NU Apps '11-'12 - Good Luck Hold Candidates!!!! <3

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:28 pm

basilseal wrote:
freestallion wrote:
basilseal wrote:Chicago winters build character. Balmy weather is for the infirm.

But seriously- when one has walked a long and lonely mile down a barren, gray street with snow piled up to your waist and the wind whipping at your face and the damp freezing cold getting underneath every layer of your clothing and your eyes watering and crusting with ice- then, and only then, can one fully appreciate the virtue of hospitality, of a warm house, of food and drink and friends and Christmas time in Chicago.

Sorry, I got a little lyrical there. But the weather is worth it.


I think you will pass your interview with flying colors if you say that

:lol:


I'll be sure to stare unblinkingly at my interviewer during this entire speech, and end with some sort of flourishing gesture.


I am imagining your tar saying the whole paragraph out loud, slowly and solemnly.

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soj
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby soj » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:17 am

crumpetsandtea wrote: :lol: :lol: :lol: I'd hardly call it 'being scooped', since I asked him if he'd made on yet and he said I should make one if I was interested. Also why is NU's the most inevitably popular?

splitters be all up in this joint

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:57 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:meh. It would be nice to just do the interview in my home city and not worry much about it, but although I've lived almost all of my adult life in Chicago, I've never been to NU Law. And I have some vacation days (I think). I'll shoot for an early-November visit/interview, unless that's ridiculously late. Why is September full already? We're crazy. All of us.

September isn't full. In a recent tweet they said that they were opening up limited availability for on-campus interviews. So far, I've only seen Friday appointments available and even then, not too many. They will likely be releasing more times in the next week or two.

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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby freestallion » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:00 am

Does it matter if you do on campus or off campus interviews? I mean, do they look more favorably on those who come for the on campus one?

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:03 am

basilseal wrote:Chicago winters build character. Balmy weather is for the infirm.

But seriously- when one has walked a long and lonely mile down a barren, gray street with snow piled up to your waist and the wind whipping at your face and the damp freezing cold getting underneath every layer of your clothing and your eyes watering and crusting with ice- then, and only then, can one fully appreciate the virtue of hospitality, of a warm house, of food and drink and friends and Christmas time in Chicago.

Sorry, I got a little lyrical there. But the weather is worth it.

O, to be infirm... I can build up all the Lake Wobegon character in the world and this awful winter weather wouldn't be worth it.





Okay, maybe it is worth it when you describe it like that, just a little.

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:08 am

freestallion wrote:Does it matter if you do on campus or off campus interviews? I mean, do they look more favorably on those who come for the on campus one?

I don't think there is a difference, but perhaps someone else who knows better can jump in here. It sounds like everyone asks standardized questions. And, according to Desert Fox (I think) his on-campus interview was conducted by a 2L, so I can't imagine that holds more weight than an alum.

A friend of mine applied last year and tried to do an off-campus interview in NYC. On two separate occasions, the interviewer bailed on her. She gave up after that. (NU was a safety for her. So jelly.) So, anyway, moral of the story is, scheduling off-campus interviews is less reliable than on-campus.

freestallion
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby freestallion » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:18 am

Samara wrote:
freestallion wrote:Does it matter if you do on campus or off campus interviews? I mean, do they look more favorably on those who come for the on campus one?

I don't think there is a difference, but perhaps someone else who knows better can jump in here. It sounds like everyone asks standardized questions. And, according to Desert Fox (I think) his on-campus interview was conducted by a 2L, so I can't imagine that holds more weight than an alum.

A friend of mine applied last year and tried to do an off-campus interview in NYC. On two separate occasions, the interviewer bailed on her. She gave up after that. (NU was a safety for her. So jelly.) So, anyway, moral of the story is, scheduling off-campus interviews is less reliable than on-campus.


Thanks, that's helpful :D It is sort-of a safety for me but I still want to put my best foot forward.

Oh, and I just signed up for an off campus interview yesterday and already got an email about signing up - for Sept 20ish. Hopefully it's reliable as going to Chicago would be too expensive :(

ETA: My interview is with admissions staff apparently, not alumni. Is this better/worse?!

