Law School Discussion

Seattle University

win200

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Re: Seattle University
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2009, 10:43:39 AM »
Every person I've interacted with at Seattle U has been wonderful and encouraging. I have a messy UG track record - academic dismissal due to mental health issues. I asked for an interview to provide some context in addition to the supplemental essay I wrote on the subject and just try to demonstrate that I'm functional and collected, and as soon as I launched into my spiel about how it was a "growing experience," on and on, the woman I was chatting with said, "Oh, we're incredibly supportive of students that have had mental health problems. It's not uncommon during UG years and we think the ability to move beyond it successfully is a strength we find attractive. That's a factor we consider heavily when looking at GPAs." Obviously I'm paraphrasing, but the point is is that she was completely receptive and encouraging. Really gave me the sense that this was a school that was interested in the general welfare of its students and concerned about them as human beings.

And I'll second those props to LawDog... this has been the single most helpful thread I've seen on this forum. Thanks!

I did get a similar vibe at UW when I dropped by last September - it was a pretty good example the Seattle (n)ice phenomenon.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to visit Seattle U, though FWIW I have been in the building before, and I definitely echo your sentiments.

LawDog, you should know that your posts in this thread have been very informative.  I decided a while ago that I want to return to Seattle at some point, and I feel like I have a much better idea of what to expect should I attend.

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2009, 10:06:34 PM »
According to your needs, Win200, I would definitely say SU would be better. I know UW is a "pretty good" law school, but it has developed a very bad reputation with students; there's an arrogance about the faculty and staff. I was accepted into UWLaw and didn't go b/c a certain dean of admissions (along with the profs) turned me off. Bill Baker, the nicest human being in the whole school, retired. So if you have special needs or are a minority or non-traditional student, UWLaw is not such a good place, esp when comparing it to SU, where the environment is student-centered. Besides, UW is whoring GPA's and LSAT's now because it wants to move up in the rankings.

On the other hand, UW's Business school and other grad programs are great, so I would take that into consideration, too. The overall resources of the school are superior to anything north of the Cali-4 or west of Chicago.

win200

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Re: Seattle University
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2009, 03:07:53 AM »
Yeah, I got that impression pretty quickly. I actually never ended up applying. I've applied at some T14 schools, and while they're obviously outside shots, I'm hoping to get into one due to some softs and my LSAT. Then the choice will come down to that and SU - how's that for juxtaposition? I would have no regrets about going to SU, especially b/c the parents will pay the tuition, but I'd just love to have two such stark options.

According to your needs, Win200, I would definitely say SU would be better. I know UW is a "pretty good" law school, but it has developed a very bad reputation with students; there's an arrogance about the faculty and staff. I was accepted into UWLaw and didn't go b/c a certain dean of admissions (along with the profs) turned me off. Bill Baker, the nicest human being in the whole school, retired, so if you have special needs or are a minority or non-traditional student, UWLaw is not such a good place, esp when comparing it to SU, where the environment is student-centered. Besides, UW is whoring GPA's and LSAT's now because it wants to move up in the rankings.

On the other hand, UW's Business school and other grad programs are great, so I would take that into consideration, too. The overall resources of the school are superior to anything north of the Cali-4 or west of Chicago.

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2009, 05:19:58 PM »
Guys, don't delude yourselves!  UW rules the NW and is clearly the #1 school, hands down.  Seattle U offers good opportunities for the top 10% (maybe top 20% in a good year) of the class, the rest have to scramble.  Having that JD is a guarantee of nothing.  It is probably going to drop in the rankings because USNews is going to change its criteria and start including evening/part time program numbers.

Lewis and Clark is the higher ranked school and has a better national reputation.  Now, SU is not bad a place, just  be realistic about it.  In no universe is considered a better school than UW, just a fact.

SU is number 2 in Washington State and always has been. Again, don't take it the wrong way, it's a decent place. By the way, do they still have that horrible, gpa crushing grading curve?  I would investigate that before you send in your deposit.  Also inquire as to OCI and who is hiring on campus.

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2009, 07:57:00 PM »
SU is number 2 in Washington State and always has been.

Yeah, I don't think anyone was arguing otherwise - LawDog was speaking more to the environment on campus.  Even with a smaller law class, I can see how a person could be turned off by UW's overall large-school feel.  This doesn't matter as much to me, but shouldn't be discounted.

As far as SU versus L&C, the difference in rankings between 73 and 82 is so minute that it hardly matters.  When it comes down to it, SU places better in the Seattle market (unsurprisingly).

