Wisconsin v Notre Dame Forum

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NIMP

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Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by NIMP » Thu May 12, 2022 8:25 pm

Wisconsin native, accepted at both schools. Full ride to Wisconsin, roughly half tuition scholarship to Notre Dame. I would be fine with either big-law, or solo practice. Both seem daunting in their own way. If I go back to rural Wisconsin, I am unsure of the legal market (primarily pay), but it would be nicer than 80+ hour weeks at big law in a large metro. Would Notre Dame even guarantee big law though? Other general thoughts on the two schools?

CanadianWolf

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by CanadianWolf » Fri May 13, 2022 8:43 am

In your situation, Wisconsin with a full tuition scholarship seems to be the better & safer option.

nixy

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by nixy » Fri May 13, 2022 9:02 am

Notre Dame isn't going to guarantee biglaw, although the chances of biglaw out of Notre Dame are somewhat better than out of Wisconsin. But if you want to go back to Wisconsin, Wisconsin is the better option. It's true that the Wisconsin legal market isn't huge, but if you want to work there, Wisconsin is a good option for that. It looks like a decent chunk of Wisconsin grads (30%-ish) end up in "public interest," which in this context is likely to be state and local government and legal aid, which are great jobs for the right person, although not usually super high-paying. I tend to agree that Wisconsin is the better bet here, since you're not wed to biglaw in a major metro.

crazywafflez

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by crazywafflez » Fri May 13, 2022 12:03 pm

Go to Wisconsin.

silenttimer

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by silenttimer » Fri May 13, 2022 12:15 pm

Not sure if it's still the case, but I also recall that if you go to school in Wisconsin, you don't have to take the bar.

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mandrewsf

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by mandrewsf » Sat May 14, 2022 7:36 am

I'm going to argue for ND since most here argue for Wisconsin just to offer multiple view points - ND is among the most portable of the non-T14 schools and it is one of the few schools where you have a reasonable shot at biglaw from median. If you want to work at anywhere outside of Wisconsin, you should consider ND. You'll be able to find a good job in Wisconsin out of ND anyway, so effectively for the price of half of your tuition you get to keep much wider options open. Only you could decide whether that's worth it.

NIMP

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by NIMP » Sat May 14, 2022 10:30 am

Thanks for the answers thus far. Admittedly, I am rather ignorant about certain aspects of the legal profession, so it is a little hard to make some of these decisions now. Since I have family ties to Wisconsin, and enjoy the rural culture, I obviously have some pull factor there, but if I had the capacity to make over one hundred thousand dollars in a large metro on the other end of the country, I would certainly take it. The primary issue seems to be an insecurity in terms of that sort of job actually being available. Yet, for the negative on the Wisconsin side, it seems that a LARGE percentage of its students work in "public interest" (which presumably is exceedingly low pay), and a large part of the motivation for me going to law school is to make more than my current sixty thousand per year salary. To the person who advocated for Notre Dame, my inclination is to attend there, but the extra one hundred thousand to attend seems like a lot to sacrifice for. However, would it be worth taking that hit to possibly make more after graduating from there?

mandrewsf

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by mandrewsf » Sat May 14, 2022 7:58 pm

I assume that you are aware of the bi-modal nature of law graduates' income, but if not: approximately 10-15% of law grads are paid 215k per year their first year as a lawyer while the vast majority of the rest make less than 60k-80k their first year. The vast majority of Wisconsin's grads fall in the latter bracket, while your odds of making it into the first bucket is about 50-50 from Notre Dame, assuming you're not picky geographically. So by picking Notre Dame you'd effectively be paying 100k for a coinflip chance at making 215k when you graduate.

Of course, if you take a year off to retake your LSAT and get a high enough school for a T14 school, your chance of making 215k would probably increase by at least another 25-30% over Notre Dame.

andythefir

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by andythefir » Thu May 19, 2022 12:27 pm

I’m an ND grad, so I’m obviously biased. But when I was trying to get a job in my home state I was aggressively boxed out by local school homers who saw me as an outsider because I didn’t go to the local school. I ended up going to a rural part of the state, doing a ton of trials, and then the NDLS credential made my USAO applications much stronger than if I had gone to the local school. Now that I’m a career civil servant, the loans I took to go to ND are a non issue.

ND isn’t unknown to Wisconsin, but I have no idea what that means for the specific markets you’re targeting. I’d ask local practitioners, they’d know better than Internet people. But also be aware that the better school opens doors later in your career, too.

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existentialcrisis

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by existentialcrisis » Mon May 23, 2022 12:16 pm

mandrewsf wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 7:36 am
I'm going to argue for ND since most here argue for Wisconsin just to offer multiple view points - ND is among the most portable of the non-T14 schools and it is one of the few schools where you have a reasonable shot at biglaw from median. If you want to work at anywhere outside of Wisconsin, you should consider ND. You'll be able to find a good job in Wisconsin out of ND anyway, so effectively for the price of half of your tuition you get to keep much wider options open. Only you could decide whether that's worth it.
We've been a boom economy for a long time and the bolded may be true for the past few years. That being said, it absolutely will not be the case if the economy goes south.

Those Top-20 type schools placement was far, far worse up until about 2017 or so. Most of the T14, even during the depths of the great recession were placing >50% of its classes in BL + FC, but Notre Dame, WUSTL, etc. definitely were not.

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nealric

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Re: Wisconsin v Notre Dame

Post by nealric » Tue May 24, 2022 11:32 am

existentialcrisis wrote:
Mon May 23, 2022 12:16 pm
mandrewsf wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 7:36 am
I'm going to argue for ND since most here argue for Wisconsin just to offer multiple view points - ND is among the most portable of the non-T14 schools and it is one of the few schools where you have a reasonable shot at biglaw from median. If you want to work at anywhere outside of Wisconsin, you should consider ND. You'll be able to find a good job in Wisconsin out of ND anyway, so effectively for the price of half of your tuition you get to keep much wider options open. Only you could decide whether that's worth it.
We've been a boom economy for a long time and the bolded may be true for the past few years. That being said, it absolutely will not be the case if the economy goes south.

Those Top-20 type schools placement was far, far worse up until about 2017 or so. Most of the T14, even during the depths of the great recession were placing >50% of its classes in BL + FC, but Notre Dame, WUSTL, etc. definitely were not.
Yes. As someone who started law school in 2007, I can attest that the hiring market can swing dramatically between when you start law school and when you actually start applying for jobs. When I arrived in school, the 2L's told us during orientation "don't worry about grades or OCI, everyone gets a biglaw job who wants one." Turned out the hiring environment went from "anybody with a pulse from this school gets biglaw" to only the top 1/3 has a good chance. The following year, even a lot of top 1/3 types got shut out. And then offer rates if you did get a summer gig were often 50-60% instead of the "every summer gets an offer" of years past.

Things were even worse at many T30ish schools where it went from "median has a chance at biglaw" to "only top 10% have a chance." Higher-ranked schools are more insulated. HYS types still got jobs during the great recession, they just might have had to "slum" it at lower v100 firms if they were further down in the class.

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