Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Nole on May 16, 2005, 01:55:38 PM

Title: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on May 16, 2005, 01:55:38 PM
Has anyone visited Wake LS? If so, can you give me your impressions? Or has anyone heard anything from Wake law students? Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: nethgilne on May 16, 2005, 02:17:38 PM
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: BigRedWarEagle on May 16, 2005, 02:27:22 PM
Hey nolegirl - you do realize that Tulane is full of yankees, right?  Sounds like a slam-dunk to me  ;) 

Wake all the way!!
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on May 17, 2005, 06:54:00 AM
Ha. I heart you Wareagle!  :-*

Thanx so much for the insightful review. Some of the things you mentioned are things I am indeed worried about. The small, cliquish atmosphere and the competitive student body is something I have heard before. That worries me. I went to a prepschool very much like that. It was actually right down the street from Wake. So it sounds like, socially at least, it would be like going right back to my private school. I am not sure that that is something that I want.

Some other things, however, that were detractors to you are actually big pluses to me. I want to be in a very very southern enviroment. I am from the south and after moving around quite a bit, can not wait to get back. The whole style you described is very familiar to me ;) And though placement is a concern for me, I do not mind at all that Wake doesn't place well outside of the southeast, especially in NYC or Chicago because I think I would rather not work that work in those places.

I guess when it comes down to it, it is a matter of what kind of enviroment I prefer to live in for the next 3 yrs. Thanks again for review. BTW, Tulane is the other school I am picking between  :D

Anyone else? Other experiences or impressions of Wake? Chime in! Please!
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: nethgilne on May 17, 2005, 08:31:05 AM
Nole, could you post me your thoughts on Tulane, like what you disliked or liked about it? Thanks!
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: chickie on May 17, 2005, 08:42:13 AM
It's funny how easily strong impressions are made. My friend, from the midwest, is at Wake. I would call him a hippie radical, someone who would hate a preppy feel, and he loves it there. I have never seen him tuck his shirt in. while there is a southern feel, he has friends from all over. He tells me that it is not super competitive, he has gotten to know some of his profs personally, and has a good summer job lined up.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on May 17, 2005, 09:17:38 AM
Thanks for the response! What else has your friend said about Wake? Workload, etc?

Here are my impressions of Tulane so far. It seems to have a more laid back student body than a lot of LSs. It places well in the SE but, unlike many southern schools, it places VERY well in NYC and other places in the NE (this is due, I think, to the fact that Tulane draws a lot of students from that region who return home upon graduation.) People seem pretty happy there in general. It has a good reputaion which seems to be rapidly getting better. NO is a fun, interesting place. Tulane also has a good international law program and one of the first sports law programs.
NO can be a dangerous place to live, though the area where Tulane is located is pretty nice. It is an easy place to get distracted due to the crazy party scene there. For a private school, the class size is pretty big (about double Wake's size if I remember correctly.) As I said before, there seem to be a lot of people from the NE there. If you want to go to school with a lot of southerners, it may not be the place for you. They have a very small football program. But that is prolly just a negitive for me  ;)
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: fireplace on May 17, 2005, 10:23:42 AM
I was admitted to Wake but am going to attend UNC, since it is much cheaper and shuold place as well or better.  Wake's advantages are the small student body and the very relaxed, family atmosphere of the area.  Also very affordable COL.  They do share a building with the business school but it is a huge "C" shaped complex divided down the middle. I actually think it would be a good idea to have the biz school close -- maybe that helps mingle the disciplines.  People say W-S is so uncool, but it's a reasonable sized town with plenty of undergrads there, so it can't be that uncool.  Biggest disad for Wake is that it doesn't really enjoy a home court advantage with Duke and UNC so close, and UVA not far either, yet most grads want jobs in the area or at least the South.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: PresClay_00 on May 17, 2005, 10:30:36 AM
wake is great, but you already know why i like it nole.  also, i don't think it's fair to include Duke in the career considerations for NC especially.  If i remember correctly, they only had two people take the NC bar last summer so they're not really sticking around.  Carolina on the other hand has quite a few people who stay.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: prettylily on May 17, 2005, 04:52:49 PM
I attend Wake.  It's a great school as far as prestige and education.  However, I'm a Northerner and you really feel that attending the school.  I came with the intentions of staying in NC as my family is from the South.

