Northwestern c/o 2015 - Coming up: Clown car Ikea parties

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2015)
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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:34 pm

Huh. I just got an emal from Latham, informing me that they're giving me one of their 'scholarships' to Law Preview.

I know everyone says it's useless and a waste of money, but I've been out of school a LONG time (and in a job that does not exactly exercise the brain much) and I'm tempted to take it--not expecting to "get ahead in law school", but just to get back in a classroom-type mode before it actually counts. It's in Chicago, after my expected move date. I'll still have several weeks of free time before real classes start. Any reason why I shouldn't, since it's free?

There is an added benefit of placating my father, who thinks I should be studying casebooks and shit ahead of time. I won't tell him about this unless I decide to do it, because I know deciding NOT to do it would cause some drama.

(ETA: I applied pretty much just for kicks. I thought I'd heard that mostly diversity candidates got chosen, but maybe being female was enough diversity in this case.)

ETA2: The email from Latham (it's from their "diversity committee co-chair") says they look forward to staying in touch during the school year. Might turning it down look bad from a networking standpoint?

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:44 pm

You've got nothing to lose, I say do it! (: At best, you'll get some great tips and knowledge and you'll come into 1L ready to go. At worst, you'll be bored out of your mind and you won't learn anything (at which point couldn't you just stop going, since it's free?).

Just do it! :mrgreen:

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:55 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:You've got nothing to lose, I say do it! (: At best, you'll get some great tips and knowledge and you'll come into 1L ready to go. At worst, you'll be bored out of your mind and you won't learn anything (at which point couldn't you just stop going, since it's free?).

Just do it! :mrgreen:
Thanks, Crumps, this is exactly what I'm thinking. It's not like I'm going to get DUMBER, and maybe I'll be a little better prepared. If nothing else I can practice using OneNote for a week before it really matters, and sit on TLS when I get bored. :P

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Kikero
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Kikero » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:05 pm

I'm signed up for it too, actually. Basically what crumps said, it can't hurt you and if it's free go for it.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:14 pm

Kikero wrote:I'm signed up for it too, actually. Basically what crumps said, it can't hurt you and if it's free go for it.
Sweet!

lshelby11
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby lshelby11 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:11 am

Greetings from the other side. I am part of the Accelerated JD program which started classes on May 23rd. We've had about two weeks of classes now and I'm happy to report that I'm very satisfied with my decision to come to Northwestern. Here are a few thoughts and tips:

1. Northwestern's caliber: This is probably foremost in many of your minds. Yes, NW is in the top 14 of law schools, but it is ranked #12 (the lower part of the Top 14). There are some minor exterior differences between NW and a top-ranked school like Harvard, Columbia or Stanford, but those are just packaging issues. For example, at T3 or T6 they have a little bit more money to spend on fancy portfolios, notepads, nameplates for students, etc. Also those top-ranked law schools are located on their main University campus which lends more resources and feels more "elite." However, I would gladly trade those things in exchange for (a) an equivalent caliber of education and (b) a great location.

2. Caliber of the teaching: I have been pleasantly impressed by the teaching style of the professors so far. First, let me assuage any fears of terrifying cold-calls. All of our professors use powerpoint slides and assign who will be called on for which section. The cold-calls are not the "guess what is in my head" type, but rather "did you do the reading -- or at least superficially skim it?" When someone stumbles a bit, the professors typically will move on to another volunteer. This is low stress.

The professors are also very approachable and easy-going. This is not the "Professor Kingsfield" of The Paper Chase, but more like the upper-level professor you had in your senior year of college. It is a collegial environment where you are treated with respect. (Of course, this is part of the bargain that you come prepared and don't do stupid things like answering your phone in class or surf the net obnoxiously.)

Our professor for Civil Procedure is the famous Martin Reddish. I can say that he is every bit as good as his reputation that precedes him. He is engaging and interesting, which helps make the dry material approachable. I hope that you are lucky enough to have him once or twice as your professor.

