DePaul Admitted Students Day Review 2010

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DePaul Admitted Students Day Review 2010

Postby savagedm » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:05 am

This post is being done 100% because of the fact that I have seen very little review of law schools in the Chicago area (besides northwestern) and I feel this has the potential to be a helpful post for students considering the DePaul law school experience for their legal experience as I am myself doing right now.

First and foremost I will give you all a background of just who I am and what am I doing here....

I am from Southern California (born and raised) and have spent one year in the Southeast in Georgia studying as an exchange student and have been travelling the US most my life. Up until the post I have never been to Chicago but have visited or lived in areas that are comparable. Like many students here, I am looking for a school that will provide me with the best legal education for the most affordable price. With that said, i am choosing to go to a lower ranked school (T2) over other acceptances purely because of debt. I do not believe it is fair, or just, for any student to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt without any guarantee of a job after grad school. I am an LSAT instructor for one of the top ranked Kaplan Centers in the country and have spent over 2 years observing different legal programs throughout the US. So for people in my position or people who think they may be in my position after their LSAT, then you will know exactly what I am talking about.

I must say I am impressed by the amount of effort DePaul put into their Mar. 17th accepted students day this year and it has definitely moved from a safety school to a top consideration in my book. I am going to break down the rest of this post into three categories: First, I will address academics and how it applies to DePaul's mission. Secondly, I am going to talk about job prospects (which I hope is one of the most important, if not the most important factor for anyone considering law school.... ever) and how DePaul ranks with the others. Finally, I am going to discuss the social life in brief of Chicago in general (seriously, if you dont know what it's like here, just picture New York minus 3+ million people).

Education wise you are going to be taught a very different way of law here as you will some other schools in the area, but that is simply because the school itself is a Catholic university and places more emphasis in it's students to act with integrity both in the law field and as individuals. However, DePaul Law does not, by any means, place a preference on religious affiliation at all.

From my experiences, as alluded to in the last paragraph, DePaul seems like a university that is not centered on a cut-throat mentality where you find students ripping pages from casebooks to ensure that they have a leg-up on the rest of their class. DePaul is based on what they call the "Vincensian Philosophy" (if I got the name wrong, please correct me!) where the law school is oriented more towards the students over endowments. However, that is not to say that DePaul is without it's faults. USNWR ranks DePaul in the T2 bracket of law schools and it shows for sure. Socially and Academically you are going to be taught the same core courses as all 1L's, but like I mention later, you WILL be competing with some far higher ranked schools for your jobs come the end of 1L.

Job Prospects
The legal markets are saturated with NW, Chicago-Kent, DePaul and other grads alike. While the market is growing, you will have to put a lot of work in to land a decent job in your 2L, 3L or post-grad jobs (every school here is facing this). Simply put, if you want a job here, dont expect it to be handed to you, expect to have to work for it. Chicago will be a tough legal market if you go here, however because of the overall size of the city and the rate of growth in the legal market here, you WILL find a job IF you are proactive and actually do work to network with the legal field here.

Tonight was St. Patty's night as most of you may be aware of, I met several people who are either in one of the law schools in Chicago or are just plain friendly. Being from Southern California (LA Area) I am used to a relaxed perspective on things, I must say, Chicago has met that and exceeded. I met a couple of students from Northwestern tonight who actually post here regularly (MSG ME IF YOU READ THIS!) and they were extremely friendly and welcoming even though I am prospecting towards potential competition.

Chicago itself is the 2nd or 3rd (not sure which) largest city in America and as far as social life goes, as the review here is concerned, if you cant find something to do here, then you just are not trying at all. Chicago is one of the best cities you can go to if you are looking for an awesome social life while attending law school an that' enough I'll say on that.

DePaul is a great school if you want to practice law in the Illinois area (especially IP). However, if you wish to seek jobs in other markets in major cities then I HIGHLY recommend you look into law schools in that area. Being a Catholic University, DePaul is very focused on not just producing lawyers who know the law and have talent, but also people who believe there is some ethical accountability in how they practice law. I cannot say, by any means, how DePaul is compared to other Chicago schools in this regard because I would have never even applied to begin with had DePual not offered me money to apply (I was looking to stay in SoCal). However, it is definitely up there on my overall prospects for a 167/3.0 student after visiting and hearing what they have to say.

This is essentially an extremely concise version of what it is to be a law student at DePaul. Again, I cannot speak from personal experience as to the realities of being a student here once you are fully in the mix, but I came here with an idea of the realties of things thanks, in part, to Ken here on this forum, as well as other colleagues in the legal field. DePaul is a great, solid school if you want to practice any type of law that is booming right now (IP, International, etc). Just be prepared for some competition and be prepared to work your butt off to keep these jobs. This assessment is drawn from a poster who is tired of seeing reviews of the absolute tip-top schools in the country and the fact that many posters here are so gung ho for T-14 that they forget to realize that the market is about results these days, not prestige of paper (degrees). If any of you have experiences with DePaul that you would like to share, whether they contradict mine or not, then PLEASE share them!

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Re: DePaul Admitted Students Day Review 2010

Postby Modian » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:43 pm

Thanks for your write up. I'm also an LA guy looking at Depaul, due to scholarship, against other higher ranked schools. Did you also apply to/visit Loyola Chicago? Is there a discernable difference between the two? Are you planning on living in Chicago after law school? TIA

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Re: DePaul Admitted Students Day Review 2010

Postby nitr0x99 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:46 pm

I went to the March 6th ASD. I thought DePaul was ok, but not great. How much scholarship money did they offer you?

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Re: DePaul Admitted Students Day Review 2010

Postby savagedm » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:50 am

Modian wrote:Thanks for your write up. I'm also an LA guy looking at Depaul, due to scholarship, against other higher ranked schools. Did you also apply to/visit Loyola Chicago? Is there a discernable difference between the two? Are you planning on living in Chicago after law school? TIA

I, unfortunately, was unable to visit Loyola while I was out here. DePaul is offering me $15k a year and while it is not the best school I have gotten into, the fact that they are willing to foot some of my legal bill trumps the rankings.

To be perfectly honest I have spent the better part of a year networking with attorneys in the Southern California area as well as trying to make contact in other cities such as Chicago where I might be. From their opinion, the total and complete obsession with the rankings goes out the window once you have graduated. Going to Yale over George Washington may land you that initial interview, but beyond that everything is all you in the legal field. With this economy making legal markets contract the way they have attorneys at large firms are not looking for prestige, they are looking for results. My advice is to choose the school that will land you with the least debt and focus focus focus on doing as well as you can in law school and meeting as many people as you can. Talk. To. Everyone. Everywhere.

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