Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

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djdral
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Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby djdral » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:17 pm

Debt at Repyament
WashU —  $39,000
Northwestern — $126,000


I'm primarily focused on public interest but not opposed to biglaw. I'm open-minded at this point and believe I can succeed in a variety of fields, so I want to keep doors and options open. I have strong ties to D.C. nonprofits, and don't care where I end up as long as its a city and isn't in on the west coast.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by djdral on Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

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ILoveYou
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby ILoveYou » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:46 pm

Disclaimer: I'm probably going to end up at NU.

But, at those cost differences, I think NU is the right call. I would absolutely pay 37k more for NU than Vandy with your goals. Fwiw, I went to NU's asw and they actually have some pretty great PI offerings. But, if you're pretty debt averse and decidedly interested in PI, I could see Vanderbilt making sense. With a fully, WashU would be defensible as well. Hth

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starry eyed
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby starry eyed » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:44 pm

northwestern is very much worth an extra 60k for the better job prospects

you should strongly reconsider

you can get biglaw if you want it (pretty much), lrap, more preftigious Public interest opportunites....

CanadianWolf
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:33 am

Northwestern is in a different league than the other two options regarding job placement. WashUStL may increase your scholarship offer if you do nothing at all. If WashUStL increases their scholarship offer to a full tuition & fees scholarship, then you have an attractive option versus NU since you're not seeking biglaw. Ask Vanderbilt for more money. But, as things are now, Northwestern, although the highest COA, is probably the best investment among the 3 options.

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cron1834
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby cron1834 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:59 pm

That's just about the most I'd pay, but NU.

BigZuck
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:52 pm

What kind of PI? And where?

djdral
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Re: WashU ($$$) vs. Vanderbilt ($$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby djdral » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:27 am

Thanks for the advice, all. I have strong ties with a lot of D.C. nonprofits and hope to do some sort of advocacy for libertarian-ish causes: immigration reform, first amendment advocacy, criminal justice reform etc. An example of a dream employer would be the Institute for Justice (https://www.ij.org/). I wouldn't even mind doing public defense.

I'm also very interested in doing litigation, esp constitutional. As for geographical preference, I'm sure my goals and ties lean heavily towards D.C. but nothing about the city itself is that special. If I can pursue my goals in NY, Chicago, Atlanta, wherever, it doesn't matter. As long as it's reasonably urban. Can't really see myself on the west coast though.

djdral
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby djdral » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:58 am

I've updated these numbers after some scholarship negotiation and family offers of assistance. Starry Eyed said earlier in the thread that he thought NU was absolutely worth $60,000 more than WashU.

Debt at Repayment
NU: 126,000
WashU: 39,000

What about $87,000?

I really want to go to Northwestern, but I also worry I don't have that realistic a picture of what it means to have so much debt compared to so little at WashU. I think if I make a biglaw salary I can pay down most of NU's debt anyway, and if I go into PI then LRAP and PSLF combine to make it moot anyway. I'm not going to be in the bottom half of the class at WashU so I'm not worried about unemployment. NU has a higher ceiling, but with more debt carries a greater risk. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

BigZuck
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:34 pm

You very easily could be bottom half of the class at WUSTL. Also, legal employment doesn't work the way you seem to think it does, it's not "Top half, you're good. Bottom half, you're screwed."

I would do more research on how people get hired into legal jobs and what employment is like from the schools you are considering and what it takes to get the types of jobs in the markets you desire before going to law school. You also need to figure out generally what it takes to get hired in PI vs getting hired in big law. Right now I don't think law school is a good idea for you.

If after all that you decide that you will probably just do the NYC big law thing then Northwestern is a solid choice.

djdral
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby djdral » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:18 pm

I guess what I mean to say with the "bottom half" line is: I feel confident about my work ethic and natural abilities, and I feel confident that I will do well in school.

As far as employment goes, I guess my ideal scenario would be to go into BigLaw for a while to see if I can hack it, and if it's not for me, to use the nonprofit ties I have to move into PI and wait for PSLF. Of course if I go to WashU, I can pay off my debt in a year or two of BigLaw.

I think I do have a general sense of how to get employment -- network, OCI, summer jobs, clinical work. I don't really know what you're suggesting I research. I've seen the ATL numbers and the LST numbers. Northwestern has half as much unemployment, twice as many BigLaw placements, and twice as many clerkships. But WashU has a higher percentage of the class going into PI — I assume that's more to do with people who want PI self-selecting out of expensive T14 schools than with WashU's actual ability to place grads in PI jobs.

