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Acceptances / In at Rutgers!
« on: May 15, 2006, 06:43:45 PM »
Got a packet from Rutgers-Camden today, saying they were admitting me with a $10,000 scholarship. This comes as a surprise, considering I didn't even apply there.

Has anybody else gotten something weird like this? I think it's a pretty odd recruiting ploy.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / UMich, UIUC, WUSTL Visits
« on: January 08, 2006, 04:03:24 PM »
Well, I made it home yesterday from a 2300 mile car ride that took us to Ann Arbor, Urbana-Champaign, and St. Louis. In case anybody is interested in hearing about it, I'll type up my thoughts.

Ann Arbor: Because I'm going to visit UMich during one of their admitted student weekends in March, I didn't visit the law school (except to walk through the quad and take a few pictures). Instead, we spent two days in Ann Arbor looking at about 15 apartment complexes that we had read about online. The apartments ranged from the extremely nice to the very shoddy, but they all seemed to be in about the same price range (about $700-$1100 for a 1 bedroom, slightly more for a 2 bedroom). The wife and I agreed that Signature Club, Briar Cove, and Ironwood Place were the best of the lot, although there were a couple of others that would have been livable.

As for the city itself, we were both fairly disappointed. I can't really explain why, except to say that it didn't live up to expectations. That's silly, because I can't really articulate what my expectations were, but that's what I feel like. In describing the city to family, I've said that it reminded me a lot of Europe. It was extremely liberal (John Kerry '04 and Impeach Bush signs were all over the place, but that's not a bad thing for us). Getting around the city (even with a map) was very difficult (although my wife isn't the best navigator). Rarely do streets intersect at right angles, it is often the case that a particular street will change to a different street for no particular reason, sometimes in order to stay on the street you want to be on, you have to turn at a light or something instead of going straight, etc. Traffic was also horrendous for a city that size. Another European-like quality of AA is that there seem to be no signs anywhere. That is, here in Oklahoma you can drive down the main streets in Norman and figure out where you want to eat by looking at the many hundred-foot signs sticking up into the air. Not so in AA. Even ubiquitous restaurants like McDonald's had no signs, only the distinctive color of their roof to let you know where they were. Indeed, we drove past a restaurant that had been recommeded to us (Zingermann's) several times before we realized (after we had already given up and eaten somewhere else) that that building on the corner was the restaurant. Another European quality is that the campus is split up into several parts. That isn't a big deal, I think, to us law students since we'll be going to the same spot. Still, it makes for a less cohesive campus than I guess I'm used to.

Good things about Ann Arbor include: great weather (I love cold & gray), a fantastic-looking downtown area, the gorgeousness (obviously) of the Law Quad, and some other minor things.

So, we're going back in March, as I said, and I hope the trip goes better. Has anybody else found that it's a difficult city to get around in? I hope I'm not the only one, although I guess if I am then it has to get better eventually. I'm interested in seeing whether it's a poorly-constructed city or if my wife is just that bad at reading maps. ;-)

Urbana-Champaign: We hadn't really planned on going through UC because Google Maps had us going through Springfield. We realized it was only slightly out of the way, however, so we stayed there on Thursday night and looked around the town just briefly Friday morning. The town seemed decent, especially after seeing the rest of Illinois. It had what looked to be a good-sized mall as well as about all the chain restaurants you can think of. We got lost again (recurring theme on my trip) so we saw a lot of the residential part of town and it again seemed decent. It sucks to not really have much of anything nearby (Chicago and St. Louis are far away), but it looked like you could get along pretty well in the town.

The campus, though, was pretty bad. We drove through it as best we could and looked at everything from the car. From the street, at least, everything looked really dirty and run-down. There was also, I kid you not, an extremely large cemetery right in the middle of campus. That was bizarre.

So maybe things would have been nicer if we had gotten out of the car and looked around, but we had to get to St. Louis. So take my pithy review with a grain of salt. We just saw it from the road.

St. Louis and WUSTL: So then we went to St. Louis. The University is located on top of a hill in the middle of what seemed like a pretty nice area of town. We got there early so we explored the Delmar Loop, I think it was called. There were lots of restaurants and shops and it seemed like a cool area.

