NU 30k vs GULC vs SMU (full) vs UIUC (full) vs WUSTL 114k

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NU 30k vs GULC vs SMU (full) vs UIUC (full) vs WUSTL 114k

Poll ended at Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:07 pm

NU (30k)
32
49%
GULC (presumably sticker)
4
6%
WUSTL 114k
10
15%
SMU full
16
25%
UIUC full
3
5%
 
Total votes: 65

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ArchRoark
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NU 30k vs GULC vs SMU (full) vs UIUC (full) vs WUSTL 114k

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:28 pm

I have a few more apps out, but none that I am expecting to get into. I assume I would be paying sticker at both NU and GULC. I was also accepted at CU, which I would heavily consider if I they provide a sizable scholarship.

Goals: Not totally sure. Would love to gun for PI, but I in the end I am a realist. I feel that if I attend GULC/NU with sticker I pretty much am forced to shoot for biglaw. If I attend the lower ranked schools, I feel like I can't be picky and should jump at any opportunity of substantive legal employment.

Geographic preference: Wouldn't mind returning to Texas to practice, but also wouldn't mind being stuck in Colorado. I really have no desire to work in NYC, but I am well aware that it is the easiest biglaw market to break into. Ideally, I would love to return to Austin, but I am not counting on it. I i don't enjoy the sound of being stuck in the midwest, but I have also never really experienced it. Perhaps, I would love St. Louis/Chicago/etc.

Debt aversion: Pretty significant. I don't have that much in UG debt left, about 10k, but I also can't stand being in debt... let alone 120k+. From my cursory research, it seems that both Chicago and D.C. have pretty high COL, with Chicago being slightly cheaper. SMU/WUSTL seem to win out in COL. However, SMU is in Highland/University Park and from little I know about Dallas... that is the ritzy neighborhood.

I also have a dog (over 50lbs pitt mix). Taking him to D.C. will be impossible... Chicago prob just as impossible. Unsure about St Louis, but I am fairly confident I could find some place in Dallas that would work. However, I am leaning towards leaving him with my family. Even if I could bring him with me, I am unsure if it would be the best thing for him. Cooped up in an apartment for a significant portion of the day with no yard or other dogs/pets/people to keep him company.

I also will most likely be requesting a one-year deferral. I know NU scholarships don't roll over and I would have to reapply for them the following year. Does anyone know the policy at any of the other schools or their leniency in granting deferrals?

EDIT: situation has slightly changed, copied my last post into the main topic
My situation has slightly changed. I flew up to Dallas a few days ago and interviewed for the Sarah T Hughes scholarship, awarded to one or two minority candidates. I was informed that I was awarded it and I am heavily leaning towards SMU. However, UIUC also increased their offer to full-tuition and WUSTL mentioned that they would be able to re-evaluate my scholarship offer after the first seat deposit.

Current options I am considering:
Georgetown (sticker) aprox 200k COA
Northwestern (30k over 3 years) aprox 180k COA
SMU (Sarah T Hughes, full-tuition, possible stipend? unsure about the last part) aprox 30K COA
UIUC (full-tuition) aprox 30k COA
WUSTL (currently 114k scholarship, but would consider if it was raised to full tuition) aprox 30k COA

I don't have much interest in biglaw. I am from Texas and would love to return to Texas to practice. I am actually interested in criminal law, but I would love to have as many options open as possible. Am I foolish to pass up my T14 options for SMU? My current game plan is to submit deposits at WUSTL and SMU (both due by the 1st), fly up and visit NU/UIUC/WUSTL in 3-4day trip and then drive up to SMU one weekend to visit. Is there really that big of placement difference between T1 schools in the 20-50 range? I know the Sarah T Hughes isn't a Hamilton/Ruby/Darrow, but it is a named scholarship that would allow me, presumably, a chance to network with past scholars and other leaders within the Dallas legal community. I am pretty set on SMU and I just wanted to ensure that I am not crazy for passing up my other options or that I am not missing anything in my calculations.

I was notified by Georgetown that they were unable to award me merit aid in the first round of notifications. I just now submitted the last part of GULC's financial aid app, but it I submitted the "yellow-form" past their deadline.
Last edited by ArchRoark on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:10 am, edited 5 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:31 pm

Keep your dog, go to SMU. That's what I would do.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:33 pm

Throw a poll up there OP. And Northwestern

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bender18
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bender18 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:35 pm

I'm curious as to what other people will say here. (tag)

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:41 pm

WUSTL should be out since SMU sounds like a much better fit for you. GULC should be out since NU places better.

Based on your profile it sounds like SMU would probably be a better choice for you than NU, but there isn't a right answer.

