Penn vs. Northwestern

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Penn or Northwestern

Penn (15k/year scholarship)
29
43%
Northwestern (25k/year scholarship)
38
57%
 
Total votes: 67

flcath
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby flcath » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:36 am

Desert Fox wrote:Protip: Look at NLJ250 numbers over a great period of time and you notice a shit ton of fluctuation over time. The schools reputation isn't wildly changing year to year. So stop using them as an accurate measure of some big law placing power.

Just look at Cornell. It went from 14th in 09 to 2nd in 2010 and back to 11th in 2011. Michigan has bounced around too.

Okay, I'm for NU here (what, exactly, is the argument for Penn? I've been reading a lot of quibbling about the term "peer school"), but I have to take issue with the above logic.

This reasoning works if what you really care about in a school is "reputation," and you're using NLJ 250 placement as a proxy for that. But that's not what we're doing: all that we care about *is* NLJ 250 placement, period. If anything, reputation is a proxy for likely future NLJ 250 placement.

09042014
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:54 am

flcath wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Protip: Look at NLJ250 numbers over a great period of time and you notice a shit ton of fluctuation over time. The schools reputation isn't wildly changing year to year. So stop using them as an accurate measure of some big law placing power.

Just look at Cornell. It went from 14th in 09 to 2nd in 2010 and back to 11th in 2011. Michigan has bounced around too.

Okay, I'm for NU here (what, exactly, is the argument for Penn? I've been reading a lot of quibbling about the term "peer school"), but I have to take issue with the above logic.

This reasoning works if what you really care about in a school is "reputation," and you're using NLJ 250 placement as a proxy for that. But that's not what we're doing: all that we care about *is* NLJ 250 placement, period. If anything, reputation is a proxy for likely future NLJ 250 placement.


I mean reputation as in, how likely are firms going to want to hire a student from it.

My point is that the number of people who happened to go to a NLJ250 in any given year isn't really that accurate a measure of your chances of getting big lawl if you go there. It's somewhat accurate, but not to the degree people on TLS use it.

NLJ250% is not the same thing as the impact the school has on any individual's chances. If a bunch of Gtown students strike out because DC big law is hard to get, and Cornell students get jobs because NYC big law is easier, Cornell will have a higher percent. Even if firms didn't differentiate between Cornell and Gtown students, there would be a significant difference.

At least 3% of NW class of 2011 went into business making over 100K. I'm sure a significant percent of Georgetown students are part time with a job they never planned on leaving. 13% from GT went into gov in 2010. In that same year only 3% of NW and Penn did gov.

Was Cornell a crappy school for big law in 2009, a great one in 2010, and a crappy one in 2011?

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cjcregg
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby cjcregg » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:06 am

I visited both schools and I was far more impressed by Penn. Penn students seemed genuinely cooperative in the sense that they sincerely hoped for the success of their peers. Administrators seemed to have an intimate relationship with the students and even deans at Penn appeared involved in advancing the career goals of particular students. The law building itself is much better than NW's building. The classrooms specifically are much nicer.

BUT, the neighborhood that surrounds Penn is a piece of crap compared to the neighborhood that surrounds NW. River North and Streeterville are gorgeous. University City is sketchy, and lacks a variety of decent restaurants. Most Penn students move to Center City after their 1L year. Although I only spent a bit of time in Center City, I still think River North> Center City.

I think this is a tough choice because your chances of overall BigLaw placement are comparable. Nevertheless, they have different strengths in different regions. I'd always maintain that a <30k difference (b/c CoL is lower in Philly than Chicago) is basically meaningless after making a BigLaw salary. WORST CASE SCENARIO, you feel compelled to put an extra year in BigLaw to make back the difference and then some. While I think NW has advantages over Penn in some regards, I don't think your decision should come down to size of merit scholarships.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:02 am

Personally, I'd go with Penn on account of Penn being awesome, but if you prefer Chicago to Philly that and 30k seems like a decent reason to pick NU.

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Nelson
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Nelson » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:59 am

Desert Fox wrote:Protip: Look at NLJ250 numbers over a great period of time and you notice a shit ton of fluctuation over time. The schools reputation isn't wildly changing year to year. So stop using them as an accurate measure of some big law placing power.

Just look at Cornell. It went from 14th in 09 to 2nd in 2010 and back to 11th in 2011. Michigan has bounced around too.

This is doubly true during recession years. The data from 2010 and 2011 is basically useless. Nobody knew what the fuck was going on, and firms were canceling OCI at schools.

Also, how are NW and Penn not peer schools even if you talk about "feel." Both are pretty corporate focused, urban schools. Both have big, and good JD/MBA programs (which probably peel off 3-5% of these schools big law percentages because they select into business jobs). In fact I probably couldn't pick a more similar law school.

TITCR

Small sample size nonsense aside, this decision comes down to whether you prefer the east coast enough to turn down the extra 30k. Edit: OP if you prefer Chicago to Philly, then go to Northwestern and save the money.

