Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

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

Which School? See below for money

NYU
0
No votes
Chicago
25
45%
Duke
23
41%
Cornell
7
13%
Berkeley
0
No votes
Northwestern
0
No votes
Texas
1
2%
 
Total votes: 56

Augustus
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Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Augustus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:16 pm

Hello! I've lurked around here for awhile, and I appreciate all the advice that is given.

I am waiting to hear from Harvard (held in January), Stanford (silence since submitting my applications in October), and Columbia (held), but I imagine at this point that they will be rejections with my numbers (169/3.97). I know I should have retaken the LSAT and used that GPA to better effect, but I wasn't confident that I could score higher. I took it once in June and never looked back.

Here are my current options, with a rough estimate of total cost taken from LST and rough order of preference:

NYU - $280,065 (no scholarship, sent letter to begin negotiations)
Chicago - $235,817 ($30K scholarship, will negotiate later for more ... it seems they tend to like high GPAs)
Duke - $147,727 ($105,000 scholarship)
Berkeley - $277,024 (no scholarship yet, admissions said aid offers should be coming in early April; will submit matching)
Cornell - $151,785 ($120,000 scholarship)
Northwestern - $291,900 (no scholarship as of yet)
Texas - $138,667 ($93K)

Will be financing from loans, and will likely be married w/o kids by the time I graduate (read: two salaries). From what I can tell, I am not nearly as risk averse as many posters here. I am a K-JD student. I'm from the south, and have solid connections with the large firms in my area (there's about three).

General career goals: I would like to work in Chicago, D.C. or NY at a firm. I want to do big law for 3 to 5 years (and not just to pay back loans), with a clerkship stint thrown in there if I decide on litigation. If I find I am more masochistic than I previously knew, then I will likely stay longer. If all goes well with that, I would like to move over to government work (FTC, SEC, DOJ, USAO, etc.) or back to the south. As a 0L, I've gathered my information on big law from the employment threads and about government from a current U.S. Attorney and faculty at law schools.

Another consideration: I have a significant other that will likely be moving with me. Her industry is highly concentrated in NYC and, to a lesser extent, Chicago, which makes appealing options like Duke much less appealing.

I visited NYU, and I felt good about the school. Visited Berkeley last week, and enjoyed it, though I'm not sure I can see myself there. Have yet to visiting NU/Chicago/Duke. I haven't given any serious thought to Cornell, despite that chunk of money. Ithaca seems too isolated, and I worry about how well their degree carries outside of NY. At least compared to the others, they have been the least involved admissions committee in terms of marketing their school and persuading me that I should go there. But if anyone can make a good case for Cornell, I would love to hear it.

So, the big questions I have to figure out:
1) As I'm not set on NYC, which school offers the greatest flexibility and reach?

2) Does a small class size, such as Chicago's, translate to anything meaningful in terms of careers/academic opportunities?

3a) Are the career opportunities coming out of Chicago/NYU significant to ignore the less debt I would have from Duke/Cornell? I.e. Are the increased odds of big law coming out of a T6 (one account from the legal employment thread stated that he, a vault 10 recruiter, generally takes up to the top third at t6 ... with the cut off narrowing the further down one goes) worth it?

3b) How does that calculus change when I add in my significant other (and her presumed salary), my lack of undergrad debt, my frugal living standards, and a potential big law salary?

Any other advice?

TL;DR: Big scholarships at low T14 v. small/no scholarship at t6 (with negotiations on the horizon). Want big law/clerking post-grad. Have a SO.

SportsFan
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby SportsFan » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:20 pm

The obvious answer is retake, get 2-3 extra points, and enjoy HYS or a fullride at 2 or 3 of CCNMVP.

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NDJ
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby NDJ » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:27 pm

yes, a few months of extra study for a score in the mid-170s could be worth a LOT of CCN money (you could think of it as one year of salary to make up for your year lost before law school, although you can obviously do other things as well)
if you must go this year id say cornell or duke....

hopingtogetin
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby hopingtogetin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:30 pm

Congratulations on your acceptances! You should go to Chicago. It's a great school and you at least got a little money. It's not much, but it's something and it would put your right in the market you want to work! Plus, it would be good for your SO and Chicago is in general a cheaper city than New York. As for clerkships, a family friend of mine came out of Chicago and got a clerkship on SCOTUS. Granted that was about five years ago, but still, impressive. Plus, you say you have no undergrad debt. Chicago will help you get big law, you'll pay off that debt, and you'll have two salaries if, as you say, your wife's industry is portable to Chicago.

rad lulz
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby rad lulz » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:36 pm

Of these, Duke or Cornell by a mile.

