Law School Discussion

Need a Miracle Right About Now... Anyone know *anything* about Vermont??

I received acceptances from Southwestern and Vermont Law School.  Although I would sorely like to stay in CA, it looks like I am bound for New England.  Vermont offered me some very nice scholarships, and Southwestern offered some meager loans... ow well.

The problem is, I can't for the life of me find anyone who knows anything at all about Vermont's programs, other than "they are strong in environmental law."

UC Davis, UC Hastings, UCLA, USC (my alma mater) and BU are still pending, but it would take a miracle at this point to stay in-state and get the reasonable tuition, or to move up a tier.  Hastings and Davis statuses are being updated.. but not yet marked "decision."

At this point, I am getting desperate, and considering bailing on law school altogether, and joining the Peace Corps (seriously).

Miracles are especially needed with my stats - 160/3.15(lsac)[3.26 USC, across 2 simulateously earned degrees]  ... according to lawschoolnumbers, 12 yrs WE, speaking multiple languages etc etc are pretty meaningless. It's clear to me now, more so than ever, that number are what really matter.  But that's just life.

I'm not doing this to make money, or get a job - I already have a decent job and make a very comfortable living... I need this because I feel it is what I was meant to do.  Going to school, and even the life after will probably be a dramatic salary reduction and lifestyle change.  I am just a little desperate right now regarding whether or not Vermont is a place I can really settle into.  My interest is in international law, labor and public service positions, so maybe Vermont is the best path?

GW, BC, Iowa turned me down, so... reality check.  Iowa would have been cool (I have family there and I like the International programs).

Sorry for the late night rambling... my mailbox is turning into an anxiety box  ;)

btw - I am going to the new student orientation at Southwestern this Saturday, and will likely withdraw (pending miracle ;) ), so anyone who wanted a seat may be happy that one is likely opening up...

G'night (and ... "Fight On")

If I were you, I would choose Southwestern.  Even though they aren't giving you any money, you will be able to stay in CA.  Dont' give up just yet.  You can always try to transfer after a year (or two).  And, I think the CA schools will know more about Southwestern than Vermont Law School.  Inquire about transfer rates from Southwestern.  Better yet, ask the CA law schools for advice on how to transfer.  Besides, if you choose Southwestern for now and then get accepted to one of the Tier 1 CA schools, it will be much easier for you to relocate if you stay in CA rather than if you have already moved to VT. 

Someone said on another thread that UCLA is done with their admission process.  I'm still waiting to hear from them.  So, who knows. 

Goodluck to you! 

I still have some reservations about Southwestern. I visited there a few months ago, and started a conversation with one of the 3Ls.  When I asked about the school, she told me point blank "you know this isn't a very good school, right?"  Well, I know that it's not tier 1, but I have realistic expectations. It's just been difficult to get any sort of enthusiastic response from Southwestern students. 

As for transferring, doing so would probably make placement on Law Review more difficult, and could hurt class standings. I am not terribly keen on the transfer idea. I think it is important to put down roots at a place.

Also, I was online with Southwestern reps recently, and felt as though simple questions about clerking opportunities, job placement, etc. were not well answered.  I am just not getting a good vibe there.

Has anyone on this board ever even heard of Vermont Law School? It's the only one in Vermont, and they seems to have strong public interest placement, but I've never heard a thing from an actual student, past or present.


Wasn't the blonde chick who was runner up on the 1st Joe Millionaire a Southwestern law student?  I know for a fact she was a George Mason undergrad.  Anyway, whenever I see Southwestern mentioned, I remember the "gulp, slurp" subtitles of her going down on Joe in the woods...

My vote would be go to Vermont if you think you could handle living there.  I mean, worst case scenerio, you'd definitely be able to practice law in Vermont!  Southwestern, you're at the bottom of the rung in Cali and your only hope may be Joe Millionaire...

If you could wait a year to reapply, you might want to consider some schools like American, or CUA in DC.  Both are attainable with your #'s, and both have good public policy, public interest, and international programs.  American's international program is outstanding, and CUA's gets grouped under USNew's "Clinical" ranking (#14) because they have several specialty programs.

By the way, I'm there with you on your frustration with WE and other non-number related qualities being counted.  I know it's hard to process all the applications and make sense of what everyone uniquely brings to the table, but the emphasis placed on the index score is over the top.  I think a reasonable solution would be to do what most Business Schools do and require 3 to 5 years of WE before applying for an MBA.  The legal industry would never go for it, though.  They need the 24 year old graduates willing to give up their lives for a few years before they burn out.  Those of us who have gone through our 6-figure, 80 hour a week stage of life already aren't the ideal BigLaw drone.

One positive way to look at your WE, it should help you to land a 1L job easier because you have a track record of proven functionality, they don't have to "teach" you how to work and generate value.  I've already had 2 interviews (1 law firm, 1 think tank) for 2005 1L summer with at least 4 more loaded for later in the summer and I haven't even stepped foot in school yet.  A real resume, honed interview skills, and understanding what it's like to be on their side of the table will go a long way for you.

Not to get off-topic, but you hit the nail on the head with the WE points. I too have done my share of hard-ass-macho yuppie 80+ hours weeks, I got the 6 figures, had businesses, run other people's businesses, been international, made software, dodged every layoff, survived (escaped/avoided) dot-com lunacy, and been the good corporate soldier.  I put myself through school, and when the jobs were scarce after college, I took any pissant McJob I could get and slept on friends' couches until things started clicking.  It made me a stronger person, imho.

Do undergraduate grades really matter in life? Take it from people who know - they're meaningless unless you want more degrees.  What matters is character and discipline - good life habits.  Some of the best people I ever hired never even went to college. But that's a different thread altogether.   ;)

I would be happy to go to Vermont, buy a house, go to school, and work for 40k if that's what the future holds...  I just wish I could dig up more info on life and programs at the school!   ::)

Thanks for listening to me kvetch ;)

I have three friends that went to vermont and really liked it.  Two of my friends had no problems getting jobs and bought a house in Burlington.  My third friend has had trouble.  I the lower average salary is due to a number of factors.  Environmental law is probably not the hightest paying field of law, and I also think a lot of people are into non-profits.  I've heard that there are a ton of hippies at Vermont, though I could be wrong.  One of my friends said that they had competitions to see who could grow the largest/strangest beard.

Thanks for the info. Did all three have concentrations in Environmental Law?  Can they contribute anything by way of experiences, employment options? (make them login! ;) )

I know Vermont is a nice place. Just seems that actual law students from there are rare - or quiet!

I heard they had strong placement in DOJ (which would be fantastic), but it is just hearsay. 

One was an env. law student, one civil practice, the third is a non-profit type.  The env. law friend was the only one having struggles finding a job.  I heard log cabins go pretty cheaply up there!  F$#@ the winters though. :)

Yes! After living in SoCal for most of my life, moving east is a "cold" reality. :P  But the school is located near Killington, so the skiing will be nice.  Not as good as Mammoth or Whistler, by at least convenient.

I decided not to attend the Southwestern Orientation today afterall.  There is no point since I can't afford to attend, and haven't exactly seen a deluge of Southwestern students extolling its virtues. 

I continue to be surprised by little anyone knows about Vermont Law School.  Are there any alums or other friends of alums willing to speak up?

Vermont did send an advertisement, "100 reasons to go to VLS" [paraphrased], and one of the reasons was "Only law school in the nation where town has no stop lights."

They project a very rural, comfortable atmosphere. I am mostly interested in how the school is for placement and non-environmental issues.