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Law School Admissions / Re: Stanford 1L taking questions
« on: December 17, 2008, 12:21:09 PM »
Maybe this isn't a great question for a 1L, but I'm sure you have a perspective from when you were choosing schools:

How portable is a Stanford degree really, compared to YH? If one's long term goals involve work in DC or NY, do you think attending Stanford could put one at a disadvantage? I kind of dream of going to LS on the west coast, but I know I won't be relocating there permanantly.

As an SLS 2L, I'd like to add my two cents about recruiting: Although most Stanford students prefer to stay on the West Coast (self-selection), I've not noticed any disadvantage for people looking in NY or DC.  Even friends of mine who were substantially below mean were able to get fantastic NYC firm jobs, including offers from V10 firms.  In DC, it's a bit harder, but I know many people who got offers from top DC firms.  I don't know anyone who didn't get the location they wanted, and almost everyone I knew got their top choice firm (and many offers overall).

Although our lay prestige on the East Coast may not be as strong as Harvard's and Yale's, we do benefit tremendously from our small size.  Most firms would like to have at least a few SLS students in their summer classes, and because (1) there are so few of us to begin with, and (2) an even smaller number go to the East Coast, we tend to fare just fine.

Job Search / Re: Any thoughts on splitting the summer...
« on: October 09, 2008, 09:37:11 AM »
Won't be splitting this summer.  Because offers may be more difficult to get from the firm SA program, I'd rather not test the waters when the offer letter says one thing, but everyone in the firm told me another re: splitting.  Seems like non split-friendly firms may be OK with 3-4 weeks at a 1L firm so you can hedge and get a second offer, but I'm not planning on even doing that.

Really?  So you're turning down your 1L firm in order to maximize your chances at the 2L firm?

I agree that SF Bay Area doesn't seem as split-friendly, but I think it's easier if one firm is in SF and the other is in Silicon Valley.  If both are in the same location, then it might be harder to justify.  Also, if you manage to squeeze in 8 weeks at each place (as opposed to 5-6), then you'll have more time to make a good impression.

I personally will probably split between an SF firm and my 1L firm (in Silicon Valley), but the 1L firm is only asking for a few weeks at the end of summer.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Stanford or take the money?
« on: March 08, 2008, 11:50:35 AM »
Hmm, I personally see this as being more detrimental than positive, but I think it's a very personal matter. I'm the type of person who likes to not know everybody in my school, and I know there are a lot of others like me, although a lot of people do want to know everybody.

There are other benefits to a small school than knowing everyone.  I appreciate the smaller class sizes: my largest class right now is 55, whereas I think the first-year classes at HLS are around 80.  It's easier for teachers to remember our names and get to know us, especially in our small section classes.  This, in turn, means better recommendations, references, etc.  Small seminar classes are also easier to get into, because there are fewer people applying for the lottery--pretty much anyone who wants it will get in.

Law Review here is not nearly as cut-throat. Like HLS, we accept 40-45 students a year for Law Review, but unlike HLS, we only have 100 people compete. 

Jobs at some places are actually easier to get--a few firms will take 1 student each from SLS, HLS, and YLS--but whereas SLS and YLS are small and only have 4-5 people applying, HLS, by virtue of its size, has many more applicants for that one spot. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Stanford or take the money?
« on: March 08, 2008, 11:39:27 AM »
Ew. I have heard terrible things about the quarter system. What do you anticipate will be the effects of this switch at SLS?

I actually think it'll be a great change.  Dean Kramer is pushing for more cross-disciplinary education, and the quarter system is supposed to put us in line with the rest of Stanford, making it more convenient to take classes in the b-school, the college, etc.  SLS is also expanding its joint degree programs; it will become a lot easier to get a joint degree under the new quarter system.  I have a number of friends who are getting their JD/master's in three years.

The first year will be probably be modeled much like 1L at UChicago, where Kramer used to teach.  Some first-year classes will span two quarters, others will last just one.  There will be more "finals periods" but I don't think you'll actually take more finals.  SLS is also planning making clinical rotations-- i.e., you would be able to spend an entire quarter in an international human rights clinic, externing in NY or DC, etc.  I think that's actually better, because you can focus 100% of your energy on the clinic, rather than trying to juggle a clinic and 2-3 classes at the same time.  3Ls would end classes a few weeks earlier than everyone else so that they still have the same amount of time to study for the bar.

I don't think that it will cause a problem for summer employers.  All the top firms are already used to Chicago's quarter calendar.  And apparently, SLS has already talked to many firms, and it won't impact how they approach recruitment of Stanford students.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Stanford or take the money?
« on: March 07, 2008, 09:24:14 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I'm facing a similar situation. . .

