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Messages - Towelie

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21
Back to the OP...

Are you ever worried Penn will plunge down the T14 rankings for being "over-rated" or gaming US News?  Are you ever troubled by the fact that some people think it is vastly overrated?  Do you find any truth in those accusations?

First, let me say I love Penn. I love it to death. I am probably one of the biggest Penn trolls out there.

That said, am I "worried" that Penn will plunge down the T14 rankings as you put? Hell no. What do I have to be worried about? I don't want to clerk, I have job(s) lined up, and firms are NOT up to date with US News enough to know that Penn is #6 now, much less that it might be #8 next year and #7 the next. So, no I am not worried (though, for the record, I also don't think Penn will "plunge" in the rankings. It might drop next year, but it won't "plunge").

Second, I am likewise not troubled by the fact that some people think Penn is "vastly" overrated. 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

22
Is it true that Penn 2Ls don't have to attend classes and can just travel all over the globe instead?

Haha. Yes, this has been my semester. This semester, my travel has included: Chicago, Tucson, San Francisco/Palo Alto (4 times), LA (3 times), San Diego, New York (2 times), Portland, Seattle, Jamaica, and Miami (some of this was for callbacks) and this winter break I am going to Amsterdam, Brussels, Miami, The Bahamas, Honduras, Mexico, and Belize. In other words, you can definitely travel a LOT as a 2L at Penn.

I set my schedule up next semester so I only have class Tuesday-Thursday so I can, hopefully, travel more (I'm hoping London, Paris, Morocco, Montreal, Toronto, Vermont/New Hampshire, and, well, who knows where else). We'll see though.  ;)

How does this travel program work???

Cady and Legapp are right, I wisely took a firm job last summer making BANK and I took that money and spent it on travel. Granted about 3 of my trips to SF/Palo Alto were paid for, along with a trip to LA, NYC, and a few more, but other than that I've paid for it myself. Ask Legapp or Cady, I come from a poor background - but working a firm job my 1L summer opened up a stream of income to me that I've been able to use to see places in the world and country I never thought I'd get to experience. I'll be working too hard as an associate to appreciate travel, might as well do it now.

23
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about Penn?
Also...how would you evaluate Penn's Constitutional Law Program and clerkship opportunities compared to other T14 schools?

Your first question is a bit vague, but I can answer better if you ask me something more along the lines of, "I heard ____.  Is it true?"  I guess the one thing I thought as an applicant was that going to a higher-ranked T14 (Columbia, for example) would be more helpful as far as getting a Biglaw job.  Not true!  Anyone who can give a halfway decent interview can get a good firm job, even with pretty bad grades.  The hardest part of OCI is choosing which job offer to take!  I'm guessing this is true for most T14s--in fact, I would say the general misconception of prelaws is that you can make a meaningful comparison between the closely-ranked T14 schools based on exit options/prestige.  Possibly excluding HYS, just choose the one you like the best!

I can't compare between schools, but we have some really great Con Law scholars here, as well as a great variety of classes.  I'm taking a seminar in First Amendment theory next semester.  Our ACS (American Constitutional Society) chapter is the biggest in the nation, bringing tons of great speakers--most recently, the woman who argued the Seattle Schools case before the Supreme Court last term.  Ted Olsen and Larry Tribe were also just here to give a talk as part of programming in conjunction with the National Constitution Center.

As for clerkships, I think that's the area where HYS is really separated from the rest of the T14.  That said, Penn has two grads clerking for the Supreme Court this year, and I know several people going to prestigious circuit clerkships (including Kozinski).  You'll be able to get Federal District with average grades, possibly even poor grades depending on the district.  If you do well, you can go anywhere.



I can't stress the first part of what Legapp said enough - as far as BIGLAW is concerned, your grades basically have no effect on whether or not you can make top dollar in a market that you want. Granted, the better the grades, the more options you will have, but as someone whose grades were in the lower half, I was still able to pull off V5 and other prestigious firms, even in markets I had no connection to.

24
Is it true that Penn 2Ls don't have to attend classes and can just travel all over the globe instead?

Haha. Yes, this has been my semester. This semester, my travel has included: Chicago, Tucson, San Francisco/Palo Alto (4 times), LA (3 times), San Diego, New York (2 times), Portland, Seattle, Jamaica, and Miami (some of this was for callbacks) and this winter break I am going to Amsterdam, Brussels, Miami, The Bahamas, Honduras, Mexico, and Belize. In other words, you can definitely travel a LOT as a 2L at Penn.

