Northwestern at sticker?

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looseseal
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Northwestern at sticker?

Postby looseseal » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:46 am

I had a few options, but in the end I choose Northwestern at sticker. I'm sort of panicking, though, now because of all the debt. I do have some money saved from working, but I have to take out tuition money. Am I totally screwing myself? FWIW, I'm hoping for biglaw and I have a biotech and chemistry background that I hope to use to work in patents.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:58 am

I believe that T13 at sticker is still a good investment. At any of these schools, a median student stands a pretty good chance of landing BigLaw (each school seems to send about 50%+ each year).

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swc65
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby swc65 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:04 pm

It depends on what you gave up for sticker at NU.

JOThompson
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:09 pm

If you want to do IP, you should be able to find a good gig out of NW. Given the demand for IP attorneys, it's possible you could still land a comparable job out of a slightly lower ranked school. What were your other options?

scammedhard
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby scammedhard » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:26 pm

looseseal wrote:I had a few options, but in the end I choose Northwestern at sticker. I'm sort of panicking, though, now because of all the debt. I do have some money saved from working, but I have to take out tuition money. Am I totally screwing myself? FWIW, I'm hoping for biglaw and I have a biotech and chemistry background that I hope to use to work in patents.

Do you have a PhD? BS in chem and bio are not good enough in today's labor market.

Northwestern has generated quite a few negative headlines in terms of (un)employment:

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/04/law-scho ... -on-a-rug/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 18446.html

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/03/law-scho ... -students/

--LinkRemoved--

If you are comfortable with your decision, pull back... there is still time. You haven't paid a dime yet (except for the security deposit). Because law school offers no collateral, it is a huge financial decision, probably the biggest of your life. Also consider that if you got into Northwestern once, you can probably do so again a few more years.

I am not trying to dissuade you. Go if you want, but you have to be all in; otherwise, you will probably freak out at the first sign that things are not going well, making it even worse.

scammedhard
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby scammedhard » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:32 pm

JOThompson wrote:If you want to do IP, you should be able to find a good gig out of NW. Given the demand for IP attorneys, it's possible you could still land a comparable job out of a slightly lower ranked school. What were your other options?

Do you have any data to about the demand for IP attorneys? Or is this mere speculation? I know several people with PhDs in sciences that have recently graduated from Tier 1 schools and cannot find legal employment. To make matters worse, they cannot find scientific employment (or go back to their previous jobs that had really good salaries) because their skills have become "outdated," or so they are told. To sum it up: PhD in sciences + JD Tier 1 = No jobs yet.

JOThompson
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:41 pm

Two of my friends work in Silicone Valley IP firms and I've had the chance to pick their brains on the topic. One graduated from Loyola and the other from USC. I haven't spoken with a broad enough sample of IP attorneys but I think that's still a starting point.

Some IP firms at OCI aren't even getting enough bids. For instance, when there wasn't enough qualified interest, Hastings gave students an extra five free bids for IP employers. Anecdotal but take it for what it's worth. No one is claiming that the legal market has recovered, but if I had a science background, I'd be gunning for an IP job now.

scammedhard wrote:
JOThompson wrote:If you want to do IP, you should be able to find a good gig out of NW. Given the demand for IP attorneys, it's possible you could still land a comparable job out of a slightly lower ranked school. What were your other options?

Do you have any data to about the demand for IP attorneys? Or is this mere speculation? I know several people with PhDs in sciences that have recently graduated from Tier 1 schools and cannot find legal employment. To make matters worse, they cannot find scientific employment (or go back to their previous jobs that had really good salaries) because their skills have become "outdated," or so they are told. To sum it up: PhD in sciences + JD Tier 1 = No jobs yet.

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bjsesq
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby bjsesq » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:43 pm

OP should be talking to Desert Fox. PM him.

scammedhard
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby scammedhard » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:46 pm

JOThompson wrote:Two of my friends work in Silicone Valley IP firms and I've had the chance to pick their brains on the topic. One graduated from Loyola and the other from USC. I haven't spoken with a broad enough sample of IP attorneys but I think that's still a starting point.

Some IP firms at OCI aren't even getting enough bids. For instance, when there wasn't enough qualified interest, Hastings gave students an extra five free bids for IP employers. Anecdotal but take it for what it's worth. No one is claiming that the legal market has recovered, but if I had a science background, I'd be gunning for an IP job now.

In terms of computers/software/internet, I agree with you. I am in that field and it is truly booming right now, so much so that people are starting to call it the DotCom 2.0 Bubble.
So, legal employment in Silicone Valley IP firms is HOT, but that's mostly because Silicone Valley is hot. Other legal IP fields, like chem or bio that the OP mentioned, are not doing well at all. Not all IP fields are the same, they vary depending on the underlying science.

