Law School Discussion

DePaul or Case?

DePaul or Case?
« on: March 13, 2007, 01:33:03 PM »
Argh...who would have ever thought scholarsips would be such a pain in the ass?

So I live in into Case Western with a guaranteed $9,000/year scholarship.  Obviously, I wouldn't have to move, which is cheaper, and my wife could continue teaching and gigging (she's a musician) in the area (although she doesn't want to be stuck in Cleveland much longer than three years).

Also got into DePaul, with a $18,000/year scholarship, contingent upon maintaining a 3.3 GPA.  Until the Case scholarship came through, we were pretty much certain about DePaul--we went to law day last weekend and enjoyed the faculty, the school, etc.  However, the huge increase in expenses for moving to Chicago and living in Chicago are worrisome.  My wife could teach in Chicago, but it would take several months for her to establish herself and generate any significant income.

Any thoughts?  What would you do?


Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 01:48:07 PM »
A couple things to consider: 1) teachers in Chicago are among the best compensated in America. To be a teacher you have to live in the city limits, so there are buildings in every neighborhood that will give you considerable discounts on rent, & 2) the 3.3 requirement for the scholarship means you have to remain in about the top 30% of the class.

I attended the ASW on Saturday, and my fiance is finishing her MA in education before joining me in Chicago(or whatever city we choose) in the Spring....

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 02:01:50 PM »
Thanks for the input...

I hadn't thought about the teacher's discounts on housing--good to know.  Top 30% isn't so bad...I guess I'm just concerned about the curve.  Still, there are enough classes that even one professor who hates me shouldn't mess up the GPA too significantly.  I was in the top 5% in grad school, so I don't expect to get into trouble in law school.

We'll see...

Any other thoughts?

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 06:50:05 PM »

Any more advice?  I'm really conflicted!!

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 07:09:16 PM »
Well I guess some follow-up questions would be where do you want to practice and what specialty are you looking into? Depaul is really moving up recently in reputation and if you want to work in the city (where there are lots of jobs) Depaul is the better option. I don't know much about Case, but I know that Depaul places reasonably well nationally and if you are at the top of your class you can get great jobs. I also know that Depaul is very good at IP so if thats your specialty, go there. I personally would pick Depaul, but I would want a better chance at top paying jobs, I would rather work in Chicago than Ohio and I am going to do IP. My sister goes to Depaul and she says that it is a good school that is really getting better every year.

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 07:23:45 PM »
Hi polaremu...thanks for the input.

Yeah, IP is my thing, too.  The problem is that I have no interest in patent law--I'm a copyright guy--and DePaul mentioned at their IP breakfast last weekend that IP students without technical backgrounds often have a VERY difficult time finding jobs.  While I like DePaul's direction in the rankings and their national alumni group and their great IP department, I almost wonder if I'd be handicapping myself there since I don't have a technical background.  Whereas Case is ranker higher nationally and has a higher job placement rating and higher starting salary.

But you nailed it--who actually wants to work in Cleveland?  Chicago would be rife with opportunity...

It's a damned hard decision...

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 07:53:44 PM »
if you want some expert advice on depaul PM uchi2L - she went to Depaul and will troll for it. She knows a lot more about this decision than me. She's taking finals right now, but when she's done I'm sure that she will be happy to help you out.

Again, I vote for Depaul, but it sounds like you're looking for more info.

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 09:09:49 PM »
The overriding question is if you want to spend your next few years in Cleveland or Chicago.
Both schools are good, but hardly national (I really want to emphasize that as it has popped up twice in the previous posts. It is a T2, regional school. Odds are against you for placement outside of the Windy City), and while you could work in Cleveland with a DePaul JD and vice versa, it's likely DePaul = Chicago.

If you truly do not care which city you live in (I cannot fathom prefering Cleveland to Chicago) then onto the merits of each of the schools.

While DePaul is a solid law school, there is just a ton of competition. You have 3 T14s that place a large amount of students in the city (Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern), 3 top 30s (WUSTL, UIUC, ND...maybe Iowa too), the obvious T2 triad (Loyola, DePaul, Kent), John Marshall, and then even Northern Illinois.
On the flipside, CWRU is the big game in town in Cleveland and is only really fighting with OSU (no idea how OSU places in CBus v. Cleveland).

As you have noted, there is more opportunity in Chicago and DePaul does have a great alumni base in the city. Much of the city goverment has DePaul law credentials and do you see some DePaul love in the bigger firms (though I would largely rule out the top Vault ranked firms). I am a Chicago native (though with 5 years in Ohio) so my knowledge is more based to things Chicago, just as a disclaimer.
DePaul also has the perk of allowing you an easy transfer (geographically speaking) to Chicago/NW/UIUC if you had a strong 1L and were so inclined.

I would caution you about the scholarship in regard to maintaining grades. Top 30% is a  considerable feat (obviously 7 out of every 10 are not going to have that distinction). And with it being largely impossible to know how your 1L will go, it can be risky.

Best of luck,

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 09:10:22 PM »
for once a thread I'm encouraged by ---

Yeah I keep forgetting how nice of a city (and how great of a market) Chicago is, as I'm located here.

I visited Case's campus on a saturday (no formal tour) --- but I went through the law library and building etc...
seemed very nice and "(post)modern" - and I'm sure they have a good rep / network even beyond Cleveland.  However, I would think just based on networking chances and location (not to mention fun) DePaul's got a big edge - it is right in the heart of downtown Chicago and many ad-junct faculty there come from the big firms in the skyscrapers to teach classes etc... I must be spoiled by the city-- in comparison Case looked like a little libral arts college building er something to me...

One other note on Case though - the few ppl I've spoken to who are familiar with that Uni at large here seem to think of it as more of a "heady" school like U of C, Northwestern, or Wash U. There might be some way to possibly use this to your advantage, lol, i remember an xoxo post where ppl were joking about how Fox News got some quote from a Case Western person and called it a "prestigous law school"

A note on IP - are you 100% sure?

Case (or anywhere with an engineering school) might give you more opportunity if you DID have a tech background...

I'm glad DePaul admitted that entertainment IP was impossible to specialize (at least solely in)... my old man keeps insinuating to me that this could like the hot new thing with this internet and mp3 file sharing and sample clearance etc. these days, lol.


EDIT: ok if I didn't already acknowledge it I would like to have the chance to see what its like at the law school that is the "best in town" vs. "supplemental in a huge town" --- I wonder if it even pours over into curriculum, etc... I don't know, but I'd imagine if jobs are a lock, as with Case in Cleveland, maybe the legal scholars can "ponder" a bit more - or maybe they just act like that in their ads and open houses and the curriculum's the same pretty much everywhere, hell if I know.

Re: DePaul or Case?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2007, 07:53:14 AM »
Thanks for all the great info...

In terms of future opportunity, I think the schools are probably evenly matched.  Case grads are virtually guaranteed a job, and most of them have secured this prior to graduation.  DePaul is a little more dicey, but Chicago has more opportunities than Cleveland.

As for IP, no, of course I'm not 100% sure.  But I'm close.  I'm not caught up in the corporate law craze, and, as a published author, have compelling and obvious reasons for focusing on copyright law.

Any thoughts about moving to another city after working a couple years out of law school?  I would think the experience you obtain in a firm would make where you went to school less relevant, but I could be wrong.  If I'm going to be in one city for the next ten years or more, I think I'll say sayonara to Cleveland now.