NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

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Phl1787
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NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Phl1787 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:51 am

Ok, so I was admitted off Northwestern's waitlist yesterday night. CoA would be $210K, though I may get some need-based aid. I am currently at Texas, where my CoA would be $100K.
Geographically, I'm indifferent. I like cold and hot weather equally. I just moved to Austin this past week, I know it should not be a big factor but it would be a pain/cost at least a couple thousand to break my lease/get a uhaul/drive to Illinois/find a place in Chicago all before Monday.
I am not really sure what I want to do. At this point (ideally) I am shooting for biglaw/federal clerkship if I do well enough.
Northwestern has better biglaw placement according to the NLJ (usu. twice that of UT's %, which is pretty substantial), not sure about how the two schools compare in terms of federal clerkships. That extra job security (at least according to these stats) means a lot to me (though I may be overvaluing it because I'm a 0L).
So what does everyone think? Is Northwestern worth the extra money and cost/hassle of moving?

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Samara
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:59 am

Unless you're including savings that you have, COA at NU is about $285k. Probably not worth it unless you want to work in Chicago. Do you have ties to Chicago or Texas? $100k is low enough that you don't have to be biglaw or bust to handle the debt.

ETA: Do you really want biglaw or do you just want it so you can pay off your loans?

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RSterling
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby RSterling » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:04 pm

If your goal is biglaw, then I would tell you to bite the bullet and go NW. It'll give you an in to the Chicago market which imo is better to be in than NYC.

You're in for a hellish weekend/couple of weeks to get all the logistics figured out so quickly, but screw it, few decisions will affect your life as much as this will.

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Ixiion
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Ixiion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:07 pm

Samara wrote:Unless you're including savings that you have, COA at NU is about $285k.


I think, given the ($) next to NU in the title, his $210 CoA is including money that NU offered. At least, that's what I'm assuming.

OP: It really depends on your answer to Samara's question: do you really want biglaw or is it just to pay off loans? Because if it's just to pay off loans, it's not worth the risk, and as they said, $100k is payable without biglaw.

If biglaw/federal clerkships is really what you want to do, go to NU.

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RSterling
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby RSterling » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:09 pm

Ixiion wrote:
Samara wrote:Unless you're including savings that you have, COA at NU is about $285k.


I think, given the ($) next to NU in the title, his $210 CoA is including money that NU offered. At least, that's what I'm assuming.

OP: It really depends on your answer to Samara's question: do you really want biglaw or is it just to pay off loans? Because if it's just to pay off loans, it's not worth the risk, and as they said, $100k is payable without biglaw.

If biglaw/federal clerkships is really what you want to do, go to NU.


I'd also like to echo this. If Biglaw is just a way for you to pay off loans, NU isn't worth it. Coming from Texas you'll have a decent shot at some firms in Dallas anyway (though not nearly as much as Chicago firms going to NU)

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legalese_retard
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby legalese_retard » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:11 pm

Go to UT. Northwestern is not worth the additional and significant expense. You will have to do equally well at either school for a shot at a clerkship or biglaw firm. Your geographic options after graduation will be switched, but I don't think Northwestern is worth the additional $100K+ over UT.

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haus
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby haus » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:19 pm

Northwestern is a really nice school, but that is a big chunk of change. Given these options I would choose UT.

Good luck,

Phl1787
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Phl1787 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Samara wrote:Unless you're including savings that you have, COA at NU is about $285k. Probably not worth it unless you want to work in Chicago. Do you have ties to Chicago or Texas? $100k is low enough that you don't have to be biglaw or bust to handle the debt.

ETA: Do you really want biglaw or do you just want it so you can pay off your loans?


Yes I want biglaw (not just to pay off loans), SEC would be cool too. I just finished my masters in economics/took a lot of business classes in undergrad, I think the work would be interesting/challenging.
My dad lives in Texas, no ties to Chicago.
I have $30K in savings. Is that COA the loans with interest or are you factoring in tuition increases or something else? Their site says $80k/year.
Last edited by Phl1787 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawalum
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby lawalum » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:36 pm

I think NU scholarship $$ is done for this cycle.