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Samara
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby Samara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:29 am

freestallion wrote:
Samara wrote:
freestallion wrote:Does it matter if you do on campus or off campus interviews? I mean, do they look more favorably on those who come for the on campus one?

I don't think there is a difference, but perhaps someone else who knows better can jump in here. It sounds like everyone asks standardized questions. And, according to Desert Fox (I think) his on-campus interview was conducted by a 2L, so I can't imagine that holds more weight than an alum.

A friend of mine applied last year and tried to do an off-campus interview in NYC. On two separate occasions, the interviewer bailed on her. She gave up after that. (NU was a safety for her. So jelly.) So, anyway, moral of the story is, scheduling off-campus interviews is less reliable than on-campus.


Thanks, that's helpful :D It is sort-of a safety for me but I still want to put my best foot forward.

Oh, and I just signed up for an off campus interview yesterday and already got an email about signing up - for Sept 20ish. Hopefully it's reliable as going to Chicago would be too expensive :(

ETA: My interview is with admissions staff apparently, not alumni. Is this better/worse?!

Admissions staff off-campus? Huh. Probably better, but again, I'm just speculating.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:32 am

Anyone know if they'll give me gas money to come visit/interview?

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:32 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Anyone know if they'll give me gas money to come visit/interview?

I'm pretty sure they won't. They don't even provide transport money for ASW, IIRC.

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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby freestallion » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:41 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Anyone know if they'll give me gas money to come visit/interview?

I'm pretty sure they won't. They don't even provide transport money for ASW, IIRC.


Oh really?! That sucks... :(

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:45 pm

freestallion wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Anyone know if they'll give me gas money to come visit/interview?

I'm pretty sure they won't. They don't even provide transport money for ASW, IIRC.

Oh really?! That sucks... :(

Yeah that's what I've heard. Rinkrat (I assume you went to ASW), feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

bdubs
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby bdubs » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:23 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
freestallion wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Anyone know if they'll give me gas money to come visit/interview?

I'm pretty sure they won't. They don't even provide transport money for ASW, IIRC.

Oh really?! That sucks... :(

Yeah that's what I've heard. Rinkrat (I assume you went to ASW), feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.


They do give some money, but it certainly won't cover everything. I got $75 back on a ~$200 flight. IIRC the max reimbursement is $150 and the transportation must cost >$200 to get any sort of reimbursement.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:29 pm

bdubs wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:Yeah that's what I've heard. Rinkrat (I assume you went to ASW), feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.


They do give some money, but it certainly won't cover everything. I got $75 back on a ~$200 flight. IIRC the max reimbursement is $150 and the transportation must cost >$200 to get any sort of reimbursement.
Yep, this. And they make you jump through some serious hoops for it. From the admitted student site (dates are for this spring, of course):

Important Information About Travel Subsidies
Travel subsidies are available only for attendance at an admitted student event organized by Northwestern Law and taking place at the Law School in Chicago. We're sorry, but travel subsidies are not available for independently organized visits to campus or for events taking place off campus.

You may request one travel subsidy per admission cycle.

The deadline for submitting your request for a travel subsidy for Admitted Students Weekend is Friday, March 25th.
The deadline for submitting your request for a travel subsidy for Diverse Admit Day/AJD Admit Day is Monday, February 28th.
Travel subsidies are available to defray the cost of airfare to Chicago from locations outside of a 300-mile radius from Chicago. Subsidies are not available if you are traveling less than 300 miles. Subsidies will not be provided for any means of transportation other than airfare, including rental cars, gas, and/or mileage. Subsidies may not be used to pay for lodging.

The lowest available airfare for your proposed itinerary must be $200 or more to be eligible for a subsidy. Unfortunately, we cannot subsidize airfare less than $200.

The maximum subsidy available is $150.
Whether you receive a subsidy and how much you receive will be determined by your demonstrated financial need and the total cost of your airfare. We regret that we will not be able to fully subsidize your airfare; you should expect to pay some portion of the cost.

