Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

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

How much would I need to make NU a better choice than WUSTL

0
16
23%
20,000
3
4%
30,000
3
4%
45,000
3
4%
60,000
7
10%
75,000
13
19%
90,000
13
19%
105,000
3
4%
120,000
5
7%
150,000 plus
4
6%
 
Total votes: 70

Cellar-door
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Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Cellar-door » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:04 pm

Ok so I got in off the waitlist at Northwestern, but with no money while I currently have to pay only living expenses at WUSTL.
The Georgetown calculator puts this at 74,000 in debt vs. around 290,000 in debt.
I am geographically flexible but prefer a big city, and I would prefer big-law but I'm not married to it, so obviously the idea of less debt would be great.
Question I'm putting in the poll is how much would I need from Northwestern in scholarship to make it a better choice than WUSTL?

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Cobretti
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Cobretti » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:17 pm

You need to be a little more definitive in your flexibility with biglaw and geography. If you really wouldn't mind living in the midwest outside of Chicago doing non biglaw then WUSTL for free is a pretty sweet option. If you're more inclined to strongly prefer a big city + big law, NU w/ 0 is what many TLSers in your position have been choosing.

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Samara
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Samara » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:25 pm

There have been a few threads recently discussing this topic. Do you have specific questions that weren't covered there? Need more details on why you're going to law school to answer.

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Nova
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Nova » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:12 pm


Cellar-door
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Cellar-door » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:25 pm

One of the reasons I posted it was to see based on a pretty generic scenario (not locked into big law) what people felt the value of NU vs WUSTL was, hence the poll.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby simplycatalina » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:33 pm

Cellar-door wrote:One of the reasons I posted it was to see based on a pretty generic scenario (not locked into big law) what people felt the value of NU vs WUSTL was, hence the poll.


If you're not set on biglaw/don't care about location, then WUSTL for free is probably better. But look at the other threads because there is a lot of useful discussion. And it also depends a lot on how debt averse you are.

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Postby Myself » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:28 am

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cahwc12
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:35 am

That there are 9 votes (42%) for sticker NU over a full ride at WUSTL shows there is still a high level of cognitive dissonance on this board. OP, you seem like a smart guy. Don't be the one who goes to NU (or any non-HYS) at sticker, and especially not when you have the GPA/LSAT combo high enough to net a full ride at a school with decent placement statistics.

You'll hate biglaw, because everyone hates biglaw. It's not a "victory" to get biglaw--it's the best method of most expediently paying off the enormous debt load that most graduates have. There are a sum total of close to zero posts in the history of this forum that express elation, happiness, or general job satisfaction working in biglaw. By contrast, you'll find this forum sprawling with "I wish I didn't naively dive into $200k+ debt." The smart play here is deciding how much debt you'll be comfortable with, and then that's the number to hit to attend NU.

Make no mistake, NU is objectively a better school (where better is defined as more opportunities for generally higher pay) than WUSTL. But that difference isn't worth $200k or more of additional debt. Maybe it's worth $100k or $75k to you, but only you can decide that number. And if you've never really tasted debt, err on the low side, because debt is terrible and you'll want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Nothing is worse than working 60-80 hour weeks at that "glamorous" biglaw job in a bustling, lively metropolitan city, only to come home to a small flat you share with three other guys because it's all you can afford on your $50k/yr take-home. And why is that low? Because $60k goes to taxes right out of the gate, and the rest goes to student loans so you can pay off your debt within the 5 years (or more likely fewer) that you'll spend indentured in biglaw before you burn out and can't take any more, or get laid off.

Take WUSTL for free and be up front with NU about it, and see if they surprise you with a big offer. If they don't, enjoy WUSTL.

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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:02 am

I agree with the poster above: Northwestern at sticker is crazy, and I turned down 60k from northwestern to go free ride so I'm not just shooting my mouth off. The question should be WUSTL for free or retake. Contrary to the popular wisdom on this board, at WUSTL you will have a better than median chance of biglaw (ie if they place 20% in big law, you will have better than a 1/5 chance because your credentials now are above both 75th percentiles). There will be risk involved no matter which path you choose bc even if you were to retake and get let's say 50k or 75k from northwestern you'd still be looking at 200k in debt. Taking a full ride at a lesser school means betting on yourself. If you are able to get top grades at WUSTL you will have a great outcome with very minimal debt.

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Samara
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Samara » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:09 am

Oh boy. There's a lot to unpack here.

Cellar-door wrote:One of the reasons I posted it was to see based on a pretty generic scenario (not locked into big law) what people felt the value of NU vs WUSTL was, hence the poll.

The more generic the advice, the less useful it is. There is no objective answer. We need to know more about you to give you useful advice.

cahwc12 wrote:That there are 9 votes (42%) for sticker NU over a full ride at WUSTL shows there is still a high level of cognitive dissonance on this board. OP, you seem like a smart guy. Don't be the one who goes to NU (or any non-HYS) at sticker, and especially not when you have the GPA/LSAT combo high enough to net a full ride at a school with decent placement statistics.

You'll hate biglaw, because everyone hates biglaw. It's not a "victory" to get biglaw--it's the best method of most expediently paying off the enormous debt load that most graduates have. There are a sum total of close to zero posts in the history of this forum that express elation, happiness, or general job satisfaction working in biglaw. By contrast, you'll find this forum sprawling with "I wish I didn't naively dive into $200k+ debt." The smart play here is deciding how much debt you'll be comfortable with, and then that's the number to hit to attend NU.

