UIUC VS CU-Boulder

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throwaway420
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UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby throwaway420 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:04 pm

I have until tomorrow to decide where to attend. I was all set on CU until Illinois upped their scholarship and now the cost of attendance at each school is about the same. The total cost of attendance for both these schools (tuition + cost of living) will be 75-80K.

I realize that if I want to work in Chicago/Midwest the right answer is Illinois, and if I want to work in Denver/Colorado the right answer is CU. My ties to both states are about the same, just a few family members in each, no serious legal ties. I understand both of these schools are regional.

However, after looking at the recent ABA stats that are going around on this site it sounds like Illinois places a lot more of their graduates in larger firms. I've been led to believe that starting your career with a larger firm can lead to valuable work experience which can help you lateral into something else after 5-7 years or whatever. It looks like more CU students work in firms with 2-10 attorneys, and Im not sure that would be the ideal situation for me.

So it sounds like if I want a better chance at a larger firm I should go to Illinois.

On the other hand if I cant get a job in Chicago I dont think I would really be ecstatic about living in a small town in Illinois. Id much rather live in a small town in Colorado for other interests (snowboarding, hiking, mountains etc).

The bottom line is I am comfortable with both options, and the cost. Is there one that is decidedly better in terms of employment prospects or should I just stop worrying about firm size and just go where Id rather be living in case I miss out on the big city option? Any advice or thoughts appreciated!

CanadianWolf
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 pm

The states are so different & your assessment seems reasonable therefore it comes down to personal preference in location. Essentially your position is that Chicago biglaw is great whereas anything in Colorado is great.

Have you visited both law schools ? If so, care to share your impressions ?

throwaway420
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby throwaway420 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:11 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The states are so different & your assessment seems reasonable therefore it comes down to personal preference in location. Essentially your position is that Chicago biglaw is great whereas anything in Colorado is great.

Have you visited both law schools ? If so, care to share your impressions ?


Yeah I think your analysis is accurate. I have visited CU, I like it a lot. I haven't visited UI but I now some people who have gone there for different programs, and I've read about it. I wasnt really considering UI until the costs became equal, so I didnt take the time to visit. I know that Champaign and Boulder are really different. I also havent researched UI as much as CU, and I will probably continue to get as much info as I can today before making my decision tomorrow. CanadianWolf, you went to CU right? Do you think starting your career at a smaller firm is going to limit career options compared to starting at a larger firm? I know this is a really broad question, and it depends on one's career goals. Are students at CU looking for smaller firms, I know big law in Denver is somewhat non existent and therefore the midlaw jobs are really competitive. Based on what I know at this point I think Id want the option of working with a firm that is bigger than 2-10 attorneys. Also any comment on fed clerkships out of CU these days? It looked like they had a good % of people going into that, but the most recent number I saw for 2011 seemed to indicate only 3 students from CU got fed clerkships.

CanadianWolf
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:15 pm

There is a current thread on Class of 2010 employment stats that is currently active. This is your best source.

P.S. A post by Rayiner condensed figures for 2011 & 2010 biglaw & clerkships (federal Art. III):

Illinois 2011 biglaw 14% (down 9% from 2010)

Illinois clerkships 5% (up 1% from 2010)

Illinois total combined biglaw & clerkships showed 2011 as 19% (down 8% from 2010).

Romothesavior analyzed results and concluded that WashUStL, Notre Dame & Illinois are essentially equal for biglaw & clerkship placement (if I understood his post correctly).

Colorado, in my opinion as stats are not readily available, is probably much more of a lifestyle choice than a breeding ground for biglaw types.

I did copy the top 56 law schools for 2010 employment overall. Neither Illinois nor Colorado was among the top 56 law schools as reported to the ABA by the law schools.

throwaway420
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby throwaway420 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:59 pm

Yeah, thanks for those stats. I checked out the employment thread, there is some good information in there. Im kind of wondering why CU doesnt have better a employment % considering there is only one other law school in Colorado (DU). Ive heard some people on here say that might be because Colorado is really honest in their reporting, and the law school doesnt provide jobs to graduates for the sake of employment numbers. Is there any truth to that?

CanadianWolf
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:01 pm

According to one of the charts (the source ABA) referenced by Rayiner it appears that Colorado did not report hiring any of its own graduates.

My best guess as to why Colorado dropped 8 spots from 39th to 47th in the 2012 USNews was that CU was conducting a search for a new law school dean to fill an open vacancy & the employment reporting was straightforward. As others followed suit this year, Colorado rose slightly to 44th in the USNews rankings. WashUStL experienced a similiar drop this year due to a new, more transparent employment reporting method, in my opinion.