You must submit a proposed itinerary with your application, along with a documented estimation of how much your airfare will be. If you are granted a subsidy that exceeds the actual cost of your airfare, the subsidy will be adjusted downward when you submit your reimbursement forms and receipts.

You will be informed of the amount of your subsidy within two weeks of the date you submit your application.

If your subsidy request is granted, you will receive additional paperwork from the Admissions Office that you will need to complete and return in order to receive your reimbursement. The Admissions Office cannot make any travel arrangements for you. You will need to make and pay for your own travel arrangements; the University will issue you a reimbursement check once all of your paperwork has been processed. Please note that the reimbursement process can take 6-8 weeks and is dependent in large part on your prompt submission of correct paperwork.

After your travel subsidy has been granted, your final travel reimbursement paperwork must be submitted to the Admissions Office by Friday, April 29. No reimbursements will be processed after that date.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:34 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
Important Information About Travel Subsidies
Travel subsidies are available only for attendance at an admitted student event organized by Northwestern Law and taking place at the Law School in Chicago. We're sorry, but travel subsidies are not available for independently organized visits to campus or for events taking place off campus.

You may request one travel subsidy per admission cycle.

The deadline for submitting your request for a travel subsidy for Admitted Students Weekend is Friday, March 25th.
The deadline for submitting your request for a travel subsidy for Diverse Admit Day/AJD Admit Day is Monday, February 28th.
Travel subsidies are available to defray the cost of airfare to Chicago from locations outside of a 300-mile radius from Chicago. Subsidies are not available if you are traveling less than 300 miles. Subsidies will not be provided for any means of transportation other than airfare, including rental cars, gas, and/or mileage. Subsidies may not be used to pay for lodging.

The lowest available airfare for your proposed itinerary must be $200 or more to be eligible for a subsidy. Unfortunately, we cannot subsidize airfare less than $200.

The maximum subsidy available is $150.
Whether you receive a subsidy and how much you receive will be determined by your demonstrated financial need and the total cost of your airfare. We regret that we will not be able to fully subsidize your airfare; you should expect to pay some portion of the cost.

You must submit a proposed itinerary with your application, along with a documented estimation of how much your airfare will be. If you are granted a subsidy that exceeds the actual cost of your airfare, the subsidy will be adjusted downward when you submit your reimbursement forms and receipts.

You will be informed of the amount of your subsidy within two weeks of the date you submit your application.

If your subsidy request is granted, you will receive additional paperwork from the Admissions Office that you will need to complete and return in order to receive your reimbursement. The Admissions Office cannot make any travel arrangements for you. You will need to make and pay for your own travel arrangements; the University will issue you a reimbursement check once all of your paperwork has been processed. Please note that the reimbursement process can take 6-8 weeks and is dependent in large part on your prompt submission of correct paperwork.

After your travel subsidy has been granted, your final travel reimbursement paperwork must be submitted to the Admissions Office by Friday, April 29. No reimbursements will be processed after that date.

Do you have the link for that? I'll add it to the OP (:!!

ETA: oops, it's from the admitted student website, nm. I just paraphrased it and put it in the OP ^_^

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:08 pm

Added Travel Subsidy info and a Table of Contents. I'll probably try and break up the different things into general sections ('applying', 'useful links,' 'tls wisdom,' etc etc) at some point later today. YAY for being bored at work.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:17 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:Do you have the link for that? I'll add it to the OP (:!!

ETA: oops, it's from the admitted student website, nm. I just paraphrased it and put it in the OP ^_^
Speaking of the admitted student site, if there's any more info you want from there, I assume I'll have access all year.

The admitted student guide (in paper and pdf format) is also pretty decent...I've been waffling on whether I should upload it somewhere for others' reference, or if it's Top Secret. There's not really anything in it that seems like it'd be vital to keep confidential...no secret handshakes or CAESAR logins or anything. Just a lot of info about the school and city consolidated in once place.

