Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which should I choose?

Minnesota, $25k/yr
16
25%
Illinois, $25k/yr
9
14%
Notre Dame, $18k/yr
38
60%
 
Total votes: 63

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ArthurEdens
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Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:05 pm

Long-time lurker here. I'm trying to figure out which school to select. I don't think that I want to remain in the midwest, so portability is important to me.

Minnesota is slightly higher ranked than the others, but I hear that the degree doesn't travel well. I also hear that parking is a nightmare and that violent crime is surprisingly high.

Illinois places well in Chicago, but I'm not sold on that city. I'm also worried about state budget woes that might affect the law school.

Notre Dame
supposedly travels well, has a nice new facility, but didn't give me quite as much money (although I could try to negotiate for a little more given these other offers). I also have a suspicion that ND's ranking could climb a few points over the next few years.

Given my uncertainty about where I want to live after law school, I'm leaning toward ND, but would like other peoples' opinions. Thanks.

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UrbanAchievers
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby UrbanAchievers » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:22 pm

I think you answered your own question correctly. Notre Dame has the most portable degree. It's all about the alumni network. If that's your number one concern in differentiating those schools, then it's ND, hands down.

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traehekat
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby traehekat » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:58 pm

UrbanAchievers wrote:I think you answered your own question correctly. Notre Dame has the most portable degree. It's all about the alumni network. If that's your number one concern in differentiating those schools, then it's ND, hands down.


+1

Couldn't have said it better.

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:55 pm

Thanks for the replies. Looks like ND is the best bet given my uncertainty.

rookhawk
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby rookhawk » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:59 pm

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Last edited by rookhawk on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:30 pm

rookhawk wrote:The great thing about ND that defies any other school is that you can find some portion of a given population that holds it with the same regard as a Yale or a Harvard on every corner of the world. I've been at cocktail parties before where people were speaking of education; Cornell...that's nice, Chicago...great school, ND....Wow, tell us more! The ND conversation lasted 15 minutes I kid you not. I'm not suggesting ND is a better school than the old Ivy group but I will suggest that ND's reputation is unique. So many Catholics (and protestants) think so highly of it that it provides a truly unique portability no other school provides.


Interesting conversation you must've had. The Ivy grads there must've been a little peeved. :)

ND certainly has a very beautiful campus. I love the gothic architecture of both the old and new buildings. The lay prestige is a nice bonus, but the networking sounds like the best part. The thought of being locked into any region (even LA/DC/NY/Boston) scares me.

rookhawk
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby rookhawk » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:38 am

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Last edited by rookhawk on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rookhawk
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby rookhawk » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:40 am

ArthurEdens wrote: Interesting conversation you must've had. The Ivy grads there must've been a little peeved. :)


Yeah, my wife is a Cornellian and its hard to get lay-prestige respect in the midwest with Cornell, Columbia or Chicago. (because in the midwest there are 2 dreadful schools with the names of the former and the latter is interpretted as UofI-Chicago by many)

That and the midwest has tons of religious business people that just glow when they here ND or to a lesser extent, Loyola or Marquette.

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Speedzie
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby Speedzie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:36 pm

Illinois state budget issues should not affect the College of Law. We're only a state school in name, where something like 99% of our operating budget comes from private sources, such as tuition and donations.

When it comes to close decisions between schools, I highly recommend visiting each school, talking to and hanging out with students, and getting a feel for where you'd be happiest. Also, I'd talk to Dean Pless about getting extra scholarship money. Tell him about your other offers, you've got nothing to lose.

I'll also be happy to answer any other questions you might have about Illinois...

CyLaw
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby CyLaw » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:44 pm

rookhawk wrote:That and the midwest has tons of religious business people that just glow when they here ND or to a lesser extent, Loyola or Marquette.


Careful on this last point, as many of the religious business people I know in the midwest do not look that kindly on Catholics.

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UrbanAchievers
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby UrbanAchievers » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:51 pm

Speedzie wrote:Illinois state budget issues should not affect the College of Law. We're only a state school in name, where something like 99% of our operating budget comes from private sources, such as tuition and donations.

When it comes to close decisions between schools, I highly recommend visiting each school, talking to and hanging out with students, and getting a feel for where you'd be happiest. Also, I'd talk to Dean Pless about getting extra scholarship money. Tell him about your other offers, you've got nothing to lose.

I'll also be happy to answer any other questions you might have about Illinois...

Thanks for taking questions. Are you a student at UIUC? What year? I am curious how current students view their OCI opportunities. Are students getting job offers in Chicago BigLaw?

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:57 pm

I'll swing by both UIUC and ND during my trip. I haven't ruled Illinois out by any means, as I have heard very good things about the university.

I wonder whether employers will assume I'm Catholic if I go to ND (I'm not).

CyLaw
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby CyLaw » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:00 pm

ArthurEdens wrote:I wonder whether employers will assume I'm Catholic if I go to ND (I'm not).


For the great majority of people, I don't think so. They may assume that you are a big College football fan, though. So make sure you know the starting lineup for ND that year. :)

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:03 pm

CyLaw wrote:
ArthurEdens wrote:I wonder whether employers will assume I'm Catholic if I go to ND (I'm not).


For the great majority of people, I don't think so. They may assume that you are a big College football fan, though. So make sure you know the starting lineup for ND that year. :)


Hah, well in that case I'm safe. Huge college football fan. :)

09042014
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:06 pm

Don't go to any of these schools if you don't want to live in the midwest, or at least can't tolerate it. ND is only slightly national (certainly more than Minn or Ill). You'll have to work hard to get out of Chicago with it. And while Rook is right, some people highly value ND, those people aren't big firm hiring partners. Those people know about law rankings, and know ND is the same as Minn or UIUC.

