Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Best Option

UW Madison- $80,142
22
47%
Minnesota-$93,003
11
23%
WUSTL- $117,285
8
17%
Boston- $121,000
6
13%
 
Total votes: 47

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buckythebadger
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Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:49 pm

These are the options that I have right now. I am still waiting on Cornell, but I am not getting my hopes up. I listed how much debt I would need to go in for each school after scholarships were taken out. I just used the COL estimates on each school's website, so I'm sure I can cut it down by a few thousand each year.

I am from Wisconsin and all my ties are to the Midwest. I would like to settle down in any of the bigger cities here (Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, St.Louis). I'm not dead set on biglaw, but I would be willing to do it if I had the grades to help pay down my debt. I applied to BU/Cornell because I would be willing to work on the east coast and then lateral back to the Midwest after a few years. I do realize that without ties to the east, it would make things slightly more difficult but I'm willing to work through that. BU also leaves the best chances at biglaw (excluding Cornell) which has me leaning in that direction.

Any opinions are appreciated!

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Bronck
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby Bronck » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:02 pm

UW Madison since you're from Wisconsin and want to live there.

wiscohopeful
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby wiscohopeful » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:33 pm

UW --> Great place to go to school for 3 years (at least I enjoyed it in undergrad); no need to take the bar if you end up in two of the cities you listed; UW places well in Wisconsin; you are accustomed to the weather; CHEAPEST!!!!

btw384
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby btw384 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:34 pm

I would say that if you want Madison or Milwaukee, UW has to be your top choice. Any other major city in the Midwest, I would lean towards Wash U (but do not get your hopes up for Chicago, from what I have heard).

As for BU, I think you will have an easier time with no ties in a big city like Boston than you would in a smaller, more insular city. Problem is, you have to realize that not being from Boston puts you at a big disadvantage for any East coast jobs since you have no ties, and any disadvantage ITE makes the job search that much harder. Maybe it does have the best Biglaw placement of the schools you listed, but do the few percentage points in Biglaw placement over a school like Wash U outweigh the risk you take on by moving somewhere without ties? I have no answer for that, but it is something to think about.

Also, I wouldn't assume you can lateral East coast to Midwest so easily unless you've done your research on it. I admittedly don't know a thing about lateraling, but it may not be as easy as you would think.

My vote goes for UW, but it depends on where you decide you want to end up.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:43 pm

Wisconsin is the easy choice in your situation.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:44 pm

UW without question, WUSTL being a somewhat distant second

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:07 pm

I understand that the placement numbers between UW and WUSTL might not be great enough to take on the additional 35k in loans. But most people are saying UW over Minnesota as well. The difference in cost is only 13k while MN seems to have better job prospects. 79% of graduates have a FT bar required job at MN while its only 67% at UW. I know there has been some criticism on the MN facilities, but I'm way more concerned about what school is going to get me a job than how "nice" the buildings look.

I'm also not dead set on Madison/Milwuakee. If I was, UW would be the obvious choice. I'm pretty flexible for any of the major markets in the Midwest.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:10 pm

Then the correct answer is Chicago or Northwestern, but neither is an option.

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thexfactor
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby thexfactor » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:13 pm

I would recommend a retake and attend a T14 like cornell.
Much better chances at getting a decent job from cornell as opposed to UW. Employers will like a T14 degree with ties better than a UW degree. Id say prob median-top 40% at cornell = top 10% at UW.

Plus going to cornell gives you a backup plan that UW/MN/WUSTL does not give you. Your backup plan can be nyc biglaw. you do not need ties for NYC biglaw.

rad lulz
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby rad lulz » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Bronck wrote:UW Madison since you're from Wisconsin and want to live there.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:28 am

thexfactor wrote:I would recommend a retake and attend a T14 like cornell.
Much better chances at getting a decent job from cornell as opposed to UW. Employers will like a T14 degree with ties better than a UW degree. Id say prob median-top 40% at cornell = top 10% at UW.

Plus going to cornell gives you a backup plan that UW/MN/WUSTL does not give you. Your backup plan can be nyc biglaw. you do not need ties for NYC biglaw.


Well I was planning on retaking in June. I scored a 168 in October with 11 of the 15 wrong on one section, so I know I can definitely improve. If I can pull off a 172+, I will most likely wait a year. But if not, it would be my 3rd time taking the test so I would settle for what my options currently are. I need to put a seat deposit down within the next few weeks and then just take the lose if I end up waiting a cycle. So I'm looking more for advice on what the best choice is for my current options. I feel like MN is the best option but consensus so far is going with UW.

rad lulz
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:32 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:40 am

rad lulz wrote:
buckythebadger wrote:
thexfactor wrote:I would recommend a retake and attend a T14 like cornell.
Much better chances at getting a decent job from cornell as opposed to UW. Employers will like a T14 degree with ties better than a UW degree. Id say prob median-top 40% at cornell = top 10% at UW.

