PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

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

Which would you choose in my position?

University of Houston with $0 debt
58
66%
Northwestern University with ~$230,000 debt
30
34%
 
Total votes: 88

helpplease
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PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:56 pm

I could really use anybody's feedback at this point because i'm seriously conflicted with this decision I have to make.

Lived in Texas all my life, want to practice in Texas (preferably Big Law at least for the beginning of my career) and i'm down to these two options:

University of Houston Law Center (48):
-Full Ride
-No COL expenses because family is in Houston + got a stipend to live on campus, so would be graduating with $0 debt.
-Want to work in Houston so UH definitely has an advantage there with networking, etc.
-If not in the top 15%, i'm sure I could still get an okay job, and considering the no debt thing, i'll be fine.

Northwestern (12):
-Sticker
-Full COA = ~$230,000 (Idk about everyone else on here, but this number frightens me)
-Places around half its class in Big Law, BUT what happens if i'm not in the top half of my class?? That debt + no Big Law compensation would be unimaginable.
-NU is a top school, and a degree from there would be amazing

People often ask what about UT--got rejected from there. Was really disappointed about that one, but i'm not sitting out a cycle just to reapply. I'm going to law school in the Fall and it will be one of these two schools. I REALLY appreciate any feedback, advice, or opinions on the matter. Thank you in advance!
Last edited by helpplease on Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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justonemoregame
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby justonemoregame » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:59 pm

In before someone gives advice based purely on what a 0L thinks they want.

Not trying to be a dick - my vote is Houston

sccjnthn
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby sccjnthn » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:04 pm

Why do you want to practice big law?

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patrickd139
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:05 pm


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UtilityMonster
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby UtilityMonster » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:06 pm

This is a tough call, but I'd take Northwestern.

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SWEDE LAW
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby SWEDE LAW » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:10 pm

2L here. Had a 1L SA in TX from a lower T14.

You need to prioritize what you really want before making this decision. Even if you are medianish, or in that ballpark, you should be able to get TX biglaw coming from NU with strong ties. TX loves T14 kids. Everyone I know who wanted TX big law at my school ahd had ties got it, with one exception, and grades ranged from bottom of the class to above median. More than a few got 1L SAs. Some without grades.

That said, with that kind of debt, you are looking at 5 years of aggressive debt payment to balance your books and get to 0. Most people, around 80%, flame out of big law by year 5. Would you be comfortable making 40k - 60K with no debt? Sure you can get biglaw from U of H but you would be an outlier and can't count on that happening. Or would you prefer the ~50%+ chance of biglaw in TX with over $200,000 in debt? Think about your desire for a family, a house, and what you really want out of your career.

Then make your decision accordingly.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby bizzybone1313 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:13 pm

I would choose neither option. By attending U of H, you would be like top 5-10% in terms of numbers. U of H would soil themselves to be able to get a person like you to attend their school. NU at sticker seems to be way too risky. I would reapply. Did you get into any other T-14's? I have looked at the profiles of a lot of attorneys in Texas and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a lot of firms have a hard time getting people to work here in Texas. A T-14 does seem to be a good advantage. I want to actually do this myself. You should revise your poll to include the "neither" option.

helpplease
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:19 pm

sccjnthn wrote:Why do you want to practice big law?


I worked part-time at a Big Law firm in Houston for two years and really liked the environment/met a lot of great people. I'm familiar with the work they do, the hours they put in, the resources that are available to them, and I've decided that's what I want.
patrickd139 wrote:Answer all of these questions first, so we can better help you with your decision.

For starters, what are your GPA and LSAT numbers?


I think I pretty much answered all those questions aside from the gpa/lsat. Why does that information matter? I'm not retaking the LSAT again. These are my two options.

SWEDE LAW wrote:2L here. Had a 1L SA in TX from a lower T14.

You need to prioritize what you really want before making this decision. Even if you are medianish, or in that ballpark, you should be able to get TX biglaw coming from NU with strong ties. TX loves T14 kids. Everyone I know who wanted TX big law at my school ahd had ties got it, with one exception, and grades ranged from bottom of the class to above median. More than a few got 1L SAs. Some without grades.

