Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
kdw94780
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:07 pm

Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby kdw94780 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:18 pm

Currently, I am considering
Vandy - probably sticker
Notre Dame - 54k
Illinois - full ride :D
Wash U - Probably get substantial scholarship

I still haven't heard yet from Cornell, Duke, or Mich. All in all, considering I'd like to begin my career in the midwest, I think I'd have to have a good offer from Cornell to take it. I probably will not get into Duke or Mich because I got waitlisted at UVA.

So my question is... if I'd like to begin my career at a law firm and then maybe transition to in house counsel, which of these schools will give me the edge?

I am currently interning with the Department of State overseas, so I've met a lot of highly educated people (mostly from the east coast). It seems that the Illinois and Wash U names are not that impressive to east coasters. However, Notre Dame is a name that everyone seems to know and recognize as a top school (even over Vandy). UNC Chapel Hill even gets more love from people I work with than Illinois and Wash U.

So having said this, should I just disregard their opinions as opinions from people who know nothing about law school quality, or should I take this as an example of what I will hear for the rest of my life when I say where I went to law school.

Considering Notre Dame is usually ranked about the same as Illinois and lower than Wash U recently, is it really worth going there when I could go for free to Illinois or Wash U? Does the Illinois and Wash U names get just as much respect in midwestern law firms as Notre Dame?

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:28 pm

kdw94780 wrote:Currently, I am considering
Vandy - probably sticker
Notre Dame - 54k
Illinois - full ride :D
Wash U - Probably get substantial scholarship

I still haven't heard yet from Cornell, Duke, or Mich. All in all, considering I'd like to begin my career in the midwest, I think I'd have to have a good offer from Cornell to take it. I probably will not get into Duke or Mich because I got waitlisted at UVA.

So my question is... if I'd like to begin my career at a law firm and then maybe transition to in house counsel, which of these schools will give me the edge?

I am currently interning with the Department of State overseas, so I've met a lot of highly educated people (mostly from the east coast). It seems that the Illinois and Wash U names are not that impressive to east coasters. However, Notre Dame is a name that everyone seems to know and recognize as a top school (even over Vandy). UNC Chapel Hill even gets more love from people I work with than Illinois and Wash U.

So having said this, should I just disregard their opinions as opinions from people who know nothing about law school quality, or should I take this as an example of what I will hear for the rest of my life when I say where I went to law school.

Considering Notre Dame is usually ranked about the same as Illinois and lower than Wash U recently, is it really worth going there when I could go for free to Illinois or Wash U? Does the Illinois and Wash U names get just as much respect in midwestern law firms as Notre Dame?


Wow, I applied to almost the exact same schools you just listed (just substitute BU for ND and we are identical). I’m actually struggling with a very similar decision, so I don’t have a whole lot of advice. If you stumble upon some golden nugget of wisdom, please pass it on and make my life a whole lot easier! :-)

From what I hear on TLS, UIUC gets the nod over ND in the Chicago market, but ND may be a bit more portable (although I doubt by much). So I guess you might want to decide which you want more: Chicago or elsewhere.

Also, if you got a full ride to UIUC and significant money from WUSTL, I’ll bet you’ll get something from Vanderbilt. I got a full scholly to UIUC and about 2/3s from WUSTL, with a little over half from Vandy. So who knows?

I am in a very similar situation, OP. I’m trying to decide between Cornell, UIUC, WUSTL, and Vandy. I’d love to chat more about this crazy difficult position, since we are in the same boat. PM me, if you like.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:33 pm

And disregard what non-law people are telling you about law school prestige. They are f-ing morons. I have heard so many people tell me, "It really doesn't even matter what law school you go to, you'll be fine!" or say things like, "You would rather go to Michigan than Illinois? That makes no sense!" These people make me want to drop kick a baby.

Reputation is also something that is developed strongly by region. When I tell people I got into Vanderbilt, they are like so what? When I tell them I got into WUSTL with a big scholly, their eyes light up. Its simply because the region of the country I am in things WUSTL is the cream of the crop. Great school, sure, but probably a little overexaggerated in their eyes. I'm sure people are doing the same thing with UNC Chapel-Hill in your area. There is simply no way UNC gets the nod over UIUC or WUSTL, except for maybe in North Carolina.

Bottom line, don't trust the average joe's notion of what a "good" law school is. If I did that, I'd be going to John Marshall in Chicago or Southern Illinois or something.

BigLawyer
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:26 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby BigLawyer » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:06 pm

In this market, its tough not to take the full scholarship. Debt is not the smartest thing to build up when the job market is not looking like it will rebound any time soon.

