Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which?

Harvard (near sticker)
7
14%
UChicago ($75k)
22
44%
Northwestern ($120k)
21
42%
 
Total votes: 50

LikelyThrowaway
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:19 am

Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby LikelyThrowaway » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:18 pm

Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

I'm from the west coast and would probably like to end up that way eventually. I really liked the city of Chicago when I visited, haven't been to Boston yet.

I'll be paying for law school myself.

Thoughts from the infamous TLS?

cheaptilts
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby cheaptilts » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:21 pm

Your interests are pretty general, so I would take NU. You wouldn't be crazy to take UChi, but that's a couple years (not months) of loan payments from UCHI you'd have to make while working the same job you would've gotten from NU...assuming your law school career leads you down the same path as over 70% of both NU and UCHI students, i.e., biglaw and clerking.

You could still get government work from both schools too. But outside being in the top few students in your class, academia would be foreclosed from NU. But it probably aint gonna happen at UChi either, if we're looking at the odds. Tough decision.

Easy decision is eliminating H though.
Last edited by cheaptilts on Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
presidentspivey
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:34 am

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby presidentspivey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:21 pm

LikelyThrowaway wrote:Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

I'm from the west coast and would probably like to end up that way eventually. I really liked the city of Chicago when I visited, haven't been to Boston yet.

I'll be paying for law school myself.

Thoughts from the infamous TLS?

If you're unsure about your career aspirations, I'd go for the school that will leave you with the least debt, which in this case, appears to be NU.

Purple Ranger
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:40 am

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby Purple Ranger » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:02 am

presidentspivey wrote:
LikelyThrowaway wrote:Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

I'm from the west coast and would probably like to end up that way eventually. I really liked the city of Chicago when I visited, haven't been to Boston yet.

I'll be paying for law school myself.

Thoughts from the infamous TLS?

If you're unsure about your career aspirations, I'd go for the school that will leave you with the least debt, which in this case, appears to be NU.


I'd argue that if you're unsure you'd want to keep all your options open.

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2641
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby UVA2B » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:13 am

Purple Ranger wrote:
presidentspivey wrote:
LikelyThrowaway wrote:Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

I'm from the west coast and would probably like to end up that way eventually. I really liked the city of Chicago when I visited, haven't been to Boston yet.

I'll be paying for law school myself.

Thoughts from the infamous TLS?

If you're unsure about your career aspirations, I'd go for the school that will leave you with the least debt, which in this case, appears to be NU.


I'd argue that if you're unsure you'd want to keep all your options open.


Is it worth it to pay $200k for a vague sense of "keeping your options open?" Harvard gives a non-negligible boost in most of the things OP is looking to do, but does not seem laser-focused on those goals. NU is the safest choice because it limits debt and still gives you flexibility to figure out what you want your legal career to be. It's unlikely they'll ever go into academia, but you know why that is? It's frustratingly difficult to break into unless you have a Ph.D, even from Harvard. I typically advise against unicorn goals for people when it doesn't fit and they aren't likely to get it, but it becomes especially inappropriate when those unicorn goals aren't even that critical because they're open to so many things.

Go to NU OP. Five years after graduating and being finished paying off your debt, you'll thank yourself.

User avatar
trebekismyhero
Posts: 771
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby trebekismyhero » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:16 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Purple Ranger wrote:
presidentspivey wrote:
LikelyThrowaway wrote:Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

I'm from the west coast and would probably like to end up that way eventually. I really liked the city of Chicago when I visited, haven't been to Boston yet.

I'll be paying for law school myself.

Thoughts from the infamous TLS?

If you're unsure about your career aspirations, I'd go for the school that will leave you with the least debt, which in this case, appears to be NU.


I'd argue that if you're unsure you'd want to keep all your options open.


