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This question is for any current or former W&M law students, or, alternately, for current/formers who considered W&M but ended up rejecting it. Also, any of our resident LSD know-it-alls. 

I am considering choosing W&M over two or three more highly ranked (non-T14) schools, and the thing that keeps drawing me back in is the much-touted Legal Skills program. I have read that this program is unique to William and Mary and that it has received several ABA awards. It seems to me that, if the program really "works" as indicated,  the (personal& professional growth) benefits of being in a mock-mini-law firm for a few years and practicing on fake clients outweighs the slight hiring/employment edge of schools like GW, the Bostons, Emory, etc.

To clarify, I care more that Legal Skills would help me feel more prepared/adept as a new lawyer than that potential employers would recognize the program's benefits and extend job offers accordingly; I don't expect the latter. 

What are everyone's thoughts on Legal Skills?

General Off-Topic Board / "Will I like D.C.?" Depends
« on: May 25, 2007, 12:28:27 PM »

But, what I find most alarming is that the girls have seemed to regressed in their attitudes about motherhood and working.  So many are saying they will not work once they have babies...  Now, so many of my female classmates want to just blow off their expensive educations and become full time mothers. 

This was in the Props to Non-Trad thread, but I didn't want to highjack it, so I started this one.

Linda Hirschman (J.D., University of Chicago--now a PhD teaching philosophy at Brandeis) has written a lot on this topic and stirred up a good amount of "mommy wars" type controversy. I understand the positions of the two most polarized ends of this debate (Hirshman at one end saying women must continue working full-time or risk undoing decades of struggle for equality in the West; stay-at-home (highly educated) mothers on the other end saying the raising of kids with care and attention is not only their most important personal goal, but a benefit to society and an endeavor improved by mothers' graduate and professional educations, to boot).

Unfortunately, I think for mothers the issues are probably never this clear (polarized). The two things I can say as an observer are that (1) this is indeed a "high-class problem," limited to the educated (those women who paid and worked so much for their multiple degrees) and the solvent (those households in which finances permit one adult to stay at home) and (2) the all-or-nothing attitude of both sides in probably not very helpful.

Working part-time (difficult in big firms) is not the kiss of death for your kids--they'll survive and probably even do better for having you as a role model. Neither is working part time or taking two years off after birth the kiss of death for (much-needed) improvements in American attitudes towards women in the workforce; if anything, it may force Americans to realize that motherhood is a natural state that can co-exist with the words "professional" and "corporate."

General Off-Topic Board / Chicago Dumps Racy Law Firm Billboard
« on: May 09, 2007, 09:22:44 AM »
Chicago Dumps Racy Law Firm Billboard

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 9, 2007; 10:01 AM

CHICAGO -- A racy billboard proclaiming "Life's short. Get a divorce" caused enough of an uproar, city workers stripped it from its downtown perch after a week.

It wasn't so much about the partially clothed man and woman on the law firm's ad. It was the phrase that lawyers Corri Fetman and Kelly Garland chose that drew scores of complaints from neighbors and from other attorneys who said it reflected poorly on their profession.

A city alderman who lives nearby found a technical reason to jettison the sign.

"I called the building inspector and told him to do his job and he did," said Alderman Burton Natarus. "It has nothing to do with content or anything else. They did not have a permit and they were ordered to take it down."

Fetman and Garland say they're upset the sign was removed.

"They ripped our billboard down without due process," Fetman said. "We own that art. I feel violated."

Despite its brief run, the sign apparently was good for business. Since it went up last week, the two women said calls to their law firm have gone up dramatically.

General Off-Topic Board / InterFACIAL relationships
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:17:26 PM »,9171,1615172,00.html

I never thought about this before.
Anyone involved in one of these? Which half are you?

General Off-Topic Board / Do you say 'Thank You'?
« on: April 30, 2007, 07:33:43 PM »
A colleague from a certain country with which I'm not too familiar said Americans say "Thanks" ad nauseum for everything. Ditto for "Sorry." I've read studies that say Western women say Thanks and Sorry too much, but not about Americans in general. If anything, people seem to be becoming ruder. For instance, if somebody goes to great lengths to hold a door for you (i.e. he sticks foot in door because his arms are full; waits 30 secs for you to make it to door), isn't a thank you in order?

