Notre Dame vs. Illinois

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jbrowning82
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Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:23 pm

I know this is a very specific topic so forgive me. These two schools seem as if they're going to be my best bets. I received a 50% larger scholarship award from Illinois than Notre Dame. The schools are basically identical in the rankings, so Illinois might seem like the obvious choice. But Notre Dame just strikes me as the more attractive option. Perhaps its just the name. I'm kind of stumped.

So a few questions about how they compare: Which school would give me the best chance at a big law firm in NY, where I prefer? What about Chicago?

How does student life compare at the two schools?

Really any information anyone can give me to help decide between the two would be a big help.

luckyjd
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby luckyjd » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:30 pm

jbrowning82 wrote:I know this is a very specific topic so forgive me. These two schools seem as if they're going to be my best bets. I received a 50% larger scholarship award from Illinois than Notre Dame. The schools are basically identical in the rankings, so Illinois might seem like the obvious choice. But Notre Dame just strikes me as the more attractive option. Perhaps its just the name. I'm kind of stumped.

So a few questions about how they compare: Which school would give me the best chance at a big law firm in NY, where I prefer? What about Chicago?

How does student life compare at the two schools?

Really any information anyone can give me to help decide between the two would be a big help.


You'll have more fun at U of I. Keep in mind, ND is a catholic school. No matter how separate the law school may be from the undergraduate program, the faculty and curriculum will show religious influence, which may or may not be attractive for some people. Check out the UIUC thread, people talked a bit about campus life at UIUC. Personally, I thought South Bend is too boring and chose a different undergrad over it. Both should give you the same shot at Chicago firms, but with regards to NY firms, I can't say. I'd imagine ND carries a bit of a better national name, but don't hold me to that.

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UFMatt
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby UFMatt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:36 pm

Interesting. I'm in an identical situation. Looking at 2005 placement into big law, Notre Dame placed about 5% more grads. Illinois grads also tend to skew toward Chicago, whereas ND grads spread out more.

I'm not Catholic, but so far I'm leaning toward ND despite the superior financial offer from Illinois for two reasons. One, the new law facilities look fantastic. Two, I'm uncertain as to where I want to practice, and ND seems a bit more portable.

I want to visit both in March to get a better feel for the two. I also need to look into which is stronger for feeding into IP work.

AmbitiousPanda
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby AmbitiousPanda » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:59 pm

UFMatt wrote: I also need to look into which is stronger for feeding into IP work.


McAndrews, Held, & Malloy is one of the leading IP firms in Chicago and two of the founding partners, Malloy & McAndrews, are ND Law alum. In fact, they're "Double Domers": people who went to ND for UG and JD.

As you can see from the profiles of their employees, plenty of their hires have ND connections.
--Not to sound like an ad or anything, it's just that I am a family acquaintance of one of the founding partners and I am also interested in ND Law. Hopefully, I'll be enrolling there in Fall 2011!

Good luck deciding, they're both great schools. True, Chambana and South Bend are not the most exciting places to spend 3 years but law school is not supposed to be fun!

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:40 pm

Yeah, I'm wondering about the religious influence, too. I was raised Catholic and was quite active in church groups until about 4 years ago, and I'm now more of a militant agnostic. I don't mind passive, background religiosity so much, but I don't know how heavy the influence of "The Church" is at the law school. I imagine it is stronger at the UG level, but I don't know.

However, Notre Dame definitely has more "lay prestige" and national carry. It's alumni network seems to be zealous and well-regarded (and oft-referenced), but I think you are really going to be in good shape with either school.

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ruleser
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby ruleser » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:09 pm

Edited for editing.
Last edited by ruleser on Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stephanie13
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby Stephanie13 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:18 pm

Tag. I don't know really much about this topic but I would like to know people's opinion on this.

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im_blue
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby im_blue » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:54 am

I think Notre Dame would place better in NYC, while Illinois has the edge in Chicago. Either way, you're going to have to place at least in the top 10-20% of your class to be competitive for biglaw. Illinois win for student life, since ND is heavily influenced by the Catholic church.

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:48 am

I really dont see what effect the church's influence has on student life. I was raised catholic but I'm not practicing anymore. From everything I hear its one of those things where its always around you at ND, but they don't force it upon you in anyway.

I'm leaning towards ND at this point still because of the alumni network and the fact that I think I'd have more fun in Notre Dame (same distance from chi-town, more golf in the area, huge sports following)

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:35 am

Really this would be an easy problem if I could just VISIT the schools, but I wont be back stateside for four months.

I've already done the large state school thing at UNC and loved it, but maybe I should try the small, private school route this time.

AmbitiousPanda
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby AmbitiousPanda » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:10 am

Anyone who has been to Cham-Bana can corroborate that it is not much fun, especially if you're coming from a great college town like Chapel Hill. I always cite the fact that the bars there admit people 19 and over. This, in my experience, has always resulted in an unenjoyable and worrisome nightlife experience (lots of hostility, fighting, drunken bravado, vomiting). Even if bars aren't your thing, the whole place is affected and it's rather hard to ignore.

On the other hand, it is great they offered you a scholarship because the amount they charge for a state university is pretty audacious, even for residents. I mean, $33 + Fees= $37+K. Really??

The ND alumni network is also an important factor to consider. I have a friend who is an associate at McDermott and she has mentioned that she has missed some great assignments because ND partners make sure to take care of the ND associates.

In the end, I vote ND! I've only been there a few times and admittedly, all but once the visits fell on a game day, but I have always had a blast and met a bunch of really great people. I hope that when I apply next fall, I'll be sitting on an ND admission.