Is it worth it to pay $200k for a vague sense of "keeping your options open?" Harvard gives a non-negligible boost in most of the things OP is looking to do, but does not seem laser-focused on those goals. NU is the safest choice because it limits debt and still gives you flexibility to figure out what you want your legal career to be. It's unlikely they'll ever go into academia, but you know why that is? It's frustratingly difficult to break into unless you have a Ph.D, even from Harvard. I typically advise against unicorn goals for people when it doesn't fit and they aren't likely to get it, but it becomes especially inappropriate when those unicorn goals aren't even that critical because they're open to so many things.

Go to NU OP. Five years after graduating and being finished paying off your debt, you'll thank yourself.


This exactly

User avatar
usn26
Posts: 939
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:24 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby usn26 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:52 pm

Need both total COA and debt at repayment. With that scholarship at NU it seems like that'd run you about 100-120k debt at graduation, give or take? If so I'd definitely choose H based on stated interests/goals, but obviously that's a decision that you'd regret if you ever decided to chase the cash.

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2641
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby UVA2B » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:00 pm

usn26 wrote:Need both total COA and debt at repayment. With that scholarship at NU it seems like that'd run you about 100-120k debt at graduation, give or take? If so I'd definitely choose H based on stated interests/goals, but obviously that's a decision that you'd regret if you ever decided to chase the cash.


The only thing that would make Harvard worth it would be significant need based aid. Everyone is a bit different WRT debt aversion and the boost Harvard would give in achieving their goals, and I didn't mention above that Harvard could make sense if need based aid is on the table to mitigate the difference in cost between NU and Harvard.

If need based aid is on the table, H>NU>Chicago
If not, NU>Harvard>Chicago

I completely agree that accurate COA calculations at all three are necessary, and I shouldn't have glossed over that fact. But without need based aid, in no way is Harvard worth $200k over NU. If you disagree, so be it.

User avatar
dm1683
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:57 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby dm1683 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:02 pm

Isn't NU like the worst school for PI/gov in the T13? I feel hesitant about recommending it in this case... OP didn't you apply to berkeley or nyu or something?

Alpal29
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby Alpal29 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:33 pm

dm1683 wrote:Isn't NU like the worst school for PI/gov in the T13? I feel hesitant about recommending it in this case... OP didn't you apply to berkeley or nyu or something?


Dat Pritzker money is going a lot towards PI and NU is making a huge push to up their PI numbers. Lots of resources, not a lot of students using them right now because lol no one came to NU for PI.

It's really not a bad place to be if you want PI/Gov but you're going to be on the beginning of that push so you have no precedent.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10174
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:39 pm

I would take Chicago here. It's worth the extra cash over NU for these goals. And it's substantially similar in all your designated goals to HLS so with a $75k scholarship it's a superior value proposition.

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 19700
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby star fox » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:43 pm

I'd go Northwestern. $45K is a lot for some vague undefined goal when it sounds like you're just gonna do BigLaw out of school anyways ("wouldn't be opposed" -> See you at OCI)

pyramidenergy888
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:44 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby pyramidenergy888 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:16 pm

At a glance it seems like Chicago is the best value.

RedPurpleBlue
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:41 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:37 pm

pyramidenergy888 wrote:At a glance it seems like Chicago is the best value.


At a glance, it doesn't seem like $45k more debt is worth the same outcomes.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 10174
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:42 pm

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
pyramidenergy888 wrote:At a glance it seems like Chicago is the best value.


At a glance, it doesn't seem like $45k more debt is worth the same outcomes.

Its not really the same. It's tough to argue Northwestern and UChicago place equally into the types of jobs OP hopes to attain.

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 19700
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby star fox » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:46 pm

Problem is OP has no clue what he wants to do

Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.

WheninLaw
Posts: 618
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:35 pm

Re: Harvard vs UChicago ($75k) vs Northwestern ($120k)

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:49 pm

star fox wrote:Problem is OP has no clue what he wants to do

Interested in government work, clerkships, academia, maybe public interest (so still pretty unsure about career aspirations). Not opposed to working BL for a bit to pay off loans and pad my resume.


I feel like most of these people just end up in big law, so I'd take NU.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: obligatorysnark and 4 guests