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

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PDaddy
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:06 am

These schools are not even on the same planet. Anyone good enough to get into NU should be able to get at least a few dollars from NU, especially when a decent school like UH offers a full ride.

Having said that, I would take NU sticker, knowing that on my first day at UH I would be kicking myself for not taking the gamble. If UH was UCLA or another consensus top-20 I would say to turn down NU.

There's one more consideration, albeit a shallow one: how would you feel about telling people that you "chose UH over NU because UH offered you a full ride but NU offered no money...and you wanted to work in Texas anyways"? Despite the arguable soundness of such a decision, almost nobody will believe you.

If you need to hear from an expert, Susan Estrich (USC Law) wrote a book called "How to Get Into Law School". She speaks about this very topic.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/159448035 ... mdp_mobile

Have fun in Chicago!

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shifty_eyed
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby shifty_eyed » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:35 am

PDaddy wrote:These schools are not even on the same planet. Anyone good enough to get into NU should be able to get at least a few dollars from NU, especially when a decent school like UH offers a full ride.


I'm assuming OP is above both medians at UH and below both at NU. I'm a splitter and got 45k from both schools lol.

Do you think someone below median at NU really could get big law in TX?

Does PAYE change things now?

What if OP does get a 1L SA and hates big law?

I don't think (with what I know now and my debt and risk averseness) that I would choose either, but I voted UH.

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northwood
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby northwood » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:01 am

If you need more time to decide, then wait and reapply on September 1.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Elston Gunn » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:04 am

PDaddy wrote:There's one more consideration, albeit a shallow one: how would you feel about telling people that you "chose UH over NU because UH offered you a full ride but NU offered no money...and you wanted to work in Texas anyways"? Despite the arguable soundness of such a decision, almost nobody will believe you.

If you need to hear from an expert, Susan Estrich (USC Law) wrote a book called "How to Get Into Law School". She speaks about this very topic.

Lol having been to a Quinn reception, this is exactly the kind of thing I would expect Susan Estrich to be worried about.

OP, you need to tell us more about what you want out of life. If it were me, I would take NU for sure. But, like DP, I don't want to work shitlaw, and I think the money works out over a lifetime. How would you feel if you were making $40K as an insurance defense lawyer? How would you feel if you weren't a lawyer at all?

helpplease
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:21 pm

El Principe wrote:This is a crazy decision.... honestly, I'd look for some form of alternative. I'd honestly do whatever I could to get money from a T14.... even if that means retaking and sitting out the cycle.

That is, if you really want Big Law.

I personally wouldn't pay sticker for most T14s...even with Big Law, that's a massive amount of debt for anyone. Forget chances of big law for a minute. Suppose you do make BigLaw... then you have to worry about attrition. How long will you last? You'll have a massive load of non-dischargeable debt + interest that you'll have to shovel money into to pay off within a reasonable amount of time. That's not something to take lightly. And if you get pushed out, laid off, or just can't take it anymore, you might find yourself in a pinch.

Houston still is a good option, and you have about an 11% chance of Big Law from there. I'd probably take that over most T1 schools outside of Texas (16-50), because from what I've heard from a partner at a Texas Big 3, hiring preference goes from T14 --> Texas --------> Houston/SMU ----------------> Everything else. (anecdotal of course). No debt makes it very low risk financially, but it also limits the rewards... so not a black & white decision.

As for the scholarship at Houston, I don't like the idea of stips, even if it's for top 30%.

TL;DR: I'm going to rank your options as:
1. Sit out and retake for more options and $$$
2. Milk Chi. for some kind of $$$
3. Houston
4. Northwestern at sticker.


Yeah, you're spot on with the hiring preferences. That's why I cut out everything after Northwestern up to UH. And you have to be in the top 70% of the class to keep the scholarship, so very, very few people lose theirs. Thanks for the advice!

Winston1984 wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:This is a little ridiculous. I am all in favor of retakes when someone doesn't have good options, but OP literally has zero debt coming from UH. It's not a T14, but it's a solid regional school and if he strikes out at biglaw who cares? It doesn't cost him anything. UH all the way man.


Well, what about being able to actually have a career after three years of law school? Does that mean anything? I would go to lawschooltransparency.com and pore over U of H's overall employment numbers very, very carefully.


You are right in that OP has roughly a 60% chance of becoming a lawyer and about a 20% chance at a good outcome, but that is much better than most schools. Like I said, he is incurring zero debt, and UH is a very solid regional school. Any law school outside the T14 (and really the T14) is a gamble because no one is guaranteed a jerb, but I think it is a little ridiculous to have the mentality that unless a job is 100% guaranteed law school is a waste of time. Every law school is now a gamble, and when you factor in debt it becomes pretty serious, but OP won't have debt. If you think 60% isn't a high enough employment number to go to school, what is? Does a 70% chance magically become good enough? I think these threads are what make TLS look bad at times. He isn't talking about Florida Costal Law, he's talking about UH.


