GULC or Northwestern?

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olderstudent
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GULC or Northwestern?

Postby olderstudent » Sun May 01, 2011 11:07 am

Trying to decide between Georgetown and Northwestern.

I'm 32 and single, so I want to be around other people like me (NW tracks older, but G-town is bigger...)
Interested in Government/Public Interest work
Costs are important to me--NW has offered me $30,000/yr, and G-town is making their offer on Tuesday (which is when I have to decide for NW).

I'm from the East, so the thought of working in the mid-west isn't super-appealing, but I haven't spent much time in Chicago and people that have tell me I would love it, so I'm not ruling it out.

Thoughts?

CanadianWolf
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 01, 2011 11:10 am

You need to visit both schools, then compare scholarship offers before deciding.

09042014
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:39 am

olderstudent wrote:Trying to decide between Georgetown and Northwestern.

I'm 32 and single, so I want to be around other people like me (NW tracks older, but G-town is bigger...)
Interested in Government/Public Interest work
Costs are important to me--NW has offered me $30,000/yr, and G-town is making their offer on Tuesday (which is when I have to decide for NW).

I'm from the East, so the thought of working in the mid-west isn't super-appealing, but I haven't spent much time in Chicago and people that have tell me I would love it, so I'm not ruling it out.

Thoughts?


Chicago is objectively (lol a bit of trolling here) a better city than DC. I hesitate to even call it a city because it has no tall buildings. NW doesn't limit you to the midwest, in fact it's probably a bit easier get NYC out of NW than it Chicago ITE. Chicago is much more like a east coast city than it's like Iowa.

But interest in government work is a check in Gtowns column. There are vastly more federal jobs in DC than Chicago. People from NW can get them, but for networking being in DC can't be ignored. But Gtown has so many students it dilutes their placement power.

Check back when you get money offer from Gtown.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sun May 01, 2011 11:48 am

Originally from Chicago, have been to DC. Go to NW, its a much better city and NW will give you just as good of a shot at NY as GULC will. On top of that, as bad as the Chicago market is I'd say the DC market is harder to crack.

09042014
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 01, 2011 11:54 am

BarbellDreams wrote:Originally from Chicago, have been to DC. Go to NW, its a much better city and NW will give you just as good of a shot at NY as GULC will. On top of that, as bad as the Chicago market is I'd say the DC market is harder to crack.


DC is MUCH harder to crack. And they don't seem to favor GULC grads the same what Chicago firms favor Uchi and NW students.

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glewz
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby glewz » Sun May 01, 2011 11:56 am

CanadianWolf wrote:You need to visit both schools, then compare scholarship offers before deciding.

bdubs
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby bdubs » Sun May 01, 2011 11:59 am

I am moving from DC to Chicago to attend Northwestern. I can say that DC is a good place to live, but Chicago is almost certainly better for a 32 year old single guy.

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Patriot1208
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun May 01, 2011 1:50 pm

I'd go to NU. But I do think DC is at least as good of a place to live as chicago. I'd target live in DC but I can see how it isn't for everyone. But NU just has much better orospects than gtown.

bdubs
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby bdubs » Sun May 01, 2011 2:00 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:I'd go to NU. But I do think DC is at least as good of a place to live as chicago. I'd target live in DC but I can see how it isn't for everyone. But NU just has much better orospects than gtown.


DC is great if:
1) You make money (DC is probably the third most expensive metro area in the US)
2) You are in a relationship already or care significantly more about intellect than attractiveness.
3) You are either 1) just graduating from college and want to be here for 1-3 years 2) you are a legal/government/other policy related professional who is here to stay

Chicago is a more well rounded city.

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bjsesq
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby bjsesq » Sun May 01, 2011 2:03 pm

Figure out which one will be cheaper. Balance that with where you want to live the next three years of your life and NU's slightly better job prospects.

xyzbca
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby xyzbca » Sun May 01, 2011 2:14 pm

bdubs wrote:DC is great if:

2) You are in a relationship already or care significantly more about intellect than attractiveness.