As for COL, Dallas is a big place. You don't have to live in Highland Park (It's a nice place, but I'm not even sure what the apt. situation is like there). You should be able to find somewhere affordable to live.

showNprove
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby showNprove » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:43 pm

I think you would regret passing up Northwestern. You can make living in (or near) Chicago work, even with a dog.

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bdubs » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:45 pm

I am planning on brining my dog with to Northwestern (similar size although a breed that might be easier to sell to an apt owner). I also think it has far better career prospects than GULC (coming from a long time DC residident who knows a few people who have been there recently).

WUSTL is really not a bad option if the debt really gets you though.

What is your WE like? If it is impressive I would say that you should really consider Northwestern, otherwise its a toss up.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:46 pm

Why don't you like NYC? Why might you be okay with Chicago? I ask because biglaw in these cities would be your primary way to pay off NU sticker debt. If you're not okay with NYC you better be sure you are okay with Chicago biglaw if you go to NU.

I don't know about you but if I had decent options where one had me leaving my pets behind and the other didn't, I would take the one where I keep my pets without any hesitation. It's not like you are going into financial suicide or to an area you dislike to keep your dog.

All of this, to me, points to SMU.

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letsgocards
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby letsgocards » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:47 pm

I'm hoping I'll have the chance to make the decision between WUSTL with a scholarship and Northwestern. (Same scholarship as you, but Northwestern hasn't decided if they are going to let me in yet.) I'm interested in the answers you get too.

FWIW, I currently live about 2 miles from WUSTL in a reasonably priced apartment with a back yard. The people that live in the apartment above me have a dog about the same size as yours. There are always for rent signs near me. You shouldn't have to much trouble bringing your dog to St. Louis.

seriously????
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby seriously???? » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:58 pm

yeah guessing that you can get a place with a dog at a reasonable price other than nyc, dc, chi, sf, and la. Somewhat jealous of you people who get to bring their dogs. I share a dog with my girlfriend, but shes not coming with me, so neither is my pup.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:21 pm

bk1 wrote:Why don't you like NYC? Why might you be okay with Chicago? I ask because biglaw in these cities would be your primary way to pay off NU sticker debt. If you're not okay with NYC you better be sure you are okay with Chicago biglaw if you go to NU.

I don't know about you but if I had decent options where one had me leaving my pets behind and the other didn't, I would take the one where I keep my pets without any hesitation. It's not like you are going into financial suicide or to an area you dislike to keep your dog.

All of this, to me, points to SMU.

Yah, thats what I am leaning to, but it is really hard to turn down a T14, even at sticker. The few posts I have read about employment prospects out of SMU aren't that reassuring. I have visited NYC a few times and I just never could imagine myself living there for an extended period of time. Chicago, although in ways similar to NYC, is IMHO more manageable. Both cities aren't that appealing, but I would lean to Chicago over NYC and NYC over being unemployed/drowned in debt.

Another thing I have to consider, especially with Chicago, is that I wouldn't necessarily have to leave my dog behind for all three years. I would most likely just leave him with my family for my 1L. Then I would bring him up after having gotten to know the city, the work load law school entails, and thus being more comfortable living farther away from campus.

showNprove wrote:I think you would regret passing up Northwestern. You can make living in (or near) Chicago work, even with a dog.

Agreed, but then I may regret going so much into debt. Grass is always greener...

bdubs wrote:I am planning on brining my dog with to Northwestern (similar size although a breed that might be easier to sell to an apt owner). I also think it has far better career prospects than GULC (coming from a long time DC residident who knows a few people who have been there recently).

What is your WE like? If it is impressive I would say that you should really consider Northwestern, otherwise its a toss up.

Yah, it isn't really the size that is the issue, it is the predominance of breed restrictions. I imagine I could find SOMEWHERE in Chicago that would work.

WE is another aspect that makes me wary about NU. I will only have 1 year of full-time WE upon matriculation and I wouldn't consider it that impressive. It isn't waiting tables, but then again I am not working as a director/manager/etc. I work at a community college as an admissions assistant. I not sure how I would fair competing against a class where substantive and substantial WE is the norm.
Last edited by ArchRoark on Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jtemp320
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby jtemp320 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:29 pm

Not to derail here but just a question did you apply to UT - that sounds like it would have been perfect for you and that you might have been able to get some $ is you got into GULC and Northwestern?

Anyway - thats a hard choice - if you had different career goals I'd say go to Northwestern it has the best placement out of those but SMU with that much $ seems to make sense in your case.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:34 pm

jtemp320 wrote:Not to derail here but just a question did you apply to UT - that sounds like it would have been perfect for you and that you might have been able to get some $ is you got into GULC and Northwestern?

Anyway - thats a hard choice - if you had different career goals I'd say go to Northwestern it has the best placement out of those but SMU with that much $ seems to make sense in your case.


