Notre Dame alum taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Fauken
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby Fauken » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:44 pm

Thank you for taking questions! Do you happen to know how the IP students did after graduation? Did you know a lot of engineers?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:19 pm

Fauken wrote:Thank you for taking questions! Do you happen to know how the IP students did after graduation? Did you know a lot of engineers?


There were not many in my class at all. But one that I knew on law review still kind of struggled during OCI. It wasn't easy for him. But I still think in general it's better to be IP than not.

Fauken
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby Fauken » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:58 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
Fauken wrote:Thank you for taking questions! Do you happen to know how the IP students did after graduation? Did you know a lot of engineers?


There were not many in my class at all. But one that I knew on law review still kind of struggled during OCI. It wasn't easy for him. But I still think in general it's better to be IP than not.


Do you remember why he struggled?

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gastronomy
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby gastronomy » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:25 pm

Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:40 am

Fauken wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
Fauken wrote:Thank you for taking questions! Do you happen to know how the IP students did after graduation? Did you know a lot of engineers?


There were not many in my class at all. But one that I knew on law review still kind of struggled during OCI. It wasn't easy for him. But I still think in general it's better to be IP than not.


Do you remember why he struggled?


I had a friend who had no problem. ND has opened an IP clinic since the class of '13 graduated, which I'm sure makes a huge difference. I think they also offer a gimmicky certificate in patent law for non-NDLS students. That said, it might make more sense to go somewhere on one of the coasts or with elite research done elsewhere in the university for IP. I have no idea, just speculating.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:48 am

gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I am from New Mexico, and I had a hard time with the transition. But you'd have a hard time in Cambridge or New Haven or D.C., too. And ND students use the weather/general South Bend misery as a way to come together from very different backgrounds. The school also has facilities like sun lamps in the student health center to help you get vitamin D.

That said, weighing the climate of a law school is insane. As uncomfortable as South Bend can be, it's a lot more comfortable than the food stamp line. You don't go to law school for a good time, you go to get a job on the other end.

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gastronomy
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby gastronomy » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:50 am

andythefir wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I am from New Mexico, and I had a hard time with the transition. But you'd have a hard time in Cambridge or New Haven or D.C., too. And ND students use the weather/general South Bend misery as a way to come together from very different backgrounds. The school also has facilities like sun lamps in the student health center to help you get vitamin D.

That said, weighing the climate of a law school is insane. As uncomfortable as South Bend can be, it's a lot more comfortable than the food stamp line. You don't go to law school for a good time, you go to get a job on the other end.


Good points. Thank you!

DJ2k15
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby DJ2k15 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:23 pm

gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.

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gastronomy
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby gastronomy » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:36 pm

DJ2k15 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.


I'm definitely planning to visit. Thank you for the insight!

Since you mentioned that you're from California, I was wondering if most of the ND grads who landed jobs in CA were originally from CA? I'm assuming that it would be difficult to break into the CA legal market coming from Notre Dame if a grad doesn't have existing ties?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:48 pm

gastronomy wrote:
DJ2k15 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.


I'm definitely planning to visit. Thank you for the insight!

Since you mentioned that you're from California, I was wondering if most of the ND grads who landed jobs in CA were originally from CA? I'm assuming that it would be difficult to break into the CA legal market coming from Notre Dame if a grad doesn't have existing ties?


http://law.nd.edu/careers/career-map/ This is a pretty useful tool for answering that question that CDO just put on the website pretty recently.

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gastronomy
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby gastronomy » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:56 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:
DJ2k15 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.


I'm definitely planning to visit. Thank you for the insight!

Since you mentioned that you're from California, I was wondering if most of the ND grads who landed jobs in CA were originally from CA? I'm assuming that it would be difficult to break into the CA legal market coming from Notre Dame if a grad doesn't have existing ties?


http://law.nd.edu/careers/career-map/ This is a pretty useful tool for answering that question that CDO just put on the website pretty recently.


That's really helpful! Thanks so much!

crystallize
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby crystallize » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:57 pm

gastronomy wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:
DJ2k15 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.


I'm definitely planning to visit. Thank you for the insight!