I lol'd... so true.

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Marionberry
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Marionberry » Sun May 01, 2011 7:42 pm

Northwestern's combined PI/Gov placement for the Class of 2009: 4.8%

--LinkRemoved--

GULC's combined PI/Gov placement for Class of 2009: 18.4%

--LinkRemoved--

I don't know how accurate these numbers are, or how indicative they truly are of placement ability in PI/Gov, but if you know that's where your interest is GULC probably deserves stronger consideration than it would if you were interested in private practice.

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The Gentleman
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby The Gentleman » Sun May 01, 2011 10:49 pm

I may have met you during my GULC visit in April. (Or met someone with the exact same dilemma lol)

This might sound crazy, but cost and debt load should actually matter less for someone committed to PI than for someone committed to biglaw/private practice, especially at schools that have LRAPs tied to IBR/PSLF. Because LRAPs cover all or part of the loan payments for graduates in PI/govt, your out-of-pocket cost would likely end up being the same regardless of how much debt you incurred.

To illustrate this point, let's compare what your loan payments would be out of GULC vs what they would be out of NU. We'll assume that you'll work in PI/govt for 10 consecutive years and use LRAP with IBR/PSLF to manage your debt. We'll also assume that your debt out of GULC will be 170k compared to 130k out of NU, and that your income will hold steady at 65k over 10 years. (I know, the last thing is a wacky assumption, but accept it for the sake of simplicity)

I got the following scenarios from the TLS Guide to LRAPs and adjusted the calculations to reflect your estimated debt from each school. (http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guide-to-lrap.html)

Georgetown
An unmarried graduate.
Salary: $65,000
Salary less Taxes: ($65,000 - $12,438) = $52,562
Law School Debt: $170,000 on a ten-year repayment plan at 6.8% interest
Yearly Debt Obligation (on a ten-year repayment): $23,476
Yearly Debt Obligation under IBR: (($65,000 – 1.5*$10,830)*.15) = $7,313
LRAP Award: $7,313
Graduate’s Contribution: $0
Take-home Income: $52,562

Northwestern
An unmarried graduate with no undergraduate debt within five years of entering the program.
Salary: $65,000
Salary less Taxes: ($65,000 - $12,438) = $52,562
Law School Debt: $130,000 on a ten-year repayment plan at 6.8% interest
Yearly Debt Obligation (on a ten-year repayment): $17,952
Yearly Debt Obligation under IBR: (($65,000 – 1.5*$10,830)*.15) = $7,313
PSFP Award: (25% of $7,313) = $1,828
Graduate’s Contribution: ($7,313 - $1,828) = $5,485
Take-home Income: ($52,562 - $5,485) = $47,077

Not only does this demonstrate that total cost/debt is largely irrelevant for applicants committed to PI, it also demonstrates that the strength of a school's LRAP could be the most important financial factor in your decision. If these scenarios remain constant for 10 years, Northwestern would end up costing you $54,850 more out-of-pocket than Georgetown, despite the fact that you were in $40,000 more debt at Georgetown.

There are, of course, a number of downsides to racking up more debt, even if you plan to use LRAP with IBR/PSLF. You might change your mind during law school and decide to pursue biglaw, or you might work in PI for 5 years, burn out, and move into the private sector where you won't have the LRAP/PSLF safety net. There's also a chance that you won't be able to find a PI job and will get stuck paying down all the debt out-of-pocket. And finally, the more debt you're in, the tougher it will be to get a mortgage for your first house.

Nonetheless, you should consider that for someone committed to 10 years of PI work, GULC would likely be a much better financial investment than NU, even if it means incurring significantly more debt. Of course, this is just one factor among many and you'll have to evaluate a number of things that aren't easily quantifiable: the strength of your commitment to PI/govt work, the chances of getting an LRAP eligible job from each school, your comfort level with significant debt, how happy you would be at each school, where you want to practice etc.

