Notre Dame alum taking questions

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andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:59 pm

italianlover wrote:Don't know if this thread is still active. But, if it is, I have a question.

I just finished undergrad at ND this May, and I'm applying to law schools this fall. My numbers are such that I'm focused mostly on T10 schools, but ND keeps lingering in my mind, and I'm trying to decide how much weight I should give it if, say, Harvard or Chicago or Virginia is in the picture. Reasons ND remains appealing: quantity of high quality, Catholic, conservative faculty; my obvious affection for and connection to ND as an alum; siblings currently in undergrad there; potentially (hopefully) generous scholarship opportunities / relatively small debt load (as compared to a T10); the fact of being at a Catholic school. In general, I just like Notre Dame very much.

I know the answer to this depends on what / where I'd like to practice. Unfortunately, I'm not sure. Definitely not biglaw. I'd like to pursue a clerkship, and I've always been interested in fed. gov. work or public interest (maybe something in the Catholic/conservative sphere) . A small part of me is interested in academia, which of course indicates I ought to be looking at the highest ranked school possible.

I know that NDLS punches above its weight in terms of putting students in prestigious positions (especially clerkships), but I'm wondering if it does that well enough that it would be worth sacrificing higher rankings for the relative financial safety and hospitable intellectual environment it provides.

Thanks for any input you all might have.


I'm currently transitioning to big fed gov 2 years out, but I don't think that's the usual outcome. You'd be out of your gourd to turn down Harvard or Chicago to go to NDLS, no matter where you'd like to be. Those schools blow away NDLS in every relevant metric. Specifically, NDLS has a relatively generous LRAP, but it still requires you to work in public interest. Harvard will pay your loans no matter where you work. Chicago and Virginia also blow away NDLS in the best reason to go there: getting a right wing clerkship.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:31 am

andythefir wrote:
italianlover wrote:Don't know if this thread is still active. But, if it is, I have a question.

I just finished undergrad at ND this May, and I'm applying to law schools this fall. My numbers are such that I'm focused mostly on T10 schools, but ND keeps lingering in my mind, and I'm trying to decide how much weight I should give it if, say, Harvard or Chicago or Virginia is in the picture. Reasons ND remains appealing: quantity of high quality, Catholic, conservative faculty; my obvious affection for and connection to ND as an alum; siblings currently in undergrad there; potentially (hopefully) generous scholarship opportunities / relatively small debt load (as compared to a T10); the fact of being at a Catholic school. In general, I just like Notre Dame very much.

I know the answer to this depends on what / where I'd like to practice. Unfortunately, I'm not sure. Definitely not biglaw. I'd like to pursue a clerkship, and I've always been interested in fed. gov. work or public interest (maybe something in the Catholic/conservative sphere) . A small part of me is interested in academia, which of course indicates I ought to be looking at the highest ranked school possible.

I know that NDLS punches above its weight in terms of putting students in prestigious positions (especially clerkships), but I'm wondering if it does that well enough that it would be worth sacrificing higher rankings for the relative financial safety and hospitable intellectual environment it provides.

Thanks for any input you all might have.


I'm currently transitioning to big fed gov 2 years out, but I don't think that's the usual outcome. You'd be out of your gourd to turn down Harvard or Chicago to go to NDLS, no matter where you'd like to be. Those schools blow away NDLS in every relevant metric. Specifically, NDLS has a relatively generous LRAP, but it still requires you to work in public interest. Harvard will pay your loans no matter where you work. Chicago and Virginia also blow away NDLS in the best reason to go there: getting a right wing clerkship.


Agreed about all this. Also, congrats! Really happy for you.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:32 am

Bump.

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GurleyGurleyGone
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby GurleyGurleyGone » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:42 pm

What have you heard about students and external scholarships? The numbers have shown that NDLS is does not favor near full-tutiion scholarships so that leaves it up to external scholarships? Any scholarships that your classmates have received that are worth applying for compared to others?

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Pomeranian
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby Pomeranian » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:41 pm

WUSTL offers similar employment outcomes with MUCH better scholarships. I think some ND folks say ND has better alumni connections than Wash U, but whether this results in a boost in employment for grads is debatable. The numbers on LST show there's not much difference between the two.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:49 pm

Pomeranian wrote:WUSTL offers similar employment outcomes with MUCH better scholarships. I think some ND folks say ND has better alumni connections than Wash U, but whether this results in a boost in employment for grads is debatable. The numbers on LST show there's not much difference between the two.


While that may be true, I would be stunned if WUSTL's LRAP was in the same galaxy as ND's. If you're into big firms, I bet WUSTL does as well or better in St. Louis, Cleveland, and so on, but nowhere near as good in California, Texas, and other non-Midwest places.

