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Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:57 pm
by rayiner
I can't let NU get left out of this trend, and it's about time for you 0L newbs to starting looking at law schools anyway...

So if you've got 'em, ask 'em!

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:00 pm
by theanswer
can u get me in to yale?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:01 pm
by rayiner
theanswer wrote:can u get me in to yale?


Actually, yes I can.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:07 pm
by Joeshan520
Is it true that the alumni interviews play a significant role in the admissions decisions?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:22 pm
by clint4law
Joeshan520 wrote:Is it true that the alumni interviews play a significant role in the admissions decisions?


i'm curious about this as well. Did you interview with admissions or with an alum?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:27 pm
by rayiner
Joeshan520 wrote:Is it true that the alumni interviews play a significant role in the admissions decisions?


There are only three things that play a "significant" role in the admissions decisions: LSAT, GPA, and work experience (in that order). Everything else is really a modifier that may or may not play a role depending on the circumstances. If you're a 165/3.5, a stellar interview likely won't help your case. Similarly, if you're a 175/3.7, a mediocre interview won't hurt it.

Where I really think the interview (and other softs) comes into play is when your numbers put you in the ballpark, but the adcom needs something more to justify letting you in. For example, I had an LSAT above NU's 75th and a GPA below their 25th. I think interviewing in Chicago with an adcom definitely helped assuage some of their discomfort about my GPA.

On the subject of interviewing, a bit of hearsay I've encountered is that the vast majority of the folks the adcoms interview don't make an impression one way or the other. Don't squander your interview opportunity just by coming across as merely intelligent and pleasant. Come up with talking points ahead of time that (a) show how you're different from the other 3,800 applicants they're interviewing and (b) shows that you know a lot about the school and really want to go there.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:53 pm
by rayiner
So I got a question on the contents of the interview, and I thought I'd put it here so everyone could see.

The interview is a very straightforward process where you come in and discuss your resume and the school for about half an hour (give or take --- some of my friends had interviews lasting up to 45 minutes). In the waiting room, they have you fill out a little slip with your LSAT and GPA on it. The interviewer starts by looking at that, and then your resume (which you're supposed to bring a copy of). To paraphrase my interview:

adcom: My god your GPA sucks, wtf? (that's what her eyes said --- her mouth was more diplomatic).
me: Yeah I was a slacker in undergrad, but I work really hard at my job.
adcom: Well tell me about your job?
me: I'm an engineer, blah blah blah.
adcom: Do you have any idea what kind of law you want to do?
me: I want to do patent law, blah blah.
adcom: What are your hobbies and interests?
me: Um, I code for fun. And, uh, I like to watch movies and listen to music...
adcom: We like people with management experience, do you have any?
me: Kinda sorta, I managed interns, etc.
adcom: So what questions do you have for me?
me: (secret list of questions I asked)
adcom: Spiel about how NU is so awesome, the IP law society, the IP journal, etc.

My interviewer, at least, wasn't leading. I worked in answers to questions like "what're you passionate about?", "what're your strengths?", "what're your intellectual interests?" in my answers to the other questions. This is why you want to put together your taking points ahead of time. Depending on who is interviewing you, it could be a very boring process if you just answer the things they ask.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:58 pm
by chadwick218
clint4law wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:Is it true that the alumni interviews play a significant role in the admissions decisions?


i'm curious about this as well. Did you interview with admissions or with an alum?


I personally didn't interview.

I know some folks who believe that had they not interviewed, it is unlikely that they would have been admitted. Although the long-term goal is to interview every applicant, I do not believe that the interview currently plays a "significant" role in the admissions process. I think that if anything, the interview serves to assess maturity and weed out those who are really not all that interested in attending.

Even so, you really need to plan on interviewing if you are interested in attending.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:19 pm
by legends159
Have you started outlining yet?

How many substantive classes do you have?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:29 pm
by chadwick218
legends159 wrote:Have you started outlining yet?

How many substantive classes do you have?