Good luck!

kobebeef
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby kobebeef » Tue May 03, 2011 5:45 am

I'm in the same dilemma on choosing between GULC and NU, which rested primarily on the different amounts of scholarship money (GULC $105k vs NU 30k). I ended up submitting two seat deposits at the schools anyway and I'm hoping more funds open up at NU when I visit again next week.

For me, the location was important along with factors like class size, student quality of life (competition, living situations, weather etc), prestige and placement. The way they structure their law program is also somewhat different. In the end, I think the two schools are similar enough that it comes down to a gut feeling about where you would like to go and spend three years of your life.

I dont know if you you were at GULC's ASW and your feelings about the school but I feel like there were a large portion of chip-on-the-shoulder types that were also indecisive but ended up having to choose GULC anyway. I dont know whether that indicates a more cutthroat atmosphere.

For me, NU is definitely the 'sexy' pick with a trendy location, a more mature and diverse student body and a more MBA like experience.

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Moxie
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Moxie » Tue May 03, 2011 6:54 am

glewz wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:You need to visit both schools, then compare scholarship offers before deciding.


+1. And tall buildings does not a city make.

czelede
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby czelede » Tue May 03, 2011 9:30 am

NW will give you more flexibility, but if you're deadset on gov/PI, I think GULC has a better LRAP.

As for the city debate - I'm a Chicago native who will always love Chicago, but I prefer DC. Go visit and decide from there. Some people hate it here, some people hate it there.

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bjsesq
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby bjsesq » Tue May 03, 2011 11:35 am

kobebeef wrote:I'm in the same dilemma on choosing between GULC and NU, which rested primarily on the different amounts of scholarship money (GULC $105k vs NU 30k). I ended up submitting two seat deposits at the schools anyway and I'm hoping more funds open up at NU when I visit again next week.

For me, the location was important along with factors like class size, student quality of life (competition, living situations, weather etc), prestige and placement. The way they structure their law program is also somewhat different. In the end, I think the two schools are similar enough that it comes down to a gut feeling about where you would like to go and spend three years of your life.

I dont know if you you were at GULC's ASW and your feelings about the school but I feel like there were a large portion of chip-on-the-shoulder types that were also indecisive but ended up having to choose GULC anyway. I dont know whether that indicates a more cutthroat atmosphere.

For me, NU is definitely the 'sexy' pick with a trendy location, a more mature and diverse student body and a more MBA like experience.

I'll be honest: an NU education isn't so much different than a GULC one that you should give up that scholly. I would take that money. This is coming from an NU kid.

09042014
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 03, 2011 11:52 am

bjsesq wrote:
kobebeef wrote:I'm in the same dilemma on choosing between GULC and NU, which rested primarily on the different amounts of scholarship money (GULC $105k vs NU 30k). I ended up submitting two seat deposits at the schools anyway and I'm hoping more funds open up at NU when I visit again next week.

For me, the location was important along with factors like class size, student quality of life (competition, living situations, weather etc), prestige and placement. The way they structure their law program is also somewhat different. In the end, I think the two schools are similar enough that it comes down to a gut feeling about where you would like to go and spend three years of your life.

I dont know if you you were at GULC's ASW and your feelings about the school but I feel like there were a large portion of chip-on-the-shoulder types that were also indecisive but ended up having to choose GULC anyway. I dont know whether that indicates a more cutthroat atmosphere.

For me, NU is definitely the 'sexy' pick with a trendy location, a more mature and diverse student body and a more MBA like experience.

I'll be honest: an NU education isn't so much different than a GULC one that you should give up that scholly. I would take that money. This is coming from an NU kid.


I think Georgetown is a festering cesspool but I'd take that 105K faster than my two pump pant-less dance lasts.

kobebeef
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby kobebeef » Wed May 04, 2011 12:04 am

Desert Fox wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
kobebeef wrote:I'm in the same dilemma on choosing between GULC and NU, which rested primarily on the different amounts of scholarship money (GULC $105k vs NU 30k). I ended up submitting two seat deposits at the schools anyway and I'm hoping more funds open up at NU when I visit again next week.

