NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

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reg7

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NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

Postby reg7 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:16 pm

I apologize in advance for the long post. I am currently deciding between NYU (still waiting to find out if I will receive any aid) and UCLA (~$75k total merit scholarship). My assumption is that if I get any aid from NYU at all, it will be significantly less than UCLA's offer, as although I am above the 75th percentile for GPA at NYU, I am below their 25th for LSAT scores.

My ultimate goal is to work at a BigLaw firm in Northern California -- I am from NorCal and am highly intent on returning to the area. It is my understanding that the top 1/3 of UCLA students and about 70% of NYU students land BigLaw jobs. However, only about 6.5% of NYU grads ended up in CA based on the latest data. Additionally, I am assuming that while both schools have high-caliber students, it would be much more difficult to graduate near the top of my class at NYU than at UCLA. That being said, is UCLA my safest option for CA BigLaw? I know that NYU would be my best choice for BigLaw in general, but I have no desire to stay on the east coast after graduating and am wondering how high I would have to rank in my class in order to get back to CA. Or do you think NYU would increase my chances at NorCal BigLaw over UCLA?

I was also waitlisted at Stanford and Berkeley, so I have been debating retaking the LSAT (it would be my third time) and trying again for those two schools. However, doing this would be a gamble since there is no guarantee I'll actually improve my score (I've never had issues with tests before, but the LSAT gives me hugeee testing anxiety), and I may just end up putting myself in a worse position.

What do you think the most risk-averse option is?

cavalier1138

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Re: NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:20 pm

Even without knowing your exact numbers, it's pretty clear that a few more points on the LSAT would give you much better scholarship offers (and/or a Berkeley admission, which would be ideal for you), so I'd recommend that.

But just to answer some of your questions: California is accessible from NYU, especially if you have regional ties. The reason you don't see more than 7% of the class going is because New York is the default for most people in biglaw, especially from Columbia/NYU. And no, it will not be harder to end up placing well in your class at NYU, nor would that have much to do with landing California biglaw from there. However, that does have a lot to do with landing biglaw from UCLA, because you need to have better grades to get it from that school.

QContinuum

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Re: NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

Postby QContinuum » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:09 pm

Everything cavalier said above is correct. In addition:
reg7 wrote:However, doing this would be a gamble since there is no guarantee I'll actually improve my score (I've never had issues with tests before, but the LSAT gives me hugeee testing anxiety), and I may just end up putting myself in a worse position.

That's not true. There's no downside risk to retaking the LSAT because schools only look at your highest LSAT score. They don't care about how many times you've taken it or what your average score is, or whether your highest score was from your most recent retake.

reg7

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Re: NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

Postby reg7 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:05 pm

QContinuum wrote:Everything cavalier said above is correct. In addition:
reg7 wrote:However, doing this would be a gamble since there is no guarantee I'll actually improve my score (I've never had issues with tests before, but the LSAT gives me hugeee testing anxiety), and I may just end up putting myself in a worse position.

That's not true. There's no downside risk to retaking the LSAT because schools only look at your highest LSAT score. They don't care about how many times you've taken it or what your average score is, or whether your highest score was from your most recent retake.


Thank you both for your responses! You're right. I should've worded that better. While I do understand that schools only look at the highest LSAT score and that they don't care about how many times applicants have taken the test, my worry is that I won't perform any better, causing my current score to remain my highest score. I got a 165, so I'm in the 25th percentile for UCLA and it was definitely a stretch for me to be accepted into NYU. I'm afraid that if I retake and end up having to apply again with the same score, I might not be accepted to these schools again and find myself with even less ideal options.

icansortofmath

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Re: NYU or UCLA (~$75k)

Postby icansortofmath » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:15 pm

Get a deferral at UCLA and retake?

Even if you don't think you can get a big bump on the LSATs, getting money from Berkeley should be good for you. I am assuming Berkeley places very well in NorCal.



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