UPenn vs. NYU

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daishak

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UPenn vs. NYU

Post by daishak » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:56 am

Hey all,

This is my first time posting so I apologize for any errors in presentation or formatting. I have been accepted at both Upenn and NYU and am trying to decide between the two. I am leaning towrds Upenn because of the smaller class size and its a little less expensive. However, I ultimately want to end up in NY, while Upenn very successfully places students in NY, NYU presents an edge in this area. Is there a different way I should approach this call?

namefromplace

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by namefromplace » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:07 pm

Seems like you have the right idea on things. NYU will be a bit easier to get into NY biglaw from, but UPenn can also get you there pretty easily. To me the advantages of NYU are higher clerkship placement and better PI connections, but if your goal is generic NYC transactional BigLaw there's less of an advantage there. Another advantage of NYU is, because it's in NY, you could more easily get a strong 1L summer placement or government externship (i.e. SEC, maybe SDNY).

AdieuCali

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by AdieuCali » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:48 pm

NYU's clerkship numbers have collapsed over the past few years:https://www.lstreports.com/compare/nyu/penn/

I didn't believe it at first, so I checked the ABA employment outcomes. http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/E ... comes.aspx
NYU sent 10 :!: of its 400+ '19 graduates into federal clerkships. 10% (23) of Penn '19 grads started their careers as fedclerks.

It's possible that if Biden wins, we'll see D-appointed judges taking senior status en masse. In that case, NYU may see its fortunes reverse.

plurilingue

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by plurilingue » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:57 pm

My vote is for NYU -- these are not peer schools for elite New York outcomes (e.g., top law firms and top clerkships in New York). (They are peer schools for pretty much everything else.) I graduated from NYU and clerked in Manhattan, so I need to clear up a few misunderstandings here.

NYU has better placement into elite Manhattan law firms (e.g., Cleary; Davis; Paul, Weiss, etc.). If you are targeting a name-brand firm, NYU has placement that is roughly twice as good, even adjusting per capita, versus Penn. The data for this is easy to find on this website and I strongly encourage OP to look at it very carefully. Or just go to your preferred law firm's website and look and see how many alums there are from each school, all the while adjusting for class size. The same is also generally true of HLS and Columbia vs. Penn. At some of the most school snobby New York law firms, HLS, CLS and NYU feed 50-70% of the incoming summer associate pool, and the median law school rank of all associates will be Columbia or NYU. In other words, NYU is the worst law school that is still a target school and considered within the range of acceptable; any school ranked below NYU tends to stand out, and not in a positive way.

For clerkships, NYU clerkship placement is about 20% for each graduating class if you pay attention to the footnotes on their employment outcomes site: "This number reflects only those who take a clerkship immediately following graduation. In keeping with recent hiring preferences of judges, a substantial number of graduates work for one or more years before serving as clerks; approximately 20% of each class ultimately clerks, and some hold more than one clerkship." https://www.law.nyu.edu/careerservices/ ... statistics

Note that NYU graduates would rather clerk in S.D.N.Y./E.D.N.Y. or 2d Cir. rather than in flyover country. This preference to remain in New York definitely skews placement timing: Judges in Manhattan prefer to hire clerks with a few years of experience in practice rather than immediately out of law school. So the clerkship placement at graduation doesn't look great, but it definitely gets better a few years out. NB, clerkship placement improving years after graduation is also true of Columbia for the same reason. Candidly, both schools would have better clerkship placement if their clerkship-oriented graduates were willing to go to less prestigious and competitive districts like the graduates of other T14 schools ex-HYS, but including Chicago and Penn.

AdieuCali

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by AdieuCali » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:00 pm

plurilingue wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:57 pm
My vote is for NYU -- these are not peer schools for elite New York outcomes (e.g., top law firms and top clerkships in New York). (They are peer schools for pretty much everything else.) I graduated from NYU and clerked in Manhattan, so I need to clear up a few misunderstandings here.

NYU has better placement into elite Manhattan law firms (e.g., Cleary; Davis; Paul, Weiss, etc.). If you are targeting a name-brand firm, NYU has placement that is roughly twice as good, even adjusting per capita, versus Penn. The data for this is easy to find on this website and I strongly encourage OP to look at it very carefully. Or just go to your preferred law firm's website and look and see how many alums there are from each school, all the while adjusting for class size. The same is also generally true of HLS and Columbia vs. Penn. At some of the most school snobby New York law firms, HLS, CLS and NYU feed 50-70% of the incoming summer associate pool, and the median law school rank of all associates will be Columbia or NYU. In other words, NYU is the worst law school that is still a target school and considered within the range of acceptable; any school ranked below NYU tends to stand out, and not in a positive way.