3. Preparations: I bought the books, the study guides, the tip books (Getting to Maybe, Planet Law School, etc) and others. I can assure you that you don't need to read any of these beforehand. Planet Law School is probably useful because it helps prepare you for what to expect in law school from an operational point of view, but the book generalizes all law schools when they are distinct. I would, however, recommend that you get used to reading dry material and old English from the 1800's and early 1900's. So, some early novels from the authors of that time which will help you get acclimated to the writing style of that time period. The reason why this is important is that many of the cases you read early on are cases from those eras with a very different writing style than what you are used to from today's authors.

I only read a few chapters of Getting to Maybe and Planet Law School. I did not read the casebooks. This did not hurt me in any way. In fact, I argue that you are wasting your time reading them because law school is not about a resuscitation of facts, rather it is about analyzing opinions and putting them into a chain of precedences. Let me say this again: knowing what happened in each case is not as important as understanding *why* that case is important. You will only know those things by attending class and hearing why the professor thinks those cases are important. Another very important thing to note is that we do not read the casebooks from front to back. The professor will assign a few cases out of each section and skip wide tracts of cases. So, if you read the casebooks, you may be wasting your time on cases that will never be used in class.

4. Careers: We do OCIs this August (in 2 months) so this is more important to us than to you since you do OCIs next August. There is some palpable fear among students and the careers team that jobs will be competitive this year. You will need to do well in grades even though you are attending the #12 law school. It seems like the best students in the top law schools will do fine, whereas the bottom half of the lower ranked T-14 schools will have some trouble finding the best jobs. Grades are of paramount importance and unfortunately half of you (and us) will have some trouble finding jobs.

5. Efficient allocation of time in your first semester and first year: As a continuation of the importance of grades, I cannot stress how important it is for you to embrace self-discipline over your time. There is not enough time in the day to attend classes, do the proper preparation, have a social life, have time to yourself, and sleep. It just doesn't exist -- you will need to make some sacrifices. There will be many distractions and temptations to fill your time, but the successful students are those who capture the downtime to convert that time into productive time. This could be the half hour between classes or your morning commute or whatever. Rather than chatting online, surfing facebook, or wandering about, use that that time wisely to prepare for your next class, reflect on a point that you don't understand, or something of this nature. Your social life may suffer, but you have two years after your first year to make new friends. It will also be much easier to make friends when you have the confidence knowing you have top grades and a job offer. Make some short-term sacrifices for the long-term gain.

6. Studying methods: This is subjective to everyone. I've been part of study groups that seem to be like the blind leading the blind and I've been part of study groups that are actually helpful. The most important takeaway is that studying for law school is a solitary endeavor. There is NO substitute for you understanding the material and getting to that "ah ha!" moment on your own. Study groups can augment it and help you think about the issues, but you need to already understand the material. Much is gained by tutoring your fellow classmates on a subject that they don't understand, but you have little to gain from getting together with other students who are as clueless as you are. I would recommend studying the various resources that are available (supplements, etc) and talking to your professors. The tips I've received are that study groups are most useful at the end of the semester as a sanity-check and as a way to gauge your own understanding of the material.

I would highly recommend studying at the law school. There are just too many distractions at home. Find a quiet corner of the law school to study away from your friends and classmates and block out the world for a couple hours will you read and reflect.