This is pretty much what I think about the whole thing. Going to northwestern doesn't necessarily mean i'll have a BigLaw job, and even if I do, working 5+ years just to pay off that debt and then live comfortably doesn't sound too appealing.

I also hate that I would be subsidizing every other kid's education at Northwestern whereas others would be doing that for me at UH.

helpplease
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby helpplease » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:28 pm

PDaddy wrote:These schools are not even on the same planet. Anyone good enough to get into NU should be able to get at least a few dollars from NU, especially when a decent school like UH offers a full ride.

Having said that, I would take NU sticker, knowing that on my first day at UH I would be kicking myself for not taking the gamble. If UH was UCLA or another consensus top-20 I would say to turn down NU.

There's one more consideration, albeit a shallow one: how would you feel about telling people that you "chose UH over NU because UH offered you a full ride but NU offered no money...and you wanted to work in Texas anyways"? Despite the arguable soundness of such a decision, almost nobody will believe you.

If you need to hear from an expert, Susan Estrich (USC Law) wrote a book called "How to Get Into Law School". She speaks about this very topic.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/159448035 ... mdp_mobile

Have fun in Chicago!


This is not true at all. Most people at NU actually pay sticker. I was lucky to have gotten in (below both medians, straight through undergrad), so I don't have much leverage when it comes to negotiating scholarships.

Who cares whether people believe you or not? I certainly don't give a shit.

shifty_eyed wrote:
PDaddy wrote:These schools are not even on the same planet. Anyone good enough to get into NU should be able to get at least a few dollars from NU, especially when a decent school like UH offers a full ride.


I'm assuming OP is above both medians at UH and below both at NU. I'm a splitter and got 45k from both schools lol.

Do you think someone below median at NU really could get big law in TX?

Does PAYE change things now?

What if OP does get a 1L SA and hates big law?

I don't think (with what I know now and my debt and risk averseness) that I would choose either, but I voted UH.


Thanks for your input!

Elston Gunn wrote:
PDaddy wrote:There's one more consideration, albeit a shallow one: how would you feel about telling people that you "chose UH over NU because UH offered you a full ride but NU offered no money...and you wanted to work in Texas anyways"? Despite the arguable soundness of such a decision, almost nobody will believe you.

If you need to hear from an expert, Susan Estrich (USC Law) wrote a book called "How to Get Into Law School". She speaks about this very topic.

Lol having been to a Quinn reception, this is exactly the kind of thing I would expect Susan Estrich to be worried about.

OP, you need to tell us more about what you want out of life. If it were me, I would take NU for sure. But, like DP, I don't want to work shitlaw, and I think the money works out over a lifetime. How would you feel if you were making $40K as an insurance defense lawyer? How would you feel if you weren't a lawyer at all?


Question for everybody: what's so bad with mid-sized law firms? If I end up at UH I would do everything in my power to get in the top 15%, but even if I miss it, I'm positive that I will find a decent job.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:56 pm

Nothing is wrong with midsize firms but there aren't a ton of jobs available. Less Houston grads went to midlaw than biglaw. It's not like those jobs are easy to get at median.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Elston Gunn » Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:59 pm

helpplease wrote:Question for everybody: what's so bad with mid-sized law firms? If I end up at UH I would do everything in my power to get in the top 15%, but even if I miss it, I'm positive that I will find a decent job.

Image

(This one is a little old, but the newer ones weren't big enough. The point is the same.)

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:24 pm

OP, I had the same choice a year ago (full ride, or Northwestern/Duke/UVA with a small amount of money): viewtopic.php?f=4&t=182174

I took the full ride. I'm starting my 1L big law SA in three weeks.

This is a really difficult choice. I think no debt is really the way to go though. I went back and forth before pulling the trigger, but since school started I really haven't second guessed my decision once.

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romothesavior
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby romothesavior » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:50 pm

I lean UH but I think retake/reapply for UT w/money or a T14 w/ money is the way to go.

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PDaddy
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:24 am

@helpplease:

You are confusing two different issues. Certainly it is believable that most people at Northwestern pay sticker, but the issue I raised above (in reference to Susan Estrich) is whether or not people will ever believe that someone who was admitted to NU chose UH instead, albeit with a full ride. The answer will usually be "no".

I asked OP how he would feel about that. For some people it wouldn't be a consideration, but we are TLSers...prestige whores almost by definition!

Who cares if the people who go to NU predominantly do so without scholarships? The bigger question is whether people will question OP's judgment for turning down NU for anything less than a top-20 school (scholarship or none).

Even in a good economy - when Estrich wrote her book and devoted a page to this exact issue - such a decision is of questionable soundness. In this economy, OP had better be sure that he will handle his business at UH, because if he doesn't he will regret his choice.

