So what you're saying, Steve, is that the difference between attending NYU and attending Michigan is making millions of dollars on the one hand and a miserable existence on the other? Right. I'm sure that's true.
Sigh... what to misconstrue what I said.
Life is about probabilities. Your odds of going to "Cravath" to list one example are substantially higher from NYU than from Michigan. Your odds of going from "Cravath" to a hedge fund where you could potentially make millions are higher than from "Cahill." Therefore, your odds of going to said hedge fund from NYU are higher than from Michigan.
FYI: there is a huge difference between famous professors and GOOD professors. Screw famous, just teach me what I need to know!
This isn't really true; good professors are great - I think every professor I've had has been really good. But its not as if they are teaching you how to draft a probate document or how to answer a motion. Most of what they teach you isn't practical anyway, and to that end I'd rather have a guy (or girl) who can write me a kickass letter of rec to secure a much better clerkship.
Ideally, you want to have good + famous, but I think there is value in just being famous.