PI (if RTK and committed to PI, definitely take NYU). Chicago has less downside risk (NYU has B-s on the curve), and more upside (in recent years, it's only a hair below HLS in terms of placement strength across the board).

Now, there may be good reason to take NYU over Chicago even at equal cost. Chicago's stronger overall, but not to the point where it'd be foolish to choose NYU. If someone really wants to live in NYC for law school, or has family or a SO in NYC or even anywhere in the D.C.-Boston corridor, it could make a lot of sense to choose NYU. We had a thread recently where someone asked if they were foolish to choose Columbia over HLS. The answer was no; Harvard is stronger than Columbia, and absolutely the better choice in a vacuum, but not to the point where it'd be foolish or objectively unreasonable to choose Columbia. The same logic applies here.

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by 64Fl » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:17 pm

Chicago has a much smaller class and has some years where 0% of graduates end up unemployed. It's pretty hard to fall through the cracks Pretty much nobody else pulls that off, not even Yale. In terms of opportunities, I'd also say Chicago is much closer to HYS than NYU. Over night, Chicago could decide to switch things up and send 10% of students into PI like NYU. The opposite is not true. NYU can't just put 25% of their grads into federal clerkships on the turn of a dime. They don't have the kind of clerkship connections/reputation that Chicago has built. Plus, clerkships have to be the best way to transition into prestigious PI.

As the other poster is saying, of course, there are good reasons to take NYU over Chicago, namely (1) location, (2) scholarship, and (3) a desire for a strong PI community and not unicorn PI goals (which are always much easier through clerkships, which NYU sucks at).

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:22 am

64Fl wrote:Chicago has a much smaller class and has some years where 0% of graduates end up unemployed. It's pretty hard to fall through the cracks Pretty much nobody else pulls that off, not even Yale. In terms of opportunities, I'd also say Chicago is much closer to HYS than NYU. Over night, Chicago could decide to switch things up and send 10% of students into PI like NYU. The opposite is not true. NYU can't just put 25% of their grads into federal clerkships on the turn of a dime. They don't have the kind of clerkship connections/reputation that Chicago has built. Plus, clerkships have to be the best way to transition into prestigious PI.

As the other poster is saying, of course, there are good reasons to take NYU over Chicago, namely (1) location, (2) scholarship, and (3) a desire for a strong PI community and not unicorn PI goals (which are always much easier through clerkships, which NYU sucks at).
[Disclaimer: NYU alum.]

Strongly disagree on the characterization of "unicorn" PI hiring, which is primarily done through fellowships, and PI hiring in general, which is primarily done through internships/externships/networking. NYU wipes the floor with Chicago (and most of the other T13) because of the PI community at the school and the large number of fellowship opportunities.

Could Chicago turn around and put 10% of its grads in PI? Maybe. That would still put it well behind NYU both in terms of per capita placement and in terms of raw numbers (the latter being far more indicative of PI placement power).

Could NYU put 25% of its grads in federal clerkships? Probably not. And Chicago undoubtedly has an edge for that kind of placement. But it definitely doesn't have the same PI culture or network that NYU does.

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kidkasparov123

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by kidkasparov123 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:00 pm

Thanks for the responses. I took a look at the ABA required disclosures and it seems NYU's placement in big law and PI (my two areas of interest) is stronger than Chicago's, which appears more clerkship-oriented. Perhaps NYU would be more suitable. Thanks again

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by nixy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:33 pm

kidkasparov123 wrote:Thanks for the responses. I took a look at the ABA required disclosures and it seems NYU's placement in big law and PI (my two areas of interest) is stronger than Chicago's, which appears more clerkship-oriented. Perhaps NYU would be more suitable. Thanks again
Keep in mind that clerkships are temporary and the vast majority of people who clerk from Chicago go to biglaw after (or could if they want to). You really want to add biglaw and clerkship stats together to get a more accurate picture.

They’re both excellent schools and you can succeed from either - there are some differences but it’s not that either is a bad choice.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:52 pm

nixy wrote:
kidkasparov123 wrote:Thanks for the responses. I took a look at the ABA required disclosures and it seems NYU's placement in big law and PI (my two areas of interest) is stronger than Chicago's, which appears more clerkship-oriented. Perhaps NYU would be more suitable. Thanks again
Keep in mind that clerkships are temporary and the vast majority of people who clerk from Chicago go to biglaw after (or could if they want to). You really want to add biglaw and clerkship stats together to get a more accurate picture.

They’re both excellent schools and you can succeed from either - there are some differences but it’s not that either is a bad choice.
Ditto. Don't treat fedclerk as a separate stat. Everyone who clerks at a federal court could have gotten (or did get) biglaw.

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beepboopbeep

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by beepboopbeep » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:13 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
64Fl wrote:Chicago has a much smaller class and has some years where 0% of graduates end up unemployed. It's pretty hard to fall through the cracks Pretty much nobody else pulls that off, not even Yale. In terms of opportunities, I'd also say Chicago is much closer to HYS than NYU. Over night, Chicago could decide to switch things up and send 10% of students into PI like NYU. The opposite is not true. NYU can't just put 25% of their grads into federal clerkships on the turn of a dime. They don't have the kind of clerkship connections/reputation that Chicago has built. Plus, clerkships have to be the best way to transition into prestigious PI.