Since you mentioned that you're from California, I was wondering if most of the ND grads who landed jobs in CA were originally from CA? I'm assuming that it would be difficult to break into the CA legal market coming from Notre Dame if a grad doesn't have existing ties?


http://law.nd.edu/careers/career-map/ This is a pretty useful tool for answering that question that CDO just put on the website pretty recently.


That's really helpful! Thanks so much!


I had the same concerns - thanks for sharing this tool! Does anyone happen to know about the bar passage rate for California with a NDLS education?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:57 pm

crystallize wrote:
gastronomy wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:
DJ2k15 wrote:
gastronomy wrote:Do out-of-state students (particularly from the West Coast) find it difficult to adjust to life in the midwest? Or, has the transition been generally smooth?


I have lived in California my entire life, and I did not find the transition to South Bend to be that bad. Particularly because of how amazing the law school facilities are. The law school is self-sustaining insofar as all the classrooms, library, food and coffee are all in one building in. On the coldest of days, all you really have to worry about is the walk there and back. There are also lockers available to store clothing. Regardless of where you attend, you will be spending the entirety of your day at the law school so the weather, in my opinion, should not be a decisive factor. You should definitely visit if you are seriously considering attending.


I'm definitely planning to visit. Thank you for the insight!

Since you mentioned that you're from California, I was wondering if most of the ND grads who landed jobs in CA were originally from CA? I'm assuming that it would be difficult to break into the CA legal market coming from Notre Dame if a grad doesn't have existing ties?


http://law.nd.edu/careers/career-map/ This is a pretty useful tool for answering that question that CDO just put on the website pretty recently.


That's really helpful! Thanks so much!


I had the same concerns - thanks for sharing this tool! Does anyone happen to know about the bar passage rate for California with a NDLS education?


I managed to pass the California bar, so that says a lot! We don't have that many people take it, but I would venture to guess the large majority pass (like in every other state).

To be honest, the California bar is not that hard. It is just an endurance test. And it won't even be that anymore now that they are cutting it back to two days.

PhysicistLawyer
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby PhysicistLawyer » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:13 pm

Hey - thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of prospective students. I have a few that I don't think have been addressed yet.

1. How open is Notre Dame to negotiating scholarships? They have yet to send out scholarship information but I have full ride offers from U MN and Indiana - Bloomington that I am hoping Notre Dame would match.

2. Did you enjoy your time at Notre Dame? If you did everything over again, would you still pick Notre Dame?

3. Why did you end up picking Notre Dame? What do they offer that other law schools do not?

4. What is there to do in South Bend besides tailgate? I have heard that there's not a whole lot to do outside of watching football.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:15 am

PhysicistLawyer wrote:Hey - thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of prospective students. I have a few that I don't think have been addressed yet.

1. How open is Notre Dame to negotiating scholarships? They have yet to send out scholarship information but I have full ride offers from U MN and Indiana - Bloomington that I am hoping Notre Dame would match.

2. Did you enjoy your time at Notre Dame? If you did everything over again, would you still pick Notre Dame?

3. Why did you end up picking Notre Dame? What do they offer that other law schools do not?

4. What is there to do in South Bend besides tailgate? I have heard that there's not a whole lot to do outside of watching football.


In order:

1: No idea, you're in a much better shape than I was.

2: ND as the most difficult and most rewarding time of my life so far. I miss it every single day. I didn't really prepare for the LSAT or take any time off in between undergrad and law school, and I applied in one of the most competitive cycles in history. If I could do it over again, I'd have done better on the LSAT and gotten work experience-and gone to ND with a better scholarship. I am unbelievably thankful I went there.

3: I had an emotional attachment to ND, so it was never really a fair fight. A more clear-headed analysis would focus on the LRAP, better national placement than its peers, very competitive clerkship placement, and courses offered in IP/in London that other schools don't have. Discount that by the high cost of attending and sub-optimal biglaw placement.

4: South Bend is way bigger than people make it out to be, but I come from a small town. But picking a law school based on its nightlife is stupid, pick a school that is likely to get you a job on the other end.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:37 pm

PhysicistLawyer wrote:Hey - thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of prospective students. I have a few that I don't think have been addressed yet.

1. How open is Notre Dame to negotiating scholarships? They have yet to send out scholarship information but I have full ride offers from U MN and Indiana - Bloomington that I am hoping Notre Dame would match.

