Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

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

Which school should I ED?

Chicago
12
46%
Penn
14
54%
 
Total votes: 26

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:01 pm

I'm deciding between shooting my ED over to Chicago or UPenn at the moment. While I know TLS is all about CCN over MVP, there are several personal factors in play here and I was hoping some of the sage law students around could offer some advice :)

Aiming for DC biglaw or NGO eventually. No significant ties to the DC area (family, SO, etc), if that matters. Not particularly interested in NYC but wouldn't rule it out either.

Penn:
I just love this school. I like Philadelphia as a city, love the campus area, adore the buildings and the atmosphere (very historic feeling, which I'm big on). I know a few 3Ls at Penn Law that have had nothing negative to say about the school. It has a reputation for being very collegial and friendly, which is definitely important. No significant cons, although I am admittedly a little nervous about moving to a city where I know absolutely nobody (3Ls will have gone by the time I get there, obviously).

Chicago:
A "better" school overall in terms of the quality of education, with better job prospects to boot. Known to be rigorous, which I like, and the faculty is on par with HYS in my opinion. I'm from Chicago originally (live in the Midwest now) and my family is in the area - I LOVE the city, hate Hyde Park with a fervent passion. I am not a big and burly guy and I have a dog, which means I need to be able to walk around wherever I live for about an hour each day, even when it gets dark at 4:30 (thanks, winter). I'm also a runner, and like being able to do so with an ipod drowning out my surroundings. I really don't want to make a 30 minute commute daily by living up North, and the South Loop area is pretty pricey. However, I do like that my parents are close by, since this means I get to enjoy their company more often (in addition to the perks of stealing food, of course). Some of my best friends are also in the city at present, and I would miss them if I were to go elsewhere.

I would likely be paying sticker for either, and feel okay with that. I'd like to get out of the Midwest, but I don't think many of my close friends feel the same way (not totally sure what this means in the long run).

A few extraneous considerations I can't allot to either school:
- I don't actually know anyone IRL at Chicago Law at the moment, but I do know people that have taken Penn over Chicago (sticker for both as well) after ASW, citing a negative/nerdy atmosphere at the latter. TLS has been fairly good at contradicting this opinion though. And...I'm nerdy, and like nerdy people :)
- A plus and minus: pretty much everybody from my high school has ended up in Chicago following undergraduate graduation. This means that I have a lot of friends in the city (score one for life outside of law school). This also means I am constantly running into people I've known since I was a kid. I do miss and love the city and people (most of the time), but there's something unsettling about going to a party and realizing that you know almost all the attendees from another party...back in 2004. It makes your life feel a little stagnant.


Any wise words about the benefits or hazards of starting completely anew would be very much welcomed.

User avatar
johnnyutah
Posts: 1709
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby johnnyutah » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:13 pm

czelede wrote:I'm deciding between shooting my ED over to Chicago or UPenn at the moment. While I know TLS is all about CCN over MVP, there are several personal factors in play here and I was hoping some of the sage law students around could offer some advice :)

Aiming for DC biglaw or NGO eventually. No significant ties to the DC area (family, SO, etc), if that matters. Not particularly interested in NYC but wouldn't rule it out either.

Penn:
I just love this school. I like Philadelphia as a city, love the campus area, adore the buildings and the atmosphere (very historic feeling, which I'm big on). I know a few 3Ls at Penn Law that have had nothing negative to say about the school. It has a reputation for being very collegial and friendly, which is definitely important. No significant cons, although I am admittedly a little nervous about moving to a city where I know absolutely nobody (3Ls will have gone by the time I get there, obviously).

Chicago:
A "better" school overall in terms of the quality of education, with better job prospects to boot. Known to be rigorous, which I like, and the faculty is on par with HYS in my opinion. I'm from Chicago originally (live in the Midwest now) and my family is in the area - I LOVE the city, hate Hyde Park with a fervent passion. I am not a big and burly guy and I have a dog, which means I need to be able to walk around wherever I live for about an hour each day, even when it gets dark at 4:30 (thanks, winter). I'm also a runner, and like being able to do so with an ipod drowning out my surroundings. I really don't want to make a 30 minute commute daily by living up North, and the South Loop area is pretty pricey. However, I do like that my parents are close by, since this means I get to enjoy their company more often (in addition to the perks of stealing food, of course). Some of my best friends are also in the city at present, and I would miss them if I were to go elsewhere.

