THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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UVA2B
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Teacher wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm
(Also posted in Choosing a Law School thread)

Hey guys!

I'm still waiting to hear back from a few schools that I would be really interested in, but right now I'm between HLS, UChi, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, and UT (I currently live in Texas). Im 100% committed to doing PI after graduating. I was unbelievably lucky to receive a full ride to NYU, and when I visited for ASW, I was INCREDIBLY impressed with the PI program/ opportunities, the LRAP, and basically everything about NYU-- except that I hated NYC. I'm originally from Massachusetts (where my family still is) and have visited NYC a million times, but being there with the prospect of living there, I was miserable and basically cried every moment I was alone (#adulthood).

I don't have any of my scholarship/ financial aid info from anywhere else, so I know it's kind of hard to compare. But I just have this feeling that turning down a full ride at NYU when I'm committed to public interest is unbelievably short-sighted and dumb. But I'm also quite a few years out of college and have kind of an established life, and I don't really want to pick up everything and move somewhere I think I'll be miserable for three years. Thoughts?
Baseline question: if you had a full ride at all of them (except Harvard because that’s impossible), what would you choose and why?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:48 pm

app wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:30 pm
anyone know if there's school-specific data on how those who get a boost or had a hard time with lsat perform in law school grades in hys or t6?
(don't mean it to be a discussion on more controversial topics such as AA, if it's not the right thread then i'd move the q)
I’m having a tough time deciphering exactly what you’re asking, but I can’t imagine this kind of data being available, and why they would even collect it. There is the published LSAC report that shows correlation between gpa, lsat and Law school grades generally, but nothing specific to the T6 or HYS.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Teacher » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:53 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:45 pm
Teacher wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm
(Also posted in Choosing a Law School thread)

Hey guys!

I'm still waiting to hear back from a few schools that I would be really interested in, but right now I'm between HLS, UChi, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, and UT (I currently live in Texas). Im 100% committed to doing PI after graduating. I was unbelievably lucky to receive a full ride to NYU, and when I visited for ASW, I was INCREDIBLY impressed with the PI program/ opportunities, the LRAP, and basically everything about NYU-- except that I hated NYC. I'm originally from Massachusetts (where my family still is) and have visited NYC a million times, but being there with the prospect of living there, I was miserable and basically cried every moment I was alone (#adulthood).

I don't have any of my scholarship/ financial aid info from anywhere else, so I know it's kind of hard to compare. But I just have this feeling that turning down a full ride at NYU when I'm committed to public interest is unbelievably short-sighted and dumb. But I'm also quite a few years out of college and have kind of an established life, and I don't really want to pick up everything and move somewhere I think I'll be miserable for three years. Thoughts?
Baseline question: if you had a full ride at all of them (except Harvard because that’s impossible), what would you choose and why?
If I had a full ride everywhere I've been admitted so far, I **think** I'd choose UChicago. I like the idea of being on an actual campus but also in a major city, the small size of the law school, the reputation for intellectual rigor/ the whole "life of the mind" concept, and the ability to place in clerkships. My very best friend also lives in Chicago, as do a few friends from college, so I would already have somewhat of a network there socially, which is really important to me. The COL in Chicago also appeals to me-- I'm confident I could get a studio (hopefully with my dog, lolz) and still afford to, like, eat and stuff.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:27 pm

Teacher wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:53 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:45 pm
Teacher wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm
(Also posted in Choosing a Law School thread)

Hey guys!

I'm still waiting to hear back from a few schools that I would be really interested in, but right now I'm between HLS, UChi, NYU, Duke, Northwestern, and UT (I currently live in Texas). Im 100% committed to doing PI after graduating. I was unbelievably lucky to receive a full ride to NYU, and when I visited for ASW, I was INCREDIBLY impressed with the PI program/ opportunities, the LRAP, and basically everything about NYU-- except that I hated NYC. I'm originally from Massachusetts (where my family still is) and have visited NYC a million times, but being there with the prospect of living there, I was miserable and basically cried every moment I was alone (#adulthood).