23 weeks? How could this be right? Do you know anyone who has tried to and actually gotten 2 summer gigs???

Also, how small exactly are your classes?

Ah, I just recounted and it looks like the summer will only be 21-22 weeks.  Still long, but not quite 23 weeks.  We are switching from semesters to quarters, so we end in early May and then start up again in late September.  I know a few people who split two different jobs during 1L summer--usually, one of the limits on 1L options is the fact that our summer is really short because of OCI-- so if we have a longer summer, it could very well be possible.

Our overall class size is about 175--which is smaller than Yale (200) and Harvard (550).  Our section size is 28-30, which is much smaller than HLS, and unlike HLS, we have a doctrinal class with just our section.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Stanford or take the money?
« on: March 06, 2008, 08:56:59 PM »
My family is pretty midde class and I did well for need based aid undergrad... I'm assuming SLS has a pretty good need based aid program? Anyone whose gone through the process have any idea of what kind of awards they give out and when I can expect them? I wouldn't say my family is poor, but our EFC for college was in the teens. Now, my EFC is obviously 0, but that's because I'm considered independent by FAFSA and have no income.

Congratulations on getting into Stanford! I believe that Stanford FAO releases aid awards around now, and they are really generous.  FWIW, I worked for three years after college and had some savings when applying to law school--SLS still gave me a very substantial financial aid package.  Costs of living considered, the first year here is costing me pretty much what I would've paid at CLS with the Hamilton. 

I don't regret turning down the Hamilton one bit.  In the long run, 50K isn't that much--either you'll be a high-paid lawyer who can easily pay it off or you'll do PI work and get the benefits of LRAP.  But being here with the super small class size, the brilliant professors, the beautiful campus, the outstanding weather, and the SLS reputation really make the extra costs worth it.

Also, if you decide to come to SLS, your first summer will be extremely long (~23 weeks), so if you wanted to, you could probably work two firm jobs and make enough to pay for 2L year entirely.

Law School Admissions / Re: Stanford 1L taking questions
« on: February 13, 2008, 12:30:32 AM »
Any idea when we'll hear about the grading? It's very intriguing to me. I think it would seal the deal--no competition would be wonderful.

Grade change is not looking so likely at the moment, but Dean Kramer has indicated that if passed, it wouldn't take effect until fall 2009.  Hope this helps!

Students here at SLS are generally pretty easygoing and not so competitive.  To give you a rough idea, about 20% of the 1L class decided to take all their first-semester classes pass/fail, most of them in protest of Stanford's numeric grading system.  People here share notes all the time, study in groups, and pretty much everyone is willing to help others out with questions.

When I was deciding between schools, the main differences I considered were geographic location and class size.  I really wanted to stay in California, and I was very attracted to the smallness of SLS--our sections are 28 students each. I am extremely happy with my decision (probably in large part because it's currently 70 degrees and sunny in the middle of winter).  Like dashrashi said, your decision depends on what factors you consider important.

In terms of quality of life, I think it depends on what you make of it. Both schools are high-ranked enough that we attract gunners vying for the most prestigious clerkships, academia, etc.  If you are one of those people, you will work very hard regardless of which school you pick.  But if you just want to get a firm job and/or a decent mid-level clerkship, then you can set your own pace and your quality of life at either school will probably be pretty good.

Law School Admissions / Re: Stanford 1l taking questions
« on: October 01, 2007, 12:12:39 AM »
I think it feels pretty small at Stanford, although not claustrophobically so.  YLS and UofC are both actually bigger than SLS, and I don't think that UofC has a non-LRW small section. 

I'm definitely glad that section size is 28 at SLS as opposed to 15-17 at YLS-- it's enough people to have a good variety of potential friends and study mates.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: The LGBTQ Thread
« on: September 25, 2007, 07:49:13 AM »
What about putting Stanford on the list?  SLS is a wonderful place to be gay.

This true? SLS always struck me as being really fratty/preppy, and kind of conservative. I'd be happy to hear that was a gross misimpression though.

Stanford is probably a bit frattier but much less preppy than HY.  We had one Federalist society, but other than that, the school is pretty liberal/progressive, with a slew of civil rights clubs, progressive societies, big liberal political presence, etc.

Our former dean, our dean of students, and our dean of admissions are all lesbians, and several of our famous profs are LGBT.  Our current student co-presidents are both LGBT.  Definitely welcoming.

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