Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:Earning potential from either school are going to be much less than similarly ranked schools on the east and west coast, as neither school really places well in biglaw. There are only one or two St. Louis firms that would be qualified as biglaw, and those don't pay what the coastal firms pay. Chicago has a number of V100 firms, but you'll have to be on law review to get a position at one from either WUSTL or Illinois.
This simply isn't true. There's plenty of people not on WUSTL law review that get Chicago biglaw. I just talked to a WUSTL graduate that is an associate at Kirkland & Ellis....he was on a secondary journal. The typical Biglaw interview cutoff here for the Chicago market is top 33%. And of course, not all those people are on law review.
We don't place as many people into Chicago as UIUC does, because many in the top 33% here opt to go to NY, DC, SF, or LA. There's even a decent amount of people from Texas at this school.
Overall, I think earning potential is the same at either school, but WUSTL has a more geographically diverse student body, and therefore has more placement contacts around the entire country.
Over 60% of UIUC's student body is from Illinois originally, and most of them are only looking to go to Chicago. That's basically the main difference in placement prospects.
Also, if you're talking about 6-figure starting salaries, St. Louis has about a half-dozen biglaw firms (not just 2). They don't pay as much as Chicago, but it's a lot cheaper to live here.
The only other differences are that St. Louis is a far more exciting place to live than Urbana-Champaign, and our campus is gorgeous.