Plus going to cornell gives you a backup plan that UW/MN/WUSTL does not give you. Your backup plan can be nyc biglaw. you do not need ties for NYC biglaw.


Well I was planning on retaking in June. I scored a 168 in October with 11 of the 15 wrong on one section, so I know I can definitely improve. If I can pull off a 172+, I will most likely wait a year. But if not, it would be my 3rd time taking the test so I would settle for what my options currently are. I need to put a seat deposit down within the next few weeks and then just take the lose if I end up waiting a cycle. So I'm looking more for advice on what the best choice is for my current options. I feel like MN is the best option but consensus so far is going with UW.

Why would MN be the better option for WI.


Mainly for the reason I stated before about 79% of graduates have a FT bar required job at MN while its only 67% at UW. MN also has slightly better biglaw placement and higher ranking. If the difference in cost was 20k+ then I would obviously see the argument that the slight difference in placement stats shouldn't outweigh the cost difference. But with only 13k difference(for all 3 years total), why not go to a school with better placement numbers?

rad lulz
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:42 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:49 am

rad lulz wrote:
buckythebadger wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
buckythebadger wrote:

Well I was planning on retaking in June. I scored a 168 in October with 11 of the 15 wrong on one section, so I know I can definitely improve. If I can pull off a 172+, I will most likely wait a year. But if not, it would be my 3rd time taking the test so I would settle for what my options currently are. I need to put a seat deposit down within the next few weeks and then just take the lose if I end up waiting a cycle. So I'm looking more for advice on what the best choice is for my current options. I feel like MN is the best option but consensus so far is going with UW.

Why would MN be the better option for WI.


Mainly for the reason I stated before about 79% of graduates have a FT bar required job at MN while its only 67% at UW. MN also has slightly better biglaw placement and higher ranking. If the difference in cost was 20k+ then I would obviously see the argument that the slight difference in placement stats shouldn't outweigh the cost difference. But with only 13k difference(for all 3 years total), why not go to a school with better placement numbers?

You want to be in Wisconsin though.


No, I'm not dead set on working in Wisconsin. Sure I would have no problem if the offer was available to work in Madison/Milwaukee, but I would also have no problems finding a jerb in Minneapolis, St.Louis, or Chicago (which I know is doubtful). I'm pretty flexible with where to find a job in Midwest.

rad lulz
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:16 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tyro
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby tyro » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:33 am

rad lulz wrote:I'd still go where you have the strongest ties

Yeah it seems like this is one of the most important factors if looking at non-t14 schools and hoping for a firm job.

I liked what this dude from ND said. He said it's not so much about where you're "willing" to work, but more so about where you will likely end up whether or not that specific firm gives you a shot.

Randomnumbers
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby Randomnumbers » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:43 pm

I'm looking at a very similar situation to you (although no Boston - I didn't even apply there. No desire to live in Boston). Right now my order of preferences is WUSTL, Wisconsin, and Minnesota a very distant third.

WUSTL advantages: Very easy to get housing near the school (Via WUSTL's Quadrangle housing). 20-30 minute commutes each way is a lot of time wasted/easy way to talk yourself out of going to class. Beautiful campus. Throwing around money like crazy and isn't likely to run out anytime soon, so it isn't going to go anywhere but up. Comparable employment to Minnesota. Health/dental plan is cheaper and better than what I saw from Minnesota's. Really really smart people at the school in general (considering how good they are for everything else).

Wisconsin advantages: Cheap with in-state tuition. Your LSN says you have a 30k scholarship, in state tuition is less then 20k a year - how is that going to get you only 10k less in debt then Minnesota, which costs 20k more (with reciprocity), only gave you 10k more a year in scholarships, and has a much higher cost of living? No bar. The lawyers I know keep on reminding me of that. Much better campus area then Minnesota. You won't have to drive in the twin cities.

Cons: Employment. Insurance plan is a few k a year more expensive than WUSTL. Employment, Employment, Employment. Wisconsin ties and a degree from WUSTL/Minnesota should be just as employable in Wisconsin as a Wisconsin degree (once you've passed the bar) - and more employable everywhere else. [that being said, I don't have any knowledge on this, but I would imagine that trying to get a job in Wisconsin before you passed the Wisconsin bar could be difficult, considering that everyone from Marquette and Wisconsin doesn't have to.]

