UVA vs Northwestern vs Georgetown

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

UVA vs Northwestern vs Georgetown (Please explain vote!)

Northwestern
8
24%
UVA
23
68%
Georgetown
3
9%
 
Total votes: 34

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rayiner
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby rayiner » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:51 pm

A Swift wrote:Throwing out my superficial criteria, would you guys give me a reason that would sway you one way or the other?


What would sway me:

1) for UVA, the weather
2) for NU, the location and the business angle and the old people.

NU is really in an awesome location. The fun of being in a major urban area without the expense of NYC. For my tastes (I was a yuppie before I was a law student) it's a big draw.

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im_blue
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby im_blue » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:55 pm

A Swift wrote:Throwing out my superficial criteria, would you guys give me a reason that would sway you one way or the other?

UVA: cheaper by $20k, weather, slightly more legal prestige

NU: big city with reasonable COL, friends nearby

fortissimo
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:46 pm

bees wrote:Surveying 100 strangers should answer your question about which has more lay prestige. And then be sure to make your decision based on that.


hahaha +1 Neither has much lay prestige, but I think NU wins out because nobody outside of the state of Virginia and the legal profession knows what Virginia is.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby 270910 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:29 pm

If it looks pretty equal to you, then you should go to UVA. It doesn't place MUCH better than NU, and it doesn't have MUCH more prestige in legal communities, it's not MUCH cheaper... but it still is, you know? UVA is by most objective criteria a little ahead of Northwestern, so if you don't have certain particular desires (notably, biglaw in chicago or biglaw in DC) I'd say get thee to UVA.

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rayiner
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:41 pm

disco_barred wrote:If it looks pretty equal to you, then you should go to UVA. It doesn't place MUCH better than NU, and it doesn't have MUCH more prestige in legal communities, it's not MUCH cheaper... but it still is, you know? UVA is by most objective criteria a little ahead of Northwestern, so if you don't have certain particular desires (notably, biglaw in chicago or biglaw in DC) I'd say get thee to UVA.


I agree in principle that if you're on the razor's edge, UVA might win the tie, but I find it very difficult to believe any real person wouldn't have some preference between what are really two very different schools. It would be pretty foolish to let miniscule differences in placement* override things that are really more important.

*) I'll take it on faith that UVA actually does place better, overall. Every actual stat I have (NLJ250, V100, Leiter's elite firm and clerkship rankings, etc) shows the opposite, but I'm fully willing to believe that it's more a matter of self-selection than placement power.

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A Swift
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby A Swift » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:48 pm

It looks like, from I have read on these forums and beyond, that Northwestern places better in Big Law. The only question is wether that (slight?) edge is worth the brutal winters and sacrificing the collegial experience I am looking for.

It's a phenomenal problem to have, picking between two great schools, but I can't help feeling like UVA is the more enjoyable of the two experiences.

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rayiner
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:51 pm

A Swift wrote:It looks like from I have read on these forums and beyond that Northwestern places better in Big Law. The only question is wether that (slight?) edge is worth the brutal winters and sacrificing the collegial experience I am looking for.

It's a phenomenal problem to have, picking between two great schools. But I can't help feeling like UVA is the more enjoyable of the two experiences.


Northwestern has more people interested in biglaw, that doesn't mean it places better. Lot's of people go to UVA because it dominates DC and it's government and public interest jobs, litigation boutiques, etc.

If you think UVA will be more enjoyable, then you have your answer right there!

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im_blue
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby im_blue » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:59 pm

rayiner wrote:
A Swift wrote:It looks like from I have read on these forums and beyond that Northwestern places better in Big Law. The only question is wether that (slight?) edge is worth the brutal winters and sacrificing the collegial experience I am looking for.

It's a phenomenal problem to have, picking between two great schools. But I can't help feeling like UVA is the more enjoyable of the two experiences.


Northwestern has more people interested in biglaw, that doesn't mean it places better. Lot's of people go to UVA because it dominates DC and it's government and public interest jobs, litigation boutiques, etc.

If you think UVA will be more enjoyable, then you have your answer right there!

+1. Their biglaw placement is roughly equal, so OP should choose the environment he prefers and save some money too.

