ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

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

Notre Dame, Illinois, SMU, Wake Forest or hold out for T14

Notre Dame (25k/yr scholarship)
3
19%
Illinois (33k/yr scholarship)
4
25%
SMU (26k/yr scholarship)
2
13%
Wake Forest (28k/yr scholarship)
2
13%
Ride WL and hope for T14 (presume sticker)
5
31%
 
Total votes: 16

tstev89
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ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:51 am

I have narrowed down my decision, and I am very torn right now between Notre Dame and Illinois. Also, I still haven't ruled out SMU or Wake Forest either, but I consider them distant options compared to the other two. Any insight or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Notre Dame:
- 25k/yr scholarship (remain in good academic standing)
- Pros: Gorgeous campus, new facilities, strong alumni network
- Cons: Greater COA than Illinois

Illinois:
- 75% tuition (~33k/yr) scholarship (remain in good academic standing)
- Pros: Liked ASD, generous scholarship offer, places well in Chicago
- Cons: Seems very confined to the Midwest

SMU:
- 26k/yr scholarship (remain in good academic standing)
- Pros: Dallas is in the Southwest, pretty campus
- Cons: Seems very confined to Dallas and Texas

Wake Forest:
- 28k/yr scholarship (remain in good academic standing)
- Pros: Like NC and South in general, strong litigation program
- Cons: Unsure of placement stats in the South

I am also waitlisted at Michigan and Northwestern, among others. I applied ED to Michigan, so it would be great to make it off that waitlist. Even with my current scholarship offers, I feel like potentially sticker at either T14 school might be something to consider.

I have a strong military background in my family, so JAG is something I am strongly considering. It is probably my ideal career path out of law school as of now, but I realize that it is not guaranteed to get a JAG commission. Got my undergrad degree in Engineering from a Top 5 undergrad, so I am also considering IP work. I really like Chicago, which is why I am considering ND and UIUC. However, I am from the Southwest, and I would not mind returning to the Southwest or living on the West Coast, which might give SMU some advantage. I also like the South and the Washington DC Area, which might give Wake Forest some advantage. Ultimately, I feel like T14 would allow for more flexibility in job placement. Between ND and UIUC, it seems that ND has a lot more spread out alumni network that might help get me back West with connections. I am not BigLaw or bust. I am a lot more focused on having balance between home and work, which is probably another reason why JAG appeals to me.

I need to put down a seat deposit at one of these schools ASAP, and then I will probably try to ride out the waitlist at Michigan and wait to hear from Northwestern. I would appreciate the collective wisdom of TLS to help me with this decision. Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
Last edited by tstev89 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:02 am

Deposit at Notre Dame because it offers everything that Illinois offers (minus $8,000 per year) plus a much wider alumni network, including the West Coast.

Seems as if paying sticker is not a concern of yours regarding Northwestern and Michigan. Is this correct ? So if paying $8,000 more per year at Notre Dame is the only "con" of attending ND, then it doesn't appear to be as significant of a factor as Illinois' limited geographical placement based on the content of your post.

P.S. You did quite well this cycle for one with a 166/3.6.

P.P.S. One reason to consider Illinois, however, is the possibility of cross-registration with engineering departments' significant offerings to further enhance your IP/patent law readiness.

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:14 am

ND and Illinois are essentially peer schools so personally I wouldn't pay 8k more per year for slightly better national placement at ND. Illinois places better in Chicago so if you would be happy in that city I would take Illinois. If you were 100% deadset on getting back to the Southwest or to the West Coast straight out of law school then I would probably take ND.

Also don't listen to anything Canadian Wolf says. He doesn't live in the midwest, doesn't practice in the midwest, possibly didn't go to law school at all and if he did it certainly wasn't at either one of these schools.

CanadianWolf
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:19 am

Plessian anger ? :D OP: Meet my stalker. :shock:

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:22 am

More like anger that you constantly post in threads where you know absolutely nothing about the topic. I don't know why you keep bringing up dean pless, that has nothing to do with anything

CanadianWolf
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:27 am

Is your alt "throwaway 420" ?

Also, you registered as a poster soon after Pless disappeared & you display unusual animosity toward me probably because I inquired about the possibility of a criminal investigation of Illinois law admissions.

tstev89
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:09 pm

Update: I just added to my original post my scholarship offer at SMU (26k/yr). However, I do consider this a distant third, and I cannot imagine choosing SMU over Notre Dame or Illinois.

