Ruby v. Yale (please help)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
Post Reply
MyfawnyRook

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:29 am

Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by MyfawnyRook » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:35 am

Hello! I desperately need some advice lol - I have scavenged the internet for other threads about the Yale v. Ruby decision, but I'm still not sure how they apply in my specific case. I'm incredibly grateful for both options but wigging pretty significantly about making the choice. Here's some details:

1. I have very broadly defined career goals right now. I'm a KJD and I'm pretty open to where the world takes me with some important caveats. I have 0 interest in Big Law. None at all. If I never set foot in a firm for the rest of my life, I'll be a happy girl. I definitely want to clerk at the federal level but I'm not at all set on SCOTUS. I'd like to work for the government and maybe one day be a stuffy academic. I'm committed to public service/interest, but likely jobs that would take me out of COAP eligibility pretty quickly.

2. My parents make 200k a year combined putting me solidly out of contention for any significant financial aid. I do have two younger siblings, one in college and one in private high school but regardless, I don't expect to see much money from Yale. We are not wealthy and that income is buffered by other familial obligations, significant education debt, and weird tax liability so my parents will not be contributing to law school in any significant capacity. I have no undergraduate debt (full ride to a non-prestigious school)

3. I made the no debt bet for undergrad and that was absolutely the right choice at the time. I got everything I possibly needed and lived a better quality of life than I would have otherwise. But I didn't get the educational experience I wanted. Yale is my dream school and I believe, debt aside, I'd be much happier there. Everything about the culture, PI opportunities, community, and educational philosophy is a dream to me. And admittedly, after foregoing an Ivy acceptance in undergrad, I'm loath to do that again. But I'm debt averse and not really a fan of taking out more than my parents did on their mortgage at 21 when I don't necessarily want the unicorn PI jobs. Although I might not love my Chicago experience like my Yale experience, I'd prefer living in Chicago and I'd be able to live with my younger sibling/be close to home for the next three years which would honestly be wonderful.

So, what's the verdict? Take the money and run or spend the next couple decades of my life paying for the educational experience I really want? (I also have a yorkie pup if that tips the scales in any direction lmao)

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:07 pm

The University of Chicago School of Law on a full ride scholarship is the better choice--especially for one who prefers Chicago as a location.

You can accomplish anything that you want from Chicago.

laanngo

Bronze
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:54 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by laanngo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:47 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:07 pm
You can accomplish anything that you want from Chicago.
What about going into legal academia? UofC gives you good odds but Yale is much better than the competition.

Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Iowahawk » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:16 pm

I don't really see a good case for YLS here unless maaaaybe if you're dead-set on academia, which you don't seem to be. Chicago is an Ivy for all non-athletic intents and purposes, I really doubt you can get a sense of community from reading posts (and Chicago also has a super-academic reputation)--and most of all sticker at Yale is an absolute ton of unnecessary money, especially if you don't plan on COAP-level PI. When you add in wanting to live in Chicago this seems pretty easy imo, you might feel sad for a month but you won't when you end up with a great clerkship/job anyway without having to worry about loan payments on $300,000 for the whole early part of your career.

supermario26

New
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by supermario26 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:21 pm

Congrats on both! This would be my approach, though I would definitely understand if you disagree completely.

I chose a lower ranked school w/ $$$ though I had the scores for a higher one at sticker. Part of the reason for me, though, was first getting an advanced degree which took a bunch of extra years and I didn’t want a ton of debt. I still regret my law school decision even though I landed at a large firm doing patent litigation exactly as I wanted.

My approach would be to go to Yale at sticker. After finishing, clerk as desired, then work at a big law firm for 1-2 years. This will come with a nice clerkship bonus (50-100k and like 400k for SCOTUS lol). I know you said you don’t want to go to big law, but this would really help with putting a big dent in the Yale cost of admission. After that, go work in PI, DOJ, academia, etc. without being saddled with massive amounts of debt. Yale is going to open up many more doors for you in the long run.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


nixy

Gold
Posts: 3252
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by nixy » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:25 pm

laanngo wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:47 pm
CanadianWolf wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:07 pm
You can accomplish anything that you want from Chicago.
What about going into legal academia? UofC gives you good odds but Yale is much better than the competition.
I don’t think Yale is “much” better than Chicago. At least, not sticker price better. If they were closer in price then Yale could be worth it for the edge in academia, but Yale won’t magically transform someone into an academic prospect who isn’t otherwise qualified, and if they have the temperament/ability they can definitely get academia out of Chicago (to the extent anyone can get academia).