I would likely be paying sticker for either, and feel okay with that. I'd like to get out of the Midwest, but I don't think many of my close friends feel the same way (not totally sure what this means in the long run).

A few extraneous considerations I can't allot to either school:
- I don't actually know anyone IRL at Chicago Law at the moment, but I do know people that have taken Penn over Chicago (sticker for both as well) after ASW, citing a negative/nerdy atmosphere at the latter. TLS has been fairly good at contradicting this opinion though. And...I'm nerdy, and like nerdy people :)
- A plus and minus: pretty much everybody from my high school has ended up in Chicago following undergraduate graduation. This means that I have a lot of friends in the city (score one for life outside of law school). This also means I am constantly running into people I've known since I was a kid. I do miss and love the city and people (most of the time), but there's something unsettling about going to a party and realizing that you know almost all the attendees from another party...back in 2004. It makes your life feel a little stagnant.


Any wise words about the benefits or hazards of starting completely anew would be very much welcomed.

I don't think this is a question for TLS, honestly. It seems like you understand the pros and cons pretty well, and Lord knows neither decision would be bad in the sense that you'd screw up your chances in DC. I guess it just comes down to whether or not you wanna move to Philly.

For the record, Philly rocks.

Kafka
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:48 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Kafka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:18 pm

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Last edited by Kafka on Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:29 pm

Kafka wrote:Funny you say Penn is friendly and collegial. I actually heard it's full of douchebags. Not saying it's true or anything, just what I heard.


Was this for the Penn body in general or for the law school?

Unfortunately, the ONE Penn 1L I've been in in-person contact I can't really stand, but I'm hoping he's the exception to the rule.

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:30 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
czelede wrote:I'm deciding between shooting my ED over to Chicago or UPenn at the moment. While I know TLS is all about CCN over MVP, there are several personal factors in play here and I was hoping some of the sage law students around could offer some advice :)

Aiming for DC biglaw or NGO eventually. No significant ties to the DC area (family, SO, etc), if that matters. Not particularly interested in NYC but wouldn't rule it out either.

Penn:
I just love this school. I like Philadelphia as a city, love the campus area, adore the buildings and the atmosphere (very historic feeling, which I'm big on). I know a few 3Ls at Penn Law that have had nothing negative to say about the school. It has a reputation for being very collegial and friendly, which is definitely important. No significant cons, although I am admittedly a little nervous about moving to a city where I know absolutely nobody (3Ls will have gone by the time I get there, obviously).

Chicago:
A "better" school overall in terms of the quality of education, with better job prospects to boot. Known to be rigorous, which I like, and the faculty is on par with HYS in my opinion. I'm from Chicago originally (live in the Midwest now) and my family is in the area - I LOVE the city, hate Hyde Park with a fervent passion. I am not a big and burly guy and I have a dog, which means I need to be able to walk around wherever I live for about an hour each day, even when it gets dark at 4:30 (thanks, winter). I'm also a runner, and like being able to do so with an ipod drowning out my surroundings. I really don't want to make a 30 minute commute daily by living up North, and the South Loop area is pretty pricey. However, I do like that my parents are close by, since this means I get to enjoy their company more often (in addition to the perks of stealing food, of course). Some of my best friends are also in the city at present, and I would miss them if I were to go elsewhere.

I would likely be paying sticker for either, and feel okay with that. I'd like to get out of the Midwest, but I don't think many of my close friends feel the same way (not totally sure what this means in the long run).

A few extraneous considerations I can't allot to either school:
- I don't actually know anyone IRL at Chicago Law at the moment, but I do know people that have taken Penn over Chicago (sticker for both as well) after ASW, citing a negative/nerdy atmosphere at the latter. TLS has been fairly good at contradicting this opinion though. And...I'm nerdy, and like nerdy people :)
- A plus and minus: pretty much everybody from my high school has ended up in Chicago following undergraduate graduation. This means that I have a lot of friends in the city (score one for life outside of law school). This also means I am constantly running into people I've known since I was a kid. I do miss and love the city and people (most of the time), but there's something unsettling about going to a party and realizing that you know almost all the attendees from another party...back in 2004. It makes your life feel a little stagnant.


