Northwestern AJD taking questions

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Dick Whitman
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Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:27 pm

The Accelerated JD admissions deadline is January 15th -- this Friday -- so I thought I should offer an opportunity to get any last minute questions answered (I am a member of the inaugural class graduating in 2011). Ask away.

akaraka2
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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby akaraka2 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:35 am

Dick Whitman,
Looking back your applying, do they send the AJD decision rightly on Feb 1st?

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:08 pm

It's rolling admissions, so they should have already sent out some acceptances. AJD Admit weekend is February 25th and 26th, so they will probably try to get responses out in time to get as many people as possible to that. I was accepted pretty late, though. I wasn't even able to go to the first admit weekend -- I had to go to the second one with the regular students.

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:39 pm

Bump for the application deadline.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby wooblewobble » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:06 am

Dick Whitman wrote:Bump for the application deadline.


Had my interview in early December and just submitted the rest of the application earlier this week. Judging by your experience, it doesn't seem as though I should count on getting a response in the next two weeks..

On an unrelated note, I remember seeing a thread about how the AJDs may have an unfair advantage in OCI, and the discussion was kind of off-putting. Is that representative of the relationship between the AJD students and the 3-year JD students?

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:58 am

There is a natural tension for two reasons: (1) the AJD program is new and (2) the job market is very tight.

As to the first, what we've experienced is very similar to what the JD/MBAs experienced when they started the 3-year program. As such, that part should fade fairly quickly (as it did with the JD/MBAs).

As to the second, it's specific to the 2Ls. The same tension does not exist with the 1Ls or the 3Ls. It's also overblown. People will say things online they wouldn't say in person. I haven't had any trouble interacting with 2Ls and have a number of 2L friends. The 1Ls have had an opportunity to interact with the current AJDs, so their first encounter with AJDs will not be at OCI. An improvement in hiring will help as well.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby rogerw » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:44 am

Do you know what the range in GPAs, GMATs, and yrs of W/E was? How heavily do they weight the leadership experience factor. I figure you might have some idea just looking around the classroom.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby fl0w » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:51 am

This is more of question about the program (especially since the app. deadline is already passed). When I tell people that I've applied to AJD, they look at me like I'm crazy. This is mostly friends I have and have met that already have their JD. They can't imagine why I would want to cram the study into a condensed program.

Do you think the program is THAT much more intense than the 3 year program? One of my major draws is that I can get back to my career much sooner if admitted to AJD. After working for 5 years, it is appealing to get schooling done in 2 years as opposed to 3.

What are some challenges that are unique to the AJD program that the 3 year program does not experience?

Thanks!

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:19 pm

rogerw wrote:Do you know what the range in GPAs, GMATs, and yrs of W/E was? How heavily do they weight the leadership experience factor. I figure you might have some idea just looking around the classroom.


Per the entering class profile posted on NU's website:
Median GMAT: 710
Median LSAT: 170
Middle 50%: 168-173
Median GPA: 3.61
Middle 50%: 3.4-3.8
59% with graduate degrees
Median years of work experience: 6

In comparison, those are slight lower GMAT, slightly higher GPA, and slightly higher work experience numbers than the JD/MBA program. The LSAT numbers are slight better and the GPA numbers slightly worse than for the regular JD program.

The only thing I would add anecdotally is that there are some AJDs who only took the GMAT, and there are some AJDs with only a couple years of work experience. I don't know that they necessarily weight work experience more heavily; the AJDs as a whole have more of it, but the LSAT/GPA ranges are still similar to the regular class. I would say that as a whole the work experience for the AJDs is much better than for the regular students, but that is probably more a result of the type of students the program attracts than a greater weight given to quality work experience.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:34 pm

fl0w wrote:This is more of question about the program (especially since the app. deadline is already passed). When I tell people that I've applied to AJD, they look at me like I'm crazy. This is mostly friends I have and have met that already have their JD. They can't imagine why I would want to cram the study into a condensed program.

Do you think the program is THAT much more intense than the 3 year program? One of my major draws is that I can get back to my career much sooner if admitted to AJD. After working for 5 years, it is appealing to get schooling done in 2 years as opposed to 3.

What are some challenges that are unique to the AJD program that the 3 year program does not experience?

Thanks!


I don't think it's THAT much more intense. Plenty of people work 20 hours of week during law school -- I don't do 20 more hours of work a week than the regular students. The program is five semesters in two years (one summer for classes, one summer to work), so you only need to take one extra class per semester to complete the required hours to graduate. The law school workload is only brutal compared to undergrad. It's not brutal compared to any number of real world jobs, particularly working as an attorney at a big firm.
The opportunity to get back into the work force a year earlier was a huge draw for me as well. Financially it's a pretty easy choice.

