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Author Topic: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?  (Read 1521 times)

eclecteaux

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thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« on: April 14, 2004, 02:56:00 PM »
Barring love from one of my first three choices, looks like I'll have to choose between U of Richmond with a renewable $7500 grant and American U.

I am interested in international law (generally, but particularly the transnational business side), and though I don't rule out a move elsewhere, I would like to position myself to be able to practice somewhere in the Southeast.

I'm finding this decison difficult. On the one hand, American seems far better known, and is located at ground zero for international law. It is also extremely expensive, classes are quite large, and it ranks 3rd at best among DC law schools, behind GULC and GW with GMU nipping at its heels.

Richmond, while lacking the same level of name recognition as American, seems an ascendant program. They have a solid curriculum of Int'l courses, and some cool programs that team int'l.-focused law students with similarly inclined MBA students. Richmond's class size is far smaller, and it seems that it would be easier to distinguish oneself there.

Moreover, I have been overwhelmed by Richmond's efforts to 'court' me...mailings, phone calls, e-mails, etc. And while the money isn't large, combined with the far cheaper cost of living in Richmond, projected student loan payments look to be nearly 1/3 less.

So guess my question: is American's reputation superior enough to disregard Richmond's positives?

Would be interested in people's opinions. Leave lifestyle out of the equation...I know both Richmond and DC well, and could comfortably reconcile myself to the pace and scene of either.

Thanks...



abmarz

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2004, 03:21:30 PM »
That is a really tough call. They are both such good schools. I would say it comes down to personal preference. Richmond's campus is GORGEOUS and doesn't really have an urban feel to it. American's campus, however, is urban. Which do you see yourself being happier in? If money is an issue, I would take Richmond definitely.

rextuxberry

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2004, 03:23:18 PM »
If International Law is truly what you would like to go into, then I do not think that you could beat American.  It is one of the best programs, in THE BEST city for International Law. 

nathanielmark

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2004, 04:47:57 PM »
Im not sure what you mean about GMU nipping at its heals.  GMU has been first tier and upwardly mobile rankings-wise for a few years now.  American is a great school, but i think most would agree GMU is superior.


->Soon

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 09:39:17 AM »
avoid Richmond at all costs!!!
Do you really believe in free speech, or just in speech you agree with?

JohnnyOnTheSpot

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 10:27:11 AM »
That is a really tough call. They are both such good schools. I would say it comes down to personal preference. Richmond's campus is GORGEOUS and doesn't really have an urban feel to it. American's campus, however, is urban. Which do you see yourself being happier in? If money is an issue, I would take Richmond definitely.

I wouldn't call American's campus urban...at least as far as DC is concerned.  It's about as suburban as you can get while still being in DC.

lawnecon

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 02:39:46 PM »
That is a tough call - I took a look at both schools a while back.

If you're really interested in international law, AU is definitely the better choice. However, keep in mind that your interests may change and that it seems like every other law student is interested in international law - it's a very competitive field. High paying jobs probably only go to best students and while positions with non-profits orgs, etc. may be easier to find (I'm just speculating), AU's hefty price tag might make it difficult for you to accept such positions. DC is also incredibly expensive, which doesn't help matters.

Richmond on the other hand is obviously cheaper due to your grant, lower tuition, and COL. That said, it seems like most people from Richmond end up working in smaller and mid-size firms in and around Richmond. You'll proably be able to make it up to the NoVA area if you really like the DC area. If you do well enough at either school you'll probably have very good options regardless.

Bottom line: If you really want to do international law and have the urban law school experience, go to AU. If you just want to be a lawyer and don't mind where you end up practicing, then Richmond is the better bet.
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Lindbergh

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2007, 07:16:22 PM »

I'd take AU b/c it's a significantly better school in a much more interesting location.  It also places decently in D.C., unlike Richmond.

I would only go to Richmond if you wanted to stay in Richmond.  In that case, your choice is obvious, given the $$ and local rep issues.

Lindbergh

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2007, 07:17:32 PM »
Im not sure what you mean about GMU nipping at its heals.  GMU has been first tier and upwardly mobile rankings-wise for a few years now.  American is a great school, but i think most would agree GMU is superior.




GMU was third-tier less than a decade ago.  Their numbers may be rising, but I still consider AU a better program overall, especially when alumni network is factored it. 

That said, many would certainly agree with you -- GMU's numbers are definitely better than AU's these days (I believe).

philibusters

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Re: thoughts on U Richmond w/$ vs. American ?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2007, 10:29:15 PM »
I would go with Richmond and money over American because I wouldn't mind working in at a small to mid sized firm in either Richmond or NOVA, both of which Richmond can get you fine.

American's numbers full time 158-163 median 162, 3.15-3.60 with 3.42 aedian
George Mason's numbers full time 160-166 with 164 median, 3.10-3.78 with 3.60 median

When I applied to law school three years ago GMU was ranked 38 so its no like it jumped from 50 to 34 in one year or anything.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School