I also don’t think Yale opens up “many more” doors than Chicago, and I don’t see much point in someone mortgaging years of their life to biglaw to pay back debt just to get a position they could have got from Chicago.

(I mean Yale is Yale and I understand someone wanting to go there. The price difference here though is just really stark.)

showusyourtorts

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:59 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by showusyourtorts » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:26 pm

laanngo wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:47 pm
CanadianWolf wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:07 pm
You can accomplish anything that you want from Chicago.
What about going into legal academia? UofC gives you good odds but Yale is much better than the competition.
I guess another point to potentially add in the Yale column could be to consider whether Yale would open any PI doors that OP is interested in (at least at this stage) that Chicago may not. OP, I noticed you mentioned you aren't particularly dead set on the unicorn PI jobs that are exclusive to (or substantively exclusive to) YLS students, but that you do loosely plan to take a PI job that would likely take you out of COAP eligibility. Do you have anything particular in mind? Do you have a sense for whether Yale would make that goal substantively more achievable than coming from Chicago?

Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Iowahawk » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:31 pm

supermario26 wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:21 pm
Congrats on both! This would be my approach, though I would definitely understand if you disagree completely.

I chose a lower ranked school w/ $$$ though I had the scores for a higher one at sticker. Part of the reason for me, though, was first getting an advanced degree which took a bunch of extra years and I didn’t want a ton of debt. I still regret my law school decision even though I landed at a large firm doing patent litigation exactly as I wanted.

My approach would be to go to Yale at sticker. After finishing, clerk as desired, then work at a big law firm for 1-2 years. This will come with a nice clerkship bonus (50-100k and like 400k for SCOTUS lol). I know you said you don’t want to go to big law, but this would really help with putting a big dent in the Yale cost of admission. After that, go work in PI, DOJ, academia, etc. without being saddled with massive amounts of debt. Yale is going to open up many more doors for you in the long run.
Strong disagree.
1. Market clerkship bonuses are 50-60k, they don't come close to covering the opportunity cost of clerking, let alone meaningfully helping pay off sticker. And two years of biglaw = ~$400k minus taxes and living expenses = not enough to pay off YLS. And OP will be able to get clerk or do biglaw at Chicago anyway if they could at Yale, but enjoy the money as pure profit as a nest egg, insurance for a more risky PI career, or whatever, not pay it straight to debt.
2. Yale opens up exactly two doors vs. Chicago: liberal SCOTUS clerkships and making academia easier (though that's probably partially self-selection and Chi is still #3ish for academia). For basically everything else they're identical, this isn't YLS vs. WUSTL.

showusyourtorts

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:59 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by showusyourtorts » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:38 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:16 pm
I don't really see a good case for YLS here unless maaaaybe if you're dead-set on academia, which you don't seem to be. Chicago is an Ivy for all non-athletic intents and purposes, I really doubt you can get a sense of community from reading posts (and Chicago also has a super-academic reputation)--and most of all sticker at Yale is an absolute ton of unnecessary money, especially if you don't plan on COAP-level PI. When you add in wanting to live in Chicago this seems pretty easy imo, you might feel sad for a month but you won't when you end up with a great clerkship/job anyway without having to worry about loan payments on $300,000 for the whole early part of your career.
I do imagine that there's a substantive difference between the "communities" at Yale and Chicago (although I guess it really depends on what you're looking for from a community). Chicago does have a super-academic reputation, but the vast majority of its its students still end up in BigLaw (with the majority of those going to corporate biglaw). Even if Chicago students have a reputation on average to be more booky or intellectual than even other T14 students, it's still the case where I wouldn't say that the average Chicago student would be more likely than not to have a particular lifelong/driving passion for legal academia or community involvement or nuanced debate on different issues and schools of thought. The majority of Chicago students do not seriously intend to seek a career outside of relatively routine private practice. Probably the only school I can think of where that may not the case is Yale. Of course, I'm not sure how much that difference is actually worth to you, especially given that you'll still be able to self-select into academic and even social circles at Chicago with similar-minded folks that do deeply care about those kinds of things.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


supermario26

New
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by supermario26 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:41 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:31 pm
supermario26 wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:21 pm
Congrats on both! This would be my approach, though I would definitely understand if you disagree completely.

