NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

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ykpn
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NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby ykpn » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:53 am

Right now I'm considering between these schools (waiting to hear back from Chicago and Penn but not holding my breath):
  • UCLA($120,000 award, COA = ~$100,000)
  • WUSTL (Full scholarship, COA = ~$60,000)
  • GULC ($30,000 award, COA = ~$200,000)
  • Northwestern (Presumably sticker??)

My numbers are LSAT = 168 (took twice), GPA = 3.7. Right now I'm leaning towards UCLA, but I'm getting some push back from the people I ask for advice. I'm from Rhode Island, but have even more significant ties to CA and I eventually want to work there. I have a little flexibility with money since my family is willing to contribute a portion of whatever I have to pay. For future goals, I'll probably try for Biglaw, although I would like to try for a federal judicial clerkship if feasible.

Besides the obvious issue of cost vs. prestige, I'm also wondering how valuable it is to attend a school where you're more likely to rank nearer the top of the class. E.g., is it better to be in the top 25% at UCLA than the 50th percentile or lower at Northwestern?

Thanks to anyone taking the time to read and respond.

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Dog
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby Dog » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:16 pm

Since you want California I think UCLA is easily the winner right now. Northwestern might give you some money but it probably won't be enough to be competitive for someone with CA goals.

You might place slightly higher in your class at UCLA than Northwestern, but I really doubt the difference would be anywhere near as significant as top 25% vs. median. Also, I'm not sure top 25% at Northwestern is significantly better (if at all) than top 25% at UCLA for California.
Last edited by Dog on Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomo
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:17 pm

With GULC and UCLA you're talking about spending serious money for a less than 50% chance at reaching your goal (biglaw). I wouldn't do them. (Though I would recommend UCLA if you felt like you could be really happy doing something other than biglaw).

The price at WUSTL is really good, but you shouldn't do it unless you're very comfortable with the possibility of working in a small firm.

NU at sticker is just crazy. Even if you get biglaw you lose. You're looking at debt payments of at least 2k/months for 10 years or 3k/month for 10 years.

Also, I wouldn't make a federal clerkship a primary goal. Its a one year job. It can be helpful for litigators, and for most people its more fun than firm work. By all means apply for one. But its still just a one year job.

BigZuck
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:28 pm

I would deposit at UCLA and focus on a June retake for a hopeful retake/reapply scenario. You're scoring at a level where every single point makes a big difference and you could end up with much better offers.

hearsay77
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby hearsay77 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:18 pm

I'm deciding between almost exactly the same schools and have almost the same stats (slightly lower GPA). Interested to see what you pick & why!

BigZuck
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:21 pm

hearsay77 wrote:I'm deciding between almost exactly the same schools and have almost the same stats (slightly lower GPA). Interested to see what you pick & why!

Focus on a June retake for a hopeful retake/reapply scenario. You're scoring at a level where every single point makes a big difference and you could end up with much better offers.

Sue_Lawyer
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby Sue_Lawyer » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:25 pm

If you want to be in LA and do big law definitely go with UCLA. UCLA is a defacto T14 but it is limited only to the West Coast. If you don't want to do big law or want to be in the Midwest or both, WashU is the best option.

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eriedoctrine
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby eriedoctrine » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:29 pm

UCLA for Cali, WUSTL for everything else.

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ILoveYou
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Re: NU v. GULC$ v. UCLA$$$ v. WUSTL$$$$

Postby ILoveYou » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:35 pm

Just want to echo that UCLA is probably your best choice if you decide not to retake/reapply.

GULC is a hard "no" for your goals at that price, as is NU at sticker.

WUSTL's offer is intriguing, but I would encourage you not to take it. If you don't have strong ties to STL/don't want to work in the midwest, that could easily turn into a situation where you can't land BigLaw, particularly since you most want it in CA.

And on the rankings, I agree with what some others have said. I don't think someone who would be top 25% at UCLA is in serious danger of not being at least top 1/3rd at all of these schools, but it's also impossible to gauge where you'll land grade-wise before you get there, so I wouldn't let it weigh too heavily on your mind.

Best of luck!




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