I have not started outlining ... although I gone back through to clean-up my notes, I think that it i still a little too soon to start outlining.

As for classes, I have Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, and Legal Research and Writing. Although legal reserach and writing is not [technically] graded on a curve, the grade distribution is expected to be in-line with the classes. Some folks have Con Law in lieu of Torts.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:29 pm
by rayiner
legends159 wrote:Have you started outlining yet?

How many substantive classes do you have?


Each section has 4 3-credit substantive classes first semester, 2 second semester, plus a 2-credit graded legal writing class each semester. For example, this semester I have Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law. Next semester I'll have Constitutional Law and Property.

As for outlining, um, no. We spent the first two weeks in Civil Procedure going over the theoretical underpinnings of the judicial system. So my outline to date would just consist of: Personal Jurisdiction. We spent the first three weeks in Criminal Law discussing policy issues like the fairness of plea bargaining, etc. We'll get to actus reus and mens reus next week. :roll:

I don't think it really makes sense to start outlining until you have enough material that it has some internal structure. I do plan on consolidating some of my notes when we finish the unit on Remedies in Contracts, and when we finish the unit Negligence in Torts, both probably next week.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:38 pm
by legends159
just asking in jest not expecting you to.

it's the process of outlining that's important not the final product

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:02 pm
by chitown825
Who the hell would want to ask questions of a 1L only two weeks into law school?

This is coming from another 1L. We are in no position to answer any sort of question at this point

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:14 pm
by Outlawed
chitown825 wrote:Who the hell would want to ask questions of a 1L only two weeks into law school?

This is coming from another 1L. We are in no position to answer any sort of question at this point


But you are in position to answers questions about how you got to NW. So long as OP isn't answering questions about the BEST way to do law school work, then he or she is justified in answering questions pertaining to the law school admissions process for NW.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:20 pm
by rayiner
Outlawed wrote:
chitown825 wrote:Who the hell would want to ask questions of a 1L only two weeks into law school?

This is coming from another 1L. We are in no position to answer any sort of question at this point


But you are in position to answers questions about how you got to NW. So long as OP isn't answering questions about the BEST way to do law school work, then he or she is justified in answering questions pertaining to the law school admissions process for NW.


Right. These 1L threads are for answering typical 0L questions: how do I do the app, how do I do interviews, what's the curriculum look like, what's the vibe of the school, how's the night-life in Chicago, etc. Having just gone through the process, 1L's are in a pretty good position to answer these questions. 2L's can and do chime in on things like employment prospects, doing well on exams, etc.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:47 pm
by NayBoer
Being that NU is in Chicago, who in the admissions office is the best person to bribe? Is cash acceptable or is another medium (e.g. diamonds, rhodium, vials of Pu-239) preferred?

Also because it's in Chicago, do 90% of the people sound like the Blues Brothers meets the SNL Swerski Superfans (Da Bearss!) or is it merely 75%?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:51 pm
by rayiner
NayBoer wrote:Being that NU is in Chicago, who in the admissions office is the best person to bribe? Is cash acceptable or is another medium (e.g. diamonds, rhodium, vials of Pu-239) preferred?

Also because it's in Chicago, do 90% of the people sound like the Blues Brothers meets the SNL Swerski Superfans (Da Bearss!) or is it merely 75%?


PayPal me $1,000, and I'll talk to someone.

As for the accents most of the students/faculty speak normally. Aside from the odd-ball Minnesotan.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:29 pm
by trojanfan06
I am out of the country and they don't offer an interview in this country. What would be the best way to deal with this you think?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:30 pm
by Helmholtz
I don't have time to read the other questions so I apologize if this has already been answered, but:

Do you like the fact that the law school is such a distance from the rest of the university?

Also, on a scale of 1-10, please rate the level of attractiveness of the NU female populace.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:57 pm
by rayiner
Helmholtz wrote:I don't have time to read the other questions so I apologize if this has already been answered, but:

Do you like the fact that the law school is such a distance from the rest of the university?

