Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

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What should I do?

Columbia at sticker
7
5%
Northwestern freeride
141
91%
If no luck with Harvard - recycle
7
5%
 
Total votes: 155

FLSFHYS

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Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby FLSFHYS » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:55 pm

Apart from the offers in the title, having a pretty crappy cycle. Waitlisted almost everywhere I want to go, including Harvard. Still no response from Chicago and NYU. I did apply kind of late, January to be specific, so that may have been the problem. Stats are 173 LSAT, GPA in the upper half of 3.8. Not a URM. Ok softs (several years of work experience and a diversity statement about immigrating as an adult and learning English on arrival). Registered for the June LSAT (3rd attempt) to try to hit that 180 to get off the Harvard waitlist (JS1->WL, slightly above both medians). Career goal is biglaw in California, 1st choice for which (Stanford) straight up rejected me. If no luck with Harvard this year, currently planning to attend Columbia. But this Pritzker freeride... Am I crazy to want to turn it down? It just seems that getting to the West Coast with their degree might be problematic, no? I mean they are a T13, but it is unclear how much their low employment numbers for Cali are explained by self-selection, and how much by Cali's market insulation.
Another consideration is getting a JD/MBA for future career security (I am considering possibly going into business 5-10 years after graduation, based on how the law career would be working out), but that only seems to be worth it if it's from Harvard. If I would decide to go this route - I would be applying during 1L.
Any advice appreciated.

P.S. Berk WL'd me (1st Quartile), despite a pretty solid "Why Berk". I'm in at UCLA, but can't shake the feeling it would be kind of a waste with my stats, and may end up being more of a risk, considering a much lower chance of getting biglaw in Cali compared to HYSCCN.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Pure Applesauce » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:58 pm

NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

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jjcorvino

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby jjcorvino » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:01 pm

Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?


I agree that it is a great outcome, but I think that if OP retakes and scores higher (or applies early next year and gets some work experience over the next year) that they could get into Stanford. If it is all the way for California, then it might be worth it.

acr

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby acr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:02 pm

take NU free ride and don't look back

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Pure Applesauce » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:07 pm

I would take NU full ride over Stanford all day

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jjcorvino

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby jjcorvino » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:10 pm

Pure Applesauce wrote:I would take NU full ride over Stanford all day


A lot of people would. It really depends on debt tolerance.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Keilz » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:15 pm

jjcorvino wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?


I agree that it is a great outcome, but I think that if OP retakes and scores higher (or applies early next year and gets some work experience over the next year) that they could get into Stanford. If it is all the way for California, then it might be worth it.


I don't think scoring higher would do anything at this point. I think there must be something else in the app that is causing the WLs. OP, I think you can take NU, but if you really want Stanford or other peer schools, it's definitely possible with those stats, so try to figure out what else in your app you can improve on and apply next year. Best of luck!

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby FLSFHYS » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:25 pm

Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Npret » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:32 pm

Go to NU for free.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby acr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:37 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


I won't judge you for wanting to settle down in LA, but I wouldn't characterize landing LA from Northwestern as "fighting a major uphill battle." Not guaranteed, for sure, but a major uphill battle? I doubt it. If you get decent grades (top half?), start making connections in the LA legal market, and, here's the key, spend your 1L summer doing something in LA, I like the chances that Northwestern gives you. Where are you coming from, by the way? If West Coast then that gives you an additional advantage.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby LawMan16 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:17 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


Anecdotally, I work with a partner at my V50 firm originally from SoCal who went to NU and was hired in our LA office. The firm hired her as an associate and she worked her way up the ranks. Do well at NU and very little will be impossible.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby FLSFHYS » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:20 pm

acr wrote:
FLSFHYS wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


I won't judge you for wanting to settle down in LA, but I wouldn't characterize landing LA from Northwestern as "fighting a major uphill battle." Not guaranteed, for sure, but a major uphill battle? I doubt it. If you get decent grades (top half?), start making connections in the LA legal market, and, here's the key, spend your 1L summer doing something in LA, I like the chances that Northwestern gives you. Where are you coming from, by the way? If West Coast then that gives you an additional advantage.

Currently live in LA, have been here for a few years. Don't really want to live anywhere else :)
Before that, I lived in Northern California for several years ever since I immigrated. No ties to any other US states.
What is a good way to start making connections in LA's legal market? And how does one secure an LA 1L summer internship without OCI (something tells me LA firms won't be doing those at NU, though I may be wrong).

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby acr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:25 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:
acr wrote:
FLSFHYS wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


I won't judge you for wanting to settle down in LA, but I wouldn't characterize landing LA from Northwestern as "fighting a major uphill battle." Not guaranteed, for sure, but a major uphill battle? I doubt it. If you get decent grades (top half?), start making connections in the LA legal market, and, here's the key, spend your 1L summer doing something in LA, I like the chances that Northwestern gives you. Where are you coming from, by the way? If West Coast then that gives you an additional advantage.

