HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

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BEH321
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HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:38 pm

Which would you pick???

JOThompson
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:41 pm

No scholarship at either? What type of law do you want to practice and where?

A lot of people on this board will discourage you from attending either, even with major scholarships. To give you advice, we'd some more info though.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:47 pm

A lot of people on this board will discourage you from attending either, even with major scholarships. .[/quote]

Why is that?
Haven't gotten my finaid from UCONN yet, got a little bit from NU but that is to be expected I am a NU graduate. I want to do Corporate most likely and eventually switch to working for the government. Also, if possible, I would like to work in Boston.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:47 pm

Also, if I attend NU I will try to transfer after the first year to BU or BC.

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snapdragon
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby snapdragon » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:02 pm

Here are some things to think about:

1. If you live in CT, you will get in state at UConn for 2L and 3L which brings tuition down to about $22k / year. COL in CT is probably lower than Boston.

2. If you absolutely want to get firm work in Boston, you will need to be in the top 10% (guesstimate) at UConn and probably similar at Northeastern.

3. If you want to transfer to BC/BU you will probably have to be in the top 15-20% at either school. There is an 80%+ likelihood that you will not be able to transfer. This really, really should not be a factor in your decision. You will almost certainly graduate from the school you choose to attend next year. I know it's tempting to think about, but it's an improbability at best.

I'm attending UConn next year, so I don't want to come off biased. I chose UConn over Northeastern because it was significantly less expensive, and I felt like I had a better chance of being employed in the legal industry from UConn vs. Northeastern. I would love to work in Boston, but realistically, I know that most jobs available to UConn grads will be in CT. If you are not OK with working in CT, I would caution against attending UConn.

Northeastern is the bigger gamble, but may have an edge towards Boston placement. I'm really not certain how the two stack up as far as Boston goes.

JOThompson
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:03 pm

Too much competition for too few jobs. Kids at many T1 schools are being slaughtered at OCI right now. If you attend a school in the lower T2 range, law school becomes an even riskier proposition. You could go into six figures of debt, lose three years of your life, and still only have a mediocre job after months of searching. That's the reason most TLS users are going to recommend that you attend a highly ranked school to increase your placement opportunities. Transferring isn't a bad idea, but it's contingent upon your grades and nearly all law students expect that they'll be in the top half of their class. It would be much safer to maybe take some time off, retake the LSAT, and get into BC/BU from the get go.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:06 pm

Okay so what about UCONN vs. Wake Forest or a similarly ranked school down south? Again, I do want to work in Boston where I am from. I am leaning towards UCONN and I would be okay with working in CT for a few years but eventually I do want to leave.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:08 pm

I guess I am torn because I would save a ton of money by going to Northeastern but know that as far as the rankins UConn is ranked higher and would probably be the better option.

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voltage88
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby voltage88 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:10 pm

JOThompson wrote:Too much competition for too few jobs. Kids at many T1 schools are being slaughtered at OCI right now. If you attend a school in the lower T2 range, law school becomes an even riskier proposition. You could go into six figures of debt, lose three years of your life, and still only have a mediocre job after months of searching. That's the reason most TLS users are going to recommend that you attend a highly ranked school to increase your placement opportunities. Transferring isn't a bad idea, but it's contingent upon your grades and nearly all law students expect that they'll be in the top half of their class. It would be much safer to maybe take some time off, retake the LSAT, and get into BC/BU from the get go.


It's misleading to say that attending a school in the lower T2 range is a bad idea without mentioning a school name. I'd agree attending Brooklyn, Hofstra, or St. John's is a risky proposition, but to say attending American (a T1 school according to US News) is a better idea than attending UConn, Temple, or Rutgers because it's higher ranked is silly. American is at the bottom of the law school hierarchy in DC whereas the schools I mentioned are relatively in better shape with regards to their respective legal markets.

JOThompson
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:13 pm

BEH321 wrote:I guess I am torn because I would save a ton of money by going to Northeastern but know that as far as the rankins UConn is ranked higher and would probably be the better option.

