Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UChicago - UPDATE

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

Where should I go?

Northwestern ($120k)
35
81%
UChicago (sticker)
8
19%
 
Total votes: 43

glinda
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Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UChicago - UPDATE

Postby glinda » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:04 am

UPDATE: Just accepted off the waitlist at UChicago. Was definitely not expecting this and am now trying to decide between NU and UChicago. Obviously UChicago is in a different league prestige-wise, but are the opportunities out of either school significantly different? I'll be asking UChicago about financial aid, but am not expecting anything this late in the game. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

I'm stuck on this decision and don't have much time, so I wanted to see if I can get some objective opinions. I had decided on Michigan with a $54,000 scholarship until Northwestern offered me $120,000 a little over a week ago. I sent both of these offers to UVA and NYU, but have yet to hear back so I assume I would be paying sticker at either. I'm really only including them in the poll for a full picture of my options. I also have about $100,000 that I can use toward law school costs. Ideally I'd like to clerk after law school and then move into Biglaw in either NYC or Chicago, but I know clerking is a long shot.

Here is my thinking on Michigan vs. Northwestern:

Michigan
Michigan was my dream school throughout the application process. I love the collegial atmosphere and was very impressed by the dedication of the professors at ASW. I also really like the idea of being in a college town. I've lived in NYC for the past two years and would like a break from the hustle and bustle. Plus, the cost of attendance at Michigan is much lower than Northwestern. I like the flexibility I would have coming out of Michigan, as it places students in all parts of the country in all different types of jobs. After visiting, I could picture myself in Ann Arbor and think that I would enjoy three years spent at Michigan Law.

However, the employment figures do give me pause, although everyone I spoke to at ASW said that things were improving and Michigan seems a bit more prestigious when it comes to clerkships. However, even factoring cost of living, Michigan would be the more expensive choice, which makes any uncertainity as to job prospects more troublesome.

Northwestern
Northwestern surprised me with their scholarship offer, which was much more than I was expecting. It's in a city, which isn't something I was looking for, but my family lives in Chicago so it would be nice to be close to home. Everything I read says that Northwestern is excellent for Chicago Biglaw. Could it get me to NYC? Also, does the slight difference in prestige between Michigan and Northwestern matter for clerkship placement?

I'm a little concerned that the more mature student body will be somewhat isolating. Are most people married/settled and thus more likely to treat law school as a job (and less likely to hang out with friends on the weekends)? I'm young, single, and don't know anyone in Chicago (other than my parents) so I'm afraid that I'll just be going between my apartment and the law school. I will be visiting this weekend for ASW to get a feel for things, but need to accept the scholarship shortly afterward. I'm still just a little amazed by their offer and am trying to get a sense for what that would mean for the next three years of my life.

Thanks in advance for the help. I know it's a great problem to have and I'm fairly certain what the advice will be, but I'm interested to see what everyone thinks.
Last edited by glinda on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:06 am

Northwestern seems to be the easy & obvious choice among your options.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:09 am

Nrthwestern seems like TCR, though I definitely get the appeal of the "dream school." check out the NU admits thread and the NU students taking questions and challenges threads, and you'll see that we're a social bunch! I'm mid-twenties and not married, and it seems like a big proportion of the other 0Ls are the same.

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KMaine
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby KMaine » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:10 am

IMO, NYU and Michigan would be better for clerkships, but WHO CARES? You have a great offer from Northwestern, and will be able to graduate with little to no debt from a school that gives you a great chance at Biglaw. Take the offer and don't look back!

glinda
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby glinda » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:11 am

Yeah, having written it all out it seems fairly obvious. I guess I'm just having a hard time reconfiguring my thoughts after hoping and planning on Michigan for so long. Hopefully I fall in love with Northwestern this weekend.

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bk1
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:17 am

1. Your chances of getting a clerkship out of any of these schools is minimal and not something to factor in.

2. It'll be easier for you to get NYC than Chi coming from NU. This is true of all the T14's, though NU will likely give you a decent advantage in Chi.

3. NU is slightly older (1-2 years compared to other law schools) but tons of students are single and go out drinking. Even if they didn't, there's a city of THREE MILLION people out there... I'm sure you'll be fine.

4. NU will likely give you similar flexibility to UMich. They are roughly peer schools (no real prestige difference).

Seems like an easy choice for NU. It's the cheapest of the peer schools you have (NU/UMich/UVA) and far cheaper than the only slightly better school on the list (NYU).

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skers
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby skers » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:21 am

NU.

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rayiner
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:25 am

Definitely Norhwestern. NU's national placement is understated. We have 15% go to the west coast, another. 25% go to the northeast, etc. Our placement in NYC is great. The one caveat is that we suck in DC.

As for clerkships--more people at Michigan clerk, but a much higher proportion of NU clerkships are federal. The total placement of federal clerks is only marginally more at Michigan (10% versus 8%).

Finally, people here aren't that old. Only about 10% are married, another 10% settled. People to out a lot. Most see LS as a break from their career. The difference is I think people's taste in nightlife skews nicer/more expensive both because of the city and because people had real jobs before and got used to going to lounges and shit.

I'd also say if you want to do PI, money is irrelevant and Michigan places better for PI.
Last edited by rayiner on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Samara
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:37 am

Northwestern troll, checking in. I'll be enrolling this fall as a married man and I intend to be plenty social. If you check out the NU c/o '15 thread and current students thread, you'll see how social we already are. Chicago is a great city and totally different from NYC, IME. Chicago much more laid back and it's pretty easy to escape the bustle if you want. And Streeterville is actually pretty quiet considering its proximity to downtown, at least when I've been there.

Also, job prospects, national placement, blah blah blah. Embrace Northwestern!

