Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

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DonRocco

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Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby DonRocco » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:26 pm

Hello all!

I have been lurking since ramping up the application process this past fall and thought I would pose my current dilemma.

The four schools currently in final consideration:

Michigan ($10k/year scholarship)
Northwestern ($15k/year scholarship)
USC ($35k/year scholarship)
Berkeley (sticker)

I would be financing the rest of my costs exclusively through loans. For my first year, I have saved up enough money to cover cost of living (not tuition) at any of these 4 schools.

A bit of background: Although I am originally from Boston, I attended Northwestern as an undergrad, have been out of school for a shade over 5 years, and have lived in Chicago throughout. I love this city and can see myself calling it home for a law career. Location-wise I could also see myself very happy in Cali or DC, but do not want to end up in NYC. I am leaning more toward PI/Govt work over a firm job, but am very open to working in a firm (especially with the debt I'd be accumulating at any of the schools in question). I have visited all four schools. Michigan felt a bit undergraddy, but I liked the school. I have been a city guy my whole life, so might find it hard to live in Ann Arbor even though I was pleasantly surprised by the town itself. Berkeley/Bay Area is a great location, as is LA (my sister and some other family also live here), and I obviously love (and live) in Chicago.

Also of note, I am currently in a rather serious relationship, and my significant other is still finishing up her studies here in Chicago. I am not sure how much of a factor being potentially separated from her for 1-2 years should play in my decision-making process, but I would be remiss to completely dismiss it from the overall equation.

I have to make a decision here by Friday and thought I'd solicit some last minute opinions from the TLS community.

Thanks, all!
Last edited by DonRocco on Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ricky-Bobby

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Ricky-Bobby » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:39 pm

The obvious choice is Northwestern.

Berkeley and Michigan should be eliminated from the start because Berkeley sticker is terrifying and Michigan is giving you less for a smaller chance of Chicago firms.

A case could be made for USC if you decide you can't live without California, but I think the COA will still be too high for your goals.

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Power_of_Facing

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Power_of_Facing » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:40 pm

Northwestern, hands down.

Listen to the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

croissantlover

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby croissantlover » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:38 pm

Since you want to stay in Chicago, NW with money is no-brainer.

DonRocco

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby DonRocco » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:45 pm

Should the fact that I am leaning towards the PI/Gov't route, and that Northwestern is known more for BigLaw, factor in at all?

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Power_of_Facing

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Power_of_Facing » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:26 pm

DonRocco wrote:Should the fact that I am leaning towards the PI/Gov't route, and that Northwestern is known more for BigLaw, factor in at all?


Northwestern's Bluhm Clinic is one of the best in the country, and if you are genuine about PI/Govt work, you will have fantastic faculty connections for pursuing PI work -- govt, on the other hand, is a crapshoot from any law school, and you're unlikely to land it directly out of school no matter where you matriculate.

Northwestern, no doubt, and no duh.

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Understand that if you take New York off the table Northwestern barely places like a T-14. You have to be very flexible geographically when taking on 200k in debt.

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Mullens

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Mullens » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:11 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Understand that if you take New York off the table Northwestern barely places like a T-14. You have to be very flexible geographically when taking on 200k in debt.


Can you explain this? Isn't this true of most other T14s too?

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Mullens wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Understand that if you take New York off the table Northwestern barely places like a T-14. You have to be very flexible geographically when taking on 200k in debt.


Can you explain this? Isn't this true of most other T14s too?

Yeah that's definitely not unique to Northwestern. From any T-14 placement ability drops off substantially if you take NYC off the table. About a third of the biglaw SA's are in New York.

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Captain Rodeo

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Captain Rodeo » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:32 pm

From what you've put, Northwestern! Have fun and congrats!

Nomo

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:53 pm

What will your total debt be from each of these schools at the time of repayment?

PS: You're not even remotely ready to pick a school if you don't know this already.

DonRocco

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby DonRocco » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:45 am

Nomo wrote:What will your total debt be from each of these schools at the time of repayment?

PS: You're not even remotely ready to pick a school if you don't know this already.


I have factored in total approximate debt at time of repayment, taking into account scholarship awards, current funds in savings, and adjustments for cost of living. It is as follows:

Northwestern: ~140k
Michigan: ~140k
Berkeley: ~200k
USC: ~90k

whereskyle

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby whereskyle » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:01 am

See you at Northwestern!

thebobs1987

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby thebobs1987 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:05 am

Northwestern is the easy pick. Enjoy

Nomo

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Nomo » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:10 am

Northwestern.

PS: With the debt you're looking at you're going to shoot for biglaw, even though its not your ultimate goal. I knew many people at Michigan who were in your shoes (into PI, but not totally against the thought of biglaw); all of them were at OCI the next fall.

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Pishee77

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Re: Berkeley (sticker) v. NW ($) v. Michigan ($) v. USC ($$$)

Postby Pishee77 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Northwestern!



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