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Messages - Avicenna

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W&L > W&M

You're a fool.

Where did you get the idea that the 3L year will simply be playing gofer for a law firm?  The 3L year will still be mostly in a classroom setting, just as it currently is.  Although W&L is trying to brand this is some dramatic change, I really do not think it will be.

I think that some of the answers given by the W&L posters have been very misleading. When I asked whether the program allows for 3L's to opt out, Avicenna posted that it did. As it turns out, only the current students can opt-out, but ALL future students must submit to the new program as a 3L.

Now, this recent post by Lenny makes it seem as if the new curriculum is no big change and that 3L will still be mostly traditional classroom work. From all of the available articles, it seems that nothing could be further from the truth. Every article about the program identifies it as a radical change.

To get the truth, I went to W&L's own webpage:
-"The Washington and Lee University School of Law is embarking on a dramatic revision of its law school curriculum, entirely reinventing the third year"
-"Students will not study law from books or sit in classrooms engaging in dialogue with a professor at a podium.  The demanding intellectual content of the third year will instead be presented in realistic settings."

When it comes to your school, it is fine to be an advocate. But I don't think it is right to sell prospective students a false bill of goods. 


I'm at the ASD right now and I've gathered that the 3L program is optional even for my class(2011).
You are just flaming W&L. It's amazing how much time people have on their hands trying to belittle W&L.

Does this plan allow 3L's to opt-out if they wish and take regular electives as a 3L?

You can opt out if you want.
However, it is believed that students will choose the practicum track.

How can a school, namely W&L, drop almost 15% in bar passage rate in jurisdiction?
Was the 3L class not as bring as the year before?

So, getting back to some of the original points, the school will be hiring the same kinds of professors who will be able to engage in the traditional scholarship on their area of expertise, as well as maybe some new stuff.

I doubt it. Unless they leave the third year teaching in the hands of adjuncts, the new focus on professionalism and practice will require that they hire a whole new set of "practice-oriented" professors. Either way, this will turn off elite faculty. It will also turn off elite faculty that they can only teach law electives to 2L's. As odd as it sounds, the most influential law professors are generally not interested in or familiar with "practice". They care about scholarship and academia.

This is very true. If anything, this move by W&L goes away from what top law schools are doing. Interdisciplinary studies, economics and the law, and PhD/JD programs are what top schools have been focusing on and also what attracts the best faculty. While the top 6 schools rule the roost in these areas, you can see efforts by the top 25 schools (especially at Vanderbilt, WUSTL, UCLA, and Illinois) to compete.

What W&L is doing parallels more with the kind of practical legal instruction being offered at schools like Northeastern and Drexel. Lesser schools have used legal practice to distinguish themselves in competitive markets, but W&L sould not need to do this. I find it very odd and perilous that a school of W&Lís stature is doing this. 

Upset that you were Rejected Mr. Bruinbro?

This is good to know.
I just want my SO to feel comfortable. I'd hate it if she was the ony guest there.


Whoa, you patently did not read what I said from the way you describe what I said.  I NEVER said liberal art colleges were not as "prestigious" (which if you go back to my comments was a word I thought had no meaning in the first place)  as research universities.  I responded to an argument that liberal arts research universities were somehow more prestigious than research universities by saying I didn't think they were.  Of course a lot of state school are research universities, I went to the University of Maryland, just such a state school.  In general what I meant by research universities was what USNEWS calls "National Universities."

As to you second point, I absolutely never said they were not, I merely said I didn't think they were more "prestigious" because they were liberal arts schools.  They may be just as prestigious because they have top students, top faculty, and are wealthier, I merely said there is no a causal connection with being more prestigious and being a liberal arts school.

Seriously as I get to your point, I am really starting to get annoyed.  Where did I say quality of education is only relevant to undergrad.  I merely said that if you assume liberal art schools educate better and respect their graduates more because you think they are better educated you would probably be sophisticated to know that doesn't necessarily extend to the law school associated with the school.

