Law School Discussion

Taking Questions

Taking Questions
« on: September 11, 2007, 05:59:49 PM »
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filet o' fish

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Cady

filet o' fish

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Cady

FB

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DCB--
I was wondering if you had any insight into the work experience focus there. I have about 3 years professional work experience, but it has all been during my undergrad (I went to school at night). Do you think they will view this the same as post-graduate work?

Also, did you interview with NU? If so, do you have any specific advice for this type of interview vs. a regular job interview?

Thanks.

FB

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DCB--
I was wondering if you had any insight into the work experience focus there. I have about 3 years professional work experience, but it has all been during my undergrad (I went to school at night). Do you think they will view this the same as post-graduate work?

Also, did you interview with NU? If so, do you have any specific advice for this type of interview vs. a regular job interview?

Thanks.

Good questions.

Regarding your work experience, if your position was paid and full time, and you went to school at night, I think it is possible that the admissions office will treat your work as equivalent to post-grad work. At a minimum, it seems reasonable that they would treat the two similarly in the quantitiative sense, though perhaps less likely in the qualitative sense. Here's the bottom line: NU likes to brag about how a high % of its student body has professional work experience. About 95% of the class of 2010 has at least 1 year of work experience, and over 80% has 2 years or more (additional details here: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/news/newsdisplay.cfm?ID=172). Ideally, NU would like to get to 100%, so if you can help them get there as an applicant that is a plus. Also note the other things highlighted on that page: geographic diversity, experience with extended travel aborad, etc. The more of those boxes you can help the admissions office check, the more you help them meet their goals and thus the better chance you have for admission. That's my personal on the situation read, anyhow.

As far as interviews go, definitely do it. If you want to interview in your home town, you have to do so early in the cycle. Only on-campus interviews are available later on (after Dec. 1 I think). Then again, interviewing in Chicago would be good in the sense that coming to campus will definitely help you write a better "why NU" essay and letters of continued interest if you are put on hold or WLed. So far as how to conduct yourself during the interview, maximize the credentials I discussed above, give specific reasons 1.) why you want to go to law school, 2.) how your work experience will inform your study of the law, and 3.) why NU is a good fit for you. Beyond that, follow what Anna Ivey says in her book and BRING A RESUME to the interview.

Best of luck!



Great. Thanks for the information. I've already submitted my request for an interview with an alumni, so I'm just waiting to hear back.

The geographic diversity that you mentioned is a good point. I'm from the PNW, so hopefully that will help fill in their charts. I know that a UMich law graduate that I talked to a few weeks ago said that schools love to extend their alumni network, especially into hard markets like Seattle.  I'll have to remember to mention something about that in my interview.

Just as a follow up, what do you think of the law building and the surrounding area?

FB

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Just as a follow up, what do you think of the law building and the surrounding area?

The facilities are straight up awesome as far as I can tell. We have a nice mix of the traditional "what a law school should look like" setting in the Levy Mayer building, which is in the classical mold of dark wood paneling inside, ornate stone exterior, Latin phrases etched about the walls, stained glass, and all that; and the more modern/functional setting in the Rubloff building (the one closer to Lakeshore Drive). Everything is connected, there is plenty of space for students to study, socialize, and those sort of things (compared for instance with GW which is in a nice area but is about 3 or 4x as crowded as NU). The professors' offices are a 30 second walk from most of the classrooms, the library has impressive views of Lake Michigan, and all in the "campus" area is definitely a place I'd take people if I wanted to impress them about where I'm going to law school.

The area surrounding the law school is nice, clean, safe, and very livable, but a little sterile in some senses. There are restaurants and a few bars, some shops, and of course the "Magnificent Mile" about four blocks away which is full of commercial activity. Lake Michigan is about 100 feet from the main law school building, which does add a nice visual backdrop and opportunities for running/going to the beach/swimming/boating/whatever. The reason I say the area is a little sterile is that there isn't much local flavor. The stores are national as are the restaurants, so if you want trendy bars or well known restaurants you have to go to the other side of Michigan Avenue and probably up to Lincoln Park/Wrigleyville for a proper night of going out. All told, I like the area around the law school more than I liked my neighborhood in DC, and that's saying a lot.

The more that I hear about NU, the more that I am impressed. I was actually really impressed also with the statement of purpose that is on the website (and I believe was published in a law review). It kind of outlined what the new (at the time) dean was going to do to make NU a better school and build a better reputation.

Anyways, thanks again for taking the time off from torts to answer some questions. Here's to hoping that NU is as splitter friendly as I hope they are.

do I absolutely have to interview? i really don't want to.

bubDread

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are all the full rides offered with a mandatory year-long wait?

Statistics aside, how old are your classmates really? Is it very apparent from looking and talking to people that few are straight from undergrad? Does this weigh heavily on the sort of law student organizations and events at the school?

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.