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Author Topic: Emory ASW Review [Long]  (Read 5047 times)

NOTaPepsiFan

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Emory ASW Review [Long]
« on: April 06, 2008, 12:15:02 AM »
Most everyone flew/drove home tonight, so I'm chilling in my hotel (watching Carolina get crushed), and I've had some time to give a long summary of the ASW.


First -- good (and slightly awkward!) to meet those of you that post on here!


I decided on Emory prior to going to the ASW.  I thought Emory had solid employment prospects, and I have what I consider to be an excellent scholarship offer from them (given my #s).  Considering this, I was willing to attend what I thought was an OK school as far as social stuff/fun/quality of life.

My biggest concerns were:
(1) Atlanta is very southern, and not a cool city
(2) The students would be dorky, slightly competitive, ugly, and not very much fun

Well, my concerns were absolutely groundless. 

One of the professors volunteered the following about Atlanta:  "A lot of you are northerners, and you probably have some stereotypes of the south.  Many of these stereotypes are exaggerated, and many are outright wrong.  Moreover, Atlanta should not be considered 'the South' by any means.  Atlanta has a nationally diverse, cosmopolitan population, with great culture.  Emory is known as a school full of people from the northeast in our undergrad; this is even more true for our graduate programs as a whole, and this is again more true for our law school." (paraphrased)

To address my second point:  the student body is absolutely a strength for Emory Law.  I say this with reservation, though -- it is possible that the hardly anyone that attended the ASW will go to Emory.  Moreover, it is possible that those that went to the ASW were disproportionately more normal than those that chose not to come.  I also didn't get to meet many current students, so our group could be very unique.  BUT, judging by the [admitted] students that I met with this weekend, everyone was very outgoing, energetic, fun, interesting, and normal.  I did not sense pretentiousness to any degree.    The diversity was also really great.  With this being the South, I was concerned there would just be white people and black people.  Instead, there was a large population of Asians, Indians, Hispanics, etc.  People came from all different undergrads, and there was a broad spectrum of hometowns, all up and down the East coast, some midwesterners, and a few Californians.


OK, so a little overview of what the weekend consisted of:

Friday started with a reception at David and Caroline Adelman's house.  This reception consisted of excellent catering, and a lot of free Corona, for 3 hours.

My Friday night continued as I checked out Virginia Highlands.  About 20 or so of us met up at a bar down there.  Some people had a few drinks and left.  Some of us chose instead to stay and we bar hopped until about 2am, flagged down a cab and went back to the hotel, and then called Papa John's and bribed them to deliver us 3 pizzas -- which they did ... in 10 minutes!

Highlands is a pretty cool spot.  I wouldn't say that by itself it is quite the same as, say, Adam's Morgan in DC, but it had a cool strip of about 8 or 9 pretty decent bars, and a couple nice restaraunts where people stayed late for drinks.  No clubs, and not really any "clubby bars."  It was more like busy, typical bars with music (for lack of a better description).

For more of a club scene, it seems like midtown is the place to go.  It sounded like a lot of the bars/clubs in Buckhead got torn down and now it's mostly shopping and nice condos.

NOTaPepsiFan

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2008, 12:18:26 AM »
Ok, so the next morning came a little quick.  We were supposed to be at the law school at 8am.

Dean Partlett (who has an awesome Aussie accent) spoke for awhile, and he is clearly a brilliant guy.  He's also one of the few Deans that teaches a 1L course.  Partlett supposedly has an "incrementalist" approach, according to one professor, who seems to think highly of this approach, and of Partlett as a whole.

The law school itself (along with the general surrounding campus) is very nice, imo, and has a pretty prestigious feel.  For whatever reason, it had a bad review on PrincetonReview, and I think this is completely ridiculous.  The facility is truly top-knotch, and imo a lot better than Fordham, Miami, UNC, and GWU.  I would say it's comparable to UF and WFU (all these places I have personally visited), although I personally like the architecture/atmosphere of the building more than all the other places.

We sat through a class, taught by professor Ahdieh.  I don't want to put too much emphasis on this, but it was very, very well done.  Ahdieh was extremely funny, very thought-provoking, used multimedia very well, and the class was allowed a lot of interaction.  That said, having one professor teach a single, meaningless class is probably not a sign of great teaching as a whole, and I imagine the class is fantastic at every school's ASW.