As for your fourth post, you act like when you responded me to my post, I was the one who brought up the liberal arts thing.  I wasn't I was responding to a post two posts ahead of mine.  I was responding to their argument.  Plus as a third year law student I truly find it odd that you talk about quality of education in law school and some people receiving a better education.  Almost all law school use the same teaching methods to teach the same material.  Almost all law schools have comparably sized classes and almost all law schools of similar rank have about the same quality faculty.  There are slight variations and W&L has an especially good reputation for their student faculty, but be honest, law school is law school and the education is pretty similar no matter where you go to school.  The same is not at all true for undergrads.

This is what you said that I was responding to:

"You could be right that a few people might think liberal arts schools give a better education, but that would only be relevant to undergrads."

"I have never got the feel that people think of liberal arts schools as more prestigious [ ed. -- than what?]. "

And this is what you were responding to:

"Like I said, even if there is no difference between the schools as far as job prospects and academics, W&L definitely has the upper hand on prestige. A type of prestige that is known not to national universities,but liberal arts colleges. Don't  get me wrong, W&M is a great law school, offering amazing opportunities for law students and has a great undergrad reputation. "

I know you were responding to their argument.  I was as well.  I don't exactly agree with what they were saying, but I used it as a jumping off point.  I was pointing out that I believe that W&L enjoys a certain type of prestige that is distinct from that of the T14, and analagous to that of liberal arts colleges versus research universities for undergrad.  And I will reiterate: I'm not saying this because W&L is attached to a small liberal arts college; that is incidental.  I'm saying that W&L law has an atmosphere, educational experience, and reputation that is similar to that of a liberal arts college.

Now, I may have misinterpreted what you meant by those two lines, but nowhere in the context of the rest of your post do you make it clear that a) you weren't talking about the prestige of liberal arts colleges in comparison to universities similar to W&M rather than just the ivies, and b) you weren't talking about the quality of education at law schools not mattering in general.  The phrasing of your points was pretty ambiguous.

In response to your final post, I think that first of all, there are more factors in the quality of education that an institution provides than just curriculum and teaching method -- off the top of my head, class size and school atmosphere certainly play a role (and btw, I'm not personally arguing in favor of small v. big or whatever.  I'm just saying that there are a lot of people who hold very strong opinions about these things).

And second, I'm speaking here as someone who has a lot of experience with W&L Law alums as well as alums from other VA schools.  There is a small minority that holds W&L in very high regard because they see it as providing an unusually high quality legal education (compared to it's rank, that is).  On the other hand, and this group overlaps significantly with the former group, there is a small minority that sees UVA Law as basically a factory that hands out diplomas to people who just play softball for three years.

I'm not saying that either side is right, and of course you probably have better exit options out of UVA or any other T14.  I'm just saying that not everyone looks at it this way, and that W&L has a very specific sort of cache among a small group of people.
A lot of great points made here. There are a lot of people that have trouble understanding the type of education that W&L offers.

I can understand why you(philibuster) would find it hard to believe that that W&M is second in this fight, even if USNEWS has historically rated it lower than W&L. Whatever the case may be, I still feel that there are several reasons (implicit or explicit) as to why so many rating companies/publications believe W&L to provide a better legal educaton than W&M.
So many individuals on LSD will refer to the Vault 100 top firms list when discussing which firms are the best, yet no one(yet/to my knowledge)argues that this is an inaccurate method to determining the nations top biglaw firms. For the record, Vault lists W&L as a top lawschool and has no mention of W&M. Several other publishing companies have elevated W&L over W&M for a variety of reasons.

The point I've been trying to make is that for some reason or another, publishing companies have always admired W&L over W&M in terms of quality and prestige. That being said, we should accept that there must be something about W&L's program that academia believes to be superior to W&M. It's something unimportant, yet essential to consider in making a decision to attend either school.

I was thinking I'd go to W&M but then I got accepted to W&L.  W&L is ranked better at 25th compared to W&M at 31, but I'm having trouble figuring out why!?  The salaries listed on US News are a lot lower than W&M, and the acceptance numbers are about the same.  W&L doesn't seem like it belongs with Fordham and Illinois, maybe not even with W&M.  Is there something I'm missing?