JOThompson
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:48 pm

scammedhard wrote:
JOThompson wrote:Two of my friends work in Silicone Valley IP firms and I've had the chance to pick their brains on the topic. One graduated from Loyola and the other from USC. I haven't spoken with a broad enough sample of IP attorneys but I think that's still a starting point.

Some IP firms at OCI aren't even getting enough bids. For instance, when there wasn't enough qualified interest, Hastings gave students an extra five free bids for IP employers. Anecdotal but take it for what it's worth. No one is claiming that the legal market has recovered, but if I had a science background, I'd be gunning for an IP job now.

In terms of computers/software/internet, I agree with you. I am in that field and it is truly booming right now, so much so that people are starting to call it the DotCom 2.0 Bubble.
So, legal employment in Silicone Valley IP firms is HOT, but that's mostly because Silicone Valley is hot. Other legal IP field, like chem or bio that the OP mentioned, are not doing well at all. Not all IP fields are the same, they vary depending on the underlying science.

You may be right about that. I'm guilty of lumping the various IP niches together.

looseseal
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby looseseal » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:53 pm

I should also mention that I went to a top undergrad for computer science and IS, did take some programming and technical classes, and a significant amount of my work experience is working in the software department of a biotech company doing both technical writing, testing, vendor interviews, etc. The rest of my experience is working in a clinical laboratory testing tumors for chemotherapy sensitivity. I've also had some experience with Materials Engineering and RNA research. I think I've got a fairly wide base to fall back on, which might be attractive to employers? I don't really know, but in my overly-optimistic brain, thats what I'm hoping...

scammedhard
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby scammedhard » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:17 pm

looseseal wrote:I should also mention that I went to a top undergrad for computer science and IS, did take some programming and technical classes, and a significant amount of my work experience is working in the software department of a biotech company doing both technical writing, testing, vendor interviews, etc. The rest of my experience is working in a clinical laboratory testing tumors for chemotherapy sensitivity. I've also had some experience with Materials Engineering and RNA research. I think I've got a fairly wide base to fall back on, which might be attractive to employers? I don't really know, but in my overly-optimistic brain, thats what I'm hoping...

I think your experience and credentials will be attractive for many IP fields, but not for Patent Law. For pharmaceuticals/biotech patents, employers want PhDs in biomedical sciences/chem/etc; and for internet/software/etc, employers want actual CS/Soft Eng/Comp Eng majors with programming experience. I think your credentials and experiences fall short for Patent Law.

Good luck.

09042014
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:33 pm

I'm having a hard time following you. What are your degrees.

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blank403
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby blank403 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:43 pm

scammedhard wrote:Northwestern has generated quite a few negative headlines in terms of (un)employment:

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/04/law-scho ... -on-a-rug/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 18446.html

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/03/law-scho ... -students/

--LinkRemoved--

.


Confused 0L here.

Aren't those second two articles positive headlines? From what I gather on these forums, almost every law school (including the t14 minus maybe HYS) is suffering from record levels of unemployed graduates. It seems to me that the article is just saying that NU is actually doing something about it.

As for the first two articles, they only mention one unemployed NU student each...and then another NU graduate with a clerkship and big law job lined up.

Am I missing something?

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:05 pm

looseseal wrote:I had a few options, but in the end I choose Northwestern at sticker. I'm sort of panicking, though, now because of all the debt. I do have some money saved from working, but I have to take out tuition money. Am I totally screwing myself? FWIW, I'm hoping for biglaw and I have a biotech and chemistry background that I hope to use to work in patents.

I really hope your username is the Arrested Development reference it appears to be.

Redfactor
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby Redfactor » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:32 pm

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Last edited by Redfactor on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

looseseal
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby looseseal » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:14 am

Redfactor wrote:
Gecko of Doom wrote:
looseseal wrote:I had a few options, but in the end I choose Northwestern at sticker. I'm sort of panicking, though, now because of all the debt. I do have some money saved from working, but I have to take out tuition money. Am I totally screwing myself? FWIW, I'm hoping for biglaw and I have a biotech and chemistry background that I hope to use to work in patents.

I really hope your username is the Arrested Development reference it appears to be.


I was just thinking the same thing!



Anyways, I think the fact that you're concerned with money shows fiscal maturity. So, even if you do go to NU at sticker (not a bad choice imo), then you're going to understand that you'll be priming yourself and then aggressively going after jobs to ensure the ability to payback loans. I would think this to help compared to peers who feel jobs will just fall in their lap.


