Law School Discussion

Law Students => Transferring => Topic started by: markthomas on July 01, 2010, 01:43:13 PM

Title: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: markthomas on July 01, 2010, 01:43:13 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...
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: alhammondsucks on July 01, 2010, 03:11:48 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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: Cicero on July 01, 2010, 11:04:20 PM
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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: constable80 on July 02, 2010, 04:53:54 AM
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Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: Cicero on July 02, 2010, 08:07:34 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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: constable80 on July 02, 2010, 09:43:12 AM
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Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: Cicero on July 02, 2010, 10:10:58 AM
Yeah, 70K extra debt is a lot for a bigger name and potentially a huge risk in this economy.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: stinger35 on July 04, 2010, 02:10:06 PM
How did you already get waitlisted when they haven't started with decisions yet? (at least according to the office)
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: cooleylawstudent on July 04, 2010, 02:42:18 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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: bigs5068 on July 04, 2010, 03:04:22 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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: cooleylawstudent on July 04, 2010, 04:28:23 PM
The hilarity of it is that a lot of the same people that would follow USNEWS&world report ranking off a cliff, would never read and appreciate their republican based articles. A lot of them are more democrat and time magazine oriented. It'd be like someone being a Vegan and yet only eating at restartants recommend by "Carnavore weekly".  ::)

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.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: markthomas on July 05, 2010, 08:43:42 PM
How did you already get waitlisted when they haven't started with decisions yet? (at least according to the office)

I was waitlisted when I first applied last year.  I am now reapplying as a transfer.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: markthomas on July 05, 2010, 08:48:48 PM
I did have a quick question though.  I also had a professor let admissions know he was interested in my file.  How much do you think that makes a difference?  Does it make you a sure thing assuming you can reasonably be seen as getting in? DO you think it overcomes many obstacles that may otherwise prevent you from getting in?

According to the recommender, it should definitely help, but he's not sure now much.  We all know how much of a crap-chute admissions can be, so his feeling is anything to separate you from the rest of the candidates will be a nice added bonus.  But as for a "sure thing," I certainly can't imagine it would be.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: markthomas on July 05, 2010, 08:57:29 PM
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.

Certainly something to keep in mind and I'm aware that this is a highly probably scenario, but seeing as OCI is this fall (before any more grades come out), I just assumed it won't be a huge catastrophe if I slip a few spots.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: markthomas on July 05, 2010, 08:59:42 PM
Anyone ever hear of a school increasing a student's scholarship after his or her first year?  My dad seems to think I could use the 4.0 and potential transfer as a bargaining chip for more money.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: bigs5068 on July 05, 2010, 10:47:54 PM
If you have been accepted to Northwestern I think you could just let Depaul know about it and that you are considering transferring. Maybe you won't get anything, but maybe they will come back with an offer it never hurts to ask.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: Cicero on July 05, 2010, 10:49:52 PM
I'm not sure how it works at other schools. My school that I attended for 1L had  scholarship increases after the first year based on rank. Unfortunately, there was no rank that could get a full ride. It was a new scholarship program that they started this past year, and I think before they started it students basically had to go meet with the Dean and threaten to transfer in order to get more money.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: sonofapickle on July 05, 2010, 11:46:51 PM
Take advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. I have seen first hand which school get different students into what type of jobs/firms. Go to Northwestern.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: stinger35 on July 06, 2010, 09:05:34 AM
I am still really confused at how you are waitlisted at Northwestern when they haven't even given out a single acceptance and the office claims that they haven't made a decision yet.

Flame? Fake? Whats the deal here?
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: constable80 on July 06, 2010, 03:34:26 PM
How are you still confused?  The poster said they were wait-listed when they applied last year.  Seems pretty clear to me.

Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: stinger35 on July 14, 2010, 06:53:29 AM
Yea I took it as he was waitlisted to transfer. My bad, honestly.
Title: Re: Stay at DePaul as #1 in class or move to Northwestern?
Post by: chi2009 on July 14, 2010, 11:21:43 AM
Anyone ever hear of a school increasing a student's scholarship after his or her first year?  My dad seems to think I could use the 4.0 and potential transfer as a bargaining chip for more money.  Any thoughts?

Transferring is a good bargaining chip.  I'm in the top 10% of my class, and 2 days after I submitted my request for a letter of good standing to transfer, the dean at my current school called me and told me he "was pretty sure he could find me more scholarship $."