Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

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

Which school should I attend?

Brooklyn Law School
16
37%
Northwestern
27
63%
 
Total votes: 43

abc12345675
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby abc12345675 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:32 pm

This is one of those unique situations where turning down T14 makes sense. BLS. Enjoy the hipsters around your law school!

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flem
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby flem » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:43 pm

Is Northwestern having trouble filling classes this year? Seems like they're pulling from their waitlist a bunch.

attractive_NUisance
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby attractive_NUisance » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:58 pm

Northwestern is a much better school in almost every way. You'll receive a better education there and the school's name will open a lot of doors for you. I had a great experience at Northwestern and am glad I paid the high price of entry since I found the exact job I wanted.

There are a few potential career paths where Northwestern would be the right choice - either working for a large firm or clerking in a federal court, then working for a large firm for a few years, then working in PI or DOJ. Northwestern will give you a much better shot of being able to do that, even with Median grades. The LRAP is good but you have to meet its requirements for 10 years which isn't always possible for people.

However, you seem to just want PI and not care that much about doing something particularly lucrative or prestigious. You will be MUCH better off with the lack of debt at Brooklyn. You might not find anything, but at least you'll have no debt and you'll have a pretty decent shot of finding the type of job you want. No brainer choice of brooklyn if that is what you want.

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sd5289
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby sd5289 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 pm

Congrats on the NW admission, but I'd still say Brooklyn given your goals and where you want to end up. It can be just as difficult to obtain employment in PI as it is in the big firms, but it's a different kind of hard and it depends a lot more on you and who you know than on the name of the school at the top of your resume (within reason).

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zor
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby zor » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:47 am

abc12345675 wrote:This is one of those unique situations where turning down T14 makes sense. BLS. Enjoy the hipsters around your law school!


That's what I'm thinking, too. I'm already a New Yorker so the hipsters are a staple.

flem wrote:Is Northwestern having trouble filling classes this year? Seems like they're pulling from their waitlist a bunch.

I know that applications are generally way down so there's been a ton of waitlist movement throughout. That said, I worked really hard to get off that NW waitlist. I flew there for an on-campus hold interview, wrote two LOCIs, and got an additional letter of recommendation.

attractive_NUisance wrote:Northwestern is a much better school in almost every way. You'll receive a better education there and the school's name will open a lot of doors for you. I had a great experience at Northwestern and am glad I paid the high price of entry since I found the exact job I wanted.

There are a few potential career paths where Northwestern would be the right choice - either working for a large firm or clerking in a federal court, then working for a large firm for a few years, then working in PI or DOJ. Northwestern will give you a much better shot of being able to do that, even with Median grades. The LRAP is good but you have to meet its requirements for 10 years which isn't always possible for people.

However, you seem to just want PI and not care that much about doing something particularly lucrative or prestigious. You will be MUCH better off with the lack of debt at Brooklyn. You might not find anything, but at least you'll have no debt and you'll have a pretty decent shot of finding the type of job you want. No brainer choice of brooklyn if that is what you want.


I really loved Northwestern when I visited (both the campus and the students) and they have such an excellent PI program and legal clinic. But yeah, I'd have to basically decide now to commit to some kind of large firm work for 5-10 years (or however long it takes to pay off that kind of debt), meaning I'd have to start the career I want when I'm like, 40. Assuming I could still get it. I wish they had accepted me from the get-go--I surely would have received need-based aid and with any scholarship I probably would have went.

sd5289 wrote:Congrats on the NW admission, but I'd still say Brooklyn given your goals and where you want to end up. It can be just as difficult to obtain employment in PI as it is in the big firms, but it's a different kind of hard and it depends a lot more on you and who you know than on the name of the school at the top of your resume (within reason).


Thank you! Yeah, I just don't know if I can justify that much money given my interests, and if it really is all about networking, I'm probably better off staying in the city I want to work in and leveraging my existing PI connections here. It's just SO hard to turn down the prestige of NW for a school many people have never heard of.

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sd5289
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby sd5289 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:43 pm

zor wrote:Thank you! Yeah, I just don't know if I can justify that much money given my interests, and if it really is all about networking, I'm probably better off staying in the city I want to work in and leveraging my existing PI connections here. It's just SO hard to turn down the prestige of NW for a school many people have never heard of.


If your plan is staying in NYC, which it clearly is, then don't worry, everyone knows Brooklyn. They wouldn't know a Brooklyn-equivalent school in, say, Chicago, but the NYC legal community knows what Brooklyn is. :)

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worldtraveler
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:17 am

This is important: Is any need based aid you received guaranteed for all 3 years? If not, really good chance it's for 1L only and you could end up screwed later on.

