Northwestern 2L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
LL201
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Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby LL201 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:18 pm

fire away!

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Geat27
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby Geat27 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:42 am

How much should I focus on grades in law school?

dru617
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby dru617 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:44 pm

I am also a NW 2L and I think I can handle this one, first noting my acknowledgment of its flame potential.

Answer/Rhetorical Question - Are you fking kidding??? In this economy you've got to be out of your mind not to know the answer to this. Worrying about grades should be your #1 priority, especially as a 1L. I know people who finished 1L at median at Northwestern who are considering dropping out based on their reasonable estimates of employment prospects vs. two more years of massive debt. Granted, their situation might be more due to innate ability or whatever else, rather than a lack of "focus". But focusing is an indispensable ingredient for all.

If you need stuff not to focus on/worry about during 1L at NW, consider over-involvement in student orgs, dating, and attending every single speaker/panel event that takes place. Not that these things aren't fine in moderation, but working hard on academics (i.e., grades) must always be your #1 priority.

mahalo109
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby mahalo109 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:53 pm

Do you thinks it's better to enter law school with an open mind, or some sense of what kind of lawyer you'd like to be? Will I be at an immediate disadvantage if I begin without focus? Or is it a waste of time to even worry about it, since my perspective will change so much during my first year?

alabamabound
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby alabamabound » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:01 pm

For NU Class of 2013, any recommendations (positive or negative) on prof's?

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daesonesb
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby daesonesb » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:03 pm

Are your classmates getting summer work?

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby Sauer Grapes » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:23 pm

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dru617
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby dru617 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:59 pm

Sauer Grapes wrote:
alabamabound wrote:For NU Class of 2013, any recommendations (positive or negative) on prof's?

Redish is great to have for Civ Pro, but the rumors are that he is a hard grader.

Tiller is great for contracts, and he admittedly tries to max out the higher grades as much as he can while still staying within the curve.


To this I would add that for an incoming 1L, you don't have any choices as to schedule for your 1st semester, so you wouldn't be able to act on any "recommendations" on 1L required classes. That said, Section III of 2010-2011 has, with one possible exception, a stellar lineup, at least for the first semester (it's the same as last year).

dru617
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby dru617 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:07 pm

daesonesb wrote:Are your classmates getting summer work?


I personally know of only one person who didn't find anything at all and is taking summer classes at the school (which isn't the absolute worst thing in the world as it lightens one's load during the fall and spring). Everyone else I know found something; some just took a lot longer. Oddly, some of the ones that didn't find jobs till the last minute ended up with the coolest gigs.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:13 pm

Also a 2L at NU.

I think the focus point is a wee bit overstated. I agree with dru that grades should be your #1 priority. ITE, even within the T14, median is not a great place to be if you want biglaw.

That being said, I think most people are best-served by making grades the #1 priority amongst other priorities. A lot of people err on the other side --- trying to do everything to get good grades then burning out. When you tell yourself "My life will be 100% law school" you actually create this weird incentive to work inefficiently. You exert a lot of effort, but you don't force yourself to prioritize.

Fundamentally, a rested mind is an asset in the final month of the semester (which counts for 100% of your grade). Every thing you study, you trade off this asset. Plan your studying so the value of what you learn by doing any given thing outweighs the cost of the energy you spend.

RE: Summer work. Most people I know are doing something. IMHO just taking classes looks bad, because it should be possible to at least get an RA or something. And yes, a lot of cooler jobs came in pretty late. Certain federal agencies were still doing interviews in late April!
Last edited by rayiner on Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:17 pm

How many times a week did you guys go out?

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animalcrkrs
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby animalcrkrs » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:20 pm

1) Things that are important are (in order of importance): Grades, grades and grades.
Agree with Rayiner however that it can't be the only thing in your life or you'll totally burn out.

2) Everyone I know is doing *something* this summer, ranging from firm jobs to sweet gov't gigs (SEC, FTC etc.), in-house counsel, judicial externships, state's attorney/public defender's office, clinic work, public interest gigs, etc. A few are doing just class and research for a professor, but even that doesn't look bad on a 1L resume (and as a previous poster said, gets you good easy credits) There is even an ITP (International Team Project) course going to Turkey over the summer (and making stops at like 3 other countries) which makes me sort of jealous I have a real paying gig I just can't ditch to go overseas during the summer...

3) I'm social, during the year up until finals time I go out at least once a week, usually twice (though not always with Law school people). There is a core set of super social people, another strong contingent of pretty social, a set of people with serious sig-o's (which require a LOT of extra effort 1L year to keep around lol) and some who aren't social at all or are social only outside of the law school crowd.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:22 pm

Desert Fox wrote:How many times a week did you guys go out?


