« on: April 14, 2005, 09:37:39 PM »
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.
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.
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.