Law School Discussion

What's it like?


What's it like?
« on: March 04, 2003, 02:15:26 PM »
I've been admitted and I don't know whether to go or not.It's all the way on the other side of the country and I'm just unsure. Is it as competitive as they say? Are the students generally happy? Is there time to have a social life? Do you get to enjoy San Francisco?

Re: What's it like?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2003, 04:15:33 PM »
I had some of the same concerns, coming from the Northeast.  This really is a nice place to live, especially since it almost never gets below 50 in the winter daytime.  The students here come from a wide range of places, so you wouldn't be the only new Californian.

As far as competitiveness (if that's even a word)?  Doesn't exist.  The 1L class right now is gaining a reputation as a bunch of gunners, but from what I know of the 2L class, everybody is pretty cool.  No one talks about grades, since everyone knows that we're all a bunch of brainiacs/nerds anyway.  Stanford has a reasonable curve (read grade inflation) and most of the professors clump, so there are few standouts.  No one knows who is tops in the class (they have some sort of award for the top GPA, but I don't think they tell anyone who got it other than the winner).  Cold calling (the socratic method) only exists in half the 1L classes, and even then it's pretty much painless as long as it's not a visiting professor (visiting professors go to town on you, but Stanford faculty are a bunch of fluffy pillows once they've been here for a few years).  After the first year, cold calling is practically non-existant.  In sum: this place is a breeze.  Sun all day long, smiles all round.

Having said that, free time is a luxury.  I spend more time on the golf course (twilight rate: 10 dollars for nine holes on one of the top 100 course in the country) than in the library, but apparantly that's not normal.  A lot of people go on trips and do things in the city during the weekends, so leisure is not a total unknown.  Just make sure to befriend cool people who don't study 24/7.

Stanford is also a great name to have on the resume when looking for jobs.  The on-campus interview process for 2Ls is amazing, and pretty much everyone gets a job in the city of their choice, though it's not as glorious as a few years ago.  

Finally, aspirations for law review if there's any interest there: it's not based on grades or a writing competition like a lot of schools.  It's based on a rather gruelling editing exercise.  In other words, you don't have to worry about it until May.  For me, that was a major plus.


Re: What's it like?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2004, 02:38:02 AM »
I've also been admitted at Stanford.  I went and visited a few weeks ago and got a great feeling there.  The campus and law facilities are wonderful.  I'm a midwest person and I've never spent much time in California (just 2 short vacations), but I felt right at home there.  I got to go to some classes and have lunch with a current 1L.  All of the students were really friendly and enthusiastic, and I can confirm that competition seemed to be nonexistent.  One class I visited was with a visiting prof, who my host warned my was the most strict and traditional he had, but the prof actually seemed pretty nice to me; he wasn't too rough on anybody when he called on them.  The other class I went to was very laid back.  I was really sold on the place after I visited, and I'm now pretty sure I'll be taking Stanford over Harvard.  I bet that if you go to the admitted students weekend in April (and why not, since they'll pay $400 for transportation costs) that your concerns will be resolved.

Re: What's it like?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2005, 12:29:03 AM »
I went to Stanford for my undergrad and I'm debating between it and Harvard at the moment.  I'm going to Harvard's admit weekend at the end of this month, but let me tell you - Stanford is Fabulous.  It's a great place to spend a few years, especially if you're coming from the east.

I've had several friends who went to Stanford Law and they all loved it.  From what I've heard (and this is from Harvard students among others), Stanford has some of the happiest law students in the country.

The weather in Palo Alto is amazing.  I went out in a t-shirt today and debated putting on shorts. For a sense of comparison, here's the weather forecast for tomorrow:

Boston: 39/29 F
Humidty 92%

Palo Alto: 69/49 F
Humidty 72%

Let me know if you have any specific questions.
Debating among: Stanford, Boalt, Harvard
Despite The OC: UCLA


Re: What's it like?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2005, 07:49:20 PM »
Thanks guys for the info!  I'll definitely be applying to Stanford.  It seems that many other actual law students here don't want to reveal what school they are from (I wonder why???), but you guys don't, which is great.

Re: What's it like?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005, 04:47:37 PM »
There's a couple of us over on the pre-LS board who are set on stanford, if any one else wants to join the dicussion. It's entitled "stanford bound!" under "decided," and we've had a couple of people with stanford-knowledge contribute.