Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

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groverfield14

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Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by groverfield14 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:50 pm

CLS has been my dream school for years, and I just received final amounts from these schools (post-negotiation attempts). Although I am mostly mentally committed to Columbia, I have been in a state of constant anxiety about the debt this will incur over the past couple of days.

I've calculated that with a frugal lifestyle (I have lived in NYC before and know that it's possible - think $900 rent in Harlem, very few boozy brunches or $80 party nights, etc.), a 2L SA job, and either a law firm internship 1L summer and/or internships during 2L and 3L, I am looking at approximately $210-235k in total debt. I will also probably take out private loans + Stafford to eliminate the obscene GradPLUS origination fee and get a decent interest rate since I have great credit. Can I justify this?

Background: I have lived in a few different cities and abroad in my 5 years post-college. NYC was where I moved immediately after college, and I have desperately wanted to return to live long-term for a while now (I have friends there and the city generally makes me feel alive). I have around $50k in savings and no UG debt, so that would definitely provide a cushion of sorts, and I really hope to work in biglaw for at least 3 years to pay off around 180k of that debt ($60k/year, which means I would have $40k/year to live off of after maxing out 401k).

Does this sound like a feasible plan? I think that the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is also exacerbating my anxiety. But even in 2010-11 biglaw placement was still rather solid for CLS.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by crazywafflez » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:51 pm

What do you want to do post graduation?
Personally, I'd choose NU here if your goal is just generic biglaw. If you want Columbia there are way worse schools to pick to be saddled with that debt from. I'd toss NYU out, as you don't really want to go there and I think there may be a 12k justifiable difference between those two schools. Idk what other posters will say but if your plans are just biglaw I think NU is the right choice here. If you are looking to do academia or prestigious clerkship I can see Columbia being a pick.
I think if you said where you wanna be and what your goals are we could help you out more.
Best of luck

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by logan3000 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:54 pm

a significant portion of NU grads go to NYC afterward, so I’d say NU. can also spend your summers in NYC as well. much cheaper COL also.
fwiw, I’m currently weighing a similar decision (though more money at CLS/NYU and pending aid at NU). definitely will take NU if they come thru with 150k, though I also would be happy in Chicago long term so that makes it a bit tougher.
with your offers though and no specific goals beyond generic NYC Biglaw I’d take NU no doubt.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by plurilingue » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:03 pm

I will take the opposite view. I would recommend you attend CLS or NYU (whichever you like better, though at this cost differential, preference to CLS) over NU. Both schools are worth $90k more than MVPB, and each of those in turn is worth $90k more than DCNG in this market.

New York has the largest and deepest legal market, and this pays dividends during downturns when summer associate class sizes are compressed and recruiting budgets are hammered. It isn’t a coincidence that both CLS and NYU outperformed the Chicago schools, and certainly Michigan and Berkeley, by a sizable margin in the last downturn. For the class of 2011, median at CLS/NYU meant biglaw; median at NU or UMich meant no biglaw. Law firms have a limited recruiting budget and there is no reason to hire someone from a lower ranked school when the local kids with better test scores are a subway swipe away. That outcome is fairly likely to occur a second time.

If you are a prestige-conscious person, I would carefully look at the associate composition of the most elite law firms. There is a substantial gap as you go down the tiers at the likes of Paul, Weiss, Davis Polk and Cleary Gottlieb. Those firms tend to hire median at NYU or CLS before they hire below top 15% at NU.

I would only consider NU at a scholarship level of $200k or higher — essentially full tuition. Negotiate hard if your interest really is NU and tell them you will commit at that scholarship level. I wager they will give it to you as they did to a mentee of mine who only had a $27.5k offer from CLS last year. (He went to CLS anyway.)
Last edited by plurilingue on Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by UVA2B » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:22 pm

plurilingue wrote:I will take the opposite view. I would recommend you attend CLS or NYU (whichever you like better, though at this cost differential, preference to CLS) over NU. Both schools are worth $90k more than MVPB, and each of those in turn is worth $90k more than DCNG in this market. New York has the largest and deepest legal market — both CLS and NYU outperformed the Chicago schools, and certainly Michigan and Berkeley, by a sizable margin in the last downturn. Median at CLS meant biglaw; median at NU or UMich meant unemployment. That outcome is fairly likely to occur a second time.