What about thank yous for emails or PMs? A woman solicited information from me about an academic program I graduated from and I spent 20 mins writing her with all the details to help her in her decision whether to attend. No answer. Same with some PMs for desperate posters on this board.

When a thank you's not forthcoming in person, I make penetrating eye contact and say "You're Welcome." If you are on the non-receipt end, what's your take? Or, if you don't say thanks,  "What's your damage, Heather?" (gratuitous 80s reference for those old enough to remember)

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Props to Non-Trads
« on: April 04, 2007, 11:03:49 PM »
Hi Everyone

I don't know if I numerically qualify as a non-trad (is that 30+? If so, not yet) but I've been out of undergrad and worked/racked up other degrees for the past several years. Your discussion boards on LSD are refreshing, enlightening, entertaining and informative. You all deserve continuous props for your integration of career/jobs, school, major life changes and family committments (whether they be to family of birth/parents, SOs, kids, or pets). And most of you seem to have learned a thing or two about internet etiquette.

Your examples are inspirational to me and likely to a lot of other people. An extra shout-out to anyone over 50 and to 0Ls taking care of older family members.

The kids over on the "regular" Pre-Law boards would do well to sit in on your discussions here.

Good luck on your law school careers and other pursuits. We will all need it, but I'll bet if there's anyone who can show the world how law school is done, it's the non-trads.

Sorry if there is another post on this that I missed, but write your favorite thing about being a numerical or honorary non-trad:

Me: expertise in another field; bring a new perspective

Choosing the Right Law School / T20 v. T25 v. T31
« on: April 03, 2007, 03:04:50 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Here's the deal:

I am: 0L, accepted to the three schools (WashU-STL; GW; W&M) in the title, and waiting to hear back from GULC and UVA.
My goals: Maximum flexibility in terms of several types of job options (biglaw for a few years or public interest/non-profit or government, etc.), with maximum flexibility in terms of location/region/small city/major metro area, etc. I am pretty open-minded to different types of work and locations but do not want to cut myself off from anything (including BigLaw) in case I end up becoming interested in it.

I recognize: that names and ranks count to a certain extent (although I question their methodology, level of arbitrariness, general injustice, etc.), and that certain schools can translate into more job offers/greater flexibility in terms of different types of choices.

I recognize also: that regardless of my best efforts, I may end up in bottom third of my class no matter where I go. 

I have: the opportunity (owing to a combination of scholarships, savings, and assistance from a third party) to attend any of these schools without significant financial difficulty for the first one to two years (may need a loan for the last year).

I have also: lived/spent considerable time in all four locations of the five schools mentioned above. I like all said cities/towns/states, although from what I hear of the Virginia Bar, I may have to bypass that exam (hmmph).

Several 3Ls (who may be biased?) have told me they don't think there exists an appreciable "reputation/name recognition" difference among, say, the Top 30 or 40 schools until you get into the T14. If this is the case, I choose W&M, irrespective of its recent drop from 27 to 31. The campus, environment, location, and ambience all appeal to me a little bit more than the others.

At the moment (recently released rankings), Wash U/WUSL is highest at 19. There's a spreadsheet floating around that a LSD member very kindly drafted to indicate the past ten years or so of rankings, and I think WUSL was holding strong between mid-to low twenties for most of that time (W&M fluctuated from low thirties to mid  twenties).

GW has also had a few point drop, but I am a little bit concerned about it (and GULC) in terms of quality of life (unhappy? ultra-competitive? impersonal or lack of comfort with profs?). Also, again noting that I have no idea how well I will do in law school, I may end up in the bottom half or third of my class--would this be significantly worse at W&M than at WUSL or even GW?

Any thoughts--especially ones that focus on rankings and job prospects as opposed to location or cost--would be appreciated.


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