Northwestern vs Notre Dame

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 am

Hi all...Chicago resident here considering my options for this fall. I was admitted to Northwestern and am still negotiating scholarship package (nothing guaranteed but a full scholarship is not off the table).

My total COA at Notre Dame would be 80k and wondering at what price point NU becomes more compelling. I have a partner in Chicago but South Bend is 90 minutes away and we’ve done long-distance successfully in the past.

My goal is federal clerkship and then Chicago biglaw with the goal to come back to my company (where I have an attorney mentor who is pushing NU but agrees that for some of my goals ND may be the better option).

I think ND is a better culture fit for me in some respects but have no doubt I’d be successful at NU. Just trying to understand what options I’m giving up if I stay the course and enroll at ND this fall. Thanks in advance!

decimalsanddollars

Bronze
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:26 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:14 am

I'm wondering which goals, other than conservative political spots and religious-liberty impact lit, would make ND the better option. You can get a clerkship in Chicago from either school, but my sense is that it's much easier to secure from NU than from ND. Most of the ND clerks I know clerked in Texas, Florida, Indiana, or a circuit other than 7th; the one who clerked in Chicago was on LR and had significant connections. Both schools place in Chicago biglaw, but again, my sense is that NU is much stronger in that arena. Making a few assumptions and estimates about how much those considerations are worth, as well as the proximity to your SO, I'd say NU is worth $70-100k more in total COA.

The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:26 am

If you want Chicago biglaw, Northwestern is in a different league. The question here is less about the marginal cost of NU vs. ND and more about whether your total CoA at NU is going to put you into debt slavery.

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:14 am
I'm wondering which goals, other than conservative political spots and religious-liberty impact lit
Not exactly religious liberty but not far off, and reputation in Indiana is a factor here as well. ND has a great reputation and network right now with recent appointments to the judiciary. Decided on ND over UIUC with a full ride because of the perceived quality of the judicial placements. Their star continues to rise in certain circles as the University of Chicago drifts from its previous reputation (they've yet to make a decision but I do not think it's the right fit, whereas Northwestern is a strong "maybe").

I wondered whether a successful clerkship would open BigLaw doors that would otherwise be easier from NU.

My concern of course is that at a certain price NU closes other doors because of the debt. I get the NU premium at the entry level, but assuming I can make ND work for me is there really a penalty later in my career? I don’t see myself aspiring to a career in academia. The judges I admire all seem to hire ND clerks routinely.

I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.

User avatar
Ohiobumpkin

Silver
Posts: 543
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:50 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Ohiobumpkin » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:19 pm

At the end of the day, it sounds like you need to choose between where you politically/socially feel more comfortable versus where you are more likely to have better chance at landing biglaw and clerkship. Personally, I do not think political considerations should play a role in choosing which law school to go to. YSH are very liberal schools, but plenty of conservative graduates go on to clerk for conservative judges, work in biglaw, and plenty go into politics/Big Fed for Republicans/conservatives (look at Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton). Practically any law school you go to will have opportunities to network with conservative students and groups.

I probably would not go to NU over ND if the difference in COA was more than 60-80K more.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


ignorantfoot96

New
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by ignorantfoot96 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:56 pm

[/quote]

I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
[/quote]

Thank you for making my morning lol

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7320
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?
It appears that other black students at NU have issues with the school: https://abaforlawstudents.com/2020/07/0 ... -equality/

I spent some time lurking the accounts of the NU students who co-wrote this article and I'm a little put off that the school dignified this piece with a response, much less this one: https://www.law.northwestern.edu/about/ ... cfm?ID=979

Compare to the response from Notre Dame's dean: https://law.nd.edu/news-events/news/dea ... something/

This isn't precisely about feeling politically comfortable for me. I'm put off by both the students's online conduct (#NWlawindifference) and by the school's response.

When I contrast their response to Notre Dame's, I see a major difference. Northwestern has a world-class exoneration clinic so why is the legacy of the school not mentioned like it is in Notre Dame's? It feels like a statement written by someone who is ashamed. Also, the dean stepped down days after this and there have been some lapses in communication in the various admin offices at Notre Dame. So I have questions about the continuity there. The last thing I want is to be attending a law school with "critical race theory" requirements and if a dean is out after this because she didn't tweet "black lives matter" fast enough, or something, I have pretty serious questions.

