Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: marlinspike on February 12, 2007, 11:56:16 AM

Title: GW or WM?
Post by: marlinspike on February 12, 2007, 11:56:16 AM
There are so many subjective fields, and really only I can judge those for myself, so let's ignore those for the moment. Strictly from a hiring/making money standpoint, how do GW and WM stack up against each other? There are so many subjective factors in this decision for me personally, but I'm hoping you guys and girls can help me settle the only objective factor.
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: MySuitIsNOTBlack on February 12, 2007, 12:16:56 PM
George Washington is really a lot better.  It's pretty much T14 caliber for job opportunities, especially in D.C.

That said, it looks like you're getting money to W&M, which is located in a much more affordable area, and costs less to begin with.  I guess you've got to decide how willing you are to take a risk..
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on February 12, 2007, 12:27:50 PM
The part of me that dearly loves my alma mater just died a little at realizing that by WMU you were referring to The College of William and Mary.

If money isn't a big deal, I'd say go to GW. But W&M places pretty well at DC too.
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: marlinspike on February 12, 2007, 12:30:20 PM
The part of me that dearly loves my alma mater just died a little at realizing that by WMU you were referring to The College of William and Mary.

If money isn't a big deal, I'd say go to GW. But W&M places pretty well at DC too.

Hahahahaha, well, I'm having 3 IM conversations, talking to my dad on the phone, and writing an e-mail while doing this, so I think somewhere I got my lines crossed. I'll fix it since it might make you feel better. Trust me, I know what William and Mary's real name is. I lived all my life in DC, I've been to Williamsburg before, I'd actually say I'm pretty well acquianted with the school. In fact, one of my favorite (admittedly I have several) teachers from my soon to be alma mater teaches at WM now.

Well, if at GW, I'd live at home, which counters some of the expense (but is also a lifestyle negative since my parents are mid divorce since the summer). Also, isn't it true that GW tells people about money later in the cycle? Maybe I'll get some money from them as well.

BTW Secret Scout, that's a nice GPA. I hear only geniuses get 3.23's (see my sig).
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: ebirt07 on February 12, 2007, 12:33:43 PM
As much as I enjoy the bustling metropolis of Williamsburg, you'd have to go with GW.  Any money you saved at W&M nixed pretty fast post-graduation.  But you really can't do wrong either way.  You're damn right, hark upon the gale!
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on February 12, 2007, 12:35:38 PM
The part of me that dearly loves my alma mater just died a little at realizing that by WMU you were referring to The College of William and Mary.

If money isn't a big deal, I'd say go to GW. But W&M places pretty well at DC too.

Hahahahaha, well, I'm having 3 IM conversations, talking to my dad on the phone, and writing an e-mail while doing this, so I think somewhere I got my lines crossed.

Well, if at GW, I'd live at home, which counters some of the expense.

Have you visited W&M? It's a very nice, very friendly, close-knit community. It's also in Williamsburg, where the average age of the non-W&M population hovers around 85. There's not much to do in Williamsburg; your best bets for entertainment of a typical student would be Richmond, Newport News, or Norfolk/VA Beach. Norfolk/VA Beach is about an hour drive; Newport News is about 20, and Richmond I think is 30-45.

Bottom line: you're not going to find anything close to what DC has to offer near W&M, but by the same token, you're not likely to find anything close to what W&M has to offer in DC. 2 completely different animals. I would suggest you visit (if you haven't already), and if you don't absolutely fall in love with W&M when you visit, I would strongly suggest you consider GW despite the cost.
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: marlinspike on February 12, 2007, 12:40:32 PM
Have you visited W&M? It's a very nice, very friendly, close-knit community. It's also in Williamsburg, where the average age of the non-W&M population hovers around 85. There's not much to do in Williamsburg; your best bets for entertainment of a typical student would be Richmond, Newport News, or Norfolk/VA Beach. Norfolk/VA Beach is about an hour drive; Newport News is about 20, and Richmond I think is 30-45.

See, that's exactly what I prefer about William and Mary over GW. I plan to work in DC, so 3 more years away from DC wouldn't hurt. (BTW, look at the edit I made to my response to your first post in this thread).

Hopefully, I'll hear a yes from Duke, UVA, or Michigan and won't have to make such a difficult decision.
Title: Re: GW or WMU?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on February 12, 2007, 12:45:23 PM
Have you visited W&M? It's a very nice, very friendly, close-knit community. It's also in Williamsburg, where the average age of the non-W&M population hovers around 85. There's not much to do in Williamsburg; your best bets for entertainment of a typical student would be Richmond, Newport News, or Norfolk/VA Beach. Norfolk/VA Beach is about an hour drive; Newport News is about 20, and Richmond I think is 30-45.

