Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

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Where the heck should I go?

Poll ended at Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:28 pm

Northwestern (full ride)
31
49%
Harvard (full sticker)
32
51%
 
Total votes: 63

needtodecide
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Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby needtodecide » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:28 pm

So I need to make a decision soon and would appreciate any advice or insight. I'm deciding between a full ride at Northwestern and full sticker at Harvard. From Chicago, but don't have to stay there. Torn between the opportunity to go to Harvard, or the opportunity to have the freedom of no debt. Also sort of considering U of C (25k) and UVA (35k) but I think I've pretty much narrowed it to NW and H. Sorry, I'm indecisive.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:29 pm

I think you're right to narrow it down to NU and H.

NU isn't going to make you stuck in Chicago. What do you want to do and where do you want to work?

ksimon2007
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby ksimon2007 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:32 pm

A Harvard JD will offer more flexibility it seems if you are indecisive about what you want to do...with a contracting legal market I understand staying away from debt, but Harvard remains one of those transcendent institutions.

needtodecide
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby needtodecide » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:35 pm

Can't say exactly what I want to do. Have interests in immigration law from what I've done in grad school. To be honest I have no idea if I would rather do the big firm thing or public sector at this point. Would maybe like to do a clerkship (which is why Harvard seems like a nice draw), and also I've heard places like the ACLU are pretty selective as far as what school you went to. As far as where I want to go--anywhere, except NYC--no offense, just not my style.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:39 pm

It's really hard to give advice without firm goals.

If you for sure want a prestigious clerkship or PI gig then I would say Harvard. However, NU does give you more flexibility in terms of taking low end firm jobs (due not having much debt to pay off) in case you do poorly with grades. Harvard gives you the flexibility in the long run and raises your job ceiling, however no debt is a wonderful thing.

I lean towards Harvard in this case but I don't think you can go wrong either. If you really are indecisive, then decide whether you want more opportunities or whether you don't want to be scared of your debt.

PiersonVee
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby PiersonVee » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:43 pm

I voted Harvard, but both options would be great choices. Just promise that if you end up at NU, you won't be a tool that constantly feels to the need to mention that you turned down Harvard.

needtodecide
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby needtodecide » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:50 pm

Yeah, I understand. I guess I'm mostly just trying to weigh which choice would ultimately give me more freedom, depending on whatever I decide to do--the Harvard degree that could open more doors or the no loans where I can do whatever I want and not have to worry about making enough money. And if I choose Northwestern, I won't be that kid.

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bk1
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:54 pm

needtodecide wrote:Yeah, I understand. I guess I'm mostly just trying to weigh which choice would ultimately give me more freedom, depending on whatever I decide to do--the Harvard degree that could open more doors or the no loans where I can do whatever I want and not have to worry about making enough money. And if I choose Northwestern, I won't be that kid.


Well Harvard's LRAP will cover you if you go PI.

09042014
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:56 pm

For anything but big law, Harvard is the clear choice. Harvards LRAP is pretty amazing since it covers private work.

But difference between Harvard and NU placement in big law isn't worth 150K extra debt. 3-5 years in big law is a good run and having to pay off 150K more is a lot harder.

Now a lot of people will say since he doesn't that means Harvard. But from what I can tell, without some burning passion for PI, most law students just default into big law. It's the path of least resistance.

The most likely result from Harvard is ending up in big law, but with 150K more debt. The most likely result from NU is big law.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:54 am

Desert Fox goes to NU.
I would pick UChi, but between $$$$ at NU and Harvard, you gotta go H, take the crazy LRAP, and tell everyone you're a harvard grad for the next 50 years

EDIT: If you're positive you want Biglaw, NU is probably TCR

09042014
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:56 am

JamMasterJ wrote:Desert Fox goes to NU.
I would pick UChi, but between $$$$ at NU and Harvard, you gotta go H, take the crazy LRAP, and tell everyone you're a harvard grad for the next 50 years

EDIT: If you're positive you want Biglaw, NU is probably TCR


I can honestly say I'd say the same thing about any of the lower t13, and I'd be stronger about CCN.

WhirledWorld
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby WhirledWorld » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:10 am

.
Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Attorney
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby Attorney » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:45 am

A full ride at any T13 is the logical choice here if you are confidant you can hit median-ish.
Financial logic doesn't account for being a Harvard Man the rest of your life though.

Debt is temporary, Harvard is forever.

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PDaddy
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby PDaddy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:59 am

bk1 wrote:I think you're right to narrow it down to NU and H.

NU isn't going to make you stuck in Chicago. What do you want to do and where do you want to work?


Harvard has more lay prestige, of course. That having been said, if NU is giving you full ride go with NU hands down. I might even accept NU full ride over Harvard partial, depending on how "partial" it was. NU has enough prestige and name recognition that you can work anywhere in the country. Its career prospects are said to be at least as good as or better than those of any law school, including harvard. I have always said that any top-10 school with money is as good as HYS without money, and I think students and staff at HYS would even tell you that.

The one caveat, and its a huge one, is the Harvard network. You can't underestimate its power. Not that NU doesn't have a strong one as well, it's just that Harvard's is more broad and deep.

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PDaddy
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby PDaddy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 am

PiersonVee wrote:I voted Harvard, but both options would be great choices. Just promise that if you end up at NU, you won't be a tool that constantly feels to the need to mention that you turned down Harvard.


There are more of those than one might think. But that means Harvard is a name more than a school to some. I don't agree with that, but some people think that way.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:04 am

Attorney wrote:Debt is temporary, Harvard is forever.


This.

Debts can always be paid off, but the school where you get your JD will always follow you for rest of your life. Where ever you go, people will recognize the prestige that is attached to a Harvard degree, whereas Northwestern is highly limited in terms of its international recognition compared to a school like Harvard.

If you play your cards right, both schools will get you that big law job. However, a Harvard JD will get you further in the hierarchy (whether this is the corporate world or the social world) compared to Northwestern.

Also, if you do end up not doing so hot in law school, a Harvard JD will give that extra boost in Massachusetts given that the only two "competitive" law schools are BU & BC. Northwestern, on the other hand, will be slightly disadvantaged in its own market because of U of Chicago.

Btw, NU is graded & Harvard ain't. Just thought you should know...
Last edited by BrianGriffintheDog on Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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arkansawyer
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Re: Northwestern Full Ride or Full Sticker at Harvard

Postby arkansawyer » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:04 am

Take NU and open that H slot up...




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