What I'm not sure about is my relative position within the schools and how that will effect my job opportunities. Will being in the top 10% at WashU give me the same opportunities as being in the top 30% at NU? I understand there's no guarantee that I'll make in either group. I also understand it's not "top half you're good; bottom half you're screwed," but what better heuristic is there to use?

californiauser
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby californiauser » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:24 pm

WUSTL is never the right answer unless you want to work in Missouri.

BigZuck
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:39 pm

Lack of confidence in their own abilities/smartz isn't the problem with the vast majority of kids at the bottom of law school classes

You seem to want to/expect a lot of options open to you. Little a big law, little a PI, hell maybe I'll be a public defender if I feel like it! Law school isn't the oyster opening that people expect it to be, IMO. All those options won't be open to the vast majority of kids, probably even at great schools like NU.

WUSTL is a pretty good school if you want to work in the Midwest. Some degree of national recognition. Top of the class can possibly get big law in some markets.

NU is a T14, so solid placement into NYC big law. Ditto Chicago big law. A larger degree of national recognition/portability.

Will either get prestigious/hard to get PI in DC? I think that would be a really tall order. Not impossible but a tall order absent some ROCK SOLID connections (the kind that most law students would never have before law school). I think if you really want to have a shot at some of the stuff you're talking about you should probably go to like, Harvard or something. But maybe you're more rockly solid than I am giving you credit for. Just based on what I know about true PI gunners, the fact that you would even consider big law as a first option and PI as a backup suggests you won't ever work in PI and that your connections aren't nearly strong enough to get you a job there if you felt like it. Again though, maybe I'm wrong.

I don't think "Top X at school A vs Top Y at school B" is a particularly helpful exercise. It's just so hard to quantify that stuff.

I think just based on what you said I wouldn't go to WUSTL at all and I wouldn't go to NU unless NYC big law was a primary goal.

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sublime
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby sublime » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:46 pm

..

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eriedoctrine
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby eriedoctrine » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:50 pm

californiauser wrote:WUSTL is never the right answer unless you want to work in Missouri.


I would choose NU, but you're still an idiot.

californiauser
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby californiauser » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:04 pm

eriedoctrine wrote:
californiauser wrote:WUSTL is never the right answer unless you want to work in Missouri.


I would choose NU, but you're still an idiot.


25% of WUSTL grads don't get jobs as lawyers. 30% of WUSTL's grads work in Missouri. A handful of others work in NYC/DC. Retaking is almost always a better option than matriculating to WUSTL if you don't want to work in Missouri.

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Poldy
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby Poldy » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:08 pm

californiauser wrote:
eriedoctrine wrote:
californiauser wrote:WUSTL is never the right answer unless you want to work in Missouri.


I would choose NU, but you're still an idiot.


25% of WUSTL grads don't get jobs as lawyers. 30% of WUSTL's grads work in Missouri. A handful of others work in NYC/DC. Retaking is almost always a better option than matriculating to WUSTL if you don't want to work in Missouri.


What I'm getting from this is that half the class finds legal work outside of Missouri. I'm sure you'll find pretty similar statistics or worse at almost every school in the country outside of those at the very top.

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sublime
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby sublime » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:08 pm

..

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cron1834
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby cron1834 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:59 pm

djdral wrote:I guess what I mean to say with the "bottom half" line is: I feel confident about my work ethic and natural abilities, and I feel confident that I will do well in school.

As far as employment goes, I guess my ideal scenario would be to go into BigLaw for a while to see if I can hack it, and if it's not for me, to use the nonprofit ties I have to move into PI and wait for PSLF. Of course if I go to WashU, I can pay off my debt in a year or two of BigLaw.

I think I do have a general sense of how to get employment -- network, OCI, summer jobs, clinical work. I don't really know what you're suggesting I research. I've seen the ATL numbers and the LST numbers. Northwestern has half as much unemployment, twice as many BigLaw placements, and twice as many clerkships. But WashU has a higher percentage of the class going into PI — I assume that's more to do with people who want PI self-selecting out of expensive T14 schools than with WashU's actual ability to place grads in PI jobs.

What I'm not sure about is my relative position within the schools and how that will effect my job opportunities. Will being in the top 10% at WashU give me the same opportunities as being in the top 30% at NU? I understand there's no guarantee that I'll make in either group. I also understand it's not "top half you're good; bottom half you're screwed," but what better heuristic is there to use?

