I like your chances at NYU, though, Harvey--they seem to like a good story, which you have, not to mention a great LSAT. I'm honestly surprised that you don't have more acceptances already, given your GPA comeback. I thought adcomms really liked that kind of thing--you know, screw off for a year, go out into the world, come back to college and "get serious." Particularly if you did something interesting in between. My biggest problem is that I have the opposite grade trend: 3.9 after first year (at Ivy), got sick, struggled with health problems for the rest of college and wound up with a 3.4 from my degree-granting institution (a different Ivy). And with a stint in art school between..so my application is like a big WTF??
I haven't heard from Columbia (or NYU or Chicago, Harvard or Penn), but I've pretty much written them off. I get the distinct feeling they don't like my kind, and they must know how much their undergrad grade-inflates, so I don't think it will help that I went there!
I'd really prefer NYU to Columbia, though--and I know that isn't the norm, but I like their vibe alot better, and I'm also interested in PI law, and NYU's LRAP is sweeeet.