User avatar
doinmybest
Posts: 460
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:59 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby doinmybest » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:17 am

romothesavior wrote: say things like, "You would rather go to Michigan than Illinois? That makes no sense!" These people make me want to drop kick a baby.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

miamiman
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby miamiman » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:45 am

Bro, I get it: midwesterners get hardons f or strong regional, weak national schools like ND and WUSTL. The reality is there are no substantive demarcations separating WUSTL, ND, or UIUC in this troubled economy.

Allegedly, though I haven't seen it firsthand, there is a thread describing the woes of LR kids at ND. Lr kids, bro.

Every fiber in my body says take the money and run (within the confines of the law of course)

If you were in at northwestern and debating sticker vs scholly, wed have a chat, but the choice is clear. Get a softball glove and start working on your swing

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby keg411 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:39 am

miamiman wrote:Bro, I get it: midwesterners get hardons f or strong regional, weak national schools like ND and WUSTL. The reality is there are no substantive demarcations separating WUSTL, ND, or UIUC in this troubled economy.

Allegedly, though I haven't seen it firsthand, there is a thread describing the woes of LR kids at ND. Lr kids, bro.

Every fiber in my body says take the money and run (within the confines of the law of course)

If you were in at northwestern and debating sticker vs scholly, wed have a chat, but the choice is clear. Get a softball glove and start working on your swing


OP got WL'd at UVA. So that doesn't help much.

I don't know if there is enough of a difference between Vandy and WUSTL/UIUC/ND to justify sticker (especially pricey sticker like Vandy). If you get $ at Vandy, take it, if not, go with the free law school at UIUC.

User avatar
LawandOrder
Posts: 611
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:36 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby LawandOrder » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:41 am

Notre Dame is your 'name' school? Hahahahha

User avatar
kdw94780
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:07 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby kdw94780 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:57 pm

My gut says to take Illinois and go play softball or perhaps WUSTL if they match the offer since I'd rather spend three years next to the country's largest free zoo lol ;-)

It does piss me off to some extent when I hear people who went to GTown School of Foreign Service telling me that I need to go to UNC Chapel Hill or Notre Dame because those are "big name" schools. Maybe that idiocracy is why I neglected applying to DC schools altogether. However, I do want to go to a school that will impress...so their opinions have made me wonder...but nevertheless I have told myself to go to the best school for free unless by some chance I get into Duke or Mich.

notme
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:48 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby notme » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:50 pm

You wanted opinions, here is mine. ND carries a national reputation and is a great school. A lot of people are pissed off that a school that carries a lower USNWR rank than their chosen school has a better reputation, but it's a fact. I was accepted to all three, and chose ND without hesitation despite much better money from the other two. I would have gone there but for a last minute chance to stay in CA. Illinois is a good school but isn't in the same class. WUSTL, despite their rank, is a good school that almost no one (at least in CA) has heard of.

And you are right, if you choose WUSTL or UIUC over ND, you will be fighting this battle your whole life. Explaining why you thought it was a better choice.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby romothesavior » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:53 am

notme wrote:You wanted opinions, here is mine. ND carries a national reputation and is a great school. A lot of people are pissed off that a school that carries a lower USNWR rank than their chosen school has a better reputation, but it's a fact. I was accepted to all three, and chose ND without hesitation despite much better money from the other two. I would have gone there but for a last minute chance to stay in CA. Illinois is a good school but isn't in the same class. WUSTL, despite their rank, is a good school that almost no one (at least in CA) has heard of.

And you are right, if you choose WUSTL or UIUC over ND, you will be fighting this battle your whole life. Explaining why you thought it was a better choice.


I think you're conflating reputation with law-world reputation. Lay reputation is nice to impress your friends with, but it really doesnt mean much outside of that. For example, Michigan's national reputation among non-academics, and especially among non-lawyers, is mediocre at best. When most people in Chicago hear you say "University of Chicago," they think you mean "University of Illinois at Chicago" (UIC). Most people in the Windy City don't even realize they have a world-class instituation in their city! And do you think most people know what a "Boalt" is? In other words, what her friends out on the east coast are telling OP is simply meaningless.

But shift into the legal world, and things change a bit. How can you say ND has a better "rep" than UIUC or WUSTL, despite the rankings? Hell, the bulk of the ranking system is based on rep either directly or indirectly (reputational scores, employment, etc. are all linked to reputation). Maybe ND carries slightly more "national" reputation, but anyone who goes to ND, UIUC, or WUSTL for NYC or CA is probably making a mistake in the first place. Those schools are most likely to place in the Midwest.

Also, OP specifically asked about the reputation of these three schools in the Midwest, so your experience with ND vs. WUSTL/UIUC in California is kind of meaningless. Even if I grant you that ND probably has a better reputation nationally, I would never concede that ND Law>UIUC Law in Chicago. People in Chicago worship the University of Illinois. If OP is looking to stay in the Midwest, she should take UIUC or WUSTL at cheap over going to ND for a high price. The slight bump in reputation she would get from ND on the East Coast and West Coast is not worth the tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Honsetly, OP... all three are greats schools for the midwest, but take the money. There is no possible way you could justify going to Notre Dame over UIUC if UIUC is cheaper. Notme is simply wrong on this... if you want to stay in the Midwest, no one is going to question your choice of UIUC/WUSTL over ND.

