Interesting... NIU is usually brushed aside as a 4th tier toilet and now I hear that it places well in the third largest city in America. Does anyone else think this obsession with the US News ranking might be unhealthy and meaningless?
Location, location, location
There are in the 4th tier.... but what did she have to say?
Not much. Just congratulated me and asked if she could answer any questions. I didn't have any.
Thanks for the input, all.
Sorry, but no (as to the placement, I agree USNWR is just a whore). In terms of placing "well" in Chicago, you would be better off to go to John Marshall than NIU, since it is in the city. I guess it all depends on your definition of "well." You want the
U Chi/Northwestern/UIUC/Other T25 Chicago jobs? You better graduate with a building named after you, top 1 of your class (Note there was no percent), and writing your own law review journal. If you are going into public service, I'm sure it's fine. "Same" education, different prestige levels/alumni base. Will the NIU JD get you 120K starting? Better be that guy, otherwise you are making the NIU mean, posted here.
I'd personally take time off to improve my file if you want private practice, because that is a mountain to climb starting at under $50,000.
Here is the brutal, unfair truth: If you are not going to a Tier 1 school, hell, maybe even a Top 25 school, you damn well better go to one in your market, if not the best one. Since most of us can't get in to the best Chicago market ones, you need to go to one in the city over NIU.
One more point: make sure you do your research. Lots of people online are simply trolling to make their own school choice feel better (check some of the other law forums and listen to people say "[Insert Top 14 School Here] = third tier toilet."
... a very practical post.
I guess it goes back to each person's reasons for wanting to be a lawyer. I honestly believe everybody on this board has it in mind (at least in the back of their mind) that they'd like to make six figures right out of law school. However, a disproportionate number of people seem to simply take it for granted that this will be the case. In fact, some seem to imply that you can't live on less than $125,000 a year.
The main reason I've decided to become a lawyer is that I know I'll be good at it. If I was good at working with tools, I'd become a mechanic. I'm not. I'm good at (and enjoy) analytical thinking, writing, and helping people define and protect their rights. Every ABA law school offers a powerful license to be a mechanic for peoples' rights.
So, although I'm sure your salary analysis is right on the money, I'm simply having trouble taking it to heart. In ALL fields, those who are impassioned and dedicated practitioners of their trade accomplish the most. The rankings game stinks of foregone conclusions and mediocrity.
Thanks for the congrats, folks.