Law School Discussion

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Topics - Stuje1

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21
So it seems like Hastings still has an amazing rep in cali (lots say even better than Davis, despite the lower ranking), but why in the world did their rankings plummet so much over the span of the USNEWS rankings?   They started off so high and then dropped, what is the reason?    It seems like between 1994 and 1995 is where it all happened....did all the professors leave simultaneously that year or what?

1991 20
1992 19
1993 23
1994 20
1995 45
1996 45
1997 Not top 50!
1998 41
1999 29
2000 32
2001 36
2002 40
2003 37
2004 38
2005 39

22
Where should I go next fall? / "The Law School Game"
« on: March 01, 2006, 04:47:12 PM »
I'm sure this has probably been posted on the board before, but not since I have been a member, so I thought I would post it again for anyone who hasn't seen this yet.

This is a "game" (it's not really a game) where you can give your own weights to different criteria and it will re-rank the law schools for you.  It was created by a prof. at Indiana U in Bloomington.  It is pretty interesting.
http://monoborg.law.indiana.edu/LawRank/play.shtml

note: Any stats majors out there?....I was wondering if the different variabilities within certain categories could cause one factor to influence the rankings more than the others, even if you give them equal weight.

23
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / West = Midwest = East
« on: February 28, 2006, 04:21:20 PM »
Well, I was thinking about how the schools in different regions compare to each other....solely on their reps and not anything else (regional reps and ability to "travel" with your degree).  I came up with the chart below, off a whim.  I do not neccesarily agree with all of my choices (clearly some are very interchangeable).  Curious what others think and would like to hear in what ways you disagree.  Thanks! 

West----Midwest ----East (North-East)
Stanford----Chicago----Yale/Harvard/Columbia/NYU
Berkeley----Northwestern----Georgetown
USC----Minnesota----George Washington
UCLA----Notre Dame----Boston U
U Wash----Ill/Wash U----Boston College
UC Davis----Iowa/Wisconsin----Fordham
UC Hastings----Indiana/Ohio State----Marlyand/American


24
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / My review of Indiana-Bloomington
« on: February 25, 2006, 11:59:02 PM »
My previous review of Wisconsin got a great number of responses and interesting array of side topics, so I thought I would try and start another one.

I visited IU-Bloomington this weekend for their mini-admitted student open house.  There were about 12 of us and the day included a panel with staffers, a tour with a student (broken down to groups of 4), lunch with students, and a sit in on a con-law class.

As so many before me have said, the staffers at IU are great.  They are all super friendly, outgoing and very helpful.  They all were all very interested in us as individuals (they all knew my name and everything after saying it once) and were able to give helpful/informative advice. (On a side note, one interesting bit of info they gave us is that this is shaping up to be one of the most competitive classes they have ever had and that apps are up around 17%, while we know they are down at most schools).  They were able to joke around a bit too and I could tell that I would clearly be friendly with them if I became a student.  They seemed like they could all be "my buddy."  After the day was over, one of the adcomms invited us to talk further and a few of us went up and just shot out questions for another half hour or so. 

The law building is very nice. I can't tell if it is old or not, but it must have been renovated a lot if it is.  It is very clean and has lots of new furniture, so it looks newer then it probably actually is.   It has nice wood flooring.  When you walk in, there is a little open area with black leather couches in a square (good study area).  I really liked the library (ranked #1 in National Jurist Magazine): it had really big windows looking out into the wooded area behind the library. The big windows and the skylight resulted in lots of natural light, making it seem very conducive to studying.  It is 4 floors with lots of seating and tables all around.  The student lounge is pretty nice...the regular part is pretty typical but they have another room connected to it with couches and a big tv, so it really is a "lounge" area and not just a study space.   There were a few downfalls.   There seemed to be a lack of classrooms, but that problem will be remedied in the next year or two with their new mini-building across the street and some new classrooms they are building in the library (approximately 4 new classrooms).   The actual student area seemed a little small.  The only real "student space" is the library, the little area when you come in and the lounge.  Just seemed a little lacking on places to be and might get crowded for studying space during busy times.   There is no cafeteria in the building, but there are restaurants right outside the school and a deli being built in the new mini-law building across the street.

The campus area is a very big plus.   The law school is right in the heart of the campus, about two buildings over from the main area.  All throughout the campus is lots of green space and wooded areas (with streams).  It is very pretty and would be great for studying outside or taking nice, relaxing breaks.  All the buildings are done in old stone, and it truly looks like an Ivy campus.   The Union is really big (supposedly biggest in country) and has lots of food choices, a hotel and full bowling alley. It is about a 3-5 minute walk from the law school.  The main street, kirkwood, ends right where the campus starts and is about a 2 minute walk from the law school.  It has a ton of stores, restaurants, bars, etc.   It is really conveniently located.  I ate at a really cool bar which featured 80 different kinds of beers!   The downtown area is very nice and reminds me a lot of other big ten schools (like Madison, my UG).   Outside of the downtown/campus area, I don't think the rest of bloomington has too much to offer, but I don't really think you need to leave the immediate vicinity.   80% of the law students live within 8 blocks of the school.

