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Author Topic: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?  (Read 4718 times)

CTL

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I'm curious to find out which T14 schools have the best atmosphere among students.  Anyone have any information?
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TimMitchell

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and colegial student body?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 12:42:37 PM »
Purely Anecdotal/speculative.

Not competitive: Yale, Stanford, Penn, Virginia, Michigan, Berk, Duke, Northwestern
Competitive: Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, NYU, Cornell
Very Competitive: Georgetown

I can see why Yale and Stanford wouldn't be that competitve because of their grading polices, but what makes you say the others are not so competitive. Also, what have you heard that makes you think Georgetown is so competitve?

Also, the only experience I have is touring Penn's campus and it seemed great, a know a few kids who went to undergrad there and they loved it

clairel

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and colegial student body?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 12:48:59 PM »
i would guess that the further down the t14 you go, the more competitive (since slightly more people don't get jobs). i imagine that YHS aren't competitive at all, CCN not very much, MVPB a little more but still pretty collegial. so georgetown and cornell might be more competitive than HYS or CCN, but i still think that the t14 are more collegial than many other schools since the chances of employment are so high.

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and colegial student body?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 12:51:01 PM »
I can only speak to Yale, but I'll say that it is a very collaborative and supportive environment. There's lots of individualism here, but also lots of cooperation to solve problems. Competition is non-existent because generally opportunities are abundant. 
.
I also know that Georgetown is ultra-competitive because it is a factory. Way more kids than good jobs available. Essential to get on Law Review for good clerkship, top half for biglaw, etc.
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CTL

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 01:04:48 PM »
Let me make a distinction between what I mean by 'collegial' and competitive.  I think we can all agree that law school is inherently competetive, barring some examples (Yale, Stanford(?)).  What I am interested in knowing is if any particular T14 schools go out of their way to foster a relative environment of cooperation and openness among students.  Are there any law schools that shape their 1L programs in such a way that interaction is emphasized?

From my research, it seems like Northwestern tries to create that sort of environment from a) its emphasis on small courses and group work in 1L and b) its choice of relatively 'mature' students with work experience.  

Do any other schools stand out like this?
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Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 01:30:38 PM »
Let me make a distinction between what I mean by 'collegial' and competitive.  I think we can all agree that law school is inherently competetive, barring some examples (Yale, Stanford(?)).  What I am interested in knowing is if any particular T14 schools go out of their way to foster a relative environment of cooperation and openness among students.  Are there any law schools that shape their 1L programs in such a way that interaction is emphasized?

From my research, it seems like Northwestern tries to create that sort of environment from a) its emphasis on small courses and group work in 1L and b) its choice of relatively 'mature' students with work experience. 

Do any other schools stand out like this?

Yale has a really small class to begin with. I think my class is 196 kids. As a first semester 1L student you are assigned to a small group of 12-16 kids. You take all of your classes your first semester with these 16 kids and one of your classes (one of Con Law, Contracts, Torts or Civ Pro) is ONLY with those 16 kids. So obviously, you become pretty close to the people in your small group since you see them all the time.

In addition, first semester students have to complete two writing assignments (a memo and a brief) as well as Oral arguments on their writing assignment. In each of these three activities, collaboration and cooperation is encouraged.

Yale also assigns 2Ls and 3Ls to take 1Ls out to dinner, to bars, etc. Then of course, there are activities and organizations. There's a significant portion of 1Ls who play basketball regularly that I've gotten to know pretty well.

The student body tends to be older, on average. Only about 1/3 of the class is straight out of undergrad usually.

Yale's law campus is simply one HUGE building with a stunning courtyard. There's a student lounge where everyone hangs out. A table where people congregate before classes. We have our own dining hall where discussion groups meet, people study or friends share conversation. All the classes allow internet access...so students generally chat about issues during classes and if someone gets stuck on a question, they merely need to look down at their IM box where someone will have cited cases and analysis for the stuck student to regurgitate. Students also have a wall where we discuss internal issues that are facing the law school amongst ourselves.  Student reps organize a bar review every thursday night where we all (law school students) go to a bar or a club on Thursday nights for good times.

I don't know this compares to other schools, but that's YLS in a nutshell.

YLS c/o 2009

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 01:32:55 PM »
This is all secondhand, but I think that Georgetown's Curriculum B is probably pretty collegial.
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TimMitchell

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 01:34:17 PM »
Let me make a distinction between what I mean by 'collegial' and competitive.  I think we can all agree that law school is inherently competetive, barring some examples (Yale, Stanford(?)).  What I am interested in knowing is if any particular T14 schools go out of their way to foster a relative environment of cooperation and openness among students.  Are there any law schools that shape their 1L programs in such a way that interaction is emphasized?

