« on: March 27, 2006, 10:15:54 AM »
In the event that any LSDers are considering Toledo, I thought I'd share my experiences this past weekend at their Scholarship Reception and Admitted Students Day.
Overall, I must say that I was more impressed than I thought I would be. On Friday the College of Law wecolmed 10-15 students such as myself who've been offered a full scholarship. There were at least as many professors and students in attendance to highlight the school, their experiences, and answer questions. Afterwards, we all went to dinner in downtown Toledo at one of the nicest restaurants in the city. They really rolled out the red carpet, but were very honest at the same time. Dinner conversation was great (I sat next to Professor Closius - the previous Dean of the College of Law). I found him to be a very no nonsense, get'er done kind of guy, which I highly appreciate. He is very gung ho for pushing Toledo into a solid Tier 2 category (Median LSAT for full-time day is up to 159). There is a caveat to the whole full-scholarship offer that he was very candid about. Similarly to other schools, many of those scholarships extended for the first year will not be renewed (He seemed to believe 50-60% will hold on to it = maintain > 3.3 GPA). If you're in the top 20% at Toledo you'll have an excellent shot at finding placement in larger markets (Chicago, Atlanta, and Phoenix in particular). In Michigan and Ohio those in the top 50% will most likely find solid employment. The College made it a point to make clear that it does not teach toward the Bar in Ohio and Michigan and will continue to push its graduates to seek employment outside of the Midwest (SunBelt in particular). The Career Services people seemed personable and involved. About 40 firms recruit on-campus, >100 in their registry, and there are many efforts to coordinate alumni relations in 25 markets across the country. Jobs seem abundant after 2L, less so after 1L with school's externship program with judges, etc. making up for it.
Overall, the professors appeared to be exceptional and very student-oriented and are the strength of the school. The law school building itself facilitates for many encounters with faculty and it truly appeared as though the law students were friends with the professors as might be the case at a small liberal arts college. I was highly impressed by this. On Saturday, Professor Ben Davis offered up a mock class on international law. It was superior to the mock class that I sat in on at Villanova (which was very good).
The students also appeared to be quite intelligent, enthusiastic, involved, and excited to be there. Definitely not cut-throat but class rank is taken seriously by all. I will say, however, some of the students that showed up on Saturday at the Admitted Students Day did not seem to be of the same pedigree as those that went to dinner with me. Also, the students on the student panel on Saturday didn't make the best impression. I know that is judgmental but I am offering the honest feeling I got. From my experiences with students on Friday in combination with talking to a H.S. classmate who's a 2L, the student body nonetheless receives high marks. Guys...for the record, it might not have been a representative sample but the female law students that I ran into were quite hot. There were three at my dinner table alone. After meeting a girl named Tara, I find myself struggling to maintain objectivity. Seriously hot!
The facilities were a mixed bag. The school sits in a nice location, far removed from the undergrads and the exterior and surrounding grounds are nice. The law library is old, 70s-ish looking, with that pale yellow lighting -- this is a problem for me as I liked to study in the library during undergrad. One of two large lecture halls could be updated but all other classrooms, moot court, student lounges/offices are very nice/comfortable and updated with all technology. The student union (not a part of law building) is nice (has a starbucks too) and the athletic center is quite remarkable as well.
If I were in a serious relationship and absolutely knew where I wanted to work and what I wanted to do, I'd have no problem taking Toledo over all my other admits while busting my ass to perform at the top of my class, get on law review, and gain admission to the Order of the Coif. I would feel very prepared and confident that I could begin my career in any market that I would want to enter. However, I grew up and went to h.s. in Toledo and was quite excited to get away for undergrad and career. Coming back is a difficult choice as I've been away for 6 years and as an Economist realize the economic obstables in the Midwest and Toledo, in particular (although this is good for going to school there = cheap = more part-time work = $$ in law school).
I actually grew up down the street from the University and was not aware of all that it had to offer, which is a lot. Nonetheless, I do not like the Midwest, except for the friendliness, the Pistons, and some of the girls, and have especially grown to dislike the cold. As such, while I am confident that I'd receive as good of legal education/employment prospects as any other admit and would graduate with very little debt (assuming I perform at the top of my class which isn't going to be a cake walk), right now I cannot commit to attending.