Help Me Choose a School

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ChiCity22
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Help Me Choose a School

Postby ChiCity22 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:13 pm

I'm having a great deal of trouble of making a final decision as far as what school I should attend, I need to make a decision this weekend so hopefully you guys can help me out. I'm from Chicago and the only school that gave me significant money in-state was DePaul; I thought I was set on the school earlier this week but I'm having allot of second thoughts about it. Basically my options are:

DePaul : ~50k of debt
Rutgers-Newark: ~70k of debt
Case Western: ~60k of debt

Ideally I would like to go to a school where being in the top 1/3 should put me in a good position to get a decent firm job, (If I don't make my scholly stips I'l most likely drop out anyway) Also I'd like to have a shot at big law if I place near the top of my class as my main interest is Capital Markets / Transactions. Chicago is home, but I wouldn't be opposed to living in NE OHIO or N Jersey if they offer a substantial advantage in gaining meaningful employment.
Also, When I took my visit to DePaul, I didn't really like the vibe; its hard to articulate but allot of people there came off as unrealistic towards the legal profession and in general the atmosphere was almost too friendly in a creepy sense. I haven't had the chance to visit Rutgers or Case but my interactions with the assistant deans have been great, the new dean at Case seems exceptional. Lately I've been leaning towards Rutgers/Case but I guess what I need to know is if they offer enough of a advantage in their regions to take either one over DePaul?

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uzpakalis
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby uzpakalis » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:20 pm

Where do you want to live? Any stips on the schollys?

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ChiCity22
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby ChiCity22 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:27 pm

No stip at Case, top 1/3 DePaul, Median at Rutgers. I look at stips as being somewhat irrelevent because if I fall under either of the stips and I don't feel like I'm making any progress towards gaining employment I'l probably just dropout.

All things being equal i'd like to be in Chicago, however I don't want to sacrifice job prospects to stay. From my research it seems like at Depaul to have a shot at Big Law you would need to be top 5% then top 20% for Mid-Law/smaller firms....at Case and Rutgers it seems like there's more leeway ie. Top 15% has a shot at Big Firms, top 1/3 remains competitive towards other substantial jobs with everybody outside those ranges must rely on networking/luck. This is the main reason why I'm leaning towards Case/Rutgers at this point.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:38 pm

Case Western Reserve is attractive because the scholarship has no stipulations.

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uzpakalis
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby uzpakalis » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:00 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Case Western Reserve is attractive because the scholarship has no stipulations.


Try to get the stips removed at DePaul if you are dead set on going there. Good luck!

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mrtoren
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby mrtoren » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:15 pm

I'm a Chicago native as well and have considered both DePaul and Rutgers-Newark for the upcoming cycle. Numbers, as we all know, are highly tampered with by law schools. However, assuming both are playing the same game, Newark's numbers are a little better. 76.6% of graduates are known to be employed upon graduation at DePaul, while 78.2% are at Rutgers-Newark. The starting median private sector salary for DePaul is $66,500, at Newark its $135,000. Also, whereas DePaul is a middle of the pack school its city, Rutgers is at the top of its state. New Jersey eats, sleeps, and breaths Rutgers. Firms are reportedly fiercely loyal to Rutgers graduates, in part, because of NJ's reputation and treatment by outsiders. I've seen posts on these forums describing students from much better law schools getting passed up at NJ firms by Rutgers grads. They take care of their own. If Newark doesn't suit you, you're in a great position to apply to firms up-and-down the Mid-Atlantic region. Chicago is fairly isolated.

I encourage you to visit Newark before you commit if you haven't done so already. Parts of it make Chicago's south side look like a country club neighborhood. Newark is rundown, poor, and still crime ridden. The business district and university heights are both nice, but the law school is on the outskirts of the campus. I would be very careful at night. However, Manhattan is a $1.75 and 20 minutes away on the PATH. Hoboken and Jersey City are even closer and they're popular nightlife spots. New Jersey also boast something like the second highest household income in the nation. There's some serious money in the NJ suburbs closer to NYC.

