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Author Topic: Richmond Law  (Read 806 times)

JM Chambers

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Richmond Law
« on: February 29, 2008, 09:42:03 AM »
What does everyone think about Richmond Law? Anyone know how high the standards for the John Marshall scholarship are? How about the town? Is this school more conservative, or liberal? I'm seriously considering this school, so I need all the info that I can get.

Thanks!

P.S. This is my first post, so for a quick intro I'm a junior philosophy major at the University of Memphis with a 2.9 gpa (ouch!) and a 169 LSAT.

JM Chambers

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 04:35:39 PM »
I plan on applying to William and Mary and Vanderbilt as well, so I'll probably be asking about them soon.

Anyone know anything about Richmond though? As much as I like the idea of attending a tier one school, I think my chances for scholarships are better in tier 2, so I am focusing my research on them right now.

limegreen

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 05:07:08 PM »
I don't know much about the school itself, but I am not a big fan of Richmond itself.

I agree with the above poster, thought, that you should focus on better schools.  I have similar numbers - lower LSAT, higher GPA(3.18, 167) and I got as scholarship to W&L.  You should focus the rest of this semester and try and break 3.0.  If you can't, then I'd spend the fall doing the same.  With a 3.0 and a 169 I would think you would have a chance of getting into some really good schools and even getting money to some Tier 1s if you apply to enough.  Even if you want to focus on Tier 2s and getting as much money as possible, having above a 3.0 will help with that tremendously.

That being said, I know it's annoying when people try to tell you what to do and you have other reasns for wanting to attend a certain school, so I will give you the input I can.  Everything in Richmond seems really spread out to me, and the actual city is kind of dirty and not very pretty.  The capital area and Shockoe's Bottom are nice though.  I lived there for a short while years ago and go up there pretty often for shopping / dinner / etc.  I don't know anything about the school, so I can't help with that.  I will say though, that amped is correct and there are many other schools in Virginia (UVA, WM, W&L, George Mason) so it is kind of way down the list of schools in Virginia which may be a problem when it's time to look for jobs.

TRad

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 05:50:03 PM »
I've applied to both W & M and Richmond.  I have lived all over the country (I'm older than you whippersnappers!) but have lived just south of Richmond for the last decade.  Here are my thoughts  FWIW:

1) I agree that you can probably get into some better schools such as W & M, but Richmond is an excellent "safety" school and you may very well get some money from them.  It would be good to at least have the option and their application fee is low, so what the heck.

2)  Richmond has many strengths that need to be noted: 

The city itself has more courts at more levels of gov't than any other city aside from DC.  The Chief Justice of VA's Supreme Court teachs at UR Law as do many, many other practicing atty's.  Thus the opportunity to make extensive professional contacts while in school is quite rich.  We also have the federal District Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals -- those judges teach at Richmond, too.  These are the contacts that lead to jobs!

The school is small and very, very personable.  My tour was lead by the dean, who has been there since God was a small child.  She was very approachable and easy to talk to.  The next morning, she greeted me by name when I showed up to take the LSAT there.  Students get a lot of support from administration -- or so they said.  The atmosphere was very friendly and laid back -- not cold or highly competitive like some schools.

Richmond Law is well regarded regionally with an extensive alumni network (this is acc. to the five practicing atty's I talked with -- ranging from a sr. partner at Williams Mullin to a founding partner of a Fairfax mid-size firm to an atty at the Attorney General's office for VA to a judge).  If you want to go BigLaw in NYC, you will have a hard time doing it from Richmond, but if you want a job in the Mid-Atlantic region, inc. DC I think you'll be fine.  Richmond does an especially fine job of placing law clerks -- I think this is because so many judges/ practicing atty's are connected to Richmond either as alumni or as professors.

3) Now, about Richmond itself.  I could not disagree more with Limegreen, due respect.  I've lived in 8 states and several big cities (inc. Chicago).  I grew up in the DC suburbs.  I LOVE Richmond.  Sure, there are parts of the city that are dirty but that is true of all cities.  Shockoe Bottom & Shockoe Slip are great places.  Nothing is more romantic than a kiss at the top of Church Hill with the city lights at your feet (I can personally vouch for this).  Carytown is a very unique and funky shopping/ restaurant area.  The Fan district is awesome for both architectural voyeurism and bar hopping.  All of those spots are quaint urban upscale areas.  If you want a yuppie upscale mall experience, we have that too -- Stony Point and Short Pump for instance.  There are tons of natural spaces -- Maymont, Byrd Park & the Carillon, and the River Park trail system (Pony Pasture) all of which are free (even Maymont).   Not far out of town there's even more.  You can get anywhere you need to go from one side of the city to the other in about 45 minutes (even less, usually).  Traffic is almost never bad.  We have some great traditions -- the St. Pattys day street party; Carytown Watermelon Festival; Shockoe Tomato festival; the list goes on..... all are outdoor street festivals which are just big excuses to listen to great music and drink beer.  The cost of living is very reasonable -- cheaper that Williamsburg even if you live in the suburbs just 15 minutes from the school.  Oh, and the UR campus and law building are absolutely gorgeous!
 
