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Hello from 1L!

Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
in Off-topic 8392 karma

Hi everyone!

I've missed chatting with you guys and seeing what's happening in 7sage-land. I'm now 4 weeks into the mire of 1L at Northwestern, currently in the library catching up on contracts reading and working on a legal writing assignment. Don't be too jealous of my awesome Saturday plans lol. Thought I'd pop in and say hi - feel free to distract me from my mundane afternoon and ask me any questions about 1L, Northwestern, admissions, or anything you think I could offer any insight to! But, obviously, don't ask me about exams because I haven't taken any yet lol. But especially if y'all have any questions about NU I'd be happy to answer them. Suffice it to say, I'm extraordinarily happy with my decision to come here (though still pretty shocked that they let me in, tbh haha). I really love the school, and am happy to make my sales pitch if anyone is interested.

Hope you guys are well, keep on grinding for those working on the LSAT! The pay off is so worth it. Keep your chin up and channel your inner Moira Rose:

https://media.giphy.com/media/26gs78HRO8sOuhTkQ/giphy.gif

Comments

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    I'm here to give a second endorsement for Northwestern - from a 2L!

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    How’s the housing around there? Any apartments near public transportation with parking??

  • galaxygalgalaxygal Alum Member
    224 karma

    I'd love to know more about the online video interview process regarding how to best prepare for it!

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    Did you know that Northwestern is the only school in the country with a beach on campus? Did you know that they wax the streets in Winnetka?

  • ZlawyeredZlawyered Monthly Member
    140 karma

    Do you have any recommendations/tips in regards to applications? Did you negotiate your scholarship?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @drbrown2
    The housing immediately around the school is pricey - expect to pay $1500+ for a studio, $2400+ for a 2 bedroom. I live a couple blocks from school with a roommate and our building does have a garage but it’s $250/month. Sooo I didn’t bring a car. If you’re willing to have a bit of a commute (like 30ish minutes or more by train), then there are more affordable apartments. Most don’t have dedicated parking, but there’s more street parking available.

    @ReginaPhalange The video interviews are always awkward, for every school. NU’s is pretty straightforward. If you google, you can find questions that have been asked before. Definitely be ready to answer the typical “why law” and “why NU”. But ultimately, just remember that the whole purpose of the videos is just to get to know you as a person. It's not some sort of test you have to pass - they just want to get a sense of what you are like in person, and that you are thoughtful, somewhat prepared, and take it seriously. I can say that NU does seem to be pretty intentional about wanting to admit students that will thrive in the environment here, which is intellectually rigorous but also very friendly and supportive. I know the "holistic approach" is a bit of a cliche in admissions, but I really do think that NU is proud of the very collegial, collaborative atmosphere and wants to admit students that will appreciate that. So be prepared, but most importantly be yourself! They just want to get to know you. :)

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    And @LSATcantwin Agh, I owe you a text! Lol. #nlawdifference 😂

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @zdanewiczmark As a broad tip, every school wants to know that you'll be a good student there (that's what GPA, LSAT, resume, LORs and such are for), that the school you're applying to is your top choice (not that it actually has to be, but every school wants to hear how much you love them, hah), and what makes you unique. So think about how you can show that you'll excel there, how you can convey your honest case for why you want to go to that school, and what might be unique or set you apart from others. But do it honestly - don't be insincere or try to force anything. Schools really do want to make sure you'll be a good fit for them, so be genuine. If you try to make yourself out to be something or not, you risk ending up at a school that's not the best place for you.

    I did generally negotiate scholarships, but NU has a sort of specific way of handling scholarships and things didn't align for me. They shot me down pretty quick on my attempt haha. The short of it is, NU will basically only negotiate with you if you have a better scholarship from a school that is ranked higher than them. My offers from Cornell and WashU were not helpful. My 1 (sort of) regret is not applying to more higher ranked T14s, at least for negotiation purposes. I only applied to the schools in T14 that I thought I had a good shot at, and would actually consider attending. Those were Berkeley, Michigan, and NU. I got WL at Mich and denied at Berkeley. So, I had nothing else to negotiate with it. Not that anything else was guaranteed, but I wish I had applied to a few more for scholarship reasons - like UVA and Duke. I just knew that I had little to no desire to attend those (just geographically, not my jam) and I didn't want to spend the extra time and effort on it.

    Alright - I gotta get back to attempting to do some writing lol. As always, feel free to PM me (or reply here) and I can try to answer questions at another time! Take care, 7sagers!

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    Thanks @"Leah M B"! Just finished my Kira interview yesterday and am trying to stay patient during these early stages of the admissions cycle. Good luck with your writing assignment!