2. Did you enjoy your time at Notre Dame? If you did everything over again, would you still pick Notre Dame?

3. Why did you end up picking Notre Dame? What do they offer that other law schools do not?

4. What is there to do in South Bend besides tailgate? I have heard that there's not a whole lot to do outside of watching football.


1. Not sure how this has changed since I was there, but most people in my class got at least a 2k bump if they tried to negotiate.

2. Notre Dame is the best place in the world and I miss it every day. I was there for 6 years and it was not long enough. I am moving back to South Bend in September and I couldn't be happier.

3. See above. But also, if you are conservative, it offers many things that other law schools do not (influential conservative faculty with connections to conservative judges, highly active FedSoc chapter that gets top-flight speakers including Justices Thomas and Alito in recent years, etc.). Plus the obvious benefits if you are a Catholic.

4. I suppose if you need a big city, you might dislike South Bend. I am not like that, so it is hard for me to understand what exactly is wrong with it.

CousinBo
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby CousinBo » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:14 pm

1. Are the students very competitive because of the small class size?

2. How do average students fair after graduation?

3. What does ND do better than most schools?

Thanks for answering!

GreatBraffsby
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby GreatBraffsby » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:27 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:
PhysicistLawyer wrote:Hey - thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of prospective students. I have a few that I don't think have been addressed yet.

1. How open is Notre Dame to negotiating scholarships? They have yet to send out scholarship information but I have full ride offers from U MN and Indiana - Bloomington that I am hoping Notre Dame would match.

2. Did you enjoy your time at Notre Dame? If you did everything over again, would you still pick Notre Dame?

3. Why did you end up picking Notre Dame? What do they offer that other law schools do not?

4. What is there to do in South Bend besides tailgate? I have heard that there's not a whole lot to do outside of watching football.


1. Not sure how this has changed since I was there, but most people in my class got at least a 2k bump if they tried to negotiate.

2. Notre Dame is the best place in the world and I miss it every day. I was there for 6 years and it was not long enough. I am moving back to South Bend in September and I couldn't be happier.

3. See above. But also, if you are conservative, it offers many things that other law schools do not (influential conservative faculty with connections to conservative judges, highly active FedSoc chapter that gets top-flight speakers including Justices Thomas and Alito in recent years, etc.). Plus the obvious benefits if you are a Catholic.

4. I suppose if you need a big city, you might dislike South Bend. I am not like that, so it is hard for me to understand what exactly is wrong with it.


Quick question about #3. How much should your political stance determine where you go to law school? Do you think that programs like Notre Dame and Vanderbilt have more connections and job prospects to offer for conservative students, or conversely less opportunities for liberals? Considering young conservative scholars are in the minority, would that explain why Vanderbilt and Notre Dame have competitive clerkship placement (as opposed to other factors like excellent career services/quality of education)?

Also, what happens if your view on the law and your political leaning are at odds. Let's say you are in favor of gun control, planned parenthood, environmental regulations, and other Democratic policies, but you believe in Judicial restraint and originalism. Would you join the Fed or Constitutional society/would that affect what judges you apply to clerk with? In short, is it unusual or a disadvantage to be politically liberal, yet conservative regarding the law (or vice versa)?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:50 am

GreatBraffsby wrote:
ndirish2010 wrote:
PhysicistLawyer wrote:Hey - thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of prospective students. I have a few that I don't think have been addressed yet.

1. How open is Notre Dame to negotiating scholarships? They have yet to send out scholarship information but I have full ride offers from U MN and Indiana - Bloomington that I am hoping Notre Dame would match.

2. Did you enjoy your time at Notre Dame? If you did everything over again, would you still pick Notre Dame?

3. Why did you end up picking Notre Dame? What do they offer that other law schools do not?

4. What is there to do in South Bend besides tailgate? I have heard that there's not a whole lot to do outside of watching football.


1. Not sure how this has changed since I was there, but most people in my class got at least a 2k bump if they tried to negotiate.

2. Notre Dame is the best place in the world and I miss it every day. I was there for 6 years and it was not long enough. I am moving back to South Bend in September and I couldn't be happier.

3. See above. But also, if you are conservative, it offers many things that other law schools do not (influential conservative faculty with connections to conservative judges, highly active FedSoc chapter that gets top-flight speakers including Justices Thomas and Alito in recent years, etc.). Plus the obvious benefits if you are a Catholic.

