Law School Discussion

Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)

Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« on: March 20, 2005, 12:32:59 PM »
Just got back from their admit day and i have to say i was very very impressed.  The school seemed to not be like the ugrad in anyway at all.  Politically it seemed very mixed but everyoen seemed to get along.  The atmosphere was really relaxed.  I think the thing that impressed me the most was that not once did the dean, profs, or students talk about "our lsat score range" "our alums who do this" "how many people applied for each spot" "how much harder admissions is gettin".  They all just seemed content letting the school speak for itself.  Everyone was really friendly and really seeemed to enjoy the academic environment.  Despite being in nowhere it wasn't as isolated as i thought it would be and the student consensus seemed to be "we all know everyone so we always have stuff to do".  The building was def 70's looking on the outside but pretty nice inside.  The classrooms (save for one which was blaringly orange) were the smallest, most comfortable, and got the most sunlight of anywhere i saw.  Student body seemed mixed with people from all over tho it seemed like a heavy texas population existed for some reason.  I asked about their low employement rates and they claimed it was becuz govt jobs reequire you to pass the bar first which is why so few have jobs at graduation (tho looking at the numbers i dont buy this) and that the bar passage rate was low because very few people take it in VA so 1 failure screws the % (tho wouldnt that mean they could get 100% every now and then?)  Overall i was very impressed and really have a tough decision to make (i guess i'll see bc's open house in a few weeks). 

dubris

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 03:02:07 PM »
I was there as well. I think Fred wrote an excellent summary of the day's events. I'll just add a couple of things:

The professors were really impressive, starting with the mock torts class with professor Murchison. It would be impossible to fall asleep in his class. He was very funny and very intense... picture Lewis Black as a law professor (ok, maybe not that intense.) W&L also had a set of "practice area" presentations where different professors spoke about different legal specialties. No other admit day I've been to has come close to being as informative as those presentations were, epsecially the one for IP (their IP professor was fairly new. I was told W&L doesn't have a strong history in this area, but they're trying to improve that.)

I felt the most disappointing aspect of the day was the students they chose to participate in the day activities. The tour guides and the student discussion panel all chose to attend W&L because it was the highest ranked school they were admitted to. I think one student chose W&L over UNC, everyone else only had acceptances from low T1 & T2 schools. There's nothing wrong with that, and most of these students were very nice and willing to speak honestly about the school, but a lot of admits were choosing between other T25 schools. It would have helped us to have someone to speak to who was in a similar situation last year. I met some students at the optional dinner that chose W&L over other T25 schools (Vandy, BC and I think UIUC) but not every student got to hear their perspective about the school (unlike the student panel who addressed everyone at the same time.) Also, the W&L students on the discussion panel had a somewhat 'pissy' attitude about Lexington, W&L undergrad students, and law school in general. This was a big turn off to a lot of admits I spoke to. (I was a little put off by it, just not as much as others.)

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 03:42:41 PM »
what did the guy who picked wl over bc/vandy say??? what did you notice abotu the student board thing that seemed pissy?  ( i misread people sometimes)

dubris

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 03:53:52 PM »
what did the guy who picked wl over bc/vandy say??? what did you notice abotu the student board thing that seemed pissy?  ( i misread people sometimes)

it was two different people (women.) one said that she really liked the faculty and the feel of the school more than BC (thinking about it, it might have been BU.) the other wants to practice in DC and (i think) also has a boyfriend in DC. sorry i can't remember more. i don't think i paid as much attention because I'm not looking at either school. like i said, it would have been cool if everyone got to speak with them.

'pissy' wasn't my word, but i think the guy on the left seemed like he wasn't happy being there, or happy about the prospect of being a lawyer. that may have amplified the other students' complaints, where if you heard them alone they wouldn't have meant much. does that make sense? (not sarcastic, i'm really asking.)

