I visited DU a couple weeks ago. I really like the school and absolutely loved the city. However, I'm having a hard time deciding between American University and DU.
AU is one of the most expensive schools in the country. I can allay some of those costs by living at home, but that would suck, and I'd still come out with well over 110k in debt. However, AU is known for its International Law program, which is what I want to study.
DU offered me a great scholarship and I really feel like I could be more competitive there. There are ample opportunities in the city and I loved the laid back vibe of life out by the mountains. I was told that the class size would be reduced to around 200 students from the upper 300's, but I wasn't offered any sort of guarantee on that. I feel like this would almost be a deal breaker. I'd like to go to a school with a smaller class size and a better faculty/student ratio. Can anyone confirm that this is actually happening or is admissions using this as a tool to lure people in?
The dean sent out an email a few weeks ago about ranking and mentioned that the class was going to be smaller, I canít remember if he said it was for this coming year or next, but if thatís what you were told maybe its for this years incoming class. Even then 300 would be for the day AND evening divisions, not just for the day. Our evening divisions was like 92 students. Plus your divided into like 60-70 person class sections out of the 200 day students (all night students are in one section).
I would NOT put much stock into thinking you would be more competitive at DU than AU, if you think that based on LSAT score. First and foremost its been my experience in real life there is not a very good correlation between LSAT and actual performance, not enough to give any credence to think you would do better at one school than another. Second it seems, again from personal experience, the more one prepped for the LSAT the lower the actual correlation is. Finally, it would be unwise to think that everyone who comes to DU came there as the highest ranked school they could get into. The vast majority of my classmates only applied to CO schools, even if their numbers where high enough to get them into better schools, because they did not want to leave the state.
In the end my advice would be go to the school and you think you will enjoy the most. DU has a good international program, but it does not likely make up for being in D.C. for the types of internships you could get. But you may change your focus anyway once you get in law school. So go to the school you think you will enjoy most for 3 years and is where you want to live after school. Good luck with your decision.
I didn't mean I'd be more competitive because DU isn't a good school. I meant more competitive for reviews and journals 1) because the class size would be significantly smaller and 2) I would be more competitive in the job market in Denver with a DU degree (arguably the 2nd best school in region, depending on who you ask) than I would be in the DC market with an AU degree (arguably 4th best school in region, depending on who you ask).
Go to the school in the region where you want to live/work after law school. DU is a good school but if you want to stay in the DC area, AU would be a smarter, easier choice. Because both schools are "regional" schools, law firms/attorneys are bias towards the students in area schools (bigger alumni base, regional office OCI, clercking during school year, tc). Besides, it is easier to network with people when you are already there. . .networking is HUGE. You have a tough decision ahead of you. . .but it is a good place to be. Good luck!