Currently live in LA, have been here for a few years. Don't really want to live anywhere else :)
Before that, I lived in Northern California for several years ever since I immigrated. No ties to any other US states.
What is a good way to start making connections in LA's legal market? And how does one secure an LA 1L summer internship without OCI (something tells me LA firms won't be doing those at NU, though I may be wrong).


Just don't be too proud.

If you decide on Northwestern, then start reaching out to Northwestern alumni at the firms in LA asking to set up informational interviews/coffee/drinks/whatever to talk about their careers, practice area, firm, etc. Or find people from your undergrad, native country, etc. Anyone you have a connection with. Attend networking events in and around LA, sign up for the Bar Association, etc.

Then, when OCI/mass mail comes around, reach out to the contacts you've established asking if they'll push your resume to recruiting.

As for a 1L summer internship in LA, it likely won't be a Summer Associate position. Still apply, but just know that the odds of landing a 1L SA are small. So you will easily be able to set something else with the government or PI in LA, maybe volunteering with the DA, working in-house for a company, etc. There might be some LA positions posted on Northwestern's job board throughout 1L but you will likely set up your 1L summer (again, easily) on your own.

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guynourmin

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby guynourmin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:34 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:OCI (something tells me LA firms won't be doing those at NU, though I may be wrong).


something? I'm sorry, this is kind of dumb: have you called NU's career services and asked for a list of cali firms at OCI? They'll tell you, and they won't just give you some wishy-washy NU-is-portable answer, they'll tell you that and also tell you there are like 50+ LA firms at OCI or whatever the answer is. I am pretty sure you'll have no trouble getting LA from NU if you try at all. If you have other hesitations about NU, that's fine, but I don't think its portability should be one of them.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby tinyvessels » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:40 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


Take the money and run. If Columbia was located in a place were cost of living was little more reasonable, then maybe there would be a chance that it would be worth it, but not with the insane cost of living in NYC.

That being said, if you want LA Big law, you need to majorly hustle. Instead of listening to people on here about placement, you should look through the attorney databases of these big law firms in LA and see how well NU is represented. Spoiler alert - It's a rare school to see among BL associates in LA. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't happen for you though, it just means you really need to put major focus on creating some ties there and getting good internships/externships in the summer since you won't be able to during the school year.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:05 pm

I don't think that it would be particularly difficult to get LA Biglaw out of Northwestern. Certainly, it'd be easier with Stanford, but, unless you're very wealthy, this seems like the perfect opportunity to take the money and run.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Mullens » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:12 pm

FLSFHYS wrote:
acr wrote:
FLSFHYS wrote:
Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?

My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


I won't judge you for wanting to settle down in LA, but I wouldn't characterize landing LA from Northwestern as "fighting a major uphill battle." Not guaranteed, for sure, but a major uphill battle? I doubt it. If you get decent grades (top half?), start making connections in the LA legal market, and, here's the key, spend your 1L summer doing something in LA, I like the chances that Northwestern gives you. Where are you coming from, by the way? If West Coast then that gives you an additional advantage.

Currently live in LA, have been here for a few years. Don't really want to live anywhere else :)
Before that, I lived in Northern California for several years ever since I immigrated. No ties to any other US states.
What is a good way to start making connections in LA's legal market? And how does one secure an LA 1L summer internship without OCI (something tells me LA firms won't be doing those at NU, though I may be wrong).


It is almost as easy as it is from Columbia so this post confuses. For 1L summer, you would apply to places in December and interview over winter break. Or some PI places might hire you with just a phone interview.

At OCI for 2L Summer there are two ways you could get a job. (1) Most of the big LA firms come to NU's OCI and (2) NU has some called OTIP (on tour interview program) where you interview with LA firms, in LA, before OCI. I know people who got jobs in LA both ways (and many of them didn't work in LA for their 1L summer so that's not even necessary).

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby rpupkin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:13 pm

tinyvessels wrote:
FLSFHYS wrote:My only concern about NU is being able to get LA biglaw with an NU degree without fighting a major uphill battle, considering how insulated the Cali market is. Would hate being stuck geographically away from the place I want to settle down at.


Take the money and run. If Columbia was located in a place were cost of living was little more reasonable, then maybe there would be a chance that it would be worth it, but not with the insane cost of living in NYC.

That being said, if you want LA Big law, you need to majorly hustle. Instead of listening to people on here about placement, you should look through the attorney databases of these big law firms in LA and see how well NU is represented. Spoiler alert - It's a rare school to see among BL associates in LA.

Eh. A NU student is going to be in as good of shape as a Penn/UVA/Duke student for SoCal big law. Obviously, HYS would be better (and B slightly better), but NU is fine. It's definitely the right choice here given the full ride.
Last edited by rpupkin on Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby Pomeranian » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:14 pm

Take the money and run! Enjoy Chicago!