I chose a lower ranked school w/ $$$ though I had the scores for a higher one at sticker. Part of the reason for me, though, was first getting an advanced degree which took a bunch of extra years and I didn’t want a ton of debt. I still regret my law school decision even though I landed at a large firm doing patent litigation exactly as I wanted.

My approach would be to go to Yale at sticker. After finishing, clerk as desired, then work at a big law firm for 1-2 years. This will come with a nice clerkship bonus (50-100k and like 400k for SCOTUS lol). I know you said you don’t want to go to big law, but this would really help with putting a big dent in the Yale cost of admission. After that, go work in PI, DOJ, academia, etc. without being saddled with massive amounts of debt. Yale is going to open up many more doors for you in the long run.
Strong disagree.
1. Market clerkship bonuses are 50-60k, they don't come close to covering the opportunity cost of clerking, let alone meaningfully helping pay off sticker. And two years of biglaw = ~$400k minus taxes and living expenses = not enough to pay off YLS. And OP will be able to get clerk or do biglaw at Chicago anyway if they could at Yale, but enjoy the money as pure profit as a nest egg, insurance for a more risky PI career, or whatever, not pay it straight to debt.
2. Yale opens up exactly two doors vs. Chicago: liberal SCOTUS clerkships and making academia easier (though that's probably partially self-selection and Chi is still #3ish for academia). For basically everything else they're identical, this isn't YLS vs. WUSTL.
Fair points. I’m still a little regretful from my decision so that’s probably affecting my advice. I would just hate for an otherwise capable person to be overlooked for a position they really want because someone from a better ranked school applied too. OP, definitely keep an open mind to what everyone here seems to be agreeing on.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 3252
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by nixy » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:45 pm

I can’t think of any setting where someone will default hire any Yale student over any Chicago student. It’s going to come down to your achievements/successes at that point.

Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Iowahawk » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:59 pm

showusyourtorts wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:38 pm
Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:16 pm
I don't really see a good case for YLS here unless maaaaybe if you're dead-set on academia, which you don't seem to be. Chicago is an Ivy for all non-athletic intents and purposes, I really doubt you can get a sense of community from reading posts (and Chicago also has a super-academic reputation)--and most of all sticker at Yale is an absolute ton of unnecessary money, especially if you don't plan on COAP-level PI. When you add in wanting to live in Chicago this seems pretty easy imo, you might feel sad for a month but you won't when you end up with a great clerkship/job anyway without having to worry about loan payments on $300,000 for the whole early part of your career.
I do imagine that there's a substantive difference between the "communities" at Yale and Chicago (although I guess it really depends on what you're looking for from a community). Chicago does have a super-academic reputation, but the vast majority of its its students still end up in BigLaw (with the majority of those going to corporate biglaw). Even if Chicago students have a reputation on average to be more booky or intellectual than even other T14 students, it's still the case where I wouldn't say that the average Chicago student would be more likely than not to have a particular lifelong/driving passion for legal academia or community involvement or nuanced debate on different issues and schools of thought. The majority of Chicago students do not seriously intend to seek a career outside of relatively routine private practice. Probably the only school I can think of where that may not the case is Yale. Of course, I'm not sure how much that difference is actually worth to you, especially given that you'll still be able to self-select into academic and even social circles at Chicago with similar-minded folks that do deeply care about those kinds of things.
That's mostly fair, though I'm fairly sure most Chicago students go into litigation and the idea that liking "nuanced debate on different issues," which Chicago in particular is heavily associated with, is specific to YLS or even the T14 is absurd. More precisely I doubt you can really tell if you'll like the culture in advance, especially when you can't visit. Those aspects of YLS culture might really be great for OP or they might end up wishing they had more classmates who actually wanted to practice law.

CanadianWolf

Diamond
Posts: 11005
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:35 pm

Why not enjoy the best of both offers ?

Take the Ruby scholarship to UChicago, then take your Yale Law School acceptance letter to the Yale bookstore, show the clerk your acceptance letter as clear authorization for you to purchase a Yale Law School t-shirt & hoodie, then photocopy the Yale Law acceptance letter onto your resume, and print some t-shirts declaring "I turned down Yale Law School".

