rachellen wrote:Hey everyone, sorry if this has been discussed already, but I just recently started following this forum... I'm deciding between Michigan, UVA, and Northwestern right now, and while I was leaning toward NU for a while, I have heard a few things about how it's heavy business orientation results in somewhat of a lack of support for public interest law. I'm definitely planning on a career in public interest, focused on environmental law, so I find such sentiments concerning.
If any current public interest-oriented students come across my post here, I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Feel free to PM me, if this isn't of great interest to others on this board. Thanks so much!
esrom55 wrote:I'd be interested in the answer to this as well....
The answer is yes. Most of my Chitown law friends are currently attending or have graduated from NU or UofC. I am well acquainted with both schools. NU is heavily business-oriented; UofC is very academic. NU is an "older" law school. Most of their applications are much more than 2 years removed from school; that is, they've had a career. I believe the average age at NU is ~28. 2-3 years ago, only 2-3% of their applicants were KJD. Of the small # of KJD applicants admitted in that cycle, 1's dad is the former CEO of Disney; the other's parents were one of the families that started another recognizable company. Now, however, I think we will see the avg age go down a little, as all the law schools will struggle to keep their numbers up despite a shrinking applicant pool.
Note, this does not mean most of their applicants went and worked as investment bankers, consultants, etc. To the contrary, a large portion of their admitted class worked for nonprofits or test prep companies. One current 2L is a former NHL hockey player. WE runs the gamut. Age is more important to this school than others. So, I would say at NU it's actually AGE > WE; they want maturity, and NU is very specific about this.
I feel that a strong aspect demonstrating NU's no-nonsense attitude is their application process/numbers game. They're very splitter friendly, and numbers are very important to them. One current student had a 178 and a 2.5 GPA. You may say someone with those numbers would of course get into some T14 schools, but many prefer a more "well-rounded" applicant. The fact that NU has historically taken many of these kinds of applicants is somewhat telling to their process and vision. They're a no-nonsense school that cares a lot about numbers and business. While PS may matter more at other schools, I get the strong feeling while it may matter somewhat at NU, perhaps not as much. That does not necessarily mean that they have no interest in public interest, though. It is a strong school with an even stronger business school, and it often attracts a certain kind of applicant.
Also, this may or may not help fill out more of a picture for you: most of my friends at NU and UofC are all in the top 10% of their classes. none of them (including those that are <10% but >25%) will be going into public interest. They're all going into BigLaw or Federal Appellate Clerkships. That being said, I don't think going to NU and doing well there would hurt anyone's chances of going into public interest. Hope this helps.
If I may add one more thing: be prepared for very expensive cost of living near NU
. The avg 1 bedroom apt within walking distance is $1700. Many students have studios. One student lives in a studio, and it costs $2200/month. It's across the street from the $1700/month one. Both are 4 blocks from school. The groceries are not cheap, either. They're definitely more expensive that NYC groceries. It also doesn't help that most nearby grocery stores are all organic/european-y type stores. (note that most students afford this type of expensive ass city living because they worked for many years and have saved some money. that does not mean anyone likes it lol).