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Samara
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:42 pm

Phl1787 wrote:
Samara wrote:Unless you're including savings that you have, COA at NU is about $285k. Probably not worth it unless you want to work in Chicago. Do you have ties to Chicago or Texas? $100k is low enough that you don't have to be biglaw or bust to handle the debt.

ETA: Do you really want biglaw or do you just want it so you can pay off your loans?


Yes I want biglaw (not just to pay off loans), SEC would be cool too. I just finished my masters in economics/took a lot of business classes in undergrad, I think the work would be interesting/challenging.
My dad lives in Texas, no ties to Chicago.
I have $30K in savings. Is that COA the loans with interest or are you factoring in tuition increases or something else? Their site says $80k/year.

Yes, I was factoring in tuition increases and interest. You should as well.

With Texas ties and no Chicago ties, that makes it harder to justify the extra $150k and risk for the extra biglaw employment options. And you don't want to rely on just last year's NLJ numbers. Northwestern has been historically strong, but not historically #2.

What are your backup options if you miss out on biglaw? A master's in economics should be a little bit helpful for OCI. I suppose if you really, really want biglaw and have decent backup options, you could justify NU. But the safer choice is UT.

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rayiner
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby rayiner » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:00 pm

legalese_retard wrote:Go to UT. Northwestern is not worth the additional and significant expense. You will have to do equally well at either school for a shot at a clerkship or biglaw firm. Your geographic options after graduation will be switched, but I don't think Northwestern is worth the additional $100K+ over UT.


I think UT is credited here, since OP isn't biglaw or bust, but your statement isn't correct. If you look at firms > 25 attorneys and federal clerkships, for C/O 2011 it was about 35% in those jobs at UT versus 67% at NU. At the same time, UT had 27% of its class working at small firms or straight up not working, versus 11% of NU's class.

locthebloke
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby locthebloke » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:04 pm

I have a friend who graduated from Northwestern. Firmly middle of her class. Took her 8 months to find a job, and what she ended up with was a 45k/yr position in Bumfuck, IL.

I've been told in another thread that such "anecdotes" serve no purpose here. But it is food for thought--before you decide to take on nearly $300,000 debt that you cannot discharge in bankruptcy to pay some lazy law professor's grotesque salary. Though it is still a risk, and foregoing law school is *always* an option, UT here is a no-brainer if you are deadset and understand the risks..

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HarlandBassett
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby HarlandBassett » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:59 am

locthebloke wrote:I have a friend who graduated from Northwestern. Firmly middle of her class. Took her 8 months to find a job, and what she ended up with was a 45k/yr position in Bumfuck, IL.

I've been told in another thread that such "anecdotes" serve no purpose here. But it is food for thought--before you decide to take on nearly $300,000 debt that you cannot discharge in bankruptcy to pay some lazy law professor's grotesque salary. Though it is still a risk, and foregoing law school is *always* an option, UT here is a no-brainer if you are deadset and understand the risks..

time to get that tax LLM at Northwestern. :D

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HarlandBassett
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby HarlandBassett » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:02 am

may i ask your stats (GPA/LSAT/URM?)

this is incredibly late to be accepting someone into LS. some LSs have already had orientation yesterday.

on a side note, i would not attend NU just to cross subsidize someone else's tuition.

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rayiner
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:05 am

locthebloke wrote:I have a friend who graduated from Northwestern. Firmly middle of her class. Took her 8 months to find a job, and what she ended up with was a 45k/yr position in Bumfuck, IL.

I've been told in another thread that such "anecdotes" serve no purpose here. But it is food for thought--before you decide to take on nearly $300,000 debt that you cannot discharge in bankruptcy to pay some lazy law professor's grotesque salary. Though it is still a risk, and foregoing law school is *always* an option, UT here is a no-brainer if you are deadset and understand the risks..