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dakure
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby dakure » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:20 pm

This. Looks. Fantastic.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby Eichörnchen » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:27 pm

Crumps what a lovely thread you have here. I've done very little research on Northwestern so far (I have very little good WE so I sorta just figured I was out) but I am thinking I may as well apply. Wanna make an awesome thread like this for the rest of the T14 for me? KTHX <3<3

;)

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:51 pm

Thanks dakure!! (:
Eichörnchen wrote:Crumps what a lovely thread you have here. I've done very little research on Northwestern so far (I have very little good WE so I sorta just figured I was out) but I am thinking I may as well apply. Wanna make an awesome thread like this for the rest of the T14 for me? KTHX <3<3 ;)

Awww thanks <3 Actually, HP has already made threads just like this for the rest of the T14!! They're all in the Law School Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists forum, if you want to join them as well. I just swooped on the NU one because it's the T-14 I'm ED-ing to. ^_^
rinkrat19 wrote:Speaking of the admitted student site, if there's any more info you want from there, I assume I'll have access all year.

If you think anything might be useful to pre-admits/people deciding on whether to apply to NU or not, feel free to post it ITT and I'll add it in! (: Thanks so much!!

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tmon
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby tmon » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:01 pm

Oh snap this exists.

ETA: strong work Crumps. Super helpful OP. Maybe this will motivate me on the application front...

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:04 pm

tmon wrote:Oh snap this exists.

ETA: strong work Crumps. Super helpful OP. Maybe this will motivate me on the application front...

Thanks! I think this is particularly compelling:

Image

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:04 pm

This was a kinda cute feature NU had on the Admitted Students site, counting down one item a week for ten weeks.

Top Ten Reasons To Consider Northwestern Law
from the 2011 Admitted Student Guide

By now you've heard us say it a thousand times: Northwestern Law is different. We have an entire viewbook dedicated to elucidating "The Northwestern Law Difference." We have a Strategic Plan that distinguishes us from our peer institutions and that will position our graduates to be leaders in the legal and business marketplace. But what does "The Northwestern Law Difference" mean for you, the admitted student? How will it affect your experience at Northwestern Law on a day-to-day basis? Our "Top 10 Reasons To Consider Northwestern Law" will help you answer that question over the next several weeks. Check back for a new reason to consider Northwestern Law.

10: Location, Location, Location!
See that picture to the left? You’re looking south down Lake Shore Drive at a piece of the Chicago skyline. The tall building with the spires is the John Hancock Building, and if you look directly left of the Hancock, the building closest to the lake is Northwestern Law. That’s right: We’re smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago, right on the shores of Lake Michigan.

A beautiful urban environment
Our address on Lake Shore Drive has some obvious aesthetic benefits: The east wall of our library is made almost entirely out of glass, so that you can sit at the study tables that line the windows and gaze out at the lake while you pour over your Contracts book. Schactman-Gordon Hall, a classroom commonly used for 1L courses, has two walls of panorama windows with lake views to distract you during your Torts class. The Bluhm Legal Clinic's student work space is just about the best piece of real estate you can find in Chicago, on the eighth floor of the Rubloff building, overlooking Lake Shore Drive and the entire coast of Lake Michigan. There are bike and running paths all along the picturesque lakefront for exercise enthusiasts. Beyond aesthetics, though, our location in the heart of Chicago offers important benefits for your legal education.

A vibrant legal and business community
Chicago has the second largest legal market in the country, and the Law School is located a hop, skip, and a jump from the center of it. Chicago's Loop, the legal and business hub of the city, is just a ten-minute bus or train ride away from campus. The federal and state courts are located in the Loop, as are most of the City's major law firms and legal organizations. This easy access to the Loop provides unparalleled opportunities for our students to participate in externships with judges, prosecutors' or defenders' offices, public interest organizations, corporate counsels' offices, and other similar organizations.

Kristen Knapp (JD ’10 ) externed for Judge Wayne R. Andersen in the Northern District of Illinois. She says of her experience, “I really enjoyed going to the District Courthouse two days a week during the spring of my 2L year. I loved watching the proceedings in court and getting to discuss the issues with Judge Andersen and his clerks. I was surprised by how easy it was to get downtown and back to school for my afternoon class. If the Law School wasn't located in downtown Chicago I don't think I would have been able to do the externship."