Also, a lot of students seem to be actively engaged in reading books about white privilege which is great but have any of them ever considered...living around black people (see my username)? Not to mention...ND is actually led by a black man...I think this says a lot about the likelihood of a good culture at the school.

I'm also a little older so my time to recoup the cost differential if NU doesn't match ND is on a slightly different time horizon than most of the posters on here. I'm very confident that I can get a great clerkship out of ND - just really curious about how far that goes to mitigate the impact of going to a slightly lower-tier school.

AaronCarter

Bronze
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:59 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by AaronCarter » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:19 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?
lol

It's not so much a lurch. Rather, a group of students has been trying to increase faculty diversity and has sent a series of emails on the listserv and held a townhall to talk about the issue pre-corona. Not exactly a lurch.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:29 pm

AaronCarter wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:19 pm
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?
lol

It's not so much a lurch. Rather, a group of students has been trying to increase faculty diversity and has sent a series of emails on the listserv and held a townhall to talk about the issue pre-corona. Not exactly a lurch.
Sounds like normal campus activism which happens at least decannually at every big American uni

AaronCarter

Bronze
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:59 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by AaronCarter » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:30 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:29 pm
AaronCarter wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:19 pm
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?
lol

It's not so much a lurch. Rather, a group of students has been trying to increase faculty diversity and has sent a series of emails on the listserv and held a townhall to talk about the issue pre-corona. Not exactly a lurch.
Sounds like normal campus activism which happens at least decannually at every big American uni
exactly.

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:42 pm

AaronCarter wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:30 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:29 pm
AaronCarter wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:19 pm
cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:13 am
I’m also concerned about NU’s apparent lurch towards wokeness.
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what are you referring to?
lol

It's not so much a lurch. Rather, a group of students has been trying to increase faculty diversity and has sent a series of emails on the listserv and held a townhall to talk about the issue pre-corona. Not exactly a lurch.
Sounds like normal campus activism which happens at least decannually at every big American uni
exactly.
is it normal for a dean to step down after issuing a "statement" that reads like a hostage letter? I thought NU was a little less susceptible to this kind of "activism."

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7320
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:42 pm

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:42 pm
is it normal for a dean to step down after issuing a "statement" that reads like a hostage letter? I thought NU was a little less susceptible to this kind of "activism."
I'm not sure why you're drawing a connection between the statement and the dean stepping down. No one else seems to be drawing that connection. I'm also confused about why you feel like the NW response was somehow a "hostage situation." They committed to hiring more faculty of color, community partnerships, etc. Those aren't unreasonable steps. I don't know what you think activism looks like normally, but I assure you, demands are entirely normal.

Anyway, I have no doubt that you'll fit in with whatever FedSoc chapter is available at either school. But more to these points:
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm
I'm also a little older so my time to recoup the cost differential if NU doesn't match ND is on a slightly different time horizon than most of the posters on here. I'm very confident that I can get a great clerkship out of ND - just really curious about how far that goes to mitigate the impact of going to a slightly lower-tier school.
Northwestern's student body is known for skewing older than the student bodies at other law schools. And you can't be confident you'll get a great clerkship out of anywhere, but you have a better chance of landing one from NW than from ND. Same goes for Chicago biglaw. You seem to be assuming that you'll perform well at Notre Dame, and you cannot make that assumption. You need to assume that you will perform at median regardless of where you go.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 987
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:24 pm

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm
I'm very confident that I can get a great clerkship out of ND
This is absurd and indicates you've been misled about ND outcomes generally. The only 0Ls who can feel "confident" about their chances at a clerkship are those who've been admitted to Yale.

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:01 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:24 pm
Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm
I'm very confident that I can get a great clerkship out of ND
This is absurd and indicates you've been misled about ND outcomes generally. The only 0Ls who can feel "confident" about their chances at a clerkship are those who've been admitted to Yale.
It’s not remotely absurd. You don’t know anything about me or my career. I haven’t been misled about anything. I’m very clear about what my network is able to accomplish for me with this degree or I wouldn’t be considering the school.

“Committing to hire more faculty of color” is fundamentally different from pledging to revisit hiring processes to evaluate implicit bias and structural racism. As a black person, the last thing I want is a world where people are hired based on the color of their skin.