Everything Neth said was true.  It is very competitive and has a very high school atmosphere.  And anyone that isn't from the South or is a minority is sure to feel displaced.

Winston Salem is a beautiful town, but there really isn't much to do if you don't drink a lot.  There are a lot of bars, but I don't drink, so it's pointless for me to go. 

I don't know much about Tulane other than the fact that it's a great school.  It has similar ranking etc.  However, there is more to do in NO than in Winston.

Also, the grading curve at Wake is a female dog.  Though, there is going to be a higher grade curve for the NewL's.

Good luck on making your decision.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on May 18, 2005, 09:18:00 AM
Thank you prettylilly! It is great to hear from someone who goes to school there. I know you don't normally post so feel free not to respond but...

Do you have friends in other law programs? If so, how do your think your 1L work load compared to their's?

How do you feel the job placement is coming out of Wake?

Thanks again! ;D
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: prettylily on May 18, 2005, 12:12:33 PM
Thank you prettylilly! It is great to hear from someone who goes to school there. I know you don't normally post so feel free not to respond but...

Do you have friends in other law programs? If so, how do your think your 1L work load compared to their's?

How do you feel the job placement is coming out of Wake?

Thanks again! ;D

I don't really have any friends in any other program at the moment. All of my friends have graduated from law school already.  Frankly, I think the program at Wake is rigorous, but not impossible.  In NC, it has a reputation of "working its students hard" as I've heard, but I didn't think it was different anywhere else.  However, I think the grading is better elsewhere.

As far as placement, most people are staying in NC.  I didn't get my summer internship through the school but through networking with alumni.

I intended to stay South when I first attended but I plan to return North.  I don't think I'll go through the school.  They're really nice in the Career Placement office and they provide good information, but you are expected to do a lot on your own. I don't have a problem with it because my college office was the same way.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: rugbylaw on May 23, 2005, 11:49:13 AM
I'm almost sure I'll be at Wake in the fall. The school really wowed me when I first visited last year. The few professors I talked to were friendly, open and honest. The criminal law class I sat in on was great. Even my girlfriend, who has no interest in the law whatsoever, thought the class was awesome. It's already been said, but the library was indeed top notch. I also liked Winston-Salem. I spent most of the last 3 years in a much smaller town with much, much less to do, so it's size doesn't bother me at all.

Not sure how I'll fit in with a bunch of guys in half-tucked pastel polos since I'm a jeans and t-shirts guy from Jersey, but I enjoyed four years at U of South Carolina, so I think I'll be OK.

Is anyone going to the House Hunt?
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on May 31, 2005, 07:47:01 AM
Well I think, after visiting Tulane, I havw also decided on Wake. I just didn't like the big city feel on NO and the housing in my price range was HORRIBLE. I am a little concerned with the grading system at Wake but I think (hope) I can manage.

I can not make it to the House Hunt but plan to go look for a place soon. I really want to rent a house or condo and, from what I have seen, I can get A LOT more for my money than I could in NO.

The only other hesitation about Wake is the whole "preppy" thing. I went to a private school in Winston for many years and I have been none to excited about returning to that enviroment. After years of public school and diverse friends and styles, I am hesitant to get back to the prep school crowd. But I know there are plenty of other people in Winston and I am sure I will be ok. Rugbylaw, you and I can hang out in our jeans and Tshirts!  ;)

Let me know how the House Hunt goes.

And thanks so much for the input prettylilly!
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: uncgal05 on May 31, 2005, 07:10:30 PM
Yay! Good decision :)
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: rugbylaw on May 31, 2005, 07:17:26 PM
Nolegirl, I'll keep an eye out for people with their shirts untucked this weekend. The Housing list on Wake's Web site makes it look like the col is pretty cheap. I'll let you know how the hunt goes.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on June 01, 2005, 12:28:01 PM
I know. I was looking at that same list and thought the same thing. The housing situation in NO was a BIG disappointment. I couldn't find anything I would REMOTELY think of living in that was under $1350. I really want a house, not an apartment and it looks like that will be fesable in W-S.
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Janna116 on June 05, 2005, 08:27:00 PM
Not sure how I'll fit in with a bunch of guys in half-tucked pastel polos since I'm a jeans and t-shirts guy from Jersey, but I enjoyed four years at U of South Carolina, so I think I'll be OK.

