Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: pawatram on April 16, 2016, 11:57:03 PM

Title: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: pawatram on April 16, 2016, 11:57:03 PM
Hi all,

My brother and I are looking for advise to choose between George Washington University (GWU) or Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) for his Masters. Both universities are very closely ranked (25 - GWU and 18 - WUSL respectively per US news). His interest is in criminal law.

I think future job perspective would be better in Washington and hence we are inclining towards GWU. Any advise would be highly appreciated.

Main points of consideration:
- better education
- future job opportunities

Thanks a lot,
Punit
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on April 18, 2016, 10:03:26 AM
Are you going for a JD or a Master's? Assuming you meant JD, I think the decision comes down to money and location. Both are good schools, both will offer almost identical educations (as will most law schools), and both will provide post-grad job opportunities that are mostly within their respective regions.

In other words, if you want to live in DC go for GW, and if you want to live in St. Louis go for Washington U. I don't know about the job prospects in St. Louis, but Wash U is the big dog in town so that's going to help. DC is a very competitive market, but the job market is much larger. Keep in mind that outside of their regions, each school will be viewed very similarly.

Has either school offered any money? That's a huge factor.
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: loki13 on April 18, 2016, 11:33:24 AM
Are you going for a JD or a Master's? Assuming you meant JD, I think the decision comes down to money and location. Both are good schools, both will offer almost identical educations (as will most law schools), and both will provide post-grad job opportunities that are mostly within their respective regions.

In other words, if you want to live in DC go for GW, and if you want to live in St. Louis go for Washington U. I don't know about the job prospects in St. Louis, but Wash U is the big dog in town so that's going to help. DC is a very competitive market, but the job market is much larger. Keep in mind that outside of their regions, each school will be viewed very similarly.

Has either school offered any money? That's a huge factor.

I agree with almost everything written here. Cost is the biggest factor.

That said, WUSL is a bit of an anomaly in terms of jobs- yes, it places great in St. Louis/MO. But (this is a little weird), it also places decently in NY, Illinois, and DC. GW is more regional (from NY to VA, but really DC!). I wouldn't call WUSL a "national" school, but it does have some diverse connections.
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on April 18, 2016, 01:25:57 PM
I've always thought of WUSL as an outlier. It's USNWR ranking seems to outpace it's national reputation.

That's not to say it isn't a well respected school, it is definitely respected. But compared to other similarly situated law schools, it just doesn't seem to have the same immediately recognizable "name".
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: loki13 on April 18, 2016, 01:34:57 PM
I've always thought of WUSL as an outlier. It's USNWR ranking seems to outpace it's national reputation.

That's not to say it isn't a well respected school, it is definitely respected. But compared to other similarly situated law schools, it just doesn't seem to have the same immediately recognizable "name".

I'm not sure if I'm in agreement, or disagreement, with your conclusion, but I agree with your premise!

There is a mismatch between WUSL's USNWR ranking and their "general name value." Then again, I rank it from Cornell up (roughly T14, now T13) as being the only real "name" schools.

That said, for whatever reason, it does have a pretty good rep from those in the know, and it places very well outside of MO. It's kind of like Emory in that way - I never really think about it, but it's a very good law school that places well.
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on April 18, 2016, 02:25:35 PM
That said, for whatever reason, it does have a pretty good rep from those in the know, and it places very well outside of MO. It's kind of like Emory in that way - I never really think about it, but it's a very good law school that places well.

WUSL definitely has a good rep, and it's perennial place on USNWR's list probably imparts at least some degree of name recognition even if it's just "Oh yeah, I've heard of Wash U."

I guess what I mean (and admittedly my opinion is based on ambiguous stuff) is that Wash U isn't exactly what I'd call a nationally prestigious school. Good? Yes. Prestigious? Meh.

I'm sure that Wash U has a great rep in the Midwest, but outside of that region are doors being opened by a strong alumni network or by the school's inherent reputation? I really don't know. I suppose a CA equivalent would be UCLA/USC. Great local reps, but probably not going to land you a gig on Wall St. 

Other schools that are fairly close in rank (Cornell, Georgetown) have a certain panache that the Wash Us, Emorys, and Bostons of the world do not. Such is the ephemeral nature of rankings and prestige. 
Title: Re: George Washington University or Washington University in St. Louis
Post by: loki13 on April 19, 2016, 08:34:14 AM
That said, for whatever reason, it does have a pretty good rep from those in the know, and it places very well outside of MO. It's kind of like Emory in that way - I never really think about it, but it's a very good law school that places well.

WUSL definitely has a good rep, and it's perennial place on USNWR's list probably imparts at least some degree of name recognition even if it's just "Oh yeah, I've heard of Wash U."

I guess what I mean (and admittedly my opinion is based on ambiguous stuff) is that Wash U isn't exactly what I'd call a nationally prestigious school. Good? Yes. Prestigious? Meh.

I'm sure that Wash U has a great rep in the Midwest, but outside of that region are doors being opened by a strong alumni network or by the school's inherent reputation? I really don't know. I suppose a CA equivalent would be UCLA/USC. Great local reps, but probably not going to land you a gig on Wall St. 

Other schools that are fairly close in rank (Cornell, Georgetown) have a certain panache that the Wash Us, Emorys, and Bostons of the world do not. Such is the ephemeral nature of rankings and prestige.

I think we are on the same page.

I might quibble, a little, regarding GULC. GULC is an example of a school whose name in USNWR and with laypeople is > than in actuality, but maybe that's just me (I cut it off at Cornell).

But yeah, WUSL is definitely with the Emor(ies) and UCLAs and BUs of the world. In terms of reputation. A solid, good school, but not (strictly speaking) a "national" one.