IU - bloomington vs. OSU

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Jspain
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IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby Jspain » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:08 am

I'm having a hard time deciding between Indiana University and The Ohio State University. I'm local to Ohio and my husband and I intend on staying in Ohio after grad school. That being said, here is what I'm working with:

Indiana University has offered me a scholarship that would require me to pay a total of $15,000 over three years. They've got incredible professors with great experience who seem really available and dedicated to their students. I visited for Spring Law Day and loved everything about it (except for the fact that it's located outside of Ohio)

Downsides:I don't necessarily want to practice in any of the cities that are filled with Indiana grads (DC, Chicago, Indianapolis). There are few local law firms compared to Columbus and it'd be a pain to get internships in Columbus since my husband would still be working full time in Indy over the summer.

OSU has offered a partial scholarship so far and I'm being considered for a full scholarship. It'd cost a total of around 36,000 if they don't increase their offer and I'd get out in three years with both a JD and a degree in public policy. I've got a solid network in Columbus and law firms are literally piled on top of each other. I could stay with my husband, in my current apt, etc.

Downsides: I went to OSU for undergrad and I'm a little burnt out on the school (I'm still a buckeye and I still love the school, I just would love a change of scenery). My perspective on the enivornment, prof. dedication to students, etc. is definitely a little jaded by my undergrad experience.

I've also heard really mixed information about whether Ohio firms love OSU grads or are bored with them because they all have the same expereince. I've got no feel for which school is better known across the country or how much the difference in ranking really matters. My biggest challenge is that I won't know what my scholarship offer to OSU is until after I have to respond to Indiana U.

Sooo I'd love any feedback that you all have to offer! What would you do?

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ndirish2010
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:38 am

If you get the full ride, then definitely OSU. I'm not sure how well IU places in Ohio, but OSU would definitely have an advantage. Don't consider IU's T25 ranking, its placement doesn't follow this. I might choose OSU no matter if the scholarship is increased or not.

step1plus2
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby step1plus2 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:46 am

I am in the exact same position as you (well, except the SO considerations). I took the money at IU. It will be harder to get back into Ohio, but not impossible, and I could use a change of scenery as well. I don't take the difference in cost lightly, either- I won't have to take out any unsubsidized loans at IU, which is a real blessing.

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mcubberly
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby mcubberly » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:48 am

Similar situation, taking OSU. IU placement has been pretty bad, and I like Columbus.

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chrisnashville
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby chrisnashville » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:14 pm

Same situation. Here are the things I considered, based on some chats with IU and OSU students and (god save me) conventional wisdom on this board.

Location: I love Columbus, and I understand that OSU would have given me much more networking opportunities. But I'm from Cincinnati and would love to move back, and as I understand it both IU and OSU will have an equal footing there. OSU is more concentrated in Columbus and Cleveland.

Money: Among essentially peer schools and fairly important to me. ~50k total debt out of IU (including COL) vs. ~110k total debt at OSU. Obviously less risk going to Bloomington.

NLJ250 numbers: It's my understanding that a not-insignificant part of OSU's slightly better NLJ250 numbers are due to massive hiring at Cleveland-based firms (Not for me.) And really, the somewhat smaller extra chance at that isn't worth the extra money I'd have to pay to risk it. I'm not sure I want BIGLAW, and I know the debt from IU won't force me to shoot for that to pay off my debt quickly.

Have you considered asking IU for some more time to decide? I think maybe another student got an extension until mid-April, but this may not be enough time still. Really, if you don't see yourself in Indiana/possibly Chicago/possibly DC, I'd not worry about the extra 3 years at OSU so much as where you'll end up after that. I'm sure these next three years will go quick. IU certainly won't rule out Ohio, but it will make it tougher I'm sure.

Jspain wrote:I've also heard really mixed information about whether Ohio firms love OSU grads or are bored with them because they all have the same expereince.


I'm interested to know what you've heard about this :)

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Jspain
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby Jspain » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:17 pm

mcubberly wrote:Similar situation, taking OSU. IU placement has been pretty bad, and I like Columbus.


Thanks all for the advice! Just curious, how have you been able to get solid information on job placement? I've had a hard time finding reliable information on this but I've also only just recently started utilizing the TLS forums.

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Jspain
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Re: IU - bloomington vs. OSU

Postby Jspain » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:21 pm

chrisnashville wrote:Have you considered asking IU for some more time to decide?


Definitely. I asked right after SLD. My deadline for both schools is now April 15th. Is job placement for IU really pretty solid in Cincinnati? I am embarrassed by how little I know about finding this information. I had honestly not seriously considered going anyplace out of state until recently, so it hadn’t been as large of a factor in my decision. Either way, that information is definitely helpful. I could give up the Buckeyes if it meant gaining the Reds.

Okay…Info on preferential treatment for OSU grads. Please take this all with a grain of salt as I have clearly not done nearly as much research on this as half the people in these forums :) . I am more than happy to stand humbly corrected if anyone has better/contradicting info.

Most of the attorneys I work with are either at child advocacy focused nonprofits or working in crim law and they are 99% OSU/Capital grads. The ones in smaller nonprofits are primarily capital grads who have said that as long as you’re willing to travel there for summer internships, your undergrad institution doesn’t matter as much. I’ve got to wonder though how many lawyers from outside of central Ohio are really applying for family law positions in central Ohio.

Crim lawyers etc have all tended to say that they’d prefer an OSU grad every day of the week for the obvious reasons.

Either way, I’m not sure how much use the information is to anyone not interested in family or crim law…

The few contacts that I’ve got at large law firms have given mixed answers. Two have made comments about being frustrated by the very similar tracks that all OSU students pursuing positions with their firms have taken. They were definitely satisfied with the work produced by OSU students but they mentioned recruiting at various other top tier schools in the Midwest (note that IU was not mentioned :? ). Others have been OSU grads themselves and uninterested in hiring students from other areas.

I was at a social event the other night with some recent OSU grads and while most seemed to have jobs, there were a lot of complaints about not getting their top pick jobs, jobs in their area of interest, etc. because the Columbus is so oversaturated with OSU&Capital grads. Most students who fell below the top 10% of their classes seemed to end up compromising in some way, but I’m under the impression that this is fairly normal in the current market… Sorry if this info is in no way useful or new!

Anyhow, I agree with your thoughts on keeping a low debt load and giving myself some time to find work that I’ll enjoy after graduation. In general, IU has been incredibly easy to work with, fast to respond, and helpful in ways that OSU has not been. Plus their pubs have killer great food…




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