If those are your only two options and you aren't able to retake/reapply, I'd go with Northeastern, unless UCONN comes back with a hefty offer. Despite the rankings gap, both schools will probably land you similar types of jobs. Might as well pick the one that keep you in Boston and lands you a job there more quickly.

JOThompson
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby JOThompson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:21 pm

voltage88 wrote:
JOThompson wrote:Too much competition for too few jobs. Kids at many T1 schools are being slaughtered at OCI right now. If you attend a school in the lower T2 range, law school becomes an even riskier proposition. You could go into six figures of debt, lose three years of your life, and still only have a mediocre job after months of searching. That's the reason most TLS users are going to recommend that you attend a highly ranked school to increase your placement opportunities. Transferring isn't a bad idea, but it's contingent upon your grades and nearly all law students expect that they'll be in the top half of their class. It would be much safer to maybe take some time off, retake the LSAT, and get into BC/BU from the get go.


It's misleading to say that attending a school in the lower T2 range is a bad idea without mentioning a school name. I'd agree attending Brooklyn, Hofstra, or St. John's is a risky proposition, but to say attending American (a T1 school according to US News) is a better idea than attending UConn, Temple, or Rutgers because it's higher ranked is silly. American is at the bottom of the law school hierarchy in DC whereas the schools I mentioned are relatively in better shape with regards to their respective legal markets.

Questionable if American even belongs in the T1. It's an overpriced school in a highly saturated market.

I never said a T2 was a bad idea, just a much riskier one in most cases. Generally, most people on TLS will agree that higher rankings equate to better job placements within that region. No question that BC will fulfill the OP's career goals much more readily than UCONN or Northeastern.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:25 pm

Yeah I agree...at this point I am just trying to figure out what the best option is going to be for me :(

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snapdragon
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby snapdragon » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:35 pm

OP, I PMed you. However this was my major decision thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=150909 which has some good insight into Wake, UConn, and NC.

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gothamm
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby gothamm » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:04 pm

I thought the title said northWESTERN and was baffled for a good minute by the posts.

ItsMyTimeBoston
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby ItsMyTimeBoston » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:17 pm

BEH321 wrote:Also, if I attend NU I will try to transfer after the first year to BU or BC.



It's harder to transfer with no grades.

UConn is definitely the better choice even if you want to do corporate work in Boston.

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mebo28
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby mebo28 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:25 pm

Why are you not considering W&L? I noticed you got accepted there.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:15 am

I am from Boston and really do not want to have to move.

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observationalist
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby observationalist » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:55 am

Before you choose either school, you need to contact career services and asking for detailed employment information for Class of 2010 graduates at each school. There is no other way to accurately judge the level of risk involved in attending law school right now.

Also, the rankings are not a good proxy for job placement outside of the very top law schools... even then they only provide a rough proxy for biglaw placement. That's not to say U.S. News can't help you out though. The best aspect of the U.S. News is the data it collects, not the rankings. The problem is that there's a significant timelag from when schools first collect the data to when it is released to the public. Class of 2009 data was just released with the new rankings. They are the most current data available without contacting the schools directly. Schools just reported an enormous amount of information on each 2010 graduate to NALP last month, so career services should be able to respond promptly and provide you with the data you're looking for. I recommend starting with admissions and then following up with career services.

And even though you have a preference for the Boston legal market, you should be asking for data on the entire graduating class. It is really important that you know just how many graduates are finding paid, fulltime legal work these days, so that you can evaluate the risks accordingly. As many TLSers will tell you, absent scholarships it is probably a more responsible plan to take time off, gain work experience, develop a network, retake the LSAT, etc. You obviously get to determine what level of risk you're comfortable with, but without the data you're going to assume the risk is a lot lower than reality.