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ChiCity22
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby ChiCity22 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:08 am

mrtoren wrote:I'm a Chicago native as well and have considered both DePaul and Rutgers-Newark for the upcoming cycle. Numbers, as we all know, are highly tampered with by law schools. However, assuming both are playing the same game, Newark's numbers are a little better. 76.6% of graduates are known to be employed upon graduation at DePaul, while 78.2% are at Rutgers-Newark. The starting median private sector salary for DePaul is $66,500, at Newark its $135,000. Also, whereas DePaul is a middle of the pack school its city, Rutgers is at the top of its state. New Jersey eats, sleeps, and breaths Rutgers. Firms are reportedly fiercely loyal to Rutgers graduates, in part, because of NJ's reputation and treatment by outsiders. I've seen posts on these forums describing students from much better law schools getting passed up at NJ firms by Rutgers grads. They take care of their own. If Newark doesn't suit you, you're in a great position to apply to firms up-and-down the Mid-Atlantic region. Chicago is fairly isolated.

I encourage you to visit Newark before you commit if you haven't done so already. Parts of it make Chicago's south side look like a country club neighborhood. Newark is rundown, poor, and still crime ridden. The business district and university heights are both nice, but the law school is on the outskirts of the campus. I would be very careful at night. However, Manhattan is a $1.75 and 20 minutes away on the PATH. Hoboken and Jersey City are even closer and they're popular nightlife spots. New Jersey also boast something like the second highest household income in the nation. There's some serious money in the NJ suburbs closer to NYC.



Appreciate the response; I regret not going to Rutgers to get a feel for the school during ASD but I'l most likely check out Newark soon to help me make a decision; Have you chosen a school yet?

MrAnon
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:12 am

Never ever ever ever pick up and move more than 50 miles to attend a Tier 2, 3 or 4 school. These are local schools, and no particular one offers any advantages over any other. Rutgers IS the Depaul of NYC. Case Western, well, I suppose it is the best school in its town, but it isn't well known or particularly well thought of outside of Ohio. These are not destination schools; don't relocate to attend them. The logical thing to do is stick with the town you know and the market you know, not to move to a different city to attend essentially the same school that is in your own backyard. People pick up and move to Harvard, UVA, Berkeley because they offer something really unique. Don't turn Rutgers into an adventure.

By the way what do you mean by unrealistic about the legal profession? I think that each school here charges an arm and a leg to attend makes them all unrealistic about the legal profession from the get go. Sure they tell everyone they'll get great jobs, but what are they supposed to do? Reveal the real employment numbers on admitted students day? No way.

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mrtoren
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby mrtoren » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 am

MrAnon wrote:Never ever ever ever pick up and move more than 50 miles to attend a Tier 2, 3 or 4 school. These are local schools, and no particular one offers any advantages over any other. Rutgers IS the Depaul of NYC. Case Western, well, I suppose it is the best school in its town, but it isn't well known or particularly well thought of outside of Ohio. These are not destination schools; don't relocate to attend them. The logical thing to do is stick with the town you know and the market you know, not to move to a different city to attend essentially the same school that is in your own backyard. People pick up and move to Harvard, UVA, Berkeley because they offer something really unique. Don't turn Rutgers into an adventure.

IMO, I disagree. I would venture to bet many, if not most, law students have few or no real legal connections in their city. Don't get me wrong, a lot of law students are generational and have strong ties to other professionals. But a lot do not. They still make it. Yes, Rutgers is DePaul level in NYC, but Newark and the rest of New Jersey have their own legal market as well. Considering NJ doesn't even have a T1 law school in its state, the situation is unique. Rutgers-Newark/Seton Hall battle it out for the title of top law school thus putting grads on the crest of desirability for finding employment in the area. Also, in the absence of connections, OCI and resume saturation are still tried-and-true methods of attaining employment.

ChiCity22 wrote:Appreciate the response; I regret not going to Rutgers to get a feel for the school during ASD but I'l most likely check out Newark soon to help me make a decision; Have you chosen a school yet?

I'll be applying this summer. Not quite sure what school will win out, but Rutgers is slightly leading the pack. I visited the school in May and liked a lot of things about it. Its not Seton Hall by any means, but its also $20,000 cheaper than that school at sticker. Its a relatively new building, built about 8-10 years if I'm correctly remembering what the admissions woman said. All-in-all, it offers its grads great opportunities. Its not a T14 or even a T30, we all know that, but I would venture to claim it as one of the top tier 2 schools out there. IMHO.

Also, don't be surprised by the lack of flash-and-bang during the tour. I went during finals and was allowed a sit down with a friendly admissions lady, but was not offered a guided tour. We basically had to walk around by ourselves. Its a fairly petty thing to get hung up on, but it was unusual.