For clerkships, NYU clerkship placement is about 20% for each graduating class if you pay attention to the footnotes on their employment outcomes site: "This number reflects only those who take a clerkship immediately following graduation. In keeping with recent hiring preferences of judges, a substantial number of graduates work for one or more years before serving as clerks; approximately 20% of each class ultimately clerks, and some hold more than one clerkship." https://www.law.nyu.edu/careerservices/ ... statistics

Note that NYU graduates would rather clerk in S.D.N.Y./E.D.N.Y. or 2d Cir. rather than in flyover country. This preference to remain in New York definitely skews placement timing: Judges in Manhattan prefer to hire clerks with a few years of experience in practice rather than immediately out of law school. So the clerkship placement at graduation doesn't look great, but it definitely gets better a few years out. NB, clerkship placement improving years after graduation is also true of Columbia for the same reason. Candidly, both schools would have better clerkship placement if their clerkship-oriented graduates were willing to go to less prestigious and competitive districts like the graduates of other T14 schools ex-HYS, but including Chicago and Penn.
The public information on NYU's and Penn's websites don't break out clerkships by prestigious v. flyover district/circuit, but NYU does better at SCOTUS, so I concede that NYU's brass rings are shinier than Penn's. Though the "few years of experience in practice" goes for Penn students as well. Penn doesn't have footnotes on their employment page, but their graduates worked in 321 clerkships over five years. With average class sizes of 250, that would be about 25% of graduates. Of course, some of those are the same grad doing both a Dist.&Cir. court, so it might only be about 18-20% of graduates in fed clerkships. That's roughly in line with NYU's overall placement.

But I don't think NYU has that much of an advantage over Penn in NY B/L.

Of the firms you mentioned, only Cleary has much of a proportional advantage over NYU in associate hiring. Associates at each firm:
PW NYU: 90 Penn: 68
DP NYU: 63 Penn: 44
Cleary NYU: 74 Penn: 5
Cravath NYU: 45 Penn: 18
WLRK NYU: 17 Penn: 6

NYU has averaged 460+ graduates/year over the past three years. Penn has averaged 250/yr over the same period, or 55% of NYU's average graduating class size. So proportionally, Penn seems to be outperforming NYU at PW and DP (though Cleary hates Penn for whatever reason - it has the same # of associates from Cardozo) and there is an edge for NYU at Cravath and WLRK, but it's not overwhelming.

I'd probably take NYU, just so I don't have to pay double-rent in Phi/NYC during the summers and ease of in-city networking (although that calculus may change given remote learning and WFH). Also, if OP decided he/she wants to do PI down the road, NYU's PI network is leaps and bounds ahead of Penn. Unless Penn is somehow >$30k lower COA than NYU, in which case I'd go to Philly.

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LBJ's Hair

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by LBJ's Hair » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:04 pm

If you want to be in NY and Penn/NYU are basically equal cost, there's no argument for Penn over NYU unless you adore Philly or have an s/o going there or w/e.

They're both great schools, but NYU's BigLaw placement at the top NY firms is better, its public interest is better, it's in NYC, etc.

plurilingue

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by plurilingue » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:06 pm

AdieuCali wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:00 pm

Of the firms you mentioned, only Cleary has much of a proportional advantage over NYU in associate hiring. Associates at each firm:
PW NYU: 90 Penn: 68
DP NYU: 63 Penn: 44
Cleary NYU: 74 Penn: 5
Cravath NYU: 45 Penn: 18
WLRK NYU: 17 Penn: 6

NYU has averaged 460+ graduates/year over the past three years. Penn has averaged 250/yr over the same period, or 55% of NYU's average graduating class size. So proportionally, Penn seems to be outperforming NYU at PW and DP (though Cleary hates Penn for whatever reason - it has the same # of associates from Cardozo) and there is an edge for NYU at Cravath and WLRK, but it's not overwhelming.
Your P, W and DPW number of associates is off. At P, W, Penn Law is listed twice in the drop-down list, and there are 39 Associates listed under each. But they’re the same associates if you look carefully. So P, W prefers NYU by a substantial margin to Penn (90 to 39). Likewise, I only saw 32 DPW associates in New York from Penn, and 34 firmwide. So in almost every case, even adjusting for class size, the firms you mention generally prefer NYU to Penn by a ~50% margin. That’s a pretty compelling gap across firms, and does not reflect that many of the strongest students on the 1L curve at NYU are PI-intended and do not do EIW at all. (Also, some PI-intended students will summer at a top firm for the branding and experience but go to PI after graduating anyway. They are not reflected in these numbers, but had the opportunity to go to a top firm.)