Regardless of where I put my seat deposit, do you think sticker at a T14 (Michigan or Northwestern) would be better than my present scholarship offers? Because of my family background, I feel like I will be competitive for JAG. If I did JAG for at least ten years, which I would plan on doing, all my federal loans would be forgiven. This makes me think that sticker at a T14 might not be as much of a factor, since most of my loans will be forgiven eventually anyway. Seems worth it to get the better education/prestige that might come from a T14. Granted, I do like both Notre Dame and Illinois, and I think either with a scholarship is not a bad option. Please have at it. I like reading all the TLS opinions out there.

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flem
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby flem » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:10 pm

tstev89 wrote:Update: I just added to my original post my scholarship offer at SMU (26k/yr). However, I do consider this a distant third, and I cannot imagine choosing SMU over Notre Dame or Illinois.

Regardless of where I put my seat deposit, do you think sticker at a T14 (Michigan or Northwestern) would be better than my present scholarship offers? Because of my family background, I feel like I will be competitive for JAG. If I did JAG for at least ten years, which I would plan on doing, all my federal loans would be forgiven. This makes me think that sticker at a T14 might not be as much of a factor, since most of my loans will be forgiven eventually anyway. Seems worth it to get the better education/prestige that might come from a T14. Granted, I do like both Notre Dame and Illinois, and I think either with a scholarship is not a bad option. Please have at it. I like reading all the TLS opinions out there.


That's a tough call bruh. That's a big assumption to make with 200K of debt staring you in the face.

Sticker at a T14 is a big gamble - high risk and high reward. If you landed biglaw you're able to pay it off. If you land a JAG position or other quality LRAP qualifying options, you're good. It's those that paid sticker that don't land one of those two that are in trouble.

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Is your alt "throwaway 420" ?

Also, you registered as a poster soon after Pless disappeared & you display unusual animosity toward me probably because I inquired about the possibility of a criminal investigation of Illinois law admissions.


Is that why you think I don't like you? Lots of people talked shit on pless and I could care less. I stuck up for dean smith, not pless. I dislike you because I asked whether you went to law school or not, if you graduated or not and if you are a lawyer and you refused to answer me

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:45 pm

tstev89 wrote:Update: I just added to my original post my scholarship offer at SMU (26k/yr). However, I do consider this a distant third, and I cannot imagine choosing SMU over Notre Dame or Illinois.

Regardless of where I put my seat deposit, do you think sticker at a T14 (Michigan or Northwestern) would be better than my present scholarship offers? Because of my family background, I feel like I will be competitive for JAG. If I did JAG for at least ten years, which I would plan on doing, all my federal loans would be forgiven. This makes me think that sticker at a T14 might not be as much of a factor, since most of my loans will be forgiven eventually anyway. Seems worth it to get the better education/prestige that might come from a T14. Granted, I do like both Notre Dame and Illinois, and I think either with a scholarship is not a bad option. Please have at it. I like reading all the TLS opinions out there.


I would take the money personally. JAG is a great goal, but is super competitive even at a T14 and not a guarantee. If you're not biglaw or bust I would want to graduate with the least amount of debt.It seems like you are not interested in doing IP work, but if you are open to doing IP as a backup plan, that mitigates a lot of the regional-ity of Illinois. IP people in my class did very well and had offers all over the country

CanadianWolf
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:27 pm

You're one weird little stalker dude. :shock:

tstev89
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:08 am

Update: I just got accepted today off of Wake Forest's WL with a 28k/yr scholarship offer. How does TLS think Wake Forest stacks up with my other offers?

I am also still waiting to get my initial admissions decision from Northwestern. I feel like I am going back and forth between Notre Dame and Illinois at this point, but I have not ruled out SMU or Wake Forest either. I do like the South and Washington DC Area, but I am not sure how well Wake Forest places in the region. Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions.

Betharl
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Betharl » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:24 am

I think if it's between ND and UIUC, it makes the most sense to choose the cheaper of the two.