Yes, you're missing something.  Over the last 13 years, W&L's average rank is 20.6 and W&M's is 30.4.

That doesn't really matter.  These are peer schools that feed into similar markets.  W&M actually sends a slightly higher percentage of the class to biglaw, and there is really no significant prestige gap here.
I disagree...
There is definitely proof that W&L performs better in biglaw(check out the NALP). If it is true that there is no difference between W&L and W&M, it's still better to choose W&L based on its slightly better reputation. It's like arguing that BU and BC are virtually equal, yet BC(according to Ciolli) has a better track record for biglaw than BU. BU carries much more prestige than BC both historically and presently. If you ask me, prestige differences matter when your deciding on a list of sub-T14 law schools.

W&L has historically been considered a sub T-25 school, while W&L has historically been considered a top 20 school.

You have to realize that W&M has more of a university type setting than W&L. W&M has a law school, business school, grad school, undergrad, etc. On the other hand, W&L is a liberal arts college that happens to have a law school-- granting it "university" status. The difference is size and the amount of influence that the separate colleges(both graduate and undergraduate) has on the performance of the schools.

One of the reasons W&L gets so much flak is because it is a small "liberal arts" university in a small rural town. Like I said, even if there is no difference between the schools as far as job prospects and academics, W&L definitely has the upper hand on prestige. A type of prestige that is known not to national universities,but liberal arts colleges. Don't  get me wrong, W&M is a great law school, offering amazing opportunities for law students and has a great undergrad reputation. Be that as it may, we must take into consideration that W&L has always been ranked better than W&M--for whatever reason. We can't always conclude that there must be some conspiracy behind this.

Greetings W&L asders,

Are any of you bringing your significant other to the ASD(03/28-29)?
I know guests are allowed(according to the ASD invitation), but is it normally acceptable to bring your gf/bf/wife/husband?

Just curious.

I think Lenny's contention is that top 10% at W&L is not at a disadvantage when compared to a UVA median graduate. The raw numbers don't do anything to help the argument in favor of UVA median > top 10% at W&L, because we have no idea where those grads placed in their class. Due to the sheer size of the UVA class (375!), there are 95 top 25% graduates per year. That could easily account for all those listed by BruinBro for the DC firms, especially since UVA is known for sending a lot of their (best) grads to DC.

It's entirely a negative argument at this point, but that's only because the initial posit hasn't been defended in a while.

It's a bit difficult to separate the W&L flaming from the actual raw data. LSD tends to produce posters that criticize the T-25(usually Iowa, W&L, and Emory) for various reasons.   

W&L is a small law school and a small university(even among liberal arts colleges). People need to realize that W&L job statistics are going to reflect their small class sizes. It seems extremely difficult for individuals on LSD to grasp this concept. It's not difficult math. Any informed 0L or law student would not argue that W&L has better job prospects than a T-14. That being said, many will argue that W&L is the best among T-25 schools, and could rightfully do so(with bias included).

I think W&L students(Lenny for example) would know more about W&L than the average troll on LSD.


I think all three options should be thrown out. Attend the best school that accepts you with or without the June LSAT. If the LSAT is a "true" predictor of how well you will perform in your first year of law school, than you should have a reasonable shot at placing high at any of these schools. Wait it out for a year and apply transfer to UVA, regardless of your situation. That is the best chance you have of getting into UVA(assuming you get rejected during this cycle).W&L to UVA(transfer) will not be as hard as you think--I've heard of some amazing success stories.

Quoting myself: "If the LSAT is a "true" predictor of how well you will perform in your first year of law school, than you should have a reasonable shot at placing high at any of these schools."
- I would just like to add that I don't believe this to be true.However, I will not refute this claim since their seems to be statistical evidence proving some correlation. I just find it hard to believe(across all scales) that a five hour exam displays the type of work ethic and intellect an individual will bring to the law school class.

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