Consequently, it’s debatable whether the difference between NYU and CLS is anything more than 5-10% in placement. Suffice it to say, top law firms will dig deep into the class at NYU and CLS and that margin gives a candidate with just median grades but also some other hook (e.g., presents well; top undergrad; URM; prestigious work experience) a legitimate shot at a top firm like Simpson or Cleary, if not Sullivan. I think a median NYU student’s opportunities are closer to top 1/3 at Penn, and for some firms, maybe even top 25%

Note that the number of associates from NYU or Columbia at a firm can, at times, fall below the firm’s desired target, and the firm will spend extra effort recruiting at that school in subsequent years. Hence you will see years where 30+ summers from NYU or CLS go to one firm. It’s pretty wild.

AdieuCali

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by AdieuCali » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:44 pm

plurilingue wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:06 pm
AdieuCali wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:00 pm

Of the firms you mentioned, only Cleary has much of a proportional advantage over NYU in associate hiring. Associates at each firm:
PW NYU: 90 Penn: 68
DP NYU: 63 Penn: 44
Cleary NYU: 74 Penn: 5
Cravath NYU: 45 Penn: 18
WLRK NYU: 17 Penn: 6

NYU has averaged 460+ graduates/year over the past three years. Penn has averaged 250/yr over the same period, or 55% of NYU's average graduating class size. So proportionally, Penn seems to be outperforming NYU at PW and DP (though Cleary hates Penn for whatever reason - it has the same # of associates from Cardozo) and there is an edge for NYU at Cravath and WLRK, but it's not overwhelming.
Your P, W and DPW number of associates is off. At P, W, Penn Law is listed twice in the drop-down list, and there are 39 Associates listed under each. But they’re the same associates if you look carefully. So P, W prefers NYU by a substantial margin to Penn (90 to 39). Likewise, I only saw 32 DPW associates in New York from Penn, and 34 firmwide. So in almost every case, even adjusting for class size, the firms you mention generally prefer NYU to Penn by a ~50% margin. That’s a pretty compelling gap across firms, and does not reflect that many of the strongest students on the 1L curve at NYU are PI-intended and do not do EIW at all. (Also, some PI-intended students will summer at a top firm for the branding and experience but go to PI after graduating anyway. They are not reflected in these numbers, but had the opportunity to go to a top firm.)

Consequently, it’s debatable whether the difference between NYU and CLS is anything more than 5-10% in placement. Suffice it to say, top law firms will dig deep into the class at NYU and CLS and that margin gives a candidate with just median grades but also some other hook (e.g., presents well; top undergrad; URM; prestigious work experience) a legitimate shot at a top firm like Simpson or Cleary, if not Sullivan. I think a median NYU student’s opportunities are closer to top 1/3 at Penn, and for some firms, maybe even top 25%

Note that the number of associates from NYU or Columbia at a firm can, at times, fall below the firm’s desired target, and the firm will spend extra effort recruiting at that school in subsequent years. Hence you will see years where 30+ summers from NYU or CLS go to one firm. It’s pretty wild.
Ah, good catch on the PW data. I missed that. One clarification, the figures I listed are firmwide earlier. Looking just at the NY offices and updated with proportions it's:
Grads: NYU: 460 Penn: 250. NYU/P Quotient = 1.84
PW NYU: 80 Penn: 33 = Quotient 2.42
DP NYU: 57 Penn: 32 = Quotient 1.78
Cleary* NYU: 56 Penn: 5
Cravath** NYU: 45 Penn: 18 = Quotient 2.5
WLRK NYU: 17 Penn: 6 = Quotient 2.83

*(I'm guessing this is wrong, because there's only 1 associate listed who graduated outside of '18)
**Their site doesn't allow me to easily break out the London office.
Alright, now that I'm looking at just the NY offices and run the actual ratios, I concede NYU has a hiring advantage at the above listed firms except DPW.

commonlaw

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by commonlaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:18 pm

I don't think smaller classes sizes and the slight difference in cost (even taking COA into account) is enough to justify Penn over NYU given you want to work in NYC. A $10-15k difference is nothing over the course a career.

daishak

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Re: UPenn vs. NYU

Post by daishak » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:26 pm

Op here - I would like to reply to everyone who posted and say thank you so much for your insight and the time you spent looking into the data. I chose NYU, it was pretty tough to say no to the personal touch that Upenn offers its students but I think the numbers presented here and other factors such as little difference in money outweigh that touch. Thank you all again for your time and effort

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