7. Motivation: You have got to enjoy the subject matter of law school and enjoy reading about cases, otherwise you will not do well. If you're not interested in the story of why A sues B or why X developed as a rule over time, then you should not be in law school. Honestly, I've observed the ones in the class who have a genuine interest in the material are having a much better time than those who do not. Undoubtedly, there are some of you who are attending Northwestern simply because this was the best alternative for getting a high paying job. You are going to have a tough time in law school and should seriously reconsider taking on debt or spending 3 years of your life doing something your personality is not suited for. The study of law requires a certain type of intellectual curiosity that you cannot substitute for with "working harder" or "studying smarter." It comes down to whether this stuff is interesting to you or not.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them and I will respond as soon as I am able. Best of luck to you all in the fall. I believe I have made the right decision to come here and I hope that you will too.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Blumpbeef » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:31 am

Wow, thank you for sharing your experiences. It's unfortunate to hear that about jobs, but otherwise it's all very encouraging.

lshelby11
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby lshelby11 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:41 pm

Just to clarify on the jobs front: This is not isolated to Northwestern. It is a nationwide thing.

There are some obvious factors: the uncertainty of the economy, the latest job numbers, the upcoming election, Europe, etc.

Less obvious factor: the implosion of Dewey means one less BigLaw and one less Summer Associate class, as well as a diffusion of junior associates into the labor pool. The real effects are still to be seen.

Careers did tell us that there will be at least the same number of employers at OCI, maybe a few more. However, this does not necessarily translate into more summer associate positions if the firms are reducing or even holding steady their summer classes.

Anyway, it is not the boom conditions of year past. The message from all around seems to be that if you do well in GPA and are not socially inept, you will find a job. If you are in the bottom half of the class, you may have to look at government, public interest, or other alternatives.

My friends at other higher-ranked schools have received similar messages from their Careers people or have been able to deduce the same by reading between the lines at the Careers presentations.

Moral of the story: If you want a high-paying job (or even a good job), then make sure you are in the top 3rd of the class.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:45 pm

THANK YOU lshelby!!!!!!! This makes me EVEN MORE excited to attend NU :D and what a detailed write-up, thank you so much <3

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:53 pm

lshelby11 wrote:Just to clarify on the jobs front: This is not isolated to Northwestern. It is a nationwide thing.

There are some obvious factors: the uncertainty of the economy, the latest job numbers, the upcoming election, Europe, etc.

Less obvious factor: the implosion of Dewey means one less BigLaw and one less Summer Associate class, as well as a diffusion of junior associates into the labor pool. The real effects are still to be seen.

Careers did tell us that there will be at least the same number of employers at OCI, maybe a few more. However, this does not necessarily translate into more summer associate positions if the firms are reducing or even holding steady their summer classes.

Anyway, it is not the boom conditions of year past. The message from all around seems to be that if you do well in GPA and are not socially inept, you will find a job. If you are in the bottom half of the class, you may have to look at government, public interest, or other alternatives.

My friends at other higher-ranked schools have received similar messages from their Careers people or have been able to deduce the same by reading between the lines at the Careers presentations.

Moral of the story: If you want a high-paying job (or even a good job), then make sure you are in the top 3rd of the class.


Don't count on PI as an alternative. There are plenty of qualified people for whom PI is a first choice, and people I know who've tried to get PI jobs as backup after pursuing firms have had problems. Plus, if you don't love PI for itself, you're likely going to be miserable in a PI job.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:56 pm

Eugenie Danglars wrote:Don't count on PI as an alternative. There are plenty of qualified people for whom PI is a first choice, and people I know who've tried to get PI jobs as backup after pursuing firms have had problems. Plus, if you don't love PI for itself, you're likely going to be miserable in a PI job.

True...plus, from what I've heard most PI jobs require a prior history of demonstrated interest in PI Law.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:02 pm

For those of you interested in running a 5K/10K in Chi, Living Social has a 50% off registration deal for this one:

http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/6/de ... gistration

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:07 pm

Just FYI y'all, the OCI list of employers came out yesterday, 172 interviewing offices in total (125 employers overall). Pretty sure that's up from the year before, but not sure.

ETA: 50 have offices in Chicago, 47 have California offices, 39 with D.C., 46 with NYC.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Blumpbeef » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:17 pm

I went to look it up on LSN and they report 2007-2008 numbers.

500 firms, with 77 NY, 53 DC and 80 CA.