Augustus
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Augustus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:43 pm

Retake:

Okay, let's say I retake this June and withdraw. I could certainly score higher, but there's a higher probability I don't. I would have withdrawn all my applications, and have given up the money already offered. If I score higher and apply again--do I use the same personal statements, letters, etc.? Do schools care that they offered you a seat and money last cycle, but you withdrew?

But if I don't get a higher score...

I am suffering from a bit of inertia right now. I'm graduating and ready to move on, I've what seems solid options. I don't care to do it all over again, and wait even longer. I'll think about it.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Augustus wrote:Retake:

Okay, let's say I retake this June and withdraw. I could certainly score higher, but there's a higher probability I don't. I would have withdrawn all my applications, and have given up the money already offered. If I score higher and apply again--do I use the same personal statements, letters, etc.? Do schools care that they offered you a seat and money last cycle, but you withdrew?

But if I don't get a higher score...

I am suffering from a bit of inertia right now. I'm graduating and ready to move on, I've what seems solid options. I don't care to do it all over again, and wait even longer. I'll think about it.


No, you can re-apply and you will likely have the same options in front of you next year.

Obviously, if you score higher your options will be even better.

You will have to make a new PS, but letters can be the same.

Take it in June and see how you do. Study hard for it - you don't lose anything by going that route except the $150 LSAT fee.

curious66
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby curious66 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:51 pm

Augustus wrote:Retake:

Okay, let's say I retake this June and withdraw. I could certainly score higher, but there's a higher probability I don't. I would have withdrawn all my applications, and have given up the money already offered. If I score higher and apply again--do I use the same personal statements, letters, etc.? Do schools care that they offered you a seat and money last cycle, but you withdrew?

But if I don't get a higher score...
I am suffering from a bit of inertia right now. I'm graduating and ready to move on, I've what seems solid options. I don't care to do it all over again, and wait even longer. I'll think about it.


I think you are correct to worry about re-taking. Statistically the odds are not in your favor to get better once you are above 165 (this from UMichigan's Dean).. here on TLS you will always get the miracle snowflake that re-takes and scores amazingly well, however, the truth is the vast majority of folks don't improve their scores (and you will never hear about it). So, I would pick the best financial and school fit from the options you have and go for it. You have great options as is -- don't waste them.

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NDJ
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby NDJ » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:54 pm

re: inertia - a year off for a KJD (think i saw that in your initial post?) can be more valuable than anything, if nothing else than to get perspective on life, explore other options and make sure that this is definitely what you want to do. you will have the rest of your life to work, you'll never miss a year in your early twenties, and as soon as you are out of school for the first time since kindergarten, your whole perspective in life will begin to change immensely, from my experience..

re: being able to retake successfully higher than 165, this is undoubtedly possible. how long did you study the first time around? what was the highest you were able to score?

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Rahviveh
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:55 pm

curious66 wrote:
Augustus wrote:Retake:

Okay, let's say I retake this June and withdraw. I could certainly score higher, but there's a higher probability I don't. I would have withdrawn all my applications, and have given up the money already offered. If I score higher and apply again--do I use the same personal statements, letters, etc.? Do schools care that they offered you a seat and money last cycle, but you withdrew?

But if I don't get a higher score...
I am suffering from a bit of inertia right now. I'm graduating and ready to move on, I've what seems solid options. I don't care to do it all over again, and wait even longer. I'll think about it.


I think you are correct to worry about re-taking. Statistically the odds are not in your favor to get better once you are above 165 (this from UMichigan's Dean).. here on TLS you will always get the miracle snowflake that re-takes and scores amazingly well, however, the truth is the vast majority of folks don't improve their scores (and you will never hear about it). So, I would pick the best financial and school fit from the options you have and go for it. You have great options as is -- don't waste them.


This is silly. Don't ever take advice from a goddamn dean. He doesn't lose anything by trying again in June and none of the schools he is looking at average scores anyway. I agree TLS can be too aggressive in recommending a retake and not everyone can hit 170+, but OP is at the point (169) where the dividends for gaining a couple extra points are enormous.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby WokeUpInACar » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:55 pm

curious66 wrote:
Augustus wrote:Retake:

Okay, let's say I retake this June and withdraw. I could certainly score higher, but there's a higher probability I don't. I would have withdrawn all my applications, and have given up the money already offered. If I score higher and apply again--do I use the same personal statements, letters, etc.? Do schools care that they offered you a seat and money last cycle, but you withdrew?