Yup, I did and got dinged after being held. I am a pretty significant splitter so I expected it. If I got into UT, my cycle would be over. Family all lives in Austin and went to UT for UG.

About my career goals, that is the thing... I am really unsure what I want to do. Biglaw doesn't sound appealing (other then the compensation), but working at a biglaw firm for a few years to pay down loans and to have that entry on a resume doesn't sound that bad.

Bumi
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby Bumi » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:46 pm

I expect to be facing similar choices and so will read everything everyone says.

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quadsixm
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby quadsixm » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:54 pm

ArchRoark wrote:Debt aversion: Pretty significant. I don't have that much in UG debt left, about 10k, but I also can't stand being in debt... let alone 120k+. From my cursory research, it seems that both Chicago and D.C. have pretty high COL, with Chicago being slightly cheaper. SMU/WUSTL seem to win out in COL. However, SMU is in Highland/University Park and from little I know about Dallas... that is the ritzy neighborhood.


WUSTL sounds like your best bet.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby NU_Jet55 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:58 pm

Don't go to GULC. NU offers better opportunities at a similar price.

Here is the choice:
1) Big gamble for biglaw
2) Go for cheap and either
A) Enjoy some opportunities in Dallas, but not much anywhere else
B) Enjoy a few more opportunities in different places, but decrease the amount of opportunities in Texas

FYI, I go to WUSTL there are at least 3 people in my section from Dallas. They are all looking to return to Dallas, and seemingly finding it possible thus far.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:10 pm

quadsixm wrote:WUSTL sounds like your best bet.


Why is it better than SMU?

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quadsixm
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby quadsixm » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:48 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
quadsixm wrote:WUSTL sounds like your best bet.


Why is it better than SMU?


You're right, I think it's a toss-up w/ SMU.

SMU: Better for Texas
WUSTL: Better for everywhere else

Since OP doesn't seem to mind practicing anywhere, but Austin is ideal, I guess it's all about his location preference.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:10 pm

ArchRoark wrote:Yah, thats what I am leaning to, but it is really hard to turn down a T14, even at sticker. The few posts I have read about employment prospects out of SMU aren't that reassuring. I have visited NYC a few times and I just never could imagine myself living there for an extended period of time. Chicago, although in ways similar to NYC, is IMHO more manageable. Both cities aren't that appealing, but I would lean to Chicago over NYC and NYC over being unemployed/drowned in debt.

Another thing I have to consider, especially with Chicago, is that I wouldn't necessarily have to leave my dog behind for all three years. I would most likely just leave him with my family for my 1L. Then I would bring him up after having gotten to know the city, the work load law school entails, and thus being more comfortable living farther away from campus.

WE is another aspect that makes me wary about NU. I will only have 1 year of full-time WE upon matriculation and I wouldn't consider it that impressive. It is waiting tables, but then again I am not working as a director/manager/etc. I work at a community college as an admissions assistant. I not sure how I would fair competing against a class where substantive and substantial WE is the norm.


I haven't read much about SMU but it always seems to be viewed pretty well. Maybe I just haven't paid a lot of attention. If you find Chicago unappealing I would really hesitate to say that NU is the right call. I mean would you rather be doing biglaw in Chicago or working in a smaller firm in Texas with less debt but less salary?

Would bringing the dog during 2L actually be wise? I mean you'll have to contend with your OCI schedule and callbacks as well as possible flybacks (I really don't know how much work all this is but TLS gives me the impression that it is taxing). Just something to think about.

I got the feeling from the NU thread that grades will be the deciding factor above and beyond WE, though WE does help. This is something that I would be wary about were I to be admitted to NU (my WE would only be 1 year and is worse than yours), but in the end I feel like this worry is more irrational than anything.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:46 pm

bk1 wrote:I haven't read much about SMU but it always seems to be viewed pretty well. Maybe I just haven't paid a lot of attention. If you find Chicago unappealing I would really hesitate to say that NU is the right call. I mean would you rather be doing biglaw in Chicago or working in a smaller firm in Texas with less debt but less salary?

Would bringing the dog during 2L actually be wise? I mean you'll have to contend with your OCI schedule and callbacks as well as possible flybacks (I really don't know how much work all this is but TLS gives me the impression that it is taxing). Just something to think about.

I got the feeling from the NU thread that grades will be the deciding factor above and beyond WE, though WE does help. This is something that I would be wary about were I to be admitted to NU (my WE would only be 1 year and is worse than yours), but in the end I feel like this worry is more irrational than anything.


I really have no particular aversion to Chicago. Actually, there are a lot of aspects of Chiitown that I find appealing. About 2L OCI, I probably wouldn't take my dog up till after OCI/callbacks etc. I agree, it doesn't sound feasible.