/cry

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:17 pm

so, does NU's LRAP help with all jerb types, or just public interest?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:22 am

JamMasterJ wrote:so, does NU's LRAP help with all jerb types, or just public interest?
Just PI.

I have some question about whether it'll cover a PI job if you work in a private firm for a while and then move on to a PI job later on. The website seems to imply it doesn't, but I specifically asked about it at ASW and was told by the FinAid person that it would cover that, and you'd then start your 120 payments (10 yrs) at that point.

And of course the school site is down for maintenance right now.

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Flips88 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:41 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:so, does NU's LRAP help with all jerb types, or just public interest?
Just PI.

I have some question about whether it'll cover a PI job if you work in a private firm for a while and then move on to a PI job later on. The website seems to imply it doesn't, but I specifically asked about it at ASW and was told by the FinAid person that it would cover that, and you'd then start your 120 payments (10 yrs) at that point.

And of course the school site is down for maintenance right now.

Most schools, and I think NU, allow you to enter the program any time 2 years from graduation so that you can clerk or something. Theoretically you could work at a firm for 2 years. Not completely sure if that's the case for NU though.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:43 am

JamMasterJ wrote:so, does NU's LRAP help with all jerb types, or just public interest?


And government.

There are actually very few grads that do them, from what I saw in the jobs stats. Like 15 out of a class of 280.

rink, I got the impression that it did. Forgiveness requires 120 payments into LRAP, and it is renewed annually. I'm not sure what happens if you leave a job halfway through your "year" and stop paying into it though. I think maybe once you leave LRAP you can't come back?

What I'm afraid of though is that we get some new government that decides it doesn't want to fund the program anymore and they cut it off halfway through our ten years. Since it is renewed annually, I'm not sure that there is an obligation for them to keep it going for the length of the 10-year forgiveness period.

ETA: flips, NU does allow a year (at least) of clerking, although the clerking itself does not count towards LRAP AFAIK.

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Flips88 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:52 am

Blumpbeef wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:so, does NU's LRAP help with all jerb types, or just public interest?


And government.

There are actually very few grads that do them, from what I saw in the jobs stats. Like 15 out of a class of 280.

rink, I got the impression that it did. Forgiveness requires 120 payments into LRAP, and it is renewed annually. I'm not sure what happens if you leave a job halfway through your "year" and stop paying into it though. I think maybe once you leave LRAP you can't come back?

What I'm afraid of though is that we get some new government that decides it doesn't want to fund the program anymore and they cut it off halfway through our ten years. Since it is renewed annually, I'm not sure that there is an obligation for them to keep it going for the length of the 10-year forgiveness period.

ETA: flips, NU does allow a year (at least) of clerking, although the clerking itself does not count towards LRAP AFAIK.

It doesn't count towards LRAP, but you can put your loans in forbearance I think and then enter LRAP after clerking and they start paying your IBR payment. Northwestern's LRAP is unique because they pay part of your IBR payment, but they also pay some of the interest that accrues for the first 5 years of LRAP. This is in case you leave the LRAP program before 10 years. Usually, the interest would balloon since your IBR payment barely pays down anything and you never touch the principle.

I'll say that I went to NU very much wanting to do PI/Gov stuff, particularly DOJ or USAO. I've discussed my goals with multiple career people and all of them say that most government agencies do not hire straight out and that the path usually involves a few years at a firm. So right now my hopeful career path is clerkship + firm for 3-5 years=>lateral to USAO or DOJ. The one path that involves no firm is Art III. clerkship + DOJ Honors and then get hired through that. But that's still not certain and difficult to do.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:00 am

Flips88 wrote:I'll say that I went to NU very much wanting to do PI/Gov stuff, particularly DOJ or USAO. I've discussed my goals with multiple career people and all of them say that most government agencies do not hire straight out and that the path usually involves a few years at a firm. So right now my hopeful career path is clerkship + firm for 3-5 years=>lateral to USAO or DOJ. The one path that involves no firm is Art III. clerkship + DOJ Honors and then get hired through that. But that's still not certain and difficult to do.


