Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

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

Where should I enroll?

Chicago w/ 60k
27
59%
Penn w/ 60k "Wilson"
8
17%
Duke JD/MA w/ 115k
11
24%
 
Total votes: 46

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Shooter
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Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Shooter » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:24 am

Hi TLS,

Thanks to everyone for being such an incredible resource for the two cycles I've been involved with this forum.

My current options are listed in the poll... where should I go?

Things to consider:

1) Want NY/DC BigLaw (at least for a few years) with in-house/finance options upon exit.
2) I'm really interested in law, business and economics. Penn's proximity to Wharton, Chicago's reputation for advancing the field of law and economics and Duke's econ joint-degree are all very attractive to me.
3) I have visted Penn and Duke and am schedule to visit Chicago in the very near future. Duke's campus was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, and Penn's wasn't far behind. They are just really different in terms of location. Durham sort of grossed me out, but I liked the areas of Philly that I saw. I liked Penn's law school better.
4) I'm a prestige-whore to a degree.
5) I'm not currently planning on pursuing academia/clerkships, but it would be nice not to rule them out just in case.
6) I have negotiated with Duke, but I have not yet negotiated with Chicago or Penn. Are they known for being flexible?
7) My stats are approximately 172/3.9 (Rej at Yale, JS1-? at Harvard, "soft hold" at Stanford).

Thanks again!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:54 am

JD/MA in what field of study ? Reread your post (economics).

In my opinion, you have three great options. Penn & Chicago, however, offer the best odds of getting NYC biglaw.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dany
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Dany » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:58 am

CanadianWolf wrote:JD/MA in what field of study ?

Read the OP.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:02 am

Retake for HYS. If not that, I'd go with Chicago, especially if you don't like Durham.

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beachbum
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby beachbum » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:20 am

Penn shouldn't be in the discussion. Unless you absolutely love or hate Chicago's campus/culture, the question boils down to whether a ~10-15% bump in placement power is worth $55k. Your call, and I think a good argument could be made either way.

TheRedMamba
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby TheRedMamba » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:08 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:Retake for HYS. If not that, I'd go with Chicago, especially if you don't like Durham.


This is true, 2-3 more points and you're in at least one of HYS

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Veyron
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:13 pm

Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:21 pm

Veyron wrote:Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.


Anything to back this up?

westphillybandr
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby westphillybandr » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:26 pm

Emma. wrote:
Veyron wrote:Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.


Anything to back this up?

NJL ranks Penn as number one for biglaw. However that was only for one year. Historically the edge probably goes to Chicago. Also (I'm not sure about this) I think Chicago may send more kids to clerkships---those kids could (and probably will) do biglaw in the future.

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Shooter
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Shooter » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:29 pm

Hi everyone, I appreciate all of the input so far. I'm just popping in to add that the 172 was a retake from the mid-160s. Also, I'm a reapplicant already. I think those circumstances, plus the fact I never received a js2, make my chances at HYS less than likely.

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Veyron
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:33 pm

westphillybandr wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Veyron wrote:Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.


Anything to back this up?

NJL ranks Penn as number one for biglaw. However that was only for one year. Historically the edge probably goes to Chicago. Also (I'm not sure about this) I think Chicago may send more kids to clerkships---those kids could (and probably will) do biglaw in the future.


NJL are the best statistics that are available (which doesn't mean that they are good). I think the larger point is that only partisans would argue that biglaw placement between the schools is not broadly similar. The schools have very different feels and this should be your main concern when making your choice. After all, this will be a significant component your professional network for the rest of your career. It would be very difficult to visit both schools and not have a strong preference for one over the other (although what that preference is will be different depending on the individual).

iamrobk
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby iamrobk » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:37 pm

Veyron wrote:
westphillybandr wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Veyron wrote:Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.


Anything to back this up?

NJL ranks Penn as number one for biglaw. However that was only for one year. Historically the edge probably goes to Chicago. Also (I'm not sure about this) I think Chicago may send more kids to clerkships---those kids could (and probably will) do biglaw in the future.


NJL are the best statistics that are available (which doesn't mean that they are good). I think the larger point is that only partisans would argue that biglaw placement between the schools is not broadly similar. The schools have very different feels and this should be your main concern when making your choice. After all, this will be a significant component your professional network for the rest of your career. It would be very difficult to visit both schools and not have a strong preference for one over the other (although what that preference is will be different depending on the individual).

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=181415
FWIW, employment data for c/o 2011 (and has the c/o 2010 for comparison).

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:39 pm

Veyron wrote:
westphillybandr wrote:
Emma. wrote:
Veyron wrote:Penn places at least as well in east coast biglaw as the University of Chicago ... and has the added benefit of not being the University of Chicago.


Anything to back this up?

NJL ranks Penn as number one for biglaw. However that was only for one year. Historically the edge probably goes to Chicago. Also (I'm not sure about this) I think Chicago may send more kids to clerkships---those kids could (and probably will) do biglaw in the future.


