Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

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Harvard ($) or Northwestern ($$$$)

Harvard ($)
69
50%
Northwestern ($$$$)
68
50%
 
Total votes: 137

Nebby

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Nebby » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:36 am

thelincolnlawyer wrote:I originally voted for NW but changed to Harvard since you don't really seem set in your goals. If you end up trying to go for Gov/PI/Politics, Harvard probably opens more doors and connections. If you were dead set on big-law, NW would be my vote.

I voted for that little school in Cambridge for this reason.

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cc1012

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:09 am

Nebby wrote:
thelincolnlawyer wrote:I originally voted for NW but changed to Harvard since you don't really seem set in your goals. If you end up trying to go for Gov/PI/Politics, Harvard probably opens more doors and connections. If you were dead set on big-law, NW would be my vote.

I voted for that little school in Cambridge for this reason.


It seems that both options are defensible and I need to go with my gut.

Knowing how debt averse TLS is, I would consider a virtual tie to be a slight win for Harvard.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:24 pm

Re: learning what you're interested in in law school - studying something in class is very very different from practicing it. I didn't realize what I did/didn't like in practice until I'd graduated and was clerking and seeing what litigation looked like in practice (not helpful for transactional people of course). And I interned every semester 2L/3L and did a clinic.

(I think it's easiest to get a sense of what criminal law or legal aid are like during law school, since you can usually intern/do a clinic doing exactly those things.)

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby NUDad » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:49 pm

Tough choice to make and two very good opportunities. NU tips the scales for me, because graduating debt-free is a huge benefit, especially when you are unclear about career goals going into law school. No debt = freedom to do what you want to do.

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cc1012

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:05 pm

NUDad wrote:Tough choice to make and two very good opportunities. NU tips the scales for me, because graduating debt-free is a huge benefit, especially when you are unclear about career goals going into law school. No debt = freedom to do what you want to do.


I guess the question is: when speaking to the flexibility of career options, is it better to graduate from a T14 debt free or graduate from HLS with significant debt?

Lots of great opinions and I appreciate everyone's input.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Chrstgtr » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:12 pm

cc1012 wrote:
NUDad wrote:Tough choice to make and two very good opportunities. NU tips the scales for me, because graduating debt-free is a huge benefit, especially when you are unclear about career goals going into law school. No debt = freedom to do what you want to do.


I guess the question is: when speaking to the flexibility of career options, is it better to graduate from a T14 debt free or graduate from HLS with significant debt?

Lots of great opinions and I appreciate everyone's input.


Always debt free. If you have significant debt you will be forced to go into or stay in a job that you may not want. HLS is great, but I cannot imagine turning down NU for free.

I also wouldn't consider your parents contribution at all. If they are paying that is money that is still being taken out of your family

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Nebby » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:16 pm

It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.

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cc1012

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:18 pm

Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Nebby » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:20 pm

cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby star fox » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:04 pm

Nebby wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

To OP: I come out the other way on this. You only got one life. Your future cash flow is going to be extremely impacted by a heavy student debt burden. That's something real and tangible that will impact the rest of your life.

And most people who aren't sure they want something other than BigLaw go through the whole OCI process. When you have an opportunity there in front of you before your 2L year, it's just a lot easier to do that then go against the grain and elect not to participate, unless you really know 100 % that's not for you. So my hunch without knowing you is that regardless of what you do, you'll probably end up participating in OCI and working at a BigLaw firm.

Ultimately though the choice is yours and yours alone. Crazy how dead-even this is. I feel like you're looking for justification for people to tell you to go to Harvard. So if that's what you want, then YOLO it. Neither I nor anyone else can decide your priorities for you.

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cc1012

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:57 pm

star fox wrote:
Nebby wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

To OP: I come out the other way on this. You only got one life. Your future cash flow is going to be extremely impacted by a heavy student debt burden. That's something real and tangible that will impact the rest of your life.

And most people who aren't sure they want something other than BigLaw go through the whole OCI process. When you have an opportunity there in front of you before your 2L year, it's just a lot easier to do that then go against the grain and elect not to participate, unless you really know 100 % that's not for you. So my hunch without knowing you is that regardless of what you do, you'll probably end up participating in OCI and working at a BigLaw firm.

Ultimately though the choice is yours and yours alone. Crazy how dead-even this is. I feel like you're looking for justification for people to tell you to go to Harvard. So if that's what you want, then YOLO it. Neither I nor anyone else can decide your priorities for you.


I wouldn't say that I am looking for someone to tell me to go to Harvard. I am taking a visit to NW late next week and, since the votes seem so evenly distributed, I will go with my gut. I am honestly wondering about people's opinions as I am very torn about what to do. All opinions are encouraged.

Both sides have made strong points about the merits of T14 debt free vs HLS w/debt.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby existentialcrisis » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:04 am

cc1012 wrote:
star fox wrote:
Nebby wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

To OP: I come out the other way on this. You only got one life. Your future cash flow is going to be extremely impacted by a heavy student debt burden. That's something real and tangible that will impact the rest of your life.

