I've read your blog from time to time, I dig it. Here's a question for ya, and I'm not trying to be pretenious at all by asking it...
American is widely considered to be the #3 school in DC, and when I visited DC early this summer it seemed that alot of GW and GT students have a negative view of American...why do you think this is the case? A reason that kept coming up was that American is "out of the way" in DC and not really in touch with the city, or so they felt. American is def a quality institution and it's got a good ranking, so I'm not trashing the school at all, as I will probably be applying there (as well as to GW), but why do you think fellow DC students hold this view?
A lot of GWU and GULC kids are pretentious. But they're right to think that go to a better school than American, I mean, those schools are higher ranked, and yeah, it is the #3 school in D.C. On the other hand, the "out of the way" reason is pretty much bull. Ok, the reasoning for that is that American is in the N.W. most corner of the district. If you're not familiar with the area, it's divided into 4 quadrants (NW, SW, NE, SE) centered on the Capitol. GULC and GWU are a lot closer to the central areas of DC than American, which is up in the Tenleytown neighborhood by the National Cathedral (just past embassy row). AU is known for its international law programs, so its location as being surrounded by embassies is perfect for that purpose. Plus, it's less than 10 minutes on the Metro to get to K St., the White House, Capitol South, Judiciary Square etc.
Basically, it's GULC and GWU kids bitching because so many American students live in Maryland. Personally, I live in the district, at Logan Circle, and don't find it hard at all to get to AU in the mornings. The shuttle from the metro stop runs every 15 minutes and it's free. AU is a hub for public interest law, so it has just as much access for you as a student at the Pentagon, or on the Hill, etc. as the other schools do.
1. American is expensive relative to the types of post grad job prospects available to the average student there.
2. American is a very regional school, so most students will likely be stuck in the hyper competitive DC legal job market.
3. Even Gtown and GW take a backseat to students from the very top schools (HYS) when it comes to obtaining employment.
4. "Good Ranking" means nothing because as you'll learn in a year or so, rankings of law school mean very little beyond the top 25 or so schools. Yes, the drop off in job prospects really is that drastic.
1. It's expensive, but quite a few Vault 100 firms OCI there and regularly take summers from AU. American has between 10-25% of grads go into public sector though, but AU is really good about paying off loans if you go public.
2. Uh no.
4. Not so much as you imply. Job prospects are also based on who OCI's at your school, what your class percentage is (i.e. top 15% or maybe top 30% at top schools, as skaddenfreude keeps implying), did you journal/law review, moot court/mock trial, clinic, etc.
Yeah, American is expensive. It also has a great faculty, and if you're looking to do international or public interest law, it's unparalleled in those areas.