UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

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heyarnold
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UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby heyarnold » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:16 pm

So I have been accepted to ND with 60k total in scholarship and UW (have yet to receive their scholarship offer, but I'm thinking it will be similar). My parents are paying for school, but I want to decrease their load as much as possible while making a practical decision for job opportunities.

I'm an east coaster who has some nyc/dc ties, but has never been to the midwest/west coast. I have a master's in Asian Studies from a well known school that sends a lot of people to fedGov and I'm fluent in Chinese with some experience abroad. A biglaw 2L SA ---> job is ideal. BigFed (like a gs-11 gig at the department of state or DOE upon graduation) is more ideal.


I'm attracted to UW because there is a huge Asian culture in Seattle, and UW has a really top-notch Asia Law Center / concentration. I feel like the courses, the city, and the vibe at UW and seattle would fit me really well. It's just that the school dropped a bit in the rankings, is very regional, and doesn't have the prestige that ND has. I'd much rather be stuck in Seattle than in the midwest for 3 years/long term. They just got a pretty big annual endowment for this year and are set up to give more scholly out than years past... so I'm really hoping that they'll come close to matching the ND offer since it's ranked slightly higher.

ND, on the other hand, has a bunch of lay prestige, is usually ranked a bit higher, and has loyal alumni throughout the country. If I were to go to ND, I'd probably try and come back to NY/DC-- which I hear is fairly difficult to do from there.I have prestige whores throughout my extended family who would look at me funny if I chose UW. Their Asia emphasis, however, would make a lot of sense for me. And I am told that my personality would fit Seattle and I'd love it there. But at ND, I can also find ways to keep up my Mandarin, study abroad in Beijing, and take courses in international law/transactions/trade, etc. It also gives me a better shot at coming back to NY where all my friends are. I also love sports and being a domer would be awesome. (although being a husky isn't bad either in terms of sports)

Now GW is also an option at sticker. I have spent time in DC, am accustomed to it, have some good friends there, and would be comfortable. GW has a massive amount of course offerings and internship opportunities with the gov/NGO's. I can land an attorney advisor position at a fed agency from there much easier than I would elsewhere. I'd also be able to take classes on Chinese law and whatnot, as well as energy and environmental law. It really just seems like a diploma mill with a massive class size and suspect transfer policies. It's less collegial than the schools I'm considering, and in case I get less than median during 1L I'd be screwed for jobs and I'd feel bad for my parents dishing out sticker money. Still, it's a top choice right now due to its strong ranking and location.


Any input? I'm going to visit both Seattle and South Bend next month, with the hopes that the decision will just come to me. But I'm having so much freekin trouble right now deciding which of UW vs ND option is better, assuming costs are even. Please help ! I'm still waiting on WashU, Vandy, and Cornell.. but not too optimistic.

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Sirius Blackstone
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby Sirius Blackstone » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:26 pm

What are your numbers? Even though your parents are paying for law school, none of those options are great for your goals or for the money. If I had to pick one of those 3 and didn't care about cost, I'd probably say GW so you have the opportunity to network and intern for the federal government while you're in school, but it's going to be an uphill battle.

Check out the LST reports: http://www.lstscorereports.com/compare/ ... ashington/

huskies2015
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby huskies2015 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:27 pm

FYI, even with the endowment I highly doubt UW will give out as much aid as ND. I really hope I'm wrong as UW is pretty much tied with ND for my first choice, but I just talked to a financial aid advisor here at UW a week ago and he said they still wouldn't be able to compete with private schools in terms of merit aid.

Speaking to the culture, I was born and raised in Seattle and go to UW undergrad and absolutely love it. You won't regret it if you do choose to come here. Plus the campus is gorgeous.

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heyarnold
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby heyarnold » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:30 pm

Sirius, I PM'ed you. Thanks

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heyarnold
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby heyarnold » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:48 pm

Thanks, Huskies!

Yeah UW would be awesome, and it'll give me a nice fresh start in the PNW. I've seen pics/videos of the campus and have already done tons of research into life in Seattle. I'm worried about ties though.. as I have none in Seattle. I'd love to land a mid to big law gig in Seattle after graduating, but I'm wondering if the cards will not be in my favor as a nyc native in an insular market.

huskies2015
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby huskies2015 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:16 pm

heyarnold wrote:Thanks, Huskies!

Yeah UW would be awesome, and it'll give me a nice fresh start in the PNW. I've seen pics/videos of the campus and have already done tons of research into life in Seattle. I'm worried about ties though.. as I have none in Seattle. I'd love to land a mid to big law gig in Seattle after graduating, but I'm wondering if the cards will not be in my favor as a nyc native in an insular market.


Yeah, I understand your concern about the Seattle market. Seattle only has a handful of firms that I would consider "big law" so if that's your end goal, ND would be best. I saw somewhere only 12% of 2014 UW grads landed NLJ 250 jobs, compared to 25% of ND grads. But some of that is a lot of UW students come in with the goal of PI, so they might not be actively looking for big law gigs. And I personally wouldn't do GW at sticker, but I don't have any ties to DC either.

BigZuck
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby BigZuck » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:52 pm

None of these schools make sense with your goals, you need to aim a good deal higher. Georgetown at an absolute minimum.