That said, with that kind of debt, you are looking at 5 years of aggressive debt payment to balance your books and get to 0. Most people, around 80%, flame out of big law by year 5. Would you be comfortable making 40k - 60K with no debt? Sure you can get biglaw from U of H but you would be an outlier and can't count on that happening. Or would you prefer the ~50%+ chance of biglaw in TX with over $200,000 in debt? Think about your desire for a family, a house, and what you really want out of your career.

Then make your decision accordingly.


This is helpful. Thank you!

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IAFG
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:21 pm

WTF UT. That's fucked up.

Do NU, get two SAs, profit.

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SWEDE LAW
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby SWEDE LAW » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:21 pm

helpplease wrote:
sccjnthn wrote:Why do you want to practice big law?


I worked part-time at a Big Law firm in Houston for two years and really liked the environment/met a lot of great people. I'm familiar with the work they do, the hours they put in, the resources that are available to them, and I've decided that's what I want.
patrickd139 wrote:Answer all of these questions first, so we can better help you with your decision.

For starters, what are your GPA and LSAT numbers?


I think I pretty much answered all those questions aside from the gpa/lsat. Why does that information matter? I'm not retaking the LSAT again. These are my two options.

SWEDE LAW wrote:2L here. Had a 1L SA in TX from a lower T14.

You need to prioritize what you really want before making this decision. Even if you are medianish, or in that ballpark, you should be able to get TX biglaw coming from NU with strong ties. TX loves T14 kids. Everyone I know who wanted TX big law at my school ahd had ties got it, with one exception, and grades ranged from bottom of the class to above median. More than a few got 1L SAs. Some without grades.

That said, with that kind of debt, you are looking at 5 years of aggressive debt payment to balance your books and get to 0. Most people, around 80%, flame out of big law by year 5. Would you be comfortable making 40k - 60K with no debt? Sure you can get biglaw from U of H but you would be an outlier and can't count on that happening. Or would you prefer the ~50%+ chance of biglaw in TX with over $200,000 in debt? Think about your desire for a family, a house, and what you really want out of your career.

Then make your decision accordingly.


This is helpful. Thank you!


No problem, happy to help. Feel free to PM if you have any other concerns.

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justonemoregame
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby justonemoregame » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:26 pm

Full COA at NU would be more than 230K, unless you have outside funding I missed.

Choosing Houston effectively puts you in the 1% of matriculants - zero debt, attending a school where you have strong ties. UH isn't a TTT. If you miss your long shot at biglaw, so what? There are other jobs - if you miss those, so what? Don't like law school - so what?

NU at sticker might make sense for someone without another reasonable option, but you have a great option, and I would choose that one

helpplease
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:28 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:I would choose neither option. By attending U of H, you would be like top 5-10% in terms of numbers. U of H would soil themselves to be able to get a person like you to attend their school. NU at sticker seems to be way too risky. I would reapply. Did you get into any other T-14's? I have looked at the profiles of a lot of attorneys in Texas and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a lot of firms have a hard time getting people to work here in Texas. A T-14 does seem to be a good advantage. I want to actually do this myself. You should revise your poll to include the "neither" option.


Honestly, I appreciate that you took the time to give your advice, but I clearly stated: "was really disappointed about that one, but i'm not sitting out a cycle just to reapply. I'm going to law school in the Fall and it will be one of these two schools."

IAFG wrote:WTF UT. That's fucked up.

Do NU, get two SAs, profit.


Tell me about it. UT was my top choice, submitted a why UT letter, got personalized letters, LOCIs, EVERYTHING, and got rejected early this week. Assholes. They pulled the whole "would love you as a transfer" bullshit.

My main concern with Northwestern is the possibility of going there and, considering the extremely intelligent student body, not being able to get median for whatever reason/not end up with a biglaw position. That would be dreadful. How the hell is someone supposed to pay off that debt with a 50-60k salary??

helpplease
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:29 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Full COA at NU would be more than 230K, unless you have outside funding I missed.

Choosing Houston effectively puts you in the 1% of matriculants - zero debt, attending a school where you have strong ties. UH isn't a TTT. If you miss your long shot at biglaw, so what? There are other jobs - if you miss those, so what? Don't like law school - so what?

NU at sticker might make sense for someone without another reasonable option, but you have a great option, and I would choose that one


This is also really helpful. Thank you. Much appreciated!

