USC vs. Northwestern

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

USC or Northwestern?

USC (22k/year)
8
24%
Northwestern (25k/year)
25
76%
 
Total votes: 33

Gemini198
Posts: 27
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USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:39 am

Need to decide by April 16th for scholarship money! Have narrowed down schools quite a bit, but can't make the final decision between USC (22k/year scholarship) and Northwestern (25k/year scholarship)

I'm from California and attended UCLA for undergrad. I love LA, but am torn between going back to the familiar and experiencing something new. I know that I ultimately want to come back to CA, and feel that the Trojan network would really help in that. However, if for any reason, I ever want/need to live in another part of the country, USC wouldn't get me very far. Northwestern is definitely the better school in terms of ranking/reputation, but for some reason I'm hesitant to commit to it.

Also, I'm in a bit of a different situation. I'm interested in journalism, and possibly doing a dual degree in journalism while in law school. Both USC and Northwestern have great journalism schools that would allow me to do that. I'm not particularly crazy about Big Law, and will probably not pursue that route.

I also got into UCLA (15k/year), Michigan (15k/year), Penn, Cornell, Georgetown and UVA, but feel that the financial offers from USC and Northwestern trump all of these.

Thoughts appreciated!

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:42 am

Journalism? What would you do when you coupled that with a JD?

tjddk
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:05 am

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby tjddk » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:46 am

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Last edited by tjddk on Fri May 25, 2012 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gemini198
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:46 am

bk1 wrote:Journalism? What would you do when you coupled that with a JD?


I'm currently a content producer, and would try to continue working free lance after law school. I know its uncommon, but I'm passionate about both fields and want to to able to pursue both. Thats why I'm primarily focused on law schools that have dual degree programs.

UCD undergrad
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby UCD undergrad » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:48 am

I vote Northwestern because, like you said, it will get you farther should you choose to go that route. Not sure how Dean Rodriguez will run things. Van Zant was responsible for a lot of the innovation at that place from what I hear.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:49 am

Gemini198 wrote:I'm currently a content producer, and would try to continue working free lance after law school. I know its uncommon, but I'm passionate about both fields and want to to able to pursue both. Thats why I'm primarily focused on law schools that have dual degree programs.


So you want to do something like manage SCOTUSblog or AboveTheLaw? What would you want to do if you couldn't do that? (Since it's a fairly niche area that you might not get.)

Gemini198
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:52 am

tjddk wrote:
Gemini198 wrote:Need to decide by April 16th for scholarship money! Have narrowed down schools quite a bit, but can't make the final decision between USC (22k/year scholarship) and Northwestern (25k/year scholarship)

I'm from California and attended UCLA for undergrad. I love LA, but am torn between going back to the familiar and experiencing something new. I know that I ultimately want to come back to CA, and feel that the Trojan network would really help in that. However, if for any reason, I ever want/need to live in another part of the country, USC wouldn't get me very far. Northwestern is definitely the better school in terms of ranking/reputation, but for some reason I'm hesitant to commit to it.

Also, I'm in a bit of a different situation. I'm interested in journalism, and possibly doing a dual degree in journalism while in law school. Both USC and Northwestern have great journalism schools that would allow me to do that. I'm not particularly crazy about Big Law, and will probably not pursue that route.

I also got into UCLA (15k/year), Michigan (15k/year), Penn, Cornell, Georgetown and UVA, but feel that the financial offers from USC and Northwestern trump all of these.

Thoughts appreciated!


If not biglaw, then what?

Have you tried negotiating with UCLA? You might be able to get your 15k/yr bumped up to 20+ (and sounds like you'd get in-state tuition).


UCLA said they weren't able to increase my offer at the moment. They said I should contact them closer to May 1st to see if anything changed, but I only have until April 16th to decide for Northwestern.

Gemini198
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:00 am

bk1 wrote:
Gemini198 wrote:I'm currently a content producer, and would try to continue working free lance after law school. I know its uncommon, but I'm passionate about both fields and want to to able to pursue both. Thats why I'm primarily focused on law schools that have dual degree programs.


