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Author Topic: Taking Questions  (Read 4044 times)

MahlerGrooves

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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.
:) 
Awesome, thank you!  I have another question for you: I basically HATE trying to come up with smart questions to ask people during interviews.  The only questions I have for the Northwestern interviewer would be concerning job placement.  I know I will attend Northwestern if admitted, so do you think asking questions as if I was already admitted is okay?  (i.e., what career services do you offer, questions related to the journals and student orgs)
THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Those would be the good questions anyway.  It is only through those questions–about career placement offices, journals, student life, clinic availability, moot court competitions, etc.–that one could decide on a school.  Although I would advise haveing specific questions based on research you have done on their website as not to sound like you didn't even look at the school.

The interview is as much a chance for you to learn about the school as for the school to learn about you.  It will make you seem like a truly interested candidate who took the time to have questions and make an informed decision.

zar090

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twiggy386

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DCB:

I'm currently held at Northwestern, likely to be moved to WL if I had to guess.  Do you think that visiting would make an impact on my decision?  I've already interviewed off-campus, but could I try for an on-campus interview as well?  Or would that make me creepy-stalker applicant?   :o  ha thanks!

fsohn

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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.

legally law

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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 also from Chicago and I would say that having a car is good if you don't have to pay for parking and you can find street parking easily.  That being said, if you do live in Streeterville, a car will definitely be more of a pain and an expense.  If you live in Wrigleyville or Lakeview, there is never any street parking (I know this from first-hand experience).  When I lived in Lincoln Park, I always found parking up the block; however, with the high level of construction, the construction workers take a lot of the spaces during weekdays.  You'll also need to purchase a city and a neighborhood parking sticker for most areas (~$100).  Chicago is a fairly car-friendly city, though, if you live in a neighborhood and not downtown. 

Ukranian Village (someone mentioned this neighborhood) would be a good option since you could take the bus down Chicago Ave.  Logan Square is also less expensive, but also has some crime.  The crime in Lincoln Park does seem to be increasing, but I agree with the above poster - college kids.  Also, if you live in Lincoln Park, there are several libraries at which you could study, including DePaul's library.  You should be able to find a one-bedroom in Lincoln Park for less than $1,000/mo. if you really look around.

legally law

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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!!

I agree.....I'll be moving to Streeterville rather than taking the train and lugging around books.  Begrudgingly going to school every day is not an option for me - I'll be too concerned w/finding study time rather than finding time to travel to/from school.

Thanks for answering my questions, too, DCB. I'll definitely be prepared for that interview:)

archival

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(stuff)

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?

(stuff)

People do drive to NU.  There is garage parking available for $355/academic yr.  http://www.law.northwestern.edu/studentaffairs/studentparking.html

If you live outside of Chicago (Oak Park, Evanston), you get first priority.  So if you happen to prefer a  suburban life and a car commute, you can do that.

If you live more than 1.75 miles from school, you get next priority.  Also, if you have special circumstances (e.g. a child in daycare) they will try to get you a spot.

I do not like Streeterville because I think it's touristy, but it sure is close to school.  I live about 7 miles from school (in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath arts & crafts apartment - with a garage spot - that costs less than most 1-bedrooms in Streeterville) and boy is my commute long when I take public transportation (although I take a bus and transfer to an el and even then it's usually under an hour.)  My neighborhood has tons of street parking.

Bottom line: you have lots of great housing options.  Don't hesitate to ask for more info if Streeterville doesn't sound appealing.
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WeeSqueak

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Another perspective on where to live in Chicago --

I live on the northern edge of the Gold Coast and love it.  Its about 1.5 miles from the law school.  I bought my condo, a 600 sq. ft. "L shaped" studio, which worked for me financially, but obviously thats not an option for everyone.  Also, a few other law students live in my building or in nearby buildings, as a lot of the condo owners rent to law school students.

If you have the money for a down payment I would advocate at least looking into buying.  Even with my mortgage, condo fees, homeowner's insurance, and property tax, my condo is less than what I would pay to rent for a similarly sized place in Streeterville.  Also, prices have dropped since I bought, which is not good for me but might be good for you! 

Anyways, I live in a mid-rise building and look west, so I have a great view of the city and fabulous sunsets.  I like it because the other buildings are lower, usually a max of 5 stories and I'm close to the lake.  Its also consderably quieter in the evenings.  Rarely am I disturbed by outside noise, even on the weekends whereas in Streeterville even on the upper floors there can be noise from car alarms, construction, etc.  Also I've got a lot of different public transportation options:  3-4 good bus lines that are close, and walking distance to both the red line and brown line (about 4 blocks) on the el. 

My commute to school ranges from anything to 15 min, if the buses are timed perfectly, to 40 min if there's tons of traffic or a long wait for a bus.  Also when the weather is nice and I don't have too many books I can walk along the lake to school which takes about 25 min.  For me this is totally doable and I wouldn't want to be closer to school.  I like the separation.  Also, for me personally it encourages me to stay at school and get my reading done before coming home.  That way I don't have to carry the books and once I get home I can do whatever I please, which I enjoy. 

(Can you tell I'm procrastinating working on my final legal writing assignment of the year!)