I don't have any of my scholarship/ financial aid info from anywhere else, so I know it's kind of hard to compare. But I just have this feeling that turning down a full ride at NYU when I'm committed to public interest is unbelievably short-sighted and dumb. But I'm also quite a few years out of college and have kind of an established life, and I don't really want to pick up everything and move somewhere I think I'll be miserable for three years. Thoughts?
Baseline question: if you had a full ride at all of them (except Harvard because that’s impossible), what would you choose and why?
If I had a full ride everywhere I've been admitted so far, I **think** I'd choose UChicago. I like the idea of being on an actual campus but also in a major city, the small size of the law school, the reputation for intellectual rigor/ the whole "life of the mind" concept, and the ability to place in clerkships. My very best friend also lives in Chicago, as do a few friends from college, so I would already have somewhat of a network there socially, which is really important to me. The COL in Chicago also appeals to me-- I'm confident I could get a studio (hopefully with my dog, lolz) and still afford to, like, eat and stuff.
That makes sense, and thanks for providing this additional hypothetical, because it somewhat informs the advice I give.

If NYU doesn’t feel right because you’d hate living in NYC, then that should absolutely affect your decision, but if it remains your best option, you need to prepare mentally to take it. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but you should be ready for it at least.

But in the meantime, you’re in a great place to negotiate with your other options. I’m doubtful Chicago would match your NYU offer, but they might get closer. But your other options may budge for big money if you negotiate properly. For instance, could you make clear to NU that you’d absolutely attend if they got closer to matching NYU’s offer? That would go a long way because NU loves poaching NYU admits when they can, because it serves both of you. And you can do that with your other options, but you will need to be prepared to use the “will attend” type of bargaining chip to make another option happen.

You’re in a fantastic position to negotiate, and if you want more detailed advice on that, I can help in crafting specific emails that you want to send to make other schools a reality (negotiations are never guaranteed, but I’ve helped a not insignificant number of people get increased aid through negotiating).

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by 96ProbeGT » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:08 am

The schools you are considering

Harvard – just accepted not sure if I’ll be getting any grant aid. Will it be before 4/23?
UChicago – waiting on their scholarship offer
Northwestern - $180,000 scholarship

The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.

My fiancé will be working and covering our cost of living. She has a flexible career and shouldn’t have difficulty finding work.

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings

Mainly loans. I have $40k in savings I could use to help with COA.

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)

From Illinois, but currently live in California. Also have ties to Minnesota. Open to working in Chicago, D.C. or Minneapolis after law school. Fiancé is most interested in D.C. and Chicago.

Your general career goals

Honestly, feel like I need a better handle on this. My goals are somewhat amorphous right now. I’m open and interested in learning more about several options.
1. Private Firm Class Action/Antitrust/Securities/Civil Rights Litigation
2. NGO Impact Litigation
3. State Attorney General’s Office
4. Public Policy/Advocacy
5. Elected Politics

Immediately following law school, I’m interested in pursuing a clerkship or a public interest fellowship suck as Skadden or Equal Justice Works. I’ve also received some advice, that I should pursue traditional big law as an entry way into most of these careers.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers
4.0 and 171

How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once

How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost

Have been an Executive Director of a local youth focused non-profit organization for five years. I’ll be giving up about $100k/year income (gross). This is something I feel like I could always come back to, but I’m interested in affecting positive change on a larger scale.
I’m assuming I won’t be getting much aid from Harvard. From most of what I’ve researched and read on his forum and the old forum, it sounds like Northwestern is the best choice unless I get somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000 from UChicago. No debt would provide me the freedom to pursue PI work and be flexible with non-traditional career opportunities. At the risk of sounding trite, my career philosophy is to put myself in the position where I believe my skills allow me to have the greatest positive impact.