Shortly after that we had our small group meetings with professors.  There were 15(?) groups of 10(?) people.  My professor was a graduate of HLS.  He clerked for 18 months, went into biglaw for 6 months, then taught at the University of Oklahoma, and then moved back to biglaw to work "at the top" for a large law firm for awhile.  He went back into Academia and taught at Emory off-and-on for the last 25 or so years, although he has traveled to many other schools.  He spent awhile at Cornell, he taught at Berkeley last year, and he's teaching at Yale next Spring.  I was very impressed by how rich his explanations were in a broad range of law-related subjects (including finding employment, biglaw in general, rankings, scholarships, studying law, teaching in general, career paths, networking, etc).  He was very intellectually honest, sincere, and more than willing to admit that going to Emory was not equal to going to Harvard (or Michigan, etc).

This session was really interesting to me, so I'd like to list a few points he drove home:
(1) He did not believe that there was a noticeable difference between the quality of students at Emory and any "top" school he taught at, nor were they different from the students he went to school with at Harvard.
(2) He made the point that most jobs come from Networking, and he believes that Emory is an ideal size for this.  The school is big enough to let you meet a good number of people, but small enough for you to really get to know everyone (there are ~220 students per class).  I initially wanted a much bigger class, but I left pretty happy with the class size.
(3) He did not think the actual education is going to be all that different from any other T25 school, with two exceptions:  Washington & Lee (which now has all clinics 3rd years), and GULC (which does something crazy first year).  That said, he believes that the professors at Emory are very good, and probably a good bit better than their rank (#22).  The one difference between Emory and the very elite schools, in his opinion, was a lack of focus on "transactional" law, but he believes we will fix that in the next year with the new Dean.
(4) He was very willing to discuss "biglaw" (which, for whatever reason, seemed surprising to me).  He thought that the money was excellent, and that it was nice to be able to pay off all those debts.  That said, he thought being "at the bottom" was absolutely miserable, while being at the top is extremely interesting and financially rewarding.
(5) Someone asked him what his opinion of the USN&WR was.  He said "students put a lot of emphasis on it, and academics are absolutely nuts about its importance, but employers oftentimes are only loosely aware of the rankings." (paraphrased)  He also said that they are very subjective, arbitrary, oftentimes dumb rankings, although there are certainly differences between the #15 school and the #23 schools, but that the #12 school and the #13 school were equals.
(6) I asked whether he thought there was, to any degree, a drop off between the top 14 schools and the #15 school.  He thought I was kidding, and then another couple students chimed in about how there was a lot of talk about T14 and such.  He said this idea, whether measured by employment, quality of faculty, students, etc, was absolutely ridiculous, blatantly untrue, and that we should distrust anyone who circulates this information (which, pretty much, is Anthony Ciolli, founder of LSN).  I agree with him, and I do not think there is any more of a drop off between GULC and Vanderbilt than there is between Northwestern and Cornell, or Cornell and GULC.
(7) The idea that you know what type of law you want to practice (entertainment law, bankruptcy, international law, etc), is ridiculous, and you will not figure this out until you actually practice it.



We also had lunch, a panel discussion with alumni, a panel discussion with current students, etc.  One of the points that they really drove home was the degree to which the law school (and university in general) fosters social functions.  Emory has one of the best intramural programs in the country (ranked #5), there's tons of very active law and non-law groups to join, the bar reviews are twice a week (and apparently very popular), the law school buys kegs 1-2x/w, there's a big Halloween event, there's some kind of big spring event, and oftentimes the individual apartment complexes have social functions as well.  It really seemed like there was a lot of participation from everyone.

A few more things I thought were interesting:
(1) I was surprised by the low percentage of people that had decided for sure on Emory ... probably only about 1/4 - 1/3 are pretty much decided.  A lot of people were still waiting to hear back, and a lot were deciding between Emory/GWU/Fordham/BC (lots of DC/NYC students).  I heard a couple WashU/USC/Vandy's in there as well.  That said, it seemed like the people that seemed to research this stuff in detail online were ready to send in a deposit.
(2) I was really surprised that a lot of the people were kind of clueless on schools/employment/general job stuff.  Like, some people were deciding between 90k at Emory, or a full ride to the local TTT that "everyone in the area holds in such high regard."  It also frustrated me that people were deciding between Emory and GWU/Fordham.  Seriously, Atlanta is a cool place that is close to the same league as DC/NYC, and it's a WHOLE lot cheaper.  More importantly, if you get into Fordham and/or GWU, you probably got 90k or 96k from Emory, and probably next to nothing from them (and if you got money from GWU/Fordham, you probably also got money from Vanderbilt, in which case your decision should be Vandy and Emory, not Emory and GWU).  The employment differences are very minimal overall, and if you just want to practice in NYC, Emory does close to as well anyway.  I guess this might not apply to as great an extent if your parents are paying...
(3) Some people are over-sensative about some stuff.  If there's a few students studying on a Saturday, that doesn't mean the school is cut-throat or over-competitive.  People shouldn't be getting stressed, or feel anxious if people ask them where else they are looking, for example.  This over-sensitivity isn't reflective of the students as a whole by any means, but over the course of the weekend I heard a couple comments from different people that I thought were somewhat ridiculous.
(4) If you go to an ASW, be prepared to answer the following questions in mass:  "Where are you from?"  "Where else are you considering?"  "What undergrad did you go to?"  "Where do you think you're going to live?"
(5) I think "we" have a better sense of employment prospects than some of the current students..