Twice per week, sometimes thrice, but on days I had plans I'd be a good boy and work really hard before I clocked out. There is a great Mac app that helped me enormously: http://visitsteve.com/work/selfcontrol/

It's a timer-based website blocker, which blocks websites in a way even us software guys can't bypass.

dru617
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby dru617 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:25 pm

Desert Fox wrote:How many times a week did you guys go out?


I did not really go out much at all. But I think I am the exception in that regard. It's a very social atmosphere and people have fairly active lives. I also did well though. Could I have done as well (or even better) by doing less but doing it more efficiently? Maybe/maybe not. A correlation analysis on GPA and average nights out per week would be illuminating.

digits2006
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby digits2006 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:45 am

Do you interview when you applied?
Was the interview on or off campus?
How did the interview go?
Were you straight out of college?

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animalcrkrs
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby animalcrkrs » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Interviewed with an alum really early in the application process (early Oct. if I remember) off campus.
Put on hold, flew in to interview on campus.

I guess they went okay since they let me in. I remember a couple of sort of odd questions but can't remember exactly what they were now, but really nothing too insane. My guess (and this is not from any inside knowledge) is that they want to see if you are mature and able to handle yourself well in a conversation/interview, if you value what they have to offer (I had a business background and stressed I appreciated that about NU) and if you have some direction with where you are coming from and where you want to go.

I had 2 years work experience coming in, and almost everyone has some (I think the stats on the website are something like 96% have 1 year and 80%+ have 2 years coming in http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/profile/)

The average age has gotten a little older (26 now as opposed to 25) but it's really not that much different from most schools I don't think (though the range may be a bit more...we had a 19 year old girl who went to college when she was 16 and a 40+ y.o. in my section...soo....)

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:40 pm

digits2006 wrote:Do you interview when you applied?
Was the interview on or off campus?
How did the interview go?
Were you straight out of college?

No
n/a
n/a
No

I applied in mid-January and there were no more alumni interviews and I wasn't about to fly to Chicago to interview.

digits2006
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby digits2006 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:23 am

I saw that they like to take people with work experience. Do you think going to graduate school for two years will count as my "work experience"? By the time I get into law school, I will have two extra years of schooling and maturing.

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:59 am

digits2006 wrote:I saw that they like to take people with work experience. Do you think going to graduate school for two years will count as my "work experience"? By the time I get into law school, I will have two extra years of schooling and maturing.


Probs not.

clemente
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby clemente » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:08 pm

Do you know what the median GPA after 1L at NU is? Top 40%? Top 30%?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:10 pm

clemente wrote:Do you know what the median GPA after 1L at NU is? Top 40%? Top 30%?


People can only speculate. Based on my conversations with upper-classmen:

Median is ~3.35.
Top 40% is ~3.50.
Top 1/4 is ~3.65.
Top 10% is 3.8+.

This varies (pretty significantly given the small size of the class, the latitude in the banded curve, and the wide spread of the distribution) from year to year.

StupidQuestions
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby StupidQuestions » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:05 am

Do you miss not having an undergrad campus close by, or do you view this as a bonus?

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:44 am

StupidQuestions wrote:Do you miss not having an undergrad campus close by, or do you view this as a bonus?


Bonus. Undergrads are on average ~5 years younger than the 1L class and I really noticed it when I went to the UG campus.

StupidQuestions
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby StupidQuestions » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:25 am

I have more! How collegial/competitive is it? I read that there's more of a focus on collaborative team projects, like a business school. Does this mean the typical law school exam-taking skill isn't 100% of your grades in some classes? Since NU allegedly puts more of a premium on LSAT and less on GPA, do you find that a lot of people are science or engineering majors? Another student population question: because people are older, are they more likely to be married or in a committed relationship or otherwise boring? What are the politics of the student body and/or faculty like? Do you feel like the school is overshadowed by University of Chicago in reputation, or that it has forged its own unique reputation and identity?

Let's get this thread going!

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rayiner
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Re: Northwestern 2L taking questions

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:33 am

Most classes are 100% exam. We have some group things throughout the year, like teamwork exercises and contract drafting exercises, but ungraded. About twice as many engineers/capita than at other too schools. There do seem to be more married people than you would have a other schools, but they're not the majority. Maybe 15-20% married or engaged? As for reputation, neither U Chicago or NU have any lay prestige so you don't notice it day to day. In the legal area, I haven't noticed it in Chicago. Obviously U of C is more prestigous, but NU is sufficiently quirky as to not be overshadowed per se.




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