If you are a prestige-conscious person, I would carefully look at the associate composition of the most elite law firms. There is a substantial gap as you go down the tiers at the likes of Paul, Weiss, Davis Polk and Cleary Gottlieb. Those firms tend to hire median at NYU or CLS before they hire below top 15% at NU.

I would only consider NU at a scholarship level of $200k or higher — essentially full tuition. Negotiate hard if your interest really is NU and tell them you will commit at that scholarship level. I wager they will give it to you as they did to a mentee of mine who only had a $27.5k offer from CLS last year. (He went to CLS anyway.)
By what metric is any of this realistically accurate?

If you're relying on CLS and NYU dominating NYC legal jobs, you're at least not wrong that they do that. But you've attached weird monetary values to those who are "prestige-conscious." And you have no basis to suggest there is such a wide difference between where DPW, Paul, Weiss, and Cleary hire between NYU/CLS and NU.

Is this just confirmation bias, or would you like to offer anything that actually suggests T6 are ~worth~ $90k more than the lower T13, much less there being even more stratification in that lower T13? Is there anything you can offer to substantiate the lower T13 offer demonstrably worse options than the T6 to reach a difference in value of $200k in entrance cost? If you hang your hat on placement in white shoe NYC firms, that's pretty self-selective and flimsy. If you have something more, I'm open to hear it. But the actual hiring data for NU vs. NYU or CLS suggests they offer substantially similar outcomes, even if NYU and CLS place primarily into the highest paying markets, whereas NU will place in some smaller big firms in smaller markets that don't necessarily pay $190k, but pay market for that market.

It's easier to get a market paying job from NYU or CLS than it would be from NU, so it does offer some marginal value that could be debated. But the claims you made just seem arbitrary and made up.

Edit: If you're just assuming NYC firms will be more recession-proof, that's fine. I am not getting into predicting the particular books of business of firms that are primarily based in NYC. But using the reaction of the last recession as a weathervane for how the market will respond now will be flawed.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by plurilingue » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:35 pm

As you allege that there is “no basis” to conclude there is a gap between these schools, it is clearly your belief that all these schools are fungible and, consequently, that the people at CLS/NYU are paying more money for that higher rank for no reason. So let’s actually see the data for a few undeniably elite law firms:

Summer 2019
Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Harvard (18)
Columbia (17)
NYU (15)
Yale (8)
Penn (7)
Cornell (5)
Georgetown (5)
Stanford (4)
Emory (3)
USC (2)
Berkeley (2)
Northwestern (1)
Virginia (1)
Howard (1)
Toronto (1)
North Carolina (1)
GW (1)
Texas (1)

Total - 93

I couldn’t find it for last summer in the thread, but here’s where Paul, Weiss hired from in summer 2018:

total: 129
NYU (31)
Harvard (19)
Columbia (18)
Yale (7)
Georgetown (6)
Penn (6)
Cardozo (5)
Cornell (4)
Fordham (4)
Stanford (4)
Berkeley (3)
Duke (3)
Toronto (3)
George Washington (2)
Northwestern (2)
Vanderbilt (2)
Boston University (1)
Brooklyn (1)
Howard (1)
Michigan (1)
Osgoode (1)
Texas (1)
UNC (1)
USC (1)
William & Mary (1)
Washington (1)

I couldn’t find more recent DPW figures, so here is what I found from summer 2017

Davis Polk, all offices

Total - 138
NYU 23
Columbia 17
Harvard 16
Yale 15
Stanford 7
Penn 7
Virginia 6
Georgetown 5
Michigan 5
Berkeley 4
Fordham 4
Northwestern 4
Cornell 3
Chicago 3
Duke 3
Brooklyn 2
UCLA 2
UC Hastings 2
Hofstra 2
Osgoode 1
George Washington 1
Emory 1
St. John's 1
Vanderbilt 1
Howard 1
BYU 1
Seton Hall 1

OP: Based on the foregoing, the notion that you are not selling your ticket to the best law firms in the industry by taking that cash is laughable. You are visibly selling your chance at practicing in the most elite law firms in the industry by taking the scholarship money at NU/lower T14 over CLS or NYU. For example, just one law firm — Paul, Weiss — hired 1 in 7 NYU students at or above the median for their 2018 summer class.