Again, Colorado & Illinois serve different markets. If seeking a small, but reasonable if on scholarship, shot at biglaw, Illinois offers the Chicago market--which is the second or third largest in the US.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

illini22
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby illini22 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:13 pm

throwaway420 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The states are so different & your assessment seems reasonable therefore it comes down to personal preference in location. Essentially your position is that Chicago biglaw is great whereas anything in Colorado is great.

Have you visited both law schools ? If so, care to share your impressions ?


Yeah I think your analysis is accurate. I have visited CU, I like it a lot. I haven't visited UI but I now some people who have gone there for different programs, and I've read about it. I wasnt really considering UI until the costs became equal, so I didnt take the time to visit. I know that Champaign and Boulder are really different. I also havent researched UI as much as CU, and I will probably continue to get as much info as I can today before making my decision tomorrow. CanadianWolf, you went to CU right? Do you think starting your career at a smaller firm is going to limit career options compared to starting at a larger firm? I know this is a really broad question, and it depends on one's career goals. Are students at CU looking for smaller firms, I know big law in Denver is somewhat non existent and therefore the midlaw jobs are really competitive. Based on what I know at this point I think Id want the option of working with a firm that is bigger than 2-10 attorneys. Also any comment on fed clerkships out of CU these days? It looked like they had a good % of people going into that, but the most recent number I saw for 2011 seemed to indicate only 3 students from CU got fed clerkships.


I think your assessment is not entirely correct. Not having good grades from Illinois (for private practice) will likely mean you will end up in a midsize/small firm IN CHICAGO, not middle of nowhere Illinois. I actually have heard of very few people who end up in middle of nowhere Illinois such as Peoria unless it was their personal choice. Chicago is simply a much bigger market, with more opportunities. Also Chicago got hit very disproportional by the recession, which in turn hit the midwest schools a lot. You should look at numbers for the past 3-4 years to make a better assessment, my prediction is that the class of 2013 is going back to 2006 levels, not quite the high of the 2007.

Also look at What kind of biglaw we are talking about. If you are really looking for prestige, not all firms are made equal.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=169519&start=775
read over to get more info on UIUC.

I would think that this is usually a decision on what region you rather live in. But if both are equal, you have better chances in Illinois.
Last edited by illini22 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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flem
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby flem » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:16 pm

I'd take 75K total COA at CU-Boulder in a fucking heartbeat bruh. Colorado is awesome. If you don't get a huge paying firm job straight out, you're not in huge trouble. Being in a small CO town beats the shit out of being in some cowtown in Illinois if you don't land Chicago (which, from a pure odds standpoint, is obviously difficult)

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crossarmant
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby crossarmant » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:20 pm

This is a straight quality of life question. You seem to enjoy Colorado a lot more and with scholarships, you don't need the BigLaw or bust mindset, so enjoy Boulder.

illini22
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby illini22 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:21 pm

flem wrote:I'd take 75K total COA at CU-Boulder in a fucking heartbeat bruh. Colorado is awesome. If you don't get a huge paying firm job straight out, you're not in huge trouble. Being in a small CO town beats the shit out of being in some cowtown in Illinois if you don't land Chicago (which, from a pure odds standpoint, is obviously difficult)


Dude, where in the world did you get the idea that not landing big law Chicago means you are going to cowtown in Illinois? No landing biglaw in Chicago means you will end up in mid/small law in Chicago. You do realize most firms in Chicago are smaller firms. I swear god put this people in the world just to make me spend my precious time in this BS. Wtvr, I am out! Coming or not, just make an informed decision.

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flem
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby flem » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:22 pm

illini22 wrote:
Dude, where in the world did you get the idea that not landing big law Chicago means you are going to cowtown in Illinois? No landing biglaw in Chicago means you will end up in mid/small law in Chicago. You do realize most firms in Chicago are smaller firms. I swear god put this people in the world just to make me spend my precious time in this BS. Wtvr, I am out! Coming or not, just make an informed decision.


Well to be fair that is the worst case scenario, which is what I'd be worried about

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Ludo!
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby Ludo! » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:40 pm

flem wrote:
illini22 wrote:
Dude, where in the world did you get the idea that not landing big law Chicago means you are going to cowtown in Illinois? No landing biglaw in Chicago means you will end up in mid/small law in Chicago. You do realize most firms in Chicago are smaller firms. I swear god put this people in the world just to make me spend my precious time in this BS. Wtvr, I am out! Coming or not, just make an informed decision.


Well to be fair that is the worst case scenario, which is what I'd be worried about


This.

Plenty of Illinois grads end up in bumfuck Illinois towns that aren't Chicago. If you're not comfortable with the idea of doing shitlaw in Jacksonville for the rest of your life (or dropping out if you're at the bottom of the class) then I wouldn't come to Illinois.

throwaway420
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby throwaway420 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:56 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
flem wrote:
illini22 wrote:
Dude, where in the world did you get the idea that not landing big law Chicago means you are going to cowtown in Illinois? No landing biglaw in Chicago means you will end up in mid/small law in Chicago. You do realize most firms in Chicago are smaller firms. I swear god put this people in the world just to make me spend my precious time in this BS. Wtvr, I am out! Coming or not, just make an informed decision.