Nearly all the people I know struggling to find jobs from my class at NU are people who didn't want to do big law, and had to face the brutal PI/government hiring market.

Yes, there are a substantial number of people who are going to strike out of big law at NU. A large minority of the class in fact. At UT, however, it's a large majority of the class.

Yes, it sucks tremendously to have $210k of debt (which is what OP would have) and get a $50k/year job. It also sucks to have $100k of debt and get a $50k/year job. The latter outcome is much more likely at UT than the former is at NU.

The unfortunate truth is that big law is the path to most of the desirable non-big law careers right now. Want to work in federal government? Good luck--it's easier to get WLRK than DOJ right now. Want to work in state government or even as a PD? States are broke, they have no money to hire.

With the economy getting weak again, the correct answer is probably to wait and see what happens. But if the only choices are NU and UT, the latter is not a "no brainer" here.

Phl1787
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Phl1787 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:43 am

rayiner wrote:
locthebloke wrote:I have a friend who graduated from Northwestern. Firmly middle of her class. Took her 8 months to find a job, and what she ended up with was a 45k/yr position in Bumfuck, IL.

I've been told in another thread that such "anecdotes" serve no purpose here. But it is food for thought--before you decide to take on nearly $300,000 debt that you cannot discharge in bankruptcy to pay some lazy law professor's grotesque salary. Though it is still a risk, and foregoing law school is *always* an option, UT here is a no-brainer if you are deadset and understand the risks..


Nearly all the people I know struggling to find jobs from my class at NU are people who didn't want to do big law, and had to face the brutal PI/government hiring market.

Yes, there are a substantial number of people who are going to strike out of big law at NU. A large minority of the class in fact. At UT, however, it's a large majority of the class.

Yes, it sucks tremendously to have $210k of debt (which is what OP would have) and get a $50k/year job. It also sucks to have $100k of debt and get a $50k/year job. The latter outcome is much more likely at UT than the former is at NU.

The unfortunate truth is that big law is the path to most of the desirable non-big law careers right now. Want to work in federal government? Good luck--it's easier to get WLRK than DOJ right now. Want to work in state government or even as a PD? States are broke, they have no money to hire.

With the economy getting weak again, the correct answer is probably to wait and see what happens. But if the only choices are NU and UT, the latter is not a "no brainer" here.


That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

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North
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby North » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:16 am

Phl1787 wrote:That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

If you don't go to Northwestern, will you play the 'what if I had?' game with yourself for the rest of your career?

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grrrstick
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby grrrstick » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:24 am

Phl1787 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
locthebloke wrote:I have a friend who graduated from Northwestern. Firmly middle of her class. Took her 8 months to find a job, and what she ended up with was a 45k/yr position in Bumfuck, IL.

I've been told in another thread that such "anecdotes" serve no purpose here. But it is food for thought--before you decide to take on nearly $300,000 debt that you cannot discharge in bankruptcy to pay some lazy law professor's grotesque salary. Though it is still a risk, and foregoing law school is *always* an option, UT here is a no-brainer if you are deadset and understand the risks..


Nearly all the people I know struggling to find jobs from my class at NU are people who didn't want to do big law, and had to face the brutal PI/government hiring market.

Yes, there are a substantial number of people who are going to strike out of big law at NU. A large minority of the class in fact. At UT, however, it's a large majority of the class.

Yes, it sucks tremendously to have $210k of debt (which is what OP would have) and get a $50k/year job. It also sucks to have $100k of debt and get a $50k/year job. The latter outcome is much more likely at UT than the former is at NU.

The unfortunate truth is that big law is the path to most of the desirable non-big law careers right now. Want to work in federal government? Good luck--it's easier to get WLRK than DOJ right now. Want to work in state government or even as a PD? States are broke, they have no money to hire.

With the economy getting weak again, the correct answer is probably to wait and see what happens. But if the only choices are NU and UT, the latter is not a "no brainer" here.


That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).