Regardless, NU has just upped their offer and I doubt this is the best they’ll come up with...the cost difference has narrowed to 40k so I don’t think it’s wise to go to ND to what seems to be a relatively small amount.

I look forward to the mandatory “diversity training” sessions at Northwestern about how I, a black person, am racist.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2567
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by nixy » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:08 pm

I can’t find too much detail, but it looks like the student petitions and university responses are at the broader university and nothing to do with the law school specifically. I can’t find any statements by the law school dean who’s stepping down, and the statement by the president about committing to social justice etc (which doesn’t sound like a hostage statement to me, though maybe the reference is to something else) doesn’t have anything to do with the dean of the law school. (I’m sure there were law students involved in the student petitions etc, but the law school isn’t even part of the same campus as the undergrad.)

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:28 pm

nixy wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:08 pm
I can’t find too much detail, but it looks like the student petitions and university responses are at the broader university and nothing to do with the law school specifically. I can’t find any statements by the law school dean who’s stepping down, and the statement by the president about committing to social justice etc (which doesn’t sound like a hostage statement to me, though maybe the reference is to something else) doesn’t have anything to do with the dean of the law school. (I’m sure there were law students involved in the student petitions etc, but the law school isn’t even part of the same campus as the undergrad.)
I posted above links to statements from each school. I think the fact that NU even responded to children having a tantrum on Twitter speaks poorly of the organization.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


decimalsanddollars

Bronze
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:26 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by decimalsanddollars » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:36 pm

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:02 pm
When I contrast their response to Notre Dame's, I see a major difference. Northwestern has a world-class exoneration clinic so why is the legacy of the school not mentioned like it is in Notre Dame's? It feels like a statement written by someone who is ashamed. Also, the dean stepped down days after this and there have been some lapses in communication in the various admin offices at Notre Dame. So I have questions about the continuity there. The last thing I want is to be attending a law school with "critical race theory" requirements and if a dean is out after this because she didn't tweet "black lives matter" fast enough, or something, I have pretty serious questions.

Also, a lot of students seem to be actively engaged in reading books about white privilege which is great but have any of them ever considered...living around black people (see my username)? Not to mention...ND is actually led by a black man...I think this says a lot about the likelihood of a good culture at the school.

I'm also a little older so my time to recoup the cost differential if NU doesn't match ND is on a slightly different time horizon than most of the posters on here. I'm very confident that I can get a great clerkship out of ND - just really curious about how far that goes to mitigate the impact of going to a slightly lower-tier school.
If that's really how you feel, you should absolutely go to ND. Network with people who share your values and get some virtue-signaling extracurriculars on your resume; you'll be fine.

$$$$$$

Bronze
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by $$$$$$ » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:11 pm

Pretty sure Fed Soc has chapters everywhere, so you'll fit in fine *** [keep it respectful] no matter where you go. Good luck on your clerkship apps.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7320
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:40 pm

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:28 pm
nixy wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:08 pm
I can’t find too much detail, but it looks like the student petitions and university responses are at the broader university and nothing to do with the law school specifically. I can’t find any statements by the law school dean who’s stepping down, and the statement by the president about committing to social justice etc (which doesn’t sound like a hostage statement to me, though maybe the reference is to something else) doesn’t have anything to do with the dean of the law school. (I’m sure there were law students involved in the student petitions etc, but the law school isn’t even part of the same campus as the undergrad.)
I posted above links to statements from each school. I think the fact that NU even responded to children having a tantrum on Twitter speaks poorly of the organization.
I didn't even catch that you were talking about Northwestern undergrad and Pritzker as the same thing.

Law schools are totally separate entities from their universities. Don't conflate the two. And that includes not conflating ND's undergrad rep, etc. with its law school.

I'm glad you seem to be leaning towards Northwestern, because that's far and away the better choice for your goals. But you have some pretty extreme misconceptions about how law school works, so best to get those out of your system now. You're going to find your own niche at either school, and you can all get together to complain about those damn kids with their damn petitions. School "culture" means fuck-all in the long run. Your decision should be based on job numbers and scholarships. When those numbers are functionally equivalent, you can worry about "fit" or "culture."

Morgan Park

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:47 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by Morgan Park » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:55 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:40 pm
I didn't even catch that you were talking about Northwestern undergrad and Pritzker as the same thing.
No, my concern was specifically about Pritzker's.