I just took a look at the total cost of attendance on NU's website... $73,285. Wow, with ~49k of that being tuition.

I appreciate all the responses, I have a lot to think about. Pretty much reaffirmed my own internal thought process. Bigger risk/possibly bigger rewards/better LRAP vs. much smaller risk/lower job prospects/non-existent LRAP

Got into IU-B today with their 120k scholly. If I do decide to go out of state to a non-T14 school, I would choose WUSTL over IU-B.

I was in contact with current student at WUSTL and here is his response to some questions:
WUSTL 3L wrote:There are two points I would make with regards to practicing in Texas. First, if your grades are towards the top of the class at WashU (top 20% and above) there should be no problem finding a position in Texas. While these names may not mean anything to you at the moment, the state's biggest firm's - Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts, Locke Lord Bissell & Lidell - all recruit annually from WashU OCIs. I have friends going on to practice at V&E and Locke Lord even though they didn't have any previous connections to Texas. Other big-law firms, such as GIbson Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day, etc. that have Texas office also recruit at WashU. The takeaway is that if your grades are good, you're competitive for the top jobs in Texas.

But my second point is probably more important. If your main motivation is to practice in Texas, then you should stay in-state, and don't put too much stock in the law school rankings. Whether it's at UT, SMU, Baylor, Texas Tech, UH, grades are paramount. At any of those schools, if you are in the top 20% of your class, you're likely going to be competitive for the best jobs in the state, the same as if you would be at WashU. But the big difference is if you're not at the top of your class. You'll have a better chance to network and connect with mid- to small-size firms (like Andrews Kurth, Haynes & Boone, Thompson & Knight, Gardere Wynne & Sewell) that do not recruit at WashU due to their size. For example, when I network with Texas firms from St. Louis, I can only arrange meetings at times when I'm in Texas. But if I were in Dallas, I could meet lawyers in town on daily basis, or take a quick trip to Austin or Houston to explore leads there. If your grades don't put you in the top of your class, do not underestimate how important this sort of networking could be for your career prospects.

I chose WashU because I wanted to use it as a stepping stone to practice in Chicago, because the list of nationwide firms that recruited from here was quite impressive, and because they gave me a great financial aid package. Unfortunately, as you know, the bottom fell out of our job market. Firms significantly curtailed their recruiting here as they did all over the country. This is why I stress the networking aspect of the job search - while students at the top of the class will always be in demand, if you know you want to be in Texas, staying in -state and doing well at one of those schools is going to give you the best shot.

This may be more information than you expected, but let me know if you have any other questions. I don't know how the 2L class has fared with OCI this year, so I'm sorry I can't tell you anything about that. I'm happy to talk to you about anything else if you've got other concerns. Hope you had a good weekend.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:21 pm

Oh I forgot to add that couldn't you just call your dog a mutt (pleading innocence about knowing whether he is part pit at all) and avoid the "pit mix" title altogether? I don't know how apartments actually do this so I was just wondering.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:25 pm

bk1 wrote:Oh I forgot to add that couldn't you just call your dog a mutt (pleading innocence about knowing whether he is part pit at all) and avoid the "pit mix" title altogether? I don't know how apartments actually do this so I was just wondering.

That is what I would do. One thing I don't want is to find a place to live and then be required to either move out or get rid of him because after they seeing him they become uncomfortable.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby bk1 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:27 pm

ArchRoark wrote:
bk1 wrote:Oh I forgot to add that couldn't you just call your dog a mutt (pleading innocence about knowing whether he is part pit at all) and avoid the "pit mix" title altogether? I don't know how apartments actually do this so I was just wondering.

That is what I would do. One thing I don't want is to find a place to live and then be required to either move out or get rid of him because after they seeing him they become uncomfortable.


That is a good point. I heard on my tour that NU gives free (or really cheap, I can't remember) parking to those who live more than 2 miles away.

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kalvano
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby kalvano » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:43 pm

I'm at SMU right now. You can certainly find an affordable place outside the Park Cities without much effort.

I'd say it's a toss-up between NU and SMU. Hard choice to make, but if you really are debt-averse, SMU for almost free isn't a bad choice.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Marionberry
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Re: Northwestern vs. GULC vs. 114k WUSTL vs. SMU 100k

Postby Marionberry » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:54 pm

This is a tough choice. I kind of wish I hadn't ED to GULC, because part of me thinks that I might have rather gone to SMU for a lot less $. However, I wasn't sure how much if any money I would get from SMU, and I didn't expect any from UH, so that's why I did it. In your situation there's a lot to be said for SMU, and Dallas is a pretty nice place to live from what I've heard.




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