  • ExcellenceExcellence Alum Member
    292 karma

    Hi @"Leah M B" , I happened to have run into your profile in the past posts about applicants in their thirties, with prior work experience. Congratulations on your admit to Northwestern. :)

    It is one of the schools on my list, particularly, its two years JD programme for foreign lawyers. I am a foreign lawyer based in Singapore. I just posted a query here as I start my LSAT journey. Would be great to have your input and to keep in touch generally. Thank you!

    Here’s a link to my query:

    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/21379/letters-of-recommendation

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27385 karma

    What's up classmate! How's the view up there? I'm working on Contracts too. I've been hanging on by a fingernail in there, but I think I may have upgraded that to the skin-of-my-teeth with today's efforts.

    @drbrown2 , I can confirm housing costs further from campus. I'm in Uptown which is a bohemian feeling neighborhood and rooms are more in the $800 range. About a 40 minute commute by train, but I'm getting a parking spot in the garage tomorrow which will cut commute down to 10 minutes.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" Hey buddy! 👋🏻 Just found out we have a mini (ungraded) midterm in contracts on Friday. Here’s a tip for the 0Ls out there: don’t let yourself get behind on readings just because your prof doesn’t cold call. 😬 It’ll only result in your own pain and suffering haha. Thesis paragraph due tomorrow too and I’m a slow as crap writer, so let’s just say this weekend is suuuuuper fun! Having a blast haha.

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" said:

    @drbrown2 , I can confirm housing costs further from campus. I'm in Uptown which is a bohemian feeling neighborhood and rooms are more in the $800 range. About a 40 minute commute by train, but I'm getting a parking spot in the garage tomorrow which will cut commute down to 10 minutes.

    Those prices aren’t as scary as I assumed they would be. I’ve only been to Chicago twice, both times only for a short visit, and I was a little nervous about bringing a vehicle for parking purposes. Seems realistic to drive to school if you have a garage spot. Train would be fine as well. Hope I’m fortunate enough to be admitted so I can head back for a proper tour of the school and city!

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27385 karma

    @drbrown2 said:

    @"Cant Get Right" said:

    @drbrown2 , I can confirm housing costs further from campus. I'm in Uptown which is a bohemian feeling neighborhood and rooms are more in the $800 range. About a 40 minute commute by train, but I'm getting a parking spot in the garage tomorrow which will cut commute down to 10 minutes.

    Those prices aren’t as scary as I assumed they would be. I’ve only been to Chicago twice, both times only for a short visit, and I was a little nervous about bringing a vehicle for parking purposes. Seems realistic to drive to school if you have a garage spot. Train would be fine as well. Hope I’m fortunate enough to be admitted so I can head back for a proper tour of the school and city!

    Let us know! Plenty of 7Sagers up here to show you around!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    edited September 2019 8392 karma

    @drbrown2 said:

    @"Cant Get Right" said:

    @drbrown2 , I can confirm housing costs further from campus. I'm in Uptown which is a bohemian feeling neighborhood and rooms are more in the $800 range. About a 40 minute commute by train, but I'm getting a parking spot in the garage tomorrow which will cut commute down to 10 minutes.

    Those prices aren’t as scary as I assumed they would be. I’ve only been to Chicago twice, both times only for a short visit, and I was a little nervous about bringing a vehicle for parking purposes. Seems realistic to drive to school if you have a garage spot. Train would be fine as well. Hope I’m fortunate enough to be admitted so I can head back for a proper tour of the school and city!

    Tbh, I moved here from Seattle and the cost of living is pretty reasonable to me. But there's a lot of sticker shock for folks that move here from much cheaper areas, which is reasonable. Like, $2500 for a 2 bedroom is expensive, but the apartment I'm in now would probably cost a lot closer to $3k in Seattle. Expensive is in the eye of the beholder, hah. (I wish I wasn't so numb to high rents!)

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    @drbrown2 What is a Kira interview?

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    @"Chipster Study" said:
    @drbrown2 What is a Kira interview?

    Kira is an interview software solution that some schools purchase to assist them with interviewing applicants. The questions are pre-recorded and randomized, and you answer in front of a webcam so the admissions officers can gauge your responses and interpersonal skills. Some of the questions that have come up in past Northwestern interviews are in the 7sage admissions course and were helpful for preparing.

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:
    Tbh, I moved here from Seattle and the cost of living is pretty reasonable to me. But there's a lot of sticker shock for folks that move here from much cheaper areas, which is reasonable. Like, $2500 for a 2 bedroom is expensive, but the apartment I'm in now would probably cost a lot closer to $3k in Seattle. Expensive is in the eye of the beholder, hah. (I wish I wasn't so numb to high rents!)

    Yeah I’m moving from AZ so pretty much the opposite of Seattle haha. I have family in NYC though and was expecting Chicago to be similar prices, but it is pretty reasonable.

