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

BigZuck
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:52 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
y2zipper wrote:You're certainly in an interesting spot. You have two options, and both carry significant risk of different types. What this decision comes down to is how you calculate that because ultimately, you have to live with your pick.

There's no doubt that NU has better upside. Obviously you'd rather have those opportunities, but you're looking at an 8-10 year investment. 3 years of school plus the time in biglaw to pay it off with your financial future hanging in the balance is a risky proposition no matter how you look at it. It's not unheard of that you'll make it and there's a good chance you'll get the opportunity, so if you look in the mirror and say that you want biglaw at all costs, take Northwestern and understand that you can't change your mind.

If youre unwilling to take biglaw off the table, discussion over. if you're not sure, Houston is a different kind of risk. You're options are limited, you wouldn't have the prestige, but you also wouldn't have the debt. If you can live with not being a lawyer at all and that's less risky to you the money, then you should take Houston.

That's the best way I can outline the choices.


This isn't true. If you are attending a school that has, let's say, 15-20% big law, consider this: 1. that's not an insignificant portion of the class 2. as a full scholarship student, with above median gpa and LSAT, you likely have better chance of being in that group than the average student.


Even if the OP's chances are better (say a 1/3 chance versus a 1/5 chance) that is still not very good. If the OP goes to UH that have to pretty much write off the prospect of big law because it is very unlikely. It would be nice if it happened, but they have to be ok with working small (or as the ever eloquent desertfox put it, shit) law.

BigZuck
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:04 am

OP, what are your numbers? And when did you apply? Do you think you can rectify whatever UT didn't like about your application? I am really baffled here, if you got into NU you should have been accepted to UT no problem (especially as an instate applicant).

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:37 am

BigZuck wrote:OP, what are your numbers? And when did you apply? Do you think you can rectify whatever UT didn't like about your application? I am really baffled here, if you got into NU you should have been accepted to UT no problem (especially as an instate applicant).


I don't know if UT's changed it since I applied in 2010, but I recall that they had a higher GPA cut off than other peer schools. There were a few people on here that had 169s that got into Mich but not UT due to GPA. So it's definitely not unheard of.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby StylinNProfilin » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:41 am

Yeah this makes no sense, UT is dying for in-state applicants. I'm in-state at UT and got $ and was waitlisted at NU.

BigZuck
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby BigZuck » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:42 am

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
BigZuck wrote:OP, what are your numbers? And when did you apply? Do you think you can rectify whatever UT didn't like about your application? I am really baffled here, if you got into NU you should have been accepted to UT no problem (especially as an instate applicant).


I don't know if UT's changed it since I applied in 2010, but I recall that they had a higher GPA cut off than other peer schools. There were a few people on here that had 169s that got into Mich but not UT due to GPA. So it's definitely not unheard of.


They seem to have shattered their gpa floor this year for instate splitters. A few people in this thread can speak to that.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby StylinNProfilin » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:42 am

nonprofit-prophet wrote:
BigZuck wrote:OP, what are your numbers? And when did you apply? Do you think you can rectify whatever UT didn't like about your application? I am really baffled here, if you got into NU you should have been accepted to UT no problem (especially as an instate applicant).


I don't know if UT's changed it since I applied in 2010, but I recall that they had a higher GPA cut off than other peer schools. There were a few people on here that had 169s that got into Mich but not UT due to GPA. So it's definitely not unheard of.


That GPA floor pretty much disappeared this cycle, tons of splitters got in. Scooped! lol

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:57 am

BigZuck wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
y2zipper wrote:You're certainly in an interesting spot. You have two options, and both carry significant risk of different types. What this decision comes down to is how you calculate that because ultimately, you have to live with your pick.

There's no doubt that NU has better upside. Obviously you'd rather have those opportunities, but you're looking at an 8-10 year investment. 3 years of school plus the time in biglaw to pay it off with your financial future hanging in the balance is a risky proposition no matter how you look at it. It's not unheard of that you'll make it and there's a good chance you'll get the opportunity, so if you look in the mirror and say that you want biglaw at all costs, take Northwestern and understand that you can't change your mind.