Make no mistake, NU is objectively a better school (where better is defined as more opportunities for generally higher pay) than WUSTL. But that difference isn't worth $200k or more of additional debt. Maybe it's worth $100k or $75k to you, but only you can decide that number. And if you've never really tasted debt, err on the low side, because debt is terrible and you'll want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Nothing is worse than working 60-80 hour weeks at that "glamorous" biglaw job in a bustling, lively metropolitan city, only to come home to a small flat you share with three other guys because it's all you can afford on your $50k/yr take-home. And why is that low? Because $60k goes to taxes right out of the gate, and the rest goes to student loans so you can pay off your debt within the 5 years (or more likely fewer) that you'll spend indentured in biglaw before you burn out and can't take any more, or get laid off.

Take WUSTL for free and be up front with NU about it, and see if they surprise you with a big offer. If they don't, enjoy WUSTL.

Oh come on. Plenty of people don't hate, or even like biglaw. Not every firm is Cravath. It can absolutely be a victory, especially if you take the time to figure out what you want to do and a good fit for you. If you haven't read any posts by people who enjoy biglaw, you aren't reading many posts. Lots of people are satisfied.

By contrast, I can hardly think of anyone who regretted NU at sticker over somewhere like WUSTL. This is not to slam WUSTL (I think it's a great school) but NU is simply on a different level and will likely give you opportunities you wouldn't have at WUSTL.

I took sticker at NU over a huge scholly at WUSTL. If I were applying today, I would take NU at sticker over a full-ride at WUSTL. (I believe) Romothesavior was in a similar position and chose WUSTL. IMO, we both made the smart decision. It's dumb to dismiss either option out of hand and equally dumb to give definitive advice without knowing more about the OP's goals.

Your "nothing is worse" paragraph is a gross mischaracterization and an equally gross misunderstanding of what $50k post-taxes buys you, but nice try.

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I agree with the poster above: Northwestern at sticker is crazy, and I turned down 60k from northwestern to go free ride so I'm not just shooting my mouth off. The question should be WUSTL for free or retake. Contrary to the popular wisdom on this board, at WUSTL you will have a better than median chance of biglaw (ie if they place 20% in big law, you will have better than a 1/5 chance because your credentials now are above both 75th percentiles). There will be risk involved no matter which path you choose bc even if you were to retake and get let's say 50k or 75k from northwestern you'd still be looking at 200k in debt. Taking a full ride at a lesser school means betting on yourself. If you are able to get top grades at WUSTL you will have a great outcome with very minimal debt.

From a risk-neutral perspective, NU is not crazy at all. What is crazy is turning down $60k at NU for WUSTL if you want to work in Chicago.

How on earth do you figure that OP has a better than median chance at biglaw? What does that even mean? GPA and LSAT ultimately have little correlation to success and law school and even less correlation to securing a job. If you're really smart but a total aspie, good luck at OCI.

Betting on yourself would be going to NU. HTH

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Magnalum
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Magnalum » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:57 am

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Last edited by Magnalum on Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby DoveBodyWash » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:00 pm

Congrats on both of your options :D I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I've seen this topic and i think all of them were just people who had already decided on NU and just wanted affirmation. Nothing wrong with that at all. If that's the case here then I think NU @ sticker (or close to it) can work out nicely for a lot of people depending on their goals and their tolerance for BigLaw or a LRAP-qualifying job (which often pays much less).

FWIW I faced this decision as well and chose WUSTL, despite NU being the closest thing to my "dream" school. I took a year off and re-applied specifically because I wanted to get into Northwestern (had been waitlisted the first time). But in the end I decided that I didn't want to put myself in a BigLaw-or-Bust situation. Northwestern, while an excellent school, isn't on the same level as HYSCCN. Things can still go wrong...So there's that. After learning more about the BigLaw business model, current state of the market, and talking to younger attorneys with the kind of debt levels we're talking about, I decided that my debt-aversion took priority.

Here's what was going on in my mind:
1. Strike out at NU with sticker debt= screwed.
2. Hit the jackpot at NU with sticker debt= upwards career trajectory, but diminished earning power cuz of debt, less flexibility.
3. Strike out at WUSTL for free= disappointing, discouraging, but not financially ruined.
4. Hit the jackpot at WUSTL for free= Profit.

Obviously this is grossly oversimplified, but the point is that the debt diminishes the "win" and amplifies the "lose." My before-tax salary this past year was 42k and I was paying back 27k of UG debt on a ten-year plan. And this was when I was single, young, and living with my parents (no rent). While it wasn't catastrophic or extremely difficult, it was inconvenient enough to make me pause and think about how I would pay back whatever sticker w/ interest would be. I just imagined that it would be much much harder once i was older, possibly married, looking to have kids and buy a house/car etc...

I think NU could definitely work out, and it would be a great opportunity. But just remember that the game doesn't end with OCI or your first BigLaw job. So just think about the long-term career benefits of NU versus the long-term burden of debt before making your decisions. Good luck!

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Magnalum
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Magnalum » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:13 pm

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cahwc12
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:09 pm

Samara wrote:Oh come on. Plenty of people don't hate, or even like biglaw. Not every firm is Cravath. It can absolutely be a victory, especially if you take the time to figure out what you want to do and a good fit for you. If you haven't read any posts by people who enjoy biglaw, you aren't reading many posts. Lots of people are satisfied.

By contrast, I can hardly think of anyone who regretted NU at sticker over somewhere like WUSTL. This is not to slam WUSTL (I think it's a great school) but NU is simply on a different level and will likely give you opportunities you wouldn't have at WUSTL.

I took sticker at NU over a huge scholly at WUSTL. If I were applying today, I would take NU at sticker over a full-ride at WUSTL. (I believe) Romothesavior was in a similar position and chose WUSTL. IMO, we both made the smart decision. It's dumb to dismiss either option out of hand and equally dumb to give definitive advice without knowing more about the OP's goals.