This way you can have it all--except for the $300,000+ student loan debt needed to actually attend YLS.

P.S. Have the Yale Law School acceptance letter framed in a fashion suitable for hanging in your office.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Joachim2017

Bronze
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:17 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Joachim2017 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:25 pm

Yale actually does open up more doors, if you're specifically interested in clerking for prestigious courts and then working your way into academia or a unicorn-type government job. The road is long and hard, and Chicago is a *good* choice, but Yale is a *better* choice.

Your decision would have been much easier if you were interested in Big Law, but since you're not, and these are the two options, I believe the all-things-considered, long-term, no-regrets decision here is Yale. There are a few powerhouse academics who mentor aspiring students at Chicago, like Baude or Chilton (and even Brian Leiter), but again, at the margin -- and you are at the margin -- Yale is just better: better connected, better resourced, better represented, etc.

Keep in mind: if you really do want to go into academia, you're at this point in the game need another credential after law school: a fellowship, PhD, etc. The exceptions are if you really do get a SCOTUS clerkship, or are interested in teaching on the practice side.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 3252
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by nixy » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:40 pm

But is it ~$281k better?

(I mean, to counter myself, Yale also has an excellent loan repayment program that gives OP a bunch of flexibility, but still, that's a lot of debt for "better" over "good.")

Sackboy

Bronze
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:14 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Sackboy » Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:31 am

nixy wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:40 pm
But is it ~$281k better?

(I mean, to counter myself, Yale also has an excellent loan repayment program that gives OP a bunch of flexibility, but still, that's a lot of debt for "better" over "good.")
Yeah, if you're doing PSLF and working gov't gigs or whatever for a decade, maybe you pay back $80k. Doesn't sound awful for a YLS degree.

showusyourtorts

New
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:59 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by showusyourtorts » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:08 pm

Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:59 pm
showusyourtorts wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:38 pm
Iowahawk wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:16 pm
I don't really see a good case for YLS here unless maaaaybe if you're dead-set on academia, which you don't seem to be. Chicago is an Ivy for all non-athletic intents and purposes, I really doubt you can get a sense of community from reading posts (and Chicago also has a super-academic reputation)--and most of all sticker at Yale is an absolute ton of unnecessary money, especially if you don't plan on COAP-level PI. When you add in wanting to live in Chicago this seems pretty easy imo, you might feel sad for a month but you won't when you end up with a great clerkship/job anyway without having to worry about loan payments on $300,000 for the whole early part of your career.
I do imagine that there's a substantive difference between the "communities" at Yale and Chicago (although I guess it really depends on what you're looking for from a community). Chicago does have a super-academic reputation, but the vast majority of its its students still end up in BigLaw (with the majority of those going to corporate biglaw). Even if Chicago students have a reputation on average to be more booky or intellectual than even other T14 students, it's still the case where I wouldn't say that the average Chicago student would be more likely than not to have a particular lifelong/driving passion for legal academia or community involvement or nuanced debate on different issues and schools of thought. The majority of Chicago students do not seriously intend to seek a career outside of relatively routine private practice. Probably the only school I can think of where that may not the case is Yale. Of course, I'm not sure how much that difference is actually worth to you, especially given that you'll still be able to self-select into academic and even social circles at Chicago with similar-minded folks that do deeply care about those kinds of things.
That's mostly fair, though I'm fairly sure most Chicago students go into litigation and the idea that liking "nuanced debate on different issues," which Chicago in particular is heavily associated with, is specific to YLS or even the T14 is absurd. More precisely I doubt you can really tell if you'll like the culture in advance, especially when you can't visit. Those aspects of YLS culture might really be great for OP or they might end up wishing they had more classmates who actually wanted to practice law.
I take your point. To provide some more color, I perceive Yale as probably the only law school where potentially a solid majority of its students are prepared to devote their careers to a cause/sector/field that they are actively passionate about (i.e., going into academia or pursuing public interest goals, whether through impact litigation or direct community involvement, whether immediately or after a brief biglaw stint). It sounds like that could be the kind of thing that attracts OP to Yale.

