Did you go to the ASW at either school?
The responses above do a solid job of describing the car issues you might face and some of the characteristics of the more popular neighborhoods inhabited by NU students. My first thought when I read your post was that Lincoln Park might not be a bad idea. I'm not too well qualified to speak on residential matters outside of Streeterville, however, since that's where I live.
I will add this to the discussion, however: the extra $ you pay to be in Streeterville are more than worth it as a law student, IMO. I commute 4 minutes to and from school on foot. I can save money by going home for lunch, I don't have to wait in the cold for the bus, I don't miss classes because of transit issues/traffic, and it is easy to pop into school on the weekends/nights to study there if I want to. More importantly, my 8 minute round-trip commute each day is about 42 to 52 minutes less round trip than people living in LP. That's almost an hour more I have every day to either study, rest, or sleep. And that adds up a TON over the course of the year, particularly given that time management is at an absolute premium your 1L year. There is simply no doubt in my mind that living near school has helped my grades and my work thus far.
Zar, I will try to answer a few of your other questions in a PM later this week. Congrats on getting in!!
Seeing as Northwestern is my top pick at the moment and my likely destination (notwithstanding unforeseen events), I've thought of a few more questions.
Assuming nothing changes in the next month or so, it looks like my wife and I will be looking at places to rent in Chicago in April with the intention of moving in in early June. I understand many NW students stay in the Streeterville area, but the rents I've looked up there scare me off, heh (for reference, I currently reside in a rural college town in northeast Missouri and pay 300/month for an admittedly crappy 1BR apartment). I've seen some more reasonable looking rates in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park area, but in truth I'm completely ignorant about Chicago neighborhoods. I'd like to live somewhere where I have easy access to public transportation to the school. I'd also like to not live in the ghetto if possible. Anyway, what I mean to ask is: do you know of any particular areas which strike a nice balance between affordability and amenities? The wife's not too crazy about living in a gleaming highrise either.
We also own two cars. From what I understand about living in downtown Chicago, cars can be more of a burden than an asset. We've considered selling one. Thoughts?
If we do move to Chicago in June, I'll have to occupy my time in some manner before school starts. This likely entails some menial summer job, but I'd certainly prefer something more interesting than retail or whatever. Any ideas for a 0L summer job in Chicago? I have a B.A. in English, but I don't know how helpful that'll be in these particular circumstances.
That's all I can think of for now. I'm becoming increasingly excited about Northwestern in general and can't wait to visit next month!
EDIT: Thought of another. I'm still waiting for Northwestern's financial aid offer, which will be an important factor in my ultimate law school decision -- Northwestern is the most expensive school I'm still considering. The web site says Northwestern gives aid based on combined merit and need. I also read somewhere that Northwestern does not consider your parents' financial information at all, not even on the Need Access form. I find this very refreshing -- I think it's ridiculous that so many of the T14 schools want my parents' financial information despite the fact that I'm 25 and married. I also like this because my wife and I are quite poor, heh.
All this to say that I hope their financial aid offer makes Northwestern my clear choice. If it comes down to 150k debt at Northwestern vs. 60-80k debt at another T20, I would have to consider my options very carefully.
Any insight into their financial aid offers? Were you satisfied with yours? I really don't want to be anxiety ridden about massive amounts of student loans for the next 3+ years.
Sorry for the rambling and semi-incoherence, it's very late and I'm hopped up on law school adrenaline.
As a Chicagoan, I may as well take a crack at those questions I can.
About transit, assuming you are near the Fullerton Red Line Stop, getting to NU during the morning rush shouldn't be more than a half hour. Just take it to the Chicago stop and walk west. I did this when taking my LSAT there.
About cars, any problems you'll have downtown, you'll have in Lincoln Park/Lakeview, especially once baseball season starts. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I'd sell one and look to find a leased parking space, if you can.
As for living in an affordable place that is not "the ghetto," that really depends on what you consider the ghetto. My bro lives in Ukranian Village, which is a couple of miles due west on Chicago (you could get to school by bus easily) and it is affordable. Not to be a scaremonger, but a while ago there was some discussion of the high incidence of sexual assault in the Lincoln Park/DePaul area. It figures, with lots of bars, lots of money, and lots of dumb college kids, but I've female friends who go to school there who call the campus van service or a cab and wait, rather that walk from campus to the train at night. That is probably an overreaction on their part, but it is something to think about.
I'm on hold and will be interviewing soon. Any suggestions?
Be prepared to discuss what other people's greatest misconception of you is, and why it is wrong. I hear that's a common NU interview question. Beyond that, come prepared with questions of your own to ask, have a credible "why law school" answer that meshes with your academic and professional career thus far, and be able to list at least one (and preferably more) specific things about NU that make you want to attend over other law schools.
Summer WL. One of my good friends just got in to Duke who was planning on going to Cornell, so there is at least one spot open.
I withdrew from NYU and accepted NWU instead because NWU offered $60K scholarship. Did I make the right decision? After all, NYU is among the top 4,while NWU lags far behind. Am I too short-sighted? I just cannot bear the thought to have huge debt after graduation.
FWIW, I heard from an extremely reliable source that GW (FT) was over their expected normal 1st deposits by about 30. They usually have about 490 after the initial deposit, but this year they were at 520 or so.
Oh NOES! More wheelie bags!
"Do you really need a locker? ... Perhaps get a wheelie bag instead."
at decision. hence, my rejection will soon arrive as I sent no LOCIs or updates.
Or, you were summer WL (which I think is done by mail) and you get another two months of this. (And then I stared and the insertable faces and pondered whether I should go with the smile or the tear...)