Your "nothing is worse" paragraph is a gross mischaracterization and an equally gross misunderstanding of what $50k post-taxes buys you, but nice try.


this has turned into a long post, but I really hope that you read it and understand what I'm trying to convey to you:

At least from the perspective of this forum, working in big law is like winning the lottery in The Island. This forum isn't conducive to hearing the success stories of those who went on past law school into employment, and it also isn't conducive to those who struck out and are holding on to their sinking ship. Most people seem to think it's this glamorous profession, and then no one seems to question why these people disappear and are never heard from again.

You've just completed 1L at NU, right? What kind of job do you exactly think you're going to get? What do you think is going to happen? I have an idea what's going to happen, and I'll give you a few biased examples:

Someone who you remind me very much of that was almost exactly in your position a few years ago is Corsair. He joined TLS a few cycles after I did originally, and he got into NU off the waitlist, graduated, and then he sort of vanished. I don't know if he ever had a successful outcome, but he's the only sticker NU graduate I can think of on this forum (I'm sure there are obviously a lot more), and he had biglaw lined up, but now he's gone, presumably taking ass-models on weekend dates to Paris.

Another guy is Slash2049. He got into Vanderbilt off the waitlist, at sticker. He was a bright guy on this forum the cycle after I first joined, and a very good LSAT tutor on the prep forum. He has also vanished, presumably because he is living happily on The Island now. He runs a public-private blog about his adventures that is now restricted to invitees only.

The best one I can recall off the top of my head is Voyager. He had the answer for everything until he graduated. He wrote guides and guide-posts on TLS. He was maybe a little full of himself, but probably a cool guy in person. He went to Harvard, graduated, and has now vanished. Not long before he went to The Island, he offered helpful advice on interviewing for biglaw jobs. He was unemployed for a year before taking an ostensibly divergent career path. Unemployed for a year--from Harvard.


These were major posters on this forum in previous cycles--people like you. They've disappeared. Do they outgrow the forum? Are they off in some magical paradise? Is it at least an okay paradise? Or have they abandoned hope and the shame of their online avatars keeps them from coming back and becoming active again, lamenting their shortfalls? These people haven't posted any "hey I'm in biglaw and it's great!" follow-ups, or "hey I fell short and here's what NOT to do!" follow-ups, or anything at all. You would think this forum would be conducive to sharing that sort of information in a pay-it-forward-type manner--but for whatever reason it isn't.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I've seen a lot of shit in the eight years I've been on this forum. I've studied for the LSAT on three separate stints, and I've still yet to pull the trigger on law school because that amount of debt terrifies me, and my GPA isn't high enough to warrant these free rides at non-elite schools that make the gamble viable. Other users here are brazen enough to have taken that risk, and we'll see what happens with them.

To give a current example, I think BruceWayne is really a great poster here (not different from the three above), and according to his post history is at the bar passage stage of his post-graduation journey. He may have something lined up now, but he didn't as of a few months ago as a 3L who took sticker at UVA, and typically recommends most others considering sticker at UVA to basically beware. I wish him luck in securing employment and passing the bar, but he may not be so lucky. And I say lucky because I choose to believe there are positive outcomes--but the really sad fucking part of all this, is that I almost never see them on here--like ever. Maybe you're right and I don't look hard enough, but all I see is misery and plight and people mired in debt or debating which of how many alternatives is the best way to it.

In fact, the only person I've followed on/off this forum who had a positive outcome used his real name (so I don't want to attach him to personal information now), but he was accepted to HLS and dinged at SLS, his dream school during my original cycle. He eventually decided not to go to law school at all, and today is doing by far the best of anyone else I've known on this forum. He isn't so different from the others I've mentioned, except that he just didn't go to law school.

The key here in all this is that law school (and the quixotic pursuit of biglaw and its accompanied life riches) has been tallying a growing death count on this forum, and no one ever wants to talk about it or even acknowledge it. This post ended up being far lengthier than I had originally anticipated, but I do hope you read and digest it. You don't have to agree with my somber view, but at least understand that I'm not just blowing hot air or being a misanthrope--and when I see people openly advocating for sticker at these top schools like it's some worthwhile pursuit, I think about users like you from previous cycles that used to be on this forum who have disappeared.

It's easy to look at LSN and say that NU has 90% positive outcomes, and half the class gets biglaw. But while "biglaw" isn't necessarily always a bad thing, most of these students are shackled to it through their debt, and that's if they are lucky enough to get it. It seems to me that if TLS users who are active posters throughout their LSAT prep and law school years indeed had positive outcomes, they would be excited to share them in the form of guides just as those who score well on the LSAT also post guides. In fact, there are so few of those success stories that I couldn't even find one to post as a counter-example. By contrast, there's an unemployment megathread in the legal employment subforum has grown to over 60 pages with 100,000 views in the last year.

The tl;dr of all this blabbering is this: don't recommend sticker on this forum--it's not some higher percentage hedge against less positive outcomes. It has much higher risk than you even want to admit to yourself, and that debt load will burden you for years, maybe decades, after you graduate even if you do land one of these rapidly vanishing, largely soul-sucking jobs. Sticker price is a loser's game, and how much you lose is the wrong question to be asking. Avoid that debt because these jobs you think you have a great shot at are much harder to get than you are letting yourself believe.

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Cobretti
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Cobretti » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:41 pm

cahwc12 wrote:I don't know the answers to these questions, but I've seen a lot of shit in the eight years I've been on this forum. I've studied for the LSAT on three separate stints, and I've still yet to pull the trigger on law school because that amount of debt terrifies me

:shock:
that seems... excessive

but anyway the TL;DR still boils down to "how important is big law and geographic preference to you". if OP thinks he would be as unhappy with biglaw as you think you would be he should probably take WUSTL. if he's done his research and has made an informed decision to pursue big law, he should probably go NU.