Hey all, I stumbled onto this board and thought I'd poke around and I found this post.  I just finished my first year at Wake and have really enjoyed it.  Those people in pastel shirts and khaki pants might have been MBA students, believe it or not, they have a dress code.  We (law students) don't have any such code and while we do have some khaki wearing folk, for the most part everyone wears jeans or whatever they want.  As far as the school I will try to give you as brief a glowing review as possible.  It's small, it's not competitive, unless it is 10 minutes before an exam, the teachers are approachable, the town is small but not too small, overall the school has a personal feel and everyone is very friendly, 2L's and 3L's are more than happy to give you advice, whether it's outlines for a class or advice on a teacher or even advice on the best bar in town... the upperclassmen are great (of course they're even greater now that I'm among them, JK) Anyway if you're looking for a small school where you won't get lost both literally and figuratively, if you'd like to be able to actually approach your professors and even your Deans, if you'd like a student body that doens't take itself too seriously then Wake is great. We do have people from all over the country and even the world and unlike most other law schools the LLM's are in a few of our first year classes with us. Yes Wake's in the south and they do serve barbecue at school functions but that's part of the charm. So don't fear the south...join usss....join usss....

Feel free to post here or PM me if you have any specific questions or concerns or if you want to talk about apartments, sorry, can't help much with houses. 

...and, in true lawyer fashion, just in case anybody is looking - "I do not work for nor do I represent the Wake Forest University School of Law in any official capacity. The statements above and any sucessive statements are my opinions alone." (yes you will think like this after your first year or maybe even your first week of law school)
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on June 06, 2005, 06:26:45 AM
Thank you Janna. It is good to hear such positive things! So what did you think of your firsy year? Can you give us an overview of your workload, thoughness of classes, amount (if any) of free time and what 1L's there do when they are not studying or in class? I'd appreciate any insight you can give me. Also, are their any places we should NOT live?
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Janna116 on June 06, 2005, 08:43:03 PM
My first year:My main observation, "Law School is hard." You may have been in the top of your classes and you may have always received A's but now that describes everyone surrounding you and everyone can't be number 1.  Don't stress, you got into law school, that's hard; you got into Wake, that's harder.  We'll all be lawyers when we finish school or at least we'll be writing the case headnotes for Westlaw or Lexis (you'll get that after school starts); either way we'll still have a job.  Some other observations: 1) Don't turn on the internet on your laptop in class, it's too distracting, 2) Do give any "secret" study aids you happen to have to the rest of the class, things work better this way and you never know if someone else will have something you'll want to borrow or copy, 3) There always seems to be free food, from a full barbecue or boxed lunch to pizza and subs to cookies and candy and sometimes even beer but oddly almost never water; bottom line, you won't be able to use the excuse, "I'm sorry, I didn't read that case, I have no money and was forced to eat my text book.", 4) Seriously, everyone really does care about you, from the faculty and administration to the students, it's a great atmosphere, 5) 2L'S and 3L's are a great source of information. Don't be afraid to approach us and ask for advice, it wasn't too long ago we were in your situation and someone showed us the ropes or at least told us which study aid to buy for Civil Procedure and Torts.

Workload:Obviously you will be overwhelmed at first.  You will be reading and preparing material that is unlike anything you have ever read before even if you took a law class in undergrad.  Don't worry, aside from the first week or weeks of school you won't be spending hours and hours preparing for class.  Eventually you will get the hang of class preparation, you will realize that the amount of work you put into a class is not proportional to the return you get out of the class, you will realize that you don't care or some combination of all three.  You won't be staying up until 1 or 2am to finish your class work unless you start at 10pm.  Keep in mind that the class preparation and studying that you will be doing is so that you can follow along in class and answer questions if you're called on by the prof.  Your only grade comes from your final exam even though some profs claim that they add participation points, rumors persist that those points may or may not exist.  The only class that you will have graded assignments in is Legal Writing.  The workload depends on the prof you get.  I had a great experience and learned a lot but I had a lot of drafts and outlines due throughout the semesters.  The good news is that no matter who you get for Legal Writing, the class ends about a month before the semester ends so that's less work to worry about. Also Wake used to require 6 rather than 5 classes a semester for first years.  They changed this policy two years ago after a study about the moral of the student body.  So you will have less of a workload first year than the students who just graduated.