From my research, it seems like Northwestern tries to create that sort of environment from a) its emphasis on small courses and group work in 1L and b) its choice of relatively 'mature' students with work experience. 

Do any other schools stand out like this?

Yale has a really small class to begin with. I think my class is 196 kids. As a first semester 1L student you are assigned to a small group of 12-16 kids. You take all of your classes your first semester with these 16 kids and one of your classes (one of Con Law, Contracts, Torts or Civ Pro) is ONLY with those 16 kids. So obviously, you become pretty close to the people in your small group since you see them all the time.

In addition, first semester students have to complete two writing assignments (a memo and a brief) as well as Oral arguments on their writing assignment. In each of these three activities, collaboration and cooperation is encouraged.

Yale also assigns 2Ls and 3Ls to take 1Ls out to dinner, to bars, etc. Then of course, there are activities and organizations. There's a significant portion of 1Ls who play basketball regularly that I've gotten to know pretty well.

The student body tends to be older, on average. Only about 1/3 of the class is straight out of undergrad usually.

Yale's law campus is simply one HUGE building with a stunning courtyard. There's a student lounge where everyone hangs out. A table where people congregate before classes. We have our own dining hall where discussion groups meet, people study or friends share conversation. All the classes allow internet access...so students generally chat about issues during classes and if someone gets stuck on a question, they merely need to look down at their IM box where someone will have cited cases and analysis for the stuck student to regurgitate. Students also have a wall where we discuss internal issues that are facing the law school amongst ourselves.  Student reps organize a bar review every thursday night where we all (law school students) go to a bar or a club on Thursday nights for good times.

I don't know this compares to other schools, but that's YLS in a nutshell.



Jeez, like I didn't want to go to Yale before! Sounds great, especially the IMing while being socrated bit.

TimMitchell

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 01:39:41 PM »
Let me make a distinction between what I mean by 'collegial' and competitive.  I think we can all agree that law school is inherently competetive, barring some examples (Yale, Stanford(?)).  What I am interested in knowing is if any particular T14 schools go out of their way to foster a relative environment of cooperation and openness among students.  Are there any law schools that shape their 1L programs in such a way that interaction is emphasized?

From my research, it seems like Northwestern tries to create that sort of environment from a) its emphasis on small courses and group work in 1L and b) its choice of relatively 'mature' students with work experience. 

Do any other schools stand out like this?

Yale has a really small class to begin with. I think my class is 196 kids. As a first semester 1L student you are assigned to a small group of 12-16 kids. You take all of your classes your first semester with these 16 kids and one of your classes (one of Con Law, Contracts, Torts or Civ Pro) is ONLY with those 16 kids. So obviously, you become pretty close to the people in your small group since you see them all the time.

In addition, first semester students have to complete two writing assignments (a memo and a brief) as well as Oral arguments on their writing assignment. In each of these three activities, collaboration and cooperation is encouraged.

Yale also assigns 2Ls and 3Ls to take 1Ls out to dinner, to bars, etc. Then of course, there are activities and organizations. There's a significant portion of 1Ls who play basketball regularly that I've gotten to know pretty well.

The student body tends to be older, on average. Only about 1/3 of the class is straight out of undergrad usually.

Yale's law campus is simply one HUGE building with a stunning courtyard. There's a student lounge where everyone hangs out. A table where people congregate before classes. We have our own dining hall where discussion groups meet, people study or friends share conversation. All the classes allow internet access...so students generally chat about issues during classes and if someone gets stuck on a question, they merely need to look down at their IM box where someone will have cited cases and analysis for the stuck student to regurgitate. Students also have a wall where we discuss internal issues that are facing the law school amongst ourselves.  Student reps organize a bar review every thursday night where we all (law school students) go to a bar or a club on Thursday nights for good times.

I don't know this compares to other schools, but that's YLS in a nutshell.



Jeez, like I didn't want to go to Yale before! Sounds great, especially the IMing while being socrated bit.

Don't fall too in love with the place, Tim.  While most people expect Vandy to crack the T14 in the near future, the one thing that will shock people is that Vandy's rise will cause Yale to fall out of the T14 for the first time.  You heard it here first!

If Yale falls out of the T14 than it will probably be because of Cooley, I mean Yale SUCKS on their rankings! Why can't we just start calling it T15, the whole 14 thing seems like of wack.

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Re: Which T14 schools have the most supportive and collegial student body?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 06:45:53 PM »
I'm surprised more has not been made of Michigan's collegiality yet.  They really make a big deal about it here, and it's working.  It is a community, and if that's what you're looking for you will certainly find it here.

I have heard the same things about Yale and Stanford, but I've never heard anything about Harvard except that it's competitive.  (That's not necessarily a bad thing, but wouldn't be the kind of environment I would want to be in now.  Maybe ten years ago.)

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