WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

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WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

WUSTL (114k scholly)
15
60%
Illinois (120k scholly)
10
40%
 
Total votes: 25

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

WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

Postby kdw94780 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:11 pm

I would like to begin my career in a law firm at a midsized city but still have the option of a major market. I'm open to living in the midwest, rockies, southeast, or southwest. I'd like to specialize in international tax. Which would be the best option? Which name would impress law firm employers most? Thoughts please :-)

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

Postby dakatz » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:12 pm

Personally, I loved St Louis when I visited and thought to myself that it would be an amazing place to work. And there is no better school in that area than WUSTL. Thats a really hefty scholarship they gave you, and there seemed to be a ton of Wash U people all around that city. Thats what I'd personally go with.

Emboss
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

Postby Emboss » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:38 pm

I chose Wash U (90k) over Illinois (full ride).

Some considerations for you that point both ways (to Illinois and to Wash U):

Wash U is likely on the rise (increasing every other year in reputation and student numerical credentials in relation to peer schools), while Illinois seems to be staying around mid-20's. In fact, last year Wash U beat USC on all the significant rankings criteria except for per student expenditures, so I bet it will very soon be ranked #18 (above or tied with USC). Probably not this year, but it is very possible that the change will occur during next year's rankings.

Beautiful campus at Wash U, but the campus at Illinois was mediocre.

Beautiful law buildings at Wash U. Illinois' building was alright, but just a little too dark and dim/low-tech for me.

Both have incredible faculties. Illinois' faculty is more theoretical (philosophy and law) while Wash U's faculty (securities, contracts, empirical legal studies) is more practice oriented. I like the theoretical, so this was a point in favor of Illinois. I absolutely adored Illinois' law faculty.

Wash U hired a new career services office over the summer of 2008 (10 employees now work in Wash U's CSO. For comparison, only 3 employees work at Illinois' CSO and most other law schools and the 10 at Wash U seem holistically more qualified than those at Illinois). Wash U, I found, is VERY ambitious about improving its reputation, since it has been flying its CSO personnel around to the most prestigious firms all over the US for 2 years now. They were not doing this in the past, and, indeed, NO law schools to my knowledge are remotely this aggressive. The office personnel make very flattering presentations (Powerpoint, brochures, etc. to the firms to sell Wash U students and the school itself = ) ). This strategy is expected to pay off soon.

Wash U's placement is national (though it has weak west coast placement). Out of Wash U, I have found that you can go to any major city in the east with ease if you do alright. Illinois is regional and funnels only into Chicago.

Both schools have absolutely spectacular deans (Kent Syverud at Wash U and Bruce Smith at Illinois--both extremely brilliant and charismatic).

Wash U has way more name power than Illinois. I know people on the internet joke about the fact that no one seems to know what Wash U is, but I have found that to not be the case at all. Absolutely everyone I speak with who has a decent education knows of and thinks very, very highly of the school. It is assumed to be among the most elite law institutions due perhaps to its medical school and undergraduate programs. But it has also been a top 20 law school for some years now and its status is sinking in too.

I think Illinois' admissions office (Dean Pless) is A LOT better than Wash U's.

Wash U's endowment is way, way larger than Illinois and other peer schools.

All in all, though, you can't go wrong. Both schools are exceptional. I think Illinois is definitely underrated.

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

Re: WUSTL 114k vs Illinois 120k

Postby kdw94780 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:34 am

Emboss wrote:I chose Wash U (90k) over Illinois (full ride).

Some considerations for you that point both ways (to Illinois and to Wash U):

Wash U is likely on the rise (increasing every other year in reputation and student numerical credentials in relation to peer schools), while Illinois seems to be staying around mid-20's. In fact, last year Wash U beat USC on all the significant rankings criteria except for per student expenditures, so I bet it will very soon be ranked #18 (above or tied with USC). Probably not this year, but it is very possible that the change will occur during next year's rankings.

Beautiful campus at Wash U, but the campus at Illinois was mediocre.

Beautiful law buildings at Wash U. Illinois' building was alright, but just a little too dark and dim/low-tech for me.

Both have incredible faculties. Illinois' faculty is more theoretical (philosophy and law) while Wash U's faculty (securities, contracts, empirical legal studies) is more practice oriented. I like the theoretical, so this was a point in favor of Illinois. I absolutely adored Illinois' law faculty.

Wash U hired a new career services office over the summer of 2008 (10 employees now work in Wash U's CSO. For comparison, only 3 employees work at Illinois' CSO and most other law schools and the 10 at Wash U seem holistically more qualified than those at Illinois). Wash U, I found, is VERY ambitious about improving its reputation, since it has been flying its CSO personnel around to the most prestigious firms all over the US for 2 years now. They were not doing this in the past, and, indeed, NO law schools to my knowledge are remotely this aggressive. The office personnel make very flattering presentations (Powerpoint, brochures, etc. to the firms to sell Wash U students and the school itself = ) ). This strategy is expected to pay off soon.

Wash U's placement is national (though it has weak west coast placement). Out of Wash U, I have found that you can go to any major city in the east with ease if you do alright. Illinois is regional and funnels only into Chicago.

Both schools have absolutely spectacular deans (Kent Syverud at Wash U and Bruce Smith at Illinois--both extremely brilliant and charismatic).

Wash U has way more name power than Illinois. I know people on the internet joke about the fact that no one seems to know what Wash U is, but I have found that to not be the case at all. Absolutely everyone I speak with who has a decent education knows of and thinks very, very highly of the school. It is assumed to be among the most elite law institutions due perhaps to its medical school and undergraduate programs. But it has also been a top 20 law school for some years now and its status is sinking in too.

I think Illinois' admissions office (Dean Pless) is A LOT better than Wash U's.

Wash U's endowment is way, way larger than Illinois and other peer schools.

All in all, though, you can't go wrong. Both schools are exceptional. I think Illinois is definitely underrated.



Wow, Emboss. You hit the nail on the head exactly. You clearly know what you're talking about. I would have to agree on all your points.

I agree that Dean Pless is amazing, while Wash U's staff leaves more to be desired. (They made me wait a whole month for the SIL Award lol). However, I dropped my deposit at Wash U last night. Illinois' deposit is not due till April 30; therefore, I won't withdraw yet just in case I change my mind.

After looking at Wash U's website, I did notice that they seem to have many more clinics, fellowships, and externships available to students than Illinois. They also guarantee that 100% of their students can participate in a clinic, whereas Illinois does a lottery system. Even though, I'd be paying a few thousand more a year at Wash U, I do believe I will go for their school. I love Illinois' admissions and their faculty do seem excellent, but whereever I go, I'm going to be there for three years. I can't base my decision on the likeability of adstaff.




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