Is there an argument to be made for Harvard with almost a full-ride to Northwestern in hand? I’m especially interested to hear from people who have either turned down significant scholarships to attend Harvard or turned down Harvard to attend a T14 with a significant scholarship. Thanks in advance for your help in processing this. Feel free to PM me if you prefer.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by 96ProbeGT » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:08 pm

UVA2B also interested in your wisdom. Let me know if you need any additional info.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by MT Cicero » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:34 pm

96ProbeGT wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:08 am
From most of what I’ve researched and read on his forum and the old forum, it sounds like Northwestern is the best choice unless I get somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000 from UChicago. No debt would provide me the freedom to pursue PI work and be flexible with non-traditional career opportunities. At the risk of sounding trite, my career philosophy is to put myself in the position where I believe my skills allow me to have the greatest positive impact.

Is there an argument to be made for Harvard with almost a full-ride to Northwestern in hand? I’m especially interested to hear from people who have either turned down significant scholarships to attend Harvard or turned down Harvard to attend a T14 with a significant scholarship. Thanks in advance for your help in processing this. Feel free to PM me if you prefer.
I am a poor substitute for UVA2B, but I think you have a good handle on what's probably the prudent decision here. I think the bolded above is about right, in terms of it being a little more of a decision between NU and Chicago at that point. I still think I would take NU over Chicago at $40K savings based on your amorphous law goals, but it's awfully close (and others would disagree I'm sure). I was an NU dude, and the money we've plugged into our PI/clinical side of the house, coupled with the relatively small number of people that gun for PI (though probably has grown in last 5 years), makes NU able to service the biglaw side as well as the "do the most good" side depending on how you evolve during law school.

I would take either (assuming big Chicago award) over no-aid or low-aid Harvard and not bat an eye.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:28 pm

96ProbeGT wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:08 am
The schools you are considering

Harvard – just accepted not sure if I’ll be getting any grant aid. Will it be before 4/23?
UChicago – waiting on their scholarship offer
Northwestern - $180,000 scholarship

The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships.

My fiancé will be working and covering our cost of living. She has a flexible career and shouldn’t have difficulty finding work.

How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings

Mainly loans. I have $40k in savings I could use to help with COA.

Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)

From Illinois, but currently live in California. Also have ties to Minnesota. Open to working in Chicago, D.C. or Minneapolis after law school. Fiancé is most interested in D.C. and Chicago.

Your general career goals

Honestly, feel like I need a better handle on this. My goals are somewhat amorphous right now. I’m open and interested in learning more about several options.
1. Private Firm Class Action/Antitrust/Securities/Civil Rights Litigation
2. NGO Impact Litigation
3. State Attorney General’s Office
4. Public Policy/Advocacy
5. Elected Politics

Immediately following law school, I’m interested in pursuing a clerkship or a public interest fellowship suck as Skadden or Equal Justice Works. I’ve also received some advice, that I should pursue traditional big law as an entry way into most of these careers.

Your LSAT/GPA numbers
4.0 and 171

How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once

How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost

Have been an Executive Director of a local youth focused non-profit organization for five years. I’ll be giving up about $100k/year income (gross). This is something I feel like I could always come back to, but I’m interested in affecting positive change on a larger scale.
I’m assuming I won’t be getting much aid from Harvard. From most of what I’ve researched and read on his forum and the old forum, it sounds like Northwestern is the best choice unless I get somewhere in the neighborhood of $140,000 from UChicago. No debt would provide me the freedom to pursue PI work and be flexible with non-traditional career opportunities. At the risk of sounding trite, my career philosophy is to put myself in the position where I believe my skills allow me to have the greatest positive impact.

Is there an argument to be made for Harvard with almost a full-ride to Northwestern in hand? I’m especially interested to hear from people who have either turned down significant scholarships to attend Harvard or turned down Harvard to attend a T14 with a significant scholarship. Thanks in advance for your help in processing this. Feel free to PM me if you prefer.
I think it's critical you decide whether your first goal is really the first goal or if your following goals are carrying weight in your decision. I'm going to provide advice based on your first goal, but it could change depending on how important your first goal is, relative to your follow-on goals.

