Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

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iVi
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Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:02 am

From the Midwest and looking to work BL Chicago. I know it's reputed to be a very difficult market and want to put myself in the best possible position.

LSAT: 169 (3 attempts), GPA: 3.75, +3 years out of UG

Expecting a ding from UChi, so my options are as follows (in no particular order):
NU @ sticker
UIUC w/ full-tuition scholly, ~$65,000 debt for COL
WUSTL w/ full-tuition scholly, ~$70,000 debt for COL
Michigan @ sticker

Assume I debt finance everything not covered by scholarship.

In terms of employment outlook, what's my best option?

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skers
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby skers » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:40 am

NU will w/o a doubt given you the best odds, but taking out that much debt for big law period (let alone just a shot at Chicago big law) is dumb.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:43 am

What do you do now employment wise? Biglaw sucks dude.

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Rigo
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby Rigo » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:03 am

It's odd that Northwestern and Michigan are not giving you any money with a 169/3.75.
What's the deal with that?

Anyways, sticker is definitely not advisable. I would probably do UIUC and work my ass off to get in top 20%. There's definitely an added risk of not getting biglaw out of UIUC but at least you won't have $200k debt hanging over you.
Also, it's very possible to live in Chambana for 3 years for less than $65k.

Effingham
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby Effingham » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:52 am

Email NW and tell them about your full rides from WashU and UIUC. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate again.

I'm surprised you didn't throw one towards ND. Proximity wise, it's closer to Chicago than any of those schools outside of Northwestern and places better in BL than UIUC and WashU (though UIUC may edge them out in Chicago BL, but that's more self-selection than anything else). With those stats you'd likely be looking at a full ride as they seem to have changed their tune re: former stinginess. With those numbers though, I wouldn't do WashU or UIUC - tbh, I wouldn't do ND either - you really need to get Northwestern or Michigan to throw you some cash...might entail sitting out a cycle, even though that seems a little ridiculous.

irishballa
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby irishballa » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:28 pm

Northwestern, without a doubt. If Chicago big law is your goal, I may not go so far as to say NU is better but it's really close. That's what NU is known for, whereas Chicago has a lot more academic/PI focus.

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skers
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby skers » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:36 pm

Dirigo wrote:It's odd that Northwestern and Michigan are not giving you any money with a 169/3.75.
What's the deal with that?

Anyways, sticker is definitely not advisable. I would probably do UIUC and work my ass off to get in top 20%. There's definitely an added risk of not getting biglaw out of UIUC but at least you won't have $200k debt hanging over you.
Also, it's very possible to live in Chambana for 3 years for less than $65k.


Yeah bro, just do be top 20%.

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pamphleteer
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby pamphleteer » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:39 pm

I'm faced with a really similar decision this cycle with Chicago biglaw goals (NU at sticker vs. $120k at both WUSTL and ND vs. full ride at Illinois) and I honestly don't know what to do. Northwestern was my first choice and I would have gladly taken on sticker debt to go there before I discovered TLS. Now I'm not so sure and am leaning towards ND (hopefully can negotiate it up to a full ride) or Illinois. As someone else mentioned, I'd definitely throw an app ND's way; they're throwing around money like crazy this cycle and they'd give you a comparable shot at Chicago biglaw to Illinois in addition to a much better shot at non-Chicago biglaw if you aren't able to get it.

Need Access for NU is due on the 1st, right? I doubt I'll get any merit aid out of it as a massive splitter but I think you might since you're above both medians IIRC. Hopefully they give you a decent offer because that's obviously far and away the best school for your goals.

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smaug
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby smaug » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:41 pm

I'd do WUSTL, but I don't have great reasoning beyond "it's the best of your many bad options."

You're three years out of UG—what are you doing now? Is not going off the table? (Not going should never be off the table.)

Paul Campos
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby Paul Campos » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:45 pm

irishballa wrote:Northwestern, without a doubt. If Chicago big law is your goal, I may not go so far as to say NU is better but it's really close. That's what NU is known for, whereas Chicago has a lot more academic/PI focus.


Per LST:

Northwestern big firm score 2013: 55.3

Public service score (excluding law school funded jobs): 6.3%

Chicago big firm score: 62.3%

Public service score (excluding law school funded jobs): 4.3%

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skers
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby skers » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:50 pm

Lower debt is almost definitely the way to go. I don't think there's any huge placement differences after NU. Just know Chicago big law is a bit of a longshot. The chances even from Uchi and NW aren't strictly great and I know plenty of people who struck out in Chicago. Even the firms with big classes take like 1 maybe 2 people from Illinois, ND, Indiana, ect and generally LR types.

irishballa
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby irishballa » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:59 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
irishballa wrote:Northwestern, without a doubt. If Chicago big law is your goal, I may not go so far as to say NU is better but it's really close. That's what NU is known for, whereas Chicago has a lot more academic/PI focus.