Minnesota: You'd have to live in the Twin Cities. Either be looking at a commute, stupidly expensive housing, or pretty shite housing. I think there is some housing right across from the law school, but the floor plans/cost didn't look appealing. You'd have to drive in the cities. Again, you'd have to drive there. Laptop program - something like 2k for a shite laptop. Similar employment as WUSTL. Note that Minnesota is saying COL is ~13k a year total, vs WUSTL's 12k a year + 5k for misc/personal expenses - when STL is cheaper to live in. Using the school's numbers, WUSTL is 12k a year more expensive for people with (the stupidly expensive) in-state tuition at Minnesota. I figure the actual number is closer to 6k a year, and you are being offered 5k more a year (According to your LSN). So I'm not sure why your figures are so different for the two.


I'm a bit weird, in that I really prioritize being able to live within walking distance of the school. Not having to drive, or pay to keep a car, or waste time on a commute? That can only help your grades/finances. As far as the actual, you know, education - from what I've heard all three will give you a good education. Even though it isn't ranked as highly, I've heard nothing but great things about Wisconsin. But considering the debt you are taking on, unless you are paying a lot less, it's really hard to justify Wisconsin over WUSTL/Minnesota. To me, it's the employment advantage of WUSTL/Minn vs the low cost/decent shot at a Wisconsin job/no bar at Wisconsin. And when it comes to comparing WUSTL and Minnesota, I've been much happier with all of the little things (campus area, overall school atmosphere, buildings, general impressions from the admissions people, etc).

Minor things that are only making a big difference to me because everything else is so similar between WUSTL and Minnesota:
a) Laptop program
b) the Minnesota Career Services office on the tour bragging about how they gave 40+ 5k grants to graduates last year, and then when I ask "So, you counted them as employed when you gave us that statistic" giving me a "Well, legally we can..." answer.
c) The campus area. Living in a stupidly-expensive grungy downtown area vs living next to a giant fricking park
d) Have you been to the Minnesota law school? Compare it to the WUSTL one.
e) not having to drive in the fricking twin cities.

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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby minnbills » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:49 pm

UW is the clear choice with UMN a second

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:44 pm

Randomnumbers wrote:
Cons: Employment. Insurance plan is a few k a year more expensive than WUSTL. Employment, Employment, Employment. Wisconsin ties and a degree from WUSTL/Minnesota should be just as employable in Wisconsin as a Wisconsin degree (once you've passed the bar) - and more employable everywhere else. [that being said, I don't have any knowledge on this, but I would imagine that trying to get a job in Wisconsin before you passed the Wisconsin bar could be difficult, considering that everyone from Marquette and Wisconsin doesn't have to.]


I agree with this. Having lived in WI all my life, I see no reason why I couldn't find a job coming from WUSTL. On the other side, I feel like I would have a much harder time finding a job in St. Louis/Minneapolis/Chicago if I go to WI. I think it is pretty apparent that WUSTL has more portability than WI. Whether or not its worth the extra money is what I'm still trying to decide. With a 25k a year scholly, tuition is going to be roughly 10k more at WUSTL than Madison per year. Although I believe COL is slightly higher in Madison than in St.Louis

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romothesavior
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:06 pm

buckythebadger wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote:
Cons: Employment. Insurance plan is a few k a year more expensive than WUSTL. Employment, Employment, Employment. Wisconsin ties and a degree from WUSTL/Minnesota should be just as employable in Wisconsin as a Wisconsin degree (once you've passed the bar) - and more employable everywhere else. [that being said, I don't have any knowledge on this, but I would imagine that trying to get a job in Wisconsin before you passed the Wisconsin bar could be difficult, considering that everyone from Marquette and Wisconsin doesn't have to.]


I agree with this. Having lived in WI all my life, I see no reason why I couldn't find a job coming from WUSTL. On the other side, I feel like I would have a much harder time finding a job in St. Louis/Minneapolis/Chicago if I go to WI. I think it is pretty apparent that WUSTL has more portability than WI. Whether or not its worth the extra money is what I'm still trying to decide. With a 25k a year scholly, tuition is going to be roughly 10k more at WUSTL than Madison per year. Although I believe COL is slightly higher in Madison than in St.Louis

Have you tried negotiating with WUSTL? If you can bring the total COA under 100k, then maybe it is more of a coin flip. Overall, I do think we are more portable throughout the Midwest than Wisconsin, but I don't know if it is worth an (almost) extra 40k in your position. At this point, I'd say ties to Wisconsin + lower COA for a Wisconsin degree = Go to Wisconsin. Right now, it is your best option, with WUSTL and UMN at a distant second.