In comparison, even at a place like Chicago, the average student isn't more likely than not to end up going to into a field that they are passionate about. Sure, there are still plenty of Chicago students -- and probably more at Chicago than at most T14s, and more at most T14s than at most other schools -- that will bring that kind of active involvement and dedication to a legal/academic/cultural community, both during their law school years and in their post-grad careers. But if my perception of Yale is accurate, then those folks are just so much less common at Chicago than at Yale.

I'm a recent Chicago grad and I can say with confidence that even though the average Chicago student is probably fairly likely to enjoy engaging in "nuanced debate in different issues", the vast majority of Chicago students still end up going down a traditional BigLaw route without any serious intent to devote themselves to any type of academic or public interest community in the near or distant future. If relevant, Chicago really does have a trend where EVEN AMONG that minority of truly devoted academic-minded folks (i.e. those that frequently and earnestly engage with professors and other students on legal/social issues and those that don't intend to remain in relatively cookie-cutter private practice for the foreseeable future), an outsized portion of them will lean strong conservative (whereas I presume a smaller portion of that group would lean that way at Yale). And hey -- maybe some or all of this is true for Yale, too. I'm viewing Yale from the outside so my perception of it is obviously limited. And, of course, if you can find that material minority of Chicago students that care about the things that you do, then maybe it doesn't matter so much what the "average" Chicago student does or cares about. But, even if it's only a small impact, I do think that difference will probably affect the law school experience in the kinds of ways that OP may care about. I feel like that difference is *almost certainly* not worth $300k of debt, but it's nonetheless plausibly a very real and tangible difference that OP flagged as important to them.

I guess I view it separately, but I think that your latter point is spot on. Even if Yale students are more likely to be into those unicorn types of careers, it may be the case that OP finds themselves enjoying being around people that are relatively happy to "actually practice law". FWIW, I'm not sure how meaningful that point is, just given that not a single one of my friends that are Chicago grads in BigLaw are currently or were previously (at least, not since law school began) too excited about practicing law. But there obviously is some difference in going to school with those folks versus going to school with, say, the kinds of folks that want to do two fellowships then work for the UN in perpetuity.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Iowahawk » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:14 pm

Joachim2017 wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:25 pm
Yale actually does open up more doors, if you're specifically interested in clerking for prestigious courts and then working your way into academia or a unicorn-type government job. The road is long and hard, and Chicago is a *good* choice, but Yale is a *better* choice.

Your decision would have been much easier if you were interested in Big Law, but since you're not, and these are the two options, I believe the all-things-considered, long-term, no-regrets decision here is Yale. There are a few powerhouse academics who mentor aspiring students at Chicago, like Baude or Chilton (and even Brian Leiter), but again, at the margin -- and you are at the margin -- Yale is just better: better connected, better resourced, better represented, etc.

Keep in mind: if you really do want to go into academia, you're at this point in the game need another credential after law school: a fellowship, PhD, etc. The exceptions are if you really do get a SCOTUS clerkship, or are interested in teaching on the practice side.
Chicago now matches YLS for clerkships, but there’s a political skew there, Chicago’s tend to be with more conservative judges (and that trend also exists to an even greater degree w SCOTUS). I agree with the wider point about academia being generally easier to crack at YLS than anywhere else, though I don’t think you should have a ton of trouble (by academia standards) if you have the qualifications and gun for it at Chicago, the vast majority of its faculty is top-notch and it produces about as many profs per capita as anywhere not named Yale.

Great point re: the academic career path, that’s an important thing to consider, if you look at Prawfsblawg’s tracker the vast majority now have fellowships and/or advanced degrees. I don’t know if even a SCOTUS clerkship is enough anymore, at least w/o pubs, it’s reasonably common to see SCOTUS clerks in the Biegelow, Climenko, etc. and at least from the tracker only one has been hired this year for a TT gig (and they also have a Ph.D.). The Leiter doc on careers in law teaching is worth reading if you’re really interested in it, there’s an ongoing arms race of credentialism to just get your foot in the door.

laanngo

Bronze
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:54 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by laanngo » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:42 pm

nixy wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:25 pm
I don’t think Yale is “much” better than Chicago. At least, not sticker price better. If they were closer in price then Yale could be worth it for the edge in academia, but Yale won’t magically transform someone into an academic prospect who isn’t otherwise qualified, and if they have the temperament/ability they can definitely get academia out of Chicago (to the extent anyone can get academia).