And given the number of equally, if not slightly more, competitive firms in New York that people ranked highly on the curve likely preferred (e.g., Cleary, Sullivan, Simpson, Davis, Cravath, Wachtell, possibly Skadden and Debevoise), we can reasonably infer that this firm is hiring median NYU students with some regularity. (Latham and Kirkland hire below median with regularity.) There is no evidence that elite law firms hiring median students occurs at NU in any of the data presented in any of the threads.

That said, what $200k means to you in the context of your finances could nevertheless make such a decision the right one.
Last edited by plurilingue on Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by UVA2B » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:49 pm

So you refuted what I said by affirming what I said? Did I get that right?

NYU and CLS do place disproportionately well in the top of white shoe NYC firms. If you want to be an associate at Cravath, Wachtell, etc., you're definitely advantaged by going to NYU or CLS over NU. I doubt Wachtell or (possibly Cravath) even does specific hiring events for NU students. But that wasn't the point I made at all, but it exposes the arbitrary striving that colors your advice.

I didn't say there was no basis for a gap in the placement power in the schools, much less those schools placing in NYC, I said there is reason to pay a marginal difference between NYU/CLS and NU, but that part can be debated and shouldn't have a strict value attached. If you desperately want to start your career at Cravath, NYU or CLS would be worth more to you than someone who wants a higher salary but is flexible on market, or wants to avoid debt heavily when they can. Someone wanting to balance debt with career prospects may decide NYU/CLS is only worth $25k more than NU, because they both place median graduates into generically market paying firms (to account for firms not paying $190k in all markets).

Your price points for NYU/CLS may be accurate for you, but it's a really arbitrary distinction, and I don't think you've done anything to refute that.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by plurilingue » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:54 pm

What the foregoing demonstrates is that the quality of the placement is leagues apart. Leagues. It isn’t really that surprising that few law firms want to hire bottom 15-30% NU, NYU, CLS or even HLS graduates. But for the employable portion of each graduating class, the outcomes are radically different.

Does the prestige of the law firm matter? Does it impact career outcomes? At a minimum, we can already see the gap in the Vault rankings emerge in this downturn. Nobody has seen V10 or even V20 firms — the kind of firms CLS/NYU place their graduates in with regularity — cutting salaries. But we have seen that happen at lower V100 firms. Those are the kinds of places median NU graduates are likely to end up at. So here you are in the midst of a situation where the profitability of the firms has had a direct impact on the finances and job security of the graduates.

And, of course, when associates get cut in a bad economy, I’m not sure where those V100 NU graduates are likely to find a landing place.
Last edited by plurilingue on Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by plurilingue » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:59 pm

Also, I’m going to quote this just to highlight the illogical nature of your foregoing statements:
UVA2B wrote: And you have no basis to suggest there is such a wide difference between where DPW, Paul, Weiss, and Cleary hire between NYU/CLS and NU.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by UVA2B » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:13 am

plurilingue wrote:Also, I’m going to quote this just to highlight the illogical nature of your foregoing statements:
UVA2B wrote: And you have no basis to suggest there is such a wide difference between where DPW, Paul, Weiss, and Cleary hire between NYU/CLS and NU.
You’re right, correlation is all you need to make your argument. CLS/NYU are worth so much more because they have shockingly placed well at NYC firms. Remind me how this is inconsistent with everything I’ve said.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Sackboy » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:38 am

OP.

UVA2B and plurilingue are correct re: NYU/CLS will place you at a higher-ranked firm at the same class rank than at NU. (e.g. landing at a V40 instead of a V50 at the middle of your class rank).

UVA2B and plurilingue are correct re: NYU/CLS placing disproportionately well at the elite white-shoe law firms. Plurilingue just leaves out the major detail that if you're an NU, Berkeley, Michigan, [insert non-NY area based T13] grad there is a very good chance that don't want to end up in NY. Look at plurilingue's lists more closely. UChicago, the #4 law school with exceptional biglaw placement, is barely even on them. Is UChicago secretly some third-tier trash law school? No, its students just rather not work in NYC. I'm one of those aforementioned grads of a non-NYC area T13. I turned down Cravath to stay in my SF/DC/LA/CHI market at a "less prestigious" firm. A guy I went to school with turned down Wachtell for an above-market paying lit boutique in SF/DC/LA/CHI. My story and my friend's story are a dime a dozen across those schools. Many LA people rather have Latham than a NY V10. Many Chicago people rather have Kirkland/Sidley. Many SF people rather have MoFo/Cooley. Many TX folks rather land at V&E. Etc. When you're making $190k/yr. and getting the same raises and bonuses with nearly identical exit options, it doesn't always make sense to go to NY for financial reasons and most people have plenty enough personal reasons to not go to NY.