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ChiCity22
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby ChiCity22 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:28 pm

MrAnon wrote:Never ever ever ever pick up and move more than 50 miles to attend a Tier 2, 3 or 4 school. These are local schools, and no particular one offers any advantages over any other. Rutgers IS the Depaul of NYC. Case Western, well, I suppose it is the best school in its town, but it isn't well known or particularly well thought of outside of Ohio. These are not destination schools; don't relocate to attend them. The logical thing to do is stick with the town you know and the market you know, not to move to a different city to attend essentially the same school that is in your own backyard. People pick up and move to Harvard, UVA, Berkeley because they offer something really unique. Don't turn Rutgers into an adventure.

By the way what do you mean by unrealistic about the legal profession? I think that each school here charges an arm and a leg to attend makes them all unrealistic about the legal profession from the get go. Sure they tell everyone they'll get great jobs, but what are they supposed to do? Reveal the real employment numbers on admitted students day? No way.



I'd argue that Rutgers offers something unique since they offer everyone in-state tuition, and has a solid connection to its market, in many instances it can become cheaper than local private schools such as Depaul and Loyola. It is only a marginal advantage when it comes to employment opportunities but Rutgers has some of the most transparent placement data on their website and in my opinion they are a level above DePaul with respect to their regions. I'm not saying its smart to go to a t2 in NYC at sticker when you want to work in Chicago, but there are people like me who don't mind getting away from home and moving somewhere else so in some instances it could make sense.

When I say unrealistic about the legal profession I meant that during the ASD the majority of people I met seemed very naive towards how the legal market works, and this was after they passed out the career info which isn't very transparent, but even with the given info its obvious less than half the class gets placed into full-time legal work. It doesn't take allot of research to realize the odds of finding good legal employment are very much against you. I met with a group of UIUC law students when I was visiting a friend there and given they were all 1Ls they all seemed to have a clear realistic plan towards employment and what fields they wanted to get into. At DePaul it was more of the "I might do corporate law but I dunno if I'l like it, I might just go into international law and help solve problems across the globe".

mrtoren wrote:Also, don't be surprised by the lack of flash-and-bang during the tour. I went during finals and was allowed a sit down with a friendly admissions lady, but was not offered a guided tour. We basically had to walk around by ourselves. Its a fairly petty thing to get hung up on, but it was unusual.


I don't expect allot of flash at all, it turned me off Loyola (aside from the fact I got little$), I regret not going during the spring semester so I could have the opportunity to talk to some students there but I'm really interested in checking out North Jersey in general, I've heard nothing but good things about it.

MrAnon
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:11 pm

You are buying into Rutgers sales pitch because its not near you and you kind of hope its not depaul. Trust me, its very similar to depaul: big metro area with a lot of schools and this one is somewhere in the back of the pack. Regarding the statements made by Depaul students or UIUC students--- I'm sure if you asked some U Chicago 1Ls what their plans were they might come across as even more realistic and well thought out than the UIUC students. Do you see what I'm getting at?

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CurbYourEnthusiasm
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby CurbYourEnthusiasm » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:56 pm

MrAnon wrote:You are buying into Rutgers sales pitch because its not near you and you kind of hope its not depaul. Trust me, its very similar to depaul: big metro area with a lot of schools and this one is somewhere in the back of the pack. Regarding the statements made by Depaul students or UIUC students--- I'm sure if you asked some U Chicago 1Ls what their plans were they might come across as even more realistic and well thought out than the UIUC students. Do you see what I'm getting at?


This is partially incorrect. DePauls home is Chicago, so yes its middle of the pack compared to the other Chicago law schools. Rutgers market is New Jersey, not New York. If you go to Rutgers for New York, then you're in for a rude awakening since only the top students will get jobs in New York, or if you have a decent connection. If you want to work in NJ, then Rutgers is a fine school and probably the top choice since it's less than half the price of Seton Hall with in-state tuition. Not a good comparison you made IMO.

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mrtoren
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby mrtoren » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:45 pm

CurbYourEnthusiasm wrote:This is partially incorrect. DePauls home is Chicago, so yes its middle of the pack compared to the other Chicago law schools. Rutgers market is New Jersey, not New York. If you go to Rutgers for New York, then you're in for a rude awakening since only the top students will get jobs in New York, or if you have a decent connection. If you want to work in NJ, then Rutgers is a fine school and probably the top choice since it's less than half the price of Seton Hall with in-state tuition. Not a good comparison you made IMO.