4. I suppose if you need a big city, you might dislike South Bend. I am not like that, so it is hard for me to understand what exactly is wrong with it.


Quick question about #3. How much should your political stance determine where you go to law school? Do you think that programs like Notre Dame and Vanderbilt have more connections and job prospects to offer for conservative students, or conversely less opportunities for liberals? Considering young conservative scholars are in the minority, would that explain why Vanderbilt and Notre Dame have competitive clerkship placement (as opposed to other factors like excellent career services/quality of education)?

Also, what happens if your view on the law and your political leaning are at odds. Let's say you are in favor of gun control, planned parenthood, environmental regulations, and other Democratic policies, but you believe in Judicial restraint and originalism. Would you join the Fed or Constitutional society/would that affect what judges you apply to clerk with? In short, is it unusual or a disadvantage to be politically liberal, yet conservative regarding the law (or vice versa)?


This is one of the most interesting questions I have seen on these forums.

1. I don't think political leanings are the end-all-be-all for where you go to school - after all, most people end up doing something that has nothing to do with ideology. But I do think it could be a tiebreaker. There's no question that Notre Dame offers more in terms of opportunities for conservatives than basically all of its peers, and many schools even above it. For example, we place heavily into Blackstone and right-leaning public interest firms tend to view NDLS more favorably than some other schools. And that's not to mention clerkships. Influential conservatives like Judge O'Scannlain often hire from Notre Dame (Judge Sutton has hired multiple clerks as well and Judges Pryor and Sykes - now infamously mentioned as SCOTUS nominees by Donald Trump, lol, also have hired recently). A lot of this has to do with our faculty - AJ Bellia (Scalia/O'Scannlain), Rick Garnett (Rehnquist/Morris Arnold), Nicole Garnett (Thomas/Morris Arnold), Amy Barrett (Scalia/Silberman), Randy Kozel (Kennedy/Kozinski), Jeff Pojanowski (Kennedy/Roberts (D.C. Cir.)...not to mention Bill Kelley, who was the guy in charge of vetting judicial nominees in the Bush 43 administration and has innumerable connections to conservative judges.

2. I do think the fact that there are fewer conservative law students does account for part of Notre Dame's solid placement as well as the powerful nature of the FedSoc network, as compared to ACS at least.

3. Most people tend to have their legal and political views align, but not everyone does. In fact, I'm kind of one of them, although I fit squarely in FedSoc as a libertarian politically but a judicial conservative (e.g., I have no real problem with gay marriage, but strongly feel that Obergefell was wrong). Given that FedSoc is a conservatarian organization, that's not really much of a conflict. But if you have progressive views and you're also an originalist, textualist, and wary of "activism," you might find it hard to fit anywhere. You would probably be more of a fit clerking for conservative judges, but you would not necessarily be a clean fit in FedSoc or in ACS (with whom you would disagree on basic methods of interpretation). I would still probably recommend that such a person join FedSoc, so long as you can get along with people who hold conservative policy views. I don't necessarily think it's a disadvantage - in fact, I think it would be something interesting to talk about in clerkship interviews. Conservative judges would particularly respect someone like that.

andythefir
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:52 pm

I'd also add that I've heard that you need absolutely immaculate credentials to get in with a "liberal" judge (think tippy top of your class all the way from high school through elite undergrad, elite law school, elite feeder judge, elite firm), whereas "conservative" judges just can't afford to be as picky because so may law students are liberal. Justice Thomas hired an LSU clerk a few years back, as an example.

As far as NDLS goes, I hesitate to say that left wing students have a bad time, but I'm not left wing. There's just so many more opportunities for right wing students. I'd imagine you see something equal and opposite at, say, Berkley. At the same time, it's a Catholic school. There are crucifixes on the walls. That will draw a certain kind of law professor that will have a certain network.

I'd also add that the social life skews right wing, although not nearly as much as my undergrad skewed left wing. I'd say ND undergrads are probably 60/40 liberal to conservative, while NDLS is probably 70/30 conservative to liberal. As a point of contrast, my undergrad was around 95/5 liberal to conservative.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:06 pm

andythefir wrote:I'd also add that I've heard that you need absolutely immaculate credentials to get in with a "liberal" judge (think tippy top of your class all the way from high school through elite undergrad, elite law school, elite feeder judge, elite firm), whereas "conservative" judges just can't afford to be as picky because so may law students are liberal. Justice Thomas hired an LSU clerk a few years back, as an example.

