UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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TheReasonablePerson

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UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by TheReasonablePerson » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:57 pm

3.73 GPA. Full tuition scholarship at UIUC, loans for living expenses. Interested in Chicago (geographic). Top 10 (individually) in class.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:31 am

UChicago would probably be worth it depending on your goals, particularly if they include clerking/biglaw/bigfed/academia; NW is a closer call. Less than 50/50 shot at UC; pretty good chance at NW. Decent shot at good outcomes without transferring if Chicago is your goal.

TheReasonablePerson

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by TheReasonablePerson » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:23 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:UChicago would probably be worth it depending on your goals, particularly if they include clerking/biglaw/bigfed/academia; NW is a closer call. Less than 50/50 shot at UC; pretty good chance at NW. Decent shot at good outcomes without transferring if Chicago is your goal.
Hey! Thanks for the response! I appreciate it.

I am interested in BigLaw and Clerking. Not so much academia or Big Fed. The median transfer GPA for UChicago is 3.75, so you're right on about being slightly below 50/50.

Northwestern as you said is probably around a 3/4 or 4/5 chance.

My main concern is the same thing that makes my 1L Fall grades effectively my final ones - the impact on the market. Normally I could get Big Law fro current at UIUC but if there's a recession, I'm afraid they will start cutting Big Law recruitment at lower schools (UIUC is around #30 iirc) where even top students will lose out.

I have a lot of connections with Illinois Big Law alumni (one is in my family) but there's a limit to what they can do, obviously. Then again, I really don't want an extra $150k of debt, which alone might not make Big Law itself worth it.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:38 pm

For what it's worth, clerking could be an effective way to wait out a year or two of bad economy, and transferring to UC will significantly increase your prospects for clerking.

As for biglaw/other prospects, your options are going to be worse across the board because of this recession/pandemic. You're right that biglaw spots may dry up for UIUC and other Big10 T1 schools, but so will backup plans like state/local govt, smaller firms, etc. as the whole profession feels the pinch and some people who are already working retreat from private practice to govt for a "safer" job. UChicago will put you higher in the stack for backup plans, too. That said, I think you're right to see this as a tough choice, because entering the rough economy with very little debt is an advantage in itself. Personally, I would transfer to UC if I had the chance, but staying put would not be a bad move either.

Qtc

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by Qtc » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:05 pm

The reality is that during any economy, having a UC degree makes finding a job easier. That's just a fact. If you do land a BL summer gig and for whatever reason get no-offered, it will be much easier to find a good job as a UC grad.

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Necho2

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by Necho2 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:20 am

As a very specific point, motivated transfers appear to have done really well clerkship placement-wise, particularly at the D Ct level in the midwest in the last couple years. If you pick classes well and work hard, the slightly easier 2L-3L curve makes that a very feasible goal, and clerking for a year or 2 starting in 2022 is is probably the safest way to hedge against recession concerns. 120k to go from UIUC to UChicago seems a little steep but justifiable given the uncertainty of hiring and the BL/clerkship benefits.

TheReasonablePerson

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by TheReasonablePerson » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:09 am

Qtc wrote:The reality is that during any economy, having a UC degree makes finding a job easier. That's just a fact. If you do land a BL summer gig and for whatever reason get no-offered, it will be much easier to find a good job as a UC grad.
Is this surety worth 150k though?

Additionally, since the chances are less than half; is Northwestern, which is much more possible, worth that much?

Qtc

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by Qtc » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:08 pm

I don’t know. I’m just putting the facts out there. Graduating debt free is a big plus. But if you have any lofty career aspirations, it will be much harder to achieve them from UIUC.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: UIUC to UChicago, Northwestern - Chances, Worth it?

Post by trebekismyhero » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:13 pm

OP, feel free to PM me. I had to make this choice (tbf in a much better economy) and know a lot of ppl that did as well. I'd say if you're top 10 ppl, in a good economy with generic big law and FC aspirations, absolutely don't transfer. You can get those now at UIUC.

But since things are very unpredictable, definitely worth applying and considering UC. As for chances, disagree with decimals, you have a much better than 50/50 shot at UC. Based on my experience you should have a very good shot at UC. NU should be a lock

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