And most people who aren't sure they want something other than BigLaw go through the whole OCI process. When you have an opportunity there in front of you before your 2L year, it's just a lot easier to do that then go against the grain and elect not to participate, unless you really know 100 % that's not for you. So my hunch without knowing you is that regardless of what you do, you'll probably end up participating in OCI and working at a BigLaw firm.

Ultimately though the choice is yours and yours alone. Crazy how dead-even this is. I feel like you're looking for justification for people to tell you to go to Harvard. So if that's what you want, then YOLO it. Neither I nor anyone else can decide your priorities for you.


I wouldn't say that I am looking for someone to tell me to go to Harvard. I am taking a visit to NW late next week and, since the votes seem so evenly distributed, I will go with my gut. I am honestly wondering about people's opinions as I am very torn about what to do. All opinions are encouraged.

Both sides have made strong points about the merits of T14 debt free vs HLS w/debt.


I'd go NU here. It seems like typically people who are "undecided" about biglaw, generally end up doing it. A lot of people are "interested" in government, and yet, there they are at OCI.

If you are actually set on Government or PI right out of school, then this would change my thought process. Although, even then, it's not like these things are unattainable from NU, and it may be easier to chase them if you aren't saddled with 150k in debt.

I'm skeptical that HLS actually opens doors into politics.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Nebby » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:33 am

existentialcrisis wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
star fox wrote:
Nebby wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

To OP: I come out the other way on this. You only got one life. Your future cash flow is going to be extremely impacted by a heavy student debt burden. That's something real and tangible that will impact the rest of your life.

And most people who aren't sure they want something other than BigLaw go through the whole OCI process. When you have an opportunity there in front of you before your 2L year, it's just a lot easier to do that then go against the grain and elect not to participate, unless you really know 100 % that's not for you. So my hunch without knowing you is that regardless of what you do, you'll probably end up participating in OCI and working at a BigLaw firm.

Ultimately though the choice is yours and yours alone. Crazy how dead-even this is. I feel like you're looking for justification for people to tell you to go to Harvard. So if that's what you want, then YOLO it. Neither I nor anyone else can decide your priorities for you.


I wouldn't say that I am looking for someone to tell me to go to Harvard. I am taking a visit to NW late next week and, since the votes seem so evenly distributed, I will go with my gut. I am honestly wondering about people's opinions as I am very torn about what to do. All opinions are encouraged.

Both sides have made strong points about the merits of T14 debt free vs HLS w/debt.


I'd go NU here. It seems like typically people who are "undecided" about biglaw, generally end up doing it. A lot of people are "interested" in government, and yet, there they are at OCI.

If you are actually set on Government or PI right out of school, then this would change my thought process. Although, even then, it's not like these things are unattainable from NU, and it may be easier to chase them if you aren't saddled with 150k in debt.

I'm skeptical that HLS actually opens doors into politics.

HLS opens potential donors, your classmates, but yeah don't go to HLS and think you'll go into politics.

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cc1012

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:10 am

Nebby wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
star fox wrote:
Nebby wrote:
cc1012 wrote:
Nebby wrote:It's a lot easier to stick to principles when you don't have an actual HLS offer staring you down.


+1000000

This is a very tough decision for me.

Take the Harvard and run, man. You literally only have one life--make the most if it.

To OP: I come out the other way on this. You only got one life. Your future cash flow is going to be extremely impacted by a heavy student debt burden. That's something real and tangible that will impact the rest of your life.

And most people who aren't sure they want something other than BigLaw go through the whole OCI process. When you have an opportunity there in front of you before your 2L year, it's just a lot easier to do that then go against the grain and elect not to participate, unless you really know 100 % that's not for you. So my hunch without knowing you is that regardless of what you do, you'll probably end up participating in OCI and working at a BigLaw firm.

Ultimately though the choice is yours and yours alone. Crazy how dead-even this is. I feel like you're looking for justification for people to tell you to go to Harvard. So if that's what you want, then YOLO it. Neither I nor anyone else can decide your priorities for you.


I wouldn't say that I am looking for someone to tell me to go to Harvard. I am taking a visit to NW late next week and, since the votes seem so evenly distributed, I will go with my gut. I am honestly wondering about people's opinions as I am very torn about what to do. All opinions are encouraged.

Both sides have made strong points about the merits of T14 debt free vs HLS w/debt.


I'd go NU here. It seems like typically people who are "undecided" about biglaw, generally end up doing it. A lot of people are "interested" in government, and yet, there they are at OCI.

If you are actually set on Government or PI right out of school, then this would change my thought process. Although, even then, it's not like these things are unattainable from NU, and it may be easier to chase them if you aren't saddled with 150k in debt.

I'm skeptical that HLS actually opens doors into politics.

HLS opens potential donors, your classmates, but yeah don't go to HLS and think you'll go into politics.


Politics is an option that I am interested in, but I wouldn't say that I am expecting to go into it.