As far as NDLS goes, I hesitate to say that left wing students have a bad time, but I'm not left wing. There's just so many more opportunities for right wing students. I'd imagine you see something equal and opposite at, say, Berkley. At the same time, it's a Catholic school. There are crucifixes on the walls. That will draw a certain kind of law professor that will have a certain network.

I'd also add that the social life skews right wing, although not nearly as much as my undergrad skewed left wing. I'd say ND undergrads are probably 60/40 liberal to conservative, while NDLS is probably 70/30 conservative to liberal. As a point of contrast, my undergrad was around 95/5 liberal to conservative.


I don't think ND undergrad skews liberal at all, actually. My data points are my personal experiences as an undergrad as well as the results of the 2012 mock election, where Mitt won 51-43 among the entire student body.

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Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby loxcreamcheese » Tue May 17, 2016 3:44 pm

Hey Everyone. This question is directed to NDLS students or alum. So I'm from NYC, I've been accepted to Fordham and Notre Dame. I can't for the life of me make up my mind. If I wasn't worried about getting a job in NY and some of the tensions of my family and gf, I'd choose ND in a heartbeat but a recurring motif of weak placement in NYC biglaw or -- weak compared to Fordham is giving me pause. I'm receiving roughly the same in scholarship from both schools. Here is the case for both schools.

ND Pros: I've visited the school, it is breathtakingly beautiful. The people seem very affable and approachable. The girls (I know I have a gf but I'm a guy dammit and I've noticed). The #22 ranking is making me salivate. The chance to go somewhere else having lived my entire life in NYC. The fact that I stayed home for undergrad. The ability to be indoctrinated with a spirit of camaraderie and passion for a particular school, its mascot and ethos. As some of my friends have said: NY is NY It'll be there when you get back. Football tailgating, intramural sports (like boxing) assuming I'll have time which I probably won't. Proximity to Chicago if I need a refreshment of the big city feel. The great reputation regarding its academic rigor and resources. Lower cost of living than NYC.

ND Cons: Aside from the campus nothing to do in South bend, Annoying undergradders running amok, Horrible winters that would make Winterfell look like King's Landing. Being far (11 hour drive) from family, gf and friends. Weak placement (or so I've heard, in NYC) biglaw or maybe just jobs in general. Missing out on nyc connections. Might lose gf or increase risk due to long distance law school dynamic and temptations.

Fordham Pros: Feels like the path of least resistance in the sense that I don't need to uproot my life. Great nyc connections. Close to family, friends and gf. Strong in biglaw and corporate which I tentatively think I want to do. Although living costs are more expensive I can in theory (really don't want to) live at home for a year or even a few and cut down on costs for rent, food, etc. I've heard behind Columbia and NYU, Fordham is kind of like the next feeder since Cornell is so far away. Possibly can work part time in nyc firms and develop connections, network. Recurring motif that lawyers like the practicality of Fordham, and heard the phrase "Fordham Mafia."

Fordham Cons: #37 -- I care about rankings. Same public transit ordeal. Across town from college (no joke, literally just on the west side), Monotony of being in the same place. No "growth" as a person -- maybe this is conjecture. No sense of family and camaraderie. People will just go to and from class and library. I stay in my bubble.

With all that being said, rankings are volatile and change yearly for the most part. It seems that ND ranges from 20-26 and Fordham from 30-37. It very well may be the case that I'll be so busy in law school I wont give a hoot about sports or the campus since I'll be cooped up in the library or what have you. Maybe this "going away" thing isn't what it's cut out to be and just illusory. Maybe employment is better in ny and I should use that as my sole criterion but happiness should count shouldn't it? I've heard that if you're okay with not going to nyc straight away you can do well for yourself in Chicago, other parts of the midwest or Cali and always transfer (if you make it to a major firm). Anyways feel free to give it to me straight, warts and all. This is pretty time-sensitive, I have like a week. Thanks in advance.

irish921
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:22 pm

Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby irish921 » Tue May 17, 2016 4:11 pm

