Law School Discussion

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1
Obviously this is a very personal rankings. Comments from people facing similiar decisions are welcomed. I visited BC and WUSTL and actually sat in one class; visited BU and joined the law school tour group; attended the GW's preview weekend (2 day). Also bear in mind that I am an international student interested in patent or food and drug law. My first choice was and remains GW before and after the school visiting trip.
   
Campus: WUSTL>BC>>GW>>BU
WUSTL wins hands down. It has an all-around campus and the law school building was stunning. BC's main campus was great, with asthetic churches and sport stadiums. The law school is remote from its main campus, but is also a quiet, serene piece of land. GW is basically blocks of buildings at the center of DC. The "law area" is neatly composed and relaxing. BU was dissapointing. It's surprising how the "cash cow" of the school is restricted in one single tower.

facility: WUSTL>BC>GW>>BU
Facilities in WUSTL are shining new and state-of-the-art. The library was beautiful and a great place to study. I felt like a monk in the middleage sitting at the top of the library. BC has similiar but more historical feelings. Classrooms are modern and new. GW has good facilities, but kind of crowded and noisy when students pour in. I guess it will be hard to find a quiet space when one wants to be alone. BU is even worse. At rush hours, all students at each floor fight for the limited elevators. The library, faculty office and interview rooms of BU were not impressing.

faculty that I met: WUSTL>BC>GW
I did not sit in a class in BU because when I told the 1L students in the elevator which class i will be sitting in, they told me that the professor was the worst teacher among all 1L instructors and not representative of the faculty quality. They said he was not bad, just boring. However, the BU admission office was eagerly advertising that the BU faculty is among the best in the nation. Just for your information.

It was encouraging to discover that all other faculty that I met or talked to in the other 3 schools were smart and enthusiastic of teaching. the differences in this ranking is very small. The black teacher who taought torts in WUSTL were super smart yet patient, always know where he is leading and uses socratic most of the time. The wordy, overacting professor who taught property in BC also did a good job explaining some complicated principles. The constitution class I sat in GW was an easy one, the professor was humorous and interactive. Overall i enjoyed all of the classes that I sat in.

students collegiality: BC>WUSTL=GW>BU
i have no solid data but feelings to support this ranking (not that i have solid data for my other rankings). Students in BC and WUSTL seem to know each other well and always planning some activities together. Students in GW talk happily and couldn't quiet down before class. I take these as signs of friendly atmosphere. BU students seem to socialize mostly in the elevator.

students diversity: BU=GW>WUSTL=BC
No secret here.

Degrees of feeling the inferior complex: BU>BC>WUSTL>GW
Surprisingly, I didn't feel the inferior complex of Gtown on my two days at GW's preview weekend. The director of the event promised on the first day that they wouldn't throw rankings and salary numbers to us during the event. And they kept their promises. Students there seem to be confident enough and weren't worried of Gtown at all.

BU was at the opposite of the spectrum. They talked about the "big boy" across the river, and how good their faculty and journals ranked in some specific surveys. BC was concened of their recent drop in rankings and explained a lot about that. WUSTL talked a lot about "we're not just king in midwest."

To round my experience up and add some more, WUSTL has the best hardware and is growing strong, BC has a nice atmosphere among students and faculty, GW has great curriculum and job oppurtunities, BU (supposedly) has superior faculty and an international flavor.



2
Obviously, the 25%-75% UGPA and LSAT of admitted students of many schools have raised significantly in the past decade. What does that actually mean?

The entering class in 2004 are more intelligent than students entering 1994?
The first year grades/performances of the entering class in 2004 will be better than students entering 1994?
Is there any value of comparing these scores temporally?

I am curious because many schools seem to be very proud of the index increase.
However, except comparing to the same index of other competing law schools at the same application cycle, I don't see any meaning of stating "The median UGPA and LSAT for those offered admission this year were the highest in the history blah blah."

PS: correct my English if it's terribly wrong. I appreciate.

3
Recommendations / 3rd LOR to pull me out of waitlist?
« on: January 02, 2005, 01:13:48 AM »
Here is my situation. I have finished my application in the beginning of Nov. I've already sent in 2 LORs and got some admissions.

But after being deferred by some schools, I recently requested and got a 3rd LOR. The letter will be send to LSAC soon.

My question is, can I hold the LOR at the LSAC, so I can later send it to schools that deferred me or put me on the waitlist? Hoping that my original two letters will at least get me to the waitlist and the additional letter will pull me out of the waitlist.

Or do you suggest me let LSAC send the letter to every school? Showing the schools everything I have and hope for the best?