If youre unwilling to take biglaw off the table, discussion over. if you're not sure, Houston is a different kind of risk. You're options are limited, you wouldn't have the prestige, but you also wouldn't have the debt. If you can live with not being a lawyer at all and that's less risky to you the money, then you should take Houston.

That's the best way I can outline the choices.


This isn't true. If you are attending a school that has, let's say, 15-20% big law, consider this: 1. that's not an insignificant portion of the class 2. as a full scholarship student, with above median gpa and LSAT, you likely have better chance of being in that group than the average student.


Even if the OP's chances are better (say a 1/3 chance versus a 1/5 chance) that is still not very good. If the OP goes to UH that have to pretty much write off the prospect of big law because it is very unlikely. It would be nice if it happened, but they have to be ok with working small (or as the ever eloquent desertfox put it, shit) law.


My advice to anyone in this situation is to research the school and see how people have taken a particular full ride scholarship have done in job placement. There are a lot of factors (alumni networking, the lengths the school will go to in order to place these students, the correlation between grades and being awarded one of these scholarships) that are difficult to fully assess from outside, but there is a lot of information to be gathered. Also, to me a 1/3 chance of big law and lets say a 1/8 chance of a clerkship for free in a place you want to practice > 1/2 chance of big law and 1/5 chance of a clerkship with $250,000 in debt. At either school, if you have bad grades or median grades you can be very screwed, but at UH you can drop out with little lost. It's true, though, that it's a gamble either way: its either financial risk or grade risk, because unless OP gets top 10% or maybe top 15-20%, big law will be out of the question from Houston.

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romothesavior
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:07 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Also, to me a 1/3 chance of big law and lets say a 1/8 chance of a clerkship for free in a place you want to practice > 1/2 chance of big law and 1/5 chance of a clerkship with $250,000 in debt.

Except this is a gross, gross bastardization of the odds. UH's placement into firms over 100 + clerkships is less than 20%. For Northwestern its around 60%, and keep in mind that Northwestern is one of the few schools where a lot of the students who don't do biglaw are doing other really impressive things, a lot of them not even "lawyer" jobs in the traditional sense. I think the odds of someone getting a big firm job who wants it at Northwestern has got to be around 70%+. But even if I don't give Northwestern the benefit of the doubt here, we're talking ~60% vs. ~20%. Saying 1/3 vs. 1/2 is disingenuous.

And while I agree with you that OP likely gets some boost from being a born and bred Houston guy (I said as much in an earlier post), it's hard to quantify how much. Meanwhile, the boost he gets from being a full tuition scholly winner and having better LSAT/GPA credentials than his classmates is marginal. He can't bank on that.

This is coming from someone who would vote retake>>>>>Houston>NW in this situation. I would rather graduate debt free from a solid regional in the city I want to practice in than take on a quarter million dollars in debt from just about anywhere. But I still recognize the huge limitations of the lower tier school (in this case UH) and I'm not going to delude myself into thinking the odds are fairly comparable. They're not. NW is in another universe compared to Houston.

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Rahviveh
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Rahviveh » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:13 pm

Also, TLS likes to tell people to drop out but I doubt this is ever a realistic consideration for most people just because they don't get the grades they want. It's probably better to assume that this person won't be willing to drop out after 1L.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:14 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Also, to me a 1/3 chance of big law and lets say a 1/8 chance of a clerkship for free in a place you want to practice > 1/2 chance of big law and 1/5 chance of a clerkship with $250,000 in debt.