Plurilingue is incorrect that CCN is worth $90k more than MVPB which is supposedly in turn worth $90k more than DCN. You can twist and turn the employment reports all you want, but you're not going to justify a $180k gap between CCN and DCN if you just want to land NY biglaw, even at the most elite firms, unless you're willing to ignore all context like plurilingue.

For your goals, I'd take NU for $120k. It will leave you far more competitive for top NY biglaw than plurilingue makes it out to be the case. If you can get it bumped to $135k or $150k, it makes the decision even easier. Save yourself the $80k+.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Wild Card » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:31 am

Columbia with a 40k scholarship is a great deal, definitely preferable to NYU with 52k.

Both Columbia and NYU are incredibly, absurdly, disgustingly stingy when it comes to grant funding, so you should feel deeply fortunate to have received that much money from those two schools, even though their offers are depressing compared to Northwestern's 120K.

It would be a much tougher call if you got nothing at all from Columbia, but just take the money and run.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Wild Card » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:41 am

Sackboy wrote:OP.

UVA2B and plurilingue are correct re: NYU/CLS will place you at a higher-ranked firm at the same class rank than at NU. (e.g. landing at a V40 instead of a V50 at the middle of your class rank).

...

Plurilingue is incorrect that CCN is worth $90k more than MVPB which is supposedly in turn worth $90k more than DCN.
I disagree with this first point. I think median at Columbia will land you at a very solid V20 (Weil, Sidley, Debevoise), whereas median at Northwestern will land you at a V50 or even a V100.

This relates to your second point, about valuation of these degrees. I maintain that the only way to fall is down, such that if you start at a V5, for instance, once you're fired, you'll end up at a V20; and then, once you're fired from that V20, you'll end up at a V50; and then, once you're fired from that V50, you'll end up at a V100. (In other words, if all you care about is making money in biglaw, your long-term survival rate is better and your lifetime earnings will be higher if you're holding a Columbia degree, because you'll start falling from higher up on the Vault ladder.)

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by AdieuCali » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:43 am

Normally I'm in the debt-averse crowd, but I think CLS is the right move here.

Housing: There are more low-rent options near Morningside Heights than Greenwich Village so you could probably make up the difference in scholarships between CLS and NYU with rent savings over the course of 3 years.
Additionally, you also have to factor in paying double-rent in Evanston and NY if you go to NU and work in NYC during the summers. Roughly speaking, if you have to pay ~$4k to sublet in NYC each summer, you should add $8k to total COA at NU.

Jobs: NYC biglaw is obviously achievable from NU. In the past, I would have said saving $80k to go to NU which can get you a NYC V50-100 at median is a smarter move than paying the extra 80 to go to CLS so you can get a V20 at median.* But in the past few weeks, we've seen that the fiction of associate pay parity is eroding. The V50-100 (roughly) have been hardest hit and quickest to cut associate salaries. Very few of the top firms have made cuts (yet). So it's quite possible you'll make up that $80k difference in salary and bonuses over the course of 5-6 years as an associate at say, Weil, compared to those years as an associate at Reed Smith. In-house employers also consider applicants' pedigree of firm/practice group and law school in making hiring decisions.

Long story short: I think considering the long-term trajectory of your career, which will begin (hopefullly) at the tail end of a recession in '23, CLS is the likely the right move financially.

*Vault rankings are generally BS, but it does seem that there is a rough correlation with firm rankings and the responses to the Covid economy.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:52 am

plurilingue wrote:As you allege that there is “no basis” to conclude there is a gap between these schools, it is clearly your belief that all these schools are fungible and, consequently, that the people at CLS/NYU are paying more money for that higher rank for no reason. So let’s actually see the data for a few undeniably elite law firms:
[+] Spoiler
Summer 2019
Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Harvard (18)
Columbia (17)
NYU (15)
Yale (8)
Penn (7)
Cornell (5)
Georgetown (5)
Stanford (4)
Emory (3)
USC (2)
Berkeley (2)
Northwestern (1)
Virginia (1)
Howard (1)
Toronto (1)
North Carolina (1)
GW (1)
Texas (1)

