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Author Topic: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11  (Read 20804 times)

El_Che

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University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« on: February 14, 2008, 01:18:19 PM »
There are a few random threads about Wisco. throughout this site, but I thought it'd be helpful for us future Badgers to have a central thread. Even if you're not committed (I'm about 95% sure), feel free to join in the discussions.  Rankings, ASW's, App. questions, etc. It's my hope that for those of us that do end up heading to Madison in the fall, this thread will be a good way to break the ice and have a bit of a community there.

Enjoy!

El_Che

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 01:19:00 PM »
Here are a few tidbits I've picked up from other sites:


Facilities
Very up-to-date campus. Very new engineering, business, and law buildings. The law library went through a renovation recently and is a mixture of new glass & steel, combined with some of the older stone building. It is new but still has character. If you don't want to spend all your time in the law building, other libraries are nice too. Helen C White is the main one for undergrads, I would avoid that if you want to do serious studying. The Memorial Union is great if you want to read and have a beer, or just curl up on a nice comfy couch for a little nap in between naps - explore the Union, there are several hidden reading rooms with fireplaces. Also, I have never found a building without wireless internet. I'd say for computing purposes, UW-Madison is top-notch. 24-hour tech support available, etc.

Education
As far as undergrad, it was a solid education for me, many call UW-Madison a "Public Ivy". Great school. For law school, I've heard great things. I know for FACT - in Wisconsin it is regarded VERY, VERY highly. I would argue that many locales would rather hire a UW-Madison graduate over T14 because they view the education as being equal and would rather have a locale grad with connections to the area (I personally don't think UW-Madison = T14, but like I said, many Wisconsin people / firms do).

Life
You will drink a lot, just by the nature of being in Wisconsin. Not just with other students, but it is fairly common to see professors drinking with students after classes. I had a class "ME601: Materials Selection", which everybody called "ME601: Drinking w/Dr. Jay". Our student Union serves beer - very popular. If you're still a party animal - I would check out State St. But that's very undergrad, and I wouldn't go there anymore (even as a 4th and 5th year undergrad, I found it a bit immature). But there are many nice restaurants and lounges closer to the Capitol (within walking distance). Many ethnic, diverse places to eat on the near east-side as well. For law students there are many activities. As an undergrad, I worked in the Law Library for about 2 years. Almost every week there were at least a couple different events sponsored by different law student organizations where there was free food, sometimes booze. Life isn't big city like Chicago or NYC, of course - but that also means very, very low cost of living and you still definitely can find stuff to do every night.

what the placement is, how well respected the school is throughout the nation, etc
I talked to several people about going to law school in Wisconsin. I talked to a professor at the UW business school who is a Harvard Law graduate (family friend). He gave me the honest advice that if I want to go into BigLaw, especially if in NYC, go to T14. From his personally experience, dropping the "I went to Harvard Law" sentence opened almost every door for him. UW-Madison won't be able to do that, EXCEPT in Wisconsin. Law firms in Wisconsin hire from Madison because it is the highest ranked law school in the state. Marquette is ok, but Wisconsin's legal market is dominated by UW-Madison. Even though the legal market in Wisconsin is smaller than legal markets in other states, there is ONLY 1 law school turning out qualified graduates!!

I also talked to 2 lawyers (family friends) who currently work for Quarles & Brady and Michael Best & Friedrich, and they basically told me the same thing. They added that if you graduate in the top 25% you have a decent chance of going into BigLaw in Chicago. If you graduate in the top 1-2%, you might have a chance at BigLaw in NYC. But if you graduate in the top 50% you are almost guaranteed a spot in MidLaw in Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago. Midlaw such as Quarles & Brady and Michael Best & Friedrich still pay $125K+. I have a good friend who works in MidLaw in Milwaukee and gets paid market Biglaw salary ($160K + bonus of ~$50K). But she also graduated at the top of her class and is Jewish. Also keep in mind, $160K goes a lot farther in Milwaukee than in NYC. Lastly, the most important piece of advice these 2 lawyers gave me was that - do NOT go to TTT Chicago schools (Depaul, Kent, Loyola) with the hope of getting into BigLaw in Chicago. You will be competing with UChicago and Northwestern graduates in their home market. You have a much better chance of graduating from the top of your class at UW-Madison. Plus, you still are safe to find a great job in Madison or Milwaukee if Chicago doesn't work out. (I asked about this because I wanted to work in Chicago) Bottom line - you'll be ok job-wise and financially if you are ok with working in Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago. But the rest of the nation will be tough to break into, unless you are at the very, very top of your class (1-2%, aka your JD better say summa cum laude).

El_Che

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 01:19:52 PM »
Quote:
I'm wondering what areas you would recommend looking for apartments in.

State Street area, including Langdon, Henry, Gilman streets are very, very undergraduate. All the fraternities and sororities are on Langdon. To be honest, for the better part of my undergraduate years I lived and hung out in the neighborhood...but as a grad student I would avoid it. But the one nice thing about this area is that you can walk to Sate Street. Which means 5 minutes to about 20 places to eat. It is also the closest to the law library, ~5 min walk.

To the southeast of campus there is the Mifflin Street neighborhood. This is where there were riots in the 1960's and now every spring there is a Mifflin St. Block Party. Which is an awesome opportunity for day-time drinking. But living-wise, I would avoid this area, as older, but equally obnoxious undergrads live here. I too, have lived here....Also, I say this as a generalization, but the ALOT of houses here are SLUM-lord ran. Seriously sometimes dangerous. Cheap rent, but really crappy and old buildings. But here you are still in within a 5 minute walk of State St., plus Capitol Food Center, a large grocery store, is located on Mifflin. ~10 minute walk to the law library.

