Pitt ($$$$) vs. ND ($$)

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

Which should I choose?

Notre Dame w/ $60k
Pitt w/ full in-state tuition + TA gig for 3L
Total votes: 9

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Pitt ($$$$) vs. ND ($$)

Postby FunkyJD » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:11 am

Having helped me decide b/t UIUC and Notre Dame ... help me consider whether full in-state tuition to Pitt >, <, or = to $$ at Notre Dame. I plan to deposit at both schools, and try to visit before making a final decision; but I'd like some outside feedback, as well. (Please provide reasons for your vote, to help me place them in the proper context.)

A reminder of my priorities for LS:

a) Ideal career outcome would be to become a corporate counsel for an energy firm or utility (nuclear energy or natural gas producer)
b) Want to minimize debt
c) To me, living & practicing in Texas or the Mid-Atlantic after LS > living and practicing in Chicago ... but I am not opposed to beginning my career in Chicago (though ND seems to place well in the Mid-Atlantic)
d) Want to have a fighting chance at a decent federal clerkship, or federal agency externship
e) Interested in regulatory law, so a good backup career would be to be a government attorney for a regulatory agency (FERC, NRC, etc)

Given scholarship amounts are for three years. Stips for Pitt: 3.0 GPA (median is slightly above this). No stips for ND.

I've had great experiences interacting with the staff & student reps from Pitt as I have with ND, including at law forums. Initial sense is, I'd be comfortable and happy at either school.

NALP stats for ND: --LinkRemoved-- ... 03&yr=2009
NALP stats for Pitt: --LinkRemoved-- ... 04&yr=2009

Edit: The problem with the poll has been fixed now; thanks for your patience.
Last edited by FunkyJD on Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pitt ($$$$) vs. ND ($$)

Postby pjo » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:30 am

hey i might be able to help you a bit considering I recently talked with a 3L from ND that is from Pittsburgh and did a visiting student at Pitt during her law school career (so she basically attended both schools). What she had to say was that there a strong ND network in Pittsburgh and it was fairly easy for her to get a job at any of the big firms there. At the same time, she advised that had she graduated in the top 15 or 20% at Pitt, she would have had basically the same options as far as firms in Pittsburgh, but she would have saved herself like 90,000 overall in tuition. Also, something like 40% of ND's graduating class doesn't have a job and she said most of them are flocking to LA in hopes of finding work there. More than anything though is that she stressed she REALLY did not llike ND, however; she enjoyed her short amount of time at Pitt. She said both schools' professors are intelligent and helpful, but I guess the student body at ND is very competitive (at least more than ND makes it seem) which actually turned off a lot of her peers at ND from careers in law, and many of them are so fed up with law bc of the atmosphere at ND that upon graduation they will be doing different jobs. At the same time, she said Pitt's class isn't really competitve and they are much more collegial. Bottom line, she really didn't like ND but she def agreed it opens up more doors in general. However, she also said its better to graduate and have no job and no debt rather than have no job and over 100k in debt.
Sorry this post is long but just trying to help you out, to answer you questions:
A) corporate counsel for energy firm- I know in Pittsburgh the biggest energy firm is consol energy, might want to check that out and see how many if any pitt grads they higher. The coal industry is very big in Pittsburgh but also a push of green energy firms

B)minimize debt goes to Pitt
C)If texas then prob ND but like I said, Pitt and ND in pittsbrugh maybe slight edge to ND but not much
d)clerkship prob goes to ND
hopes this helps

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Re: Pitt ($$$$) vs. ND ($$)

Postby redsox8105 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:32 am

Whoa, Pitt 1L here, I don't think they gave out scholarships like that when I was applying, so congrats on scoring that!

Anywho, while Pitt wouldn't exactly close any of the opportunities you are interested in, I have to think that ND (plus scholarship) would be better for your career interests. I wouldn't go to Pitt unless you were comfortable working in or around Pittsburgh.

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Re: Pitt ($$$$) vs. ND ($$)

Postby FunkyJD » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:51 am

Thanks for the responses so far. pjo, I'll try to respond to your PM shortly. and redsox, if you don't mind, I might be PM'ing you shortly, as well.

Interesting thing about Pittsburgh, FWIW: It's smack dab in the middle of the Marcellus Shale. Google if it you're not familiar with it, but to summarize, it's a major formation with a good amount of natural gas in it; and the city of Pittsburgh would seem to be well-positioned to benefit from it. I've got to think there's going to be a need for some serious legal work related to the production of that gas -- think about the regulations that need to be satisfied, the transactional work that might be needed, the litigation that might ensue, etc. Getting a piece of that action sounds like a good possible career option for me.

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