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Messages - moo cow

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1
I am very seriously considering attending WUSTL next year.  Even if I get into one of my reach schools, WUSTL's scholarship may be to good to turn down.  So here go the questions in no particular order (thanks in advance!!):

1.  What's the surrounding area like? 
2.  Where do most students live?  How is rent?  Is it possible not to have a roomate and live somewhere halfway decent?
3.  How are the professors?
4.  How are the other students?  Are they smart?  Does the school lean toward "super competitive" or "laid back"?
5.  How is the campus itself?  What are the facilities like?
6.  Do YOU like it?
7.  Do students generally have time for a social life??

I'm not really sure what else to ask, but any info is much appreciated.  Thanks!  ;D   

PS i'm "MooCow" on LSN and LSD prelaw forum, but i'm not moocow on xoxohth- don't know who that is!

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?cycle=0405&user=MooCow

2
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BC v Wake v Tulane ($$)
« on: March 09, 2008, 03:21:10 PM »
You did see that Tulane had competitive numbers within the non-Boston based firms you listed, right?  I think that is what yestheemory was referring to about the trolling.

My historical USNews knowledge might be lacking, but when was BC in the Top 20?

since you have pointed it out twice now, yes, i noticed.   

however, a troll is someone who pretends to be objective but really talks up the school he attends.  since i do not go to BC i am not a troll.  i was just making an observation about the relative merits of the two schools based on what i had heard about both of their reputations.

and i don't have the specific dates in front of me, but it's fairly common knowledge that BC was in the top 20 for years.  i'm not sure why they have been falling in the rankings lately...




3
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BC v Wake v Tulane ($$)
« on: March 09, 2008, 02:26:25 PM »
Quote
BC still places really well in all the major firms.  Wake and Tulane do not.... don't take my word on it.  put some major firms into google and see where their lawyers went (e.g. goodwin procter, bingham mccutchen, paul weiss, skadden arps, cadwalader, king and spaulding, etc.).  you will see that BC is highly represented at most of them, while your alternative schools are not at all.

Really?  The BC trolls are getting ridiculous.
[/quote]

actually, i'm not trolling.  i go to BU.

also, i should admit that i don't know anything about tulane and i do have a bias for schools that place well in boston and NY.  what i can tell you for certain is that tulane doesn't have much of a reputation in this area.  although it may place better in its region.

for what it's worth, tulane is ranked much lower and i think BC carries a more national name.  BC has taken a hit lately but they have historically been in the top 20.  i can say with relative certainty that the top half of the class at BC will get a decent job-- either midlaw or biglaw.  i imagine that big firms just don't go that far into tulane's class.  but again, i don't know much about tulane, so that's a guess.

4
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BC v Wake v Tulane ($$)
« on: March 09, 2008, 12:26:30 AM »
the one thing to keep in mind is that right now it's a really tough job market out there.  i don't know if you read abovethelaw.com (it's a legal gossip blog that EVERYBODY in law school reads; it's run by a harvard alum and former wachtell associate). 

among other things, they track all the layoffs at major firms. there have been a ton lately because of the credit crunch and this is definitely going to impact the job market for law students.  when major firms are struggling to keep their lawyers busy they're not in a hurry to hire a ton of new lawyers...  it's more complicated than that because they layoffs are in the slow departments like structured finance while the hiring is in the booming departments like bankrupcy and litigation, but that's beyond the point...

the bottom line is that BC will give you a much better shot at BIGLAW than your other schools...  0L's don't realize what the market is like out there.  although it's taken a hit in the rankings lately, BC still places really well in all the major firms.  Wake and Tulane do not.... don't take my word on it.  put some major firms into google and see where their lawyers went (e.g. goodwin procter, bingham mccutchen, paul weiss, skadden arps, cadwalader, king and spaulding, etc.).  you will see that BC is highly represented at most of them, while your alternative schools are not at all.

good luck with your choice.   

