American (WCL) or Northeastern?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
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ATOIsp07
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American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:27 pm

Hey y'alls!

I got into BOTH WCL and NU! I'm originally from Boston but would love to try somewhere else for a change of scenery. Assuming I receive comparable financial aid from both schools (or just withdrawing the financial factor in general), which school is better for employment, degree mobility, etc.? Help, please...

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oberlin08
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby oberlin08 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:32 pm

I vote WCL - I'm from D.C. and looking to go to NEU heheh..

Seriously though, D.C. is a great city and I love it to death.

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deadpanic
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby deadpanic » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:35 pm

I'd say American has better mobility, but both are going to be pretty regional.

I would say it comes down to $$ and city/area preference.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:21 pm

what about both of their rankings? going by USWNR, WCL kills NEU!

linquest
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby linquest » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:03 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:what about both of their rankings? going by USWNR, WCL kills NEU!


Couple possible reasons why:
-DC is a more popular place for law students than Boston-->larger applicant pool-->better applicant stats (GPA/LSAT). NUSL tends to be more willing to accept students with lower LSAT scores if the Admissions Committee thinks the applicant will contribute in more holistic ways to the student body/academic experience.
-NEU's emphasis on public interest and higher ratio of students going into that field means that the salary stats are going to be lower as private sector salaries far exceed public sector salaries.
-I have a theory that NUSL's "peer rating" (a heavily weighted factor) is lower because our professors don't publish as often as traditional schools. They have less time to work on law review articles (which is a huge factor in a school's reputation to other faculties) because our profs tend to teach more frequently than other schools under the quarter system and narrative evaluations take a lot more time than standard grading. Our students also don't publish as often because we didn't have our own law review until recently.

In short, NUSL's unique characteristics don't lend themselves well to playing the USNWR numbers game. Having said all that, I think American has slightly better mobility and employment prospects because of their traditional grading system and name recognition. On the other hand, NUSL offers great networking opportunities through co-op and an abnormally loyal alumni base in addition to the ability to differentiate yourself on factors other than numbers. I've personally gone head-to-head against American students for internship/job opportunities and won out, so it definitely is doable.

I think the greater questions are: does NUSL's non-traditional model appeal to you enough to turn down the "safer bet" of going to a higher-ranked, traditional school? Are you confident in your ability to "spin" NUSL's model and your experience enough to convince employers to outweigh more traditional hiring considerations (GPA/law review/etc)?

If you search lawschooldiscussion.com, there's a thread on the same topic that might give you further insights.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:04 pm

wow....what an effectively informative post....unbiased and you're a NEU student yourself. you've raised some excellent points in your posts! definitely plenty to consider. how would you describe the quality of student life on campus? and the quality of education (besides the focus on public interest)?

good stuff, keep it comin...i need as much info as possible!

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:12 pm

...bump?

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chadwick218
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:31 pm

American, hands down!

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:06 am

i'm bumping this because i'm still wrestling with this decision...

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FunkyJD
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby FunkyJD » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:01 pm

You should put this to a poll.

If money is equal, I would choose AU 10 times out of 10 over Northeastern. With both the public and private sectors growing there, DC is a great legal market to be in. And should you ever decide to leave the area where you studied, while both Northeastern and American are "regional" schools, the ABA says that AU grads are employed in 31 states, compared to 19 for Northeastern.

I would say go AU even if you're less interested in biglaw and more interested in public interest law. What's a better city in America to learn and practice public interest law than Washington, DC?

Also, ITE, I worry about anything billed as "non-traditional." If I'm going to go $50k-100k in debt for a degree, I want it to be very traditional. I don't want too many questions about it after I graduate.

http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA5007.pdf

http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... BA3667.pdf

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:36 pm

very good point, FunkyJD. And I suppose you don't get a Top-50 ranking from being an average or OK law school.

I don't even understand why people consider WCL that expensive. other schools are just as expensive if not more. NU is not much less expensive, if not similarly priced.