User avatar
stratocophic
Posts: 2207
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby stratocophic » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:10 am

romothesavior wrote:
notme wrote:You wanted opinions, here is mine. ND carries a national reputation and is a great school. A lot of people are pissed off that a school that carries a lower USNWR rank than their chosen school has a better reputation, but it's a fact. I was accepted to all three, and chose ND without hesitation despite much better money from the other two. I would have gone there but for a last minute chance to stay in CA. Illinois is a good school but isn't in the same class. WUSTL, despite their rank, is a good school that almost no one (at least in CA) has heard of.

And you are right, if you choose WUSTL or UIUC over ND, you will be fighting this battle your whole life. Explaining why you thought it was a better choice.


I think you're conflating reputation with law-world reputation. Lay reputation is nice to impress your friends with, but it really doesnt mean much outside of that. For example, Michigan's national reputation among non-academics, and especially among non-lawyers, is mediocre at best. When most people in Chicago hear you say "University of Chicago," they think you mean "University of Illinois at Chicago" (UIC). Most people in the Windy City don't even realize they have a world-class instituation in their city! And do you think most people know what a "Boalt" is? In other words, what her friends out on the east coast are telling OP is simply meaningless.

But shift into the legal world, and things change a bit. How can you say ND has a better "rep" than UIUC or WUSTL, despite the rankings? Hell, the bulk of the ranking system is based on rep either directly or indirectly (reputational scores, employment, etc. are all linked to reputation). Maybe ND carries slightly more "national" reputation, but anyone who goes to ND, UIUC, or WUSTL for NYC or CA is probably making a mistake in the first place. Those schools are most likely to place in the Midwest.

Also, OP specifically asked about the reputation of these three schools in the Midwest, so your experience with ND vs. WUSTL/UIUC in California is kind of meaningless. Even if I grant you that ND probably has a better reputation nationally, I would never concede that ND Law>UIUC Law in Chicago. People in Chicago worship the University of Illinois. If OP is looking to stay in the Midwest, she should take UIUC or WUSTL at cheap over going to ND for a high price. The slight bump in reputation she would get from ND on the East Coast and West Coast is not worth the tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Honsetly, OP... all three are greats schools for the midwest, but take the money. There is no possible way you could justify going to Notre Dame over UIUC if UIUC is cheaper. Notme is simply wrong on this... if you want to stay in the Midwest, no one is going to question your choice of UIUC/WUSTL over ND.

+1. Although if you want Biglaw, I'd consider Vandy, even at sticker. Their NLJ250 placement has crept up to being on par with lower T14s. WUSTL and UIUC are safer options, but Vandy will give you at least twice the odds for Biglaw, maybe more (though that's not necessarily worth a ton, depending on which reports you listen to and where you think the economy's headed). I'm making that decision myself, barring CLS or Michigan doing something stupid. I'm leaning towards WUSTL if Vandy's at sticker, but 60k or more at Vandy would probably make it near impossible to decide.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby romothesavior » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:47 am

stratocophic wrote:+1. Although if you want Biglaw, I'd consider Vandy, even at sticker. Their NLJ250 placement has crept up to being on par with lower T14s. WUSTL and UIUC are safer options, but Vandy will give you at least twice the odds for Biglaw, maybe more (though that's not necessarily worth a ton, depending on which reports you listen to and where you think the economy's headed). I'm making that decision myself, barring CLS or Michigan doing something stupid. I'm leaning towards WUSTL if Vandy's at sticker, but 60k or more at Vandy would probably make it near impossible to decide.


Dammit, stratocophic. You just described my exact position. Deciding between full ride at UIUC, 2/3 at WUSTL, and 60k from Vanderbilt. And trust me, it is near impossible to decide! :D

notme
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:48 pm

Re: Name vs Full Scholly (Illinois v NDLS)

Postby notme » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:08 pm

Even if UIUC carries the reputation in Chicago that romothesavior seems to believe, I would still choose ND. I had to make the actual choice. Visited the schools, talked to attorneys, did my due diligence. I liked Illinois, but there was no question in my mind that ND was a better choice than WUSTL and UIUC, for the immediate experience as well as mobility. It's worth noting that the OP stated that he/she wanted to "start" their career in the midwest. Mobility may then be important. And, it would be more than a "slight bump" in CA - it's the difference between a school that's respected and a school that no one, even practicing attorneys, knows anything about.

As for stratocophic and romothesavior, I would have taken Vandy at sticker over WUSTL at any price, in a heartbeat.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acr, packerboy31489 and 5 guests