Per LST:

Northwestern big firm score 2013: 55.3

Public service score (excluding law school funded jobs): 6.3%

Chicago big firm score: 62.3%

Public service score (excluding law school funded jobs): 4.3%



Are you sure, it says 11.6 for Uchicago versus 8.8 for NU from what I checked, though definitely could be wrong. I guess maybe I'm more focusing on per where each of them is in the rankings, NU outperforms there ranking probably more than any other school (if solely Big Law is your goal). Though obviously I'm biased :)

See http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mkl45eei ... aw-school/
http://abovethelaw.com/2014/02/best-law ... -job-2014/

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Mullens
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby Mullens » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:02 pm

Northwestern gives you the best odds at Chicago biglaw and it's not close. I'd be shocked if you end up with no aid to Northwestern with your numbers. Has Northwestern sent out any financial aid offers yet?

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby DoveBodyWash » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:09 pm

There's a big gap between NU and all the other ones. I think UIUC is probably a distant second since it seems more of a recruiting priority to the firms. I think the best balanced option is to take a large scholarship at a T20 that gives you a chance at other markets too. Personally i think betting on UIUC is putting too many eggs in the Chicago basket. But if Chicago BigLaw is paramount then NU by a huge margin

iVi
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:20 pm

Dirigo wrote:It's odd that Northwestern and Michigan are not giving you any money with a 169/3.75.
What's the deal with that?

Anyways, sticker is definitely not advisable. I would probably do UIUC and work my ass off to get in top 20%. There's definitely an added risk of not getting biglaw out of UIUC but at least you won't have $200k debt hanging over you.
Also, it's very possible to live in Chambana for 3 years for less than $65k.


To be honest I jumped the gun a little with this thread because I've yet to receive aid offers from NU or Mich. Just trying to field opinions before the deposit deadlines loom too large. And to your point, Rigo, I realize my numbers are pretty solid for both schools but don't think they're worthy of significant money. Hoping I'm wrong, though!

The risk averse part of me is leaning toward UIUC, but I worry that if I strike out in Chicago I'll be SOL. Of course, +200k is terrifying, but job prospects out of NU look pretty rosy.

I actually thought WUSTL might be a decent option since I'd have more options outside of Chicago if I strike out as compared with my prospects out of UIUC. But it appears none of you agree.

In what scenario would WUSTL make sense for someone not looking to practice in St. Louis, considering they're all right in numerous markets but not great in any?

beverley
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby beverley » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:23 pm

I'm curious: if well over half of graduates get JD-required jobs 9 months out at schools like WUSTL and UIUC, but only about a quarter or less are placed into big law, what are all the other jobs out there that people say they're aiming for? If "mid-law" isn't a thing for entry level, what are the majority of people with median grades and median outcomes getting? Is everything else 40-60K small law? I know it's dependent on situation and differs from person to person, but is the work/life balance just as crappy as big law in most cases?

I've read a few threads here about "day in the life" work and routine of lawyers ranging from big law to public work, but I'm just genuinely curious what people say who aren't shooting for big law from these schools, since it's not a likely outcome. I'm not dissing the work at all, especially if there's no debt to pay off. The employment data just has more jobs in it than the big law and public/government type stuff that people go into law school saying they want.

iVi
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:28 pm

pamphleteer wrote:I'm faced with a really similar decision this cycle with Chicago biglaw goals (NU at sticker vs. $120k at both WUSTL and ND vs. full ride at Illinois) and I honestly don't know what to do. Northwestern was my first choice and I would have gladly taken on sticker debt to go there before I discovered TLS. Now I'm not so sure and am leaning towards ND (hopefully can negotiate it up to a full ride) or Illinois. As someone else mentioned, I'd definitely throw an app ND's way; they're throwing around money like crazy this cycle and they'd give you a comparable shot at Chicago biglaw to Illinois in addition to a much better shot at non-Chicago biglaw if you aren't able to get it.

Need Access for NU is due on the 1st, right? I doubt I'll get any merit aid out of it as a massive splitter but I think you might since you're above both medians IIRC. Hopefully they give you a decent offer because that's obviously far and away the best school for your goals.


Thanks for the response.

Ya know, I started an app for ND but couldn't bring myself to finish. Wasn't aware that they'd changed their tune in terms of offering money and can't imagine spending three years in South Bend. Not stellar reasons, I know, but I think I have better options. Have been accepted to the flagship in my home state and the school has decent national reach. PM if interested on specifics.

Hoping NU gifts me an attractive aid offer to make things much, much easier!

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jingosaur
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby jingosaur » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:32 pm

NU or Michigan should give you enough money where that becomes the right choice. If you wouldn't be okay with no Biglaw, don't go to a school outside the T14.

