($$)NU vs UChicago

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nu or uchicago

Nu (45k)
34
44%
Uchicago (sticker)
43
56%
 
Total votes: 77

miamiman
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($$)NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:28 am

Updated to reflect scholarship amts. Looking to be safe at median. Looking for biglaw/clerkship, not interested in academia.
Last edited by miamiman on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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im_blue
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby im_blue » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:03 am

These threads should be a good start.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33461
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24921

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:59 am

Thank you for those. Very helpful. id raise a few follow-ups:

1. how are these two placing vis-a-vis ITE? Is the difference pronounced?

2. Can someone comment on the grading curve differences, as in which is more lenient? Also, does the qtr system at chicago make classes more or less brutal?

3. Among the nlj250 firms in chicago, is the reputational difference big, or does the reputational disparity draw from the outsider's perspective in?

Thanks,

Miamiman

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chadwick218
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:44 am

I'm pretty much repeating what has already been illustrated in the recommended threads, but all else equal, attend UChicago over Northwestern. NU is really only worth consideration here if you are deciding b/w a 1/2 scholarship at NU vs. sticker at UChicago.

1) Both are going to place very well into big law, but UChicago will give you a much better shot at the elites (see also the Leiter rankings, but keeping in mind any inherent biases). UChicago will also give you a significantly better shot at clerkships. Another appeal is UChicago is that the class size is significantly smaller than NU (~60).

2) Concerning the curve, it really doesn't matter b/c it is all relative. Chicago has a reputation for being more "competitive" amongst some of its peers, but it's rumored to be more in terms of academic superiority as opposed to class rank. At the end of the day, every T14 is going to be very competitive (outside of perhaps maybe Yale). Indeed, grades determine employment.

3) For all intents and purposes, see #1.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:55 am

What exactly does academic superiority vs. regular competitiveness entail?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:11 am

miamiman wrote:I've had the good fortune of being admitted to both of these programs. And I dont know much about the Chicago market besides of course being told that Chicago is the gold standard. That said, 1) is there really that dramatic of a difference in placement? Or other metrics, such as:

2) Student Competitiveness & the grading curve (relative leniency)
3) Student Happiness
4) Classroom experience

As drawn as I am to the placement and reputational benefit of going to Chicago, I'm actually more drawn to the curricular focus of NU and its "forest from the trees", no-nonsense approach to the law. Though, I admit that toiling in the world of ideas might be really engaging too.

This is a serious post. Please provide substantive (ie useful) responses.


Northwestern is probably placing better in larger firms due to the fact that Northwestern almost requires experience to be accepted.

That fact probably attributed to the school placing 75% of its class into Big Law in the height of the boom.

But if you have no practical experience, then the point is moot.

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tome
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby tome » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:34 am

Disclaimer: NU Student who always wanted to go to NU (yes, before I applied anywhere--check my post history if you must) and is incredibly glad that he did.

miamiman wrote:1) is there really that dramatic of a difference in placement? Or other metrics

Yes. There is a difference. Chicago places better. But then again, the students there are probably of a higher average quality anyway, and I would venture to suggest that the former is a function of the latter. So really this should have very little influence on your choice.

OK, that was a little facetious, but I think there is some truth to it. That being said NU is poor on federal clerkships and academic placement relative to its rank. If this is something that you really, really want, Chicago might have a slight edge. But also keep in mind not many people come into NU wanting to do this stuff (only 1 in my section of 60 claims to want to go academic, for example) and so this might be partly self-selection.

miamiman wrote:2) Student Competitiveness & the grading curve (relative leniency)

Curve at NU is notoriously forgiving. People here seem to work hard, but I have never detected any competitiveness beyond that.

miamiman wrote:3) Student Happiness

Chicago's reputation is accurate and so is NU's. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and maybe even the most extreme example of each end. I read threads on here all the time about how much the law school experience sucks at other schools, and wonder why they didn't just come to NU.

miamiman wrote:4) Classroom experience

It is second semester, and we finally have a truly Socratic professor for a class. But even then, he is super nice. The faculty here are really cool and interested in the students. It is the culture of the school, it is deliberate, and it pervades everything. Again, the exact opposite is true at Chicago.

miamiman wrote:As drawn as I am to the placement and reputational benefit of going to Chicago, I'm actually more drawn to the curricular focus of NU and its "forest from the trees", no-nonsense approach to the law. Though, I admit that toiling in the world of ideas might be really engaging too.