But if I don't get a higher score...
I am suffering from a bit of inertia right now. I'm graduating and ready to move on, I've what seems solid options. I don't care to do it all over again, and wait even longer. I'll think about it.


I think you are correct to worry about re-taking. Statistically the odds are not in your favor to get better once you are above 165 (this from UMichigan's Dean).. here on TLS you will always get the miracle snowflake that re-takes and scores amazingly well, however, the truth is the vast majority of folks don't improve their scores (and you will never hear about it). So, I would pick the best financial and school fit from the options you have and go for it. You have great options as is -- don't waste them.


Waste them? OP will almost certainly have very similar options to fall back on next cycle regardless.

fluffythepenguin
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby fluffythepenguin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:00 pm

Can OP retake this June and then, if scoring higher, leverage that score for acceptances/more money from CCN this cycle?

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Rahviveh
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:00 pm

fluffythepenguin wrote:Can OP retake this June and then, if scoring higher, leverage that score for acceptances/more money from CCN this cycle?


Possibly, yes, especially if he hits their medians (171-172)

SportsFan
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby SportsFan » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:02 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
fluffythepenguin wrote:Can OP retake this June and then, if scoring higher, leverage that score for acceptances/more money from CCN this cycle?


Possibly, yes, especially if he hits their medians (171-172)

If there was ever a cycle to try it, it would be this one, but AFAIK it hasn't really worked in the past.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:04 pm

Duke, unless the significant other thing is really worth it, then Chicago, or NYU if they end up giving you money.

jym_dawg
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby jym_dawg » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:08 pm

FWIW the above advice is solid. I have your GPA, 1 pt higher on the LSAT, and am retaking this June. Willing to sit out a year if it gets me $ at CCN.

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isuperserial
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby isuperserial » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:13 pm

I normally would say Duke. With your goal being Biglaw in Chicago or NYC, however, that's where Chicago wins I think. According to lawschooltransparency.com these two schools differ little in Biglaw and federal clerk placement.

So your situation is the following. You must consider what you want more, saving money at Duke or living in your desired city with Chicago?

Furthermore, Chicago does significantly better for Public Service, so that may be something to consider (19.7% vs. 8.7%)

You do have the option of retaking, but it's up to you. Honestly, you've been very successful in applications so if you opt not to, then you'll still probably be fine.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Teflon_Don » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:25 pm

Augustus wrote:Hello! I've lurked around here for awhile, and I appreciate all the advice that is given.

I am waiting to hear from Harvard (held in January), Stanford (silence since submitting my applications in October), and Columbia (held), but I imagine at this point that they will be rejections with my numbers (169/3.97). I know I should have retaken the LSAT and used that GPA to better effect, but I wasn't confident that I could score higher. I took it once in June and never looked back.

Here are my current options, with a rough estimate of total cost taken from LST and rough order of preference:

NYU - $280,065 (no scholarship, sent letter to begin negotiations)
Chicago - $235,817 ($30K scholarship, will negotiate later for more ... it seems they tend to like high GPAs)
Duke - $147,727 ($105,000 scholarship)
Berkeley - $277,024 (no scholarship yet, admissions said aid offers should be coming in early April; will submit matching)
Cornell - $151,785 ($120,000 scholarship)
Northwestern - $291,900 (no scholarship as of yet)
Texas - $138,667 ($93K)

Will be financing from loans, and will likely be married w/o kids by the time I graduate (read: two salaries). From what I can tell, I am not nearly as risk averse as many posters here. I am a K-JD student. I'm from the south, and have solid connections with the large firms in my area (there's about three).

General career goals: I would like to work in Chicago, D.C. or NY at a firm. I want to do big law for 3 to 5 years (and not just to pay back loans), with a clerkship stint thrown in there if I decide on litigation. If I find I am more masochistic than I previously knew, then I will likely stay longer. If all goes well with that, I would like to move over to government work (FTC, SEC, DOJ, USAO, etc.) or back to the south. As a 0L, I've gathered my information on big law from the employment threads and about government from a current U.S. Attorney and faculty at law schools.

Another consideration: I have a significant other that will likely be moving with me. Her industry is highly concentrated in NYC and, to a lesser extent, Chicago, which makes appealing options like Duke much less appealing.

I visited NYU, and I felt good about the school. Visited Berkeley last week, and enjoyed it, though I'm not sure I can see myself there. Have yet to visiting NU/Chicago/Duke. I haven't given any serious thought to Cornell, despite that chunk of money. Ithaca seems too isolated, and I worry about how well their degree carries outside of NY. At least compared to the others, they have been the least involved admissions committee in terms of marketing their school and persuading me that I should go there. But if anyone can make a good case for Cornell, I would love to hear it.