For me, the location was important along with factors like class size, student quality of life (competition, living situations, weather etc), prestige and placement. The way they structure their law program is also somewhat different. In the end, I think the two schools are similar enough that it comes down to a gut feeling about where you would like to go and spend three years of your life.

I dont know if you you were at GULC's ASW and your feelings about the school but I feel like there were a large portion of chip-on-the-shoulder types that were also indecisive but ended up having to choose GULC anyway. I dont know whether that indicates a more cutthroat atmosphere.

For me, NU is definitely the 'sexy' pick with a trendy location, a more mature and diverse student body and a more MBA like experience.

I'll be honest: an NU education isn't so much different than a GULC one that you should give up that scholly. I would take that money. This is coming from an NU kid.


I think Georgetown is a festering cesspool but I'd take that 105K faster than my two pump pant-less dance lasts.


I suppose NU isn't worth the 70k over gtown.

fingersxd
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 04, 2011 9:58 am

kobebeef wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
kobebeef wrote:I'm in the same dilemma on choosing between GULC and NU, which rested primarily on the different amounts of scholarship money (GULC $105k vs NU 30k). I ended up submitting two seat deposits at the schools anyway and I'm hoping more funds open up at NU when I visit again next week.

For me, the location was important along with factors like class size, student quality of life (competition, living situations, weather etc), prestige and placement. The way they structure their law program is also somewhat different. In the end, I think the two schools are similar enough that it comes down to a gut feeling about where you would like to go and spend three years of your life.

I dont know if you you were at GULC's ASW and your feelings about the school but I feel like there were a large portion of chip-on-the-shoulder types that were also indecisive but ended up having to choose GULC anyway. I dont know whether that indicates a more cutthroat atmosphere.

For me, NU is definitely the 'sexy' pick with a trendy location, a more mature and diverse student body and a more MBA like experience.

I'll be honest: an NU education isn't so much different than a GULC one that you should give up that scholly. I would take that money. This is coming from an NU kid.


I think Georgetown is a festering cesspool but I'd take that 105K faster than my two pump pant-less dance lasts.


I suppose NU isn't worth the 70k over gtown.


Not a chance. take the money and run (plus reaize that once you're done paying it all back that 70k will be more in the 90k range with compounding interest).

fingersxd
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby fingersxd » Wed May 04, 2011 10:04 am

OP, if you are dead set on Gov't/PI, then GT seems like a no brainer to me. I love Chicago and NU is great (in fact, I prefer Chicago to DC and think GT is a jd factory). That being said, GT's LRAP is MUCH better than NU's and you will come out with substantially less debt (especially if GT comes through with some $ which seems likely).

If you've visted both schools, spent time in both cities and are still torn, then I say to go wherever is cheapest and places best in your intended field of practice. To me, that seems to be GT.

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hipstermafia
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby hipstermafia » Wed May 04, 2011 10:05 am

Moxie wrote:And tall buildings does not a city make.

LOVE THIS.

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Flips88
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Flips88 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:13 am

The Gentleman wrote:I may have met you during my GULC visit in April. (Or met someone with the exact same dilemma lol)

This might sound crazy, but cost and debt load should actually matter less for someone committed to PI than for someone committed to biglaw/private practice, especially at schools that have LRAPs tied to IBR/PSLF. Because LRAPs cover all or part of the loan payments for graduates in PI/govt, your out-of-pocket cost would likely end up being the same regardless of how much debt you incurred.