Also, please be wary of the salary statistics advertised by each school. Looking at U.S.News and the class of 09 data, just 24% of NU's class and just 39% of UConns are represented in the salary figures. So when you see the median reported salary for UConn at $105,000 and the 25th at $67,500, you need to adjust both downward because of all the missing salaries. For Northeastern, their reported 25th percentile ($57,500) was actually closer to the median, since only half of the salaries are represented in the data. The percentages of graduates getting any firm job (which used to be 43% at NU and 48% at UConn) are probably half as good now, given the radical changes between '09 (the best hiring market) and '10/11 (the worst ones, at least in over a decade). Because the categories (Law Firm, Business/Industry, Government) aren't more specific, you will have no idea just how many of those jobs are ones you would be interested in taking unless the school provides you with a full employer list. "Law Firm" can represent paralegal, temp attorney, someone working for a legal temp agency, doc review, and solo practitioners regardless of whether they're earning any income as a solo. "Business & Industry" includes waiters, bartenders, tutors, and everyone who couldn't get into the legal profession and either returned to a former job or found some other type of work. UConn lists 19.6% of '09 grads in this nebulous category. Some of the jobs in those categories are likely very good, but you can't just add up the 48% at a firm and 20% in Business/Industry and conclude that UConn grads used to have a decent shot at rewarding legal work. If the school wants to convince you to attend, they should provide you with the names of the employers and locations for each 2010 graduate who reported the information. They should also tell you how many graduates reported salaries for each category, and what the average salaries were.

If you're committed to attending law school this year regardless of the risk and are sure you want to practice law, then I strongly suggest you also ask the schools about what resources they provide for people preparing for solo practice (like mentorship programs or clinical/externship opportunities). In three years it might be your most viable option. Keep in mind, you will probably not be exposed to corporate work as a solo and will probably need additional financial backing. Even the top schools in Boston no longer offer a safe number of corporate salaries to justify paying full tuition.

I understand that it may seem unfair that so many schools are continuing to charge the same tuition they did a few years ago, when there was a much better chance of finding legal work. But the lack of information has persisted for decades... it's only become more of an issue now because of the very sharp drop in entry-level hiring. We expect that tuition will start dropping and/or class sizes will start falling at some of the more responsible schools within the next couple of years, as the new hiring market becomes more visible and applicants begin understanding the realities of what comes after earning the J.D. But for now, paying full sticker without knowing the risks involved is dangerous.

If you do contact the schools, please feel free to share the responses on TLS so that others can join in. People can use that information, even if the responses are only a refusal to provide you with the data. G'luck.

BEH321
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby BEH321 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:32 am

Thank you for taking the time to share all that! It is really helpful information.

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TheGorgeousHydrangea
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Re: HELP!!! Northeastern VS UCONN

Postby TheGorgeousHydrangea » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:27 pm

Don't be fooled by the negative comments you might see about Northeastern. What people forget is that Northeastern has a stellar co-op program. No other school is going to give you the opportunity to work at 4 different full-time internships by the time you graduate!

Because of the job market we are in, school rank is no longer a top factor for employment. It is about who you know!!! I know many people in the corporate and legal arena who have stated this over and over again. The 4 law internships you would participate in would give you the ability to network, therefore giving you a better chance at big law (or whatever area you want to study in). Many people would argue that you can do summer internships through another law program, but summer internships are hard to come by nowadays. With connections to over 800 employers worldwide, your 4 internships with Northeastern are guaranteed.

Most of the people on these forums are kids who have done a whole lot of reading, but haven't been in the real world or current job market. I have been working for the past 4 years and have seen that "who you know" is the number one factor to getting a great job in the field you want.

Also, don't be discouraged by the median staring salary of Northeastern graduates. People forget to take into consideration that more students enter into PI from this school in comparison to other law schools. Therefore, these PI salary's bring the median down.

UConn is an awesome school and I have nothing bad to say about their program. But in this job market, you have to remember to make smart and informed decisions. Basing which law school to attend only on "rank and prestige" is the dumbest thing anyone can do right now.

Look at both programs holistically! Good Luck!!!




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