We then went to WUSTL's open house. The law school is a great looking building on a great looking campus. All of the buildings looked immaculate and the campus was gorgeous. Very clean, beautiful, and open. The inside of the law school also looked very nice. The students we heard from all said great things about the law school (and they seemed to be answering questions honestly.) They spoke very highly of the clinical opportunities that exist. There are eight or nine different clinics, I think, and every student is guaranteed to get into one, if you so desire.

We then took a tour of the law building. This was probably the most unimpressive part of the day. Most disappointing was the library, which seemed REALLY small. Now, maybe we were only lead through a small portion of the library, but since it was contained in the one building, it really seemed small. Even more disappointing than the apparent lack of resources was the dearth of study spaces. There were a few, but not many. And all the students we talked to said that they study most often at home or at one of the undergraduate libraries. The classrooms all seemed nice, though. The whole campus is wireless-ready, and all the classrooms have outlets to plug in laptops.

Then we all got herded into a big room where we heard a short talk from one of the professors. His name, I think, was Drobek or Drabek or something like that. He teaches Civ Pro, among other things, and talked about how he teaches cases like International Shoe. He seemed like an excellent professor as well as a really nice guy. I really enjoyed his lecture.

We then heard from the director of Financial Aid as well as a panel of three alumni. The Fin Aid lady seemed very nice and helpful, which is good. The alumni seemed pretty good and spoke well of WUSTL's national reputation (even though they all worked in St. Louis firms). One thing, however, that neither the alumni nor the current students seemed to think very highly of was the Office of Career Services. They didn't come out and say it, but it was just kind of the vibe I got. They kept saying how OCS would help you out, but it was ultimately up to you to do all the work. This is the case at all schools and all fields, I'm sure, but they just didn't seem too enthused about the whole OCS experience. One student even tried to temper her criticism by saying something like "but as you visit other schools you won't really find anybody who likes their school's OCS."  This certainly may be the case, it just sounded a little fishy to me.

So I hope this was of interest to somebody. Sorry I couldn't talk more about the law schools at AA and UC, but the purpose of our trip was really to find out more about housing and quality of life. I'll post law school trip reports in March when I plan on going to a bunch of places. Let me know if you guys have any questions!

Law School Applications / What's the best way to update app info?
« on: November 28, 2005, 09:43:25 AM »
I'm moving to a different apartment this week and changing my phone number. I was going to call all the law schools to let them know, but I wondered if it would be better if I e-mailed them. Do schools, as far as you know, have a preference?

Law School Applications / Dashed hopes from Chicago
« on: November 14, 2005, 07:12:30 PM »
When I opened my mailbox today, I saw a fat white 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelope that says in big letters on the front "Welcome to The University of Chicago Law School." As I read the envelope and felt the heft of its contents, my knees went weak and I dropped my other mail. I tore open the envelope and looked inside...

...and found A FEE WAIVER AND AN INVITATION TO APPLY!!!  AAAARRRRGGGHGHH!!  I swear, man, to all those in the other thread who said this is not a stressful time, I gotta disagree with you. Sigh... This should be against the rules or something to torture applicants with mail like this so late in the game. How could they not have noticed that I sent in my application a month and a half ago (and have received e-mail notification saying the app is complete?) I'm going to go sulk now...  ;-)

mods: Sorry for the thread title!

Law School Applications / Oklahoma update
« on: November 07, 2005, 04:52:09 PM »
I know there aren't many Oklahoma applicants here, but there are a few, so here is an update to my post from last week.

If you'll recall from the last post, I was accepted to OU but am required to put down a $100 non-refundable deposit if I want to keep the seat by December 9. Clearly, this is earlier than every other school on the planet, so I called them up.

I spoke with the lady in Admissions and told her that I have a few concerns about the early due date. My wife is applying for graduate school, OU didn't offer any scholarship money (and I said that scholarship money will play a part in where I decide to go), and I won't hear back from very many other schools by December.