ETA: and 8 years as a 0L does not make your opinion on big law more informed than other 0Ls on TLS

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby shifty_eyed » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:56 pm

I think people stay on TLS after studying for the LSAT, applying, and going through OCI because there are still relevant topics for 2Ls and 3Ls. After graduating and passing the bar and getting a job, there's not much left to say. I think dropping off TLS is a good sign generally.

But anyway, I turned down $45k at NU to attend a T18 with a bigger scholarship. I would not attend NU over free WUSTL unless I had 90k or more. I am not big law or bust.

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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby DaRascal » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:31 pm

cahwc12 wrote:That there are 9 votes (42%) for sticker NU over a full ride at WUSTL shows there is still a high level of cognitive dissonance on this board. OP, you seem like a smart guy. Don't be the one who goes to NU (or any non-HYS) at sticker, and especially not when you have the GPA/LSAT combo high enough to net a full ride at a school with decent placement statistics.


I'm so glad I'm retaking and didn't get into any T14's this cycle. Would have made a huge mistake lol.
Even if you get biglaw and have a more successful legal career in the long run after attending a T14 at sticker you'll never get those 4-5 years of your late 20s/early 30s back you spent breaking even.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby simplycatalina » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:09 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
Samara wrote:Oh come on. Plenty of people don't hate, or even like biglaw. Not every firm is Cravath. It can absolutely be a victory, especially if you take the time to figure out what you want to do and a good fit for you. If you haven't read any posts by people who enjoy biglaw, you aren't reading many posts. Lots of people are satisfied.

By contrast, I can hardly think of anyone who regretted NU at sticker over somewhere like WUSTL. This is not to slam WUSTL (I think it's a great school) but NU is simply on a different level and will likely give you opportunities you wouldn't have at WUSTL.

I took sticker at NU over a huge scholly at WUSTL. If I were applying today, I would take NU at sticker over a full-ride at WUSTL. (I believe) Romothesavior was in a similar position and chose WUSTL. IMO, we both made the smart decision. It's dumb to dismiss either option out of hand and equally dumb to give definitive advice without knowing more about the OP's goals.

Your "nothing is worse" paragraph is a gross mischaracterization and an equally gross misunderstanding of what $50k post-taxes buys you, but nice try.


this has turned into a long post, but I really hope that you read it and understand what I'm trying to convey to you:

At least from the perspective of this forum, working in big law is like winning the lottery in The Island. This forum isn't conducive to hearing the success stories of those who went on past law school into employment, and it also isn't conducive to those who struck out and are holding on to their sinking ship. Most people seem to think it's this glamorous profession, and then no one seems to question why these people disappear and are never heard from again.

You've just completed 1L at NU, right? What kind of job do you exactly think you're going to get? What do you think is going to happen? I have an idea what's going to happen, and I'll give you a few biased examples:

Someone who you remind me very much of that was almost exactly in your position a few years ago is Corsair. He joined TLS a few cycles after I did originally, and he got into NU off the waitlist, graduated, and then he sort of vanished. I don't know if he ever had a successful outcome, but he's the only sticker NU graduate I can think of on this forum (I'm sure there are obviously a lot more), and he had biglaw lined up, but now he's gone, presumably taking ass-models on weekend dates to Paris.

Another guy is Slash2049. He got into Vanderbilt off the waitlist, at sticker. He was a bright guy on this forum the cycle after I first joined, and a very good LSAT tutor on the prep forum. He has also vanished, presumably because he is living happily on The Island now. He runs a public-private blog about his adventures that is now restricted to invitees only.

The best one I can recall off the top of my head is Voyager. He had the answer for everything until he graduated. He wrote guides and guide-posts on TLS. He was maybe a little full of himself, but probably a cool guy in person. He went to Harvard, graduated, and has now vanished. Not long before he went to The Island, he offered helpful advice on interviewing for biglaw jobs. He was unemployed for a year before taking an ostensibly divergent career path. Unemployed for a year--from Harvard.


These were major posters on this forum in previous cycles--people like you. They've disappeared. Do they outgrow the forum? Are they off in some magical paradise? Is it at least an okay paradise? Or have they abandoned hope and the shame of their online avatars keeps them from coming back and becoming active again, lamenting their shortfalls? These people haven't posted any "hey I'm in biglaw and it's great!" follow-ups, or "hey I fell short and here's what NOT to do!" follow-ups, or anything at all. You would think this forum would be conducive to sharing that sort of information in a pay-it-forward-type manner--but for whatever reason it isn't.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I've seen a lot of shit in the eight years I've been on this forum. I've studied for the LSAT on three separate stints, and I've still yet to pull the trigger on law school because that amount of debt terrifies me, and my GPA isn't high enough to warrant these free rides at non-elite schools that make the gamble viable. Other users here are brazen enough to have taken that risk, and we'll see what happens with them.

To give a current example, I think BruceWayne is really a great poster here (not different from the three above), and according to his post history is at the bar passage stage of his post-graduation journey. He may have something lined up now, but he didn't as of a few months ago as a 3L who took sticker at UVA, and typically recommends most others considering sticker at UVA to basically beware. I wish him luck in securing employment and passing the bar, but he may not be so lucky. And I say lucky because I choose to believe there are positive outcomes--but the really sad fucking part of all this, is that I almost never see them on here--like ever. Maybe you're right and I don't look hard enough, but all I see is misery and plight and people mired in debt or debating which of how many alternatives is the best way to it.