I'm not conflating ND's undergrad and law rep - its law rep is excellent in the circles I run in and in many respects considered superior to NU. The perception is that some of the best judges right now are taking ND grads over NU - the quality of those clerkships is not captured in the numbers, nor are subsequent placements (this is how I was talked into ND over UIUC despite the numbers being superficially similar).

There are also markets I'd like to practice in where a ND degree is more valuable. My conversations with NU alumni are about evenly split between people who think NU is the better option at any price, people who think ND is the better option for the same price, and people who think ND is a more portable and valuable degree and wish they had it themselves.

You all need to realize that south of 55th street and in Indiana that the ND degree goes much further. I'm a pretty provincial person in a lot of ways so the "NU being objectively better" argument is pretty theoretical for me. Yes, the people who are wowed by the law school are conflating it with undergrad...but that's a good thing for someone who wants to practice in smaller communities.

The poster offering a clear cutoff in value differential was very helpful. I think for 40k more in total COA that it would be pretty foolish not to go to NU. Hopefully they come up a little more and make the decision even easier.

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


clownpatrol

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 1:46 pm

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by clownpatrol » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:49 pm

So do you want to practice in Chicago big law or in elkhart? As someone who has strong ties to both NU and ND, and who is actually from the south side of chicago, the only way ND goes further "south of 55th" is in college football. But you seem to be mingling in a special bubble that leans toward ND law and are looking for confirmation.

I'm getting Hegewisch vibes.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2567
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:31 am

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:28 pm
nixy wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:08 pm
I can’t find too much detail, but it looks like the student petitions and university responses are at the broader university and nothing to do with the law school specifically. I can’t find any statements by the law school dean who’s stepping down, and the statement by the president about committing to social justice etc (which doesn’t sound like a hostage statement to me, though maybe the reference is to something else) doesn’t have anything to do with the dean of the law school. (I’m sure there were law students involved in the student petitions etc, but the law school isn’t even part of the same campus as the undergrad.)
I posted above links to statements from each school. I think the fact that NU even responded to children having a tantrum on Twitter speaks poorly of the organization.
hahahahahahahahahahaha.

(Sorry I missed the links above, obviously I wasn't reading closely enough. But in any case, good luck. Regardless of your opinion on the political stances, if you haven't figured out that higher ed is a commodity and schools have to keep their consumers happy, I'm not sure where you've been.)

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2567
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by nixy » Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:47 am

Morgan Park wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:55 pm
You all need to realize that south of 55th street and in Indiana that the ND degree goes much further. I'm a pretty provincial person in a lot of ways so the "NU being objectively better" argument is pretty theoretical for me.
Re: Indiana, local ties/networks are always huge, so I get that. But otherwise this is a very narrow way of looking at the two schools. If you want to stay in Indiana, this makes sense, but not so much for the goals of a federal clerkship and Chicago biglaw.

Arguments about the "quality" of clerkships obtained coming out of ND are seductive, but incredibly slippery and subjective and hard to prove. That said, ND's numbers for 2019 grads are better than NU's, but that's just one year and in the prior years they were consistently lower (not a lot, but lower), so it's hard to say yet whether that will continue or not.

And to be fair, I agree that the ND dean's response to George Floyd's death and its aftermath was much more compelling than the NU dean's response, both in tone and specific proposals.

All that said, I realize you're likely going to NU, and I think that you can get what you need/want out of the school without letting the rest of it interfere too much with your experience.

gekko

New
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:49 am

Re: Northwestern vs Notre Dame

Post by gekko » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 am

I just had to laugh at the statement about diversity training. I'm an adjunct faculty member in finance at a school whose law school is a peer to those you are mentioning so I know every employee on campus has to take the "canned" diversity training, plus another one on sexual harassment from the same company that sells a subscription to the schools to meet their compliance needs. (I've actually had to take the exact same one at another school I only taught one course at.)

In any case, these "training" videos were Stalinesque to say the least. The point of departure is that you are a racist, sexist, predator and if you disagree it's only because you don't know it because these traits are institutional and there's nothing you can do other than lube up for the woke squad and bend over. If I do start LS in the fall it will be my first time on the student side of class in over 15 years. I certainly hope this isn't as much the norm as it seems. Nearly every single day I get one of the mass emails from an administrator on campus opining on behalf of the entire (highly ranked state U) system, which is insanely inappropriate.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Choosing a Law School”