Deciding Where to Go > Choosing the Right Law School

straight talk on law schools

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So I've looked at the ratings and read the brochures, but what I really want is the inside scoop. Does anyone have suggestions for books, websites, etc. that will tell me things like how competitive a school really is? what schools are more liberal/ progressive? what schools aren't incredibly corporate focused? I have other questions, but if someone wants to shed some light on these I'd love to hear thoughts about any top 50 law school. Or if there is a source for more info... Many thanks!! :)

Jason Harman:
Inside Law Schools: A Guide by Students for Students Seventh Edition
Carol-June Cassidy (Editor), With S.F. Goldfarb

I found this book on the shelf at Borders and while I didn't buy it cuz I have a whole library of books I have bought for Lsat and law school data, I have gone back and thumbed through it repeatedly.  It details things like Book stealing and misshelving at the law librarys.  It is very insightful but it doesn't have every single school in it all though it has many, and it was published in 1998 so it is a little out of date.  THe reality is that these schools have decades of culture to rely on, so even a few years out of date would probably be pretty accurate.

Just browse at Borders or Barnes & Noble or other big bookstore and see what you find.  I've seen several but haven't bought any yet.

Two ideas:

(1) This board.  It pays to ask specific questions - there are a LOT more people reading than posting, but people are pretty good about responding to specific questions (ie - if someone asked a question about BU, I'd certainly answer it).  You can also try the Students' and Graduates' board.  Try asking for input under the specific school boards (not a whole lot of activity there yet, but inactivity perpetuates itself - post away!)

(2) Visit schools.  I know it's hard to hop around the country to visit distant schools, but you should try to visit any school that you're considering that isn't too out of the way (or use the visit as an excuse to visit an otherwise interesting city).  Once you're actually at the school you can sit in on a class, talk to the students (they'll tell you what it's really like), and check out the facilities.  Then you can report back here for others who couldn't visit.

That said, I was living in San Francisco when I decided to come to BU.  I'd never even been to Boston before signing up.  I don't regret my decision for a second.  I found a great school in a great town just by taking a chance on the unknown.

University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law vs. Golden Gate University....Does anybody know which has a better educational reputation?  Both have the JD/MBA program.


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