twinkletoes16 wrote:Are people at NU at/below median that much better off than median/below at UCLA? It still seems like there's some bad outcomes at NU. Maybe not to the extent that UCLA has though?
UCLA's Large Firm + Fed Clerkship = 39% (last year was only 27.9% !!!!! ; year before that it was 36.3% biglaw and 7.8% some kind of clerkship, but I don't know the breakdown)
NW's Large frim + Fed Clerkship = 55.6% (and was 61.3% last year; the year before that, they had 52.4% in biglaw and 10.4% in some kind of judicial clerkship, though I don't know what the breakdown there is)
So this means that someone at NW at median has a good shot at a favorable outcome, while someone at median at UCLA has a much worse shot at desired outcome - would be against the odds. Some self selection may skew this, but these numbers don't favor UCLA unless you could definitely be in the top quarter of the class.
That's why I voted NW (along with the fact I think you're overestimating the differences in CoA), unless Berk comes through with $$ or Harvard calls. If you do go to NW, I'd say given your plans/goals, find a 9-month lease, and gun hard for LA firms. If you can't get something good for 1L summer, maybe you could find family in LA that would let you crash there for the summer, and maybe just find a volunteer legal position in LA. NW places just over 10% in California last year, which tells me it's doable, and probably just not a lot of ppl there are shooting for California (probably mostly Chicago, NYC, or wherever they happened to be from), which may help you. Plus I keep hearing about how messed up the California legal market is. I have no idea if that is true, but if it is the case, I'd want some other options to be safe. And I feel ya on the cold - I hate it and was ready to go to Texas before NW's scholarship offer came. But everyone from Chicago seems to love it, and I just won't be outside a lot during the winter. As someone who has moved around a lot, I've learned that the location itself isn't nearly as important as the people you meet there.
So that's my rationale. Like I said though, it's all about your priorities.