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Messages - burghblast

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 30, 2007, 09:22:42 AM »
Anyone you know of go international?  I know many people spend a few years in Chicago or other big U.S. markets and then head abroad, but I'd be interested to hear what sorts of international networking can be done at NU. 

A friend of mine interviewed exclusively at London and San Fran firms, and will be going to London.  He received several callbacks there.  Also, another friend of mine in the JD/MBA program owns his own business in India and plans on going back there after school.  The vast majority are focused on staying in the US, but my impression is that if you want to go abroad, there is opportunity to do so.

The ITP program is an excellent chance for international "networking".  Second and third year students have the option of getting 3.0 or 4.0 credits over spring break by traveling abroad.  The trips are all student organized, usually in groups of 10-15.  Each year about half a dozen different trips are planned.  You spend the first part of the spring semester developing a "curriculum" for the trip - some sort of legal or political "hook" to study while you're over there.  Then you spend a couple weeks abroad and present written reports about the trip to the student body afterwards. 

Finally, NU has a fairly large LLM program, where lawyers from other countries come to NU to study American law for a year.  You will undoubtedly have several of them in your first year classes.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 30, 2007, 08:20:50 AM »
How does the legal market of Chi-town look?  Strong?  Weakening?  Crowded? 

None of my classmates that I know of had a hard time getting a job in Chicago.  The NY firms just upped their starting salaries to 160K, and I heard for the first time last night that the two biggest firms here are going to follow suit, so the legal market does not seem to be weakening.  Next to New York and DC, I would guess that Chicago is probably the third biggest legal market in the country.  I did much, much better with Chicago firms in the interview process last fall than I did with Austin firms, which reflects on the strength of the two markets.  Austin is relatively small and there just aren't as many positions to go around.  If you go to school at NU and manage to avoid graduating at the very bottom of your class, you will have no trouble finding a job in Chicago.  The vast majority of my classmates received offers from several firms, some of them close to a dozen (or more).

That being said, a significant portion of NU students decide to go elsewhere.  New York, DC, and San Fransisco are popular choices. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 30, 2007, 08:15:30 AM »
If you spent much time on this board as a 0L, I'm sure the rankings (and the associated prestige) were always fresh on your mind.  Looking back on your decision process, were the rankings as significant as many 0Ls make them out to be?  What deciding factors ended up being the most important?  Least important?  Thanks!

The rankings are important only in that they reflect the reputation of your school in the eyes of hiring partners and judges (if you decide to clerk).  Also, the education you receive at a "top" school is vastly different than the education you receive at lower ranked schools.  I have friends here in Chicago that go to other lower ranked schools, and based on our shared experiences, we have concluded that NU provides a much more theoretical, intellectually stimulating curriculum, while other schools tend to focus solely on black letter law and bar-prep. 

A prime example is the clinics offered by NU, which provide an opportunity to get real-world experience during the semester.  NU offers many clinics every semester in different areas of the law, but the two most popular last year were the Supreme Court clinic, where the students get to work with appellate partners from a major DC firm on cases that are actually pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, and the federal criminal appellate clinic, where the students get to argue in front of the Seventh Circuit themselves (thanks to Illinois state law that permits third year law students to receive some sort of temporary license).  These are the kind of opportunities you won't find at second or third tier schools. 

I turned down almost a full ride at a school that was ranked in somewhere between 20 and 30 to come here, and I have absolutely no regrets. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 30, 2007, 08:06:35 AM »
Hey, I am coming into law school straight out of undergrad, and of all the schools I have gotten into NU is my current top choice.

Could you tell me about the social aspects of school (making friends, connecting with people outside class...not romantically, but just hanging out) and also if there's a stigma against people coming just from undergrad (I'm a little scared/intimidated to be around so many people with such amazing experiences) or if they find it hard to fit in.

It is very difficult to get into NU straight out of undergrad.  Out of 250 students in my class, less than 10 came straight from college.  So you face an uphill battle to get in, but if you really want go to NU, you could always wait a year and reapply.  I think even having one year of WE is enough to satisfy them.