I say Northwestern, absolutely (I'm in PI too). The name of the school really does matter in PI. It kind of sucks that PI law is also prestige obsessed, but that's the way it is. Yes, you could end up in the same place from Brooklyn, but the odds are better from a higher ranked school. Your plans also might change or shift a bit. Yes, I know everyone thinks they won't but that happens to almost everyone in law school. NU gives you waaaaay better options.

What you really need to think about with PI is the ability to get a fellowship to start yourself off after graduation. Top schools are much better at helping applicants get Skaddens, EJW, etc. There are some students who get them from lower ranked schools, but not as much, and from what some friends of mine have said, very little help from alumni or their CDO. PI salaried jobs straight out of school are hard to get, and most PI students end up going after fellowships to start themselves off.

One thing you should ask about at NU is whether they have any kind of NU-students only post-graduation PI fellowships. Usually these pay to start you off for a few months after graduation, to get you experience which can then help you get a job. It's a nice safety cushion. Yes, I know they really do it to pad their employment statistics, but if you end up needing it you don't really care about the motivation so much.

As for the debt, I don't know much about NU's LRAP program, if they even have one. Otherwise, federal IBR is in place to help people exactly like you. Ask to talk to someone more about what their LRAP service is like.

Seriously, NU all the way.

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zor
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby zor » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:32 am

worldtraveler wrote:This is important: Is any need based aid you received guaranteed for all 3 years? If not, really good chance it's for 1L only and you could end up screwed later on.

I say Northwestern, absolutely (I'm in PI too). The name of the school really does matter in PI. It kind of sucks that PI law is also prestige obsessed, but that's the way it is. Yes, you could end up in the same place from Brooklyn, but the odds are better from a higher ranked school. Your plans also might change or shift a bit. Yes, I know everyone thinks they won't but that happens to almost everyone in law school. NU gives you waaaaay better options.

What you really need to think about with PI is the ability to get a fellowship to start yourself off after graduation. Top schools are much better at helping applicants get Skaddens, EJW, etc. There are some students who get them from lower ranked schools, but not as much, and from what some friends of mine have said, very little help from alumni or their CDO. PI salaried jobs straight out of school are hard to get, and most PI students end up going after fellowships to start themselves off.

One thing you should ask about at NU is whether they have any kind of NU-students only post-graduation PI fellowships. Usually these pay to start you off for a few months after graduation, to get you experience which can then help you get a job. It's a nice safety cushion. Yes, I know they really do it to pad their employment statistics, but if you end up needing it you don't really care about the motivation so much.

As for the debt, I don't know much about NU's LRAP program, if they even have one. Otherwise, federal IBR is in place to help people exactly like you. Ask to talk to someone more about what their LRAP service is like.

Seriously, NU all the way.


Yes, the scholarships are renewable for three years with only a top 80% stipulation. As for fellowships, in the past three years EJW has awarded Northwestern 2 and Brooklyn Law 4. It leans towards the T6, but outside of that it does regularly award scholarships down the T1 and T2. Skadden is much snootier--Northwestern has gotten 16 and Brooklyn only 4. But seeing as how Harvard has gotten 119, I don't think that miniscule increase is worth a quarter of a million dollars.

I don't know if NU has post-grad bridge fellowships but Brooklyn does. I really wouldn't make a decision based on a 10-week, pitifully paid position, though.

As for IBR, I honestly don't trust it. It's brand new, the program hasn't reached a point where anyone can actually claim the benefits of it yet, and seeing what Congress has done to gut the student loan program I am not going to rely on IBR to stick around in its current form. If I go into debt, I want to be certain it's manageable without IBR.

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sd5289
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby sd5289 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:15 am

worldtraveler wrote:The name of the school really does matter in PI.


I'm not saying this isn't entirely true, but the name of the school in the context of where it's located matters more than the fact that it's a T-whatever from a different location than the one you want to work in. If the way you seem to be portraying it is true, CUNY (the city's "public interest" law school) wouldn't be able to employ anyone ever. My current supervisor is a CUNY grad, and I've come across many grads in various PI agencies over the year. Their main strength is that they're enmeshed in PI organizations around the city and you'd better believe the alumni seek out current students for positions and love seeing the name on resumes that are coming in. CUNY also tend to get one Skadden and a few EJW fellows every year or every other year.

Yes, a name like NU or Harvard will catch someone's immediate attention compared to a name like BLS. However, it doesn't have the same power that it has in the private sector, and simply possessing the NU/Harvard name isn't going to get you hired in PI. You will need a lot more than just a school name to get a PI job and those other factors play a more equitable role in influencing a potential employer's decision than they would if you were going after a call back from OCI. Prior work experience in the PI field you want to work in (e.g. an actual job, not an undergrad internship or whatever) is a big plus, trusted colleagues and other contacts in that field are a big plus, your legal internship choices and any pro bono/volunteer work you did while in school are a plus, etc. These play a large role in hiring choices. Why? We're talking about a sector that doesn't have the resources or the time to hold your hand through your first few months until you "get the hang of it." It matters more to them that they don't have to do that than the fact that you are a T14 kid.