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:41 am

Samara wrote:Northwestern troll, checking in. I'll be enrolling this fall as a married man and I intend to be plenty social. If you check out the NU c/o '15 thread and current students thread, you'll see how social we already are. Chicago is a great city and totally different from NYC, IME. Chicago much more laid back and it's pretty easy to escape the bustle if you want. And Streeterville is actually pretty quiet considering its proximity to downtown, at least when I've been there.

Also, job prospects, national placement, blah blah blah. Embrace Northwestern!



Samara is right, even though he's a terrible bowler. :-D

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Samara
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:42 am

franklyscarlet wrote:
Samara wrote:Northwestern troll, checking in. I'll be enrolling this fall as a married man and I intend to be plenty social. If you check out the NU c/o '15 thread and current students thread, you'll see how social we already are. Chicago is a great city and totally different from NYC, IME. Chicago much more laid back and it's pretty easy to escape the bustle if you want. And Streeterville is actually pretty quiet considering its proximity to downtown, at least when I've been there.

Also, job prospects, national placement, blah blah blah. Embrace Northwestern!



Samara is right, even though he's a terrible excellent bowler. :-D

FTFY

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:50 am

Go to Mich and pass on that sweet 120K to me, please and thank you. ;)

jk jk. In all seriousness though, I've met a lot of current and incoming students and they've all been incredibly sociable and fun. I really don't think that should be something you're worried about. Also, I'm 22 and I intend to enjoy my social life in law school. I can't think of anything more miserable than being in law school and having no social life D:

woeisme
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby woeisme » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:54 am

bk1 wrote:
It'll be easier for you to get NYC than Chi coming from NU. This is true of all the T14's, though NU will likely give you a decent advantage in Chi.


This is true? I know a couple people at NU that got Chicago, but couldn't crack NYC. I assumed they were representative, but maybe not. Interesting.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 am

Samara wrote:
franklyscarlet wrote:
Samara wrote:Northwestern troll, checking in. I'll be enrolling this fall as a married man and I intend to be plenty social. If you check out the NU c/o '15 thread and current students thread, you'll see how social we already are. Chicago is a great city and totally different from NYC, IME. Chicago much more laid back and it's pretty easy to escape the bustle if you want. And Streeterville is actually pretty quiet considering its proximity to downtown, at least when I've been there.

Also, job prospects, national placement, blah blah blah. Embrace Northwestern!



Samara is right, even though he's a terrible excellent bowler. :-D

FTFY


LIES ALL LIES.

(guys. Does she think We're fun yet? Do we look fun? :-D )
Last edited by franklyscarlet on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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soj
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby soj » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:55 am

A few days ago, I went out with four NU students (two 0Ls, one 2L, and one alum) and played beer pong. I'm sure there's a wide range of options for social activities. :mrgreen:

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bk1
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:56 am

woeisme wrote:This is true? I know a couple people at NU that got Chicago, but couldn't crack NYC. I assumed they were representative, but maybe not. Interesting.


This is what the 2L's tell me. It makes sense, but I have no first hand experience.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby TaipeiMort » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:58 am

bk1 wrote:
woeisme wrote:This is true? I know a couple people at NU that got Chicago, but couldn't crack NYC. I assumed they were representative, but maybe not. Interesting.


This is what the 2L's tell me. It makes sense, but I have no first hand experience.


I think NU places more in Chicago than UChicago does, if that means anything.

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Samara
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:59 am

TaipeiMort wrote:
bk1 wrote:
woeisme wrote:This is true? I know a couple people at NU that got Chicago, but couldn't crack NYC. I assumed they were representative, but maybe not. Interesting.


This is what the 2L's tell me. It makes sense, but I have no first hand experience.


I think NU places more in Chicago than UChicago does, if that means anything.

QFP

It's not every day TaipeiMort admits UChi is not the best at something. :P

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bk1
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:00 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:I think NU places more in Chicago than UChicago does, if that means anything.


That has been true for most recent years. NU places more in Chicago than NYC, but that doesn't mean it's easier to get.

glinda
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby glinda » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:04 pm

Thanks for all the responses! It's great to see so much enthusiasm for Northwestern, and it has definitely allayed some of my concerns. Looking forward to my visit this weekend.

law2015admit
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby law2015admit » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:12 pm

Northwestern for sure! You're lucky that you even find this to be a dilemma

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StrictlyBusiness
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Re: Michigan ($$) vs. Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UVA vs. NYU

Postby StrictlyBusiness » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:39 pm

I'm in the same NU boat as you, and after visiting there and U Chi this weekend, I'm pretty confident that's the right choice.

I'm also only 22, and I didn't feel out of place or too young at all. I can also echo the sentiment that Northwestern people have been much more social and just seem more like people I'd want to have a beer with than those at other T14s. (I'll let you know if that changes after I visit NYU and CLS this weekend.)

glinda
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Re: Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UChicago - UPDATE

Postby glinda » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:31 am

Bump to include UChicago after being accepted off the waitlist. Thanks so much!

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UChicago - UPDATE

Postby Samara » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:47 am

glinda wrote:Bump to include UChicago after being accepted off the waitlist. Thanks so much!

Clerking and general job prospects are definitely stronger from UChi, but not so much so as to forgo $120k, IMO. Especially since clerking is still a longshot at UChi and your target markets are Chicago and NYC.

ETA: We're talking ~85% v. ~75% getting "desirable" employment. I don't think that's enough to justify the additional cost.

swoozie
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Re: Northwestern ($$$$) vs. UChicago - UPDATE

Postby swoozie » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:53 am

I voted NU. Unless you're big on prestige (which I think is fine if true), or you somehow hated Northwestern when you visited, I don't think the difference between the two justifies 120k.




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