Other students have taken advantage of the externship program to work for President Obama’s office, federal district court judges, and the State Department. We even have students working on cases that are currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which is located in the Loop. There is a dynamic, cutting edge legal community in Chicago, and our students are receiving their education right in the midst of it.

A center for arts and entertainmentOur location also provides important recreational benefits for our students, too. Let’s face it: You can’t study every minute of every day! It’s important to take time off from your studies every now and then to enjoy the things that keep you sane.

As Elizabeth Mooney (JD ’10) puts it, “It’s nice having something else to ground you other than a constant barrage of school.”

Maybe you're a shopper: We're just two blocks from Michigan Avenue, home to some of the finest shopping in the city. Maybe you're a foodie: Chicago boasts over 6,000 restaurants, so there's a plethora of eateries in the immediate area to satisfy every craving and to fit every budget. If museums are your thing, we're right across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art and just a few minutes away from the Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.

Whatever it is you like to do for fun and relaxation, you’ll find it in Chicago. Of course, all of our students receive a UPass, which allows them to use the CTA (Chicago’s public transit system) on an unlimited basis during the academic term, which makes it easy to explore everything Chicago has to offer.


9: Go Team!
The traditional law school experience is often very individualistic. Students go to class, they read, they outline, they study, they write papers - all on their own. Maybe there are some study groups; perhaps they talk about an interesting case over lunch; generally speaking, though, law school is not often considered a place where students collaborate on academic endeavors. Here at Northwestern Law, we think there's a better approach to legal education.

Collaboration - as a student and as a lawyer
Lawyers don't practice law in a vacuum. They don't sit in their office, alone, writing briefs or drafting agreements. Instead, lawyers collaborate. They collaborate with other lawyers, with their clients, with business people. No matter what substantive area of the law you choose, you'll find that the practice of law is very much a team effort, and Northwestern Law thinks the process of preparing to be productive members and leaders of legal teams should begin in law school.

Our classes encourage group work
We give our students the opportunity to work together on their academic pursuits. During Orientation, students begin exploring the value and methods of teamwork in the law school and legal environment. Our first-year students will work with partners on several of their Communication and Legal Reasoning assignments. The Arlyn Miner Moot Court program for first-year students is a mock appellate argument in which students present their arguments in pairs. The Lawyer as Problem Solver program emphasizes group learning. Our International Team Projects course is entirely teamwork based: students work together to develop project proposals, identify areas of study, complete their research abroad, and produce and present their final research product. The courses available to law students through the Kellogg School of Management are taught in the business school group project model.

As a more specific example, consider the Law School's Medical Innovations course. This course is a joint effort between Northwestern Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Kellogg School of Management, and McCormick School of Engineering, all of which are outstanding graduate programs offered at Northwestern University. The students enrolled in Medical Innovations are broken down into groups of 8 people, and every group has students from each of the graduate programs. The students spend the semester working together to identify unmet medical needs in the community, develop a product to meet those needs, prototype the product, develop a business plan for selling the product, and develop an intellectual property protection strategy for their product. At the end of the course, the groups present their business plans and their requests for funding to a board of advisors.

Teamwork matters to employers
Why should you care about teamwork in law school? Well, for starters, the ability to work well as a member of a team is an attractive quality to legal employers. Lawyers work collaboratively, often with (or for) people who do not have legal training. Thus, classes like the Medical Innovations course mirror the way law is practiced in the "real world." A Northwestern Law degree is an indication to employers that you've received some fundamental training and exposure to the team work that will be required of you after graduation.