NJL are the best statistics that are available (which doesn't mean that they are good). I think the larger point is that only partisans would argue that biglaw placement between the schools is not broadly similar. The schools have very different feels and this should be your main concern when making your choice. After all, this will be a significant component your professional network for the rest of your career. It would be very difficult to visit both schools and not have a strong preference for one over the other (although what that preference is will be different depending on the individual).


I mostly agree with this (though I wouldn't be surprised if UChi has the edge over Penn with elite NYC biglaw). I would have to say though, that even if Penn and UChi have very different "feels," (and I'm someone who tends to think that the differences in school cultures is probably much less once you are in the thick of it than people on here would suggest), that doesn't mean you should necessarily have developed a strong preference for one or the other after visiting. I ended up choosing between 3 schools that all had very different feels, but was really torn between all three because they all had their own unique pros & cons.

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Nelson
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:42 pm

Veyron wrote: It would be very difficult to visit both schools and not have a strong preference for one over the other (although what that preference is will be different depending on the individual).

I visited CCN and P this cycle and found them pretty much interchangeable in terms of people, "culture", and physical plant.

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Veyron
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:47 pm

I mostly agree with this (though I wouldn't be surprised if UChi has the edge over Penn with elite NYC biglaw). I would have to say though, that even if Penn and UChi have very different "feels," (and I'm someone who tends to think that the differences in school cultures is probably much less once you are in the thick of it than people on here would suggest), that doesn't mean you should necessarily have developed a strong preference for one or the other after visiting. I ended up choosing between 3 schools that all had very different feels, but was really torn between all three because they all had their own unique pros & cons.


If you really wanted to parse things you could say that Penn probably has the edge in biglaw fields like M&A and Chicago in some types of litigation (we can never know - statistics that would answer this question definitively don't exist as much as TLS tries to concoct them). Its really stupid to parse things like that though, a strong performance at either school puts you in contention for the top firms, a few points either way is background noise.

I could see the torn thing for most school comparisons but Chicago/Penn is about as different as you can get within the T-14 in terms of culture, at least IMHO.

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Nelson
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Nelson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:53 pm

I could see the torn thing for most school comparisons but Chicago/Penn is about as different as you can get within the T-14 in terms of culture, at least IMHO.

Could you elaborate? I'd be really curious to hear your take since I am deciding between these two schools.

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Veyron
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:01 pm

Nelson wrote:
I could see the torn thing for most school comparisons but Chicago/Penn is about as different as you can get within the T-14 in terms of culture, at least IMHO.

Could you elaborate? I'd be really curious to hear your take since I am deciding between these two schools.


Chicago:

Grading system most distinct in the T-14. Employers can pinpoint location of student in class with high degree of accuracy.
Competitive (possibly due at least somewhat to the grading system). Emphasis on academic performance.
Emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the law. Faculty senate.

Penn:

Letter grades but difficult to ascertain class rank beyond the outliers at the top and bottom of the class.
Collegial. Emphasis on socialization and collaboration. Competition discouraged.
Focus on corporate law. Board of directors.

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Dany
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Dany » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:12 pm

Veyron wrote:Grading system most distinct in the T-14. Employers can pinpoint location of student in class with high degree of accuracy.

Competitive (possibly due at least somewhat to the grading system).

Neither of these is true.

rad lulz
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:14 pm

Just incidentally, law and economics as a discipline has very little to do with the work big firm lawyers or in house counsel do. If you want to go the MA for your own edification, go for it, but if you're thinking it'll be useful, it won't.

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Saul Goodman
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Saul Goodman » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:17 pm

Veyron wrote:
Nelson wrote:
I could see the torn thing for most school comparisons but Chicago/Penn is about as different as you can get within the T-14 in terms of culture, at least IMHO.

Could you elaborate? I'd be really curious to hear your take since I am deciding between these two schools.


Chicago:

Grading system most distinct in the T-14. Employers can pinpoint location of student in class with high degree of accuracy. but difficult to ascertain class rank beyond the outliers at the top and bottom of the class.
Competitive (possibly due at least somewhat to the grading system). Emphasis on academic performance. Collegial. Competition discouraged.
Emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the law AND Focus on corporate law.

FTFY

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Emma.
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Emma. » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:18 pm

Veyron wrote:
Nelson wrote:
I could see the torn thing for most school comparisons but Chicago/Penn is about as different as you can get within the T-14 in terms of culture, at least IMHO.

Could you elaborate? I'd be really curious to hear your take since I am deciding between these two schools.


Chicago:

Grading system most distinct in the T-14. Employers can pinpoint location of student in class with high degree of accuracy.
Competitive (possibly due at least somewhat to the grading system). Emphasis on academic performance.
Emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the law. Faculty senate.