 

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2005, 04:11:08 PM »
oh ok i think i see what you are saying- that kind of 'would you go to law school again in hindsight' answer where they were they kind of dodged and bashed it?

dubris

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2005, 05:00:23 PM »
oh ok i think i see what you are saying- that kind of 'would you go to law school again in hindsight' answer where they were they kind of dodged and bashed it?

yeah, that's what I noticed the most. i appreciated the honesty, but they could have 'finessed' the answer some. i don't think it was appropriate to do that in front of prospective students.


dubris

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2005, 05:30:05 PM »
let me compare it to other student panels i've been to. at notre dame, lots of prosepectives were concerned about it being a catholic school, conservative, etc. the students' answers were similar to "its not really pushed on you." "the faculty is a mix of both viewpoints." "the law school has a variety of clubs. the administration's view on sexual orientation is lame, but its an administrative issue." "the students are very tolerant."  at WUSTL, lots of prospectives were concerned about its ranking not being equal to its reputation. that student panel said "our reputation has yet to catch up to our ranking, but we feel its catching up day-by-day." "we're on the rise, and the rankings are proof." etc. Those are honest and well-thought out answers (if not a little rehearsed.)
a lot of prospectives' concern about W&L is that its in the middle of nowhere and you'll go crazy with nothing to do but law school. they addressed these concerns with statements like: "it can get discouraging. i took walk in the woods and decided to quit school, but i figured i might as well finish." "the ugrads here are 80% greek and they suck." "not much to do but drink... a lot." "i don't like to read." i'm taking some of those quotes out of context, but you get the point.
if it seems like i'm stuck on this, its because the admit day up until that point was great. i could see why W&L had the #1 ranking in princeton review for its faculty. the law specialties presentation was great. W&L really has to sell their school to prospectives because its in Lexington, and my opinion from talking to other people was the current students were a big turn-off...


Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 10:26:51 AM »
Let me chime in here.

I talked to about a dozen 1L / 2L's (and 1 or 2 3L's) outside the students on the panel.  I also found the panel to be sub par in promoting the school. 

A 1L who I talked to extensively (over an hour), and who passed up a near full scholarship to George Washington, said the he thought one of the male panel members was a "tool," and to not take what he says seriously, because all-in-all he fits in better with the undergraduate than with the law school students (I think you can figure out who I'm speaking of).

I derived from our conversation that this 1L is in the top 10% of his class so far, and because of that, added to the fact that he had an unrelated masters degree and real world experience, he's probably a more credible source than Twilly or Twiggy or whatever his name was. 

I think the Indian 1L was insightful, and the 3L who passed up UK is one of the very few students who go into the Public sector and is an atypical source of information in the scheme of things. 

It seemed like the two 2L's on the panels were simply burnt out on law school, like 2L's get around this time, and were probably not the best people to present to the prospectives (a goof on the administration's part).  I think the typical cycle for almost any law school anywhere is that you go into 1L first semester with a full tank of gas, the novelty of being in law school is as fresh as the morning dew, and for about 2 - 3 months you're psyched up.  By about November, when you realize exams are coming up, you freak/stress out, and you become a nutcase.  You go on xmas break, come back, and you feel like the storm has settled, you've gotten your first grades, and you know where you stand and where you need to go from there.  By 2L, you've passed through what seems like the "worst part," you had a summer off and you got a taste of sweet sweet freedom from law school, and you come back a little bit more disenchanted as the novelty is completely gone.  By exams in December you're not just somewhat bored and disenchanted, you're also overly stressed from another set of exams and looking for jobs the following summer, but all you can think about is xmas break, because you know you're going to be employed (hopefully) the entire next summer.  I think this is where the 2L's are now--they're lost in the uncertainty of having a job, bored because the novelty is gone, and at the most distant point between the excitement of starting law school and the relief of finishing law school and the excitement of a new job.

This is just my theory--but I agree, I think they could have done a better job selecting panel people.  I personally met more than one 1L/2L on my own time who could have done a far superior job.

dubris

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 11:15:37 AM »
Good points stuvxyz. I think your theory about the 2Ls is probably correct. What is your opinion of the school after the visit?

Edit: nevermind, saw your post in the other thread.

Re: Washington & Lee Admit Day (3/19)
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 11:30:27 AM »
i did like tho that they seemed to be honest- nothing would have made me more annoyed if i heard how the school is 100% wonderful in everyway- nothing is perfect so if i dont hear some negatives, im going to be a little bugged and question all teh good stuff they'd say