I'd like to end by saying that I am very, very happy with Emory, but also that I think all the top 28 schools put on a great show for their ASW.  If you had a couple schools that you were deciding between, and you only attended one of their ASD's, you are really unfairly prejudicing yourself.  I was totally impressed by the diversity of the students, by the degree to which the law school/student body got involved in the social events, by the quality of the professors, etc.  But, that said, probably just about every T28 school has excellent professors, a diverse student body, and fun social events.

chunkylover53

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2008, 04:42:12 AM »
:( Emory sounds like such a great school. It is the top choice of my remaining schools. Get back to me soon!! I don't even mind taking on massive boatloads of debt to attend it. Thanks for the great review. You just reaffirmed my longing for the school. :)

Elaine Benes

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2008, 09:07:43 AM »
Great review - I attended ASW as well and made many of the observations that you noted.  Everyone was incredibly nice and helpful and I am SO excited about going to Emory!!

One correction though - the reception on Friday wasn't at Dean Partlett's house, it was at David and Caroline Adelman's house.   :P

Thanks for the review, future classmate!!

gowi

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2008, 06:24:28 PM »
Great review! I hate that I didn't get to meet any of the LSDers.

My husband was in general a good sport about ASD, but he was pretty appalled at some of the parents' questions to Dean Partlett, such as "What does the law school do to prevent my child from partying too much?", "What are the top five things my student should do to do well during his first year?", and, my husband's favorite, "What are you doing to improve in rankings?" to which Dean Partlett responded that he didn't care what US news thinks about his law school, he cares to foster an excellent law school environment or something to that effect. But when the same man asked two questions that had already been asked and answered, I think he was ready to just leave. We got a kick out of people asking the poor financial aid woman about health insurance, lol.

My small group was with Professor Rector, who works with the TI:GER program. She talked extensively about the program (which I really, really hope I get into) and answered every question with lots of detail. And I'm not sure if she meant it as a joke, but in response to one questions she said "Although generalizations are typically false..." and I cracked up. No one else laughed. Er, tell me law students have a sense of humor. I mean, she made a generalization about generalizations being false.  :D

I must say, my general impression of definitely-attending students was good, but the on-the-fence people seemed somewhat obnoxious. Like, they expected the Emory people to audition for them or something. Yeesh.

On my way out I paid my deposit. A couple of the admissions people said they recognized my name. I was pretty brain-dead at the time and didn't think to ask if that was good or bad, lol.

All in all, I was impressed. I liked the facilities but didn't get a chance to go on the tours. I'm soooooooo ready for August now.

Refused Party Program

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 07:57:31 PM »
(3) Some people are over-sensative about some stuff.  If there's a few students studying on a Saturday, that doesn't mean the school is cut-throat or over-competitive.  People shouldn't be getting stressed, or feel anxious if people ask them where else they are looking, for example.  This over-sensitivity isn't reflective of the students as a whole by any means, but over the course of the weekend I heard a couple comments from different people that I thought were somewhat ridiculous.

I just want to address the studying on Saturday issue, especially since I was one of the people in the K&S room of the library studying during ASW. This is a very hectic time. Exams are three weeks away. If you aren't studying on Saturday at this point you are in trouble. Plus, Moot Court competitions are going on which makes people a little tense and takes them away from their other classes. Plus, if someone is worried about studying on Saturdays, law school isn't for them.