Gemini198
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:49 pm

cjcregg wrote:I visited both schools and I was far more impressed by Penn. Penn students seemed genuinely cooperative in the sense that they sincerely hoped for the success of their peers. Administrators seemed to have an intimate relationship with the students and even deans at Penn appeared involved in advancing the career goals of particular students. The law building itself is much better than NW's building. The classrooms specifically are much nicer.

BUT, the neighborhood that surrounds Penn is a piece of crap compared to the neighborhood that surrounds NW. River North and Streeterville are gorgeous. University City is sketchy, and lacks a variety of decent restaurants. Most Penn students move to Center City after their 1L year. Although I only spent a bit of time in Center City, I still think River North> Center City.

I think this is a tough choice because your chances of overall BigLaw placement are comparable. Nevertheless, they have different strengths in different regions. I'd always maintain that a <30k difference (b/c CoL is lower in Philly than Chicago) is basically meaningless after making a BigLaw salary. WORST CASE SCENARIO, you feel compelled to put an extra year in BigLaw to make back the difference and then some. While I think NW has advantages over Penn in some regards, I don't think your decision should come down to size of merit scholarships.


Thanks! This is useful info. I'm really having a hard time deciding b/c I feel like I would definitely enjoy Northwestern's surrounding area and Chicago far more than Penn's area and Phillly in general. Plus NU is giving me more $$ (although you're right, its not that much when CoL if factored in). But like you said, I've heard absolutely GREAT things about the environment at Penn, everyone has told me that its very collegial and allows for a great law school experience. I only have until Monday to decide..

Can anyone else whose visited both schools share their experience? Thanks!

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:59 pm

Gemini198 wrote:Thanks! This is useful info. I'm really having a hard time deciding b/c I feel like I would definitely enjoy Northwestern's surrounding area and Chicago far more than Penn's area and Phillly in general. Plus NU is giving me more $$ (although you're right, its not that much when CoL if factored in). But like you said, I've heard absolutely GREAT things about the environment at Penn, everyone has told me that its very collegial and allows for a great law school experience. I only have until Monday to decide..

Can anyone else whose visited both schools share their experience? Thanks!

Disclaimer: I'm going to be attending NU this fall.

I've visited both NU and Penn (though ASW for NU and not ASW for Penn), and I REALLY LOVED both experiences. I had a GREAT 'tour guide' for Penn who showed me and my friend around the city to different bars, restaurants, really talked up the school, and generally made me fall in love with Philly. Penn is a great school, and though I haven't met many students from there, the ones I do know seem to be great people.

HOWEVER. I know a LOT of incoming and current Northwestern students, and they are some of the coolest, friendliest people I've ever met. They're fun, friendly, and incredibly supportive. I spoke to a lot of 3Ls at ASW (some of which were not actually working at ASW) and they all said that they would be sad to be leaving law school and that they loved NU. The professors I've interacted with at NU have been extremely open and accessible, even to 0Ls.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Northwestern has just as much of a reputation for being collegial/having a great LS experience. If that is the only big factor weighing in Penn's favor, I would definitely take the money and run with it. It's easy to say 'Just do one more year of biglaw!!!' now, but when you actually get there and you hate it (which you might not), one year can be a LONNNNNGGG time.

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Shooter
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Shooter » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:04 pm

I visited Penn and my friend goes to Northwestern for Med School (I also visited UChi and the hotel I stayed at was very close to NU's campus). The city of Chicago is definitely amazing, no doubt about that. Absolutely impressive. I'm a big history person though, so I also found Philadelphia to be awesome, albeit in a completely different way.

My friend loves NU and he said that the students in the graduate and professional schools are all very similar. He said that it's easy to get along with everyone and the job opportunities (at least for doctors) are really good.

I loved Penn's campus (epecially the old building and the new building), and everyone was extremely friendly and helpful during my visit. I have also heard that the collegial environment is more than just a talking point. If you're interested in joint-degrees I'm sure both schools are excellent, but I got the sense that very few JD's are able to get into the MBA program at Penn (could be wrong, but that was my understanding).

Both excellent options, IMO.

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rayiner
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby rayiner » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:41 pm

I can't speak to the experience at Penn, but NU's reputation for being one of the more laid back T14's is quite justified. I think because most people here see law school as a three year "break" from working, people don't take things as seriously. That said, I'd note that culture varies a lot year-to-year and even section-to-section. My section was *very* chill and laid back, hit up every bar review, etc. I know that some of the other sections were more gunnery.

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whitman
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby whitman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:56 pm

To be fair, every school claims to be laid-back and collegial. Penn, Michigan, NYU, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern, etc, all claim to be distinguished in that. Never heard that about Cornell, Chicago, or Columbia, though. Must be something about the C.

Also, I would go to Northwestern, no doubt, assuming you have work experience.

Gemini198
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Gemini198 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:03 pm

whitman wrote:Also, I would go to Northwestern, no doubt, assuming you have work experience.


I have one year of work experience. Just wondering, how do you think that should factor into my decision? And why do you say Northwestern, the money?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:11 pm

Just a word of advice: feel is important, but it's something you have to experience for yourself. Everyone has a different experience and it's impossible to get a good reading on feel from a selection of Internet posters. For example, I find going to law school at Chicago pretty laid back as very collegial and friendly. Not everyone feels the same way. If feel is important you should visit, because everyone will experience the school differently.

woeisme
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:13 pm

admisionquestion wrote:They are not peer schools. They are schools with similar career data (Penn outperforms by less than 5%).

