Law School Discussion

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Messages - Towelie

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11
whereabouts is towelie heading this summer?

Westward-ho!

12
Awesome, thanks for the answers folks.

If I may ask another question...

I really liked how the dorms were like 2 feet from classes and the library.  Are they nice places to live?  Also, do LS tend to hang out only with LS?  Or do you chill with other grad students.

One more thing, for the classes for Wharton for the Bizznass cert, are they ridiculously hard?  Like warren buffets all over the place?

Thanks guys/girls, Penn is my top choice.

I haven't taken a Wharton class, so I can't say (though it is only because I'm getting a joint degree in another department, they are obviously available). Don't live in the dorm. CC is where it is at and West Philly is NOT where to be at night! That said, the dorm still attracts 50% of the 1L class, somehow, so if that's your thang then do it. It is very conveinant, but I still say move to Rittenhouse.

Some law kids only hang out with law kids, some hang out with undergrads, some other grads, and most a mix of all 3.

13
could you guys tell me about the social life, more specifically the bars and what not, because hey, who am i kidding?

The bars are AWESOME here. Lots of hole-in-the-wall type places that you'd walk by during the day and have no idea it had an amazing inside, drink menu, etc. You also have some better known, larger bars and there are quite a few sections of the city to go to if you want to have a great time. BYOB restaurants are also big in this city and because they don't need a liquor license the food is just as good but less expensive. Even if you are poor, you will enjoy the finest bars and restaurants in the city because that's where firms take you to recruit you.

14
What do you consider Penn's strength's in comparison to "higher ranked" schools like CCN?  What about compared to "similarly ranked" schools like MVB?

Penn's strength compared to Columbia and NYU... it is NOT in NYC!!! I may be the only person in the world who feels this way, but @#!* New York! The first thing I did when I got into Penn was call NYU to withdraw my deferred application there (they said they hadn't made a decision and let me withdraw and then rejected me 2 weeks later, but that's another story)...

Location aside, Penn wins as far as class size is concerned and, from what I have heard, student/faculty interaction. One of my best friends is at NYU Law and what he likes about it there is that the teachers are viewed as scholars and you don't approach them unless you have something well thought out to say. Well, at Penn, the professors are scholars but we are a bit more laid back - get ready to find yourself laughing in class, forming informal relationships with professors (I play Scrabulous with my Con Law professor on Facebook all the time and was tennis partners with another), etc.

As far as Chicago is concerned, it wins for size (and, for me, location... though I wish it were in Lincoln Park!) and I don't know about faculty/student interaction. I would say visit the two school and go to whichever fits you best.

As far as MVB, as someone who is going to northern California next summer I probably would have taken B over Penn had I got in (because I always knew I wanted to work in California). The advantages Penn enjoys over these schools are size, it is a private university (which I think is better), access to Wharton and the rest of the University (personally, I am getting a J.D./M.S. in the same amount of time it would take to get a J.D.), and it is close to DC and NYC if you like the East coast thang (which I don't, but some people do!) Also, statistically Penn has a numerically stronger student body.

15
Estimate, please, what percent is older than 30?  And are there any Spanish neighborhoods close to the University?

I don't know where the closest Spanish neighborhood is, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be more than a 15 minute commute from the Law School, though this is something you should contact LALSA (our Latin American Law Student Association - and while I realize this isn't Spanish, I think they could help better than I could).

A very small percent is over 30. But I would say something like maybe 3-5% are over 30? A lot of people are like 27-30, so if your cut-off were a little lower the percentage that I would guess would be higher. The number I gave you is a complete guess, though.

16
just dropping in-

studying for exams sucks.  that is all :P

but to back up what everyone has said thus far, i've been rather impressed with how far Penn's reputation has been carrying.  today, of course, was the first day to send info to firms and judges, so I'll report back when/if I hear anything personally.

You'll survive dude. And with your personality you'll get a job no matter what your grades. I had a friend get all B's first semester and get a 1L SA job. I think you'll be gold.

17
What about ages of students?  Spanish neighborhoods?

Age ranges from just out of college (even graduating early) to 50's. There are Spanish or Hispanic neighborhoods in Philly. Philadelphia is very culturally diverse, though not as much as NYC or SF I would say. 

18
Perhaps, but in the end we all get kick ass jobs so who the @#!* cares whether people think we are "overrated" or will "plunge in the rankings". You know? I'm still making 160k, getting one hell of an education, enjoying my time and the people I have gotten to know immensely, and that's fine enough for me! 

Agreed -- I'm just saying that on top of all that, I haven't yet encountered a hint of Penn's reputation being anything but stellar.  I've been even more impressed with the faculty and the school's reputation among lawyers and scholars than I expected.

Oh, for sure. Anecdotally, I received a 1L SA before grades even came out and was able to penetrate the California markets with ease, having no connections at all. Penn's name carries REALLY far (because lord knows it was not the strength of my TTT undergrad!) 

19
Honestly, I think the only place where Penn is considered "overrated" is on internet message boards.  In the real world, I'd say the most-overrated top school title goes to NYU.

Perhaps, but in the end we all get kick ass jobs so who the @#!* cares whether people think we are "overrated" or will "plunge in the rankings". You know? I'm still making 160k, getting one hell of an education, enjoying my time and the people I have gotten to know immensely, and that's fine enough for me! 

20
Do I think, according to US News, it is overrated? Probably. But that speaks more of my respect for the University of Chicago as a law school and institution in general than it does against Penn. Also, in no way do I think you would be sacrificing by choosing Penn over the University of Chicago, but I think in ways that US News determines its rankings (at least the public part), Chicago should be ranked higher. Penn is not historically a T6, and while it is building its faculty and attracting a top-notch student body, currently Chicago still has a slight edge in these areas and a few more (though I think Penn has some advantages too, of course). But in no way is Penn "vastly" overrated, but I could hear you out if you thought it could go down a spot or so. HTFH.  :D

This is because you're an econ guy. :D  I think Penn actually gets plenty of students who got in to Chicago, or would have if they applied, because people like me have such a strong East Coast bias (I didn't apply anywhere outside the Northeast Corridor).  I do think Penn should recruit more "star" faculty along the lines of Cass Sustein and Geoffrey Stone, but I love that our newest hires are both great teachers AND have superstar potential (Yoo, Wolffe, Coglianese).  I really can't compare to Chicago, since I didn't look there at all. 

Anyway, this is where personal preferences come in.  From what I've heard of Chicago, it seems like a very different school, but beyond any other consideration I knew I didn't want to be in the Midwest.

You're right - I am a Law & Economics guy and that does factor into how I feel. As far as recruiting faculty goes, I am on the Faculty Appointments Committee and meet twice a week with potential new faculty hires and, without disclosing anything I am not allowed to, let me just say we have some of the most amazing candidates I have ever seen and I see a LOT of growth in that area. I am really excited to see who gets hired and we have some great visiting professors right now.

Also, I like Chicago as a city better than Philadelphia, but that didn't play into my thoughts because I hate where University of Chicago is located (sorry UChi trolls, but Northwestern pwn3s you on this!)

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