Total - 93

I couldn’t find it for last summer in the thread, but here’s where Paul, Weiss hired from in summer 2018:

total: 129
NYU (31)
Harvard (19)
Columbia (18)
Yale (7)
Georgetown (6)
Penn (6)
Cardozo (5)
Cornell (4)
Fordham (4)
Stanford (4)
Berkeley (3)
Duke (3)
Toronto (3)
George Washington (2)
Northwestern (2)
Vanderbilt (2)
Boston University (1)
Brooklyn (1)
Howard (1)
Michigan (1)
Osgoode (1)
Texas (1)
UNC (1)
USC (1)
William & Mary (1)
Washington (1)

I couldn’t find more recent DPW figures, so here is what I found from summer 2017

Davis Polk, all offices

Total - 138
NYU 23
Columbia 17
Harvard 16
Yale 15
Stanford 7
Penn 7
Virginia 6
Georgetown 5
Michigan 5
Berkeley 4
Fordham 4
Northwestern 4
Cornell 3
Chicago 3
Duke 3
Brooklyn 2
UCLA 2
UC Hastings 2
Hofstra 2
Osgoode 1
George Washington 1
Emory 1
St. John's 1
Vanderbilt 1
Howard 1
BYU 1
Seton Hall 1
OP: Based on the foregoing, the notion that you are not selling your ticket to the best law firms in the industry by taking that cash is laughable. You are visibly selling your chance at practicing in the most elite law firms in the industry by taking the scholarship money at NU/lower T14 over CLS or NYU. For example, just one law firm — Paul, Weiss — hired 1 in 7 NYU students at or above the median for their 2018 summer class.

And given the number of equally, if not slightly more, competitive firms in New York that people ranked highly on the curve likely preferred (e.g., Cleary, Sullivan, Simpson, Davis, Cravath, Wachtell, possibly Skadden and Debevoise), we can reasonably infer that this firm is hiring median NYU students with some regularity. (Latham and Kirkland hire below median with regularity.) There is no evidence that elite law firms hiring median students occurs at NU in any of the data presented in any of the threads.

That said, what $200k means to you in the context of your finances could nevertheless make such a decision the right one.

Wow UChicago miles behind Vanderbilt here, clearly Vandy is worth $180k more than Chicago.

did I do that right?

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by masterherm » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:46 pm

Wild Card wrote:
Sackboy wrote:OP.

UVA2B and plurilingue are correct re: NYU/CLS will place you at a higher-ranked firm at the same class rank than at NU. (e.g. landing at a V40 instead of a V50 at the middle of your class rank).

...

Plurilingue is incorrect that CCN is worth $90k more than MVPB which is supposedly in turn worth $90k more than DCN.
I disagree with this first point. I think median at Columbia will land you at a very solid V20 (Weil, Sidley, Debevoise), whereas median at Northwestern will land you at a V50 or even a V100.

This relates to your second point, about valuation of these degrees. I maintain that the only way to fall is down, such that if you start at a V5, for instance, once you're fired, you'll end up at a V20; and then, once you're fired from that V20, you'll end up at a V50; and then, once you're fired from that V50, you'll end up at a V100. (In other words, if all you care about is making money in biglaw, your long-term survival rate is better and your lifetime earnings will be higher if you're holding a Columbia degree, because you'll start falling from higher up on the Vault ladder.)
I lol'ed - have you spent any time in the real world? People move "up" firms all the time. OP, go to CLS since you want to be in NY. NU is defensible and likely less $ for similar outcomes, but given your goals why risk it? Your dream school is calling.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Wild Card » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:24 pm

masterherm wrote:I lol'ed - have you spent any time in the real world?
Why would you assume that I haven't? I'm a second-year V50 associate. I've very closely tracked the career progression of all the associates who arrive at and leave my firm. Yes, the very best midlevels are able to trade up, but the most people (75%+) don't last that long. They're pushed out well before then, and they end up at a V100 or regional midlaw.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by dvlthndr » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:32 pm

groverfield14 wrote:CLS has been my dream school for years
Just go to CLS. No need to run yourself in circles rationalizing it.

The $12k difference with NYU is small, and close to meaningless.

The $80k+ difference with NU is significant, but not life-changing. Reasonable minds can disagree if it's "worth it," but people have paid much more to put a little Ivy League gold star on their resume.