My experience: the students here are not competitive. Everyone is friendly if you are friendly. There is a good mix of people both geographically (we have a lot of natives, Floridians, North Easteners and a few Caliofornias and Midwesterners thrown in for good measure) and ethnically. We are little on the young side, but that doesn't take away from anything. With the money the school is throwing at the incoming class, you really can't go wrong.

negativeexternality

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 08:09:54 PM »

My husband was in general a good sport about ASD, but he was pretty appalled at some of the parents' questions to Dean Partlett, such as "What does the law school do to prevent my child from partying too much?", "What are the top five things my student should do to do well during his first year?", and, my husband's favorite, "What are you doing to improve in rankings?" to which Dean Partlett responded that he didn't care what US news thinks about his law school, he cares to foster an excellent law school environment or something to that effect. But when the same man asked two questions that had already been asked and answered, I think he was ready to just leave.

damn. . . helicopter parents, man.  i hate 'em too--i worked in a semi-public position at my UG student union, and every once in awhile a prospective would come through with some overly eager, strangely aggressive parents who would ask about thirty questions apiece. that was bad enough, but to encounter them at a law school ASW?  time to cut the umbilical cord, friend.

too bad i couldn't make it down this weekend--i wanted to come, but i had to play in a semi-big rugby tournament, and i only have so many of those left before i graduate.  sounds like everyone had a good time, though.
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gclemen1

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2008, 08:58:26 AM »
I was also surprised to see the amount of parents that were there.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, just surprised.  I was chuckling about the parent that was hawking questions about health care to the financial aid lady too haha.

jawilliamson

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2008, 10:20:24 AM »
Just wanted to put down my thoughts on the weekend...

So much has been said already and for the most part I agree with much of what has already been stated.  I did just want to throw out what I did like about the school and what I didn't like about the school.

The Friday night meet and greet was really nice, good food, lots of alcohol, nice people.  By the way, the house was beautiful!!!

Saturday:  The dean was somewhat engaging, he seemed very knowledgeable and I did enjoy the easy button jokes.  The problem that I do have is you have a schedule, please adhere to it.  This is just something that I am obsessive compulsive about, so although going 20 minutes over didn't bother anyone else, it bothered me a little.

The professor of the class was very charismatic (by the way does anyone else thinks he sounds like "Charlie" from "It's always sunny in Philadelphia").  I did however think that the material was, for lack of a better term, dumbed down a bit.  (And certainly this could have been the case because they didn't want to get to in depth at the ASW) The only other ASW that I have to compare Emory to is UVA and the case was much much more complex and difficult.

The financial aid woman was informative although she didn't know about the health coverage, lol.

The small section for me was horrible... It was without a doubt the worst part of the day.  Our professor (group 4) told us where he has been and how much he loved Emory. So far so good.  Then he proceeded to go page by page through the website just reading us what was on the website.  For about 30 minutes.  At one point he even asked us and I quote.. "Hmm, I've seemed to have clicked my way into a corner here, How do I get back to the home page..."  Someone said to click the Emory law icon at the top of the page.  "Would you look at that, I've never done that before!"  Needless to say it wasn't the best 45 minutes of my life.

Lunch was delicious! The people we met at lunch seemed very nice, and down to earth.

The panel discussion was good, very informative.  I have no idea why they didn't let the career services have 30 minutes to an hour on stage.  That is what we all want to hear about right?? What types of opportunities does Emory law provides us.  We did hear some of that from the alumni and current students and the packet given to us was very nice, but I would have liked to hear more.

The tour by the current student was horrid.  We pretty much walked through the hallways, and he would say this is a classroom, these are the offices, this is the library, and thank you for coming to Emory.  It may just be me but I would like to see some of the classrooms and mock courtrooms and go into the library instead of peering through a window at the reference desk. 

Things I really liked...
People were super nice, both admitted students and faculty. 
Facilities were gorgeous. 
School seemed very socially inclined. 
Housing is very inexpensive.

Things I didn't like...
The law school has to share a bookstore with undergrads, medical students, business students ect. 
Everyone is telling first year students to go to Post Briar for housing because it is gated, however one of the students I ate lunch with told us that there have been five muggings/robberies in the last year there.


Overall Emory was a very nice law school.  I realize most of my post tends to be negative but that is just because almost all the positive things have been posted by previous posters.  I don't want to be Debbie Downer.  Other than the things I mentioned above the weekend was great and Emory is a wonderful place!
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whartonn

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Re: Emory ASW Review [Long]
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2008, 11:32:31 AM »
I agree with many of the posts. My tour was horrible, although most of the people I met were nice.

Things I liked...
Housing- local rents are pretty cheap
Campus- the Emory campus was nice
Food- very good foods on campus and great restaurants around the city

Things I did not like...
Career Services- It is still totally unclear what types of opportunities Emory law provides us.
Safety- I was told by multiple students that petty crime (robberies and muggings) was an issue for students.
Traffic- My goodness! It's endless