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby NUDad » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:19 pm

Pure Applesauce wrote:NU free ride is one of the best outcomes possible. What else do you want?


No brainer.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby FLSFHYS » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:29 am

Emailed a partner at a V70 firm in LA that I happen to know with the question in the OP, and here is a part of his response:
"You can be in top third at Columbia and get a good job at most LA firms. At Northwestern you may have to be in the top 10-15% <...> The top-third vs. top 10-15% example is not hypothetical—I was extensively involved in recruiting at *different V50 firm name*, and this is roughly consistent with the grade cutoffs the firm used in deciding who to even consider for a call-back interview"

Seems to go against the common wisdom on these forums, but, considering this guy's credentials, it just made me lean towards Columbia that much more :/

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby brinicolec » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:35 am

FLSFHYS wrote:Emailed a partner at a V70 firm in LA that I happen to know with the question in the OP, and here is a part of his response:
"You can be in top third at Columbia and get a good job at most LA firms. At Northwestern you may have to be in the top 10-15% <...> The top-third vs. top 10-15% example is not hypothetical—I was extensively involved in recruiting at *different V50 firm name*, and this is roughly consistent with the grade cutoffs the firm used in deciding who to even consider for a call-back interview"

Seems to go against the common wisdom on these forums, but, considering this guy's credentials, it just made me lean towards Columbia that much more :/


I'm not really sure that sounds right. If that were true, I imagine NU's employment numbers would look VERY differently....

Edit: But then again, it could be since Cali is somewhat of an insular market.

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby trebekismyhero » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:38 am

FLSFHYS wrote:Emailed a partner at a V70 firm in LA that I happen to know with the question in the OP, and here is a part of his response:
"You can be in top third at Columbia and get a good job at most LA firms. At Northwestern you may have to be in the top 10-15% <...> The top-third vs. top 10-15% example is not hypothetical—I was extensively involved in recruiting at *different V50 firm name*, and this is roughly consistent with the grade cutoffs the firm used in deciding who to even consider for a call-back interview"

Seems to go against the common wisdom on these forums, but, considering this guy's credentials, it just made me lean towards Columbia that much more :/


That definitely seems false. Reach out to NU alums in LA and ask. Going to Columbia at sticker when you have a full ride at NU is crazy

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:40 am

FLSFHYS wrote:Emailed a partner at a V70 firm in LA that I happen to know with the question in the OP, and here is a part of his response:
"You can be in top third at Columbia and get a good job at most LA firms. At Northwestern you may have to be in the top 10-15% <...> The top-third vs. top 10-15% example is not hypothetical—I was extensively involved in recruiting at *different V50 firm name*, and this is roughly consistent with the grade cutoffs the firm used in deciding who to even consider for a call-back interview"

Seems to go against the common wisdom on these forums, but, considering this guy's credentials, it just made me lean towards Columbia that much more :/

Although I won't go so far as to say that the partner was being untruthful or imprecise, I don't think his estimates are representative of the overall market. I've always thought that CLS and Chicago got a slight overall bump over the non-HYSB T14 in Southern California, but it's not on the order of top 33% versus top 10%-15%. The firm I summered at basically treated all non-HYS T14 schools the same in terms of grades. The firm I'm at now might give a CLS student a slight bump over a NU or a Penn or a Duke student, but it would be something like a 5% bump, if that.

Look, a CLS student has a slightly better chance of getting job in Cali compared to a NU student. Is that slight chance worth an extra $200K+ in debt? It's not even a close question.

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rpupkin

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Re: Columbia sticker vs NU freeride vs Retake and Recycle

Postby rpupkin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:51 am

FLSFHYS wrote:Emailed a partner at a V70 firm in LA that I happen to know with the question in the OP, and here is a part of his response:
"You can be in top third at Columbia and get a good job at most LA firms. At Northwestern you may have to be in the top 10-15% <...> The top-third vs. top 10-15% example is not hypothetical—I was extensively involved in recruiting at *different V50 firm name*, and this is roughly consistent with the grade cutoffs the firm used in deciding who to even consider for a call-back interview"

Seems to go against the common wisdom on these forums, but, considering this guy's credentials, it just made me lean towards Columbia that much more :/

Oh god, I just realized you were the OP. Dude, do not go to CLS at sticker because of what some random V70 partner told you. Partners are just people; they can be totally full of shit and wrong about stuff.

As others are saying, you can tell by the schools' respective placement statistics—in California and nationwide—that CLS and NU aren't that different. Talk to more lawyers—partners, recent grads, mid-level associates, senior associates, everyone.

Seriously, turning down a full ride at NU for sticker at CLS would be a massive, life-altering mistake.



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