Also, landing biglaw in Chicago or St. Louis with a WUSTL degree as a non-native St. Louisan will probably require top 10-15% grades for either city, so I wouldn't take WUSTL just because you think it will open up these two markets to you. I know of one guy from WI who got STL biglaw, but he had great grades, law review, and went to undergrad in St. Louis. Other than that, I am having trouble thinking of anyone at WUSTL who got STL biglaw without STL ties or a house and spouse here. And Chicago was just a bloodbath.

Also, retake.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby buckythebadger » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:17 pm

romothesavior wrote:
buckythebadger wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote:
Cons: Employment. Insurance plan is a few k a year more expensive than WUSTL. Employment, Employment, Employment. Wisconsin ties and a degree from WUSTL/Minnesota should be just as employable in Wisconsin as a Wisconsin degree (once you've passed the bar) - and more employable everywhere else. [that being said, I don't have any knowledge on this, but I would imagine that trying to get a job in Wisconsin before you passed the Wisconsin bar could be difficult, considering that everyone from Marquette and Wisconsin doesn't have to.]


I agree with this. Having lived in WI all my life, I see no reason why I couldn't find a job coming from WUSTL. On the other side, I feel like I would have a much harder time finding a job in St. Louis/Minneapolis/Chicago if I go to WI. I think it is pretty apparent that WUSTL has more portability than WI. Whether or not its worth the extra money is what I'm still trying to decide. With a 25k a year scholly, tuition is going to be roughly 10k more at WUSTL than Madison per year. Although I believe COL is slightly higher in Madison than in St.Louis

Have you tried negotiating with WUSTL? If you can bring the total COA under 100k, then maybe it is more of a coin flip. Overall, I do think we are more portable throughout the Midwest than Wisconsin, but I don't know if it is worth an (almost) extra 40k in your position. At this point, I'd say ties to Wisconsin + lower COA for a Wisconsin degree = Go to Wisconsin. Right now, it is your best option, with WUSTL and UMN at a distant second.

Also, landing biglaw in Chicago or St. Louis with a WUSTL degree as a non-native St. Louisan will probably require top 10-15% grades for either city, so I wouldn't take WUSTL just because you think it will open up these two markets to you. I know of one guy from WI who got STL biglaw, but he had great grades, law review, and went to undergrad in St. Louis. Other than that, I am having trouble thinking of anyone at WUSTL who got STL biglaw without STL ties or a house and spouse here. And Chicago was just a bloodbath.

Also, retake.


Do you know of anyone who successfully negotiated with WUSTL? I talked to a few current students at ASW, and they said that they didn't have any luck trying to get a bigger scholly. Based on LSN, they seem to have a pretty strict formula for scholarships based off of numbers

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romothesavior
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:18 pm

IIRC from my cycle, some did have success with it. But they told me to take a hike when I asked. :lol:

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tww909
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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby tww909 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:22 pm

you're right to be worried about the placement numbers at UW. i've posted detailed numbers in a few other threads, and i don't want to reproduce everything here. See, e.g., viewtopic.php?f=1&t=179801

if you're looking at 80k debt, that is basically payable on the types of jobs median people at UW get, but you'll have to get somewhat lucky on that level to get a J.D. required job in even a small firm. certainly if you want big law (and that includes firms like godfrey, reinhard, whyte hirschbock, etc that would be mid law in places with larger legal markets) you'll need to be top 15% to be competitive, let alone have any good chance of landing one of those gigs.

you seem to be approaching this the right way. i would retake if i were you and go to a t14. it will give you maximum flexibility in which of these markets you want to be in. nonetheless if you had to go to one of these schools i would say wisconsin and minnesota are pretty close in quality of outcomes, etc.

feel free to PM if you want more info or have specific questions. i grew up in Wisconsin, went to UW for 1L before transferring, and will be working in one of the markets you listed (and interviewed in others) this summer, so i know the scene pretty well.

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Re: Midwest(WUSTL/UW/MN) vs BU

Postby tennisking88 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:41 pm

I think Minnesota is a good option here. I'm think UMN is well worth the $13,000 difference b/w itself and UW. UMN grads place in WI too. I fear WI would constrict you to WI. BU shouldn't be an option, IMO. It's expensive and you don't wanna pin your hopes on lateraling.




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