Umm, the heuristic is that you assume median at any decent school, and that you'll thusly have to hustle. Wtf? Every student at decent schools says the exact same thing as you, but curves demand mathematically that half of them will be proved wrong. You seem needlessly arrogant.

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lawdoggy
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby lawdoggy » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:06 pm

I wouldn't even put WashU and NU in the same sentence.

NU.

djdral
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby djdral » Sat May 02, 2015 3:07 pm

cron1834 wrote:
djdral wrote:I guess what I mean to say with the "bottom half" line is: I feel confident about my work ethic and natural abilities, and I feel confident that I will do well in school.

As far as employment goes, I guess my ideal scenario would be to go into BigLaw for a while to see if I can hack it, and if it's not for me, to use the nonprofit ties I have to move into PI and wait for PSLF. Of course if I go to WashU, I can pay off my debt in a year or two of BigLaw.

I think I do have a general sense of how to get employment -- network, OCI, summer jobs, clinical work. I don't really know what you're suggesting I research. I've seen the ATL numbers and the LST numbers. Northwestern has half as much unemployment, twice as many BigLaw placements, and twice as many clerkships. But WashU has a higher percentage of the class going into PI — I assume that's more to do with people who want PI self-selecting out of expensive T14 schools than with WashU's actual ability to place grads in PI jobs.

What I'm not sure about is my relative position within the schools and how that will effect my job opportunities. Will being in the top 10% at WashU give me the same opportunities as being in the top 30% at NU? I understand there's no guarantee that I'll make in either group. I also understand it's not "top half you're good; bottom half you're screwed," but what better heuristic is there to use?

Umm, the heuristic is that you assume median at any decent school, and that you'll thusly have to hustle. Wtf? Every student at decent schools says the exact same thing as you, but curves demand mathematically that half of them will be proved wrong. You seem needlessly arrogant.


I think taking $100k loan requires a little arrogance.

WashU has a relatively lower name recognition nationally, but I think the faculty, academics, and clinics are excellent. I think the PI opportunities will be similar at both schools. Just trying to figure out where I'd have to place relative to each school to get equal biglaw opportunities. A better question to ask may be: at what point do biglaw opportunities at WashU equal median opportunities at Northwestern?

BigZuck
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby BigZuck » Sat May 02, 2015 3:26 pm

djdral wrote:
cron1834 wrote:
djdral wrote:I guess what I mean to say with the "bottom half" line is: I feel confident about my work ethic and natural abilities, and I feel confident that I will do well in school.

As far as employment goes, I guess my ideal scenario would be to go into BigLaw for a while to see if I can hack it, and if it's not for me, to use the nonprofit ties I have to move into PI and wait for PSLF. Of course if I go to WashU, I can pay off my debt in a year or two of BigLaw.

I think I do have a general sense of how to get employment -- network, OCI, summer jobs, clinical work. I don't really know what you're suggesting I research. I've seen the ATL numbers and the LST numbers. Northwestern has half as much unemployment, twice as many BigLaw placements, and twice as many clerkships. But WashU has a higher percentage of the class going into PI — I assume that's more to do with people who want PI self-selecting out of expensive T14 schools than with WashU's actual ability to place grads in PI jobs.

What I'm not sure about is my relative position within the schools and how that will effect my job opportunities. Will being in the top 10% at WashU give me the same opportunities as being in the top 30% at NU? I understand there's no guarantee that I'll make in either group. I also understand it's not "top half you're good; bottom half you're screwed," but what better heuristic is there to use?

Umm, the heuristic is that you assume median at any decent school, and that you'll thusly have to hustle. Wtf? Every student at decent schools says the exact same thing as you, but curves demand mathematically that half of them will be proved wrong. You seem needlessly arrogant.


I think taking $100k loan requires a little arrogance.

WashU has a relatively lower name recognition nationally, but I think the faculty, academics, and clinics are excellent. I think the PI opportunities will be similar at both schools. Just trying to figure out where I'd have to place relative to each school to get equal biglaw opportunities. A better question to ask may be: at what point do biglaw opportunities at WashU equal median opportunities at Northwestern?

The faculty, academics, and clinics don't really matter at all though, especially when it comes to big law or national portability or whatever it is you're thinking of.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat May 02, 2015 3:30 pm

I'm not going to be in the bottom half of the class


oh look another one of these

hearsay77
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Re: Update: WashU ($$$) vs. Northwestern ($)

Postby hearsay77 » Sat May 02, 2015 4:29 pm

If you want biglaw, NU. If you want PI, WUSTL.

I was picking between these schools as well and chose NU, but I want biglaw.




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