I really think that this is a mistaken belief about NU. It is not like there is a choice between practical eduction and hard academic study, like they are mutually exclusive or something, and NU chose the former. NU still has the latter, like any top program, it has simply added the former. I was at a top-20 philosophy PhD program before going to law school, so I know my abstract concepts--they have not been abandoned here in the interests of mere vocational training.

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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:51 pm

Is practical experience broadly construed - as in mgmt consulting AND say social work?

Also, any idea how 2ls are doing from NU this year?

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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby postitnotes » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:52 pm

I've noticed something at my T14, not either of these, that older people tend to work smarter/better. A lot of the people that book awards tend to be older. I think NU has a more generous curve (in terms of the number of As given), but I think that older people are more intimidating competitors.

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tome
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby tome » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:52 pm

miamiman wrote:Is practical experience broadly construed - as in mgmt consulting AND say social work?

Also, any idea how 2ls are doing from NU this year?


Practical experience is very broadly construed. There are a number of I-banker and consulting types, but there is a huge variety, and no one area dominates.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:59 pm

Any idea on the 2ls?

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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:32 pm

miamiman wrote:Any idea on the 2ls?


It was reported that as of 10-28-09, 60% were successful in their OCI efforts. Given the date reported, I don't believe that this includes governmental jobs or public interest jobs. Hiring is certainly down, but again, this is all relative. It's difficult to say how NU performed relative to peer schools, but it is commonly believed that perhaps NU finished marginally better given the work experience requirement ... no one really knows!

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chadwick218
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:33 pm

Have you received scholarship information from either school?

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:44 am

None

UChicagoStudent
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby UChicagoStudent » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:58 am

Chicago 1L Here. Turned down a significant scholarship at NU (~60% tuition) to pay full price at UChicago.

1) is there really that dramatic of a difference in placement?

Yes. Chicago, from what I've seen, places about as well as Harvard and Columbia into academia, clerkships, and top firms.

2) Student Competitiveness & the grading curve (relative leniency)

I'm a 1L at Chicago, and have absolutely no idea of how to interpret my grades. You know what an A is (180) and what a C is (174) and the median (177). Other than that, I don't know if a 178 is top 49% or top 30%. The best thing you can do is estimate where you're at, but its impossible. At Chicago, while they have grades, the grades are nearly impossible to interpret.

However, I would argue that Chicago is the most elite school without a pass/fail grading system is the most competitive. This does not mean that competition is a bad thing - it definitely gives us an edge when we are looking for jobs. While we are on a curve (and essentially competing against each other) there is absolutely no cutthroat atmosphere here.
3) Student Happiness

Best decision I have ever made. I wake up excited to go to school. At UChicago, law becomes our passion. When you have (arguably) the best faculty in the nation coupled with an amazing student body (don't be dissuaded by popular opinion, the majority of kids in the law school are extremely interesting and well-rounded) it becomes easy to get passionate about what you do. Law has become my hobby.

4) Classroom experience
UChicago>>>>>>>>NU. No comparison, honestly. I sat in a few classes at NU and UC, and after my first sample class at UofC, that's when I made my decision (It was an Elements class with David Strauss teaching). We get amazing professors all 3 years, as opposed to other schools where they are tucked away into 3L seminar classes. There is literally 1 gunner in the entire 1L class - and he's more funny than annoying.

FYI - Hyde Park is beautiful.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:52 pm

Bumped for relevance.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicagk

Postby miamiman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Where is df, ray, or chadwich when needed?

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soundgardener
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby soundgardener » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:35 pm

UChicagoStudent wrote:Chicago 1L Here. Turned down a significant scholarship at NU (~60% tuition) to pay full price at UChicago.

1) is there really that dramatic of a difference in placement?

Yes. Chicago, from what I've seen, places about as well as Harvard and Columbia into academia, clerkships, and top firms.

2) Student Competitiveness & the grading curve (relative leniency)

I'm a 1L at Chicago, and have absolutely no idea of how to interpret my grades. You know what an A is (180) and what a C is (174) and the median (177). Other than that, I don't know if a 178 is top 49% or top 30%. The best thing you can do is estimate where you're at, but its impossible. At Chicago, while they have grades, the grades are nearly impossible to interpret.

However, I would argue that Chicago is the most elite school without a pass/fail grading system is the most competitive. This does not mean that competition is a bad thing - it definitely gives us an edge when we are looking for jobs. While we are on a curve (and essentially competing against each other) there is absolutely no cutthroat atmosphere here.
3) Student Happiness

Best decision I have ever made. I wake up excited to go to school. At UChicago, law becomes our passion. When you have (arguably) the best faculty in the nation coupled with an amazing student body (don't be dissuaded by popular opinion, the majority of kids in the law school are extremely interesting and well-rounded) it becomes easy to get passionate about what you do. Law has become my hobby.