Lets please squash this "peer school" TLS echo chamber non-sense.

It does not mean ANYTHING to say they are peer schools. Penn is an east coast ivy league school connected to a large college campus. NU is a midwest business oriented school in a campus away from the rest of the college.

NU places 49% in the midwest. Penn places 77% in NYC, DC or Penn. These are not "peer traits."



For the record (faced with about the same decision) I think Penn is a no-brainer. But it comes down to aesthetics. I really REALLY urge you to call both schools and make an appointment for a tour--there is no way to make the right decision without visiting. Both schools feel VERY different. This different feel is really why i contest the "peer school" notion. The TLS Myths are not enough to make an educated decision...


I'm not sure you understand what a peer school is. Peer school does not mean that the schools have the same "feel". It means that they are of equal caliber and have very similar exit opportunities.

I do not think Penn is a no-brainer here. Nor is NU. It's actually a pretty close call. Some visits are in order, I think.

woeisme
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:15 pm

admisionquestion wrote:
rayiner wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:They are not peer schools. They are schools with similar career data (Penn outperforms by less than 5%).


When people here say "peer schools" they mean in terms of job placement.


No they dont. If they did then MVP would NOT NOT NOT NOT be a peer group.

In 2010 Penns NLJ data was 51.65. M's was 31. GULC was also 31.


Yes, they do. Rayiner's right on this one. And yeah, MVP are roughly peers in the aggregate (along with the rest of the bottom-half of the T14). It's probably something like P > MVBDCN > G. But it depends a bit on region and career path.

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Nelson
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Nelson » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:21 pm

Visiting is overrated. You only get to meet a handful of current students for any meaningful amount of time and they all say the same thing no matter what school you're at. The pitch the schools' deans give is interchangeable. The rest of your impression is of other admitted students, half of whom are at all the other ASWs and many of whom won't even be there in the fall. The T14 takes a very similar caliber of student from very similar backgrounds across the board (I didn't go to NU's ASW so I can't comment on whether the students are actually older by and large, but from TLS it seems like they aren't all that different from the other T14).

OP, if you like Chicago better than Philly (and you like money), than just go to Northwestern. If you had a strong preference for NYC or the east coast, then you might be able to make a case for Penn.

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Odd Future Wolf Gang
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Odd Future Wolf Gang » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:32 pm

Chicago girls >>> Philly girls. Unless you're short as fuaaaarrrrk.

Girls are on the big side, but they will bear you Big 10 children.

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Nelson
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Nelson » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:33 pm

Odd Future Wolf Gang wrote:Chicago girls >>> Philly girls.

Credited.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby franklyscarlet » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:34 pm

Nelson wrote:Visiting is overrated. You only get to meet a handful of current students for any meaningful amount of time and they all say the same thing no matter what school you're at. The pitch the schools' deans give is interchangeable. The rest of your impression is of other admitted students, half of whom are at all the other ASWs and many of whom won't even be there in the fall. The T14 takes a very similar caliber of student from very similar backgrounds across the board (I didn't go to NU's ASW so I can't comment on whether the students are actually older by and large, but from TLS it seems like they aren't all that different from the other T14).

OP, if you like Chicago better than Philly (and you like money), than just go to Northwestern. If you had a strong preference for NYC or the east coast, then you might be able to make a case for Penn.


Agreed for the most part, although NU ASW was somewhat different. It fell so close to the scholarship acceptance deadline that at least 70% of the people I met were already committed.

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bk1
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:41 pm

Since there's all this hurr durr regarding peer-ness and nobody has actually linked multiple years of NLJ250 data, I'll do it.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=181578#p5364240

I don't necessarily agree that the scholarship difference is that important. I mean you're going to be almost 200k in debt from either of these school. Not to mention that Penn is slightly cheaper than NU so the difference isn't 10k/year, it's closer to 7-8k/year. I think that due to the price you're already paying that if you had a definite preference for Penn over NU that it wouldn't be unreasonable to ignore the money difference. My thoughts:

If you have a preference for the East Coast, take Penn.
If you have a preference for the Midwest, take NU.
If you hate NYC or hate the East Coast, take NU.
If you prefer Penn as a school, take Penn.
If you prefer NU as a school, take NU.
If 20-25k is a big deal to you, take NU.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:50 pm

franklyscarlet wrote:Agreed for the most part, although NU ASW was somewhat different. It fell so close to the scholarship acceptance deadline that at least 70% of the people I met were already committed.


I noticed this too, but to Nelson's point the students at Northwestern's ASW didn't strike me as being older or more mature than students at any other ASW. Pretty much the same type of crowd at each school, same happy current students, same free drinks.

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Tadatsune
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Re: Penn vs. Northwestern

Postby Tadatsune » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:11 pm

Visiting may be overrated, but I have still found it to be very useful in making a selection. Not that that helps the OP much.




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