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Author Topic: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?  (Read 4970 times)

markthomas

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Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« on: July 01, 2010, 04:43:13 PM »
Just finished a very successful 1L at DePaul.  I have a scholarship, won 2 CALI awards in legal writing, made Law Review, and most importantly still have a 4.0/4.0, which should rank me at the top of the class (or at least tied for #1).  I really like it at DePaul and honestly have no interest in leaving.  However, the current state of the job market has people pushing me to transfer. 

That being said, I only applied to Northwestern, where I was waitlisted and know a professor there who said he would make a phone call to the head of admissions.  Adding to that, I qualify as a minority (Puerto Rican), so my chances are good.

Assuming I get in though, I still don't know if it is the right move.  The only reasons I have for transferring are (1) job prospects and (2) prestige.  Honestly, I don't know if being an "anybody" at NU gives me such vastly improved jobs prospects and prestige than being #1 at DePaul, at least as to warrant the ENORMOUS difference in cost.

Any thoughts?  Is the added 70+K in loans really worth it?  Should even the top student at a "lesser institution" fear being employed after 3 years in this market? (I should note that I plan on staying in Chicago)

Thanks for any advice or comments.  This decision has been driving me crazy for the past two weeks...

alhammondsucks

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 06:11:48 PM »
Depends what you want to do.  If you dont want to go big law, then I'd say you should def stay with Depaul.  If you want a big law job, I think northwestern might be the way to go.  But not by much.  And that's just a hunch -- check the employment stats to be sure.  If you are confident you can get your foot in the door somewhere, then stay w/ Depaul.  Also check to see if nu allows you to do law review, moot court, etc.  I think what you are dealing w/ is the perennial transfer conundrum that you are facing, so rest assured others have dealt with the same issues.

Cicero

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 02:04:20 AM »
It seems like a huge jump--#90 something to T-14, but I don't know whether both have great reputations in IL, if you want to work in IL, what type of lawyer you want to be, and other possible extenuating circumstances that might exist. Then again, $70K+ extra debt sounds terrible. I'm transferring, but it will only add about $15K debt. Losing law review is bothering me more than that debt. It does sound like you have a lot going for you at DePaul. If DePaul opens the doors you need opened, or I guess I should say doesn't block the path to your desired career focus, then you may want to stay.

constable80

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 07:53:54 AM »
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Cicero

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 11:07:34 AM »
I should have added this to my previous post: You need to also decide whether you would be happy staying at DePaul if you graduate at #3,5,10,15 (I don't know how many students are in your class), basically top 10% good, but not #1. It's very likely that you won't be #1 when you graduate. You may have a bad headache on a test day and get a B+. Who knows, there are so many things that could happen during your exams, and remember you have 20 more to take.

Also note that the previous poster wants in at Northwestern, so take his advice with a grain of salt.

constable80

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 12:43:12 PM »
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Cicero

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 01:10:58 PM »
Yeah, 70K extra debt is a lot for a bigger name and potentially a huge risk in this economy.

stinger35

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 05:10:06 PM »
How did you already get waitlisted when they haven't started with decisions yet? (at least according to the office)

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2010, 05:42:18 PM »
agreed, but people seem to thick to get that.

Yeah, 70K extra debt is a lot for a bigger name and potentially a huge risk in this economy.

bigs5068

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Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2010, 06:04:22 PM »
I honestly I think if you graduated #1 from any ABA school that would be more impressive than middle of the pack at an Ivy League school.  If you are doing that well somewhere and like everything about the school I think it would be stupid to leave, but that is just my opinion. I doubt anyone ranked #1 at any ABA school ever had a hard time finding a job. #1 is pretty damn good and it is actually earned on merit not some subjective B.S. U.S. News Ranking of a school.