In fact, the only person I've followed on/off this forum who had a positive outcome used his real name (so I don't want to attach him to personal information now), but he was accepted to HLS and dinged at SLS, his dream school during my original cycle. He eventually decided not to go to law school at all, and today is doing by far the best of anyone else I've known on this forum. He isn't so different from the others I've mentioned, except that he just didn't go to law school.

The key here in all this is that law school (and the quixotic pursuit of biglaw and its accompanied life riches) has been tallying a growing death count on this forum, and no one ever wants to talk about it or even acknowledge it. This post ended up being far lengthier than I had originally anticipated, but I do hope you read and digest it. You don't have to agree with my somber view, but at least understand that I'm not just blowing hot air or being a misanthrope--and when I see people openly advocating for sticker at these top schools like it's some worthwhile pursuit, I think about users like you from previous cycles that used to be on this forum who have disappeared.

It's easy to look at LSN and say that NU has 90% positive outcomes, and half the class gets biglaw. But while "biglaw" isn't necessarily always a bad thing, most of these students are shackled to it through their debt, and that's if they are lucky enough to get it. It seems to me that if TLS users who are active posters throughout their LSAT prep and law school years indeed had positive outcomes, they would be excited to share them in the form of guides just as those who score well on the LSAT also post guides. In fact, there are so few of those success stories that I couldn't even find one to post as a counter-example. By contrast, there's an unemployment megathread in the legal employment subforum has grown to over 60 pages with 100,000 views in the last year.

The tl;dr of all this blabbering is this: don't recommend sticker on this forum--it's not some higher percentage hedge against less positive outcomes. It has much higher risk than you even want to admit to yourself, and that debt load will burden you for years, maybe decades, after you graduate even if you do land one of these rapidly vanishing, largely soul-sucking jobs. Sticker price is a loser's game, and how much you lose is the wrong question to be asking. Avoid that debt because these jobs you think you have a great shot at are much harder to get than you are letting yourself believe.


so you've spent 8 years on TLS and this makes you more qualified to give someone an opinion? not sure it works that way...

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jbagelboy
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:13 pm

simplycatalina wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
Samara wrote:Oh come on. Plenty of people don't hate, or even like biglaw. Not every firm is Cravath. It can absolutely be a victory, especially if you take the time to figure out what you want to do and a good fit for you. If you haven't read any posts by people who enjoy biglaw, you aren't reading many posts. Lots of people are satisfied.

By contrast, I can hardly think of anyone who regretted NU at sticker over somewhere like WUSTL. This is not to slam WUSTL (I think it's a great school) but NU is simply on a different level and will likely give you opportunities you wouldn't have at WUSTL.

I took sticker at NU over a huge scholly at WUSTL. If I were applying today, I would take NU at sticker over a full-ride at WUSTL. (I believe) Romothesavior was in a similar position and chose WUSTL. IMO, we both made the smart decision. It's dumb to dismiss either option out of hand and equally dumb to give definitive advice without knowing more about the OP's goals.

Your "nothing is worse" paragraph is a gross mischaracterization and an equally gross misunderstanding of what $50k post-taxes buys you, but nice try.


this has turned into a long post, but I really hope that you read it and understand what I'm trying to convey to you:

At least from the perspective of this forum, working in big law is like winning the lottery in The Island. This forum isn't conducive to hearing the success stories of those who went on past law school into employment, and it also isn't conducive to those who struck out and are holding on to their sinking ship. Most people seem to think it's this glamorous profession, and then no one seems to question why these people disappear and are never heard from again.

You've just completed 1L at NU, right? What kind of job do you exactly think you're going to get? What do you think is going to happen? I have an idea what's going to happen, and I'll give you a few biased examples:

Someone who you remind me very much of that was almost exactly in your position a few years ago is Corsair. He joined TLS a few cycles after I did originally, and he got into NU off the waitlist, graduated, and then he sort of vanished. I don't know if he ever had a successful outcome, but he's the only sticker NU graduate I can think of on this forum (I'm sure there are obviously a lot more), and he had biglaw lined up, but now he's gone, presumably taking ass-models on weekend dates to Paris.

Another guy is Slash2049. He got into Vanderbilt off the waitlist, at sticker. He was a bright guy on this forum the cycle after I first joined, and a very good LSAT tutor on the prep forum. He has also vanished, presumably because he is living happily on The Island now. He runs a public-private blog about his adventures that is now restricted to invitees only.

The best one I can recall off the top of my head is Voyager. He had the answer for everything until he graduated. He wrote guides and guide-posts on TLS. He was maybe a little full of himself, but probably a cool guy in person. He went to Harvard, graduated, and has now vanished. Not long before he went to The Island, he offered helpful advice on interviewing for biglaw jobs. He was unemployed for a year before taking an ostensibly divergent career path. Unemployed for a year--from Harvard.


These were major posters on this forum in previous cycles--people like you. They've disappeared. Do they outgrow the forum? Are they off in some magical paradise? Is it at least an okay paradise? Or have they abandoned hope and the shame of their online avatars keeps them from coming back and becoming active again, lamenting their shortfalls? These people haven't posted any "hey I'm in biglaw and it's great!" follow-ups, or "hey I fell short and here's what NOT to do!" follow-ups, or anything at all. You would think this forum would be conducive to sharing that sort of information in a pay-it-forward-type manner--but for whatever reason it isn't.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I've seen a lot of shit in the eight years I've been on this forum. I've studied for the LSAT on three separate stints, and I've still yet to pull the trigger on law school because that amount of debt terrifies me, and my GPA isn't high enough to warrant these free rides at non-elite schools that make the gamble viable. Other users here are brazen enough to have taken that risk, and we'll see what happens with them.