To illustrate this point, let's compare what your loan payments would be out of GULC vs what they would be out of NU. We'll assume that you'll work in PI/govt for 10 consecutive years and use LRAP with IBR/PSLF to manage your debt. We'll also assume that your debt out of GULC will be 170k compared to 130k out of NU, and that your income will hold steady at 65k over 10 years. (I know, the last thing is a wacky assumption, but accept it for the sake of simplicity)

I got the following scenarios from the TLS Guide to LRAPs and adjusted the calculations to reflect your estimated debt from each school. (http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guide-to-lrap.html)

Georgetown
An unmarried graduate.
Salary: $65,000
Salary less Taxes: ($65,000 - $12,438) = $52,562
Law School Debt: $170,000 on a ten-year repayment plan at 6.8% interest
Yearly Debt Obligation (on a ten-year repayment): $23,476
Yearly Debt Obligation under IBR: (($65,000 – 1.5*$10,830)*.15) = $7,313
LRAP Award: $7,313
Graduate’s Contribution: $0
Take-home Income: $52,562

Northwestern
An unmarried graduate with no undergraduate debt within five years of entering the program.
Salary: $65,000
Salary less Taxes: ($65,000 - $12,438) = $52,562
Law School Debt: $130,000 on a ten-year repayment plan at 6.8% interest
Yearly Debt Obligation (on a ten-year repayment): $17,952
Yearly Debt Obligation under IBR: (($65,000 – 1.5*$10,830)*.15) = $7,313
PSFP Award: (25% of $7,313) = $1,828
Graduate’s Contribution: ($7,313 - $1,828) = $5,485
Take-home Income: ($52,562 - $5,485) = $47,077

Not only does this demonstrate that total cost/debt is largely irrelevant for applicants committed to PI, it also demonstrates that the strength of a school's LRAP could be the most important financial factor in your decision. If these scenarios remain constant for 10 years, Northwestern would end up costing you $54,850 more out-of-pocket than Georgetown, despite the fact that you were in $40,000 more debt at Georgetown.

There are, of course, a number of downsides to racking up more debt, even if you plan to use LRAP with IBR/PSLF. You might change your mind during law school and decide to pursue biglaw, or you might work in PI for 5 years, burn out, and move into the private sector where you won't have the LRAP/PSLF safety net. There's also a chance that you won't be able to find a PI job and will get stuck paying down all the debt out-of-pocket. And finally, the more debt you're in, the tougher it will be to get a mortgage for your first house.

Nonetheless, you should consider that for someone committed to 10 years of PI work, GULC would likely be a much better financial investment than NU, even if it means incurring significantly more debt. Of course, this is just one factor among many and you'll have to evaluate a number of things that aren't easily quantifiable: the strength of your commitment to PI/govt work, the chances of getting an LRAP eligible job from each school, your comfort level with significant debt, how happy you would be at each school, where you want to practice etc.

Good luck!

The TLS example for Northwestern's LRAP is incorrect. They have a calculator on their website that will calculate your LRAP award. Under NU's LRAP, at $65,000, they pay 50% of your IBR payment and 75% of your unpaid interest (interest is only paid for 5 years in the event that you leave PI for some reason). So by their calculations, your IBR annual payment would be $7313 and they'd pay half of that and you'd be left with about $3,600 to pay each year or $300/month. GULC's LRAP would still be better but at NU you'd still have about $2000 more than your estimate states

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Flips88
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Flips88 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:17 am

hipstermafia wrote:
Moxie wrote:And tall buildings does not a city make.

LOVE THIS.

I was going to say that it's law that nothing can be taller than the Washington Monument, but a google search reveals that to be just an urban legend. Who knew?

Either way, I like DC a lot because it doesn't have all the skyscrapers. It's a big city without the suffocating concrete jungle feel of NYC. You can walk around and see the sky everywhere.

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Marionberry
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Re: GULC or Northwestern?

Postby Marionberry » Wed May 04, 2011 10:19 am

Flips88 wrote:
hipstermafia wrote:
Moxie wrote:And tall buildings does not a city make.

LOVE THIS.

I was going to say that it's law that nothing can be taller than the Washington Monument, but a google search reveals that to be just an urban legend. Who knew?

Either way, I like DC a lot because it doesn't have all the skyscrapers. It's a big city without the suffocating concrete jungle feel of NYC. You can walk around and see the sky everywhere.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heights_of ... ct_of_1910 ?




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