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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby TirantMartorell » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:03 pm

Pomeranian wrote:WUSTL offers similar employment outcomes with MUCH better scholarships. I think some ND folks say ND has better alumni connections than Wash U, but whether this results in a boost in employment for grads is debatable. The numbers on LST show there's not much difference between the two.


Outcomes are similar, although LST shows ND is marginally better at biglaw+fed clerk (40.2% vs. 33.8%). Wash U offers much better scholarships for some. I've known people with better scholarship offers at ND. It all depends on your numbers. I think these 2 schools have very different admissions strategies. If you're sitting at median GPA with a 164/165, I doubt Wash U will throw much money at you, but you could get a good deal at ND.

Wash U offers great deals to splitters and that's probably their main advantage. If you have a 3.1 and a 168, Wash U is probably where you'll get the most money. Essentially, Wash you is now attracting a bunch of students with T14 LSAT numbers who perhaps have turned down T14 schools to attend Wash U for free.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:54 pm

I've seen the number of people getting substantial scholarships to NDLS go up in recent years. But still, probably true that WashU gives more. I think NDLS has maybe a very slight advantage over WashU, but it depends upon the market and what you want to do. For example, WashU has a terrible clerkship placement record and several students and former students on here have told me, both on the board and PMs, that it caused them to significantly underperform. That won't happen at NDLS, especially if you're conservative.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:01 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:I've seen the number of people getting substantial scholarships to NDLS go up in recent years. But still, probably true that WashU gives more. I think NDLS has maybe a very slight advantage over WashU, but it depends upon the market and what you want to do. For example, WashU has a terrible clerkship placement record and several students and former students on here have told me, both on the board and PMs, that it caused them to significantly underperform. That won't happen at NDLS, especially if you're conservative.


I'm frustrated that NDLS hasn't taken the opportunity of the down economy to out-bid its competitors. With that endowment they should have shrunk the classes and thrown huge money at top prospects when applications went down. Instead, it's my understanding the 1L class size has actually gone up.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:15 pm

andythefir wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:I've seen the number of people getting substantial scholarships to NDLS go up in recent years. But still, probably true that WashU gives more. I think NDLS has maybe a very slight advantage over WashU, but it depends upon the market and what you want to do. For example, WashU has a terrible clerkship placement record and several students and former students on here have told me, both on the board and PMs, that it caused them to significantly underperform. That won't happen at NDLS, especially if you're conservative.


I'm frustrated that NDLS hasn't taken the opportunity of the down economy to out-bid its competitors. With that endowment they should have shrunk the classes and thrown huge money at top prospects when applications went down. Instead, it's my understanding the 1L class size has actually gone up.


Yeah, this. It's frustrating. We should not have class sizes approaching 200. Wouldn't have to spread that money around if we just kept a smaller class size.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:58 pm

You'd take a hit in revenue from the 50 or so full-tuition-paying students you'd cut, but you could get some very high quality prospects by dipping into the endowment when peer schools are hurting.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:36 pm

Bump.

hoy456
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby hoy456 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:12 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:Bump.


Hey - chiming in with a question, if you are still monitoring this thread. thanks for taking the time. Really attracted to NDLS, as they've given me a 105k offer and it works well with elements of my personal life, being close to Chicago (wife currently working in Chicago).

I know this has been discussed ad nauseam, but I was wondering if you or anyone else had any new insight: how easy is it to get a well paying (160k+ post-grad) legal job in Chicago from NDLS? For what its worth, I went to UofC for undergrad.

From the data it looks like you need to be top 25% of the class (i.e. top 45 people) and on law review.

What are some habits or attributes of the people at NDLS who do get the limited biglaw jobs?

To that end, as well, how does NDLS compare to your experience in undergrad in terms of difficulty?

(And if any transfers are reading this, is NDLS more difficult than your previous school, and how so?)

I guess I'm trying to get a sense at what I need to do to succeed here and if it is worth the 105k vs. sticker at a low top 14?

I understand no law school is easy, but just trying to assess all of my options.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:09 pm

hoy456 wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:Bump.


Hey - chiming in with a question, if you are still monitoring this thread. thanks for taking the time. Really attracted to NDLS, as they've given me a 105k offer and it works well with elements of my personal life, being close to Chicago (wife currently working in Chicago).

I know this has been discussed ad nauseam, but I was wondering if you or anyone else had any new insight: how easy is it to get a well paying (160k+ post-grad) legal job in Chicago from NDLS? For what its worth, I went to UofC for undergrad.

From the data it looks like you need to be top 25% of the class (i.e. top 45 people) and on law review.

What are some habits or attributes of the people at NDLS who do get the limited biglaw jobs?

To that end, as well, how does NDLS compare to your experience in undergrad in terms of difficulty?