Considering your goals are pretty expansive, whether fairly or not, I'm going to assume you'll default to the safest outcome, which means Biglaw class action, antitrust, etc. And in that case, NU is your best current option by a long shot. You've clearly thought this out in a way that makes me proud, because you simultaneously make it easy for me to offer advice while making me comfortable that you might not even need advice.

I saw your other thread, and I know you're trying to attach economic value to Chicago or Harvard or NU. It's a good question, but it's also a personal question. Personally, and depending on the first question I asked, I wouldn't pay more than $50k more for Chicago or Harvard over NU in this case. I also realize I'm debt averse, so I'll say that you could go above that if you want the increased odds of the outcomes you want. Chicago and Harvard will outplace NU in all of your goals, but if your first goal is really your first goal, it's a lot closer than you probably realize as a 0L. If you appreciate that within the context of law school grading and how that will affect placement, you can realize why paying significantly more for Chicago or Harvard probably won't make sense.

And to be clear, MT Cicero is absolutely better positioned to comment on this decision, so please don't let him defer to me baselessly. As an NU grad, he can better comment on this matter.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Slippin’ Jimmy » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:23 am

I've all but deposited at Duke, but thought I'd post here anyways. Maybe this could help someone making a similar decision in the future.

-The schools you are considering
Duke at $155,000 COA (waiting for their negotiation response)
WUSTL at $30,000 COA
Except for a few thousand in savings, everything will be financed through loans. Parents said they will help with COL a bit but I don't think it will be at the point where it will make any meaningful difference in my debt load. I also have offers from UVA (sticker), GULC (sticker), and Vandy ($140,000 COA) but I don't think these are great options considering the other two.


-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)/General Career Goals
Lived my whole life in Florida. I'd like a clerkship but I understand that isn't something I should be basing my decision off of. Other than that, my goals are DC/Miami Biglaw>Other Florida Biglaw/Midlaw>Other Biglaw. I'd prefer to stay out of NYC but I'm not completely opposed to working NYC biglaw for a couple years. After a stint in biglaw, I'd like to move on to FedGov or to a smaller/more niche firm, preferably in Florida. If not Florida I'd be happy working in the midatlantic area.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
171/3.85
-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost
Currently in undergrad, and have worked part time the last 2 years in IT (bleh) for barely more than minimum wage. There's a chance I could turn this into a full time job but I'm certain I want to go to law school right away.

Am I crazy for taking Duke at this price point over close to free at WUSTL? The reason I'm 99% going to Duke is I would be perfectly happy with the typical median/bit below outcome there, while midwest small law/state gov (median outcome at WUSTL) is something I want to avoid like the plague. I have a home network primarily in Florida small/mid law so that could mitigate this risk somewhat, but to me taking on the extra debt is worth it for a more realistic shot at my top goals and for a much more acceptable median outcome.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:28 am

Slippin’ Jimmy wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:23 am
I've all but deposited at Duke, but thought I'd post here anyways. Maybe this could help someone making a similar decision in the future.

-The schools you are considering
Duke at $155,000 COA (waiting for their negotiation response)
WUSTL at $30,000 COA
Except for a few thousand in savings, everything will be financed through loans. Parents said they will help with COL a bit but I don't think it will be at the point where it will make any meaningful difference in my debt load. I also have offers from UVA (sticker), GULC (sticker), and Vandy ($140,000 COA) but I don't think these are great options considering the other two.


-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)/General Career Goals
Lived my whole life in Florida. I'd like a clerkship but I understand that isn't something I should be basing my decision off of. Other than that, my goals are DC/Miami Biglaw>Other Florida Biglaw/Midlaw>Other Biglaw. I'd prefer to stay out of NYC but I'm not completely opposed to working NYC biglaw for a couple years. After a stint in biglaw, I'd like to move on to FedGov or to a smaller/more niche firm, preferably in Florida. If not Florida I'd be happy working in the midatlantic area.