I wouldn't go to UW without preexisting ties to Washington state, everything I have heard about that market points to it being a bloodbath. Wouldn't surprise me if an out of state law review kid at UW would have trouble snaging big law there.

I wouldn't go to ND without a burning desire to work in the Midwest long term and a desire for more modest career outcomes than you stated.

GW seems like probably a trap, especially not being IP. Definitely not worth 200K out of pocket.

BigZuck
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby BigZuck » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:55 pm

huskies2015 wrote:
heyarnold wrote:Thanks, Huskies!

Yeah UW would be awesome, and it'll give me a nice fresh start in the PNW. I've seen pics/videos of the campus and have already done tons of research into life in Seattle. I'm worried about ties though.. as I have none in Seattle. I'd love to land a mid to big law gig in Seattle after graduating, but I'm wondering if the cards will not be in my favor as a nyc native in an insular market.


Yeah, I understand your concern about the Seattle market. Seattle only has a handful of firms that I would consider "big law" so if that's your end goal, ND would be best. I saw somewhere only 12% of 2014 UW grads landed NLJ 250 jobs, compared to 25% of ND grads. But some of that is a lot of UW students come in with the goal of PI, so they might not be actively looking for big law gigs. And I personally wouldn't do GW at sticker, but I don't have any ties to DC either.

I'm going to go ahead and give you a BigZuck guarantee that kids at UW are not opting out of big law in anything even approaching meaningful numbers.

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mi-chan17
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:24 pm

If you want BigFed, I think GW gives you the best chance of managing it (though still, you should not, not a GOOD chance) of these options, because of the internship/networking opportunities. That said, I wouldn't pay sticker for it.

PNW is insular, and I don't think an out-of-stater will have the chances for biglaw that PNW-natives at UW have, and even the natives don't have a great shot.

ND is fine if you want midwest, but it doesn't sound like you do.

I think TCR is to retake the LSAT to, at the very least, try and wrangle some money out of GW to save some money.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby zombie mcavoy » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:44 pm

BigZuck wrote:None of these schools make sense with your goals, you need to aim a good deal higher. Georgetown at an absolute minimum.

I wouldn't go to UW without preexisting ties to Washington state, everything I have heard about that market points to it being a bloodbath. Wouldn't surprise me if an out of state law review kid at UW would have trouble snaging big law there.

I wouldn't go to ND without a burning desire to work in the Midwest long term and a desire for more modest career outcomes than you stated.

GW seems like probably a trap, especially not being IP. Definitely not worth 200K out of pocket.

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heyarnold
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby heyarnold » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:11 pm

hey thanks guys.

I'm out of retakes and am set on starting somewhere this August. As for the midwest, I'd be cool working in either Chicago or Detroit, but yeah I'd prefer the coasts. And I'm not biglaw or bust.. a mid-sized firm paying ~90-100k would be just fine. And that goes for Seattle as well, as I know how much of a pipe dream it is to get Perkins Coie from UW. My biggest priority is using my Chinese in some way, and not wasting what I have spent so much time and effort to attain. Not saying I need to translate complex business contracts to Chinese SOE's in a landmark M&A deal. But if I'm able to work with chinese clients and have an opportunity to eventually work in a Beijing/Shanghai satellite office, I'd be happy.

This decision is going to be a bitch to make. Some might say it's a good problem to have, but there is no runaway winner.. and I'm really regretting not taking melatonin before my LSAT takes.

BigZuck
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby BigZuck » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:32 pm

heyarnold wrote:hey thanks guys.

I'm out of retakes and am set on starting somewhere this August. As for the midwest, I'd be cool working in either Chicago or Detroit, but yeah I'd prefer the coasts. And I'm not biglaw or bust.. a mid-sized firm paying ~90-100k would be just fine. And that goes for Seattle as well, as I know how much of a pipe dream it is to get Perkins Coie from UW. My biggest priority is using my Chinese in some way, and not wasting what I have spent so much time and effort to attain. Not saying I need to translate complex business contracts to Chinese SOE's in a landmark M&A deal. But if I'm able to work with chinese clients and have an opportunity to eventually work in a Beijing/Shanghai satellite office, I'd be happy.

This decision is going to be a bitch to make. Some might say it's a good problem to have, but there is no runaway winner.. and I'm really regretting not taking melatonin before my LSAT takes.

Getting a firm job for 90-100K and eventually transferring to an Asian office are both going to be very difficult. 90-100K jobs aren't just a fallback for people who miss out on big law. They're pretty much as hard to get as big law. They also don't exist in very meaningful numbers. Starting legal salaries are bi-modal- a good portion gets 160ishK, a larger portion gets 50ishK, and there is very little in between.

I just don't think you're being very realistic about what law school is, and particularly what these schools are. There will be some, relatively small, percentage of the class that gets big firm jobs, a more meaningful percentage that gets small firm/local gov/PI, and then another meaningful percentage left hanging in the lurch. Not saying you have to plan on being that third group, but at schools like these I think you do have to set your eyes on the second group.

Or not go, IMO

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storpappa
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby storpappa » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:37 pm

BigZuck wrote:Or not go, IMO


Those sort of answers have been a reason I love TLS. People who are willing to give out advice that is helpful, honest and not softballs

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: UW ($) vs ND ($$) vs GW sticker

Postby zombie mcavoy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:01 pm

everything zuck said.

you're being unrealistic OP. plan for the median outcome at any of these schools.




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