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UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$ (new edit)

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:32 pm
by GenericLawApplicant
Edit: After talk with family, lawyers, and law professors, I'm even more stuck. It's hard because no one went to both schools. I have people pushing me in both directions. What it comes down to is the career of course. The results are key. Further, the scholarship offers aren't all that different.

That being said, I would really, really like to be at UVA; due to the culture, the faculty, the students, the location, certain organizations, etc., I'm very convinced that i would enjoy UVA more. Though I believe that this means I'd perform better at UVA, this is just speculation. Because of this, it's potentially a question of enjoying the next three years vs. the rest of my life.

I really have 0 interest in living in the city of Chicago (post law school), and not too excited about NYC (at this point anyway). But my hang up, since I'm targeting big law, is that the fact that Chicago may have access to better/more prestigious law firms (does it?). Does the fact that I may have political aspirations down the line score UVA any points? Are my federal clerkship aspirations a consideration one way or the other: the percentages are incredibly similar (though obviously more federal clerks come from UVA due to the extra class size), and if I'm able to clerk first, will the law school I went to matter much for getting into a great firm? If I can't clerk, will Chicago offer much better big law options than UVA outside of Chicago? (kind of a repeat question I know)

I really appreciate everyone who has helped me so far. Thanks for reading everyone.

...

Hey guys.

So I think I've narrowed down my schools to UVA Law and Chicago Law. I'm waiting on other offers, but still I'm pretty decided. I'm at or above the 75ths at both schools (for a frame of reference).

UVA offered me a 135k scholarship (and is out of funds), while Chicago offered me a 105k scholarship.

I've visited both, and I'm torn.

Broadly speaking, I intend to go big law after graduation, but I would really love to do a federal clerkship first if possible (so does everyone though I know). I'm also really interested in FedSoc, which I saw was pretty big at both schools. Finally, I would like to eventually end up in California (family reasons), but not picky until then.

So I'll go through what draws me to each.

Chicago:
Pros:
-I'm really into economics so the fact that a lot of classes are taught from that perspective is a big draw to me.
-Small school size seems great
-Was really impressed by the students and professors I talked to.

Cons:
-Living cost seems a big high.
-it's a lower scholarship than UVA
-Weather

UVA:
Pros:
-Higher scholarship at this point
-Beautiful town and campus.
-Really amazing culture (that I've seen), the people have been unbelievably nice (especially admissions staff)
-according to LST, federal clerkship rate is incredibly similar (though quality of clerkships is hard to ascertain)

Cons:
-Lower employment outcomes?

Thanks everyone. Any advice is appreciated!

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:37 pm
by Winston1984
Probably a good bit easier to get to CA from UChi than UVA. What is the total COA for each?

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:47 pm
by White Dwarf
I wouldn't read too much into UVA's Fed. Clerkship advantage. A lot of that is self-selection on UChi's part. You have at least as good a shot at an FC from Chicago if you want one.

UChi is significantly safer in terms of job prospects, especially if you want biglaw. That said, $45K + additional COL for Chicago is a lot of money, and I think the general consensus on this board is that Chicago isn't that much better than UVA.

Honestly though, both options are quite defensible.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:57 pm
by Mal Reynolds
Winston1984 wrote:Probably a good bit easier to get to CA from UChi than UVA. What is the total COA for each?


What makes you say this. Especially since you are a 0L.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:01 pm
by CanadianWolf
Since you have at least a 172/3.95, I think that you need to ask UChicago for more money. Regardless, it's still a tough choice.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:05 pm
by RSN
From everything I've heard, FedSoc at UVA is very, very strong. May be worth asking current students in the Ask forum for more info if you haven't already.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:41 pm
by Mack.Hambleton
If Chicago ups their offer I'd go there for the increased security of biglaw

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:42 pm
by Jakobe
You can swing a cheap CoL in Chicago, just move a couple blocks over to Englewood

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:58 pm
by Winston1984
Mal Reynolds wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Probably a good bit easier to get to CA from UChi than UVA. What is the total COA for each?


What makes you say this. Especially since you are a 0L.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/compare/chicago/uva/
Chicago is sending more than twice to CA. That could obviously be self selection, but seems to be commonly stated that Chicago does well in CA. Haven't really heard that about UVA. Not sure what being an 0L has to do with anything.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:06 pm
by Mal Reynolds
Winston1984 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Probably a good bit easier to get to CA from UChi than UVA. What is the total COA for each?


What makes you say this. Especially since you are a 0L.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/compare/chicago/uva/
Chicago is sending more than twice to CA. That could obviously be self selection, but seems to be commonly stated that Chicago does well in CA. Haven't really heard that about UVA. Not sure what being an 0L has to do with anything.


Because how could you know whether it's self selection or not. It's probably best not to speculate about placement without first having gone to law school, especially at either of the two schools in question.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:35 am
by Winston1984
Mal Reynolds wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Probably a good bit easier to get to CA from UChi than UVA. What is the total COA for each?


What makes you say this. Especially since you are a 0L.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/compare/chicago/uva/
Chicago is sending more than twice to CA. That could obviously be self selection, but seems to be commonly stated that Chicago does well in CA. Haven't really heard that about UVA. Not sure what being an 0L has to do with anything.


Because how could you know whether it's self selection or not. It's probably best not to speculate about placement without first having gone to law school, especially at either of the two schools in question.