I also don’t think Yale opens up “many more” doors than Chicago, and I don’t see much point in someone mortgaging years of their life to biglaw to pay back debt just to get a position they could have got from Chicago.

(I mean Yale is Yale and I understand someone wanting to go there. The price difference here though is just really stark.)
There's a lot of competition for those professor jobs. I think it's pretty clear cut how great the Ruby is for most with legal interests, but Yale helps avoid your resume being auto dismissed and gives you non-grades and institutional support to focus on publishing while you're a student.
Should an aspiring professor go to Yale when offered the Rubenstein scholarship? They should be aware that legal academia is even more saturated and hierarchical than legal practice.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 3252
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by nixy » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:37 pm

laanngo wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:42 pm
nixy wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:25 pm
I don’t think Yale is “much” better than Chicago. At least, not sticker price better. If they were closer in price then Yale could be worth it for the edge in academia, but Yale won’t magically transform someone into an academic prospect who isn’t otherwise qualified, and if they have the temperament/ability they can definitely get academia out of Chicago (to the extent anyone can get academia).

I also don’t think Yale opens up “many more” doors than Chicago, and I don’t see much point in someone mortgaging years of their life to biglaw to pay back debt just to get a position they could have got from Chicago.

(I mean Yale is Yale and I understand someone wanting to go there. The price difference here though is just really stark.)
There's a lot of competition for those professor jobs. I think it's pretty clear cut how great the Ruby is for most with legal interests, but Yale helps avoid your resume being auto dismissed and gives you non-grades and institutional support to focus on publishing while you're a student.
Should an aspiring professor go to Yale when offered the Rubenstein scholarship? They should be aware that legal academia is even more saturated and hierarchical than legal practice.
No one is going to auto-dismiss a Chicago student for an academic job (or any job) based on the fact that they went to Chicago. You get auto-dismissed for an academic job if you have no track record of academic research, even if you went to Yale. Chicago also has its own weird and opaque non-letter grading system. But the grades thing is really a red herring because people reviewing academic applications are going to know how to read both Chicago and Yale transcripts. And Chicago also has plenty of institutional support to focus on publishing.

To the extent Yale helps with academic jobs, I suspect it’s that there’s more of a culture of aiming for academic jobs (which is really self-selection) and it’s probably better for certain academic approaches and leanings. Like if you’re interested in law and economics it would be silly *not* to go to Chicago, and I’m sure there are other things that Yale would be better suited to prepare you for.

I mean of course Yale is the top school for academia, but succeeding in academia requires way way more than a school name.

And no disrespect for the OP, but someone who says they maybe one day want to be a stuffy academic isn’t someone who should pick a school based on feeding to academia. It doesn’t actually usually work to “one day maybe” become an academic, it’s something you need to gun for from the get go. If they’re not going to do that, academic placement is pretty irrelevant in picking a school. (If they do someday down the line become interested in academia, their success will depend on what work they’ve done, what other academic qualifications they’ve acquired - like a PhD, as others have pointed out - and what research they’ve published where. At that point Chicago v. Yale isn’t going to matter compared with what they did with their time in law school and since.)

All that said, I can’t really fault someone for picking Yale. It’s just a LOT of money when you can get 95% of the same options on a full ride (and with the additional support that Chicago gives Ruby holders).

crazywafflez

Bronze
Posts: 304
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by crazywafflez » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:49 pm

I agree with Nixy- I personally just don't see what Yale gives you here. You get extra support from the Ruby- you'll need top qualifications from Yale or Chi to get the academic gig- and Yale may give you an extra 1% boost compared to Chi on some fronts- it may be worth some money- but it certainly isn't worth 200k. If you had a fullride from a lower T14 or something, maybe I could see the argument here- but Chi is a top notch school (although, I know for folks it lacks that sweet ring of saying they went to H or Y). It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to pick Y (i mean, you don't really have a bad choice here), but taking Chi on the ruby is just such a sweet gig, and debt's a pain in the butt.
Best of luck.

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


Iowahawk

Bronze
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Iowahawk » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:20 am

Yeah "auto-dismissing" based on school just isn't at all how academic hiring works. Your experience, research agenda, publications, recommendations, etc. matter much more than your school. YLS will disproportionately help you develop those things, which is why it's the best for academia, but the casual mechanism is not avoiding an auto-ding and you can develop those things at other schools too (so far this year 7 hires have been from Yale and 5 from Chicago out of 38 total reported).

uchioci

New
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:20 am

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by uchioci » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:27 pm

Chicago 3L here, so some underlying bias, but I think Chicago is the best choice.