P.S. Also, for anyone seriously considering PI work, your main objective should really be minimizing your debt. Yes, there's that nifty loan forgiveness + IBR program (only for federal loans of course) right now, but what happens if that's eliminated at some point down the road? What will you do if Congress continues to play chicken with the federal debt ceiling and budget, and this Act is a casualty? I don't think that's likely, but it'd be a shame to be stuck with a quarter million dollars worth of debt, which will of course be bigger with interest, when you banked on it being forgiven after 10 years.

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Samara
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby Samara » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:22 am

worldtraveler wrote:As for the debt, I don't know much about NU's LRAP program, if they even have one. Otherwise, federal IBR is in place to help people exactly like you. Ask to talk to someone more about what their LRAP service is like.

If they even have one? :evil:

NU has a fine LRAP program and it's unusual in that it pays (sliding scale portions of) both IBR and unpaid interest, so that if you leave LRAP, you have at least made some progress on your loans. http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... naid/lrap/

/NUtrolling

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flem
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby flem » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:25 am

I wouldn't go 275K into debt knowing my goal was PI only to rely on LRAP/IBR/PSLF. Yeah, the name matters, but worthwhile PI is so hard to get now. If you go all in on PI jobs from NU then you're hugely boned if you strike out (and you didn't go the biglaw route as a backup, obviously). Much less so at BLS.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:26 am

CUNY is a noted exception. Everyone in the PI community knows it and its grads tend to do well. Other similarly ranked schools do not have what CUNY has going on. OP isn't even considering it, so I don't know why it's being discussed in this thread. It's like using Howard or BYU's big law placement numbers to justify going to a similarly ranked school without thinking about why those schools tend to exceptional for placement within their ranking.

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Samara
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby Samara » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:28 am

flem wrote:I wouldn't go 275K into debt knowing my goal was PI only to rely on LRAP/IBR/PSLF. Yeah, the name matters, but worthwhile PI is so hard to get now. If you go all in on PI jobs from NU then you're hugely boned if you strike out (and you didn't go the biglaw route as a backup, obviously). Much less so at BLS.

Well, that's why you do OCI, even if you're targeting PI. If anything, the tight market for PI jobs is an argument for NU, because then you can actually have a backup plan.

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flem
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby flem » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:28 am

Samara wrote:Well, that's why you do OCI, even if you're targeting PI. If anything, the tight market for PI jobs is an argument for NU, because then you can actually have a backup plan.


Fair point, I also don't know if OP is PI or bust.

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sd5289
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby sd5289 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:31 am

I brought CUNY up simply to dispute the idea that PI employers are almost exclusively interested in T14 schools.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:42 am

sd5289 wrote:I brought CUNY up simply to dispute the idea that PI employers are almost exclusively interested in T14 schools.


No one said they were.

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Stringer6
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby Stringer6 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:06 am

abc12345675 wrote:This is one of those unique situations where turning down T14 makes sense. BLS. Enjoy the hipsters around your law school!


yea tons of hipsters in downtown brooklyn

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sd5289
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby sd5289 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:32 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
sd5289 wrote:I brought CUNY up simply to dispute the idea that PI employers are almost exclusively interested in T14 schools.


No one said they were.


That's what I understood from this in your post above:

The name of the school really does matter in PI. It kind of sucks that PI law is also prestige obsessed, but that's the way it is.


No worries though.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:24 pm

Samara wrote:
flem wrote:I wouldn't go 275K into debt knowing my goal was PI only to rely on LRAP/IBR/PSLF. Yeah, the name matters, but worthwhile PI is so hard to get now. If you go all in on PI jobs from NU then you're hugely boned if you strike out (and you didn't go the biglaw route as a backup, obviously). Much less so at BLS.

Well, that's why you do OCI, even if you're targeting PI. If anything, the tight market for PI jobs is an argument for NU, because then you can actually have a backup plan.

This is pretty dumb. Biglaw isn't a "backup plan" if you want to do public interest. Hiring for biglaw takes place well before public interest hiring. If you do OCI you are choosing biglaw over PI, for all intents and purposes (at least for the first few years of your career).

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zor
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Re: Brooklyn ($$$) vs. Northwestern (Sticker)

Postby zor » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:27 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:This is pretty dumb. Biglaw isn't a "backup plan" if you want to do public interest. Hiring for biglaw takes place well before public interest hiring. If you do OCI you are choosing biglaw over PI, for all intents and purposes (at least for the first few years of your career).


dixiecup is right, BigLaw isn't a backup for those truly committed to PI. I would probably go through OCI anyway, just for the practice/experience and to see what my full range of options were, but I intend to commit both my summers to PI and apply for fellowships/DOJ honors my 3L.




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