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RVP11
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby RVP11 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:25 pm

A Swift wrote:It looks like, from I have read on these forums and beyond, that Northwestern places better in Big Law. The only question is wether that (slight?) edge is worth the brutal winters and sacrificing the collegial experience I am looking for.

It's a phenomenal problem to have, picking between two great schools, but I can't help feeling like UVA is the more enjoyable of the two experiences.


No one should pick between MVPBDCN on one school's perceived placement advantage in BigLaw.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:29 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
A Swift wrote:It looks like, from I have read on these forums and beyond, that Northwestern places better in Big Law. The only question is wether that (slight?) edge is worth the brutal winters and sacrificing the collegial experience I am looking for.

It's a phenomenal problem to have, picking between two great schools, but I can't help feeling like UVA is the more enjoyable of the two experiences.


No one should pick between MVPBDCN on one school's perceived placement advantage in BigLaw.


I'd agree unless they had some geographic preference. Taking NU for DC, or UVA for Chicago would be silly.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:30 pm

The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby RVP11 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:32 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
I'd agree unless they had some geographic preference. Taking NU for DC, or UVA for Chicago would be silly.


Probably not as silly as you think. What you lose in alumni network you often gain in lack of competition.

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RVP11
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby RVP11 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:35 pm

fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


I think it might have something to do with older students being more likely to prioritize the big paycheck. It's easy to be happy with a $60k government salary in DC when you're 25 and single. Not so easy if you're married or have kids.

09042014
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby 09042014 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:41 pm

fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


I'm not sure if I believe 2-3 years of light W/E is a game changer at OCI.

fortissimo
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:41 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


I think it might have something to do with older students being more likely to prioritize the big paycheck. It's easy to be happy with a $60k government salary in DC when you're 25 and single. Not so easy if you're married or have kids.


True, that is a contributing factor. I just think the WE is the big reason that explains why NU's biglaw placement. I mean, really, who the hell wants to hire a straight out of ugrad for biglaw when their only job was stapling papers as a legal assistant? But these same old people with WE at NU would probably get biglaw at any other top 14 assuming comparable grades anyway...so it's not really an argument for the school unless NU somehow has a higher per capita number of offices at OCI ratio, which I don't think it does.

fortissimo
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:42 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


I'm not sure if I believe 2-3 years of light W/E is a game changer at OCI.


Isn't NU's average 1L age 26? I graduated college at 21...I think 21/22 is about average.

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A Swift
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby A Swift » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:47 pm

fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


Would you then argue that going to Northwestern without credible work experience will hurt me when looking for jobs/internships?

fortissimo
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:57 pm

A Swift wrote:
fortissimo wrote:The big reason why NU typically places more into biglaw than most of the top 14 is because of its requirement of work experience. It's not that employers think NU grads are better than other top 14 grads simply because of their NU education, but because employers are more likely to hire people that have work experience. These same people would probably get jobs if they were to attend any other top 14. Your odds of getting big law at NU if you are a straight out of undergrad doesn't increase simply by being there.

This is why it's stupid to quote NU's (slightly higher) biglaw placement without taking into context that this is largely probably because of how they select their students (i.e. mandatory work experience).


Would you then argue that going to Northwestern without credible work experience will hurt me when looking for jobs/internships?


I don't think so, but I'm not a hiring partner so what do I know. (I could see that happening were if OCI employers compared applicants, cared X amount about WE, and everyone at NU is just a lot more impressive WE-wise so it's riskier being compared to NU people than straight out of undergrads who have professional stapling experience.) I only commented because going to NU simply because of its higher biglaw placement rate doesn't mean it's going to do you any good if you don't have the WE. But if you have good grades you will be fine at either school without WE since grades > WE.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:11 pm

Average age is indeed 26, though the JD-MBAs skew this up. Median age is probably 25, with 60% having at least 3 years of W/E.

The demographics are a bit different too.
I'll compare with CLS since they have data available: http://www.law.columbia.edu/jd_applican ... assprofile

History/social science: NU 41%, CLS 55%
Arts/humanities: NU 26%, CLS 26%
Engineering/science: NU 14%, CLS 7%
Business/Economics: NU 20%, CLS 15%

(Yes, the data doesn't add up to 100, rounding)

More than a third of the class being science/business probably helps explain some of the self-selection into biglaw.

