Ok, Columbia decided to offer me a 20K grant.
So here are the cost breakdown
UVA 146700 (approx)for the three years minus 42000 = 104700
NYU 177000 (approx)for the three years minus 37500 = 139500
CLS 167400 (approx)for the three years minus 20000 = 147400
CLS also includes a 3,500 per year Perkins loan with a 7% interest with a grace period until 9 months after graduation.
does this information make anyone chance their mind, why
Those numbers seem a bit low to me, across the board. Are you taking tuition and COL inflation into account for 2L and 3L? It will have the effect of making NYU and Columbia seem more expensive (1.06 x a higher tuition increases the disparity between tuitions, but that assumes that tuition increases will be the same everywhere, which they won't).
On to substance, well, there isn't any. It's really tough. I think it boils down to look/feel. If you have a strong interest in being in NYC -- stronger than the average person who wants to be in NY, that is -- Columbia/NYU seems like the obvious choice. If not, and you like UVA, save some money and go to a school that is almost as good and, by most accounts, a better experience.
I'm almost certainly UVA bound, but if I had Columbia/NYU within 35k or so, I'd probably go to one of those.
To answer your earlier point, 35k isn't all that much if you want to do biglaw. Three years worth of car use probably equates to $6-7k off of that difference (though frequent taxi use in NYC would negate most of that, and random COL extras like booze would negate even more).