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FunkyJD
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby FunkyJD » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:14 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:I don't even understand why people consider WCL that expensive. other schools are just as expensive if not more. NU is not much less expensive, if not similarly priced.


I don't know if the problem with AU's cost is necessarily the cost, in and of itself, but rather, its cost relative to schools of better quality (or at least, better ranking).

AU, ranked 45th by USN, has FT tuition (per TLS) of $40.5k. Compare with:

George Mason (ranked 41st, and also in the DC market): $34.2k out-of-state, $20.5k res :!:
Wake Forest (ranked 40th): $35.4k
UNC (30th): $29.3k OOS, $16k res :!: :!:
W&M (28th): $31.8k OOS, $21.6 res
Notre Dame (23rd): $39.3k
Minnesota (20th): $34.7k OOS, $25.3 res
UT-Austin (15th): $43.8k OOS, $27.8 res
UVA (10th): $36.8 res

If you had to pay sticker for one of these, which of these would you choose? Whatever the answer is, it isn't AU.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:19 pm

hmm, good point!

Bankhead
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby Bankhead » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:42 am

AU never ever gives scholarships.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:45 am

Bankhead wrote:AU never ever gives scholarships.


I've heard that they are stingy with financial aid but I'm sure they dole out some money. I personally know of 3 people who've been awarded scholarships/grants. How much? I don't know. And I'm pretty sure there is a full-tuition scholarship for incoming applicants--i think about 10-15.

law vida loca
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby law vida loca » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:00 pm

Also weighing both schools...

I'm waiting to see what the financial aid packages from each end up looking like. I'm interested in public interest and love the fact that professors at both schools seem not only to be academics but activists...people who are still involved in social movements, etc.

I'm getting the impression that within the public interest world, NEU's T2 ranking is kind of deceiving...I guess at the heart of things, my question is: if i want to be involved in public interest (and more grassroots public interest) to what extent does ranking or prestige matter?!

Anyway, I know we're both factoring different things when deciding between the schools...but, yeah, i guess i just wanted to say i'm in the same boat!

I figure it's no use worrying too much about it all until I hear more about the $$$$.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:21 pm

law vida loca wrote:Also weighing both schools...

I'm waiting to see what the financial aid packages from each end up looking like. I'm interested in public interest and love the fact that professors at both schools seem not only to be academics but activists...people who are still involved in social movements, etc.

I'm getting the impression that within the public interest world, NEU's T2 ranking is kind of deceiving...I guess at the heart of things, my question is: if i want to be involved in public interest (and more grassroots public interest) to what extent does ranking or prestige matter?!

Anyway, I know we're both factoring different things when deciding between the schools...but, yeah, i guess i just wanted to say i'm in the same boat!

I figure it's no use worrying too much about it all until I hear more about the $$$$.



This is true. I am from the Boston area and while NEU is reputable, I doubt that I would choose it over American (T1, more traditional, more reputable in lay prestige). But $$ talks...

theonemind
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby theonemind » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:29 pm

Northeastern is pretty stingy too. It is understandable, because they don't have a huge endowment, but it is still unfortunate. I got hefty scholarships from schools ranked as high as T30, but Northeastern offered me a measly 8,500 even though I am well above their 75ths. I like the school, but it is better to graduate with less debt, especially if you wanna do PI.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby ATOIsp07 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:37 pm

theonemind wrote:Northeastern is pretty stingy too. It is understandable, because they don't have a huge endowment, but it is still unfortunate. I got hefty scholarships from schools ranked as high as T30, but Northeastern offered me a measly 8,500 even though I am well above their 75ths. I like the school, but it is better to graduate with less debt, especially if you wanna do PI.


True, I bet with your numbers (only bcuz you mentioned being above NEU's 75th percentile) you would've been offered more than that. Hell, you probably would've been a great candidate to nab the PIPS scholarship....

either way, I'd choose American over NEU every day of the week and twice on Sunday!

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daddymike
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Re: American (WCL) or Northeastern?

Postby daddymike » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:42 am

ATOIsp07 wrote:either way, I'd choose American over NEU every day of the week and twice on Sunday!



+1.





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