There are several classes at Chciago aimed at prepping students for academia and several professors that will help you pursue academic goals––especially if you're a Ruby (but i'll touch on that later). In addition to those select academic classes, Chicago has a long paper requirement for graduation that several students use as a jumping off point for an independent study with a professor with the aim of publication. Not to mention the general open door policy at Chicago really facilitates idea generation for student paper/publications, mentorship opportunities, and discussions about career paths. I don't think placement numbers are necessarily informative of who can place in academia and surely selection bias comes into play with many academics coming from Yale.

Rubys also get a faculty mentor at the start of the program. What the student does with that mentor is really up to them, but the faculty support opens a lot of doors. These professors will go to bat for you, for academic opportunities and elsewhere. When it comes to clerkship opportunities, Rubys get a lot of faulty support, with professors calling judges on their behalf etc.

I would say your odds of getting a fed clerkship at Chciago (W/ Ruby) or Yale is more likely than not. And I do not think you should discount your ability to place in an academic job with Chicago (there are probably less people interested in academia there anyway and you'll likely get more individualized attention if you wnat to take that route, too). Chicago for free, and a stipend, should win out against Yale any day.

Necho2

Bronze
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:28 pm

Re: Ruby v. Yale (please help)

Post by Necho2 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:30 pm

Former Ruby here- I think you have to figure out exactly how much confidence you have that you will "never set foot in a firm." COAP is good enough that if you're truly committed to pursuing exclusively academia/gov/public interest, I don't think it's really a fair comparison to look at UChicago- 0k v. Yale- 300k, it's just whatever you wind up paying on COAP. And the fact you say you are a KJD with "broadly defined goals" makes me a little concerned that the chance you'll ultimately spend some time at a law firm is nonzero. I'd also take a look at some individuals you think have impressive careers that you'd like to emulate, and see whether they spent some time in the private sector. When I did that while making my decision, I noticed that hopping back and forth was common, and the flexibility of no debt definitely beats out even COAP on that front.

I think Yale is probably better for your general goals, and the trick will be figuring out how much you value its strengths over no debt. Clerking as a Ruby is not at all difficult, but at the highest level I don't think the liberal feeder/SCOTUS connections are on Yale's level (different story for conservatives but I think you would have mentioned that if applicable). There are definitely pretty easy opportunities to dig into academic work as a Ruby, and the professor mentor (if it's good match which is not always guaranteed) can make that much easier. UChicago is also pretty far towards the "academic" end of the environment spectrum, so I don't think you're giving up that much there, but concede that YLS is even more like that. I think it's really just a question of how much you value the real-but-marginal advantages of Yale over UChicago for your specific goals, and what other life goals you have and how substantial debt might impact them.

I would also think a little about how much you'd prefer Chicago to New Haven (you mentioned family ties?) I am an incredibly enthusiastic fan of Chicago, and think that on the margins spending a minimum of 3 years in your 20s there is a benefit, but understand that folks can disagree on that.

These are fantastic choices and given your preferences I think Yale is a defensible choice even with debt. Happy to answer other more specific questions if you have them via pm too.

MyfawnyRook

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:29 am

Ruby v. Yale (please help): Update

Post by MyfawnyRook » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:02 am

Hello! So I posted last week about my very lucky dilemma between the Ruby and YLS. I just got my financial aid package from YLS and I'm wondering if that changes the calculation a bit. Here are the details (much shorter) again and all advice/tough love welcome.

Financials: Ruby v. $160k (before interest) COA at YLS. I'm debt averse, but I have no undergraduate debt and will receive some (~6k) support from my parents each year.
Goals: Fed. clerkship ---> government. I'd like to avoid BigLaw if possible (NY/other big market BigLaw is not an option, period.) Not interested in SCOTUS or unicorn PI at this point (but I'm a KJD, might change my mind)
Fit: Both are a good fit for different reasons, but I'd prefer to go to YLS. I think I'd be happy either way.

Also, if you PM'ed me, thank you!! I can't respond for whatever reason otherwise I would have!
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with original topic.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Choosing a Law School”