  • IgnatiusIgnatius Alum Member
    382 karma

    Besides relaxing and enjoying some good reads, what are some other ways you prepared for law school as a 0L? Did you read any law related books to provide you with a primer of sorts before starting school? What would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance, and best of luck this semester!

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    @drbrown2 They are judging your interpersonal skills based on your interaction with a computer robot asking questions?? You are not talking to a real live person?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @Ignatius Hah well personally, I did basically no relaxing or enjoying of good reads, nor did I do any actual school prep. 😂 I've been out in the work force for a long time, so I kept my full time job as long as possible, both for the income and to keep my health insurance. I worked up until about a week before I moved. So I spent the summer working full time and prepping for a long distance move - spending time with friends as much as I could, but mostly my last couple of months were spent finding a roommate, apartment hunting, researching moving logistics, selling furniture, etc. Also, there is a lot to do just for the nitty gritty of enrolling in school - transcripts, vaccinations, somehow there was always something to check off the list. So, my summer was extremely not relaxing, and I didn't have much time to squeeze in reading anything.

    The only thing I did for prep was a 3 day program that NU puts on the week before orientation called Summer Law Preparatory Program (SLPP). NU emailed us about 3 different summer prep options, and I chose to apply for that one specifically since it was through NU - I figured it would be the most applicable. It was a really great program that gave us a nice overview of things we need to know - we got to meet and work with a few professors, and I got to meet some classmates before orientation. I've stayed friends with several people from SLPP that ended up in different sections. Super grateful for that, since I probably wouldn't have met them otherwise.

    I have frequently heard the book "Getting to Maybe" recommended - UCLA even shouted it out at ASW. However, I have also heard that it makes a lot more sense once you start law school because it mostly deals with how to write exams. So I think if you're going to do any prep, I might recommend buying that book and reading or skimming it over the summer, and keep it on hand so you can review it once you start school and get closer to exams. Also, if you are not a particularly fast typist, practicing touch typing over the summer to up your speed and accuracy could be helpful since exams are basically a race against the clock.

    I can't recommend for or against any other types of prep - but personally, I feel like very little could actually prepare you for the real thing. I have a couple of professors that are extremely idiosyncratic, so if I'd tried to prep on any subject matter, I'd need to forget it anyway. They really teach you everything you need to know at school - and at least at NU, tons of resources are readily available for anything you might not understand.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @"Chipster Study" 😂 Yes, sort of haha. Basically, it's an automated system that will display a question, give you a minute or so to gather your thoughts, and then it video records your answer (with a timer running - you have a set amount of time for your response). So, it's less like talking to a robot and more like talking to yourself haha.

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    What?? That is something out of BRAVE NEW WORLD. So, they check out your interpersonal skills by recording your timed answer to some black font on a white screen? Even actors in monologue scenes play to a human dummy offscreen. Yowza.

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    @"Chipster Study" said:
    What?? That is something out of BRAVE NEW WORLD. So, they check out your interpersonal skills by recording your timed answer to some black font on a white screen? Even actors in monologue scenes play to a human dummy offscreen. Yowza.

    They play a video recording of someone asking the randomized question. I think there are like 80 possible questions that have been recorded. You can also practice before taking the actual interview, but the practice questions are different from the pool of real questions.

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful

  • armineparmakarmineparmak Alum Member
    4 karma

    Hi @"Leah M B" I was wondering if you used any law school consulting groups to help guide you with the application process and review your personal statement, resume, etc? I’m on the fence about it and would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    2689 karma

    So glad to hear your update :) I love when folks come back to tell us what it looks like a year or two down the road.
    This will be me next Fall; I just don't know where yet. Admissions is insanely slow.

  • duribakhan98duribakhan98 Legacy Member
    14 karma

    Hi @"Leah M B" ! And all.....just wondering: how good exactly does presidential campaign work look to law school admissions? Is it worth postponing my law school for?

  • Memeseg_88Memeseg_88 Legacy Member
    edited October 2019 19 karma

    This is for any NU and Chicago law folks. I'm applying to law school now and am really hoping to stay in Chicago since I have a strong network there already. I am pretty much only interested in pubilc interest law, specifically immigration (asylum, refugee, U, T, VAWA, etc.) and any civil rights/policy work that deals with immigration/immigrant populations. For that reason, I ruled out U Chicago. They don't seem to have courses or clinic that focuses on this (I interviewed several alumni and current students who have confirmed this). The other options in Chicago that I am considering are Northwestern, Depaul, and Kent.

    I am curious whether Northwestern has a strong PI focus. From what I see online, it does not seem like that is something they focus on, but all I have to go off of is the website. Any current students or alumni that can give me their own personal experience on this?