She replied by saying that "what you'll want to do is accept the initial offer, and attach a note letting me know the date that you'll be able to give me a definite answer." She also said that scholarships are usually awarded a month or two after the initial acceptance letter (which means after the Dec. 9 deadline). Crazy.

Hope that helps a few of you.

Law School Applications / I got my first acceptance!!!
« on: November 01, 2005, 10:49:13 PM »
All right, maybe it's not exciting enough to warrant three exclamation points, but I'm still relieved that at least I got in somewhere. I got a letter today from the University of Oklahoma (my undergrad) telling me that I'm in.

Here's the weird thing, though. I need your advice on what to make of this. Included with the acceptance letter is a form that they say I need to fill out to "reserve my place in the 2006 class." I have to fill it out and include $100 by December 9.  Do I not understand the process, or is that INSANELY early? What do I do in this situation?

Law School Applications / Anybody heard from WUSTL?
« on: October 17, 2005, 11:22:24 PM »
I sent in my apps on October 2. Every other school I've applied to has requested and received a report, and a couple of them have already told me my app is complete. WUSTL, on the other hand, has not even requested a report. I've received no acknowledgement that they've received anything, and it's beginning to worry me. Furthermore, I received a packet in the mail today with a viewbook and a letter inviting me to apply and giving me a fee waiver. The letter is dated September 25! What's going on? Do I need to worry and call them tomorrow, or just sit tight and be patient?

This week is NOT going well for me and I'm in desperate need of some help. Here's my problem:

I had three people write LORs for me. L1 and L2 are from professors, and L3 is from my advisor/boss. I used LSAC's LOR service to process the letters. On the website, I ranked them L1, L2, L3 in the order that I wanted them. Letter writers 2 and 3 sent theirs in very early and both have been processed and posted on the LSAC website. That's the good news.

The bad news is that L1 took a while to get out. I sent it out on October 2, the same day I sent my applications. I was under the impression that my applications would not be complete until all of my letters had been received by the schools, so it was okay to send in the apps before L1 had been processed.

Today, however, I found on the website that 13 of the 17 schools I applied to have already requested reports AND that LSAC has responded by sending them all "First Time Reports" that include L2 and L3. Now, from what I understand, I believe that when LSAC gets around to processing L1, it will send an "updated report" that includes that letter (if someone could confirm that, I'd appreciate it.) But here's the real problem: One of the schools (Wisconsin) only accepts two letters. L2 and L3 have already been sent. BUT I WANT THEM TO GET L1! It's not that L3 is bad, it's just that L1 is from the professor I have spent the most time with and I'd prefer them to get two academic letters rather than a non-academic one.

So how do I go about fixing this? Will Wisconsin work with me on this, if I call them? What about the other schools? Do I need to contact them and tell them to wait to look at stuff until they get L1? This has been a really stressful week for me and I am feeling extremely distressed after learning all of this today. If any of you can offer any assistance, I'd really really appreciate it. If not, thanks for listening to me rant.

Law School Applications / Application/LOR Question
« on: October 07, 2005, 10:06:53 AM »
All right, here's the situation. I'm having 3 letters of recommendations sent to LSAC. #1 and #2 are from professors, #3 is from my advisor/boss. For schools that will take three letters, I'll of course send all three. But for schools that only take two, I want them to get #1 and #2.

Here's my problem. #2 and #3 were received by LSAC a couple weeks ago. #1 is on its way but has not arrived yet. Most of the schools that I applied to (I did them all last weekend), have requested and received an LSAC report. Does that report include my LORs? If so, how will they get letter #1? #1 is my best one and I REALLY want it to get to all the schools. Has anybody else had this problem?

Law School Applications / Post-app fee waiver?
« on: October 04, 2005, 01:00:51 AM »
So I applied to all my schools (including Cornell) yesterday. Today, lo and behold, I get a letter from Cornell asking me to apply and waiving my fee. Is there any way to recoup the $70 I already paid? Is there a way to do this without appearing greedy or nitpicky? I, like most college students, could really use the seventy bucks, but I don't want to appear like an ass by asking for it. What's the etiquette in a situation like this?

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