To give a current example, I think BruceWayne is really a great poster here (not different from the three above), and according to his post history is at the bar passage stage of his post-graduation journey. He may have something lined up now, but he didn't as of a few months ago as a 3L who took sticker at UVA, and typically recommends most others considering sticker at UVA to basically beware. I wish him luck in securing employment and passing the bar, but he may not be so lucky. And I say lucky because I choose to believe there are positive outcomes--but the really sad fucking part of all this, is that I almost never see them on here--like ever. Maybe you're right and I don't look hard enough, but all I see is misery and plight and people mired in debt or debating which of how many alternatives is the best way to it.

In fact, the only person I've followed on/off this forum who had a positive outcome used his real name (so I don't want to attach him to personal information now), but he was accepted to HLS and dinged at SLS, his dream school during my original cycle. He eventually decided not to go to law school at all, and today is doing by far the best of anyone else I've known on this forum. He isn't so different from the others I've mentioned, except that he just didn't go to law school.

The key here in all this is that law school (and the quixotic pursuit of biglaw and its accompanied life riches) has been tallying a growing death count on this forum, and no one ever wants to talk about it or even acknowledge it. This post ended up being far lengthier than I had originally anticipated, but I do hope you read and digest it. You don't have to agree with my somber view, but at least understand that I'm not just blowing hot air or being a misanthrope--and when I see people openly advocating for sticker at these top schools like it's some worthwhile pursuit, I think about users like you from previous cycles that used to be on this forum who have disappeared.

It's easy to look at LSN and say that NU has 90% positive outcomes, and half the class gets biglaw. But while "biglaw" isn't necessarily always a bad thing, most of these students are shackled to it through their debt, and that's if they are lucky enough to get it. It seems to me that if TLS users who are active posters throughout their LSAT prep and law school years indeed had positive outcomes, they would be excited to share them in the form of guides just as those who score well on the LSAT also post guides. In fact, there are so few of those success stories that I couldn't even find one to post as a counter-example. By contrast, there's an unemployment megathread in the legal employment subforum has grown to over 60 pages with 100,000 views in the last year.

The tl;dr of all this blabbering is this: don't recommend sticker on this forum--it's not some higher percentage hedge against less positive outcomes. It has much higher risk than you even want to admit to yourself, and that debt load will burden you for years, maybe decades, after you graduate even if you do land one of these rapidly vanishing, largely soul-sucking jobs. Sticker price is a loser's game, and how much you lose is the wrong question to be asking. Avoid that debt because these jobs you think you have a great shot at are much harder to get than you are letting yourself believe.


so you've spent 8 years on TLS and this makes you more qualified to give someone an opinion? not sure it works that way...


On the one hand, yes, I feel like it does grant a certain degree of qualification by virtue of the wealth of knowledge and experience of multiple cycles. Why else are we here if not to exchange tips and learn from those who have been around longer? (With an appropriately refined grain of salt). We should be open to the advice of posters who have "been around" for that amount of time -- otherwise we are just here for our own ego, which is idiotic.

However, to me, the premise that those grads who stop posting on TLS are most likely failures or dissatisfied with their job is a very flawed one. Its only natural that those who have not succeeded (like BruceWayne, who is not actually a particularly good poster) would stick around on the internet to bitch and spitefully mock those who will probably do better. Thats what 90% of internet forums/blogs are: bitchfests and stalker accessories.

People who work at large firms are probably 1) too busy working to go back on TLS, 2) old enough to be over the whole thing and grown out of it, or 3) enjoying themselves and their work but not wanting to seem like a tool or a flame when compared to those who missed firm work and keep coming back. Its also possible as another poster mentioned that since TLS is so heavily geared towards the end goal of corp firm work ("biglaw"), once that end has been achieved, the site lacks further utility and would only be a rudimentary social outlet (and assuming you are normally socialized, it would be pathetic to maintain frequenting). All of these seem more likely to me than "shame" as an excuse for their recent absenteeism.

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simplycatalina
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby simplycatalina » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:21 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
simplycatalina wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
Samara wrote:Oh come on. Plenty of people don't hate, or even like biglaw. Not every firm is Cravath. It can absolutely be a victory, especially if you take the time to figure out what you want to do and a good fit for you. If you haven't read any posts by people who enjoy biglaw, you aren't reading many posts. Lots of people are satisfied.

By contrast, I can hardly think of anyone who regretted NU at sticker over somewhere like WUSTL. This is not to slam WUSTL (I think it's a great school) but NU is simply on a different level and will likely give you opportunities you wouldn't have at WUSTL.

I took sticker at NU over a huge scholly at WUSTL. If I were applying today, I would take NU at sticker over a full-ride at WUSTL. (I believe) Romothesavior was in a similar position and chose WUSTL. IMO, we both made the smart decision. It's dumb to dismiss either option out of hand and equally dumb to give definitive advice without knowing more about the OP's goals.

Your "nothing is worse" paragraph is a gross mischaracterization and an equally gross misunderstanding of what $50k post-taxes buys you, but nice try.


this has turned into a long post, but I really hope that you read it and understand what I'm trying to convey to you:

At least from the perspective of this forum, working in big law is like winning the lottery in The Island. This forum isn't conducive to hearing the success stories of those who went on past law school into employment, and it also isn't conducive to those who struck out and are holding on to their sinking ship. Most people seem to think it's this glamorous profession, and then no one seems to question why these people disappear and are never heard from again.

