Law School Discussion

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Messages - nate

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21
George Washington U / Re: prospective student question? factory?
« on: March 29, 2006, 12:16:25 AM »
i'm a 1L at GW this year. here's some of my thoughts.

first- did you get in to any better schools? if so, i would go there, especially if it's in the top14 (if it's somewhere like USC or texas, and you'd rather work in DC, ignore this advice). however, GW seems to have a reputation for taking people from better schools (ex. GULC), usually for money, which these people later seem to regret.

GW is definitely big and you can feel it. the building itself is rather small, so often it feels more claustrophobic than anything. however, i don't necessarily get the feeling that it's a lawyer-factory, even though i also worried about that before attending. the 1L sections are big, but people within them are pretty close and friendly with one another. also, i don't notice any huge divide between students and professors; all professors seem to be very approachable, willing to work with you, and also interested in helping you get what you want out of law school.

though i'm only a 1L, i have not got the impression that the career development office will ignore you if you're not in the top of the class. this is often a complaint at other large schools, and i haven't heard or seen one example of this.

there also seems to be something for everyone, which i think is something that smaller schools might lack. GW offers classes in some of the most random areas, all because it has large student and faculty bodies. this clas selection combined with the variety of student groups, activities, clinics, journals, moot courts, etc. all seem to make for a decent law school experience with many opportunities, which at the same time avoids becoming too much of the factory setting that you fear.

point in short- if you're looking for a smaller, more close-knit school where you are taught in very small sections and know everyone personally, GW is probably not the school for you (though i would HIGHLY advise against moving down in the rankings for a school that fits that profile...up is ok, though). however, i think it's a long shot from a factory. i like it a lot, in fact.

22
General Board / Re: Government Law Jobs
« on: March 28, 2006, 08:54:52 PM »
silver-

is the state dept. extremely prestigious and competitive in who it selects? i was thinking of trying for a PT externship there next year, but if i'm not at a t10 school and not in the very top of my class at a t20, should i not bother applying? any ideas?

23
General Board / Re: UGA vs Georgetown
« on: March 23, 2006, 01:10:59 AM »
i can't think of one good reason to choose UGA over GULC. the ONLY reason i can imagine a person doing this is if they had their heart set on becoming a more local lawyer somewhere in georgia. even then, you'd be well above-average with a degree from GULC.

if you want to make $, GULC hands down. if you want to work government or public interest, GULC hands down- you'd get far better jobs and the school has decent loan repayment assistance opportunities. if you want to enter academia or any other more research-based field, GULC hands down.

as others have said, the money might be tempting now, but later in your life, will you really be OK with passing up GULC for UGA?

24
General Board / Re: Advanced Law Degrees
« on: March 16, 2006, 04:32:30 PM »
"I'm pretty sure that with the hundreds of law schools out there and the thousands of law professors teaching that not most of them come from the most prestigious schools."

it really depends what you consider "most prestigious". leiter has done a lot of reporting on this and he reports that 1/3 of law professors come from YHS alone. It's even higher than that if you count those that got LLM's from those three schools. (you can read leiter's report here- http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2000faculty_education.shtml). i would be willing to bet that another third (probably much more than that) come from the top 10, if not the T14. most others who write about employment in legal academia (ex. volokh) will tell you that all 192 ABA accredited schools are mostly dominated profs who graduated from the most prestigious schools; there are very few spots for the well-accomplished grad of a lower-ranked school.

it's probably one of the most difficult employment fields to get in to. the process generally requires as many of the following accomplishments as possible: prestigous school, near-perfect grades (top 5-10%), law review, multiple publications, extra degree (LLM or preferably PhD). the more you have and the better they are, the greater your chances will be. so, you can certainly "overcome" graduating from a lower ranked school, but it wouldn't be easy for anyone. just finishing in the top 10% of your class is hard enough.

and if you're graduating from a tier 4, your possible places of employment are going to be further limited, because almost no one teaches at a school higher-ranked than the school they attended. the best option in that case might be to transfer, which you should have the grades to do if you hope to enter legal academia.

25
General Board / Re: Abortion
« on: March 16, 2006, 01:58:56 PM »
i have always argued the very same thing- you cannot say that abortion is murder and also say that it is acceptable for a mother to then kill her child when it endangers her life.

however, i just read an article that analogized it to self-defense. just as someone has the right to kill someone that is posing a legitimite threat to their own life, a mother may do so when the baby threatens her own life. really, it's up to her to decide which life she believes to be more valuable.

i thought it might be a decent point.

(and let me also make clear that my point is not to prove anything or any side here. i'm just interested in different thoughts on the issue; i don't take one side entirely)

26
1L job search / Re: Options for Georgetown 1L's
« on: March 05, 2006, 11:57:39 PM »
going abroad is always going to mean more money. i don't even think having a scholarship or financial aid would help you when it comes to those credits.

still, your options as a GULC 1L are going to be pretty open, even if you're not at the top of your class. you might be able to find some firm work (though it wouldn't be easy, unless you're at the top of your class), easily find some government work, non-profit work, etc. i'm also sure you could find a position with a federal judge in the DC area, which is always a good option no matter what you want to do.

maybe the question to ask is, what exactly is it you plan to do with your law degree?

27
General Board / Re: Finding a job OVERSEAS!
« on: March 04, 2006, 07:48:11 PM »
i think a good way is to get a job with a firm that has overseas offices (usually meaning a biglaw firm) and then transferring. some firms even interview directly for these offices at OCI.

but this is a subject that i would also like to know more about.

28
General Board / Re: Night School
« on: March 02, 2006, 12:28:52 PM »
i liked the classes but hated the schedule. now i have a day class too, so things are much better.

would you be working during the day? taking care of a child? not doing anything? i know of people who do all kinds of things during the day- some like how it works out, others don't.

29
1L job search / study abroad- european union??
« on: February 28, 2006, 12:40:21 AM »
i was wondering if anyone knows of any study abroad programs- at your school or any other you may know of- that focus on comparative european law and/or european union law. my own school has an exchange program in this area but it only takes 4 people, drawn in a random lottery.

30
cool. good luck with that.

if you don't mind (it's up to you), would you mind telling me what they say? i have a friend in a similar situation who might be interested in trying this.

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