This (bumfuck Midwest vs. bumfuck Texas) is the big distinction. I had no trouble getting biglaw offers at UT, and my impression is that top 50% at UT had a good shot at biglaw in Texas. But to your point, almost everyone I know at UT has a job, but many of those jobs are non-biglaw in Amarillo/Midland/South Texas. If it's home, then that's fine, but if you don't like that kind of life you won't be happy. I took UT with a lot of money over other schools because I knew that I could live in San Antonio or Midland without hating myself, but I get that isn't true for most people.

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Samara
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:29 am

Phl1787 wrote:That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

haha, this sounds like more reasons to choose NU.

Phl1787
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Phl1787 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:34 pm

Samara wrote:
Phl1787 wrote:That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

haha, this sounds like more reasons to choose NU.


It kinda does, hmm...If I'm at the bottom of my class at either school, I'd slightly prefer NU because even though I will have more debt, I would be in a better location/have a better LRAP. If I'm at the top of my class, it would be better to be at Texas with $100k+ less debt, but I could pay it off at NU too so not as big a deal. If I'm in the middle, I don't really know, but better shot at biglaw at NU. This is a little simplistic. Is it plausible?

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Samara
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby Samara » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:41 pm

Phl1787 wrote:
Samara wrote:
Phl1787 wrote:That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

haha, this sounds like more reasons to choose NU.

It kinda does, hmm...If I'm at the bottom of my class at either school, I'd slightly prefer NU because even though I will have more debt, I would be in a better location/have a better LRAP. If I'm at the top of my class, it would be better to be at Texas with $100k+ less debt, but I could pay it off at NU too so not as big a deal. If I'm in the middle, I don't really know, but better shot at biglaw at NU. This is a little simplistic. Is it plausible?

There's no guarantee you could get an LRAP-qualifying job. But other than that, it seems fairly plausible to me. I think it's close, with no clear answer. If biglaw (and its exit options) are that important to you, go to NU and work your ass off.

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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:45 pm

hard decision considering your desires. i would go to NU if i were you. although i'm not u and would go to UT if this were my decision. how's that for horrible advice without any form of legitimate justification?

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spleenworship
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:46 pm

Having read the thread my vote is solidly for UT for you.

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rayiner
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby rayiner » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:02 pm

Phl1787 wrote:
Samara wrote:
Phl1787 wrote:That is what I'm struggling with. For what I want to do, NU is better. Over a career, the difference in cost is not as substantial IF (big IF) I get biglaw. If I strike out, then I'm screwed. Still have not decided yet, but I'm leaning towards Texas. The risk of going to NU is too high. Also, NU's LRAP is WAY better than UT's, but I'll have less debt. And FWIW I would rather be in bumfuck, IL than bumfuck, TX (I'm moving from Philly, it's more like home).

haha, this sounds like more reasons to choose NU.


It kinda does, hmm...If I'm at the bottom of my class at either school, I'd slightly prefer NU because even though I will have more debt, I would be in a better location/have a better LRAP. If I'm at the top of my class, it would be better to be at Texas with $100k+ less debt, but I could pay it off at NU too so not as big a deal. If I'm in the middle, I don't really know, but better shot at biglaw at NU. This is a little simplistic. Is it plausible?


LRAP-eligible jobs are like fucking unicorns man. Non-profits and government just aren't hiring anyone. On the other hand, there is a huge dearth of non big-law jobs as well. The people I know in my graduating class, now 3 months after graduation, are either getting ready to work big law, or looking for work. A few have found legit PI/government gigs, and a few are clerking for a small firm, but there is shockingly little between big law and unemployment.

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sunynp
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Re: NEED TO DECIDE BY TODAY Northwestern ($) v Texas ($$$$)

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:29 pm

How is $100,000 not the deciding factor here? I don't understand that - plus the fact Texas in general is reported to have a strong economy. If you are at the bottom of either class you need to drop out. Don't spend your life chasing a dream that won't happen.




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