Well to be fair that is the worst case scenario, which is what I'd be worried about


This.

Plenty of Illinois grads end up in bumfuck Illinois towns that aren't Chicago. If you're not comfortable with the idea of doing shitlaw in Jacksonville for the rest of your life (or dropping out if you're at the bottom of the class) then I wouldn't come to Illinois.


Yeah I wouldnt be comfortable with shitlaw in Jacksonville, I dont think many 0Ls would like the sound of that.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:17 am

I'd guess your chances of working in a larger law firm have to be three or four times higher out of UIUC. Maybe it would be less competitive to get one of the bigger firms from CU as most people here aren't looking for that? Just spitballing.

Still gotta be CU for Colorado and UIUC for Chicago, but know that your odds at a 50+ firm from CU are very, very low, at least from looking at the employment data. There are so many people here who don't want firms... but still there are very few big firms here anyway. Yeah pretty small chance. FWIW the firm I work with is pretty lucrative and it only has 2 partners and 6 associates... not shit-law either.

As per clerkships, CU is a small school so the data can fluctuate wildly. I think they had 6 in '08, 14 in '09, and just 3 for '10. Obviously '09 was an anomaly. I don't even know why I'm talking about Art III clerks your chances of that from CU and probably UIUC too are minuscule. Come here and be in the top 5 students and then we'll see.

Boulder county is great though! GL on your decision.

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romothesavior
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:37 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:
flem wrote:
illini22 wrote:
Dude, where in the world did you get the idea that not landing big law Chicago means you are going to cowtown in Illinois? No landing biglaw in Chicago means you will end up in mid/small law in Chicago. You do realize most firms in Chicago are smaller firms. I swear god put this people in the world just to make me spend my precious time in this BS. Wtvr, I am out! Coming or not, just make an informed decision.


Well to be fair that is the worst case scenario, which is what I'd be worried about


This.

Plenty of Illinois grads end up in bumfuck Illinois towns that aren't Chicago. If you're not comfortable with the idea of doing shitlaw in Jacksonville for the rest of your life (or dropping out if you're at the bottom of the class) then I wouldn't come to Illinois.

Hey, I got dinged from a small time firm in Jacksonville. The sting of it, lemme tell you...

I think the answer between these two schools is Illinois, assuming similar costs. Much better prospects.

mrwarre85
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby mrwarre85 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:12 am

People usually get better training in a small firm than a big firm, but other than that your assessment of the situation feels pretty accurate.

My advice is always go to the school around where you want to live. You really don't know how you will change in law school, so going to UIUC because you want to work in a 50+ firm is risky. for 1) you may not get that job (75% chance you won't??) and 2) you may change your mind and not want that job in the first place.

It is often hard to work in a larger firm and have a good quality of life-- although, the people that seem to do it seem to really like it and willingly sacrifice time with family. Anywho, I'd just be really sure you would be happy with working in Illinois if you went to UIUC. I think that's the bigger issue here.

illini22
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby illini22 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:05 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:People usually get better training in a small firm than a big firm, but other than that your assessment of the situation feels pretty accurate.

My advice is always go to the school around where you want to live. You really don't know how you will change in law school, so going to UIUC because you want to work in a 50+ firm is risky. for 1) you may not get that job (75% chance you won't??) and 2) you may change your mind and not want that job in the first place.

It is often hard to work in a larger firm and have a good quality of life-- although, the people that seem to do it seem to really like it and willingly sacrifice time with family. Anywho, I'd just be really sure you would be happy with working in Illinois if you went to UIUC. I think that's the bigger issue here.


Here is the thing too, small firms dont care much about what school you went to. If he is lets say bottom of the class at UIUC and wants to move back to Colorado, I dont think he is getting that much of a leg up if he is bottom of the class at boulder. Both situation will require you to take the bar and then work your ass off for a job. Bottom of the class is going to suck regardless of where you go, but dont think that you cannot leave Illinois, it will just be harder.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:13 pm

illini22 wrote:
mrwarre85 wrote:People usually get better training in a small firm than a big firm, but other than that your assessment of the situation feels pretty accurate.

My advice is always go to the school around where you want to live. You really don't know how you will change in law school, so going to UIUC because you want to work in a 50+ firm is risky. for 1) you may not get that job (75% chance you won't??) and 2) you may change your mind and not want that job in the first place.