Congrats on a strong cycle.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by groverfield14 » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:10 pm

Thank you all for the insights! I also talked with a good friend today who is two years in working for a v10 and went to CLS with a comparable debtload. It turned out to be reassuring.

Just made my deposit to CLS - very excited!

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Lurk2020 » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:52 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote: Wow UChicago miles behind Vanderbilt here, clearly Vandy is worth $180k more than Chicago.

did I do that right?
And Georgetown and Stanford are about equal value.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Sackboy » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:57 am

Wild Card wrote:
Sackboy wrote:OP.

UVA2B and plurilingue are correct re: NYU/CLS will place you at a higher-ranked firm at the same class rank than at NU. (e.g. landing at a V40 instead of a V50 at the middle of your class rank).

...

Plurilingue is incorrect that CCN is worth $90k more than MVPB which is supposedly in turn worth $90k more than DCN.
I disagree with this first point. I think median at Columbia will land you at a very solid V20 (Weil, Sidley, Debevoise), whereas median at Northwestern will land you at a V50 or even a V100.
I'll defer to you CLS placement, because I know you attended NYU and have a lot more familiarity with CLS. I was attempting to illustrate a concept rather than the precise paradigm, but your feedback here is likely much more accurate than my example.

Re: Northwestern placement. Based off my DCN familiarity. I think below median lands you at ~V50 (e.g. Fried, Willkie, A&O, Shearman, CWT). Median would make you competitive for V20-V40. Median at Northwestern would make Weil, Sidley, and Debevoise very challenging.

OP, you can decide if that's worth $80k-$100k to you. Over the life of your career, it's certainly not much money, and that CLS brand might be worth it as someone who really wants to stay in NY. At the same time, $80k-$100k extra will definitely hurt in the short-term. I think CLS or Northwestern are defensible here. I, honestly, think you can achieve your goals from Northwestern and save some dough, but I have complete respect for the 0 risk approach. NYU doesn't make any sense here.

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AdieuCali

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by AdieuCali » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:02 am

groverfield14 wrote:Thank you all for the insights! I also talked with a good friend today who is two years in working for a v10 and went to CLS with a comparable debtload. It turned out to be reassuring.

Just made my deposit to CLS - very excited!
Congratulations and best of luck!

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by Anon-non-anon » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:54 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
plurilingue wrote:
Wow UChicago miles behind Vanderbilt here, clearly Vandy is worth $180k more than Chicago.

did I do that right?
HAHAHAH. This is perfect.

Congrats OP! Columbia seems like the right choice for you, and objectively just as good as your other (great) options.

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by nixy » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:24 am

I'm not going to weigh in on school choice (others are much more knowledgeable), but I will comment on this:
I will also probably take out private loans + Stafford to eliminate the obscene GradPLUS origination fee and get a decent interest rate since I have great credit.
Grad students only get unsubsidized Stafford loans. Also, private loans don't have the protections that federal loans do wrt income-based payment plans and the possibility of forgiveness (I'm not even sure if the private loans offer the kind of forbearance options that federal loans do). Most people consider it wisest to take out federal loans to pay for school, then, when you graduate, assuming you do end up in biglaw, you can refinance with a private lender to bring the interest rate down - this is the best way to protect you from being stuck paying private loans if something happens and you end up making way less than you intend now.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: Columbia (40k) v. NYU (52k) v. NU (120k)

Post by trebekismyhero » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:23 pm

nixy wrote:I'm not going to weigh in on school choice (others are much more knowledgeable), but I will comment on this:
I will also probably take out private loans + Stafford to eliminate the obscene GradPLUS origination fee and get a decent interest rate since I have great credit.
Grad students only get unsubsidized Stafford loans. Also, private loans don't have the protections that federal loans do wrt income-based payment plans and the possibility of forgiveness (I'm not even sure if the private loans offer the kind of forbearance options that federal loans do). Most people consider it wisest to take out federal loans to pay for school, then, when you graduate, assuming you do end up in biglaw, you can refinance with a private lender to bring the interest rate down - this is the best way to protect you from being stuck paying private loans if something happens and you end up making way less than you intend now.
Agreed. Everyone I know was able to refinance their gov't loans after law school. You'll almost certainly get better rates when you have a big law job lined up. Just use Fed Loans for now for the protection and hedge if you decide you want to do PI instead.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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