So you want to do something like manage SCOTUSblog or AboveTheLaw? What would you want to do if you couldn't do that? (Since it's a fairly niche area that you might not get.)


No, definitely not interested in managing a blog. More interested in broadcast news at the network level. I've met a handful of journalists with J.D's, some write, others produce. I would try to do something in broadcast freelance.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:08 am

Gemini198 wrote:No, definitely not interested in managing a blog. More interested in broadcast news at the network level. I've met a handful of journalists with J.D's, some write, others produce. I would try to do something in broadcast freelance.


My speculation is that those people are rare. I also would imagine that those people have experience as practicing lawyers prior to becoming journalists, or is that incorrect?

I think the way to choose between your options is to ask, if you had to be a practicing lawyer, what would you do?

(Also important is that NU's law school is in Chicago whereas the journalism program is in Evanston which is kind of a hassle, but ask the JD/MBA's about that since they have to deal with something similar.)

Wart
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:34 am

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Wart » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:13 am

Northwestern because more options and Chicago is an amazing place to live. And you shouldn't have any problems getting back to Cali with your connections.

tjddk
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:05 am

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby tjddk » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:22 am

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Last edited by tjddk on Fri May 25, 2012 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gemini198
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:26 pm

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:16 am

Thanks for all the input everyone! Just to clarify, I do want to actually practice as a lawyer, the dual degree would be so I could work freelance in journalism (at my own pleasure/convenience). So the in terms of my professional preference its lawyer > journalist. I just don't want to let the journalist thing go 100% and be tied down in big law.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby Danteshek » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:41 am

Gemini198 wrote:Thanks for all the input everyone! Just to clarify, I do want to actually practice as a lawyer, the dual degree would be so I could work freelance in journalism (at my own pleasure/convenience). So the in terms of my professional preference its lawyer > journalist. I just don't want to let the journalist thing go 100% and be tied down in big law.


Get your JD first. If you graduate and still want to be a journalist go to Columbia. Los Angeles is a backwater for journalism.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:43 am

Have you visited Northwestern ? It's a beautiful law school in a gorgeous setting. Nevertheless, your reluctance to commit & your professed love for Los Angeles suggests that USC may be the better option for you.

tjddk
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:05 am

Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby tjddk » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:16 pm

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Last edited by tjddk on Fri May 25, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

woeisme
Posts: 781
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby woeisme » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:30 pm

First of all, if you liked Penn, Cornell, GULC, or UVa more than your current options, you could always try leveraging. You should be successful, I'd think.

As between your two options, it's probably a wash. Your gut seems to be telling you USC, so that might make sense. I think it's a question of how certain you are that you'd like to stay in California. USC will probably give you more and broader California options, making it an arguably better option for California placement. Of course, NU should get you back to CA with your ties and it will definitely have more geographical reach. Sounds like you already know this, though.

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1800calturk
Posts: 127
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Re: USC vs. Northwestern

Postby 1800calturk » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:59 pm

Danteshek wrote:
Gemini198 wrote:Thanks for all the input everyone! Just to clarify, I do want to actually practice as a lawyer, the dual degree would be so I could work freelance in journalism (at my own pleasure/convenience). So the in terms of my professional preference its lawyer > journalist. I just don't want to let the journalist thing go 100% and be tied down in big law.


Get your JD first. If you graduate and still want to be a journalist go to Columbia. Los Angeles is a backwater for journalism.



NW is ranked higher, so with more $$ objectively it's the clear choice. But like others are saying it sounds like you want to stay in LA, which is also not a bad choice at all. You really do tend to stick around where you went to school, I hope I make it back to Cali but it was just way too much work trying to schedule callbacks out there so the best thing I could do was take a NYC job with a Cali office and maybe someday it'll work out that way. I go to a school with "national" reach but you start networking and all that where you go to school and it's just way easier logistically. I mean if I tried I probably could've landed back there. USC is a great school, LA is a great place to do anything and the trojan network seems nuts out there, so go there and don't look back for a second.




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