All in all, a very tough decision.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby kcdc1 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:28 am

One more thing to consider since you mentioned you were a URM applicant: I've read some threads on TLS discussing implicit workplace bias against AA attorneys. One study found that partners reviewed a memo substantially more negatively if they were told that an AA attorney wrote it. TLS'ers largely interpreted the finding as an argument for "over-credentialing" -- making your resume as strong as possible so that you are in the best position possible to overcome a deck that's stacked against you. The idea is that even if it's an objectively better choice for a white applicant to take a $$$ scholarship offer, it may be a different story for a URM applicant.

I'm not at all informed on these issues. Just wanted to bring it to your attention so that you can research it if it might make a difference in your calculus.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby existentialcrisis » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:36 am

kcdc1 wrote:One more thing to consider since you mentioned you were a URM applicant: I've read some threads on TLS discussing implicit workplace bias against AA attorneys. One study found that partners reviewed a memo substantially more negatively if they were told that an AA attorney wrote it. TLS'ers largely interpreted the finding as an argument for "over-credentialing" -- making your resume as strong as possible so that you are in the best position possible to overcome a deck that's stacked against you. The idea is that even if it's an objectively better choice for a white applicant to take a $$$ scholarship offer, it may be a different story for a URM applicant.

I'm not at all informed on these issues. Just wanted to bring it to your attention so that you can research it if it might make a difference in your calculus.


This is not a good reason to suggest taking out $150k worth of debt. URMs seem to get a boost at OCI, and OP is also patent bar eligible. If he wants a firm job, he will get one at OCI. Do you really think a HLS degree is going to change the mind of subconsciously biased (or even overtly racist) attorneys?

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby kcdc1 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:26 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:This is not a good reason to suggest taking out $150k worth of debt. URMs seem to get a boost at OCI, and OP is also patent bar eligible. If he wants a firm job, he will get one at OCI. Do you really think a HLS degree is going to change the mind of subconsciously biased (or even overtly racist) attorneys?

YMMV. Just bringing the issue up so that OP can look into it if s/he thinks it's relevant. I agree that OP will very likely get biglaw offers from either school. But I won't pretend to know how OP should value the prestige difference between HLS and NU (and I actually attend NU).

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:11 pm

There is no reason to pay $150k for Harvard over Northwestern just because you don't know what you want to do. Actually just the opposite. Harvard might keep a few doors open for you that Northwestern won't, but it doesn't literally hold your hand and walk you through the door. You have to seek out the opportunities and take advantage of them. And you have to do this by the end of your first year or else you will go through OCI and work at a big law firm for your 2L summer and then go back there after you graduate. That's what people do when they have the opportunity and don't have another clear goal. Don't take out a mortgage to do it.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Chrstgtr » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:00 am

I mention this only because politics keeps coming up in this thread and not because I think politics should have anything to do with your decision...But NU has a bevy of politicians of its own and NU grads tend to dominate Illinois politics. Yeah, NU produces no where near as many politicians as Harvard, but Harvard probably attracts more aspiring politicians, is twice as large, and adds some marginal political value. Also, NU doesn't produce nearly as many national politicians as Harvard. Either way though, politics is also a potential outcome from NU (again, I do not think you should go to NU or HLS because of political aspirations)

In about a year you will need to decide whether to pursue a big law path or a government path. Given your current agnosticism, I suspect you do big law like everyone else. Once you are in big law, entering into politics will probably depend more on you (personality, charisma, etc.) than on what your academic pedigree is. So I guess what I am trying to say is: if you are President or bust, go to HLS, otherwise your outcome between NU and HLS will likely be the same. NU for free is a great outcome, and few people will tell you HLS is a bad outcome, so you can't mess up too much in your decision here

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:53 am

If I understand correctly, Harvard's main advantages over NW are its prestige and the strength of its alumni network. I am interested in clerking and Harvard offers advantages for clerking too, correct?

I am planning on being very involved in student affinity groups so hopefully some of the more obscure options that Harvard offers will be more attainable.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby Nebby » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:54 am

cc1012 wrote:If I understand correctly, Harvard's main advantages over NW are its prestige and the strength of its alumni network. I am interested in clerking and Harvard offers advantages for clerking too, correct?

I am planning on being very involved in student affinity groups so hopefully some of the more obscure options that Harvard offers will be more attainable.

It's much easier to clerk coming from HLS, yes.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby kcdc1 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:25 am

Clerking is pretty attainable from NU too. My friends who were interested in clerking mostly got good offers.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby krads153 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:31 am

It seems like practicing attorneys will tell you to take the money, whereas law students and 0Ls will tell you to take Harvard....

I'm a practicing attorney and I'm telling you you should take the money.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby cc1012 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:08 pm

krads153 wrote:It seems like practicing attorneys will tell you to take the money, whereas law students and 0Ls will tell you to take Harvard....

I'm a practicing attorney and I'm telling you you should take the money.


I think that this is also a very valid point and kind of what I expected. I am speaking with a couple of attorneys this week to get their perspectives on my options.

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Re: Harvard ($) vs Northwestern ($$$$)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:30 pm

krads153 wrote:It seems like practicing attorneys will tell you to take the money, whereas law students and 0Ls will tell you to take Harvard....

I'm a practicing attorney and I'm telling you you should take the money.

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