09042014
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:31 pm

Can you cop dat payE?

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SWEDE LAW
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby SWEDE LAW » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:33 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Full COA at NU would be more than 230K, unless you have outside funding I missed.


Choosing Houston effectively puts you in the 1% of matriculants - zero debt, attending a school where you have strong ties. UH isn't a TTT. If you miss your long shot at biglaw, so what? There are other jobs - if you miss those, so what? Don't like law school - so what?


NU at sticker might make sense for someone without another reasonable option, but you have a great option, and I would choose that one


The problem is that being 1% of matriculants doesn't strongly correlate with him/her killing it at UH. At least it doesn't at my lower T14. Personal anecdotes aside, this also seems to be conventional TLS wisdom. By all means, if he/she is comfortable with a $40-$60K non-big law job, and/or prefers the $0 debt, U of H wouldn't be a bad option. This ultimately boils down to preferences and what he/she really wants out of their career. No one on the this board outside of the OP can definitively answer that question.

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SWEDE LAW
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby SWEDE LAW » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:35 pm

helpplease wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I would choose neither option. By attending U of H, you would be like top 5-10% in terms of numbers. U of H would soil themselves to be able to get a person like you to attend their school. NU at sticker seems to be way too risky. I would reapply. Did you get into any other T-14's? I have looked at the profiles of a lot of attorneys in Texas and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a lot of firms have a hard time getting people to work here in Texas. A T-14 does seem to be a good advantage. I want to actually do this myself. You should revise your poll to include the "neither" option.


Honestly, I appreciate that you took the time to give your advice, but I clearly stated: "was really disappointed about that one, but i'm not sitting out a cycle just to reapply. I'm going to law school in the Fall and it will be one of these two schools."

IAFG wrote:WTF UT. That's fucked up.

Do NU, get two SAs, profit.


Tell me about it. UT was my top choice, submitted a why UT letter, got personalized letters, LOCIs, EVERYTHING, and got rejected early this week. Assholes. They pulled the whole "would love you as a transfer" bullshit.

My main concern with Northwestern is the possibility of going there and, considering the extremely intelligent student body, not being able to get median for whatever reason/not end up with a biglaw position. That would be dreadful. How the hell is someone supposed to pay off that debt with a 50-60k salary??


NU kids, can you speak to how people with TX ties perform at NU?

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IAFG
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:37 pm

I think everyone I knew with TX ties got an SA offer in TX.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby bizzybone1313 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:37 pm

helpplease wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I would choose neither option. By attending U of H, you would be like top 5-10% in terms of numbers. U of H would soil themselves to be able to get a person like you to attend their school. NU at sticker seems to be way too risky. I would reapply. Did you get into any other T-14's? I have looked at the profiles of a lot of attorneys in Texas and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a lot of firms have a hard time getting people to work here in Texas. A T-14 does seem to be a good advantage. I want to actually do this myself. You should revise your poll to include the "neither" option.


Honestly, I appreciate that you took the time to give your advice, but I clearly stated: "was really disappointed about that one, but i'm not sitting out a cycle just to reapply. I'm going to law school in the Fall and it will be one of these two schools."

IAFG wrote:WTF UT. That's fucked up.

Do NU, get two SAs, profit.


Tell me about it. UT was my top choice, submitted a why UT letter, got personalized letters, LOCIs, EVERYTHING, and got rejected early this week. Assholes. They pulled the whole "would love you as a transfer" bullshit.

My main concern with Northwestern is the possibility of going there and, considering the extremely intelligent student body, not being able to get median for whatever reason/not end up with a biglaw position. That would be dreadful. How the hell is someone supposed to pay off that debt with a 50-60k salary??


I read the whole thread in its entirety. I simply gave you honest feedback. Your law degree is going to follow you around forever. No one that has waited an extra year has enjoyed doing it. There are very few if any legit reasons for not being able to reapply. I would either (1) reapply or (2) hit up UT in about 1-2 months when they start having yield problems and ask them to reconsider your application.