5
Quote
BU stopped ranking last year.  also, they still tell us who is in the top 10% (but only top 10%)
Any idea how employers react to this? Do they know the grade curve so they at least have something to compare students to on OCI?

A lot of (good) schools don't rank. The firms seem to manage.

well, i think firms know that we have about a 3.3 mean.  as i said, i have a friend with a 3.25/on a journal that has a big law jobs.  i have a friend with a 2.9 having some trouble finding jobs.  firms are fighting over my friends who have 3.5+.  anything from 3.2-something + on a journal after first year and firms treat you seriously...

6
Just a question about the not ranked part, I see a lot of BU graduates claim to be "top 10%" etc, if the school doesn't rank, are these just estimates the students make on their own, based on their gpa?

BU stopped ranking last year.  also, they still tell us who is in the top 10% (but only top 10%)

7
i go to BU, and everyone goes big law.  i have a fried with a 3.25 (i.e. below the curve of 3.3) and he had a bunch of interviews for big law in NY but ended up choosing NJ b/c it's his home state.  basically, if you do just average or slightly above, you're all set for a primo position in NY.  the top 20% is definitely wrong.  way more than that go big law, and also, we're not ranked, so nobody knows who is top 20%.  and, for what it's worth, princeton review puts us among the top 10 schools for best career prospects.  actually, here's the list in case you're curious:  northwestern, chicago, michigan, harvard, NYU, Penn, Notre Dame, BU, UVA and GW.  so don't worry about your NY career prospects coming here.  :) 

8
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« on: April 20, 2007, 08:10:05 PM »

CURVE QUESTION:  3.17 curve means it is the average each class has to hand out, right?  Mostly B's, as many B+ as C+ a few more A's than C's.  What is the curve like at BU?  You get a GPA but not a rank.  Do a lot of people get 3.5+ without being cum laude?
thanks again.

Check out WUSTL's grade distributions: http://law.wustl.edu/Registrar/index.asp?id=2243.  BU stopped making these public because students were picking classes based on which professors maximized the curve instead of content, but lots of schools still do.  Basically, a prof can have a maximum mean of 87.5 and a minimum mean of 86.5.  Some profs will give as few bad grades as possible, others give many bad grades and offset them with many really high grades...  take a look at a few professors at WUSTL, you'll get the idea. Ohh, and BU's curve is a B+ (same as WUSTL's, I imagine our distribution system is identical).  Last year, everyone above a 3.52 was cum laude, but the specific GPA changes every year.  You get cum laude for top 1/3... 

9
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« on: April 20, 2007, 05:22:29 PM »

What matters more, GPA or rank?  I feel like it would be hard for me to drop out of the top ten percent at Miami, but just as possible to drop out of the top half at GW or BU.  Being 8 LSAT points above the 75th %ile at UM should be somewhat predictive of success, no?  Being smarter than most everyone in the class has always seemed to help earn good grades and leadership in every instance I know of.  I know law exams are kind of random, but doesn't that favor the handfull of students the prof is impressed with? (easier to identify the best than to discern preferences amongst the middle of the pack, hence more confident in dominating at a low Tier2 than being considered as above average at a low T25)

Maybe at BU its more moot.  What about GW?  Do they rank everyone?  At that point what does the curve matter?  Hypothetically, what would be a stronger credential:  top 5% at UM or top 55% at GW?  What is the GW curve?  I've heard people say its not a cut-throat school but I find it hard to believe.  Nearly every student there wanted to go top 14, is in the middle of a huge legal market, and wants to get a top job to pay off big loans.  And they are all quite smart.  That seems so much tougher to me than competing at UM.  I'm putting this all out there so you can school me a bit if I'm wrong but to consider some points I think are valid too. 

