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Author Topic: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 1495 times)

Backpack

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HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« on: June 02, 2006, 01:31:03 AM »
AHHHHH!!!  I am completely and utterly frustrated trying to make a decision here.

I am currently trying to decide between George Mason and the University of Iowa.  I really, desperately need some feedback from current law students (anywhere) as to how either school is perceived in the legal community.

THANK YOU, so much, for the help.  I really appreciate it!!


Some of the reasons I'm having trouble (in the event that it's helpful):
- GMU recently lost its head of admissions, Anne Richards, who was instrumental in moving the school up the ranks (will the school fall in rankings? is the school gaming the numbers?  does she think the school has done as well as it's going to do in terms of the rankings?)
- While visiting GMU I couldn't quite put my finger on why the school has made it to number 37 in the rankings (is it because of the Nobel Prize winning economists? increased selectivity in admissions? or, again, is it because they're gaming the numbers? <- though it's hard to believe this could be the only reason)
- UI is in Iowa (enough said, I think)
- Univ. of Iowa is ranked higher, but has far fewer (approximately half) the number of corporate law classes (which I want to specialize in)
- Univ. of Iowa doesn't offer courses in Mergers and Acquisitions, which I am very much interested in and would like to work in this area after graduation.
- The cost is not an overwhelming factor for either school
- NALP has more corporate law firms recruiting from UI than GMU, but GMU has more firms recruiting on the east coast (I don't mind networking to find a job, though, and have ties to the area in which I want to work)

4DClaw

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 07:34:19 AM »
Unfortunately, I don't start school until August, and I know nothing about U of Iowa, other than Iowa City is a pretty cool place. But I had seriously considered going to GMU (ended up deciding on GW). It was a tough call, though, particularly because GMU's in-state tuition is so cheap. Even if you're out of state, if you play your cards right you can qualify for in-state tuition by 2L.

Here were the things that impressed me about GMU:
- The placement in federal government legal jobs is very high. I don't know about ultra-competitive jobs like DOJ Honors and State, but it seems like GMU has a fair number of grads in many of the big departments.
- As you mentioned, the Nobel Laureate economists. And more broadly, the economics focus. It seems like a very practical approach to law.
- Location. You can't get much better real-world legal experience than being in the DC area.
- Small class size. I like having a smaller number of students in the incoming class. You get to know people better and there's more opportunity for individual attention.
- Adjunct faculty. Thanks to GMU's location, some very impressive, real-world practitioners teach there.
- The building. While it's not a gorgeous, traditional law school campus, it certainly meets the needs of a law school, and it's conveniently on the metro line.

Here were some negatives:
-Ultimately, what caused me to choose GW over GMU was the reputation among employers. I spoke to many current GMU students. Even some of them said that if they had the choice, they'd be at GW, only because of the name recognition. True, both GW and GMU are behind Georgetown. But GW is clearly the second best in the DC area, and GMU is pretty much tied with AU for third. Personally, after visiting both schools, I think GMU is far better than AU. But AU has been around longer and has a larger alumni base.
- About 100 employers interview on campus at GMU, and if you want a good shot at actually getting a biglaw job, you need to be in top 10 percent + journal.
- It's very difficult to get a job out of GMU law school that isn't in the DC area or southeast. Before March Madness, nobody outside of the DC area had ever heard of George Mason University.
- The faculty definitely has a conservative bias. I didn't get the sense that this had much impact on the composition of the student body, but it's definitely something to consider.
- Four semesters of GRADED legal writing.
Georgetown

phosita

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 11:58:15 AM »
Wow - I think you need to take a deep breath and relax a little. :)

I know nothing about either of these schools, but, to me, the deciding factors would be:
- Univ. of Iowa is ranked higher, but has far fewer (approximately half) the number of corporate law classes (which I want to specialize in)
- Univ. of Iowa doesn't offer courses in Mergers and Acquisitions, which I am very much interested in and would like to work in this area after graduation.

In my opinion all the other factors you listed are pretty much irrelevant. Well not irrelevant, but insigificant enough that you shouldn't be losing sleep over this decision. Any given school will have pluses an minuses when compared to any other school so you'll always be giving something up when you choose one over the other.
I'd pick the school that offers the subject matter I want to learn. When looking for your first job, it seems like actually having some classroom exposure to the area you want to work in would be far more beneficial that a JD from a school with a slightly higher ranking (I don't know where Iowa is ranked, but I'm assuiming it's not in the top 20 or so). When looking for your second job it won't matter at all.
 

Backpack

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 02:42:50 PM »
You're totally right, I do need to take a deep breath.  It's just that I've been going around and around on this for months and really want to make the right decision.

Iowa is ranked 23rd.  It's been in the top 25 for the past four or five + years.  This is why, for me, making this decision is so difficult.  Meanwhile, GMU only recently (last two years) has made it to the top tier (40 something last year, and 37 this year).

Thanks for the help everyone!!

StrictlyLiable

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 07:05:49 PM »
Here's a clue: How about instead of looking a numbers in a magazine and asking feedback from other no nothing "soon to be 1L's" to make a decision that is going to define your career, you visit the schools, ask students and faculty questions, and make a friggin decision for yourself. Or are you incapable of independant decision making?

phosita

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2006, 07:12:20 PM »
Here's a clue: How about instead of looking a numbers in a magazine and asking feedback from other no nothing "soon to be 1L's" to make a decision that is going to define your career, you visit the schools, ask students and faculty questions, and make a friggin decision for yourself. Or are you incapable of independant decision making?

Yeah, doing research and asking people who may have alternative points of view for their opinions is stupid! Nice work StrictlyLiable, thanks to your incredibly helpful contribution I'm sure all the OP's problems are solved. Brilliant.



 


StrictlyLiable

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2006, 07:26:23 PM »
Anyone who expects their personal problems to be solved by anonymous people (many of whom either pretend to be law students or are Cooley students) on the internet is a feminine hygiene product.

Anyone who defends the idiocy of that feminine hygiene product is the toilet that the feminine hygiene product is flushed down after its been used.

Budlaw

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2006, 03:15:19 AM »
Here's a clue: How about instead of looking a numbers in a magazine and asking feedback from other no nothing "soon to be 1L's" to make a decision that is going to define your career, you visit the schools, ask students and faculty questions, and make a friggin decision for yourself. Or are you incapable of independant decision making?

So I've decided that Strictlyliable sucks. I will officially be hating on him from here on out.

Hey Strictly: I'm sorry that your life sucks, but maybe you shouldn't take it out on everyone else. Maybe you should have went to a slightly better school and then you wouldn't be in the situation you're in now. Stop being a female dog, and take out some student loans.

Later you @ # ! * ing loser.

 :-*

XXX

Kisses!

StrictlyLiable

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2006, 08:17:55 PM »
Dude, you're an annoying first year who has been dishing out advice about exams and black letter law since you first started posting here in December. If your male private part gets hard from pretending to be an omniscient authority on everything that is law school so that a few indecisive computer nerds thinks you're cool, more power to you. Where I come from those types of people are called losers . . . . and never get laid (hence your frequent posts)

Budlaw

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Re: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 08:29:20 PM »
Dude, you're an annoying first year who has been dishing out advice about exams and black letter law since you first started posting here in December. If your male private part gets hard from pretending to be an omniscient authority on everything that is law school so that a few indecisive computer nerds thinks you're cool, more power to you. Where I come from those types of people are called losers . . . . and never get laid (hence your frequent posts)

Whose pretending? I am an omniscient authority on everything that is lawschool.

And I do get laid. Tell your wife thanks and that the money's on the dresser.