Also, the obvious flaw in your response to my post - that it "fails to take into account one or more key considerations in the argument" - makes me wonder about your LR scores.

Don't choose me...EVER!

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Balthy
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Balthy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:11 am

PDaddy wrote:but the issue I raised above (in reference to Susan Estrich) is whether or not people will ever believe that someone who was admitted to NU chose UH instead, albeit with a full ride. The answer will usually be "no".



*source: PDaddy's ass.

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IAFG
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby IAFG » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:22 am

superdingle2000 wrote:
PDaddy wrote:but the issue I raised above (in reference to Susan Estrich) is whether or not people will ever believe that someone who was admitted to NU chose UH instead, albeit with a full ride. The answer will usually be "no".



*source: PDaddy's ass.

In that case, I would bet money on PDaddy's ass.

09042014
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby 09042014 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:59 am

IAFG wrote:
superdingle2000 wrote:
PDaddy wrote:but the issue I raised above (in reference to Susan Estrich) is whether or not people will ever believe that someone who was admitted to NU chose UH instead, albeit with a full ride. The answer will usually be "no".



*source: PDaddy's ass.

In that case, I would bet money on PDaddy's ass.


It doesn't even matter. If he does well enough at UH nobody will care. If he doesn't, nobody will care and they will file his resume in the circular file.

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IAFG
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby IAFG » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:07 am

Desert Fox wrote:It doesn't even matter. If he does well enough at UH nobody will care. If he doesn't, nobody will care and they will file his resume in the circular file.

I misread the PDaddy statement. But now that I read it properly I assume it's about pulling bitches and not getting jobs.

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

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:56 pm

IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:It doesn't even matter. If he does well enough at UH nobody will care. If he doesn't, nobody will care and they will file his resume in the circular file.

I misread the PDaddy statement. But now that I read it properly I assume it's about pulling bitches and not getting jobs.


then his statement assumes lay people in texas know that Northwestern is an elite law school. That's questionable.

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sinfiery
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:17 pm

Lay persons in Texas believe northwestern is a direction and nothing more.

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Balthy
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby Balthy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:21 pm

sinfiery wrote:Lay persons in Texas believe northwestern is a direction and nothing more.



Ha, true. Here in Houston, STCL > HYS.

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sinfiery
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby sinfiery » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Yep. Told my dad I was applying to HYS and he asked me about my chances at SMU.

models and bottles prestige is complicated

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shifty_eyed
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby shifty_eyed » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:40 pm

superdingle2000 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Lay persons in Texas believe northwestern is a direction and nothing more.



Ha, true. Here in Houston, STCL > HYS.


I wouldn't go that far. But it does surprise me how many people view STCL > UH.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:09 pm

Late to this thread, but I just wanted to weigh in and say that if it were me, I'd take UH. Attending a strong regional school where you want to work with serious ties is about as solid of a situation as you can hope for these days. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a job if you have halfway decent grades and aren't completely socially inept.

Northwestern is a fantastic school with strong placement numbers, but I'm skeptical that anywhere outside of HYS is worth $200k+ in this economy. If you take the plunge with all that debt, you're just like almost everybody else attending a non-HYS T14 at near sticker: you've got about a 50-60% chance of success. Personally, I think your chances are higher at UH. But if you're biglaw or bust, NU might be worth it.

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bk1
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby bk1 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:55 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:You shouldn't have any trouble finding a job if you have halfway decent grades and aren't completely socially inept.

And yet 1/3 of UH grads fail to follow this advice each year.

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romothesavior
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby romothesavior » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:You shouldn't have any trouble finding a job if you have halfway decent grades and aren't completely socially inept.

And yet 1/3 of UH grads fail to follow this advice each year.

True, but I will just say that schools like UH are far better for students who are from the area than people who travel from the other side of the country to attend. With respectable regionals, you can usually tack on a boost to people with strong local ties (especially "city" regionals, like UH or SLU, a school I'm very familiar with) because the people who just go there because that's where they got in (and there are a LOT of them) are dragging down the numbers a bit.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:59 pm

bk1 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:You shouldn't have any trouble finding a job if you have halfway decent grades and aren't completely socially inept.

And yet 1/3 of UH grads fail to follow this advice each year.


Normally I'd agree with you, but OP is a bit of a special snowflake in this case. A born and bred local is going to have a natural advantage in an insular market like Houston. Not to mention, graduating with no debt is a rare blessing and gives OP the option to do basically whatever he wants, right down to hanging a shingle (if it comes down to that). Biglaw is a lot less likely to happen, but OP is ok with that. I just don't see any good reason why NU is worth $230,000 more to the OP, given the stated goals and circumstances.

BigZuck
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Re: PLEASE HELP!! Northwestern vs. UHouston

Postby BigZuck » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:12 pm

romothesavior wrote:I lean UH but I think retake/reapply for UT w/money or a T14 w/ money is the way to go.




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