« on: January 31, 2006, 11:45:15 PM »
I had a request to review Madison from another user, so here I go. I am not a UW law student, I only completed my undergrad there, so I can speak more to the town then the law school. If anyone has specific questions, feel free to post them on this thread.
Let me start by saying I LOVE Madison. I grew up in upstate NY, so I never had any connection to the midwest until I came to school here. For you non-midwest readers, the Midwest is great, and nothing like any east coast stereotypes you might have heard (i.e. "middle-of-nowhere"). Ok, Madison is not NYC, but is anywhere really? Everyone here is super nice and I feel completely safe here. My friends in Albany, NY had their dorm room broken into while they were right next door. Here, everyone leaves the doors unlocked. Like any city, there are homeless/wandering people in Madison (much, much more in the summers than in the winters), but they are completely harmless and non-threatening. In NYC, I would never have a conversation with a random homeless person, walking by myself at night....but in Madison, I had a 20 minute conversation with one about Badger basketball! And when I turned down his request for money at the end of our conversation, he was completely cool with it and didn't bother me anymore. I guess the point I am making is that safety is no issue here. but I digress....
The social life in Madison is incredible. If drinking is your thing, there are bars galore. There are so many, that they can fall into lots of different sub-groups. There are the underage bars, the frat/sorority bars, the chill bars, the hippie bars, the "themed" bars and the "older" bars. The ones on state street (The main street that is closed off to cars and is like 10 blocks of stores, restaurants and bars that go from campus to the capitol) tend to be a younger crowd and the ones by the capitol tend to be older (grad/law students). Whatever you are feeling, you can find it. There are also a few dance and concert venues too. Lots of bands come to campus and for those who like indie/emo/rock, there is a cool venue at the union where a lot of good bands play. Milwaukee is only an hour-hour and half drive and gets a TON of music and events. Also, Chicago is only about 2 and a half hours and makes a great weekend trip.
Badger sports are big here. I was never a big sports fan before college, but now I am an addict. I have season tickets to Football, basketball and Hockey (all 4 years of undergrad). Football weekends are big time here, and everyone tailgates outside their apartments. Tons of fun and partying. A huge number of students go, even if they know nothing about Football. Basketball and Hockey have smaller crowds than football (as at any school) but nonetheless, are nutty events. The student sections are always full of die hards who get dressed up and rowdy. Every basketball game has been sold for the past several years and UW has lead the nation in hockey attendance for the past 15 years or so. They are all very fun things to do to put your mind to rest from work.
The Law school building is right in the heart of campus on Bascom Hill. You will feel like a part of the undergrad campus here since the law school is plopped in the middle of campus. I don't think this is a bad thing, since it is fun to be right by all the fun things on campus, like the union (which serves beer, one of the few student unions in the country that do....you can find beer anywhere you want here....even at the Laundromat! it was named best Laundromat in the country by USA Today) and library mall (which is a common area in the middle of campus that has a ton of ethnic food vendors set up when the weather permits). Also, being right on campus is nice if you want to get away from all the law students and study somewhere else. Like College library (right by the law school) which was named one of the best 10 non-alcoholic places in the country to meet women according to Playboy (by the way, girls here are very good looking! Can't comment on the guys). The Law school building itself is very modern and nice. Some people think it looks a little too "industrial", but I think it looks great. Everything is very new looking and cozy. The library has a nice, gigantic window overlooking bascom hill. Great view. The bottom floor has a "hang out" area with tables and chairs and is always bustling.
Ok, I realize I can go on forever about the school. I'll stop now and answer specific questions if you have any. To sum everything up, MADISON ROCKS and I would definitely recommend it. Plus, you don't have to take the bar exam if you want to practice in Wisconsin (as long as you take the proper classes)...you can't beat that! I would definitely be going here for another 3 years if I wasn't ready to try something new, so I might be going elsewhere. (if anyone has any comments on the schools I've applied to, let me know). Hope this helps!