Toughness of classes:This one really depends on which profs you get.  Some profs are known for being really difficult to understand or for talking too fast or too slow.  Other profs are known for being great lecturers (a rarity in the Socratic world).  It is the rare lecturer that often has what are considered the easier classes.  The profs at Wake use the Socratic method.  Don't worry, if you've read OneL or The Paper Chase our prof's aren't that bad.  Only one of my profs had us stand up to recite.  As time moves on most of the classes turn into 50 minute discussions with the profs asking questions and the students volunteering answers.

Amount of free time:Many students treat law school like a job.  They arrive to school before classes start to study, attend class, study and eat between classes and study after class until they are done or until about 6 or 7 and then they go home.  Following this plan, if possible, you would have a lot of free nights and weekends.  Theoretically, since, except for LRW, you won't have any assignments to turn in, you could simply not study or read anything and have lots and lots of free time; I really don't recommend this.  I usually took the afternoons off and started preparing for class around 5pm.  I recommend taking one day off a week, I always took Saturday off to go to the mall, watch mindless TV, or read a non-law related book. 

What do 1Ls do when they aren't studying or in class:The same thing you non 1Ls do when you aren't at work or otherwise engaged.  But seriously, there are a lot of school functions, speakers and even parties where there is almost always free food and sometimes free beer.  Don't want to hang around school? truth many students go out to bars a lot.  The SBA (student government) has a weekly get together called "Bar Review" where the president picks a bar and wrestles a drink special out of the manager.  It's a nice way to meet people at the beginning of school. If drinking or hangout out in bars is not your thing there are lots of volunteer opportunities like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, tutoring or reading to elementary students, The Children's Museum, or Guardian Ad Litem, to name just a few.  The undergrad has an annual volunteer fair in the fall if you are looking to give back to the community and put something on your resume.  Law students also occasionally leave town to visit friends or relatives. I highly recommend leaving town at least once a semester.  It's good to get away from the legal scene.

Places you should not live:If you are asking about area, I am really only familiar with the area around school, about a 5 mile radius and that seems safe.  Of course I have traveled beyond this but am not familiar with the other areas enough to advise you to live or not live there.  If you are asking about apartments, I have heard that Northcliffe is a little sketchy and I was specifically advised not to live there.  On the cheaper side are The Trails and The Corners, they have all you need without the frills and a lot of students live there.  On the more expensive side are The Pines, Crowne Oaks, Crowne Polo, and Crowne Park, they have the nine foot ceilings and the crown moldings if your looking for that sort of thing; again, a lot of students live there.  There is also Deacon Ridge which are condos not apartments but they are the closest place to campus and a lot of people buy those condos and rent them to students. Some students (or their parents) even bought condos there.  Of course there are other apartments but these are the ones where the majority of students live.  For example, as I was moving in last August I met the guy moving into the apartment next to me who, as it turned out, was also a new law student.  There were a total of at least 9 1Ls living in my apartment complex and a few other upperclassmen. 

Well sorry this email is so long, hope that answered your questions. Post back if there's anything else you want to know or if I hit on something on which you want me to elaborate.  - Jen
Title: Re: Wake Reviews
Post by: Nole on June 07, 2005, 07:40:34 AM
Thank you SO MUCH for that post! That was very helpful and enlightening. I think that answered the majority of my questions. It sounds like you are basically enjoying you time at Wake and that may be the most helpful bit of information yet.  ;D Thanks again for all your help. If you have time, check back on the board occasionally. If I think of any other questions, I will post them here. Enjoy your summer and I will most likely see you next year.