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Messages - WeeSqueak

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Law School Admissions / Re: U Penn or Northwestern?
« on: June 23, 2008, 01:01:55 PM »
You're right, EarlCat. It's not even on offer this fall--but people who start in fall 2009 would finish with us. I know they interviewed employers who said they don't care, but I can't imagine this being a "positive" for employers. Or for the students who do it, actually. Or for Northwestern's reputation. It just seems like a bad idea all around.

Northwestern's 2 year JD is in response to requests by employers for just such a program.  This article has a pretty comprehensive analysis of the program and how the Dean arrived at the decision to offer it.

And while I'm biased because I go to NU, I did choose NU over Penn, after getting off the waitlist unexpectedly at Penn.  I love NU because of the people and I really can't imagine a better group of people with which to go to school.  At the end of the day I think the schools are pretty similar in terms of quality,so you should pick wherever you feel most comfortable.       

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Michigan vs. Northwestern
« on: May 25, 2008, 09:08:12 AM »
I can't tell you whether to pick NU over Michigan, its a personal decision and both schools are fantastic.  Of course I'm biased and would pick NU.  I love NU and I have had a great first year. 

NU has a pretty good placement record on the West Coast.  14% of the class ends up on the West Coast and 24% of OCI employers are West Coast employers.

If you're still concerned, I would recommend calling the admissions office and asking to speak to someone in the career center.  I'm sure they would be more than happy to speak to you about job prospects in California.

Good luck choosing!

Its true none of your choices have a great repuatation for producing academics but I think Northwestern is stronger than GTown and Vandy in a couple of respects.  NU is smaller than GTown, so it will be easier for you to make the connections with faculty that would ultimately help you to write publishable work.  Also, NU has a joint PhD - JD program which is seen as key at the moment to breaking into legal academia and we have a couple of current professors that have a particular interest in helping students who want to break into legal academia. Also as mentioned we have a strong clerkship record.  We had 3 Supreme Court clerks last year, which for a small school is very good.

More info on the PhD-JD program is available at

More info on clerkships and other employment prospects is available at

In the interest of full disclosure I'm a Northwestern 1L. 

NU has great placement throughout the country and is probably the best choice if you want to keep your options open.  It definitely gives you more options, in terms of total number of cities, than Cornell (arguably stronger placement in NYC than NU) and Duke (though obviously Duke is stronger for the South than NU), and possibly Michigan though I don't know as much about Michigan's placement statistics.  Here's a link to the geographic distribution of NU grads. 

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!)

Also, how do people at Northwestern do looking for MIDLAW jobs (biggest firms in smaller cities) in places like Indianapolis, KC, ST Louis, etc.

Thanks for answering questions!

I'm another 1L at Northwestern and I wanted to chime in on this.  I don't have any numbers to quote, but more important than numbers, for me personally, is that the NU career center is willing to work with you to help you get the job you want.  They aren't going to push you towards BIGLAW in Chicago if that isn't what you want. (And if you have no idea what you want they can help there too!)  Also, at least one of the career counselors has excellent knowledge about Midwest placement.  And finally, though I'm primarily looking at returning to DC so I don't know details, Midwest centered firms do come to the school sponsored networking events and OCI. 

I'm currently on hold at Northwestern; I know my chances aren't great at this point, but I really hope I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm going next week for an interview and am wondering if current students can recommend places on campus/near campus to visit in order to get a vibe for the place. I'm only there for the day, but I've never been to Northwestern or Chicago before, so I'd appreciate your help. Thanks!

Don't count yourself out yet!  I know you are on hold (which is not the same as the waitlist) and that must be frustrating to a certain extent but last year a lot of people who were put on hold ultimately ended up waitlisted and then some got in off the waitlist late in the cycle.  It is likely spaces will open up at NU, so try and be patient. 

Its great you are coming for an interview -- that will definitely tilt in your favor.  Other things I can suggest, if NU is your dream school / clear top choice let whoever interviews you know.  Northwestern is particularly interested in admitting students who want to be here.

Regarding things to do around campus, definitely take a tour if you can.  The tours are really informal (I give tours!) and give you a chance to see the school and talk to current students.  Also I'd say sit in on a class if you can.  In terms of things to do in Chicago I'd say you definitely need to go and walk along the lake, which is right by school, and take a stroll on the Michigan Mile, which is excellent for window shopping. Other than that it kinds of depends on what interests you.  There is an art museum right by campus, the MCA, or there is excellent shopping in Water Tower Place ...     

I live in Lakeview.  It is way better than the area around the law school.  Some people may tell you the area around the law school is cool, but they are wrong. 

Lakeview is a great neighborhood with easy access to school.  It has great bars, restaurants, and some parks.  The key is to make sure you are near public transportation.  You can live near the Red Line and take that in to school and then walk over about 7 blocks from the Chicago stop.  Another option is to live near the Lake, and then you can catch an array of buses to Michigan avenue, and you have a shorter walk to the law school.  Both are fine options. 

Lakeview borders Lincoln Park which is another great neighborhood in Chicago.  If you are a city person, you are about to come to one of the great cities in America, and I suggest you take advantage of it by living in one of the neighborhoods.  The places up here have character as opposed to the sterile high rises by the school. 

You don't just hang out with your section.  The school is small, so you will get to know many others through the functions put on.  This is not something to worry about.  There may be some section groups, but it's not a big deal. 

I like the idea of living somewhere other than the "sterile high rises"...but do many other students live outside of the immediate vicinity of the law school?  Or is the vast majority concentrated in that area?

Hey, I'm a current 1L and if I had to guess I'd say the split in the 1L class is 60-40, with 60 percent living right downtown in Streeterville and 40% living farther afield -- Gold Coast, Old Town, Linocoln Park, Lakeview, Wiker Park and lots more.  I live in the Gold Coast which is the probably the closest neighborhood to school that isn't really downtown.  Its never been a problem for me and I have friends that live farther afield and they seem to like it.  People will come visit you on the weekends and anyways most of the best bars aren't right downtown.  I really wouldn't worry about it.  Pick the place that you think you would be happiest living.

Hey -- I'm also a 1L at Northwestern and having a fantastic time so I thought I'd chime in. 

Students straight from undergrad are definitely in the minority and it is somewhat apparent from talking to people.  That said it definitely does not have a negative impact on law school clubs / social activities.  NU has a very active student community and the number of groups and the sincere interest of people to be part of those groups is, if anything, overwhelming.  The school feels bustling and alive well into the evening hours.  Bar Reviews are well attended and everyone definitely knows how to have a good time.

Northwestern is really a wonderful place and I'm thrilled that I ended up here. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Northwestern c/o 2010
« on: June 07, 2007, 08:02:13 AM »
I'm excited about having the choice of Thinkpads rather than Dell but they don't appear to be customizable at all -- am I missing something?  Also they come with Vista while the Dells have XP.

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