-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
171/3.85
-How many times you have taken the LSAT
Once
-How you're currently employed and whether you'll be giving up a salary/other opportunity cost
Currently in undergrad, and have worked part time the last 2 years in IT (bleh) for barely more than minimum wage. There's a chance I could turn this into a full time job but I'm certain I want to go to law school right away.

Am I crazy for taking Duke at this price point over close to free at WUSTL? The reason I'm 99% going to Duke is I would be perfectly happy with the typical median/bit below outcome there, while midwest small law/state gov (median outcome at WUSTL) is something I want to avoid like the plague. I have a home network primarily in Florida small/mid law so that could mitigate this risk somewhat, but to me taking on the extra debt is worth it for a more realistic shot at my top goals and for a much more acceptable median outcome.
I could write something incredibly lengthy and thoughtful to ultimately arrive at one simple conclusion, but I don’t want to bore you. Put simply, you’ve excellently thought through this decision and given your goals, Duke is clearly the right answer.

My only reservation you already addressed, and that is you better be absolutely sure about a legal career right now, because taking a couple years to do something else will only help you. But Duke at that COA is manageable, given it will definitely get you to at least one of your professional goals. Best of luck!

liralen
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by liralen » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:22 pm

Hi! I've been pretty sure of my decision for over a month and now that today is the day to make a final decision, I'm drafting my withdrawal email and getting cold feet. I am deciding between NYU and Columbia, both with full-tuition scholarships. Columbia’s is the Greene Fellowship and NYU’s is either a programmatic scholarship (interview this weekend) or unnamed merit aid in the amount of full tuition.

NYU (COA approx. $90,000)
Columbia (COA approx. $90,000)
3.74/178

I will be financing COA with savings. I am from New York and currently live a 30-minute commute to NYU and about 1 hour to Columbia. I own my apartment and am not allowed to sublet it, so I am unlikely to move. I want to stay in New York, though I am open to spending a year or two elsewhere. I have some family ties in California. My other offers are H (sticker) and Chicago (tiny scholarship). Waiting on Penn and Yale.

My goal is to work in reproductive justice litigation, but I’m open to other areas of public interest law. My interests fall into three general buckets: civil/human rights litigation (including unicorn jobs such as ACLU), direct legal services (e.g. immigrant’s rights, consumer rights, or housing); and policy and regulation (I am antitrust-curious, on the enforcement side). I realize those are pretty wide-ranging, but my main goal is repro justice, where I have six years of work experience; the others are just things I would like to explore in law school. I would like to clerk but am not wedded to it. I am also curious about academia as an eventual goal.

I just love NYU and everyone I’ve met there. I have felt a deep sense of affinity with all the faculty, students, and administrators who have reached out to me; their recruitment game has been really strong. I think it would be a better fit for PI in general, and from anecdotal evidence I think I would be happier there. When I've fantasized about going to law school over the past several years, it's always been NYU or Yale that I've envisioned.

Columbia might have a slight edge for reproductive rights job placement, as well as for clerkships or academia, if I decide to go that route. I would have an amazing mentor in my chosen field and be a “big fish in a small pond.” They have been less enthusiastic in recruiting me, but I guess they figure the full-tuition scholarship speaks for itself. The offer expires today and I’m planning to turn it down, but suddenly I’m worried I’m missing something and seeking a second opinion. Thank you for any advice you can offer!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Nony » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:51 pm

I don’t have any personal experience so this isn’t the most helpful perspective, but I see no reason to take Columbia over NYU under these circumstances. Congrats on a great cycle!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by liralen » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:15 pm