    My other concern is the money. I went to Northwestern for my undergrad and got a masters soon after. Therefore, I have a healthy amount of debt and would like to minimize any further borrowing. How generous is Northwestern? Is full tuition possible? What metrics do they use to assess financial aid packages?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @Memeseg_88 Hey! You came to the right place on this. :) I'm interested in pursuing PI jobs and have a number of reasons why I chose NU (including the excellent finaid - they are one of the most generous in the T14). I haven't been at the school long, but am getting to know the PI community and asking a lot of questions. I have like 10 minutes to finish my crim reading and run to class though lol, so I'll come back and give a real answer later!

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @Ignatius said:
    Besides relaxing and enjoying some good reads, what are some other ways you prepared for law school as a 0L? Did you read any law related books to provide you with a primer of sorts before starting school? What would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance, and best of luck this semester!

    This is a really good question, thanks for asking it for me (and others)!!!

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    edited October 2019 13286 karma

    @Memeseg_88

    I can help @"Leah M B"
    out, I'm a 2L at Northwestern.

    Northwestern assigns you to a career advisor automatically for any private/big law work; however they also have a career advisor who is dedicated ONLY to PI. She is super helpful and stays on top of all the current PI jobs available on the market.

    They have multiple job fairs each year that are solely PI related. I am attending one in DC this October for a lot of cool government/non-profit type jobs.

    They also have a HUGE career fair in January that is focused on PI specifically in the Chicago area. This is probably where you'd want to look since Chicago is your goal area.

    As for work - it's a T14 school. Your chances at nabbing a job are fairly good - however PI jobs are pretty competitive to get into. Resume, grades, and journal are just as important to sell yourself for these kind of jobs.

    Overall my experience with NU's PI sector has been amazing and I highly recommend it.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Thanks for the assist, @LSATcantwin :)

    @Memeseg_88

    You asked great questions, and some of them are the reason specifically that I'm at NU!

    So, several years ago, NU was gifted with an insanely large donation from the Pritzker fam, and a lot of that money was specifically earmarked for PI use. So as far as PI goes, NU's funding is crazy compared to most schools. We have guaranteed summer funding for unpaid non-profit or gov work of $8000. Most schools will give more like $2k-4k, and often it's not guaranteed. NU also created a Public Interest Center which, as mentioned, has its own dedicated career advisor. There's also funding available to help attend PI career fairs, or travel for interviews for PI positions. The Bluhm Clinic is doing ridiculously cool work - I'm super anxious to get past 1L specifically so I can get my hands on clinic work. They really encourage students to do a clinic at some point, and they do overall highly encourage people to do pro bono and volunteer work. (The $8k summer funding is actually conditioned on doing 20 hours of volunteer/pro bono work during the school year.) There are also lots of speakers that give lunch talks re: PI work. Tomorrow I'm planning to attend a talk with someone from Legal Aid Chicago, on Friday there is someone speaking that does immigration work with Al Otro Ladro, last week there was a talk re: US policy in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa... there's always some fascinating talk happening! (And the free lunches don't hurt lol.)

    However, yes - an overwhelming majority of NU students are not pursuing PI careers - mostly biglaw or business (super strong JD-MBA program). But I can say, the PI community seems to be pretty tight, and you can find your people. It also seems as though NU is making a concerted effort to recruit more students that want to pursue PI - this year's 1L class seems to have a noticeably larger population of people with PI career goals than in previous years.

    Re: scholarships - NU is known for being one of the most generous schools in the T14. I don't know if they specifically give full tuition scholarships, but they do routinely award $180k, which is nearly full. Their early decision program has a guaranteed scholarship of $120k, which is around 2/3 tuition. In keeping an eye on LSN over the past few years, it seems that NU heavily factors in LSAT scores in scholarship decisions. It seems rare for anyone with less than a 170 to be awarded $150k+ in scholarship money. One thing to consider though is that NU does not separately award merit scholarships and need-based grants, but instead factors need into their overall scholarship decision. So, the numbers can perhaps be a little misleading because no one's GPA and LSAT will tell you about their financial status.

    The best thing you can do is focus on the LSAT - if you have a good undergrad GPA, a 170+ on the LSAT has a good chance at getting you a really strong scholarship offer at NU.

  • Memeseg_88Memeseg_88 Legacy Member
    edited October 2019 19 karma

    @"Leah M B" and @LSATcantwin - thanks so much for the advice. It's good to hear that PI is something that NU is prioritizing and that PI law students won't be all alone in the law school journey, which was a fear of mine! lol. Money will be the biggest factor for me so hopefully the exam will go how I hope it will. Also, its so weird that you mentioned Al Otro Lado. I'm working with them for the full year before I go to school next fall. It's a great organization. I hope you got a chance to speak to one of the co-directors!

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