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:28 am

What is it you dislike about Illinois? This seems like such an easy choice to me. Unless you'd rather work in North Carolina than Illinois I don't know why the wf acceptance would change anything

tstev89
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:44 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:What is it you dislike about Illinois? This seems like such an easy choice to me. Unless you'd rather work in North Carolina than Illinois I don't know why the wf acceptance would change anything


The WF acceptance really didn't change much. I just wanted to get more opinions from people before I make my decision. I really liked Illinois during ASD, but I was also very impressed by ND during my visit. Because of some connections at ND, I would have cheaper living there compared to Illinois. Also, the associate rector position available to 2L's and 3L's at ND would more than make up for the scholarship gap between ND and Illinois. I do think UIUC will give me a slight edge for Chicago, but I am trying to decide if I would prefer to be slightly more portable with Notre Dame's alumni network. Granted, I do recognize that in the legal world, Illinois and Notre Dame are essentially peer schools with this year's rankings being an outlier for Illinois. Maybe, I am overestimating the value of the alumni network at ND, but it did seem like a strong selling point.
Last edited by tstev89 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludo!
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:58 am

Well whichever you choose I don't think either is a bad decision. Good luck to you

JCUGuy0428
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby JCUGuy0428 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:53 am

Speaking from experience and in my opinion,

(1) The value of the alumni base varies, depending on the section of the country you are looking at. Honestly I think most of it's worth comes when you are already in practice. When looking for a job, the alumni base might give you a nudge, but you're still doing just as much leg work and mass mailing and chasing jobs that everyone else does at all the other schools, and possibly more because there is no home market.

(2) As per the assistant rector position at ND, a lot of people see that in the admitted students booklet the admissions department sends to all admitted students and factor that into their decision to go to ND. However, if you are a guy, there's typically about 1 spot for every 3 to 4 applicants. If you are a girl, it's a little better, maybe 1 spot for every 2 applicants. Point is, the odds are against you, and I wouldn't really use that as a factor.

(3) Tuition at ND is bumped up again next year (not just a normal bump, but a normal bump and then some) as the second part of a three year plan. That means that another bump is coming for 2013-2014. It goes to scholarships and getting new professors, so that's good, but I think its fair for incoming students to know about the tuition bump before attending.

Now, all that said, it's still a great place to attend school. The campus is beautiful, and the people here are great. We're working through some modifications with the grade structure/curve, but the administration seems willing to work with the students on it, so that's an improvement over the past. It's a quality place. I think it just comes down to finances and where you want to work.

Good Luck with your decision!

tstev89
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:14 am

JCUGuy0428 wrote:Now, all that said, it's still a great place to attend school. The campus is beautiful, and the people here are great. We're working through some modifications with the grade structure/curve, but the administration seems willing to work with the students on it, so that's an improvement over the past. It's a quality place. I think it just comes down to finances and where you want to work.

Good Luck with your decision!


Can you elaborate on the modifications with the grade structure/curve? Also, I have heard that ND doesn't rank students (by number or percentile). Do you think this has any effect (positive or negative) on applying for jobs after law school?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:19 am

Your geographic interests are all over the map. These are all largely regional schools, so you need to pick the school that places best into the region that you most want to live in. JAG is going to be similarly competitive from most of these schools, so that shouldn't be too much of a factor (Unless the lay prestige of ND matters for JAG for some reason).

Considering OP is ok with Chicago/Midwest, I would go Illinois here. Maybe Notre Dame is slightly better at placing outside of the midwest, but I wouldn't think it's a huge percentage. If someone has the numbers on this, that would be helpful.

JCUGuy0428
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby JCUGuy0428 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:01 am

Correct, NDLS does not rank. It might be hurting me and I just don't know it because they are just not interviewing me due to no frame of reference in class rank, but I haven't noticed it hurting me.

They instituted a 1L curve and a curve for all other classes based on class size. It was new this year and they are still potentially tweaking it.

edit: typo

tstev89
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Re: ND vs UIUC vs SMU vs WF vs Waitlist at T14

Postby tstev89 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:49 pm

Update: I just got WL today at Northwestern, so I am now WL at both Michigan and Northwestern.

More likely than not, I would probably be looking at sticker or minimal scholarship at either UMich or NU if I get off the WL. I am having a hard time imagining walking away from a generous scholarship ($$$) to pay sticker at a T14. What does TLS think about potentially getting in off the WL at one of the schools? Is paying sticker at a T14 worth it? If not, how much scholarship money would UMich or NU have to give me to make it worthwhile to walk away from my present scholarship options? Please share your thoughts and be brutally honest.




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