As far as the social aspects go, the environment is a cross between college and high school.  Law school is much smaller than college, which lends itself a lot of high-school-like characteristics like drama, rumor mills, etc.  But the people here are also much more mature, so the cruelty and animosity typical of most high school students doesn't exist.  Law school is a lot of fun, both intellectually and socially.  You have complete freedom to make your social life what you want.  I know people who went out 4-5 nights a week (or more) during the first year, and people who went out only a couple times a month.  If you want to be in the former group, there will be no shortage of opportunities for you to do so; the people in the latter group make disciplined decisions to put work ahead of their social life during the semester.

People here do have amazing experiences.  On the first day of orientation, the dean of admissions spent 20 minutes rattling off various accomplishments of all the people in my class, and it was pretty awe-inspiring, and definitely a little intimidating.  There is, like at any top law school, a significant amount of wealth and privilege here, which tends to equate itself to amazing experiences like traveling the world.  But all the people here are very friendly and down to earth.  There is no pretentiousness - or at least, very little of it; much less than I expected to find in law school. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 30, 2007, 07:57:48 AM »
approx 1L gpa/rank and approx vault rank of firm?

If you're talking about admissions statistics, then I believe the numbers provided by USNWR and NU's admission Web site will answer the first part of your question.  But if you're asking about average GPA after your first year, the mandatory curve for first year classes is as follows:

3-7% of each class gets an A+
12-15% A
10-15% A-
15-30% B+
20-35% B
10-15% B-
0-7.5% C+
0-7.5% C
0-7.5% D
0-7.5% F

It's a standard 4.00 scale, with an A+ worth 4.33.  Conventional wisdom says that no professor gives out anything lower than a B-, which they are not required to do (although I have heard rumors about the rare C from time to time).  As far as specific numbers, there's no way to know.  Like most top schools, NU goes out of their way to obfuscate rank/GPA.  There is no published class rank, and it's hard to even discern your approximate standing because they don't provide the median GPA.  But last year I put together a spreadsheet and crunched the numbers, and based on the mandatory curve, I suspect that the average 1L GPA is somewhere between 3.2 and 3.4.  There is much more grade inflation second and third years.  The cutoffs for graduation honors:

Summa cum laude: 4.20
Magna cum laude: 3.97
Cum laude: 3.65

Last year, over 40% of the class graduated cum laude or better. 

I don't really know what the second part of your question means.  Every major firm in the country interviews at NU, and there is no class rank here so you don't need to be in the upper Xth percentile of the class to get an interview - it's all done by lottery.  I bid on about 30 firms and got interviews with approximately my top 15-20 choices, all of whom were well-ranked "biglaw" firms in Chicago or Austin.  If your GPA is at least "average" here, then you have at least a shot at a job at any firm in the country.  Of course, if you have a 4.00 (or higher), and/or make the law review staff, then your prospects are even better. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Current NU 2L taking questions
« on: January 29, 2007, 06:08:36 PM »
It has probably been about a year since I logged into LSD, but the upcoming admissions season prompted me to see how things were going in the land of law school applicants. 

I noticed some people from other schools taking questions about their schools, and I'd like to do the same.

Questions about NU, the city of Chicago, or law school in general?  Hit me up.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Best T14's for married students
« on: September 25, 2006, 09:33:38 PM »
I'm surprised no one has mentioned NU in this discussion.  With our preference for older students here, there are a lot more married people than at any other top school. 

Can't speak for the law school, but Penn State became the most expensive public university in the country last year, according to their student newspaper.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Best MLB Player
« on: May 04, 2006, 06:22:43 AM »
Why isn't Andy Van Slyke on this list?  He's the best MLB player *ever*

For those of you considering law school as a way of impressing chicks, I have another suggestion to make:

Penile implants.

Imagine the combined respect and admiration that 2 or 3 extra inches would bring you, on top of being in law school.  You could finally walk right up to a girl and say, "Hey there, I'm a law student AND I have a 5 inch cock."

You'll be so money baby and you won't even know it!

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