The biggest challenge is due to the number of set classes. For a normal JD at NU, all classes are set the first semester, and three classes are set the second semester. They have complete flexibility the last four semesters (although there remain requirements such as legal ethics, etc.). For the AJD program, the first and second semesters are completely set, with two set classes in the third semester. This only leaves two semesters free. You still have a lot of hours for electives, but it can be difficult to string together certain classes that need to be taken sequentially (although there are few classes with prerequisites). There are a couple things to keep in mind though: (1) if you have an educational background in the proper coursework you can waive up to three courses; and (2) AJD students have provided feedback to the administration regarding the difficulties created by setting that many classes, so it may not be as much of a concern for future classes.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby fl0w » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:52 pm

Dick Whitman wrote:I don't think it's THAT much more intense. Plenty of people work 20 hours of week during law school -- I don't do 20 more hours of work a week than the regular students. The program is five semesters in two years (one summer for classes, one summer to work), so you only need to take one extra class per semester to complete the required hours to graduate. The law school workload is only brutal compared to undergrad. It's not brutal compared to any number of real world jobs, particularly working as an attorney at a big firm.
The opportunity to get back into the work force a year earlier was a huge draw for me as well. Financially it's a pretty easy choice.

The biggest challenge is due to the number of set classes. For a normal JD at NU, all classes are set the first semester, and three classes are set the second semester. They have complete flexibility the last four semesters (although there remain requirements such as legal ethics, etc.). For the AJD program, the first and second semesters are completely set, with two set classes in the third semester. This only leaves two semesters free. You still have a lot of hours for electives, but it can be difficult to string together certain classes that need to be taken sequentially (although there are few classes with prerequisites). There are a couple things to keep in mind though: (1) if you have an educational background in the proper coursework you can waive up to three courses; and (2) AJD students have provided feedback to the administration regarding the difficulties created by setting that many classes, so it may not be as much of a concern for future classes.


Thanks, that is pretty consistent with what I'd been thinking. It's nice to hear confirmation. One thing you mentioned that is not consistent with what I've heard is working 20 hours a week while in school. Did you mean 20hrs of class work (would not surprise me) or did you mean people have a part-time job and do that for 20hrs per week outside of school (that would surprise me).

Everything I've heard up to this point has suggested not holding a job while in law school full-time. Just wanted to make sure I understood that piece of your point.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:28 pm

I meant working at a job 20 hours a week outside of school. It's rare, particularly I assume at the T14, but it is done.

I met a partner at a big Chicago firm a few weeks ago. When the AJD program came up in conversation, his wife asked him if he could have handled law school in two years. His reply was along the lines of, "well, I worked 20 hours a week while I was in school, so yeah."

It's not uncommon for law students to put over 20 hours of work a week outside of class. Executive positions on a journal, for example, are particularly time consuming. I put quite a few hours into writing my Note this past semester, and spent a few hours a week on other extracurriculars.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby fl0w » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:57 pm

have any AJD candidates heard back yet?

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby rogerw » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:42 pm

Dick,
What is your schedule of classes now and what was it over the summer? What time do the AJD classes typically start and finish every day?

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:44 pm

rogerw wrote:Dick,
What is your schedule of classes now and what was it over the summer? What time do the AJD classes typically start and finish every day?


Summer:
The semester was 11 weeks long (reduced by two weeks to allow for OCI).
Two classes (Contracts & Property) were done in 5 week blocks, with a week in between for the first exam. Contracts met for the first 5 weeks from 9-10:45am MTRF, we took the Contracts final the next week, then Property met for 5 weeks from 9-10:45am MTRF. Civ Pro met all 11 weeks from 1-2:35pm on M & R. Negotiations met all 11 weeks from 2:45-5:55pm on M. Introduction to Law & Lawyering (ILL) met for the first 8 weeks from 1-4pm on T. CLR (legal writing) met for the first 8 weeks from 1-3pm on F. We spent more time in class per week due to the shortened semester. They divided Contracts & Property into the 5 week blocks and shortened ILL & CLR to alleviate the stress of exams. All of our classes were set, were together, and were in the same classroom (perhaps the nicest at the law school).

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:46 pm

rogerw wrote:Dick,
What is your schedule of classes now and what was it over the summer? What time do the AJD classes typically start and finish every day?


Fall:
Our remaining three doctrinal classes were set, and we took them all together. We were forced to take Business Associations (BA) and Legal Ethics, but we were allowed to bid on which section we wanted and were mixed in with regular JDs. Accounting, Financing, & Statistics was required, but with the option to waive if you had the appropriate coursework coming in (I waived it and took Basic Federal Income tax as an elective; seven other AJDs also waived the class). Our classes began to meet at more normal times for classes at NU Law. Classes are usually divided between MTW classes, RF classes, night classes, and classes with irregular schedules (which is quite common).
Con Law met from 10:55am-11:50 am on MTW. Torts met from 1:30-2:25 on MTW. Crim Law met from 10:25-11:50am on RF. I took BA at 2:35 on MTW, Ethics at 4pm on W, and Tax at 2pm on RF.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:53 pm

rogerw wrote:Dick,
What is your schedule of classes now and what was it over the summer? What time do the AJD classes typically start and finish every day?