The gap between Northwestern and U of H is enormous. Have you contacted Northwestern and tried to at least squeeze $30K out of them? That is what I would do. Just be very upfront with NU and tell them their COA is going to unfornuately make you decide to attend elsewhere. Do you have $$ from any T-20 schools? If you do, I would try to leverage this money with NU and see what happens. I have been thinking about this for a very long time. When people get offered sticker at law schools, I have a hard time believing that most schools wouldn't at least cough up a little bit of $ to get someone to attend. I would even ask NU 2 or 3 times if I absolutely had to. You have nothing to lose.

09042014
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:40 pm

SWEDE LAW wrote:
helpplease wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I would choose neither option. By attending U of H, you would be like top 5-10% in terms of numbers. U of H would soil themselves to be able to get a person like you to attend their school. NU at sticker seems to be way too risky. I would reapply. Did you get into any other T-14's? I have looked at the profiles of a lot of attorneys in Texas and I wasn't too impressed. It seems like a lot of firms have a hard time getting people to work here in Texas. A T-14 does seem to be a good advantage. I want to actually do this myself. You should revise your poll to include the "neither" option.


Honestly, I appreciate that you took the time to give your advice, but I clearly stated: "was really disappointed about that one, but i'm not sitting out a cycle just to reapply. I'm going to law school in the Fall and it will be one of these two schools."

IAFG wrote:WTF UT. That's fucked up.

Do NU, get two SAs, profit.


Tell me about it. UT was my top choice, submitted a why UT letter, got personalized letters, LOCIs, EVERYTHING, and got rejected early this week. Assholes. They pulled the whole "would love you as a transfer" bullshit.

My main concern with Northwestern is the possibility of going there and, considering the extremely intelligent student body, not being able to get median for whatever reason/not end up with a biglaw position. That would be dreadful. How the hell is someone supposed to pay off that debt with a 50-60k salary??


NU kids, can you speak to how people with TX ties perform at NU?



The Kayne song Nig.gas in Paris is actually about NU students from Paris, Tx.

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northwood
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby northwood » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:47 pm

when did you apply to the schools? maybe that is why UT said no?

If that scholarship at UH has no strings attached, then id take it. Graduating from Law School with no debt puts you in a great place where you don't have to worry about loan repayments, and working to pay the loans.


3rd option is to reapply in September. If you can get into Northwestern, perhaps you can get into another t 14. Unless, of course you already did and this is the last 2... IF that is true, thn got UH

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patrickd139
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:49 pm

If you're set on Houston biglaw, neither of those options is fantastic, though UH is significantly more attractive than NU, IMO. Which is why I asked about your GPA/LSAT numbers. There are likely decisions that you could make not involving matriculating at one of those two options which might be better off in the long run.

09042014
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:50 pm

patrickd139 wrote:If you're set on Houston biglaw, neither of those options is fantastic, though UH is significantly more attractive than NU, IMO. Which is why I asked about your GPA/LSAT numbers. There are likely decisions that you could make not involving matriculating at one of those two options which might be better off in the long run.


With Houston ties NW is more than fine for Houston big law.

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patrickd139
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:If you're set on Houston biglaw, neither of those options is fantastic, though UH is significantly more attractive than NU, IMO. Which is why I asked about your GPA/LSAT numbers. There are likely decisions that you could make not involving matriculating at one of those two options which might be better off in the long run.


With Houston ties NW is more than fine for Houston big law.

You'd seriously recommend NW at sticker over UH for free?

09042014
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby 09042014 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:53 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:If you're set on Houston biglaw, neither of those options is fantastic, though UH is significantly more attractive than NU, IMO. Which is why I asked about your GPA/LSAT numbers. There are likely decisions that you could make not involving matriculating at one of those two options which might be better off in the long run.


With Houston ties NW is more than fine for Houston big law.

You'd seriously recommend NW at sticker over UH for free?


I wouldn't go to UH for Free no matter what, but I don't wanna work shitlaw.

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IAFG
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby IAFG » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:53 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
patrickd139 wrote:If you're set on Houston biglaw, neither of those options is fantastic, though UH is significantly more attractive than NU, IMO. Which is why I asked about your GPA/LSAT numbers. There are likely decisions that you could make not involving matriculating at one of those two options which might be better off in the long run.


With Houston ties NW is more than fine for Houston big law.

You'd seriously recommend NW at sticker over UH for free?

Yes. Because anyone can have an off day and a bad exam or two and get fucked in the game.




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