+1

Some Rutgers grads end up in NY, but its a NJ school. If you know you want NY, you go to a NY school. Yes, the two cities are geographically close, but thats similar to saying DePaul kids are inevitably going to go to Madison. Newark has its own thriving legal market and there are a number of other major cities in the state as well. Rutgers is an excellent choice for NJ and possesses what is arguably the best balance of attributes between the three options. How many law schools are in Illinois? Nine?

Bottom line, Rutgers is an excellent school for NJ. It may offer an avenue into NYC, but it should not be considered a swaying factor. However, a sizable number of its graduates find work and earn respectable salaries compared to other T2's. Its a choice that deserves more research and thought.

MrAnon
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:56 pm

Yeah just don't forget that Rutgers students have to fight for jobs with students from another school also called Rutgers. Its hard not to be #1 in the state when you have multiple law schools there under the same flag.

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mrtoren
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby mrtoren » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:13 pm

MrAnon wrote:Yeah just don't forget that Rutgers students have to fight for jobs with students from another school also called Rutgers. Its hard not to be #1 in the state when you have multiple law schools there under the same flag.

One is at one end of the state, the other is at the other end. Grads may compete here and there, but they generally appeal to different markets.

MrAnon
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby MrAnon » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:03 am

Also I'd like to have a shot at big law if I place near the top of my class as my main interest is Capital Markets / Transactions


Also if this is your interest you really need to retake or more likely just consider going into business. Very few grads from these schools are involved in this area of law.

IronHBM
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby IronHBM » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:52 am

MrAnon wrote:Yeah just don't forget that Rutgers students have to fight for jobs with students from another school also called Rutgers. Its hard not to be #1 in the state when you have multiple law schools there under the same flag.


From my understanding , RU-C caters primarily to south Jersey and Philadelphia(if you're lucky) and RU-N primarily serves North Jersey and NYC (if you're lucky), of course there will be graduates intermingling between the region but that's to be expected.

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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby 23402385985 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:07 am

It's also pretty easy to become a NJ resident and get in-state tuition from what I remember. I am from NJ, but never went to Rutgers but have a number of out of state friends who did.

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ChiCity22
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby ChiCity22 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:24 am

MrAnon wrote:
Also I'd like to have a shot at big law if I place near the top of my class as my main interest is Capital Markets / Transactions


Also if this is your interest you really need to retake or more likely just consider going into business. Very few grads from these schools are involved in this area of law.



Already retook, Spent a year and a half working in "business". I want to go into law, I understand that specific practice area is a reach and I'm going into this with that in mind.

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mrtoren
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby mrtoren » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:48 pm

joncrooshal wrote:It's also pretty easy to become a NJ resident and get in-state tuition from what I remember. I am from NJ, but never went to Rutgers but have a number of out of state friends who did.

If you sign a 12 month lease, on-campus or off, RU-N will give in-state tuition from the first year on. That provision is almost unrivaled for a state law school.
ChiCity22 wrote:Already retook, Spent a year and a half working in "business". I want to go into law, I understand that specific
practice area is a reach and I'm going into this with that in mind.

Focus more on business/corporate law. No point in getting your hopes up..if by some miracle it happens, great, but you should get rid of the stars in your eyes before day one.

derkaiser99
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Re: Help Me Choose a School

Postby derkaiser99 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:01 am

I am also trying to decide between DePaul and Case Western, hopefully by tonight so I can submit my secod deposit...

I visited both and really liked Case but having been to Cleveland multiple times, do not really like the city. I recently visited DePaul, so classes were out, and I found the visit kind of disappointing, the staff was kind of lackadasical and even though their remodeling the facilities, the atmosphere didn't seem as pleasant as Case and some of the other schools I've visited.

Honestly I was leaning toward Case but the more I thought about Cleveland after living in Chicago for 4 years of undergrand the more that turned me off

Plus it seems kind of dumb to pick a school for a certain speciality or to go across the midwest for another T2 school, all for a whole 23 point jump in the rankings (84 to 61)?

I am more leaning toward DePaul now I think even though I want to do business/international law and I think Case has more to offer in that area. any thoughts?




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