Thank you, Nony! I gave myself a couple more hours to think it over and then withdrew my application this evening. My first withdrawal -- feels nerve-wracking, but in some ways it's helpful to be forced to narrow my options by an early response deadline.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:24 am

Sorry I couldn't get to this yesterday, but I'm glad you were able to make the leap. NYU for that price for your goals is a fantastic option. Good luck!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by liralen » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:56 pm

Thank you, UVA2B. It was a last-minute panic post and I know you’re not on call 24/7, so I appreciate your weighing in even after the fact!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by wulfy10 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:41 am

-I'm currently trying to choose between:
Harvard (most likely without aid)
Stanford (same)
Chicago (with a $105k scholly)

I'm still waiting on Yale but at this point I've kind of ruled that possibility out

-I'll be financing mostly with loans, though I do have ~60k in savings and hopefully that plus summer job money should cover living expenses/books for the three years.

-Career goals are a little up in the air right now which is what's making the decision harder. I probably want to do civil litigation, and would *ideally* be trying cases relatively soon after graduation (which makes me think name recognition/prestige matters a lot)

-I'm from Texas, but I definitely want to work elsewhere. I'm not very drawn to the midwest, but would be happy working on either coast. I haven't visited Stanford yet, but I liked Harvard/Boston and (unfortunately) really disliked Chicago when I visited. I know Chicago seems like the easy choice, but I'm having a hard time justifying potential unhappiness in a city I wasn't crazy about, and in a campus I was even less crazy about.

-176/4.0 (took lsat twice)

-I'm currently an undergrad, so I have a job through the university, but it's not very significant at all.

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xael
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by xael » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:19 am

have you negotiated with chicago?

fwiw, you probably won't do much *in* chicago while you are there

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UVA2B
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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:47 am

What was it exactly that you didn’t like about Chicago, both city and school?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by wulfy10 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:17 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:47 am
What was it exactly that you didn’t like about Chicago, both city and school?
I didn't like the feel of the student body (it seemed a lot more pressure filled and competitive) or the campus very much (everything seemed really cramped). In regard to the increased pressure, the fact that H/S basically have no grades is another really appealing factor that makes them hard to turn down. The city was okay, but I definitely liked Cambridge/Boston a lot better, and I have a feeling I'll feel the same about Palo Alto when I visit.

I haven't tried negotiating yet. I'm not sure how much they could increase/if a Ruby is a possible result of negotiating. Any insight about that?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by Purple Ranger » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:46 pm

UVA2B, could I get your advice through PM?

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by thepsychedelic » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:23 am

I'd love some advice as well. My numbers are 3.85 and a 175.

I'm currently considering Columbia or Northwestern. Columbia with a Butler and Northwestern with close to full tuition. I'd be primarily paying for Columbia with loans, but my parents have also offered to pay for some of it as well, and I'm waiting to see if I'll get any need based aid, although I believe that's unlikely from Columbia? My general career goals are (at least I hope) Big Law or a clerkship first, but that's not something to bank on obviously. I've always wanted to do impact litigation or civil rights work as well though, so I'm undecided and feel like I could definitely change my mind during school. I know that impact lit at orgs like the ACLU are difficult to obtain from schools outside of HYS and that Columbia obviously isn't the place for PI, but during their Admitted Student Program, they did show that they have been making a big push to change their reputation as a Big Law school. If I did Big Law, I'd probably want to work in New York or Chicago, I guess depending on the school, but I'd eventually like to end up back in California, where I'm from.

My question being, is there any real reason for me to take Columbia over Northwestern? If I just want Big Law, Northwestern would 100% be the way to go, right? But are there any doors I'm potentially closing off by not choosing Columbia? I feel like I'm just being a prestige whore, but there's a nagging feeling that I could change my mind halfway through law school and that there are opportunities that I could only obtain at Columbia and not at Northwestern or something. Any help would be appreciated!

