Choosing a law school in the Midwest

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
rmlo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:30 pm

Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby rmlo » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:45 pm

I live in the Milwaukee area and are looking at law schools to apply to either this fall or next fall (depending on whether I can get a job to save up some money first). My husband's job is in Milwaukee so I am tied to this area but am willing to commute and my husband is willing to commute some. I have visited both Wisconsin Law in Madison and Marquette in Milwaukee. Madison impressed me more with more clinical opportunities and I think better professors. Since then I've started thinking about the Chicago schools. We could live south of Milwaukee and I could take the train in each day. Obviously University of Chicago and Northwestern are rated quite highly although come with a HUGE price tag.

I don't see myself going into big law and I don't know that I'm all that excited about Chicago or taking the train in each day. But I just feel like I shouldn't eliminate those two excellent schools.

For someone not looking to going into a big law firm and who plans to stay in the Milwaukee area, what would you recommend? What are your thoughts on each of these schools: Wisconsin Law, Marquette, University of Chicago, Northwestern?

EDIT:

Stats: GPA 3.67 Haven't taken the LSAT yet (scheduled for September) but have been practicing at 164 and hope to bring that up closer to 170.

But really right now, I'm just looking for what people's experiences have been with these law schools to determine what I even apply to and what should be at the top of my list. I realize University of Chicago and Northwestern are a reach but depending on my LSAT score they may be more of a possiblity.
Last edited by rmlo on Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

tiger 786
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby tiger 786 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:47 pm

Wisconsin is a great school in the region, and Illinois is an even better option in my opinion!

User avatar
poprox
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:58 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby poprox » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:06 pm

post your stats (gpa lsat) please

rmlo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:30 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby rmlo » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:44 am

GPA: 3.78

LSAT: Haven't taken yet but practicing around 164, hoping to improve that before the September test

User avatar
coolkatz321
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:31 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby coolkatz321 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:58 am

To even put UW or Marquette in the same category as NU or Chicago is absurd. It looks something like this:

1. Chicago

2. NU




3. Wisconsin












4. Marquette

I hate these threads, because you speculate about getting in without taking the LSAT. If you get a 164, you'll be in at Wisconsin and Marquette, out at NU and C. If you plan on staying in Wisconsin, Madison is an excellent school and one of the best bargains for in-state students in the US

Also, avoid Marquette.

User avatar
jaudette
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby jaudette » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:39 am

If you can raise you LSAT a bit I would think Minnesota would be your best option given your desire to stay in the frozen tundra of America.

I know you said you don't want biglaw, which is fine, but what kind of law are you considering?

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:55 am

tiger 786 wrote:Wisconsin is a great school in the region, and Illinois is an even better option in my opinion!


There is no justification whatsoever for ditching Wisconsin in-state tuition to go to Illinois. The only thing that gets you is spending 2-3x as much money.

For the OP's situation, even Illinois over Marquette is dubious. She lives *in* Milwaukee and wants to practice there. That makes Marquette much cheaper than Illinois. Unlike Chicago/Northwestern, Illinois will certainly involve relocation. You can't commute that. So Illinois is $50,000 a year while Marquette is closer to $30,000. For what the OP wants to do, how is that worth $60,000?

-

To the OP: If you don't really want to do mega-firm work and you want to stay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is probably better on a cost-benefit analysis than either Chicago or Northwestern. Most of what you gain by going to those schools are clerkship opportunities and a much higher placement in Chicago and national big law firms. In return, you spend much more money.

Don't let higher rankings convince you to do something it sounds like you certainly do not want to do.

dlindqui
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:27 am

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby dlindqui » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:09 am

rmlo wrote:For someone not looking to going into a big law firm and who plans to stay in the Milwaukee area, what would you recommend?


I would say Wisconsin would be your best choice. Northwestern and Chicago are great schools, however you said that you dont want big law and you want to stay in Milwaukee. Wisconsin is a regional school, but dominates the legal market that you want to stay in (Wisconsin). In state tuition and the possibility of a merit scholarship if you can score 168+ on your LSAT would seal the deal if i was in your situation.

jaudette wrote:If you can raise you LSAT a bit I would think Minnesota would be your best option given your desire to stay in the frozen tundra of America.


Minnesota offers in-state tuition to Wisconsin residents so i agree with jaudette that you should check out Minnesota as well, but i wouldnt expect significant differences in Wisconsin job opportunities graduating from Minnesota instead of Wisconsin.

rmlo
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:30 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby rmlo » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:20 am

coolkatz321 wrote:I hate these threads, because you speculate about getting in without taking the LSAT. If you get a 164, you'll be in at Wisconsin and Marquette, out at NU and C. If you plan on staying in Wisconsin, Madison is an excellent school and one of the best bargains for in-state students in the US


I'm not speculating where I will be able to get in which is why I didn't originally post any stats. I am asking for information on which schools I should even be considering (whether I get in or not is something that I will deal with later). If I decide to apply for next fall, I need to be ready to decide where to send applications as soon as I get my LSAT score.

And I know that University of Chicago and Northwestern are MUCH higher rated and not in the same league as Marquette BUT I really don't know that at TOP school is the best for everyone especially with the price tag that comes from it. If I don't go into a huge firm with a huge salary, it may be hard to pay off loans from the Chicago schools. But I didn't know if those schools would give me a leg up for getting into a small to mid-sized firm. Some of my interests at this point are family law or maybe employment law although I still would like to explore some other different areas.