Any wise words about the benefits or hazards of starting completely anew would be very much welcomed.

I don't think this is a question for TLS, honestly. It seems like you understand the pros and cons pretty well, and Lord knows neither decision would be bad in the sense that you'd screw up your chances in DC. I guess it just comes down to whether or not you wanna move to Philly.

For the record, Philly rocks.


Yeah, it's definitely a deeply personal decision I've spent a lot of time thinking about. I was hoping maybe other people had been in similar positions and could comment on the adaptation of starting LS where they know absolutely nobody.

And I'm glad to hear another vote of confidence for Philly as a city :) It's quite underrated.

Kafka
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:48 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Kafka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:38 pm

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Last edited by Kafka on Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thechee
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:42 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby thechee » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:44 pm

Yeah, everyone told me how much Philly sucked. When I visited, I wasn't sure what people had been talking about. It always gets a bad rep because it's always compared to NYC because of the proximity. Compared to NYC, it doesn't quite measure up by most indicators, but compared to most other major cities in America (including Chicago), Philly does plenty to hold its own.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:48 pm

czelede wrote:
Kafka wrote:Funny you say Penn is friendly and collegial. I actually heard it's full of douchebags. Not saying it's true or anything, just what I heard.


Was this for the Penn body in general or for the law school?

Unfortunately, the ONE Penn 1L I've been in in-person contact I can't really stand, but I'm hoping he's the exception to the rule.


I've heard this too. Did you visit the law school? It's not nearly what I thought it would be. Probably the shittiest building on Penn's campus and it will be under construction for the next 2+ years. I was surprisingly not impressed when I visited.

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:56 pm

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Last edited by czelede on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby czelede » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:56 pm

blowhard wrote:
czelede wrote:
Kafka wrote:Funny you say Penn is friendly and collegial. I actually heard it's full of douchebags. Not saying it's true or anything, just what I heard.


Was this for the Penn body in general or for the law school?

Unfortunately, the ONE Penn 1L I've been in in-person contact I can't really stand, but I'm hoping he's the exception to the rule.


I've heard this too. Did you visit the law school? It's not nearly what I thought it would be. Probably the shittiest building on Penn's campus and it will be under construction for the next 2+ years. I was surprisingly not impressed when I visited.


Aw crap. It's been a while since I've visited the campus, and I didn't pay particular attention to the LS building the last time I was there...however, if we're talking buildings alone, I really, really hate Chicago's building so anything would really be a step up from that.

Btw, is that your puppy? It's very adorable either way :)

Kafka
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:48 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Kafka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:57 pm

Blowhard:

And yet you still applied ED to Penn?

Kafka
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:48 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Kafka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:01 pm

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Last edited by Kafka on Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

03121202698008
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:23 pm

Kafka wrote:Blowhard:

And yet you still applied ED to Penn?


I applied ED while in Iraq before visiting.

I'm not bashing Penn as a school by any means...it's a great school. But compared to peer schools, the building/facilities suck.

More troubling though, the pics on the site are deceptive as well as to anyone else familiar with Penn's more modern classrooms. I'm not saying don't go...but I think people should visit the LS before making that decision.

Kafka
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:48 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Kafka » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:55 pm

They always show that room in Silverman or something.

03121202698008
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Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:57 pm

Kafka wrote:They always show that room in Silverman or something.


The hallways all look nice but they were dingy when I was there. The goat looks huge instead of the size of my front yard, etc. This isn't an old building bias either, I love Michigan's building.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby Patriot1208 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:13 pm

blowhard wrote:
Kafka wrote:They always show that room in Silverman or something.


The hallways all look nice but they were dingy when I was there. The goat looks huge instead of the size of my front yard, etc. This isn't an old building bias either, I love Michigan's building.


O, So it's just a "i'm going to Michigan" bias? :wink:

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underachiever
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Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby underachiever » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:45 pm

1) Penn is awesome. 2) Chicago is "where fun goes to die".......but in all seriousness you should go where you feel most comfortable. Both can place you in DC, in fact Penn has a great program where you intern on the hill 2/3 days a week for credit while u still take classes in Philly.

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johnnyutah
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Re: Chicago VS. Penn? Change or no change?

Postby johnnyutah » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:02 pm

underachiever wrote:1) Penn is awesome.

What do you like about it?




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