The more I think about it, I agree with you. I’ve always been pretty responsible with money and I was able to pay back the majority of my undergrad loans by living at home and working for a year before law school. I have no problem living somewhat frugally to be able to pay back my loans as quickly as possible after law school. I understand that going into patents doesn’t allow you to “write your own ticket” and get handed a job without having to try, but I also think that my background may help me gain access to opportunities that I may not have had without the technical degree. Although the computer and technology sectors may be booming right now, that doesn’t mean that there is no need for people to work with pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biotech, and materials. I think that the doom and gloom of people here about getting jobs can get a bit overblown. I’m not being at all naïve, but I think that at some point most choices are a calculated risk.
I know lawyers who work in these fields with only a bachelors, and I’ve spoken to some of them about my ability to work in the field with my undergraduate credentials and varied work experience. I’m lucky that I have some connections, but I think that I’m going in as well informed as possible. I tend to be goal driven and it’s easier for me to work hard when I want something specific. I suppose I was just looking for a bit of validation in a short moment of panic. Haha
Also, yes, it is an arrested development reference. Probably my favorite part of the whole series :)

scammedhard
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby scammedhard » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:31 am

Looseseal:

I understand your concern, and I agree with you that Northwestern is mostly a good choice, but I am still doubtful of the Patent Law thing.
Whatever the case, remember that upon graduation you will likely have a 225K debt, if not more; and because of that, Plan A HAS TO WORK WELL. There is no Plan B that will allow you, or anyone else, to repay such a large sum of money.
Good luck.

looseseal
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby looseseal » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:00 am

scammedhard wrote:Looseseal:

I understand your concern, and I agree with you that Northwestern is mostly a good choice, but I am still doubtful of the Patent Law thing.
Whatever the case, remember that upon graduation you will likely have a 225K debt, if not more; and because of that, Plan A HAS TO WORK WELL. There is no Plan B that will allow you, or anyone else, to repay such a large sum of money.
Good luck.


I completely understand that and think that you raise a real concern. Luckily I have money saved for living expenses, so it will be more like $150,000, which is in no way a small amount, but perhaps slightly more reasonable.

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D-hops
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby D-hops » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:12 am

scammedhard wrote:
looseseal wrote:I had a few options, but in the end I choose Northwestern at sticker. I'm sort of panicking, though, now because of all the debt. I do have some money saved from working, but I have to take out tuition money. Am I totally screwing myself? FWIW, I'm hoping for biglaw and I have a biotech and chemistry background that I hope to use to work in patents.

Do you have a PhD? BS in chem and bio are not good enough in today's labor market.

Northwestern has generated quite a few negative headlines in terms of (un)employment:

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/04/law-scho ... -on-a-rug/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 18446.html

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/03/law-scho ... -students/

--LinkRemoved--

If you are comfortable with your decision, pull back... there is still time. You haven't paid a dime yet (except for the security deposit). Because law school offers no collateral, it is a huge financial decision, probably the biggest of your life. Also consider that if you got into Northwestern once, you can probably do so again a few more years.

I am not trying to dissuade you. Go if you want, but you have to be all in; otherwise, you will probably freak out at the first sign that things are not going well, making it even worse.


Did you actually read most of those story's? First, the unemployed people that graduated in the peak of the ITE hiring cutbacks, second, most of those were discussing ways in which NU was being proactive in trying to get people jobs early on and supporting them after graduation if they couldn't find jobs. I think that is actually positive for NU

OP: Your IP background won't be too helpful in finding a job. It will be a slight boost and it will give you access to the loyola patent fair which increases your chances at getting interviews. I made the same decision as you and I don't regret it, but I knew I wanted to do law and was not too debt averse.

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Horsefeathers
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby Horsefeathers » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:15 am

OP - thanks for raising this. I'm following closely as someone who is fretting financial doom over paying sticker at NU.

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Robespierre
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby Robespierre » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:22 am

You'll have a T14 degree. You have a marketing plan of sorts. Your debt, while big, will not be crushing. Relax and enjoy.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am

LOL at the one guy who gave up a job paying more than 80K to attend BLS at sticker.

ibizre
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby ibizre » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:34 pm

I'm a currently Northwestern (rising) 3L. If you study relatively hard, you shouldn't have any problem finding an IP job. A lot of IP firms recruit at NU and students with science/engineering backgrounds had a much easier time finding jobs than other students. Both during OCI last year and the year before, many patent firms had trouble filling up their interview slots. Also, the legal market has definitely been picking up and recruiting has been steadily improving each year.

That being said, I know a lot of students from the Class of 2011 that graduated without jobs. I also know quite a few (although the numbers were smaller) people from my class who did not get a firm job this summer. Most of the people I know without jobs did not take the application thing seriously (i.e. they relied on OCI too much, did not mass mail, did not attend any alternative/patent/diversity job fairs). If you are aggressive with your job search and are within the top half of your class you should be able to find something.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Northwestern at sticker?

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:32 pm

. 2014 perspective?




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