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pamphleteer
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby pamphleteer » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:34 pm

iVi wrote:In what scenario would WUSTL make sense for someone not looking to practice in St. Louis, considering they're all right in numerous markets but not great in any?


Someone at WUSTL would obviously know better than me but AIUI it's extremely difficult to break into the St. Louis market without ties, even from WUSTL. All WUSTL really does for you vs. Illinois is open up NYC (while giving you a worse shot at Chicago than Illinois). Seriously, I'd send Notre Dame an app if I were you. Their biglaw numbers are better than both WUSTL and Illinois, you're a lock to get a full ride with your numbers and they're slightly more national in reach than WUSTL and Illinois in that you can get to a variety of markets from there as long as you have the requisite ties and grades.

iVi
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:36 pm

cusenation wrote:There's a big gap between NU and all the other ones. I think UIUC is probably a distant second since it seems more of a recruiting priority to the firms. I think the best balanced option is to take a large scholarship at a T20 that gives you a chance at other markets too. Personally i think betting on UIUC is putting too many eggs in the Chicago basket. But if Chicago BigLaw is paramount then NU by a huge margin


Chicago is the preference but I'd be an idiot to not look elsewhere as well. Not keen on NYC, though of course it'll never be off the table as long as BL is the aim, and would be content to settle in the Midwest. Which is why WUSTL in some respects seems to be my best option at present.

I appreciate all the opinions and realize I've yet to receive any "good" offers according to TLS standards. Hoping that changes but trying to figure out my best options in case it doesn't.

iVi
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:38 pm

pamphleteer wrote:
iVi wrote:In what scenario would WUSTL make sense for someone not looking to practice in St. Louis, considering they're all right in numerous markets but not great in any?


Someone at WUSTL would obviously know better than me but AIUI it's extremely difficult to break into the St. Louis market without ties, even from WUSTL. All WUSTL really does for you vs. Illinois is open up NYC (while giving you a worse shot at Chicago than Illinois). Seriously, I'd send Notre Dame an app if I were you. Their biglaw numbers are better than both WUSTL and Illinois, you're a lock to get a full ride with your numbers and they're slightly more national in reach than WUSTL and Illinois in that you can get to a variety of markets from there as long as you have the requisite ties and grades.


Guess it's unanimous. Sending an app to ND.

iVi
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby iVi » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:38 pm

jingosaur wrote:NU or Michigan should give you enough money where that becomes the right choice. If you wouldn't be okay with no Biglaw, don't go to a school outside the T14.


What, in your opinion, is that threshold?

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chuckbass
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby chuckbass » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:48 pm

cusenation wrote:There's a big gap between NU and all the other ones. I think UIUC is probably a distant second since it seems more of a recruiting priority to the firms. I think the best balanced option is to take a large scholarship at a T20 that gives you a chance at other markets too. Personally i think betting on UIUC is putting too many eggs in the Chicago basket. But if Chicago BigLaw is paramount then NU by a huge margin

I agree with cuse.

Basically, I don't think WUSTL even on the cheap is great if you ONLY want Chicago. It's a tough market, and here you need to be top 10% to give yourself a shot, and honestly I don't even think you'd be secure then. On the other hand, UIUC has more Chicago placement, but like cuse said, you'd be putting all your eggs in the Chicago basket. At that point, I would personally just take the gamble with NU if I ONLY wanted Chicago.

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Rigo
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby Rigo » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:54 pm

iVi wrote:
Dirigo wrote:It's odd that Northwestern and Michigan are not giving you any money with a 169/3.75.
What's the deal with that?
Anyways, sticker is definitely not advisable. I would probably do UIUC and work my ass off to get in top 20%. There's definitely an added risk of not getting biglaw out of UIUC but at least you won't have $200k debt hanging over you.
Also, it's very possible to live in Chambana for 3 years for less than $65k.

To be honest I jumped the gun a little with this thread because I've yet to receive aid offers from NU or Mich. Just trying to field opinions before the deposit deadlines loom too large. And to your point, Rigo, I realize my numbers are pretty solid for both schools but don't think they're worthy of significant money. Hoping I'm wrong, though!

Ah okay. Don't settle. You're above median LSAT for both and at or above GPA median too. This cycle, applicants with 165+ are way down and this year is likely the biggest buyer's market ever.

Know your worth & negotiate when you get your aid packages.

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middlebear
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Re: Best schools for Chicago BL (outside UChi)

Postby middlebear » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:55 pm

Hey OP - I have sort of similar stats (3.7/170) and though I didn't apply to Northwestern, Michigan offered me 75k. You really should be getting some money out of NU/Michigan, even if it's not massive or a full ride or anything.




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