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:06 am

Purple Ranger wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:46 pm
UVA2B, could I get your advice through PM?
Of course.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:05 am

wulfy10 wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:17 pm
UVA2B wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:47 am
What was it exactly that you didn’t like about Chicago, both city and school?
I didn't like the feel of the student body (it seemed a lot more pressure filled and competitive) or the campus very much (everything seemed really cramped). In regard to the increased pressure, the fact that H/S basically have no grades is another really appealing factor that makes them hard to turn down. The city was okay, but I definitely liked Cambridge/Boston a lot better, and I have a feeling I'll feel the same about Palo Alto when I visit.

I haven't tried negotiating yet. I'm not sure how much they could increase/if a Ruby is a possible result of negotiating. Any insight about that?
I'm so sorry I never got around to answering this! Sometimes life happens when these posts are made and then I forget that I haven't responded to someone's question unfortunately.

I'll defer to xael on the grades at S (and by extrapolation, likely at H too), but from what she's been saying around here, the no grades thing is kind of a myth. Their grading scale is different, but most employers are fully aware of that and can tailor their hiring to those grading scales. So while you may intuit that it would be much different to get an H instead of an A, I'm just not sure it's really that different. As for the student body and campus, I think those are things you can consider in making the choice, but financially it shouldn't be worth that much to you. Chicago student body is smaller, and therefore they just tend to need less space generally, but if you treat law school as a professional school that caters to getting you a legal job, then I'm not sure you should put all that much weight into things like that.

At baseline, you're looking at spending potentially $150k more for Stanford or Harvard than Chicago. That's a substantial sum of money (not to say the loans you'll take out at Chicago are insignificant, but relatively speaking, Stanford or Harvard are really likely not worth it, especially when your goals are up in the air and, to be frank, will likely end up in some form of Biglaw. "Trying cases" won't be happening in any substantial capacity regardless of some perceived name recognition/prestige matter. The only places where you'll be getting really substantive trial experience will be elite lit boutiques, but even then you're talking several years before you're doing any trial work (beyond being on trial teams as the junior person on the team, which only requires being employed at a firm).

You can make whatever choice you want, because it's ultimately a personal decision and the debt will be your own, but as someone a little further down the line than yourself, let me just sincerely caution that it's really unlikely to be a wise financial decision to pick Harvard or Stanford in your case with those prices and your goals.

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by UVA2B » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:23 am

thepsychedelic wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:23 am
I'd love some advice as well. My numbers are 3.85 and a 175.

I'm currently considering Columbia or Northwestern. Columbia with a Butler and Northwestern with close to full tuition. I'd be primarily paying for Columbia with loans, but my parents have also offered to pay for some of it as well, and I'm waiting to see if I'll get any need based aid, although I believe that's unlikely from Columbia? My general career goals are (at least I hope) Big Law or a clerkship first, but that's not something to bank on obviously. I've always wanted to do impact litigation or civil rights work as well though, so I'm undecided and feel like I could definitely change my mind during school. I know that impact lit at orgs like the ACLU are difficult to obtain from schools outside of HYS and that Columbia obviously isn't the place for PI, but during their Admitted Student Program, they did show that they have been making a big push to change their reputation as a Big Law school. If I did Big Law, I'd probably want to work in New York or Chicago, I guess depending on the school, but I'd eventually like to end up back in California, where I'm from.

My question being, is there any real reason for me to take Columbia over Northwestern? If I just want Big Law, Northwestern would 100% be the way to go, right? But are there any doors I'm potentially closing off by not choosing Columbia? I feel like I'm just being a prestige whore, but there's a nagging feeling that I could change my mind halfway through law school and that there are opportunities that I could only obtain at Columbia and not at Northwestern or something. Any help would be appreciated!
If your parents can reasonably help with tuition, you're probably right that you won't be getting need-based aid, but I suppose you can wait and find out (TBF, I'm not familiar with Columbia's need-based calculations, but just understand generally that not many end up getting any).

The rest of my advice will be based on your separate goals, Biglaw first, impact lit second.

