ED to Columbia

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BLawSchoolZ

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ED to Columbia

Post by BLawSchoolZ » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:02 pm

I know that ED'ing to a law school ruins any chance to get money, but then who would you recommend to ed to a school like Columbia? If there are no benefits, why would anyone want to do it?

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cavalier1138

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Re: ED to Columbia

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:15 pm

BLawSchoolZ wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:02 pm
If there are no benefits, why would anyone want to do it?
The same reason people who are on welfare repeatedly vote against the initiatives they rely on to live. They don't know any better.

Lots of people think that law school admissions are like undergrad admissions. So they assume that applying ED makes you a more attractive candidate.

BrainsyK

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Re: ED to Columbia

Post by BrainsyK » Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:19 am

I knew better and I did it anyway. There was absolutely a benefit in my case. Between 2013 and 2018, Columbia took basically 100% of people with a 170 and 3.7ish GPA. That's what I had. I wanted to go to a better school than I could have gotten into without ED. My odds without ED was about 35%. My odds with ED were near 100%. Go on MyLSN and check if you don't believe me. My name is the same on LSN as it is on here. I even got 40k in financial aid. I still have the letter PDF to prove it.

I probably could've gone to Cornell with maybe 150k or Duke if I bothered with the priority reserve process with 120k. However, I weighed the following against the difference in price: the value of the three schools' placement in elite biglaw, which was what I wanted; their secondary market placement, which I wanted as a golden parachute in case my grades weren't good enough to land where I wanted in NYC, and my own desire for prestige, which regardless of whether it's objectively valuable, was valuable to me at the time when I made the decision.

I went. I lived so frugally (22-5k/year all inclusive--actually less probably) that I probably couldn't have done it much cheaper in Ithaca or Durham so functionally the COA difference was the difference between the financial aid. I have a spreadsheet to track every single penny.

When I didn't get top grades after 1L, I pulled the chord on the parachute and strolled into my top choice secondary market (with a little legwork) at my top choice firms. The alumni network was a bit sparse because Columbia grads like to stay in NYC, and honestly, Duke probably had a broader alumni network there, but hey, one person to bat for me at each place was all I needed, and I was able to get that.

I went to a great firm, had a great summer, and the place is so financially rock solid that even in the depths of the stock market in march, there was never a doubt in my mind that my firm would treat me right as every perk and policy they've enacted has gone above and beyond my expectations--which admittedly aren't that high as I'm grew up middle class and was shocked to learn that there are workplaces that provided you with free soda. I attributed being above to land such a firm partially to my school.

There are people with worse grades than me from worse schools than me in my summer classes, but they had better ties to the market.

Because Columbia's admittedly flawed honors system, I Kented during 3L and now have a stamp on my resume that forever makes it look like I did much better than I really did facially. Maybe it'll help in later job searches, not that I'm planning on job searching later. Maybe it won't. It looks nice either way.

Overall, I had a great time in the sense that I've gotten great enjoyment out of knowing that I went to the best school that I could and did the best that I could. NYC itself was awful, but this also wouldn't be the first time that I lived somewhere awful for my career.

It'll take me 3 years of biglaw to pay back every single penny I spent inclusive of undergrad and a couple favors that I had to call in to make the whole endeavor happen. It would've taken me 2 years had I gone to Duke. It's a significant amount of time and money, but I weighed the pros and cons above and made my choice. I'm happy with my choice.

On the other hand, if I didn't get into Columbia and went to Duke with more money, I guess that I'd be singing that tune just as happily. My point here is that it worked for me. It won't necessarily work for everyone. Many things broke my way such as the financial aid situation, which is rare for ED applicants. Some thing didn't go my way like the sparse secondary market alumni network, but overall, I'm pretty happy with my choice to ED and didn't burst into flames upon submitting on my application, which TLS can sometimes make seem like would be the case.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: ED to Columbia

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:59 am

The above is a good post. There are a handful of LSAT/GPA envelopes wherein it can help to apply ED (reverse-splitters at Penn are another example), and there are a handful of people for whom that edge is worth the cost of not getting merit aid (mainly people who plan to pay for law school with LRAP/Yellow Ribbon or similar).

ED is still presumptive y stupid because, in the vast majority of cases, it jettisons money and options for no tangible upside. This makes sense from a game-theoretic perspective—you're basically giving your negotiation power away for free, excepting programs where ED acceptance entails a big scholarship—and jives with most of the empirical data too.

As cav pointed out, the undergrad process warps people's thinking about this, because ED is an important part of getting into top colleges nowadays and "scholarship negotiation" isn't a factor.

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