Spring:
We have three remaining required courses: CLR (legal writing) II; Decision-making, Leadership, & Teamwork; and Business Strategy for Lawyers. CLR II meets 12:00-1:30pm on R and 8:50-10:15am on F. Decision-making meets from 4-5:50pm on T (I was able to waive this class). Decision-making is a new class populated entirely by AJDs. Business Strategy meets from 9:50-10:45am on MTW (I was able to waive it as well). Business Strategy is a graduation requirement, so we had the opportunity to opt out this semester and take it next year. It's an existing class, and we take it with normal JDs.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby rogerw » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:43 am

Thanks. Have any ajd applicants gotten a response yet? It seems like they are waiting until Feb 1 to start responding.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby rogerw » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:02 pm

Hey Dick,
Seeing as the admissions office missed the Feb 1 deadline and that none of us have the guts to call the office directly, do you think you could swing by the admissions office tomorrow and ask them what is going on? We are all dying to know when we are going to get an answer.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:13 pm

rogerw wrote:Hey Dick,
Seeing as the admissions office missed the Feb 1 deadline and that none of us have the guts to call the office directly, do you think you could swing by the admissions office tomorrow and ask them what is going on? We are all dying to know when we are going to get an answer.


I wouldn't hesitate at this point to call/email and ask for an update (once).

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Sully1234 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:17 am

Dick,

I have been admitted to the AJD program (YAY!) and would like some advice about preparation. Given that we have about 3 months until classes start, it would be helpful to know what you did to prepare in the months leading up to starting at NW. Some pre-law books suggest reading primers, commercial outlines, and canned briefs. Others recommend reading a trashy novel on the beach. Clearly a balance of focused study and relaxation is important. It would be helpful if you could share your perspective. Thank you!

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:06 pm

Sully1234 wrote:Dick,

I have been admitted to the AJD program (YAY!) and would like some advice about preparation. Given that we have about 3 months until classes start, it would be helpful to know what you did to prepare in the months leading up to starting at NW. Some pre-law books suggest reading primers, commercial outlines, and canned briefs. Others recommend reading a trashy novel on the beach. Clearly a balance of focused study and relaxation is important. It would be helpful if you could share your perspective. Thank you!


As a general rule, I would stay away from prep before the program starts. It's really an enormous waste of time because you don't know what you need to know. A couple of books I think are worth reading are Getting to Maybe and Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams. I do think that reading as much as possible before starting is a good way to get your mind ready for the rigors of massive daily law school reading. But rather than legal material or a trashy novel I would read something of some literary merit.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby fl0w » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:55 pm

Dick Whitman wrote:stuff


Dick,

PM'd you with a pretty specific question. Thanks.

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby angelchild03 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:27 pm

I was admitted to the AJD program and I'm currently researching housing options. I like the convenience of the neighborhood in the immediate vicinity of the school (I think it's called streeterville), but I haven't heard anything about it being family friendly. I have a 10-year-old son who is NOT happy about having to relocate to Chicago. I'm looking for a place that would be comfortable for him and has a good public neighborhood school (I can't afford private school for him AND law school for me :) )

Are there families with school-age children living in Streeterville? If so, which apartments are "kid friendly"? What is the neighborhood school like?

I've also researched the Lincoln Park area and based on what I've seen it's wonderful for families. How is the commute from that area? Do a lot of students live there? And what about the neighborhood schools?

I should also mention that I have a dog, he's a 5lb chihuahua, so a pet friendly place is a must.

Any insight would greatly be appreciated...thanks!

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Re: Northwestern AJD taking questions

Postby fl0w » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:15 pm

angelchild03 wrote:I was admitted to the AJD program and I'm currently researching housing options. I like the convenience of the neighborhood in the immediate vicinity of the school (I think it's called streeterville), but I haven't heard anything about it being family friendly. I have a 10-year-old son who is NOT happy about having to relocate to Chicago. I'm looking for a place that would be comfortable for him and has a good public neighborhood school (I can't afford private school for him AND law school for me :) )

Are there families with school-age children living in Streeterville? If so, which apartments are "kid friendly"? What is the neighborhood school like?

I've also researched the Lincoln Park area and based on what I've seen it's wonderful for families. How is the commute from that area? Do a lot of students live there? And what about the neighborhood schools?

I should also mention that I have a dog, he's a 5lb chihuahua, so a pet friendly place is a must.

Any insight would greatly be appreciated...thanks!


i actually live in lincoln park. the commute from there would be very easy. the 151 bus goes right down to michigan ave and drops you at chicago and you're a 5 min walk from campus at that point. total trip takes 20 min at most. lincoln park is family friendly and dog friendly. a lot of park area for playing with dog and child. the lincoln park zoo is right there (and is free). To my knowledge, the schools there are good as well.

I don't know much about streeterville.




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