You've just completed 1L at NU, right? What kind of job do you exactly think you're going to get? What do you think is going to happen? I have an idea what's going to happen, and I'll give you a few biased examples:

Someone who you remind me very much of that was almost exactly in your position a few years ago is Corsair. He joined TLS a few cycles after I did originally, and he got into NU off the waitlist, graduated, and then he sort of vanished. I don't know if he ever had a successful outcome, but he's the only sticker NU graduate I can think of on this forum (I'm sure there are obviously a lot more), and he had biglaw lined up, but now he's gone, presumably taking ass-models on weekend dates to Paris.

Another guy is Slash2049. He got into Vanderbilt off the waitlist, at sticker. He was a bright guy on this forum the cycle after I first joined, and a very good LSAT tutor on the prep forum. He has also vanished, presumably because he is living happily on The Island now. He runs a public-private blog about his adventures that is now restricted to invitees only.

The best one I can recall off the top of my head is Voyager. He had the answer for everything until he graduated. He wrote guides and guide-posts on TLS. He was maybe a little full of himself, but probably a cool guy in person. He went to Harvard, graduated, and has now vanished. Not long before he went to The Island, he offered helpful advice on interviewing for biglaw jobs. He was unemployed for a year before taking an ostensibly divergent career path. Unemployed for a year--from Harvard.


These were major posters on this forum in previous cycles--people like you. They've disappeared. Do they outgrow the forum? Are they off in some magical paradise? Is it at least an okay paradise? Or have they abandoned hope and the shame of their online avatars keeps them from coming back and becoming active again, lamenting their shortfalls? These people haven't posted any "hey I'm in biglaw and it's great!" follow-ups, or "hey I fell short and here's what NOT to do!" follow-ups, or anything at all. You would think this forum would be conducive to sharing that sort of information in a pay-it-forward-type manner--but for whatever reason it isn't.

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I've seen a lot of shit in the eight years I've been on this forum. I've studied for the LSAT on three separate stints, and I've still yet to pull the trigger on law school because that amount of debt terrifies me, and my GPA isn't high enough to warrant these free rides at non-elite schools that make the gamble viable. Other users here are brazen enough to have taken that risk, and we'll see what happens with them.

To give a current example, I think BruceWayne is really a great poster here (not different from the three above), and according to his post history is at the bar passage stage of his post-graduation journey. He may have something lined up now, but he didn't as of a few months ago as a 3L who took sticker at UVA, and typically recommends most others considering sticker at UVA to basically beware. I wish him luck in securing employment and passing the bar, but he may not be so lucky. And I say lucky because I choose to believe there are positive outcomes--but the really sad fucking part of all this, is that I almost never see them on here--like ever. Maybe you're right and I don't look hard enough, but all I see is misery and plight and people mired in debt or debating which of how many alternatives is the best way to it.

In fact, the only person I've followed on/off this forum who had a positive outcome used his real name (so I don't want to attach him to personal information now), but he was accepted to HLS and dinged at SLS, his dream school during my original cycle. He eventually decided not to go to law school at all, and today is doing by far the best of anyone else I've known on this forum. He isn't so different from the others I've mentioned, except that he just didn't go to law school.

The key here in all this is that law school (and the quixotic pursuit of biglaw and its accompanied life riches) has been tallying a growing death count on this forum, and no one ever wants to talk about it or even acknowledge it. This post ended up being far lengthier than I had originally anticipated, but I do hope you read and digest it. You don't have to agree with my somber view, but at least understand that I'm not just blowing hot air or being a misanthrope--and when I see people openly advocating for sticker at these top schools like it's some worthwhile pursuit, I think about users like you from previous cycles that used to be on this forum who have disappeared.

It's easy to look at LSN and say that NU has 90% positive outcomes, and half the class gets biglaw. But while "biglaw" isn't necessarily always a bad thing, most of these students are shackled to it through their debt, and that's if they are lucky enough to get it. It seems to me that if TLS users who are active posters throughout their LSAT prep and law school years indeed had positive outcomes, they would be excited to share them in the form of guides just as those who score well on the LSAT also post guides. In fact, there are so few of those success stories that I couldn't even find one to post as a counter-example. By contrast, there's an unemployment megathread in the legal employment subforum has grown to over 60 pages with 100,000 views in the last year.

The tl;dr of all this blabbering is this: don't recommend sticker on this forum--it's not some higher percentage hedge against less positive outcomes. It has much higher risk than you even want to admit to yourself, and that debt load will burden you for years, maybe decades, after you graduate even if you do land one of these rapidly vanishing, largely soul-sucking jobs. Sticker price is a loser's game, and how much you lose is the wrong question to be asking. Avoid that debt because these jobs you think you have a great shot at are much harder to get than you are letting yourself believe.


so you've spent 8 years on TLS and this makes you more qualified to give someone an opinion? not sure it works that way...


On the one hand, yes, I feel like it does grant a certain degree of qualification by virtue of the wealth of knowledge and experience of multiple cycles. Why else are we here if not to exchange tips and learn from those who have been around longer? (With an appropriately refined grain of salt). We should be open to the advice of posters who have "been around" for that amount of time -- otherwise we are just here for our own ego, which is idiotic.

However, to me, the premise that those grads who stop posting on TLS are most likely failures or dissatisfied with their job is a very flawed one. Its only natural that those who have not succeeded (like BruceWayne, who is not actually a particularly good poster) would stick around on the internet to bitch and spitefully mock those who will probably do better. Thats what 90% of internet forums/blogs are: bitchfests and stalker accessories.

People who work at large firms are probably 1) too busy working to go back on TLS, 2) old enough to be over the whole thing and grown out of it, or 3) enjoying themselves and their work but not wanting to seem like a tool or a flame when compared to those who missed firm work and keep coming back. Its also possible as another poster mentioned that since TLS is so heavily geared towards the end goal of corp firm work ("biglaw"), once that end has been achieved, the site lacks further utility and would only be a rudimentary social outlet (and assuming you are normally socialized, it would be pathetic to maintain frequenting). All of these seem more likely to me than "shame" as an excuse for their recent absenteeism.