Penn:

Letter grades but difficult to ascertain class rank beyond the outliers at the top and bottom of the class.
Collegial. Emphasis on socialization and collaboration. Competition discouraged.
Focus on corporate law. Board of directors.


OK, there might be differences, but I have to address this stuff:

Veyron wrote:Grading system most distinct in the T-14. Employers can pinpoint location of student in class with high degree of accuracy.


True we have a distinctive grading system, but it is pretty hard to pinpoint anyone within the class. We don't provide any GPA or class rank, and most people are very heavily grouped around the median. Also, many employers don't really have any idea what our grades mean.

Veyron wrote:Competitive (possibly due at least somewhat to the grading system). Emphasis on academic performance.


Competition is actively discouraged at UChi. There is a strong informal norm against even talking about your grades. There are definitely some more academically focused folks who spend all their time in the library but there is also a strong bar-review-every-week contingent, and everything in between. I have made great friends at school and am always surprised by how helpful people are when you have a question, need notes, outlines, etc.

Veyron wrote:Emphasis on the theoretical aspects of the law. Faculty senate.


The quarter system lets us offer a ton of different classes for our small size. If you want to get into the nitty gritty about theoretical law & econ stuff you can do that. If you want to take all practical seminar classes you can do that too. We have a unique program (the corporate lab) that lets you work with in-house counsel at companies like JP Morgan, Microsoft, Verizon, Accenture, etc during your 2L and 3L years, we have a ton of cross-listed classes with the B-school and more on the way. First time I've ever heard someone say that a corporate focus was a point of difference between Chicago and another school. I'd say that Chicago offers the chance to have one of the most corporate focused JD experiences if that is what you choose to do.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby TaipeiMort » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:19 pm

Penn is great for NYC big law. If you like it better than Chicago, go there. Chicago will make it very easy to get a job from anywhere in the class anywhere in the country. But, for NYC the Penn gamble may pay off because they place people with WE in NYC better than NYU. However if you want a DC job, or a job anywhere else or don't have work experience then Chicago is a very safe bet. Duke should be out of the discussion.

Alsi, Chicago isn't more competitive than any other school. The grading system hides your class rank, and a large proportion of employers don't care about grades. I have a couple bottom of the curve friends who got many offers and NYC is a safety market for most.

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bk1
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Is the JD/MA 3 years or 4 years?

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Veyron
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:26 pm

The quarter system lets us offer a ton of different classes for our small size. If you want to get into the nitty gritty about theoretical law & econ stuff you can do that. If you want to take all practical seminar classes you can do that too. We have a unique program (the corporate lab) that lets you work with in-house counsel at companies like JP Morgan, Microsoft, Verizon, Accenture, etc during your 2L and 3L years, we have a ton of cross-listed classes with the B-school and more on the way. First time I've ever heard someone say that a corporate focus was a point of difference between Chicago and another school. I'd say that Chicago offers the chance to have one of the most corporate focused JD experiences if that is what you choose to do.


My comment had more to do with focus. Both schools have an insane array of resources for virtually every interest. My comment goes more to how the school and its students see the place and the priorities the school itself has. Penn for instance probably has one of the strongest if not the very strongest criminal law faculties in the country but no one would say that that impacts the zeitgeist as much as the M&A program. It is true that Chicago puts a lot of emphasis on corporate law as well but Penn sort of feels like a business school and Chicago didn't have that vibe.

I'm not going to respond to the other stuff as I'm sure that when the poster visits he will be able to get a feel for the schools himself. Chicago turned me off a bit with the point by point grading system and students and such but I'm sure that some people see things differently, have a different view of what "competitive" means, etc.
Last edited by Veyron on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Chicago $ vs. Penn $ vs. Duke $$$

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:28 pm

Shooter wrote:Hi everyone, I appreciate all of the input so far. I'm just popping in to add that the 172 was a retake from the mid-160s. Also, I'm a reapplicant already. I think those circumstances, plus the fact I never received a js2, make my chances at HYS less than likely.


I actually think your assessment is pretty far off. YS may care that it's a third retake, and H might give you an ever-so-slight downgrade for it, but I don't think it'll be much. And the fact that you got a JS1 with your 16X/172 makes you more likely to get H with a 174/5, not less. And even if I'm wrong and H really does care that you have two retakes, CCN certainly won't, and 3.9/175 is Ruby/Hamilton territory (especially if you write a Chicago tailored PS).

The only reason not to retake is if you really really want to go this year.

ETA: I'm an 0L, but I'm extremely skeptical of people making judgments about the culture of schools they haven't attended based entirely on ASW impressions + anecdotes. Penn wouldn't be a terrible choice because of its placement, but no one on this board who actually goes to Chicago would describe it the way Veyron is doing.

EDIT 2: I misunderstood what you were saying. Yes, I think you probably won't get S or H this cycle (though you might), but I think you should strongly consider taking the year off and retaking if you think you can do better.
Last edited by Elston Gunn on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.




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