ScaredWorkedBored wrote:There is no justification whatsoever for ditching Wisconsin in-state tuition to go to Illinois. The only thing that gets you is spending 2-3x as much money.

For the OP's situation, even Illinois over Marquette is dubious. She lives *in* Milwaukee and wants to practice there. That makes Marquette much cheaper than Illinois. Unlike Chicago/Northwestern, Illinois will certainly involve relocation. You can't commute that. So Illinois is $50,000 a year while Marquette is closer to $30,000. For what the OP wants to do, how is that worth $60,000?

-

To the OP: If you don't really want to do mega-firm work and you want to stay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is probably better on a cost-benefit analysis than either Chicago or Northwestern. Most of what you gain by going to those schools are clerkship opportunities and a much higher placement in Chicago and national big law firms. In return, you spend much more money.

Don't let higher rankings convince you to do something it sounds like you certainly do not want to do.


Thank you! With all my research, I keep coming back to the question of whether I really will get a big enough advantage, for what I want to do, attending a school with such a huge price tag even if it is rated so high. My gut keeps telling me that Madison is the best choice (although I will apply to at least both WI schools).

jaudette wrote:If you can raise you LSAT a bit I would think Minnesota would be your best option given your desire to stay in the frozen tundra of America.


My husband's job is in Milwaukee so Minnesota is too far unfortunately. A few years ago while we were actually living in the Twin Cities it would have made sense but now he is happy in a job here in Milwaukee. But thanks for the thought.

User avatar
coolkatz321
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:31 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby coolkatz321 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:25 am

rmlo wrote:Thank you! With all my research, I keep coming back to the question of whether I really will get a big enough advantage, for what I want to do, attending a school with such a huge price tag even if it is rated so high. My gut keeps telling me that Madison is the best choice (although I will apply to at least both WI schools).



Oh, believe me, Madison is the best choice. The school is excellent and Madison is just an amazing, amazing city. My personal bias towards the school definitely has no bearing on the belief that you should attend if admitted. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Rocketman11
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:32 am

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby Rocketman11 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:54 am

Wisconsin-Madison is a great school I don't think you'd be disappointed there, esp with in-state tuition.

weezyrokk
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby weezyrokk » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:33 pm

Coming from a Chicagoan, Madison is really your only choice.

Marquette is pretty much looked down on as an expensive safety school. Besides, if you're based in Milwaukee you can easily move 15 minutes south of the city (past the IL border) and get IL in-state tuition for a school like NIU which is less than half the cost than Marquette. Since you're not looking into biglaw you should really take into consideration the overall cost.

User avatar
coolkatz321
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:31 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby coolkatz321 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:47 pm

weezyrokk wrote:Coming from a Chicagoan, Madison is really your only choice.

Marquette is pretty much looked down on as an expensive safety school. Besides, if you're based in Milwaukee you can easily move 15 minutes south of the city (past the IL border) and get IL in-state tuition for a school like NIU which is less than half the cost than Marquette. Since you're not looking into biglaw you should really take into consideration the overall cost.


Choosing NIU over UW-Madison would be a pretty poor decision. There's no reason to move across the border when you can attend an outstanding state school at a bargain price. NIU may be less than Marquette, but UW easily trumps both of them.

User avatar
poprox
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:58 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby poprox » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:21 pm

Rocketman11 wrote:Wisconsin-Madison is a great school I don't think you'd be disappointed there, esp with in-state tuition.


Yeah, I'd say shoot for Madison, it would be an excellent choice for your situation. Maybe move to Brookfield and commute if you don't want to pick up and go all the way to Madison for three years...

hithere
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby hithere » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:16 am

did you say you are getting over a 170 lsat? go for Michigan

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:39 am

hithere wrote:did you say you are getting over a 170 lsat? go for Michigan


Yay for not reading the thread at all.

LawSchoolWannaBe
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:57 am

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby LawSchoolWannaBe » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:24 pm

poprox wrote:
Rocketman11 wrote:Wisconsin-Madison is a great school I don't think you'd be disappointed there, esp with in-state tuition.


Yeah, I'd say shoot for Madison, it would be an excellent choice for your situation. Maybe move to Brookfield and commute if you don't want to pick up and go all the way to Madison for three years...


Delafield or even Johnson Creek are nice as well. JC would be 30-40 minutes each way, but it's way cheap and is almost in the middle.

Brookfield is definitely a nice place. Brookfield Hills apartments are right next to 94.

weezyrokk
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:36 am

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby weezyrokk » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:38 pm

coolkatz321 wrote:
weezyrokk wrote:Coming from a Chicagoan, Madison is really your only choice.

Marquette is pretty much looked down on as an expensive safety school. Besides, if you're based in Milwaukee you can easily move 15 minutes south of the city (past the IL border) and get IL in-state tuition for a school like NIU which is less than half the cost than Marquette. Since you're not looking into biglaw you should really take into consideration the overall cost.


Choosing NIU over UW-Madison would be a pretty poor decision. There's no reason to move across the border when you can attend an outstanding state school at a bargain price. NIU may be less than Marquette, but UW easily trumps both of them.

Uh, I said Madison was her only choice in the first sentence. NIU was a suggestion as a safety over Marquette.

Carlisle
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: Choosing a law school in the Midwest

Postby Carlisle » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:44 pm

i visited marquette and if rankings didn't exist i would go based on the two hours i spend with the admissions folks. The new campus will be really nice and the city is pretty loyal to marquette. with your numbers it would be cheap. i'm not saying you should go, specially if madison is an option, but it is something worth considering.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: carasrook, theothercat and 14 guests