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tome
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby tome » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:28 am

People have this false impression that NU students have impressive work experience. Students here do generally have a couple of years out of undergrad, but in my experience, most people at NU do not have that impressive work experience to be honest. I really doubt it accounts for the hiring.

The self-selection argument leaves me a little cold too. In particular, it makes it hard to account for why NU grads did the best in biglaw hiring recently. If it were a matter of self-selection, then a place like CLS would have been hired at the expense of NU grads, keeping their numbers higher. This did not happen. (this is not to say self-selection plays no role--it is not like NU grads are more desirable than Yale grads, but it simply is not a full explanation of the data)

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Chicago is a huge legal market, and NU dominates that market. The only real competition is UofC. While UofC is certainly stiff competition: (1) it is a small small school; (2) its grads tend to not stay in Chicago as much; and (3) UofC grads are more likely to take clerkships.

Also, NU places a greater emphasis than other schools on preparing its grads to practice. So I would not be shocked if NU does a better job than other top schools at preparing its grads.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby fortissimo » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:23 pm

tome wrote:People have this false impression that NU students have impressive work experience. Students here do generally have a couple of years out of undergrad, but in my experience, most people at NU do not have that impressive work experience to be honest. I really doubt it accounts for the hiring.

The self-selection argument leaves me a little cold too. In particular, it makes it hard to account for why NU grads did the best in biglaw hiring recently. If it were a matter of self-selection, then a place like CLS would have been hired at the expense of NU grads, keeping their numbers higher. This did not happen. (this is not to say self-selection plays no role--it is not like NU grads are more desirable than Yale grads, but it simply is not a full explanation of the data)

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Chicago is a huge legal market, and NU dominates that market. The only real competition is UofC. While UofC is certainly stiff competition: (1) it is a small small school; (2) its grads tend to not stay in Chicago as much; and (3) UofC grads are more likely to take clerkships.

Also, NU places a greater emphasis than other schools on preparing its grads to practice. So I would not be shocked if NU does a better job than other top schools at preparing its grads.


You're missing out on the point that schools that targeted NYC did worse in the recent data. CLS did worse because their grads primarily targeted NYC and were no-offered at a greater rate.

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A Swift
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern vs Georgetown

Postby A Swift » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:05 am

Added Georgetown to the poll, but it reset the votes! Either way, I really appreciate the help as we approach the deadlines.

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern vs Georgetown

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:30 am

Tough call based on your written preferences. The University of Virginia offers a great traditional college campus experience that should differ substantially from your commuter college undergraduate experience. Northwestern's Chicago campus is located across the street from Lake Michigan in a very upscale & beautiful urban setting next to Northwestern's medical school. Do you want to experience law school on a campus setting that offers significant opportunities to interact with the undergraduate students or do you want to experience law school interacting with med students & sophisticated urban options in a very upscale setting?

Although the lowest ranked of the three options, Georgetown probably enjoys the most lay prestige of the three law schools. Not certain, but Curriculum B might offer the more collegial atmosphere you're seeking, although Northwestern has a reputation for being collegial as does Virginia.
Have you visited all three law schools?
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:57 am, edited 4 times in total.

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IAFG
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Re: UVA vs Northwestern vs Georgetown

Postby IAFG » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:32 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Tough call based on your written preferences. The University of Virginia offers a great traditional college campus experience that should differ substantially from your commuter college undergraduate experience. Northwestern's Chicago campus is located across the street from Lake Michigan in a very upscale & beautiful urban setting next to Northwestern's medical school. Do you want to experience law school on a campus setting that offers significant opportunities to interact with the undergraduate students or do you want to experience law school interacting with med students & sophisticated urban options in a very upscale setting?
Although I am not making any recommendation, Georgetown offers a mixture of the two.

GULC isn't anywhere near its UGs

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Re: UVA vs Northwestern

Postby motiontodismiss » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:22 pm

chutzpah wrote:a note on lay prestige: I went to UVA for undergrad and had to explain to several people back home in NYC that UVA was not the University of Vermont. Outside Harvard and some of the other big names, it just doesn't matter. UVA will more than make up for your lack of a college atmosphere in undergrad but Northwestern has the city of Chicago...


I don't think one should be influenced by people who can't spell Vermont. There's no A in Vermont.




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