I had a good visit there this past weekend. There seems to be a much closer-knit environment at W&M than I presume many larger schools might have, and it really seems like students really do get to know their professors. I've spoken to a number of current students, and you get the sense that they sincerely like being there. (Not once have I heard anything like, "Are you SURE you want to go to law school, heh, heh?") Everything I've heard about W&M (UG, as well as law) always painted it as a very "academic" environment, with people doing nothing but studying, but talking to actual students, you get a very different sense. They all at least claim that it's not a hyper-competitive environment, in the least. Their Legal Skills program is also supposed to be fantastic, and is purported to be very highly-regarded by firms familiar with the school (of which there are apparently many, at least in DC, VA and even Philly.) Their Career Services office also seems to do a lot to help all students, not just those at the top of their class (although like anywhere else, I'm sure it's at least partly what you make of it.)The physical facilities of the LS itself aren't all that impressive. It's obvious they're working towards upgrading everything, and the classrooms I saw were nicer/newer, and all had wireless access. The student lounge area is nondescript - kinda like a small high school cafeteria, minus the food (all they have is a small coffee vendor - where they do at least sell sandwiches - and some vending machines.) The library is WAY outdated (like, '50's), although they're beginning a major renovation this year that should be completed by fall 2006/spring 2007, depending on who you're talking to. The coolest thing is the Courtroom 21, which is the "most technologically advanced courtroom in the world" (to quote their literature.) In addition to hosting moot courts and programs that have been attended in the past by Supreme Court Justices, they also use it as a classroom, and part of the Legal Skills program involves learning to use courtroom technology that most schools don't even have.As far as life in Williamsburg, I have to say that's still my biggest concern. It definitely didn't seem TOO small-town, or stifling or anything...but I'm from DC, and am VERY reluctant to leave, particularly for a smaller town. I'm 32, so the bar scene isn't my biggest concern, but I like having easy access to all the amenities a city provides, and I'm not sure how much of that you get in W'burg. All the students (including 10 on a brief Q&A panel I sat in on) said they like it there, and aren't bothered by it being a smaller town - and that "Newport News is only 25 minutes away, and Richmond just an hour" - but I'm not sure I want to have to go even that far for things like multiple dining options, etc. All the basics are there (Target , movie theaters, etc.) but I'm still on the fence about that. On the other hand, it's law school. How much time am I gonna have for outside stuff anyway? And, the cost of living there is super-low, at least relative to DC. A basic 2BR, 2BA condo in the DC suburbs can easily go for $360K+. In W'burg, the same condo would be about $135K, if that. Rent is also proportionately lower, especially if you want to have roommates - $300/mo isn't unrealistic in that scenario.That's all I can think of for now, but if you think of anything else, feel free to ask.
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