It is often hard to work in a larger firm and have a good quality of life-- although, the people that seem to do it seem to really like it and willingly sacrifice time with family. Anywho, I'd just be really sure you would be happy with working in Illinois if you went to UIUC. I think that's the bigger issue here.


Here is the thing too, small firms dont care much about what school you went to. If he is lets say bottom of the class at UIUC and wants to move back to Colorado, I dont think he is getting that much of a leg up if he is bottom of the class at boulder. Both situation will require you to take the bar and then work your ass off for a job. Bottom of the class is going to suck regardless of where you go, but dont think that you cannot leave Illinois, it will just be harder.


I know what your saying about it being tough either way, but people at the bottom of the class are even less portable. They get jobs 100% through networking, which means in the area they went to law school or not at all.

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flem
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby flem » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:18 pm

illini22 wrote:
Here is the thing too, small firms dont care much about what school you went to. If he is lets say bottom of the class at UIUC and wants to move back to Colorado, I dont think he is getting that much of a leg up if he is bottom of the class at boulder.


This is patently false.

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blurbz
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby blurbz » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:24 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
illini22 wrote:
mrwarre85 wrote:People usually get better training in a small firm than a big firm, but other than that your assessment of the situation feels pretty accurate.

My advice is always go to the school around where you want to live. You really don't know how you will change in law school, so going to UIUC because you want to work in a 50+ firm is risky. for 1) you may not get that job (75% chance you won't??) and 2) you may change your mind and not want that job in the first place.

It is often hard to work in a larger firm and have a good quality of life-- although, the people that seem to do it seem to really like it and willingly sacrifice time with family. Anywho, I'd just be really sure you would be happy with working in Illinois if you went to UIUC. I think that's the bigger issue here.


Here is the thing too, small firms dont care much about what school you went to. If he is lets say bottom of the class at UIUC and wants to move back to Colorado, I dont think he is getting that much of a leg up if he is bottom of the class at boulder. Both situation will require you to take the bar and then work your ass off for a job. Bottom of the class is going to suck regardless of where you go, but dont think that you cannot leave Illinois, it will just be harder.


I know what your saying about it being tough either way, but people at the bottom of the class are even less portable. They get jobs 100% through networking, which means in the area they went to law school or not at all.


This. Bottom of class at Boulder is infinitely more likely to find jobs in CO than bottom of the class at Illinois. Bottom of class at Illinois is infinitely more likely to find jobs in IL than bottom of class at Boulder.

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flem
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby flem » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:27 pm

blurbz wrote:
This. Bottom of class at Boulder is infinitely more likely to find jobs in CO than bottom of the class at Illinois. Bottom of class at Illinois is infinitely more likely to find jobs in IL than bottom of class at Boulder.


Not to mention that those at the bottom will have to rely on alumni support.

illini22
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby illini22 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:40 pm

flem wrote:
blurbz wrote:
This. Bottom of class at Boulder is infinitely more likely to find jobs in CO than bottom of the class at Illinois. Bottom of class at Illinois is infinitely more likely to find jobs in IL than bottom of class at Boulder.


Not to mention that those at the bottom will have to rely on alumni support.


Likely. Well, I dont know why the conversation has mostly been focusing on being the bottom of the class. I see it this way, he does well (top 20% or more) better chances at Illinois than at Boulder for biglaw. If he does average (the likely scenario) He still has a good chance at small/mid law in Chicago. The only scenario based on what has been said here where Boulder comes out on top is if he is bottom of the class. It is all about the risk level you are willing to take.

I mean, it doesnt matter how hard you work, you may not end up in the top 10%. Outworking people cannot get you to the top of the class, but it can at least take you to the top half. (in my humble opinion). Just work your ass off!

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Ludo!
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:43 pm

You think the people at median and below just didn't work hard enough? Seriously?

illini22
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby illini22 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:09 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:You think the people at median and below just didn't work hard enough? Seriously?


I am not saying that they didnt work hard, I think everyone worked very hard, even the people who ended at the bottom of the class. I am saying that by OUT WORKING people, you have a very good chance of putting yourself at least in the top half. Perhaps first year is the one the one were grades are less receptive to just working hard, but 2L and 3L year, hard work pays off more. And since we are talking about just graduating in the top half, OCI is out of the picture. If you know you are bad at regular law school exams, which you are forced to take during 1L year, you can be strategic and take more paper based classes where time/effort has more of an effect on your grade.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: UIUC VS CU-Boulder

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:51 pm

illini22 wrote: Outworking people cannot get you to the top of the class, but it can at least take you to the top half. (in my humble opinion).


I actually agree with you, but I bet it depends on the school you attend. Everyone I know that attends tipity top schools works their ass off whether they are top 5% or top 80%, but at other schools where so many people aren't gunning for clerkships or big law, I do agree that if you kill yourself you are very, very likely to be top 50%.




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