Interesting. That actually sounds exactly like what I want to do, although not necessarily to DOJ. I'm just worried about how difficult it is going to be to find a clerkship.

So would LRAP come into play in this scenario at all?

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Flips88 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:09 am

Blumpbeef wrote:
Flips88 wrote:I'll say that I went to NU very much wanting to do PI/Gov stuff, particularly DOJ or USAO. I've discussed my goals with multiple career people and all of them say that most government agencies do not hire straight out and that the path usually involves a few years at a firm. So right now my hopeful career path is clerkship + firm for 3-5 years=>lateral to USAO or DOJ. The one path that involves no firm is Art III. clerkship + DOJ Honors and then get hired through that. But that's still not certain and difficult to do.


Interesting. That actually sounds exactly like what I want to do, although not necessarily to DOJ. I'm just worried about how difficult it is going to be to find a clerkship.

So would LRAP come into play in this scenario at all?

No. I'd just try to very aggressively pay down my debt working at a firm. And yeah, clerkships aren't easy to get. I'm still waiting on my 2nd semester grades to see where I stand.

You could I think get LRAP if you clerk for 2 years and then do a government honors (DOJ, SEC, EEOC, etc.) program and then get a job from that. Even if you don't do LRAP, the regular PSLF program payments aren't *that* much. If you get a $60k government job, then your payment would be $540 per month or $6500 a year. That's not ideal on that salary, but it's manageable. With LRAP it'd be about half that or more (not sure what the % for 60k is on the spot)

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:17 am

I think the % varies with loan amount, I did the calc and it is:

ummm... lol, no I didn't. Sites down :lol: I actually would have wanted to reread through the whole thing again to get a better idea of how it worked.

I don't think it was significantly less than 6k on a 65k salary though when I checked it a couple days ago. for 80k jobs the payments were around 10k per year, which is definitely manageable. Do you know if your loan payments are tax deductible?

Do clerkships require top 10% or are they a bit easier to get than that? I think 11% of grads end up clerking, but is that 11% the absolute top students or it is a mix of people from the top 20 or 30%?

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Flips88 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:35 am

Blumpbeef wrote:I think the % varies with loan amount, I did the calc and it is:

ummm... lol, no I didn't. Sites down :lol: I actually would have wanted to reread through the whole thing again to get a better idea of how it worked.

I don't think it was significantly less than 6k on a 65k salary though when I checked it a couple days ago. for 80k jobs the payments were around 10k per year, which is definitely manageable. Do you know if your loan payments are tax deductible?

Do clerkships require top 10% or are they a bit easier to get than that? I think 11% of grads end up clerking, but is that 11% the absolute top students or it is a mix of people from the top 20 or 30%?

I honestly don't know. I'm guessing you need a hell of a GPA to get a Court of Appeals clerkship (like top 5%). Probably still need a pretty high GPA for a regular federal district one. I've heard a lot of it turns on recommendations from profs also.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:44 am

Blumpbeef wrote:I think the % varies with loan amount, I did the calc and it is:

ummm... lol, no I didn't. Sites down :lol: I actually would have wanted to reread through the whole thing again to get a better idea of how it worked.

I don't think it was significantly less than 6k on a 65k salary though when I checked it a couple days ago. for 80k jobs the payments were around 10k per year, which is definitely manageable. Do you know if your loan payments are tax deductible?

Do clerkships require top 10% or are they a bit easier to get than that? I think 11% of grads end up clerking, but is that 11% the absolute top students or it is a mix of people from the top 20 or 30%?


I think under 50k you pay nothing in loans. Your other figures sound about right, but, like you, I'm working on memory.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 - leading the T14 in bacon consumption

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:17 am

so there is a segment of the class that gets neither biglaw nor LRAP and is in serious trouble?




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