Also, Jesus, after 8 years of your life, would you not figure out something else to do? Spending that much time looking at an online forum seems a little ridiculous.
Last edited by simplycatalina on Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Samara
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Samara » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:24 pm

cahwc12 wrote:Words

I read every word and appreciate that you are putting so much thought into your career.

But dude, I know Corsair IRL. In the interest of his privacy, I will limit what I say to he's a good guy and you don't know what you're talking about there.

If you aren't reading success stories on here, you haven't read the legal employment forum lately. There is a growing contingent of current biglaw practitioners on here giving excellent advice. There aren't many here that stick around after making it to biglaw (thesealocust being a notable exception) but I suspect that in the early days of TLS, there wasn't much OCI or clerkships advice floating around. As the forum has grown and evolved, the advice given has expanded further and further beyond law school admissions. One day, the next GTL Rev will do for biglaw what he did for clerkships.

I don't understand your Island analogy, but you seem to be arguing that people must not be enjoying their time at biglaw because they don't come here to post about it. I suspect my posting will fall off when I start working as well, provided I'm lucky enough to get the job I want. For one, I expect to have a lot less time to kill than I do now. For two, there isn't a lot here to keep me coming back once I graduate. Part of that is that advice starts to become very fact-intensive and part of it is that the forum has yet to evolve to meet that kind of need. The people who strike out post here more because they need more advice and it helps to commiserate. Do you expect a bunch of threads bragging about how great people's high-paying biglaw jobs are?

As for me, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting into. I'm going to try to protect what little anonymity I have left, but I have figured out what I want to do down to the sub-area level and I know exactly where I can do it. I have soaked up as much advice from TLS as I can get, but unfortunately there is little here on career development beyond OCI. Instead, I've gone HAM on networking, talking to countless lawyers, many of whom are doing exactly what I want to do, and forging great relationships that will undoubtedly be valuable for many years. You, on the other hand, haven't even decided whether you want to go to law school. So excuse me if I don't think your opinion on the quality of life in biglaw holds much value.

I think we would agree that the vast majority starts law school with little idea of what biglaw means. Frankly, it is very difficult to figure it out until you've started law school. Some people are going to find out the hard way that it's not for them. But many can get a good enough idea that going to NU at sticker is a reasonable risk to take, especially if Chicago biglaw is the goal.

There are opportunities from NU that are simply not accessible from WUSTL. For some, access to those opportunities is not important and can tip the scales in favor of WUSTL. For others, access to those opportunities is important and can tip the scales in favor of NU. The relevant factors are innumerable and highly personalized.

Pursuing biglaw is risky, but few great things can be achieved about risk. What is important is for people to be well-informed and decide risks for themselves. Making such blanket, unrealistic proclamations about law school and biglaw are not helping.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:30 am

Samara wrote:If you aren't reading success stories on here, you haven't read the legal employment forum lately.


TBF they bite the heads off of 0Ls who try to post in there. This forum is not at all conducive to 0Ls trying to actually find out information about what Biglaw is like.

BigZuck
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:48 am

I don't know what's more strange: the fact that a bro who has been on here for 8 years has supposedly never seen someone write about liking big law or the fact that a bro with almost 7K posts has supposedly rarely seen someone lamenting the fact that they paid sticker and saying that they should have taken a cheaper option to limit debt even though they would have been sacrificing big law options.

I have seen plenty of both "big law is cool" and "even though I went to a great school and got big law in retrospect I probably should have taken less debt at the lower ranked school" posts. In fact pretty much the only "took sticker and loving it!!!" bros I can think of off the top of my head are the NU contingent on this site who haven't even started working yet.

As for the OP: agreed that this is way too little information for us to advise you on. While I personally wouldn't pay sticker at NU because I am a debt averse weeny I think it can be justified. I also would never go to a school like WUSTL if my end goal was big law or bust and I wasn't content working small law in the Midwest.

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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby DoveBodyWash » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:56 am

BigZuck wrote: I also would never go to a school like WUSTL if my end goal was big law or bust and I wasn't content working small law in the Midwest.

Where does this "WUSTL=small law in MidWest" come from? Only 25% of our grads stayed in Missouri. Whereas 41% went non-Midwest. Per LST around 25% of both schools are listed as Unknown State. Yeah all of WUSTL's unknowns could be slumming it in some small shop in the Midwest and all of NU's unknowns could be swimming in models and bottles in NYC, but we don't know for sure. So I discounted that figure when gauging the "Midwestern-ness" of WUSTL.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... b=location
25% Missouri
8% D.C.
8% Illinois
7% NYC
5% California
5% Texas
8% Foreign

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... b=location
39% Illinois
15% NYC
10% California
1.5% Foreign

I'm expecting people to say that "That's just a function of WUSTL's grads going home." Well if that's the case then i guess that means that WUSTL doesn't equal midwestern small law, but that WUSTL equals going home.

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bk1
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Re: Wustl (full ride) vs Northwestern (TBD)

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:26 am

cusenation wrote:Where does this "WUSTL=small law in MidWest" come from?

Read the Midwest T25 OCI threads. It's painfully hard for people from those schools to get Chicago biglaw and that is the closest primary biglaw market. Now imagine people without Midwest ties trying to get a large firm in StL, KC, etc. Then realize how much less employers on the coasts care about WUSTL compared to their local regional law schools.

It is of course not guaranteed, but other outcomes are far from easy.




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