4
Law School Applications / TOEFL score report
« on: November 22, 2004, 12:50:54 PM »
Hi. I'd like to share some experiences about sending TOEFL score report to law schools. Quite a few schools require applicants who have had their undergraduate education in college not taught in English to take the TOEFL test.

Some of these schools are U Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Boston U, Boston C, UC Davis, just to name a few.

When you request ETS to send your official score report to the respective schools, you will need to refer it to the school's "institution code." The codes are listed on the TOEFL bulletin. But be aware that if there is specifically a code for the law school, for example, the school code of UC Davis is 4834, but there is also a school code for UC Davis Law School 4778.

I sent to the latter code, but later realized that the latter code is for the LLM program, at least for UC Davis and Boston U. Therefore the JD admissions office had to retrieve my report from the LLM office and significantly delayed my application. I wrote here to suggest applicants in the future call the admissions office to check its school code before requesting your TOEFL score report.

5
Law School Applications / University of Virginia online application status
« on: November 10, 2004, 11:07:30 AM »
The website http://law5.law.virginia.edu

Has anyone ever successfully load the website and actually log in to check his status?


6
Law School Applications / "What other law schools have you applied to?"
« on: November 09, 2004, 11:05:00 AM »
Just thought about this.

On the application form, there's usually a space asking "What other law schools have you applied to?" By asking this question, is the law school trying to guess which school will the applicant be ATTENDING?

For example, if an overqualifed applicant is applying to his "safety" school and listed his real "target schools" on the application form, the school may expect the applicant to enroll in a higher-ranked law school. The school may therefore reject or (more likely) waitlist the applicant to save itself trouble filling the seats.

In the other hand, if the school conceives itself the highest ranked schools among all schools the applicant is applying to, the school may consider the applicant a "steal" and admit him.

In that case, as an applicant, should I always list schools that are ranked lower than the respective school I'm applying to?

Further, if I mentioned in the PS that I apply to XX school because of its location or the local job market or any private reason blah blah, perhaps I should also make sure the "other law schools" I listed are also within that geographical area or close to that job market blah blah. It has to be consistent.

I'm not sure if these thoughts were valid. But if they were, too bad they came to me after I have finished most of my applications.

I apologize for my poor English, I promise I will sophisticate it before entering law school.

7
Law School Applications / App all sent. What else could I do?
« on: November 08, 2004, 08:14:56 AM »
Hi.

I have sent out all my applications. Instead of checking the mailbox every hour, what else could I do to up my application?

Send an email to each admission office checking the status of my app? Arrange a visiting to the campus? (Personally I live in Taiwan, therefore I wouldn't start visiting schools before I'm sure I'm admitted. Here I'm asking for American students.) Try to contact some of the faculties? Any suggestion?
           
Thank you for your help.

8
Hi,

1. I graduated from a college in Taiwan. It is highly respected in Taiwan but probably no adcom here was familiar with the school. Should I write an addendum to advertise my school a bit to "leverage" my average GPA (3.4)?

2. Should I write an addendum just to mention my junior/senior GPA (3.9) is higher than my cumulative GPA (3.4)? I've already included a resume that showed the trend of grades. I think probably I don't need to, but I just want someone to confirm my thought.

Thanx a lot.

9
This is my first post....so....Hello!
I really hope I could have found this site before I started my application....now I'm in the middle of it.

I am a US citizen. But I have lived in Taiwan for 17 years.
My native language is Mandarin.

Here are some numbers.
UGPA in the best University in Taiwan (Zoology): 3.4
Junior/Senior UGPA: 3.9
LSAT:166 (good enough for a non-English native speaker, I hope)

I have a master in Biological Science in UCI.
And 1 year WE in a patent consulting firm in Taiwan.
Male. No disease cured. Happy middle class Taiwanese family.

I hope to work for international law firms or international biopharmaceutical companies in the future. Particularly companies that have branches in Asia.

Here is a list of schools I'm considering applying:

[Dream]
Harvard
Stanford
Columbia
NYU
Michigan

[Far reaching]
U Penn
U Virginia
Duke
northwestern
Cornell
Berkeley
Georgetown

[Reaching]
(UCLA)
(USC)
George Wash.
Boston U
Boston C
William & Mary

[Expected]
UC Davis
U Wash
Fordham
UC Hasting
Indiana --bloomington
American
Temple

Is this a reasonable list? Am I wasting money?
Are there any other schools that are not included in my list would also fit my career plan?

I appreciate your help




Thank you for your help.


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