See, that's exactly what I prefer about William and Mary over GW. I plan to work in DC, so 3 more years away from DC wouldn't hurt. (BTW, look at the edit I made to my response to your first post in this thread).

Hopefully, I'll hear a yes from Duke, UVA, or Michigan and won't have to make such a difficult decision.

Read, and I've decided that I really like you. I also hope you get into UVA; I'm hoping for good news in the mail today, as I went to decision Friday night. W&M places fine in DC; I'm pretty sure that's its natural stronghold. GW is also a tremendously fantastic school, and is still relatively young. W&M, not so much. But it is a great school in its own right. Good luck! You really can't go wrong with either one!
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: nyugrad06 on February 12, 2007, 12:59:12 PM
what % of WM get biglaw jobs?  top 10% top 25%?
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: bamf on February 12, 2007, 02:28:38 PM
Looking at the list of OCI-ing firms that WM sends it looks like they have a decent number of national firms.  I would think that more than that top 1/4 could get biglaw.  They will place a lot of grads in firm jobs in Virginia but I think that if you were top 1/4 you could have your go at most firms in DC.  But being so cheap I think a large number of students go into public interest after graduation.
Bottom line is that you will have to work harder to get 125k starting at WM.  But it is very reaistic ... I mean we're talking about a top 30 school here...
I agree that you should go with GW if you plan to be Biglaw for at least 5 or 6 years.  If not I would look closely at government and PI placement from each school.
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on February 12, 2007, 03:30:47 PM
Just for comparison, according to USNews:

GW: 90,000-125,000 median 125,000
W&M: 75,000-125,000 median 95,000

(Note: only 65% reporting at GW and 82% reporting at W&M)

I think you do pretty well no matter where you go, but if absolute dollars earned is what you're looking for then GW does better.

i don't know what kind of money you got, but if i assume you're getting as much as me (52k) and using US News' estimated cost things:

William and Mary will cost you about $50,000 over three years
GWU with no money will cost you about $155,000 over three years

So taking the median wage earners and assuming no promotions, it'd take about three and a half years to make up the difference in cost. 

Of course, if you don't manage to finish in the top half of your class, then William and Mary becomes a better deal for longer. If you're at the 25th percentile in wage earners, it'd take 7 years without accounting for debt to make up for the cost.

Also, keep in mind that it'd probably take longer at both levels than is listed. Debt will increase the time, the inability to invest and save the money will increase the time, and being in a higher tax bracket will increase the time.

NOTE: this is all information pertaining to private practice.
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: MySuitIsNOTBlack on February 12, 2007, 04:11:30 PM
Isn't W&M a public school, and can't you claim VA residence after the first year?  Because, if so, the cost is only about 50k without any scholarships (for tuition).

Both schools are very good, and both place well in DC, but GW places tremendously well.

For example, according to NALP, there are 258 DC firms that interview at GW.  Compare that to 164 for UVA, and 33 for W&M.
Title: Re: GW or WM?
Post by: marlinspike on February 12, 2007, 04:45:50 PM
Yeah, the advisors have told me that W&M places very well in it's local area, but GW places a little better and GW places a lot better nationally. They've basically told me that if I can swing it monetarily (I can, I would have to put in for a loan if GW doesn't give me money, but I won't graduate with more debt than cash on hand), that I would be better served by going to GW. There's that pesky business of living at home in a home that's less than pleasant, but it's only 3 years. I wouldn't be able to claim VA residency (it's complicated), but the fellowship from WM gives me the in-state rate plus a $4,000/academic year stipend.

If GW gives me no money, I still say it's a tough decision (difference in price, living at home, plus advisors confirmed what I assumed - community at GW is non-existant, community at WM is very good). If GW gives me money it becomes easier, but still not easy.

I really wish Duke, UVA, or Michigan would swoosh in here and give an acceptance to solve this problem of mine (doing something better for my career while dealing with an unpleasant situation for 3 years, or having a very nice living situation while doing what is not optimal for my career).

I wish I had spent more time at those Duke, UVA, and Michigan tables at the law school fair. After seeing what happened to my brother (took a killer major at a school with very hard grading, especially in that field, putting him in a situation where he had to go to a med school in Grenada even though his MCAT score was better that Harvard med school's average simply because of his gpa - granted, now he has killed the step 1 board exam and the head of the hospital where he does his rotations is giving him special help in a residency placement because of how impressed he is by my brother), when other students told me "yeah, but this is a __(insert college name)____ GPA, I thought, yeah, whatever, I know better than that, and so I didn't even bother schmoozing with their reps.