(And if any transfers are reading this, is NDLS more difficult than your previous school, and how so?)

I guess I'm trying to get a sense at what I need to do to succeed here and if it is worth the 105k vs. sticker at a low top 14?

I understand no law school is easy, but just trying to assess all of my options.


I was in the top 45 people in my class (top ¼ or so), and I didn't get any biglaw offers; I know lots of people that struck me as goobers who graduated without honors (outside of the top 40% or so) and did get those jobs. NDLS does way better for the top of its class than its peers, but the bottom of the class can end up more screwed than its peers. Now that I've been in the workforce a couple years, I strongly suggest you check out an actual biglaw office before you work backwards from getting a job there. Almost every attorney in a big firm hates their life, and every one I've met hates their job.

My intuition is that competition in every class will be top-heavy like my class was. I knew lots of religious and/or right wing folks who turned down more highly ranked schools to go to NDLS, and I knew some people that turned down super highly ranked schools where they got in as transfers.

I started as a DA in a small town, and one of the 4 judges went to ND, along with another DA. That network, plus the LRAP, plus the financial support for students both during and after law school allow you to get crucial experience for much better jobs, like my current job. I don't want to out NDIrish2010, but in the real world, he had a true dream job. ND doesn't open doors like Stanford or Harvard, but I would be stunned if, say, Cornell's alumni were as distributed or as loyal.

hoy456
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby hoy456 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:48 am

andythefir wrote:
I was in the top 45 people in my class (top ¼ or so), and I didn't get any biglaw offers; I know lots of people that struck me as goobers who graduated without honors (outside of the top 40% or so) and did get those jobs. NDLS does way better for the top of its class than its peers, but the bottom of the class can end up more screwed than its peers. Now that I've been in the workforce a couple years, I strongly suggest you check out an actual biglaw office before you work backwards from getting a job there. Almost every attorney in a big firm hates their life, and every one I've met hates their job.

My intuition is that competition in every class will be top-heavy like my class was. I knew lots of religious and/or right wing folks who turned down more highly ranked schools to go to NDLS, and I knew some people that turned down super highly ranked schools where they got in as transfers.

I started as a DA in a small town, and one of the 4 judges went to ND, along with another DA. That network, plus the LRAP, plus the financial support for students both during and after law school allow you to get crucial experience for much better jobs, like my current job. I don't want to out NDIrish2010, but in the real world, he had a true dream job. ND doesn't open doors like Stanford or Harvard, but I would be stunned if, say, Cornell's alumni were as distributed or as loyal.


Thanks a lot! On biglaw, an immediate family member was a partner before retirement and they enjoyed their time, but I do understand what you mean. I am five years out of school and have been working in finance, but in a role that puts me in contact with a lot of biglaw lawyers, and i've enjoyed the competitiveness and complexity of the work that I do and attracted to elements of the work they do.

I know I want to be a lawyer. But I'd like to be a lawyer doing complex corporate or regulatory work - the work to which I've been exposed and working around for the last 5 years. I guess my worry is I don't want to put myself totally at a dead end career wise, whatever I decide to do, biglaw or not, by going to Notre Dame.

But it seems like I shouldn't be so pessimistic, based on your response?

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:34 pm

hoy456 wrote:Thanks a lot! On biglaw, an immediate family member was a partner before retirement and they enjoyed their time, but I do understand what you mean. I am five years out of school and have been working in finance, but in a role that puts me in contact with a lot of biglaw lawyers, and i've enjoyed the competitiveness and complexity of the work that I do and attracted to elements of the work they do.

I know I want to be a lawyer. But I'd like to be a lawyer doing complex corporate or regulatory work - the work to which I've been exposed and working around for the last 5 years. I guess my worry is I don't want to put myself totally at a dead end career wise, whatever I decide to do, biglaw or not, by going to Notre Dame.

But it seems like I shouldn't be so pessimistic, based on your response?


It sounds like you know better than most what the job would entail, but biglaw has gotten exponentially more grueling in the last generation when salaries went from $120 to $160 and now to $180-those salaries don't pay for themselves. Still, you get great training, and it seems like you've got a pretty good idea of what making the sausage looks like.

I knew some people who found themselves at dead ends at NDLS, but that was because they were either knuckleheads who didn't take anything seriously or flatly refused to move from a particular saturated market (as in my employer was hiring but they all turned the job down). Most of the people at the top of my class were not straight from undergrad, and a lot of the people who had success despite not being at the top of the class had work experience.

