Hey Everyone, I was hoping to find out if anyone might have any opinions on my current options for next year. Right now I'm trying to decide between Northwestern and UVA, but I really don't know that much about the schools in terms of job placement or anything.
For a little background I'm in state at UVA so that lands me a break of $4k/year, and I have friends that will be within 1-2 hours of UVA. However I currently live right near DC and am not sure if I really want to give up living in a large area to move to Charlottesvile (note that I haven't visited charlotesville yet). I've visited Northwestern and really like the city, but other than a weekend I haven't had that much interaction with it.
I'm interested in pursuing IP law (at least I think I am) - does anyone know how the placement between the two schools compare? Right now I think I'd like to live in DC or NY coming out of school, but that also may be because I've always lived on the east coast and am not that familiar with Chicago. Any insight anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.
About the $4K/yr tuition break, not exactly true. In-State Budget for 1L at UVA: $41,200. 1L @ Northwestern: $58,972. That's almost an $18K "break" for just one year. Even if you add your laptop allowance to UVA's budget ($2,500, which was not included in the 41,200), you still come out $15K ahead.
The comparison is roughly the same for years 2 and 3.
As for UVA placing more locally than UVA, look at the numbers. While everyone seems to have quibbles with Leiter, I would point you to his 2003 "Most National Law School Based on Job Placement in Elite Law Firms" rankings. Virginia = #4 (behind Harvard, Yale & Chicago). NU = #13. http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/bleiter/rankings/03_most_national.html
Another guy attempted to update the same study for 2004, and came out with UVA in the #3 spot (this time ahead of Yale). http://www.calvin.edu/admin/csr/students/sullivan/law/results.htm
Northwestern came out 18th in that one.
Leiter aside, top job locations for UVA grads are 1) DC and 2) NYC. http://www.law.virginia.edu/home2002/html/about/factsstats.htm
Roughly half of NU's graduating class stays in the Midwest. http://www.law.northwestern.edu/career/statistics/
I don't know much about IP law, but I don't think either school is particularly known
for its IP program.
If you feel that you will shrivel up and die if you're not in a big city, then Charlottesville may not be the place for you. However, I lived there for 4 years (before moving to DC), and there's not much I couldn't find there. Besides, I sorta like the idea of having a place to park my car, being able to find a decent apartment for under 1K/mo, and still having DC close enough if I really need a reminder of how much I hate traffic.
That's just my 2 cents. I'm sure there are equally strong arguments for picking NU over UVA, so I'd like to hear them. Both options are still on the table for me, too.