Moreover, working in a team exposes you to new perspectives and new ways of thinking. Elizabeth Mooney (JD '10) recently took a Negotions class in which her team was required to create a service plan for a non-profit organization. Elizabeth says of her experience: "My team was very diverse. We had three 3Ls, two international LLM students, and me, the lone 2L. Having so many different viewpoints and backgrounds on one team was wonderful because it led to a much broader pool of ideas from which to draw. The results we achieved as a group far exceeded anything we could have produced individually. The head of the charity we were working for was so happy with our recommendations that she asked to come to our final class to express her appreciation in person." Teamwork is a real-world skill that successful lawyers need to have, and Northwestern Law is going to help you start developing it.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:12 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:This was a kinda cute feature NU had on the Admitted Students site, counting down one item a week for ten weeks.

Top Ten Reasons To Consider Northwestern Law

Want me to post the rest?


Sure!!! It's kinda long so I think I'm just going to list them and then link to your posts with the whole detailed info (if that makes sense)--so if you could post each reason as a separate post, with only the text from the AS website, that would be REALLY F-ING AWESOME :mrgreen:

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern c/o 2015 Applicants (2011-2012 cycle)

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:18 pm

Ill put two in each post.

Top Ten Reasons to Consider Northwestern Law
from the 2011 Admitted Student Guide


8: It's All in a Day's Work


It's no secret that Northwestern Law has the most experienced student body of any top law school. Over three quarters of recent incoming classes spent at least two years in the working world garnering professional experience before returning to law school. Have you ever wondered why our admissions process places such a heavy emphasis on work experience? Well, here's your answer!

Students' professional experiences bring insights
The bottom line is that our students' professional experiences before law school make Northwestern Law a more interesting place to learn. Our students come here from all kinds of backgrounds: They've been teachers, scientists, consultants, political staffers, accountants, engineers, paralegals, chefs, dance instructors, police officers, and Pulitzer Prize winning reporters, to name a few. Our students have interacted with the world - and with the law - in ways that give each of them a unique perspective to share with their classmates and their professors.

Elizabeth Mooney (JD '10) feels she's learned just as much from her peers as she has from her professors. She says of her 1L experience, "I remember discussing a torts case in which the plaintiff was injured by a piece of machinery. A former electrical engineer in our class was able to explain not only how the machinery operated, but also why it malfunctioned and some of the formulas used to build the machine in the first place." These diverse perspectives create what Dean Van Zandt calls a community of "360-degree learning," in which our students can learn as much from each other as they can from the professors, and in which our students have insights to offer our professors as well.

Simply put, our students' prior work experience helps create a more dynamic learning environment in our classrooms. But, there are benefits outside the classroom, too.

Advantages of many different backgrounds
Patricia Adams (AJD '11) "Having students with such diverse professional backgrounds really enhances the classroom. We often discuss cases that are relevant to someone’s prior work experience. Their perspective bolsters the classroom learning for their peers by offering an informed insider’s point of view on the topic at hand. Additionally, students with prior work experience are excited to be back in the classroom which results in a more engaged student body."

Students straight from college bring welcome perspective
So what should you do if you're an admitted student planning to come to law school straight from college? Should you come to Northwestern Law? Absolutely. Our students who start law school just after finishing college do remarkable things around here. In fact, one our recent SBA presidents came straight to Northwestern from Ohio State. If you're a college senior, chances are we've met you through your admission interview and have already determined that you have the life experience, perspective, and maturity to thrive in and contribute to our community - just the same as students coming from the work force.

Two of our Student Admissions Committee Executive Board members came to Northwestern straight from undergrad: Sarah Tolly (JD '10), who graduated from NYU, and Derek Linkous (JD '11), who graduated from Northwestern.

Derek says of his experience, "Especially as somone who came straight through from college to law school, I really appreciate being around people who have had interesting life experiences that they can use to build on the perspectives offered in class or in the casebooks because they have real-world experience dealing with the same or similar issues."

Here's what Sarah has to say about her experience here: "When I matriculated at Northwestern, I was a little nervous because I was young (22), and, having just graduated from college, my resume lacked work experience when compared to most of the other first-year students'. My nerves, however, were unfounded: My classmates' extra year(s) of work/life experience provide for a rich and diverse learning environment unparalleled within law school communities, and as one of the youngest students in the class, I have the privilege of learning from this impressive group of people. But, I also feel that my fresh-out-of-college perspective constructively contributes to the classroom dynamic, and the relationship between me and my more experienced classmates can be one of giving, and not just taking. I was also worried that my classmates' extra experience would make them better qualified or more aptly prepared for law school than me, but that's not the case! In fact, there were many times in my first semester when I felt that coming straight through from undergrad was advantageous because good study and writing habits were fresh in my mind. Overall, being a recent college grad in a law school class where most people have worked before coming back to school has been nothing short of great!"



