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Messages - JG

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: what to wear?
« on: March 21, 2004, 07:31:29 PM »
You could always ask someone from the admissions office what people generally wear; that would take care of all your worries.  If you think you'd be embarassed to ask, you could even call and not give your name.

For things like the first day of class, or any situation where I think it's casual but I'm not sure how casual, I tend to avoid jeans and go for khaki pants or something similar. Even if most people show up in jeans, you don't look out of place.

Have fun!

Hi everyone,

I'm in my late 20s and planning to start law school this fall.  I don't have a family right now, but I hope to sometime.  I'm female, and since I'll be in my 30s by the time I get out, I'm concerned that my start-a-family time is going to coincide with my work-crazy-long-hours as a new lawyer time, and that it's not going to work.

Are any of you facing the same sorts of issues?  Have any of you found examples of people who can get jobs with reasonable hours right out of law school?  What kinds of jobs?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wash U for free vs. Northwestern
« on: March 19, 2004, 09:45:48 PM »
"One more thing.  If you go to Northwestern, you'll have a far, far better shot at a clerkship than if you go to WashU.  Approximately 8% of WashU's grads end up clerking compared to 13% of Northwestern's."

That difference doesn't really address how a my shot at a clerkship would be affected by what school I choose. 
Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the top 8% of Wash U students and the top 13% of Northwestern students get clerkships.  Because of the differences between the schools' students, I'm probably at least as likely to be in the top 8% of students at Wash U as I am to be in the top 13% of students at Northwestern.

The meaningful way to measure this would be to consider people with similar pre-law school qualifications who went to different schools and assess how well they fare after graduation.

The schools are Northwestern and Wash U. I definitely want to live in the midwest, and while I might be ok staying in St. Louis, I'd at least like to have the option of gainful employment in Chicago.

I'm not so much worried about what other people think; I just want to get a realistic view of the trade-offs I'd be making by going to Wash U.

I'm deciding whether to go to a top 15 or a top 30 school (both are in the region where I'd like to work; money and personal issues are causing me to consider the top 30 school).  One reason many people think I should go to the higher-ranked school is so that I have a better chance of getting into a top law firm.

My questions:  What does that mean, in practical terms?  Is it just more prestige?  More money?  How much more?  Better working conditions?  More interesting work?  What's less desirable about the non-top law firms?  Will I be unable to get a decent firm job at all if I go to a lesser school?  What's the difference between "Big Law" and Not-Big-Law?

Also, I know reduced geographic mobility coming out of the lower-ranked school is an issue, but are we talking, "can't get a prestigious job outside the region" or "can't get any decent job outside the region"?

I know there are other good reasons to go to the "better" school--clerkships, contacts, etc.--but the "top firm" argument is the one that I need clarified.

Thanks for any help.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wash U for free vs. Northwestern
« on: March 19, 2004, 06:13:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies so far, everyone.

Some more details:  I'm not sure what kind of law I want to practice.  Prestige for its own sake (in where I go to school or at what firm I practice) is not really important to me--I pretty much just want to a job that's intellectually interesting and gives me a comfortable living.  But I don't want to be limited to jobs that are dull or unenjoyable because of where I went to school.

I agree that if I'm going into an elite private law firm, the debt's not a big factor.  My concern is that with more debt, I won't feel like I can consider lower-paying public sector jobs.  Also, I'm a bit older  (I'm 28 and have a Ph.D. in science), and the thought of living really meagerly for too many more years isn't particularly appealing.

As for the St. Louis/Chicago thing:  my family is in St. Louis, which gives it a certain appeal, but I'd like the option of moving to Chicago after law school if I find St. Louis too limiting or provincial.


Choosing the Right Law School / Wash U for free vs. Northwestern
« on: March 19, 2004, 04:43:23 PM »
I've been offered a full-tuition scholarship plus a $5,000 stipend at Washington University and a $20,000/yr scholarship at Northwestern.  I can't decide!  I hate the idea of being in massive debt, but I don't want to regret not going to the best school possible.

I'll probably stay in the midwest, but I'd like to be able to go to Chicago easily and not be St. Louis-bound.

Any advice is appreciated.

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