In addition to the objective case I think there is a personal tendency for me to be much more motivated when I feel like I can be one of the best of my peers (potentially the case at UM), than when I feel in the middle and intimidated by the talent of the top handful of students... then I slide into the jovial role of contented in the middle of the pack - perhaps the phenomena that makes top25 schools less comptitive as you say.  At Miami, mediocrity would not be an acceptable option for me.  Is that the case for many students there, thus making it competitive as you say?  The impression I get from the facebook for UM '10 and posts I've read about UM's ASW was that there were lots of people wanting to work in Miami (do-able with mediocre grades) and a noticable contingent of "kids of lawyers looking to treat LS like extension of UG".  ASW impressions included thinking the UGs represented were unimpressive.  Plus the numbers are what they are... I've never attended a class regularly and handed papers in by due date then not gotten an A.  It seems at top25 I'll be rolling the dice but at UM I wouldn't even have to come off as a gunner, just do the work, to get mostly A's.  With a 3.17 curve how many A's are there in a group of 100?  This may illuminate things to me and change my mind.

I think a lot of your points are really good, and I definitely believe that the big fish in a small pond factor plays a huge role in how you will do in law school. 

But one thing for you to consider is this:  I personally studied for the LSAT for many months and managed to swing a decent score.  I have friends from undergrad that are MUCH smarter than me that didn't think studying was a big deal.  They ended up with much lower scores, and consequently at much worse schools than BU. 

I think it's different when you're talking about a 4th tier, but a school like UM is going to have a lot of really smart students who just didn't study that much for the LSAT, or smoked a little too much pot in undergrad and hurt their GPA.  Point is, you should expect really stiff competition.  You may be right, and chances are you are right, you'll be the big fish in small pond.  You will do better than others and that's that. 

but here's the catch: if you're wrong (admittedly possible) then you're at a T2, with a number attached to you, constantly reminding you how wrong you were.  the thing to realize about law school is that it's very different, especially when you throw the curve in.  writing a good paper undergrad is a question of how much time you put in.  but law school is way more than that. 

contrast:  at BU you also have a bunch of really smart kids who all want to do well.  but we're not ranked, so you will never really know if you're in the middle of the pack or at the top or at the bottom (unless you're at the very top, then they tell you).  it seems like the safer bet...

all that being said, there were many many times that i wished i had gone to a worse school because it would be easier to get top grades.  but the big risk and major counterargument is that it's a gamble:  worse schools rank, and if you're not at the top then you're ranked low at a T2...   

10
Where should I go next fall? / Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« on: April 18, 2007, 02:28:38 PM »
i don't know too much about sports and entertainment law at BU. we have at least one class on it. david e. kelley has his JD from here (producer of ally mcbeal, boston legal, the firm, etc.), and so does general counsel for the patriots...  we also have the "communication, entertainment and sports law association," which is a student-run club.   

that being said, my two cents for you:  unless you're dead-set on entertainment law, i would caution you about deciding on a law school for of a particular program.  nobody gets to law school really "knowing" what they want to do (unless they've left a career to go to law school and they plan to go back to their old line of work; e.g. bankers, MBAs, etc.). 

a lot of people take one class on tax law, or trusts & estates and something immediately clicks in their brains, and they decide that's what they want to do.  you must be thinking, "tax law? that sounds horrible..."

i mean, it's not my cup of tea, but i have friends here who would argue for hours that it's the most interesting line of law and they can't wait for a tax practice.  in contrast, alot of people come in wanting to do international law, until they find out its all transactional work...  lots of people don't decide until they get job offers.  the founding partner of my firm left law school wanting to do estate planning, but he was assigned to the litigation department at his first firm.  he loved litigation so much that 30 years ago or so he started his own trial firm.  most people don't go on to start their own firm, but they do choos what they like doing based on their first job, which ends up being pretty random...   

the law school job process is a lot like the law school application process: most people try to go to the most prestigious firm they get an offer at, and then they decide what kind of law they want to do once they start working.

i think the most important point is this:  law school teaches you a way to think, but you learn the actual law "on the job."  so if you're interested in entertainment law, you should go wherever you go and apply to firms that do entertainment law when the time comes.  you can feel confident that your entertainment law class(es) in law school will be a distant memory on the job...   

all that being said, BU may be great for enterainment law, but i have no idea about the program.

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