To be fair, I had a blast at NDLS, and it certainly punches above its paygrade compared to its peers. But if you're dead set on Cravath it's objectively dumb to go to ND over Virginia or Michigan.

hoy456
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby hoy456 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:28 pm

andythefir wrote:
hoy456 wrote:Thanks a lot! On biglaw, an immediate family member was a partner before retirement and they enjoyed their time, but I do understand what you mean. I am five years out of school and have been working in finance, but in a role that puts me in contact with a lot of biglaw lawyers, and i've enjoyed the competitiveness and complexity of the work that I do and attracted to elements of the work they do.

I know I want to be a lawyer. But I'd like to be a lawyer doing complex corporate or regulatory work - the work to which I've been exposed and working around for the last 5 years. I guess my worry is I don't want to put myself totally at a dead end career wise, whatever I decide to do, biglaw or not, by going to Notre Dame.

But it seems like I shouldn't be so pessimistic, based on your response?


It sounds like you know better than most what the job would entail, but biglaw has gotten exponentially more grueling in the last generation when salaries went from $120 to $160 and now to $180-those salaries don't pay for themselves. Still, you get great training, and it seems like you've got a pretty good idea of what making the sausage looks like.

I knew some people who found themselves at dead ends at NDLS, but that was because they were either knuckleheads who didn't take anything seriously or flatly refused to move from a particular saturated market (as in my employer was hiring but they all turned the job down). Most of the people at the top of my class were not straight from undergrad, and a lot of the people who had success despite not being at the top of the class had work experience.

To be fair, I had a blast at NDLS, and it certainly punches above its paygrade compared to its peers. But if you're dead set on Cravath it's objectively dumb to go to ND over Virginia or Michigan.


Hey thanks for the followup! This is really helpful and encouraging. It does look like a good community and a good place to get a solid legal education. I just wanted to make sure the career outlook wasn't awful.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:45 pm

hoy456 wrote:
andythefir wrote:
hoy456 wrote:Thanks a lot! On biglaw, an immediate family member was a partner before retirement and they enjoyed their time, but I do understand what you mean. I am five years out of school and have been working in finance, but in a role that puts me in contact with a lot of biglaw lawyers, and i've enjoyed the competitiveness and complexity of the work that I do and attracted to elements of the work they do.

I know I want to be a lawyer. But I'd like to be a lawyer doing complex corporate or regulatory work - the work to which I've been exposed and working around for the last 5 years. I guess my worry is I don't want to put myself totally at a dead end career wise, whatever I decide to do, biglaw or not, by going to Notre Dame.

But it seems like I shouldn't be so pessimistic, based on your response?


It sounds like you know better than most what the job would entail, but biglaw has gotten exponentially more grueling in the last generation when salaries went from $120 to $160 and now to $180-those salaries don't pay for themselves. Still, you get great training, and it seems like you've got a pretty good idea of what making the sausage looks like.

I knew some people who found themselves at dead ends at NDLS, but that was because they were either knuckleheads who didn't take anything seriously or flatly refused to move from a particular saturated market (as in my employer was hiring but they all turned the job down). Most of the people at the top of my class were not straight from undergrad, and a lot of the people who had success despite not being at the top of the class had work experience.

To be fair, I had a blast at NDLS, and it certainly punches above its paygrade compared to its peers. But if you're dead set on Cravath it's objectively dumb to go to ND over Virginia or Michigan.


Hey thanks for the followup! This is really helpful and encouraging. It does look like a good community and a good place to get a solid legal education. I just wanted to make sure the career outlook wasn't awful.


Thanks for covering for me, I just saw this now. I endorse everything my esteemed friend said about Notre Dame. I actually struck out at OCI even though I was apparently in the top 15 and on law review at that point (combination of factors - bad market, bad interviewing, was trying to stay in the midwest despite being from NY originally, etc.). But as Andy said, it worked out pretty well for me. And I suspect that someone in my position today would have done much better, particularly in Chicago (the market really bottomed out in Chicago in 2012-13). But I'm happy that it's been four years since I graduated and I've never worked more than 55 hours in a week, and I've had some pretty great jobs. And the alumni network is truly incredible.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:39 pm

hoy456 wrote:Hey thanks for the followup! This is really helpful and encouraging. It does look like a good community and a good place to get a solid legal education. I just wanted to make sure the career outlook wasn't awful.


It certainly isn't awful, and every single member of the class of 2014 who didn't get good jobs turned down a good job with my employer. From my heavily biased perspective, ND may grease the wheels better in some kinds of jobs than a middle-tier top 14 school without a football team. I've gone into interviews with top 14 grads, bad state school grads, and for-profit grads, and every single one recognizes ND. I've personally made my career going to places young people generally flatly refuse to go, and ND opens doors in rural parts of the country. It certainly isn't the straightest path to a SCOTUS clerkship, and it's also not the straightest path to big firms. But ND's brand, alumni, and LRAP give you serious options.




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