7: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Everyone has heard the 1L type horror stories about law school: students hiding books in the library or ripping out important pages, refusing to share notes or participate in study groups, or otherwise making life difficult and uncomfortable for each other. Perhaps many of those stories are overblown folk lore; perhaps not. Certainly you’ve read your fair share of law school brochures promising a friendly, non-competitive environment. How can you tell which schools actually offer the environment you’re looking for and which don’t? Well, let’s start by asking a couple of students what their experience here at Northwestern Law has been.

Justin Ekwall (JD '11) "While I expected the people I would meet at Northwestern would be intelligent, motivated, and interesting people, I was somewhat surprised by the fact that this is one of the friendliest and most outgoing groups of people I've run across in my life. The students here are one of the best things about the school, and are always willing to help each other out with any class-related or other problems that come up. Although there is an extremely wide range of opinions and backgrounds represented, there don't really seem to be any cliques and everyone gets along pretty well."

Students prepare for classes together
Karl Riley (JD ’10) “People are great with sharing outlines and class notes. If you’re on call in class they’ll help you out by either asking a lot of questions so you don’t have to talk as much or they’ll IM you the answer to a question if you’re stuck.”

Kate Riordan (JD LLM in International Human Rights '13) "I've been amazed at how helpful and non-competitive the students are here. If you're sick or miss class for whatever reason, there will be at least 3 or 4 people who just send their notes without even asking. In our section, anytime someone has an outline or a checklist or whatever that could be helpful it's just automatically sent along. It's just unthinkable here that someone would try to get an edge over their classmates and friends."

Collegiality between classes strong
Kevin King (JD ’10) “Whenever I happen to miss class, by the time I check my email, without fail one of my friends has sent me notes. This is a big deal, especially first year when almost all of your classes are curved. You’d think a super-competitive classmate wouldn’t want to help you out. Fortunately, that’s not the way Northwestern Law students are.”

Lauren Matecki (JD '10) "A great thing about Northwestern is that your class functions as one class. My classmates don't limit their group of friends just to those in they met in their 1L section. It may seem like a small point, but I consider it another sign of the broad collegiality among Northwestern students."

The Law School encourages community
It’s one thing for a law school to rely on its students to treat each other with respect and courtesy as matter of everyday civility. But, what have the law schools that you’re looking at done administratively to cut down on competition amongst students?

At Northwestern Law, we’ve encouraged collegiality and cooperation among our students in many ways. First and foremost, we’ve gone to great lengths to interview as many of our applicants as we can. The admissions interviewing program helps us identify those students who not only have the academic gumption to succeed here, but who also have the strong interpersonal skills necessary to participate and thrive in our community.

We’ve also tried to ease some of the outside pressure our students feel about their grades by refusing to rank our students, by modifying our curve policy so that professors don’t have to give out C grades if they aren’t warranted, by making access to on-campus interviewing available by lottery rather than GPA, and by refusing to allow students participating in on-campus interviews to put their GPAs on the resumes that are distributed to prospective employers.

We’re not going to lie to you: law school is an intense place. The world of legal education and the practice of law is such that it’s impossible to eliminate competition entirely, but there’s the healthy kind of competition, and then there’s the destructive, watch-your-back kind of competition. Northwestern Law students are smart, driven, and ambitious. They want to succeed, and they want to be on top of their game. But, the fact that they’ve chosen Northwestern means that they’re not the type of people who will trample their classmates on their way to the top. One individual’s success does not have to come at another’s failure. Everyone can work together, everyone can succeed, and everyone’s education can be the better for it. That principle is the hallmark of the Northwestern Law experience.
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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