Going further east and towards the capitol you'll find "downtown". This area is the furthest away from campus, ~20 min. The people that live here tend to be older, working professionals or grad students. A lot of hipsters. Housing is more expensive here because a lot of the houses have been remodeled in the inside. The capitol area restaurants and bars are much more upscale and typically this is where you find grad students hanging out.

The area west and southwest of campus, surrounding Camp Randall Stadium, typically referred to as the "Regent Street area" is a mixture of residential and student houses. Rent is cheap because it is the furthest away from campus. Housing in general is nicer here as the families that live in the neighborhood tend to make sure things are clean. Perhaps the quietest neighborhood on campus. West of here is a Trader Joe's, ~15 minute walk. This area is far too- it would require a 15-25 minute walk to the Law Library.


Quote:
Any info you can provide on housing and transportation would be great.

The buses are very nice, run all the time and you get a free pass (it's part of your tuition). But, if you had the funds to do it, I would get a moped. Madison has something like 1 moped to every 4 students. As soon as you get there you will see what I am talking about. You can literally park your moped at the door of the law library and any trip you take will be less than 2 minutes. Seriously. I would wake up 5 minutes before class started, hop on my moped and make it on time.


Quote:
Could you explain what your family friends meant a bit more?

I wanted to go to Chicago too. But basically, from everyone I talked to, the general consensus is to avoid the lower tier Chicago schools no matter what. I can't make these decisions for you, but I was seriously considering Loyola, Kent, and Depaul and every person I talked to strongly advised me not to. I haven't researched how many Chicago BigLaw firms hire out of those schools, but you definitely should. This is a good place to start:
http://nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_advanced.asp

Or, just check what the top Vault law firms are for Chicago and go to the individual firms websites. Many of the firms allow you to search for a lawyer by what law school they went to.

According to what I heard (I have no numbers to back this up, so you'll have to research it more), the chances of you getting into Chicago BigLaw from UW-Madison is very good if you are at the top of your class (5-10%). Then somewhere between the top 25%, 30%, you still have a decent chance of getting into Midlaw or small law in Chicago. But if Chicago doesn't work out, you can always find a SOLID job in Milwaukee or Madison if you have a JD from UW-Madison. But that won't be true if you have a JD from Kent.

El_Che

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 01:20:25 PM »
The campus: Madison's campus can be extremely daunting if you haven't been to it before. It is one of these places that can have 5-8 blocks between different campus buildings, kind of sprawled through the downtown Madison area. That said, all of the Law classes are in the same building, and that buiding is very easy to find (It is on the top of Bascom Hill, and is a pretty large glass structure. Very hard to miss.)

As for the top Milwaukee jobs only being for the top third of Madison's class: You need to consider that a very large portion of the people who go to UW Madison are interested in PI jobs and Clerkships (the fact that Madison is the state capitol gives people a lot of clerkship options that the school's rating may not indicate, otherwise. Madison has actually produced 2 or 3 SCOTUS clerks in the past 10 years.)

I am under the impression that many of the Milwaukee firms look to Madison first, even before the bottom halves of the Chicago/Northwestern classes that consider coming up to Milwaukee. However, there aren't that many biglaw jobs to be had in Milwaukee; I think 3 firms? Could be wrong on that number. Since the top 20% or so have honestly legit shots at Chicago, Milwaukee goes deeper in to Madison's class than you might expect otherwise.

Also, you would think that Marquette would dillute the market a bit, but it really doesn't. Marquette and Madison aren't in the same league, everyone knows it, and I have heard that a few of the bigger Wisconsin firms don't even do OCI at Marquette. I've never known a single person who got accepted at Madison who didn't immediatly withdraw their Marquette applications... you're looking at a 60 spot ranking difference, and Madison is more than $20k a year cheaper.

Edit: Odd thing to keep in mind about Madison that I just found out: grades don't affect who gets on Law Review or Moot Court at all. The top 10 people in the class for 1L(not 10%, top 10) do get preferance for Law Review, in that if their writing samples land in the top 1/3 of those submitted, they get on. I assume, in most schools, the top 10 people would basically automatically be on Law Review if they wanted to be.

ender01

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 04:55:48 PM »
When did you apply to UW?  I am dying to hear back and the run to my mailbox every evening is getting boring.

El_Che

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2008, 06:38:29 PM »
When did you apply to UW?  I am dying to hear back and the run to my mailbox every evening is getting boring.


I applied way back in October, heard in late December I believe. I think the general consensus is that they take a bit of time to get through all the apps, so don't lose hope!

nikos13

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2008, 01:35:04 PM »
Tag.

ender01

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2008, 05:31:06 PM »
When did you apply to UW?  I am dying to hear back and the run to my mailbox every evening is getting boring.


I applied way back in October, heard in late December I believe. I think the general consensus is that they take a bit of time to get through all the apps, so don't lose hope!

Woohoo! I got in!  Snail mail this afternoon!

El_Che

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2008, 05:44:58 PM »
When did you apply to UW?  I am dying to hear back and the run to my mailbox every evening is getting boring.


I applied way back in October, heard in late December I believe. I think the general consensus is that they take a bit of time to get through all the apps, so don't lose hope!

Woohoo! I got in!  Snail mail this afternoon!


Congrats! Is it one of your top choices?

nikos13

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Re: University of Wisconsin, Class of '11
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 09:05:56 AM »
Here's some more opinions on Wisco.

http://jdunderground.com/thread.php?threadId=12138