Feel free to send me a private message if you want to know more or want to come visit.  I'll show you around.  Good luck!

JM Chambers

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 05:53:46 PM »
Thanks for the info, Green, that's just the kind of perspective that I'm looking for.

 Trust me, I'm doing everything I can to raise the GPA, and it should be 3.0 by the time I graduate, but probably not a lot better (assuming that law schools count all attempts at a course to calculate gpa, which I've heard that they do.) If anyone figures out a way to send messages into the past, let me know, I need to have a word with me two years ago about academic motivation.

JM Chambers

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 05:57:31 PM »
Wow, TRad, does Richmond pay you to do recruiting? If not they should!

Excellent comments, and I don't have any desire to get placed in a top Manhattan law firm, if that's relevant to anyone's comments.

TRad

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 06:27:30 PM »
Didn't mean to be too much of a cheerleader....  My dream school is W & M, and with my new LSAT score I'm very hopeful of a YES from them.  If it's a NO, though, I'll be happy at Richmond and I'm certain that I'll build a great network there.

Richmond is a great place to live and the law school is a strong T2 option that I think often gets overlooked.

Best of luck to all!

TheMaddRapper

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2008, 07:47:34 PM »
It's good to hear good things about Richmond.  I'm seriously considering W&L and if I go there I may very well end up living in Richmond.  I have no ties to Richmond, so that might never happen.  I know a guy who's from there who loves it, and I have also spoken to people who absolutely hate it.

To the OP, your numbers aren't that much different than mine.  Realize that you'll probably not get huge money from T2s.  Why?  Schools only give major $$ to people who both help their GPA and LSAT 25th/75th boundaries.  So you could have a 2.0 and a 180 (actually, I'm not far off) and you'd have the exact same effect most any T1/T2 law school's numbers as a 3.0/169.  They'd actually rather you had a 3.6/164, because then you'd either help both GPA and LSAT or at least not hurt one side and help the other.

Also, there's just something about a very low GPA that turns law schools off, whether it affects their numbers or not.  They want to know you're not totally flaky.  So if you can at least get your GPA above 3 it's a very good thing.

If I were you, I'd work as I could to get all As this semester and clear 3.0.  Then I'd study all summer for the LSAT again and try to clear 172-173 or so.  If you already got a 169, this is very doable.

Then you'd be set for a T14 (or at least WUSTL+mad cash), and you'd look back on how silly it was that you even thought about going to Richmond.

limegreen

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2008, 08:19:05 PM »
JM, I didn't mean to scare you off about Richmond.  I have actually lived just about an hour away from Richmond my whole life (aside from the few months I actually spent living there) and it just really isn't my cup of tea.  I will agree with TRad that there are a LOT of things to do and a ton of legal opportunities as well.  There are definitely some really nice areas of Richmond and of course not so nice areas, like all cities.  The shopping is great, as TRad said, however, and most of the times that I actually go to Richmond now I am going specifically for that purpose.  I've never lived in any big cities so I can't really compare it.  I have heard good things about the school, though.

I don't completely agree TheMadRapper about scholarships though.  I think that if you can get above 3.0 (I would do whatever you have to to do this, summer school, get really great grades this semester, etc.), then you have a great shot.  I am a splitter, and I have gotten scholarships at 3/4 schools I've gotten into (two tier 2s, one tier 1), with a lower LSAT than you.  Splitters cycles can be really unpredictable, and you may get money from one school and get rejected from a similarly ranked school, so you should just apply to anywhere you could possibly see yourself going and take it from there.  Good luck!

JM Chambers

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Re: Richmond Law
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2008, 08:50:49 PM »
Don't worry Lime, I don't scare that easily. I prefer peoples unqualified opinions on this sort of thing, so both your and TRad's posts were very helpful to me. Eventually I'll start actually visiting schools to get my own take on the cities, but for now opinions like yours are all I have to go on.

I'm pretty sure I can get above a 3.0 before application time, since I've been back in school I have maintained a 4.0, and don't see any reason that can't continue. I'm hoping the upward trend will help offset the low GPA as well.