Assuming you want Biglaw (and possibly a clerkship), what this decision boils down to, at least to me, is how much cushion you want for underperforming relative to your peers. Depending on how you define "Biglaw," which apparently is being seriously questioned around here recently and a fight I don't particularly want to go all-in on because it's pretty pointless to attach one single definition for everyone's personal career goals, you're talking about one school that places at least half of its class into Biglaw (and more than half if you use the alternate definition of 100+ attorneys) in NU and another school that places well above half of its class into Biglaw (and is a virtual guarantee in 100+ attorney firms) in Columbia. Columbia will have better placement in more "elite" Biglaw firm jobs, but you'll still have to kill it at either school to make some of those firms a reality, and I would caution any 0L to make a decision based on wanting to work at one of a handful of firms (not saying you're doing this, just making the point in case that is at play here). So assuming you get a "median" outcome in Biglaw, I would argue there will be a questionable/indistinguishable difference in outcomes at either school. Personally, I wouldn't pay twice as much for an additional 15-20% wiggle room in underperforming in my class, which I think is the principal advantage Columbia provides here (combined with the cautioned against lower GPA cutoffs firms will have at Columbia vs. NU).

Assuming you want to shoot for impact lit, Columbia becomes more of a justifiable choice. Although NU has recently made a shift toward PI as well with the giant Pritzker donation, the personal reality is that Columbia has a better chance of getting you impact lit (Nebby can speak more to this than I can at Columbia), Columbia has the more forgiving LRAP, and you'll be looking at LRAP/PSLF to handle the debt amount regardless of the size of it. So if you're actually all-in on getting some sort of impact lit outcome, I think you could justify taking Columbia here, fully understanding that the next decade of your life following graduation will be driven by navigating LRAP/PSLF-eligible employment (which I think has a certain psychological impact that should be appreciated, but people do it and handle it just fine, so that's probably more of a personal thing). I personally don't like the idea of letting debt hang over my head for a decade, but it's also not credit-affecting debt, so I guess the debt is limited. I'd be more worried about the income ceiling if you ever decide you want to get married to someone who also works or you come into a windfall because of a death that pushes you over the ceiling for that year, etc. Like I said, I can understand not letting this affect your decision-making, but it would have an impact on mine.

There are reasons to pick Columbia over NU, but for your goals, I think NU is the more financially prudent decision. More likely than not, you'll be paying twice as much for substantially the same outcome (again, without quibbling on whether it matters how "Big" your respective Biglaw job is).

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Re: THE Sacred LSL Admissions Decision Ashram

Post by mwest42 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:54 pm

Hello, would be extremely grateful for advice!! Stats: 3.7/172, 1 yr out of undergrad.

Options:
Michigan with 120k total scholarship for COA of ~125k
UChicago with 75k total scholarship for COA of ~175k
Paying basically everything with loans. I have NU and Duke offers with COA similar to Michigan's, but have pretty much decided Mich is a better fit than those two. I haven't tried to negotiate with Michigan but I assume that wouldn't really work since I have no higher scholly offers in the T14.

Goals:
Want to work in Chicago or DC - strong Chicago ties. Aiming for PI/government (impact lit would be super but not 100% sure on specifics). I really want a clerkship after graduation, and while I know that depends on grades, it seems UChicago really emphasizes clerkship placement. Not interested in BigLaw but if it seems doing that for a couple years is the best path to high-level PI/gov then I wouldn't completely rule it out.

I visited both and liked both. I think I prefer Michigan's more laid-back vibes but also slightly prefer Chicago's location so those kinda cancel out in my mind. The two schools' LRAPs seem pretty comparable to me so not sure how to factor that into cost considerations, assuming I manage to stick with PI. I think it comes down to whether UChi's superior clerkship numbers and access to Chicago market make it worth the extra debt? I was thinking no but then they upped my scholly in negotiations and now I'm struggling. Thanks!!

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