The students who visited with me were a good mix, from all over.  I guess 60% of IU law students are out-of-staters, which is almost unheard of for a state school.   The conlaw class was good and very interesting, but I think it's hard to judge the quality of all their classes based on one sit in.  What I did notice was that the students had extremely excellent questions.  They were jyst very thoughtful and creative questions that really made me think about things in clever and different ways.  I could tell they were very intelligent and that I would learn a lot from being in classes with them.  I attended the finals of their moot court competition that night and it was very well attended (full) and very exciting.  They had a great judging panel (including a fed. appeals judge) and the whole thing was very intense.  Great thing to experience…also VERY intimidating….takes guts to get hammered by fed and state judges (and partner at top firm).   

Well I have babbled on long enough.  After visiting, I would say IU is definitely still one of my top choices.   I am sure I would be happy to spend my 3 years there.  We'll have to see how the competition stacks up now.  Please let me know if anyone has any questions, I'd be glad to answer them!
 

25
Denials / Illinois Deferral--->Rejection
« on: February 21, 2006, 04:00:19 PM »
Well just a few days after my Iowa deferral turned into an acceptance, another of my deferrals goes the other way.  1 out of 2 ain't bad (2 more to go).   I honestly was going to withdraw from there after this weekend (I'm not just saying that to make myself feel better, I really was  :) ).  I am visiting IU this weekend and was going to drive through Champaign-Urbana just to give it one last look before withdrawing (make sure there wasn't something that stood out).  Guess they made that decision for me!   oh well. 

What is surprising me the most is that I have heard back from 2 deferrals but am still waiting on 7 initial notifications! 

26
4 months later and I am still waiting for a first word on almost a third of my schools.  I'm curious on others opinions on how this affects their decisions.  I am already starting to form favorites and focusing my research on schools that I've heard back from.  Not to mention I am starting to plan visits and most of my free time until April is now booked.    So for me, these schools that wait until so late to notify me are definitely going to have some ground to make up.   I was wondering if other people felt the same way...and if so, don't the schools realize this and shouldn't they get a move on things?!

27
Where should I go next fall? / Poll: BC, Indiana, Iowa or Colorado?
« on: February 17, 2006, 08:12:41 PM »
Couple of things about my above Poll:
   -The 4 listed are my top four choices as of now.   Of the four, I have only visited Iowa, but have plans to visit the other 3 soon.  I am still waiting to hear from 7 more schools plus 3 deferrals (I applied to a lot of schools!)
   -Money (cost) is certainly one factor in my consideration, but in no way is it the factor.
   -I have no strong preference on where I will end up practicing (I would be happy to end up any of the school's nearby cities)
   -So I guess things that do matter to me are: professors interesting, job prospects, students friendly, nice law building, fun law school town/city, big city nearby is nice to live/pratice in, cost, nice library, pretty campus, social students, things to do (sports, bars, arts, etc),  uncompetitive environment, good career services, wealth of class offerings, etc.   

I'm not sure if these polls annoy people or not, but I enjoy voting, so I hope you do too!  Let me know why you picked what you did (if you want).  Thanks!  ;D

28
Acceptances / Iowa Deferral--->Acceptance
« on: February 15, 2006, 06:12:52 PM »
My Iowa deferral turned into an acceptance today!   I am very psyched!   I was very surprised that I heard from one of my deferral schools so early (in Feb), especially so quickly after my deferral letter (less than a month).   Who's going to the admitted students day on the 3rd?

29
Where should I go next fall? / Case vs Ohio State
« on: February 09, 2006, 02:56:11 AM »
I was wondering everyone's opinions on the two.  Obviously one is a private school and one is a big state university, but how else do the two compare?

I was a little surprised by the job placement comparisons.  OSU had a 94% placement rate and average starting salary of $63,700 (resulting in a princeton review career rating of 75) and  case has 98% placement rating and a starting salary of $82,000 (resulting in a princeton review career rating of 85).   Is the big reason for the difference the cities in which they are located (Cleveland being a bigger market than Columbus)?

Any opinions on this and any other comparisons between the two would be much appreciated!

30
Law School Applications / UC-Hastings Status Checker
« on: February 09, 2006, 12:05:42 AM »
I've been obsessively checking my Hastings status checker everyday.   When my app was first in, it said something like "received."  then a few weeks later the status changed to "Complete-ready to review" and of course, the "status date" changed with it.  Since then (several months) my status date has changed 3 times but the actual status has not.   Is this happening for anyone else too or is mine just crazy?   It gets me all excited when I see a new date under "status", but nothing else changes!

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