Except this is a gross, gross bastardization of the odds. UH's placement into firms over 100 + clerkships is less than 20%. For Northwestern its around 60%, and keep in mind that Northwestern is one of the few schools where a lot of the students who don't do biglaw are doing other really impressive things, a lot of them not even "lawyer" jobs in the traditional sense. I think the odds of someone getting a big firm job who wants it at Northwestern has got to be around 70%+. But even if I don't give Northwestern the benefit of the doubt here, we're talking ~60% vs. ~20%. Saying 1/3 vs. 1/2 is disingenuous.

And while I agree with you that OP likely gets some boost from being a born and bred Houston guy (I said as much in an earlier post), it's hard to quantify how much. Meanwhile, the boost he gets from being a full tuition scholly winner and having better LSAT/GPA credentials than his classmates is marginal. He can't bank on that.

This is coming from someone who would vote retake>>>>>Houston>NW in this situation. I would rather graduate debt free from a solid regional in the city I want to practice in than take on a quarter million dollars in debt from just about anywhere. But I still recognize the huge limitations of the lower tier school (in this case UH) and I'm not going to delude myself into thinking the odds are fairly comparable. They're not. NW is in another universe compared to Houston.


Romo, an assumption I'm making (borrowed from a poster above) is that a full ride recipient has better than the normal chance of getting big law. So if the school rate is 20% that person's chance is maybe approximately 33%.You have to account in some way for the fact that a person with a higher gpa and higher lsat has a slightly better likelihood of doing well.

Also, I agree with you that retaking is much better than Northwestern here. I'm just the voice on the issue that T1 with a full ride in the right circumstances can be an amazingly good option even for people admitted to several of the lower T14.
Last edited by Hutz_and_Goodman on Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:17 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Romo, an assumption I'm making (borrowed from a poster above) is that a full ride recipient has better than the normal chance of getting big law. So if the school rate is 20% that person's chance is maybe approximately 33%.You have to account in some way for the fact that a person with a higher gpa and higher lsat has a slightly better likelihood of doing well.

And I directly addressed that:

And while I agree with you that OP likely gets some boost from being a born and bred Houston guy (I said as much in an earlier post), it's hard to quantify how much. Meanwhile, the boost he gets from being a full tuition scholly winner and having better LSAT/GPA credentials than his classmates is marginal. He can't bank on that.


I really think you're overestimating quite a bit. Someone with a better LSAT/GPA has a better chance of doing well, but it is fairly marginal. We can quibble over how big a boost these factors are in securing a biglaw job, but regardless of how you break it down, a Northwestern student will have more than double the biglaw odds of a Houston student.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:22 pm

I don't know what the numbers are. My school has around 15-20% big law. I researched the people who have my scholarship and a huge, disproportionate percentage of them have big law (50-60%). Is this a fluke? maybe. Is it is sufficient statistical sample size? No. My guess though is that if you pooled all of the full ride recipients at the top 100 law schools (excluding the T14) you would find that their big law % is significantly (like 10-15%) above the big law percentages for those schools otherwise, for a variety of reasons.

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bk1
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:57 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:You have to account in some way for the fact that a person with a higher gpa and higher lsat has a slightly better likelihood of doing well.

Considering OP is barely over UH's 161/3.47 medians, my response to this is lolno.

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Micdiddy
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:01 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:Also, TLS likes to tell people to drop out but I doubt this is ever a realistic consideration for most people just because they don't get the grades they want. It's probably better to assume that this person won't be willing to drop out after 1L.


Um, if he loses full ride scholly I think it's rather realistic to assume this.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:03 pm

bk1 wrote:
helpplease wrote:I retook LSAT in Dec and raised my score from a 160 to 165, but with a 3.5x

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:You have to account in some way for the fact that a person with a higher gpa and higher lsat has a slightly better likelihood of doing well.

Considering OP is barely over UH's 161/3.47 medians, my response to this is lolno.


Ok, I didn't know that. So OP must have other factors in his application that led to him getting in to Northwestern. This weighs more heavily in favor of retake, since if he can get 5-7 points higher on LSAT he can probably get significant $ at northwestern.




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