I set my schedule up next semester so I only have class Tuesday-Thursday so I can, hopefully, travel more (I'm hoping London, Paris, Morocco, Montreal, Toronto, Vermont/New Hampshire, and, well, who knows where else). We'll see though.  ;)

25
No you're a towel!



Am I to understand there's been some sort of Towelie-ban?

26
I wouldn't worry about scaring off firms--if you want a Biglaw job, you'll get one coming from Penn.  I question, however, whether a MBA and the extra year of school--and the money it would cost--is necessary.  You can take four Wharton classes to get a stronger business background if you hope to move in-house.

I recently sat in on a lunch with a Penn grad who is the CEO of company that handles lab tests for hospitals.  He said he had no business training, but he learned on the job.

In short, if you have rich parents that will pay for your degree, by all means go for it.  School's great!  Otherwise, it really isn't necessary.

Right, but even it is unnecessary to 99.9% of people, some people may benefit from it...and besides, it is Wharton. It is just ridiculously hard to get into with no work experience! But they are going to start a 3 year JD/MBA in the near future (I believe), which will be much more economical and appealing (and I think it will only take 3-4 people, so super competitive).

Alright awesome.  Thanks so much for the advice.  I don't have rich parents haha, so I was only going to do it if it seemed like it would give me a huge advantage.  Also, good point about me getting into Wharton, I don't think that my status as a part-time LSAT tutor would constitute "work," let alone working as a landscaper :D.

Also, what's the night life like?  I go to a very large school in Pennsylvania that is notorious for football and beer.  I think you can figure it out.  And no it's not Pitt, because Pitt sucks!  Just curious if you could give me a feel for the vibe at Penn; I'm really over the drunk sloppy sorority girl scene at Penn State. ha

I went to a large party state school so I can very easily relate to the switch. There is a world of difference. While the night life is fun (and mostly consists of bar hopping in Center City or Old City) there are also plenty of grown up things to do like go to lectures, operas, etc. The restaurant scene is amazing in Philadelphia and there are some great bars too.

There is a good-sized undergrad population though, so if you long for keggers and house parties, I'm sure you can find them... but it's not usually what the law school does (though there have been some keggers this year which have been rather enjoyable).

27
I wouldn't worry about scaring off firms--if you want a Biglaw job, you'll get one coming from Penn.  I question, however, whether a MBA and the extra year of school--and the money it would cost--is necessary.  You can take four Wharton classes to get a stronger business background if you hope to move in-house.

I recently sat in on a lunch with a Penn grad who is the CEO of company that handles lab tests for hospitals.  He said he had no business training, but he learned on the job.

In short, if you have rich parents that will pay for your degree, by all means go for it.  School's great!  Otherwise, it really isn't necessary.

Right, but even it is unnecessary to 99.9% of people, some people may benefit from it...and besides, it is Wharton. It is just ridiculously hard to get into with no work experience! But they are going to start a 3 year JD/MBA in the near future (I believe), which will be much more economical and appealing (and I think it will only take 3-4 people, so super competitive).

28
Quick question... I'm a senior and I'm applied early decision to penn.  I was thinking about trying to do the JD/MBA program, but I've heard that it can scare off big firms because they  get the perception that you may not be 100% to staying in the law.  Have you heard anything about this?  Thanks!

If you are a senior applying ED to Penn that most likely means you have no work experience and so getting into the MBA program would be INCREDIBLY hard, I would imagine. They love work experience at Wharton, whether you are a JD student or not.

As far as it hurting you with law firms, I haven't heard anything of the like. I know a few JD/MBA students and they've worked at great firms (including one I'm going to this summer ;)). A JD/MBA won't hurt your legal career - whether or not it will help it is the real question. 

29
i meant criminology.  i was in crim law with towlie last year...not sure if you were there, but if you both were in section three, then you were :)

nope, i was section 2.  ah, yes, towelie is indeed a "criminologist."

Don't hate! It's going very well, thank you :) It is hard to do a J.D./M.S. in 3 years, but I am somehow managing, despite my overwhelming duties as treasurer of the Penn Law Tennis Club.

lol.  maybe you can work on getting us a good price on t-shirts?

Ok. We'll talk.

30
i meant criminology.  i was in crim law with towlie last year...not sure if you were there, but if you both were in section three, then you were :)

nope, i was section 2.  ah, yes, towelie is indeed a "criminologist."

Don't hate! It's going very well, thank you :) It is hard to do a J.D./M.S. in 3 years, but I am somehow managing, despite my overwhelming duties as treasurer of the Penn Law Tennis Club.

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