As the other poster is saying, of course, there are good reasons to take NYU over Chicago, namely (1) location, (2) scholarship, and (3) a desire for a strong PI community and not unicorn PI goals (which are always much easier through clerkships, which NYU sucks at).
[Disclaimer: NYU alum.]

Strongly disagree on the characterization of "unicorn" PI hiring, which is primarily done through fellowships, and PI hiring in general, which is primarily done through internships/externships/networking. NYU wipes the floor with Chicago (and most of the other T13) because of the PI community at the school and the large number of fellowship opportunities.

Could Chicago turn around and put 10% of its grads in PI? Maybe. That would still put it well behind NYU both in terms of per capita placement and in terms of raw numbers (the latter being far more indicative of PI placement power).

Could NYU put 25% of its grads in federal clerkships? Probably not. And Chicago undoubtedly has an edge for that kind of placement. But it definitely doesn't have the same PI culture or network that NYU does.
Chicago grad, and I agree with all of this. Chicago could not turn on a dime and become a PI-oriented school, not least because it has the student body probably least interested in PI among the T-14, percentage-wise (although that's not to say there isn't somewhat of a community anyway). The institutional network just isn't there to the same degree, and that takes as much time and effort to develop as the clerkship network Chicago has.
kidkasparov123 wrote:Thanks for the responses. I took a look at the ABA required disclosures and it seems NYU's placement in big law and PI (my two areas of interest) is stronger than Chicago's, which appears more clerkship-oriented. Perhaps NYU would be more suitable. Thanks again
As nixy and cavalier have already said, this reasoning doesn't make much sense. Setting aside that the vast majority of fedclerks go to biglaw after their clerkships -- so if you are evaluating biglaw outcomes, the number to look at is really biglaw+fedclerk -- clerkships help with both unicorn PI and biglaw.

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kidkasparov123

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by kidkasparov123 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:58 pm

Interesting! Thanks for sharing this. One question. How should I factor in NYU's public interest placement? Using your biglaw+clerkship equation means NYU scores lower, but this may be because of their high PI placement percentage, which the equation does not take into account. In short, I'm not sure how to factor out self-selection. Maybe someone could shed light on this. Thank you!

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by nixy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:30 pm

This is one of those things that’s hugely debated bc there’s no real way to determine the role self-selection plays. (Admittedly I’m not an NYU student/alum and they could at least share a personal perspective, although it wouldn’t be exactly scientific.) Personally I think self-selection is real and self-perpetuating, NYU is well known for PI, and I strongly disagree that people (esp at NYU) go into PI as a backup for biglaw gone wrong, so I wouldn’t hold the lower biglaw/clerk numbers against NYU.

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by beepboopbeep » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:55 pm

Nixy's answer sounds right. Most of the PI people I knew at Chicago were PI people, full stop, and firms were never in the equation. I have to imagine that effect is even stronger at NYU with a more ingrained PI culture. There were people who went in on the fence and landed at firms after 2L, but I do not know anyone who struck out on PI and landed in biglaw as a backup. The hiring timelines don't really work for that.

IMO, outside the PI/clerkship divide where each school has somewhat of an advantage over the other, they're similar enough in outcomes that IMO it comes down to (a) cost, (b) cost, and remember cost of attendance; NYC is super expensive, and (c) if you're really positive that they would be equal cost, whichever one you like better and see yourself being happier at. For this school comparison, at least, the limiting principles for many outcomes will be your grades, personality, etc., more than the name that goes on the diploma. Being happy obviously carries its own benefits, and probably helps with those other things, too.

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by kidkasparov123 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:47 pm

Thanks for the insights. I really appreciate it. Best regards

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by Wild Card » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:41 pm

If you're a midwesterner, pick Chicago without a second thought.

Based on summer associate and Judicial Clerkship Office data, NYU seems to struggle in Midwest biglaw and fedclerk placement--perhaps because people who want to work in the Midwest don't choose NYU in the first place.

But Chicago shouldn't have a problem placing in New York.

Also, Chicago is a lot smaller than NYU, so you may have an easier time making friends and getting to know your classmates. More importantly, you may be able to build stronger relationships with professors at Chicago (though I haven't had trouble with this at NYU).

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by kidkasparov123 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:18 am

Thanks for your response. Are you happy with your decision to go to NYU Law?

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Re: Which is a better law school: NYU or Chicago?

Post by Delano » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:41 pm

Libya wrote:For biglaw, federal government, and clerkships—Chicago. For public interest—NYU. Both these edges are probably pretty slight. Cost should probably be the driving factor
+1
It's a really, really close call and, assuming equal cost, personal preference should play big role here.

A few considerations -
- NYU's PI placement is *definitely* self-selection. If you look at the data, you'll see NYU's placement in top / most selective firms is significantly better than other, non-T6 t14s, even though these other schools tend to place a much greater proportion of their student in BL.
- Almost no one mentions this in discussions of NYU & CLS's clerkship numbers, but many judges in the New York area / 2nd Cir hire several years in advance, which makes it pretty much impossible to clerk for those judges right out of school. If you include alumni, roughly 23% of NYU grads clerk. IMO, Chicago still has an incontestable advantage in clerkships but it's not as dramatic as it looks at first glance.
- Chicago will have the advantages of a smaller student body, but NYU will have more options. NYU has ~50 clinics. Chicago has 15 clinics. (Again, this is really something that should only matter at the margins.)
- Whether you'd be happier in Greenwich Village or Hyde Park.

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