So, the big questions I have to figure out:
1) As I'm not set on NYC, which school offers the greatest flexibility and reach?

2) Does a small class size, such as Chicago's, translate to anything meaningful in terms of careers/academic opportunities?

3a) Are the career opportunities coming out of Chicago/NYU significant to ignore the less debt I would have from Duke/Cornell? I.e. Are the increased odds of big law coming out of a T6 (one account from the legal employment thread stated that he, a vault 10 recruiter, generally takes up to the top third at t6 ... with the cut off narrowing the further down one goes) worth it?

3b) How does that calculus change when I add in my significant other (and her presumed salary), my lack of undergrad debt, my frugal living standards, and a potential big law salary?

Any other advice?

TL;DR: Big scholarships at low T14 v. small/no scholarship at t6 (with negotiations on the horizon). Want big law/clerking post-grad. Have a SO.


I think it's between Duke & Chicago. I voted Chicago because of your significant other, though +230k is a lot for Chicago. But I think your decision should be between those two

Augustus
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Augustus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:31 pm

SportsFan wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
fluffythepenguin wrote:Can OP retake this June and then, if scoring higher, leverage that score for acceptances/more money from CCN this cycle?


Possibly, yes, especially if he hits their medians (171-172)

If there was ever a cycle to try it, it would be this one, but AFAIK it hasn't really worked in the past.


I'm interested in this/have enough time on my hands to do so. Scores from June LSAT 2012 came out early July ... will that not be too late to leverage? I would assume their coffers dwindle down by that time? Last time, I self-studied from January until test date. Picked up the intensity once I was out for summer break. Highest score was 175 or 176, I think. Took around 35 practice tests, and those were definitely the exceptions and, oddly, didn't come near the end of my studying... I averaged in the mid 160s.

So, no doubt it's possible to score higher. But I remember seeing somewhere that the likelihood of scoring higher than 1 or 2 points was minuscule. I can track it down, if people wanted to see it.

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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:33 pm

isuperserial wrote:I normally would say Duke. With your goal being Biglaw in Chicago or NYC, however, that's where Chicago wins I think. According to lawschooltransparency.com these two schools differ little in Biglaw and federal clerk placement.

So your situation is the following. You must consider what you want more, saving money at Duke or living in your desired city with Chicago?

Furthermore, Chicago does significantly better for Public Service, so that may be something to consider (19.7% vs. 8.7%)

You do have the option of retaking, but it's up to you. Honestly, you've been very successful in applications so if you opt not to, then you'll still probably be fine.

I would suspect those are predominantly doing public interest work out of necessity and not choice. When I was applying (2009-10) something between 0-5 people had done public interest work out of Chicago for the most recent several years. Doubtful things have changed that much that quickly culturally, especially considering the class of 2012 were 1Ls when I was applying. It's not a place people have traditionally gone to do public interest work.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:35 pm

Augustus wrote:
SportsFan wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
fluffythepenguin wrote:Can OP retake this June and then, if scoring higher, leverage that score for acceptances/more money from CCN this cycle?


Possibly, yes, especially if he hits their medians (171-172)

If there was ever a cycle to try it, it would be this one, but AFAIK it hasn't really worked in the past.


I'm interested in this/have enough time on my hands to do so. Scores from June LSAT 2012 came out early July ... will that not be too late to leverage? I would assume their coffers dwindle down by that time? Last time, I self-studied from January until test date. Picked up the intensity once I was out for summer break. Highest score was 175 or 176, I think. Took around 35 practice tests, and those were definitely the exceptions and, oddly, didn't come near the end of my studying... I averaged in the mid 160s.

So, no doubt it's possible to score higher. But I remember seeing somewhere that the likelihood of scoring higher than 1 or 2 points was minuscule. I can track it down, if people wanted to see it.


You don't need to use those charts. Think about YOUR likelihood of scoring higher

If you already studied for a few months and averaged in the mid-160's, then you probably can't crack 170+ that easily. I would still recommend a retake because even a couple points changes your situation dramatically and you have nothing to lose but extra studying time and a $150 fee.

I do know of people having success using higher scores to negotiate late in the cycle. If you are unable to do it, you can still re-apply.

The point is that re-taking in June does not commit you to anything. It just opens up your options.

Augustus
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Augustus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:37 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
isuperserial wrote:I normally would say Duke. With your goal being Biglaw in Chicago or NYC, however, that's where Chicago wins I think. According to lawschooltransparency.com these two schools differ little in Biglaw and federal clerk placement.

