In the event anyone is still perusing this thread, I just wanted to post my thoughts on my visit to Pierce today (since I, unfortunately, won't be able to make it to the admitted students event this Saturday). In three words: I LOVED IT. First impression driving up to the school was "wow it's located here???". It's smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood across the street from a park. I wasn't even sure it was the right place until I saw the sign out front. That being said, I was a teeny weeny bit turned off but thought I would go in with an open mind. I went in to the building and was immediately greeted by the Dean of Students- not on purpose though. He was in the lobby area conversing with a professor and saw a new face and immediately greeted me and asked me where I was from. He seemed REALLY nice. He was cracking jokes and everything because he thought it looked bad that he was lounging around on the lobby sofas. I definitely felt nice after our little chat. He seems like a Dean that would go out on a Friday with some students and grab a beer and talk classes and such. I liked that. Next I made my way into the admissions office and was greeted by the assistant dean of students and my ambassador (all admits get an assigned 2L for an ambassador). The assistant dean didn't even know I was coming but knew immediately who I was the minute I said my name- now THAT was nice...it shows they make an attempt to know the details of all admits. My ambassador was also very nice. She was the one who gave me a tour of the law school and she is definitely someone I probably would be friends with so at least I can guage the kind of students that go to Pierce. The law school is perfectly sized for me. Not too small and not huge that I feel like a nobody. My ambassador said the students refer to the law school as Pierce HS because of the size and nature of the school. Everyone knows everyone so you get to form bonds and friendships very easily. I loved the building. The new wing looked really nice. The classrooms looked great (most were very modern). The court was a little small for my tastes but what more can you expect of a smaller school so it was fine. The library definitely reminded me of being in HS again- which could be a good or bad thing. It's three floors but at the same time each floor isn't overtly spacious- again it's a small school so what can ya do. My ambassador told me the FP currently holds the largest collection of books on IP in the COUNTRY so if you're going into IP like me, this is a GREAT advantage. The atmosphere in the library was definitely nice, it looked like you could get your work done but there was also a little social feel as students were coming in and conversing with friends. The rest of the building was nice- the cafe, the computer labs, the school store (which I have to say is REALLY small- it's as big as some of their classrooms). The clinic area (which can only be accessed by people in clinics due to client confidentiality) looked really nice from what I can tell- I peered though the glass doors. With regard to the students, I was generally pleased. They didn't appear to be stuffy or cliquish. They all seemed chill and down to earth. For the most part, most of the students appear to be in the 21-25 age range so basically they're probably coming out of undergrad. Which for me is preferred since that's my age group anyway. Due to lack of time, I didn't get to sit in on a class so I'm not sure about classroom experience but I was told the socratic method is very rarely used. Speaking of academics, they don't rank. They only put you in a percentage group. They feel this lessens the competitiveness of students. I was told the students aren't really hardcore competitive to begin with so that is good. They generally help each other and it's a fun environment. My ambassador told me FP actually tries to discourage competitiveness (they say it hinders actual learning) and they do this again through the ranking system, the curve (which is a VERY bearable 3.0 compared to other schools), the teaching style of professors, and the grading system). Lastly, my thought on the professors is that they seem very approachable and friendly. I walked into a few classes as they were letting out and there was always a group of students huddled around the profs and they seemed more than happy to help. Also, while I walked around, I was greeted by at least 4 professors I walked past- very nice people. All in all, I was very pleased with my experience. I was ready to write a check for the seat deposit only that I didn't have my checkbook
. The school just clicked with me. It may not be for everyone (due to it being small). I just liked that I didn't feel uber intimidated by being in law school which is bound to happen in a bigger "prestigious" ivy school.
Now Concord: I thought I would be turned off having to be in yet another small town but Concord wasn't too bad. There were a lot of shops, restuarants, supermarkets, cafes, stores to go to. They had tons of malls with the regular big names (Target, Walmart, Sears, JC Penny, Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc). There were lots of hotels, fitness centers, bars, fast food joints, churchs, schools,etc so the town has everything you need. I wasn't blown away by the condition of some houses (I have high standards) but you get those in every town. I was, however, blown away by some of the buildings in town like the public library, the courthouse, the town hall, etc. They were VERY pretty and added to the ambiance of the city. I was told most student live near the school so if that's what you plan to do, there are tons of houses around the school so you shouldn't have a problem. If you have a car and want to live in actual apartment complexes with pools and such, there are a bunch around town particularly on Loudon Street (which is like a 7 minute drive) and those looked pretty nice.
Ok so that's it. I feel like I went on and on but I just really wanted to convey my total impression of the school particularly if someone who can't visit the school is reading this. Sorry if I didn't have a flowing order to my ramblings
. If anyone wants to ask me questions feel free to pm me. Good luck to those still making decisions.
P.S. Choose Pierce!