Also, on a scale of 1-10, please rate the level of attractiveness of the NU female populace.


Regarding the first question, it's a mixed bag. On one hand, it makes for a pretty good vibe. The law school is next to the med school, the teaching hospital, and the continuing education building of the business school. So there are lots of young professionals in the area. On the other hand, it gets kind of tiring seeing only law students/med students/residents day-in and day-out. Also, it somewhat limits the available extra-cirricular activities. I'd personally enjoy being able to attend AIAA or IEEE meetings/lectures/presentations at the university proper, but Evanston is too far away to make that practical.

Regarding the second question, the student body as a whole (men and women) is about what you'd expect from law school. In any case it's a somewhat academic point, at least for guys, since the women are by and large in serious relationships. Unless you're GodSpeed, I guess. Not to fear though, since between Streeterville, Gold Coast, Lakeview, etc, there are plenty of reasonably attractive single men and women --- normal ones who've never even heard of the LSAT. :lol:

Disclaimer: I went to engineering school. My definition of "reasonably attractive" may not be universal.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:29 pm
by pu_golf88
What made you decide to quit one of the most noble professions known to man, being an aerospace engineer?

EDIT to stay on topicish: How do you feel the beginning of law school has compared to undergrad work load and difficulty wise? I know it's a little early to say, but I was curious to how you think it will be.

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:55 pm
by rayiner
pu_golf88 wrote:What made you decide to quit one of the most noble professions known to man, being an aerospace engineer?

EDIT to stay on topicish: How do you feel the beginning of law school has compared to undergrad work load and difficulty wise? I know it's a little early to say, but I was curious to how you think it will be.


I don't feel like I'm leaving engineering. I want to get back into the engineering world eventually, just in a different capacity (patent work, maybe legal work with startups down the line).

In terms of workload, it's... different. The material takes less time to process (per page), but there is more of it (pages). I think the overall number of hours is probably not dissimilar to what you'd spend in first-year/second-year "weed out" courses, but they're more predictable. In engineering you might get hung up for hours on a problem because you don't see a simplification or a derivation step. That's not true of a legal case. You can certainly refine you understanding as you think about one for longer, but you can grab the basic rules/policy from a case pretty predictably and quickly once you get the hang of reading.

One of the things I've noticed, perhaps moreso being an engineer, is that the material is pleasingly analytical. In engineering, you're often forced to think through a bunch of coupled issues and come up with a solution that optimizes various performance functions. There is a very rough analogy between this and how a judge works through the constraints of the facts of a case to come up with a decision that adheres to various policy goals. IMHO, the two processes use a lot of the same parts of the brain...

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:26 pm
by dailygrind
This might be out of left field, so feel free not to answer it...but Leiter commented on NU in his TLS interview and said something to the effect of:

Northwestern is an excellent place to be for someone with an empirical social science background interested in studying the legal system


in regards to finding a job in academia. While I'm not quite particularly interested in academia I am sort of curious about that area, and I'm guessing you might be too. Any comments you can offer on that?

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:31 pm
by OperaSoprano
rayiner wrote:
pu_golf88 wrote:What made you decide to quit one of the most noble professions known to man, being an aerospace engineer?

EDIT to stay on topicish: How do you feel the beginning of law school has compared to undergrad work load and difficulty wise? I know it's a little early to say, but I was curious to how you think it will be.


I don't feel like I'm leaving engineering. I want to get back into the engineering world eventually, just in a different capacity (patent work, maybe legal work with startups down the line).


Oh Ray, you'll always be a rocket scientist, whatever other adventures you rack up.

I give you many points for starting one of these. I mean, I've wanted to do mine since before I was even admitted. :mrgreen:

Re: Northwestern 1L taking questions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:36 pm
by Joeshan520
What is the average age of your classmates? Do you find that because NU places such strong emphasis on post-graduate work experience that a majority of your classmates are older?