Also look at the employment prospects, it seems like only about the top 10% at UIUC and ND got jobs at OCI this year. I suspect Minn was similar.

Negotiate with ND at the least to see if they'll match Minn's offer.

rookhawk
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby rookhawk » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:32 pm

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Last edited by rookhawk on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:44 pm

rookhawk wrote:
And while Rook is right, some people highly value ND, those people aren't big firm hiring partners. Those people know about law rankings, and know ND is the same as Minn or UIUC.


Hmm, I don't know about that one. I haven't attended ND law but when I did attend ND for other studies the class had some fairly influential players as students, I'd be suprised if that didn't translate to the law program. Examples of people in my class: a divisional president that reported to Mitt Romney, a president of a nationally recognized packaged food company, the highest ranking employee at Walgreens that didn't have the last name Walgreen, a director of a well known children's home/charity, a super-multi-millionaire hedge fund manager and the list goes on.

ND business is ranked about the same as ND law. You're asking me to assume that ND is somehow less influential nationally in law than what I know it to be in business...hard for me to swallow given the similar ranks for both law/biz. I guess individual mileage will always vary on what one does with their degrees but it seems pretty clear that ND is not Minn or Illinois when it comes to national presence.

Re: Religion. No, I don't think people will assume you're Catholic if you go to ND. (I wasn't) In my class we had jews, muslims, protestants and a number of miscellaneous as well. The assumption is that you're not anti-catholic if you go to ND and that you have a modicum of respect for people that happen to have faith.

The most important thing to remember about law school is that only 40-50 credits of your education are dedicated to the law, the remaining 30-40 credits are on about any topic of graduate studies. You want to go to a school where you can network and expand your knowledge in case the legal market doesn't improve in the coming years. ND is a great prospect because of their dual degrees and because of the strength of their other schools (business, english, teaching, accounting)


Business is a different story. Its less prestige whoring and much more networking. That is something ND alums have perfected.

For all ND's national mobility, it still places roughly same percentage of its class into big law as UIUC and Minn do. Maybe the top 5% have national mobility but the bottom 70% can't even get big law in Chicago.

ND clearly has more mobility than UIUC, or UMN but, that is comparing little national mobility to none. People are better off picking their market then their school, if they can't get t14. But if one is okay with Chicago, and wants at least a small shot at going national, ND is the school for it.

ITE job prospects inside the T14 are poor, outside the t14 are just frightening.

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Business is a different story. Its less prestige whoring and much more networking. That is something ND alums have perfected.

For all ND's national mobility, it still places roughly same percentage of its class into big law as UIUC and Minn do. Maybe the top 5% have national mobility but the bottom 70% can't even get big law in Chicago.

ND clearly has more mobility than UIUC, or UMN but, that is comparing little national mobility to none. People are better off picking their market then their school, if they can't get t14. But if one is okay with Chicago, and wants at least a small shot at going national, ND is the school for it.

ITE job prospects inside the T14 are poor, outside the t14 are just frightening.


My understanding is that UIUC big law = overwhelmingly Chicago, whereas ND biglaw = Chicago + several other cities.

I'm not sure that I believe that ND lacks mobility unless you're talking big law in the depths of this recession. I think that all of us, even T14 students, are banking on the law market rebounding to a degree as we decide to enter this fall.

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Speedzie
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby Speedzie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:13 pm

UrbanAchievers wrote:Thanks for taking questions. Are you a student at UIUC? What year? I am curious how current students view their OCI opportunities. Are students getting job offers in Chicago BigLaw?

No problem, I'm a 2L here at Illinois (only on the forums do ppl call it UIUC, here we call it U of I or Illinois). My apologies to the OP for hijacking his thread...

The other poster is more or less right in saying that only the top 10% got biglaw jobs at OCI this year. For the class of '09, and to a lesser extent '10, top 1/3 was the biglaw marker. As of now, it seems to be just that top 10%, unless you're doing Patent/IP.

My personal experience with the job market thus far:
I got a paid job at a small litigation firm on the east coast last summer (exactly the job I wanted, and close to home for me). I had NO trouble getting the job, they were happy to hire and pay a top 1/3 1L from Illinois. I didn't even ask to get paid, they suggested it. At the end of the summer, I was told that I absolutely had a job when I returned, with the partner I worked for saying, "We absolutely loved having you here, and we'd love to have you back next summer." Hard times followed though: 2 of the associates I worked with are no longer there (less than 20 lawyers total), and I'm now getting the run around from the partner about next summer. This story illustrates 2 points: 1) I got respect on the east coast at hiring time, and 2) the legal market sucks.

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Speedzie
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby Speedzie » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:15 pm

ArthurEdens wrote:My understanding is that UIUC big law = overwhelmingly Chicago, whereas ND biglaw = Chicago + several other cities.


Pretty much. The rule of thumb when I got here (Fall '08), was top 1/3 for Chicago biglaw, top 10% nationally. I honestly don't know how it works now nationally. I do know that 2 of my friends (top 10% / law review) have jobs in NYC next summer. So maybe top 10% hasn't changed...

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UrbanAchievers
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby UrbanAchievers » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:23 pm

Speedzie, thanks for sharing the details. It's unfortunate that the legal market is challenging for you at this time. But, as Arthur said, we're all betting on the legal market turning around if we enter law school.

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ArthurEdens
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Re: Minn vs. UIUC vs. ND

Postby ArthurEdens » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:16 am

Thanks for the insider information, Speedzie. Very informative to hear news from the source. Good luck with your east coast position.




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