Law school transparency. ND has been solid in its bigger placement recently. Last year went 40% biglaw + fed clerk. If you do well enough to get biglaw, you can choose NY easily. They have a NY biglaw interview program and several well known NY firms do come to campus. It's mostly self selection that skews the numbers lower for Manhattan.

andythefir
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:56 am

Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby andythefir » Mon May 23, 2016 1:26 pm

loxcreamcheese wrote:Hey Everyone. This question is directed to NDLS students or alum. So I'm from NYC, I've been accepted to Fordham and Notre Dame. I can't for the life of me make up my mind. If I wasn't worried about getting a job in NY and some of the tensions of my family and gf, I'd choose ND in a heartbeat but a recurring motif of weak placement in NYC biglaw or -- weak compared to Fordham is giving me pause. I'm receiving roughly the same in scholarship from both schools. Here is the case for both schools.

ND Pros: I've visited the school, it is breathtakingly beautiful. The people seem very affable and approachable. The girls (I know I have a gf but I'm a guy dammit and I've noticed). The #22 ranking is making me salivate. The chance to go somewhere else having lived my entire life in NYC. The fact that I stayed home for undergrad. The ability to be indoctrinated with a spirit of camaraderie and passion for a particular school, its mascot and ethos. As some of my friends have said: NY is NY It'll be there when you get back. Football tailgating, intramural sports (like boxing) assuming I'll have time which I probably won't. Proximity to Chicago if I need a refreshment of the big city feel. The great reputation regarding its academic rigor and resources. Lower cost of living than NYC.

ND Cons: Aside from the campus nothing to do in South bend, Annoying undergradders running amok, Horrible winters that would make Winterfell look like King's Landing. Being far (11 hour drive) from family, gf and friends. Weak placement (or so I've heard, in NYC) biglaw or maybe just jobs in general. Missing out on nyc connections. Might lose gf or increase risk due to long distance law school dynamic and temptations.

Fordham Pros: Feels like the path of least resistance in the sense that I don't need to uproot my life. Great nyc connections. Close to family, friends and gf. Strong in biglaw and corporate which I tentatively think I want to do. Although living costs are more expensive I can in theory (really don't want to) live at home for a year or even a few and cut down on costs for rent, food, etc. I've heard behind Columbia and NYU, Fordham is kind of like the next feeder since Cornell is so far away. Possibly can work part time in nyc firms and develop connections, network. Recurring motif that lawyers like the practicality of Fordham, and heard the phrase "Fordham Mafia."

Fordham Cons: #37 -- I care about rankings. Same public transit ordeal. Across town from college (no joke, literally just on the west side), Monotony of being in the same place. No "growth" as a person -- maybe this is conjecture. No sense of family and camaraderie. People will just go to and from class and library. I stay in my bubble.

With all that being said, rankings are volatile and change yearly for the most part. It seems that ND ranges from 20-26 and Fordham from 30-37. It very well may be the case that I'll be so busy in law school I wont give a hoot about sports or the campus since I'll be cooped up in the library or what have you. Maybe this "going away" thing isn't what it's cut out to be and just illusory. Maybe employment is better in ny and I should use that as my sole criterion but happiness should count shouldn't it? I've heard that if you're okay with not going to nyc straight away you can do well for yourself in Chicago, other parts of the midwest or Cali and always transfer (if you make it to a major firm). Anyways feel free to give it to me straight, warts and all. This is pretty time-sensitive, I have like a week. Thanks in advance.


I'm one of the most egregious pro-NDLS trolls around, but I don't think you're really getting your arms around why/not NDLS makes sense. The campus is beautiful, the people are nice, it is ranked comparatively highly, but none of those things really matter. Specifically, you radically over-estimate the importance of rankings.

My time at ND was one of the most impactful of my life spiritually, academically, and personally, but it still doesn't make sense for lots of people. I personally know lots of people that got NY biglaw out of NDLS, but it's certainly not the median outcome. Good grades can make it happen, so can good grades and a clerkship, where NDLS outperforms any of its peers.

As to your specific question, I'd go with whichever has the better LRAP. You're likely to be in trouble if you're not at the top of your class in either place, so the one with the better LRAP will be the best safety net.

italianlover
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:42 pm

Re: Notre Dame alum taking questions

Postby italianlover » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:31 pm

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.




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