4) Classroom experience
UChicago>>>>>>>>NU. No comparison, honestly. I sat in a few classes at NU and UC, and after my first sample class at UofC, that's when I made my decision (It was an Elements class with David Strauss teaching). We get amazing professors all 3 years, as opposed to other schools where they are tucked away into 3L seminar classes. There is literally 1 gunner in the entire 1L class - and he's more funny than annoying.

FYI - Hyde Park is beautiful.


Am i the only one that gets a strong adcomm/brochure vibe from this poster?

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rayiner
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby rayiner » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:06 pm

I know a lot of people at U Chi, and have been on the campus and I'm not sure I'm a fan. The atmosphere seems somewhat more intense relative to NU. That being said, one person's intensity is another person's passion, I suppose.

That being said, with $45k I'd probably go to Chicago. From the preliminary reports, it's placing better and people around the median seem measurably more secure. I wouldn't put it up there with Harvard, though.

Also: Hyde Park sucks.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:18 pm

Thanks Ray!

Yea, Im leaning Chicago but it's a nontrivial amount of money. And Chicago stiffed me.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:31 am

Few followups:

1) does this calculus change significantly if the $ amt is 60k?

2) what is the COL disparity b/w the two?

3). Anyone else debating the same 2 and have any opinion?

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rayiner
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:43 pm

miamiman wrote:Few followups:

1) does this calculus change significantly if the $ amt is 60k?

2) what is the COL disparity b/w the two?

3). Anyone else debating the same 2 and have any opinion?


1) It wouldn't for me, but then again I'm biglaw or bust.
2) Probably 3-5k per year.

Re: your original questions:

2. Can someone comment on the grading curve differences, as in which is more lenient? Also, does the qtr system at chicago make classes more or less brutal?


I mean it's all relative. I think NU's banded curve is more fair though, giving less discretion to professors in terms of the overall shape of the curve. And the quarter system makes it more brutal: some classes have finals over 2 quarters (20 weeks of material).

3. Among the nlj250 firms in chicago, is the reputational difference big, or does the reputational disparity draw from the outsider's perspective in?


The differences in Chicago are much smaller than the differences in NYC or DC.

miamiman
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:48 pm

rayiner wrote:
miamiman wrote:Few followups:

1) does this calculus change significantly if the $ amt is 60k?

2) what is the COL disparity b/w the two?

3). Anyone else debating the same 2 and have any opinion?


1) It wouldn't for me, but then again I'm biglaw or bust.
2) Probably 3-5k per year.

Re: your original questions:

2. Can someone comment on the grading curve differences, as in which is more lenient? Also, does the qtr system at chicago make classes more or less brutal?



I mean it's all relative. I think NU's banded curve is more fair though, giving less discretion to professors in terms of the overall shape of the curve. And the quarter system makes it more brutal: some classes have finals over 2 quarters (20 weeks of material).


3. Among the nlj250 firms in chicago, is the reputational difference big, or does the reputational disparity draw from the outsider's perspective in?


The differences in Chicago are much smaller than the differences in NYC or DC.

Thanks as always ray. Your opinion, based upon what you've heard, was that the middle 1/3 at chicago were much safer than the same cluster at NU right?

And, the chicago firms really don't care chicago vs nu? How about california placement?

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rayiner
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Re: NU vs UChicago

Postby rayiner » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:12 pm

miamiman wrote:Thanks as always ray. Your opinion, based upon what you've heard, was that the middle 1/3 at chicago were much safer than the same cluster at NU right?


I'd say significantly safer. If I had to guess at biglaw placement for C/O 2011, I'd say 1/2 at NU and 2/3 at Chicago. AFAICT, Chicago is placing the best outside of YHS right now, because of it's small class and diverse geographical placement.

And, the chicago firms really don't care chicago vs nu? How about california placement?


Take a look at the firm-by-firm breakdown for Chicago offices from 2007: http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/ (ways down on the page, search for 'Wachtell')

The Chicago offices of V50 firms tend to have more NU folks than Chicago folks, probably because Chicago has a somewhat smaller class and because Chicago grads are somewhat less likely to stay in the midwest. The data suggests, however, that at most firms, with a few exceptions like Sidley, NU isn't at any disadvantage relative to Chicago within the city.

miamiman
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Re: ($$)NU vs UChicago

Postby miamiman » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:32 pm

is anyone else visiting both schools next week?




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