So your situation is the following. You must consider what you want more, saving money at Duke or living in your desired city with Chicago?

Furthermore, Chicago does significantly better for Public Service, so that may be something to consider (19.7% vs. 8.7%)

You do have the option of retaking, but it's up to you. Honestly, you've been very successful in applications so if you opt not to, then you'll still probably be fine.

I would suspect those are predominantly doing public interest work out of necessity and not choice. When I was applying (2009-10) something between 0-5 people had done public interest work out of Chicago for the most recent several years. Doubtful things have changed that much that quickly culturally, especially considering the class of 2012 were 1Ls when I was applying. It's not a place people have traditionally gone to do public interest work.


I wondered this as well. My assumption was that the higher PI scores came about b/c of Chicago's new LRAP and support programs ($5K for summer PI work).

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Elston Gunn » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:38 pm

hopingtogetin wrote:Congratulations on your acceptances! You should go to Chicago. It's a great school and you at least got a little money. It's not much, but it's something and it would put your right in the market you want to work! Plus, it would be good for your SO and Chicago is in general a cheaper city than New York. As for clerkships, a family friend of mine came out of Chicago and got a clerkship on SCOTUS. Granted that was about five years ago, but still, impressive. Plus, you say you have no undergrad debt. Chicago will help you get big law, you'll pay off that debt, and you'll have two salaries if, as you say, your wife's industry is portable to Chicago.


Underappreciated post.

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isuperserial
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby isuperserial » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:42 pm

Augustus wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
isuperserial wrote:I normally would say Duke. With your goal being Biglaw in Chicago or NYC, however, that's where Chicago wins I think. According to lawschooltransparency.com these two schools differ little in Biglaw and federal clerk placement.

So your situation is the following. You must consider what you want more, saving money at Duke or living in your desired city with Chicago?

Furthermore, Chicago does significantly better for Public Service, so that may be something to consider (19.7% vs. 8.7%)

You do have the option of retaking, but it's up to you. Honestly, you've been very successful in applications so if you opt not to, then you'll still probably be fine.

I would suspect those are predominantly doing public interest work out of necessity and not choice. When I was applying (2009-10) something between 0-5 people had done public interest work out of Chicago for the most recent several years. Doubtful things have changed that much that quickly culturally, especially considering the class of 2012 were 1Ls when I was applying. It's not a place people have traditionally gone to do public interest work.


I wondered this as well. My assumption was that the higher PI scores came about b/c of Chicago's new LRAP and support programs ($5K for summer PI work).


The thing is, Duke and Chicago had near identical numbers according to my research in nearly all categories except Public Service. In this category, Chicago excelled. I do not think that this is something insignificant.

Augustus
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Re: Advice Appreciated (T6 v T14)

Postby Augustus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:57 pm

isuperserial wrote:
Augustus wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
isuperserial wrote:I normally would say Duke. With your goal being Biglaw in Chicago or NYC, however, that's where Chicago wins I think. According to lawschooltransparency.com these two schools differ little in Biglaw and federal clerk placement.

So your situation is the following. You must consider what you want more, saving money at Duke or living in your desired city with Chicago?

Furthermore, Chicago does significantly better for Public Service, so that may be something to consider (19.7% vs. 8.7%)

You do have the option of retaking, but it's up to you. Honestly, you've been very successful in applications so if you opt not to, then you'll still probably be fine.

I would suspect those are predominantly doing public interest work out of necessity and not choice. When I was applying (2009-10) something between 0-5 people had done public interest work out of Chicago for the most recent several years. Doubtful things have changed that much that quickly culturally, especially considering the class of 2012 were 1Ls when I was applying. It's not a place people have traditionally gone to do public interest work.


I wondered this as well. My assumption was that the higher PI scores came about b/c of Chicago's new LRAP and support programs ($5K for summer PI work).


The thing is, Duke and Chicago had near identical numbers according to my research in nearly all categories except Public Service. In this category, Chicago excelled. I do not think that this is something insignificant.


I wouldn't say they have identical numbers... and this is where some other doubts about picking Duke or Cornell w/ money come in. Numbers also don't tell the whole story (e.g. which firm). Given the changes happening in big law and that I would like to some day own a pet and have a family, I'm not looking to make big law a lifetime career. I'm also interested in exit options, and it seems the better the firm + the better experience you gain = better exit options. I would think Chicago's track record beats Duke in that type of placement. But I only know from the employment threads, law firm websites, different rankings on the web, etc. Any perspective from current students at the schools or recent grads would be great.




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