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Author Topic: Illinois v. Missouri  (Read 708 times)

upgrade

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Illinois v. Missouri
« on: April 12, 2008, 11:16:40 AM »
My goal is to obtain a market paying firm job in St. Louis.  8 of the 9 NALP firms in St. Louis interview on campus at Illinois, all interview at Missouri.  It seems that to have a shot at my goal, I need to make top 15% at Missouri.  At Illinois I am not sure what class rank I would need to maintain, but one can graduate with honors with a 3.25 GPA, which appears to be around 40% of the class.  I currently live in Missouri and my parents live in St. Louis, so I will be in the St. Louis at various times throughout the year.

I assume cost of living will be very close in Urbana-Champaign and Columbia.  Missouri tuition will be approximately $16,000 for three years, Illinois tuition will be approximately $60,000 for three years.  I am still waiting on WUSTL, which would make this discussion moot, but these are my two options right now.

Any thoughts? 

DontQuestionMe

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2008, 01:14:51 PM »
You are going to have a lot more options available graduating from UIUC than Missouri. Champaign is only 50 miles farther from St. Louis than Columbia. Have you visited both towns?

The recommended curve at UIUC for first year students has a 3.2 median, with 20% of first year students receiving an A- or higher. For upper division courses the recommended curve has a median GPA of 3.2-3.4:

http://www.law.uiuc.edu/academics/pdf/handbook_academic_policy.pdf

There are two kinds of semester academic honors at UIUC, Harno Scholars, which is the top 10% of each class and Dean's List, which is the next 20%. Class rank is published for the top 10% of each class at the end of the semester.

There are three graduation honors:

1) Summa Cum Laude 3.75+
2) Magna Cum Laude 3.5+
3) Cum Laude 3.25+

Top 10% of the graduating class also qualify for Order of the Coif.

upgrade

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008, 01:54:07 PM »
You are going to have a lot more options available graduating from UIUC than Missouri. Champaign is only 50 miles farther from St. Louis than Columbia. Have you visited both towns?

I haven't visited UC in probably ten years, but will be returning this week.  I currently live in Columbia. 

If I am not interested in Chicago, does UIUC still hold sway in this decision?

The debate I have is whether the additional $45,000 in tuition, selling my house, and moving from Columbia is going to give me substantially better options in St. Louis.  If I was confident I would finish in the top 10% at MU and therefore would have a solid shot at a large firm job in St. Louis, I would choose MU because it would cost next to nothing.

wustl3l

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 04:57:34 PM »
Personally I think it's a wash all other factors being equal.

Edit: I just re-read your message and personally don't think the bump is ranking is worth uprooting your life in Columbia since you own a house, etc. I don't think firms are going to go that much deeper into UI's class.

t L

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 05:03:58 PM »
Personally I think it's a wash all other factors being equal.

Agreed.  And why did you withdraw from SLU if your goal is making market in STL?  I thought SLU did well in St. Louis.
Michigan 2L

upgrade

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 07:49:00 PM »
Personally I think it's a wash all other factors being equal.

Agreed.  And why did you withdraw from SLU if your goal is making market in STL?  I thought SLU did well in St. Louis.

I think MU is a stronger school, it is cheaper, and I live in Columbia already.  SLU places almost their entire class in St. Louis, but I think MU should give similar options.  The only two things that interested me about SLU over MU were the JD/MPH in Disaster Management and being in St. Louis.  If I don't make the cut at a St. Louis, Kansas City is an acceptable alternative market.

Other considerations not originally posted... While St. Louis is my main goal right now, I realize that could change as well.  If the next few winters are as dreary as the past few have been, Phoenix or Dallas may be where I want to end up.  I know UIUC isn't known for placing well in either market, but if I do well enough the option is probably there.  Also, if I do really well, UIUC will probably give me more leeway in where I could transfer if I chose to do so.

wustl3l: If the debate was WUSTL v. MU, do you think the difference would be worthwhile?  I am probably looking at $120,000 for WUSTL and $16,000 for MU. 

yongsoo

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 01:38:10 AM »
I'm going to chime in
*ding*

If you want to practice anywhere in MO, go to MU. Networking options out of MU for MO are hands down the best. I had a friend who interviewed with one of the MO Supreme Court Justices, and she asked him why he had chosen WUSTL Law over MU Law if he was going to stay in MO.

However, if you want to practice in St. Louis, SLU has the market pretty cornered. SLU students are ready at hand, are able to attend all the firms' networking events and open houses, and the firms don't view them as carpetbaggers.

UIUC will definitely place better in Chicago than either of those two.

If St. Louis is the place you want to be, go SLU for overall easier access. At a diversity placement thing earlier in the year, I met a bunch of MU, SLU, and UIUC students. The MU and UIUC students had much longer of a drive, of course, to get here and were unable to hang out with us afterwards (networking with your future colleagues).

Choose WUSTL if you think you might want to practice outside Missouri. BY that, this is not to say that grads from MU or SLU don't go national, anyone from anywhere in the top 5-15% of the class can land those sort of jobs. However, firms are willing to go a bit further into one school than another.

Weigh your options, make a decision, then go celebrate over at Flat Branch with some of that tasty Green Chili Pepper Beer.

wustl3l

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 11:31:04 AM »
wustl3l: If the debate was WUSTL v. MU, do you think the difference would be worthwhile?  I am probably looking at $120,000 for WUSTL and $16,000 for MU. 

If you want national options, then yes.

Quail!

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 11:36:54 AM »
I had a friend who interviewed with one of the MO Supreme Court Justices, and she asked him why he had chosen WUSTL Law over MU Law if he was going to stay in MO.

That's pretty ridiculous...

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upgrade

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Re: Illinois v. Missouri
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 12:12:06 PM »
I had a friend who interviewed with one of the MO Supreme Court Justices, and she asked him why he had chosen WUSTL Law over MU Law if he was going to stay in MO.

That's pretty ridiculous...

I think it's a valid question.  Did he get the job?  Did the judge act like WUSTL was a big drawback? 

Older attorneys in Missouri who I have talked to are surprised to hear that WUSTL is ranked as highly as it is.  I'm talking about attorneys who have been practicing for 30-40 years.  From what they tell me, when they were in school, MU was the best law school in Missouri with WUSTL in second and UMKC/SLU about the same behind those.