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:20 am

Thanks for the opinion.
Last edited by jbrowning82 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

clint4law
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby clint4law » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:02 am

I'm a UIUC alum (undergrad) and as much as it kills me ND is your clear winner.
ND: New facilities, best alum network in nation,more portable
UIUC: Scandal, $$$ problems, bankrupt state, not as portable

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:29 am

I was thinking about Illinois corrupt state government like an hour ago.

Can you elaborate on your mention of "scandal" and "$$$ problems?|

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vanwinkle
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:32 am

jbrowning82 wrote:I was thinking about Illinois corrupt state government like an hour ago.

Can you elaborate on your mention of "scandal" and "$$$ problems?|

Illinois Law has been involved in a major scandal in the last year or so involving revelations the law school agreed to admit people referred by Gov. Blagojevich, even though their GPA/LSAT were too low, in exchange for the governor agreeing to hire a certain number of Illinois Law grads a year in his office.

It could cause a hit to their reputation, but I would honestly expect them to survive it. What happened was bad politically, but by the time it came out the governor had already been removed from office. The school will survive and carry on, and it's still a prominent T30 school in the Chicago/midwest region. I don't expect this to have a long-term impact on the school or its students.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby Vincent Vega » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:38 am

I don't think Illinois alumni have any kind of advantage over Notre Dame grads in any major market, including Chicago. You have to consider the Illinois $$, but if that was equal, I'd pick ND hands down.

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kumba84
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby kumba84 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:42 am

vanwinkle wrote:
jbrowning82 wrote:I was thinking about Illinois corrupt state government like an hour ago.

Can you elaborate on your mention of "scandal" and "$$$ problems?|

Illinois Law has been involved in a major scandal in the last year or so involving revelations the law school agreed to admit people referred by Gov. Blagojevich, even though their GPA/LSAT were too low, in exchange for the governor agreeing to hire a certain number of Illinois Law grads a year in his office.

It could cause a hit to their reputation, but I would honestly expect them to survive it. What happened was bad politically, but by the time it came out the governor had already been removed from office. The school will survive and carry on, and it's still a prominent T30 school in the Chicago/midwest region. I don't expect this to have a long-term impact on the school or its students.


I agree with this sentiment. UIUC always has scandals, and they just blow over. I visited the law school during the height of it, and none of the students seemed to care. The bottom line is, in Illinois, UIUC has a fantastic reputation and everyone worships it, so if you're shooting for Chicago, it won't matter.

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kumba84
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby kumba84 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:48 am

AmbitiousPanda wrote:Anyone who has been to Cham-Bana can corroborate that it is not much fun, especially if you're coming from a great college town like Chapel Hill. I always cite the fact that the bars there admit people 19 and over. This, in my experience, has always resulted in an unenjoyable and worrisome nightlife experience (lots of hostility, fighting, drunken bravado, vomiting). Even if bars aren't your thing, the whole place is affected and it's rather hard to ignore.


Chambana's not that bad. I've spent a lot of time there visiting friends and we were never bored. There are a lot of nice (not too expensive) restaurants, a cool downtown, and some great bars that are perfect for 25-year olds who want to avoid the undergrad crowd. On the other hand, if you like clubs, urban life and not being surrounded by cornfields, it's probably not your best option. I think it's definitely doable for 3 years.

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:05 am

Thanks guys. It seems like the Chicago placement is about even with maybe a slight advantage for UIUC but nationally ND is better off. That leans me towards ND more since I'm more interested in NY or elsewhere than Chicago.

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James Bond
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby James Bond » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:08 am

ND >>>>>>>> Illinois

L47_dTx
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby L47_dTx » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:32 am

Before you make this decision, please, visit both schools when class is in session. Two completely different vibes.

You can learn a whole lot just by spending an hour or two around the school, meeting students, observing the interactions taking place around you.

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:18 am

As I've said, visiting the schools is not an option as I won't be returning to the states until June.

You say the two schools have totally different vibes... Can you elaborate?

09042014
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:05 pm

ND has slightly better chances nationally, but ITE that means nothing. Some people who were on law review and top 10% at ND were shut out at big law this year. Rumors at UIUC are pretty much top 10% get Chicago Biglaw, everyone else is out, and no chance nationally.

If you want NYC, go to Fordham.

If you want Chicago, go to UIUC. It places better in Chicago, but in ITE, better doesn't mean much.

If you want Midwest, with a tiny shot at national, got to ND.

The question is do you want to pay significantly more for a tiny national shot? I wouldn't, because in all likelihood you'll end missing big law.

I went to UIUC for undergrad and I visited ND with some frequency. The campuses are actually somewhat similar. Lot of drinking, partying, etc. But I haven't seen the rest of South Bend.

I can tell you that Champaign and Urbana do have downtown bar scenes that don't have hordes of undergrads ruining it. The only reason you'll ever be at a bar with a bunch of 20 year olds is if you want to. UIUC grad students don't hang out in the same bars with undergrads, and there are a lot of grad students.

But I'd imagine South Bend has something similar.

UIUC > ND in chicago
ND>UIUC everywhere else

but in both cases its a small difference. Paying more for that small difference is stupid. Take the money. Or ask ND to match UIUC's offer.

jbrowning82
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby jbrowning82 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:02 pm

Interesting take. Don't know that I agree with everything you said but thanks for the input.

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zonkadonk
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Re: Notre Dame vs. Illinois

Postby zonkadonk » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:16 pm

these two were my final choices, with similar money. i picked nd and haven't looked back. everyone makes fun of people who tout the nd alumni network but it got me my summer job from just a cold email to an alum at the place i'm going to be at this summer. and i haven't read the whole thread, but whoever said you'll have more fun at illinois is patently wrong. i have loved it here, but my buddies at illinois...not so much. there are probably fifteen weirdos in my class and the other 165 will all crack a beer or ten with you.

feel free to pm me if you have more specific questions about anything.




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