So how would someone who isn't at either school (or isn't working in CA) be able to give the OP advice? I mean, do you think a 3L at Cornell targeting NYC should be able to help? I really don't think what I said is that controversial.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:46 am
by Mal Reynolds
People who have gone through OCI and/or targeted California have a much better idea of what job placement actually looks like at a certain school. I'm extremely dubious of the claim that u Chicago is "better" at placing people into California jobs than UVA rather than just happening to send more of their students there. Cornell sends more students to nyc than u Chicago. Does that mean you'd be better served going to Cornell than u Chicago for nyc? Absolutely not.

0Ls really just shouldn't give job placement advice.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:37 am
by GenericLawApplicant
Do you guys think that the similarity of federal clerking rates between the two schools is self selection?

I looked at the last four years (I think it's accurate) and it's strikingly similar.

2011, UVA had 10.8% and Chicago had 9.5%.
2012, UVA had 12.6%, and Chicago had 15%.
2013, UVA had 12.9% and Chicago had 10.2%.
2014, UVA has 15.19% and Chicago has 15.71%

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:42 am
by OhBoyOhBortles
I'd go UVA. Can't go wrong with either though, congrats on the great options!

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:22 pm
by daleearnhardt123
It amazes me that the COL in Charlottesville is listed as only 2,500 less than Chicago. Holding all other costs constant (like food, transportation, leisure) that means that rent in Chicago is only about $200 more for a bedroom per month. That seems grossly inaccurate. You can get a bedroom in Cville for 500 easy (though you'll have a roommate at that price). Seems impossible that you're getting a bedrooom in a safe part of Chicago for only 700.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:25 pm
by jbagelboy
Mal Reynolds wrote:People who have gone through OCI and/or targeted California have a much better idea of what job placement actually looks like at a certain school. I'm extremely dubious of the claim that u Chicago is "better" at placing people into California jobs than UVA rather than just happening to send more of their students there. Cornell sends more students to nyc than u Chicago. Does that mean you'd be better served going to Cornell than u Chicago for nyc? Absolutely not.

0Ls really just shouldn't give job placement advice.


I completely agree with you in principle wrt advise giving, but in fairness I do think for some of the more competitive firms -- irell, gibson, munger -- there's an advantage coming from chicago versus virginia. Probably not worthwhile making a distinction for offices of large firms in california on the whole though except to the degree chicago's placement is generally stronger into large firms nationwide

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:30 pm
by Mal Reynolds
You're not going to convince me u Chicago is better at placing students in California because it's better for MTO. Only super nerds work there anyway.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:33 pm
by BruceWayne
From what I saw people with median and above grades with California ties don't really have problems getting back to California at UVA. The issue comes when you fall below the median. If there's a significant difference between the 2 schools it's going to be in regard to what happens when you fall below the median (which is half of the class so its' relevant). But I really have never connected/talked to anyone from UChicago to know what it's like for them.

Honestly, If I were the OP I would reach out to Chicago and see if you can get in touch with their students who are from California.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:33 pm
by jbagelboy
Mal Reynolds wrote:You're not going to convince me u Chicago is better at placing students in California because it's better for MTO. Only super nerds work there anyway.


aren't some of your friends working there? :P

I agree the distinction doesn't hold up generally, just at a few firms that care about a certain rather obtuse brand of pedigree (or that just traditionally have more students from those schools in summer classes so they keep recruiting more heavily there)

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:34 pm
by Mal Reynolds
jbagelboy wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:You're not going to convince me u Chicago is better at placing students in California because it's better for MTO. Only super nerds work there anyway.


aren't some of your friends working there? :P

I agree the distinction doesn't hold up generally, just at a few firms that care about a certain rather obtuse brand of pedigree


Yeah that dudes a loser. (It's not me because it might sound like that)

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:45 am
by Crowing
jbagelboy wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:You're not going to convince me u Chicago is better at placing students in California because it's better for MTO. Only super nerds work there anyway.


aren't some of your friends working there? :P


:lol:

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:03 am
by UnicornHunter
daleearnhardt123 wrote:It amazes me that the COL in Charlottesville is listed as only 2,500 less than Chicago. Holding all other costs constant (like food, transportation, leisure) that means that rent in Chicago is only about $200 more for a bedroom per month. That seems grossly inaccurate. You can get a bedroom in Cville for 500 easy (though you'll have a roommate at that price). Seems impossible that you're getting a bedrooom in a safe part of Chicago for only 700.


Definitely possible.

Most people probably won't do it though, so it's a fair point if the majority of UVA's class is paying 500.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:20 am
by Big Dog
what's your financial situation? Paying with loans, or do you have wealthy parents? If the latter, I'd vote Chicago.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:31 pm
by GenericLawApplicant
Big Dog wrote:what's your financial situation? Paying with loans, or do you have wealthy parents? If the latter, I'd vote Chicago.

I'll be paying with loans, which will be added to my moderate undergrad loans.

Re: UVA$$ vs Chicago$/$$

Posted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:43 pm
by BiglawAssociate
GenericLawApplicant wrote:
Big Dog wrote:what's your financial situation? Paying with loans, or do you have wealthy parents? If the latter, I'd vote Chicago.

I'll be paying with loans, which will be added to my moderate undergrad loans.


Wut? What's total COA? Seems like both Chicago and UVA may be too expensive for you depending on your undergrad loans.