« on: March 13, 2006, 05:33:09 PM »
I picked Syracuse for a lot of reasons. First of all, I got a sizable scholarship offer ($27,800). I also got a really good feeling from my visit. I only stayed for a few hours, just long enough for a tour of the law school buildings and to sit in on a first-year class, but somehow I walked away with a really good impression. Also, I have family in the area (my grandmother, for one, plus a bunch of more distant relatives). And the cost of living seems very reasonable. Apartments in the area are cheaper than what I'm used to where I live now, plus should I decide to stay in the area it seems like houses are very affordable, too.
Why not Case? I just found out today that I got a $20,000 scholarship there, but it's not enough to override my overall negative feelings about the school. For starters, the law school website stinks (outdated, lacking some potentially helpful info, etc.). A minor thing perhaps, but it seems like a law school ought to be able to update their website from time to time. I just visited Case over the weekend, and while I was trying to set up my visit I had a hard time with the law school admissions staff. One day last week I was completely unable to get through via phone - there was a recorded message that the phone system was down. Then I finally spoke to someone the next day, and she said she would e-mail some detailed info about visiting, and she never did. She also did not respond to my e-mail. I also e-mailed the generic admissions e-mail address, and after responding to their questions no one e-mailed me the info I needed. And the real kicker was, when I showed up for my tour, I was initially misdirected to the undergrad admissions office. Those people were very helpful and tried to call the law school admissions, but no one answered the phone. So I do not have a very high impression of the Case law school admissions people.
The tour was okay, but the tour guide was less than ideally knowledgeable. I asked about the parking situation (how much? how close?), but she had no idea. And apparently parking IS an issue, as I later read in one of the Case publications how the SBA was trying to secure more parking spaces for law students because they were forced to use a lot some distance from the school that was not in the best neighborhood. And apparently the shuttle only ran until 10PM, which seems very early to me.
And that brings me to the city itself. My boyfriend and I went for a drive around Cleveland and Case, and we discovered that Case (and the law school building in particular) is really close to some horrible neighborhoods. I think we stumbled into East Cleveland or something like that, and it was horrific. So I am not too enthused about the idea of being so close to such a bad area of Cleveland. Not that the rest of the city really impressed me, either.
On the positive side, my boyfriend (who is a 3L) was really impressed with the first-year class that we sat in on (Civil Procedure). And it is a higher-ranked school than Syracuse. But I am happy with my decision to go to Syracuse. I think that I'll be able to do better at Syracuse, and thus have a better shot at clinics and externships. Also, the CaseArc program at Case seems like a major pain. One year of legal reading and writing sounds like plenty, thanks.
All in all, I think that Syracuse is the better choice for me. And I am not interested in UCONN because (A) I haven't gotten any money from them; and (B) I did not enjoy the few semesters I spent at UCONN for undergrad, so I just have a bad taste in my mouth about them.
I'm not sure if any of this was helpful, but if you have any questions about either of my visits just let me know.