Anyhow, my main concern is whether someone who definitely wants to practice in Seattle but didn't (yet!) get into UW or a T25 would be better off going to SU, or attending a higher-ranked school (say American or Temple) and trying to move West after getting a J.D.  Everyone I've spoken with says time and again "study where you want to practice."

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2009, 09:19:43 PM »
Congrats on your SU acceptance!  I think the school is great and their writing program is top notch.  However, for those considering other schools, there are a couple things that may factor into your decision when weighing SU against your other choices.  For one, it looks like SU's esteemed dean may be on her way out (perhaps to UW?).  This isn't a knock against the school as to her leaving - Dean turnover occurs at all law schools - but it is worth noting that the school will likely be going through some administrative changes.  Second, the school is very large - I think about 3x the size of UW.  My impression is that this, combined with the view in the legal community that it is the second best school in the city creates a pretty competitive atmosphere.  There is more to a school than a friendly administration.  A friendly and supportive class can go a long way to getting through a pretty intense 3 years.  Again, I'm not saying that people at SU aren't friendly (I have no idea, but I'm quite sure they are all, or most, very nice people).  I'm just saying that the atmosphere of the school can impact people's experience.  That said, SU is a really great local program and if you want to work in Seattle, it would be a very good choice.

win200

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Re: Seattle University
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2009, 11:49:20 PM »
This is my question as well. At what ranking does attending a school outside of the NW outweigh an SU education if one's intent on practicing in Seattle? I'm sure most folks would agree that T14 is always going to outplace SU in Seattle, but what about Washington & Lee? William & Mary? On down to Tulane?

SU is number 2 in Washington State and always has been.

Anyhow, my main concern is whether someone who definitely wants to practice in Seattle but didn't (yet!) get into UW or a T25 would be better off going to SU, or attending a higher-ranked school (say American or Temple) and trying to move West after getting a J.D.  Everyone I've spoken with says time and again "study where you want to practice."

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2009, 01:39:20 AM »
This is my question as well. At what ranking does attending a school outside of the NW outweigh an SU education if one's intent on practicing in Seattle? I'm sure most folks would agree that T14 is always going to outplace SU in Seattle, but what about Washington & Lee? William & Mary? On down to Tulane?

SU is number 2 in Washington State and always has been.

Anyhow, my main concern is whether someone who definitely wants to practice in Seattle but didn't (yet!) get into UW or a T25 would be better off going to SU, or attending a higher-ranked school (say American or Temple) and trying to move West after getting a J.D.  Everyone I've spoken with says time and again "study where you want to practice."

That is a really tough question. It would depend on the respective out-of-state Career Services offices, and whether they are honest about the job prospects of their graduates. Schools are lying a lot these days, about employment and salaries for sure. Check out this link. It really discusses T3/T4 schools mostly, but the conversation was good...

http://www.abajournal.com/news/law_dean_says_schools_exploiting_students_who_dont_succeed/

The schools you speak of are regional, and can get you employment in the east and northeast...but remember, firms like K & L Gates have offices nationwide, so you might still have a better shot at getting into the Seattle market's top firms by going away. There's no solid threshhold, but I can tell you this: A UC-Davis grad, or even a Loyola (L.A.) or San Diego grad, can crack the Seattle market easier than an SU grad can crack the Cali markets.

And I suspect it works the same way for NY or D.C.. A W & L grad or a W & M grad can crack the Seattle market much easier than an SU grad can get into the larger East coast markets. And that's talking ANY job at all. In fact, you'd pretty much have to forget about it right out of law school. 99.999 percent of the time, the firms in those cities won't touch an out-of-state below T-60 grad without an exceptionally strong track record (of about five-seven years) and connections. And even then, it still won't be Skadden or Cravath.

One of the best ways to get work in Seattle is to go away. That said, top SU grads (30% or better) will get jobs. 

Oh...for what it's worth, my personal experience with UW Law students is that some (not all) can have real attitudes or lack people skills. And, even those who enter law school with a modicum of charisma can have it sucked out of them by the bland and sometimes negative energy in the school. SU students are smart, yet humble (again, not all) and more collegial. They have people skills...this is one of the most important things the SU adcom looks for, and not all schools do. They want evidence that they are not admitting some stiff who will lack the people skills to fish for himself and make connections. As for the administration's impact on a school, I believe in top-down influence; as goes a school's administration and faculty, so goes the student body.

Re: Seattle University
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2009, 01:53:24 AM »
SU is number 2 in Washington State and always has been.

Yeah, I don't think anyone was arguing otherwise - LawDog was speaking more to the environment on campus.  Even with a smaller law class, I can see how a person could be turned off by UW's overall large-school feel.  This doesn't matter as much to me, but shouldn't be discounted.

As far as SU versus L&C, the difference in rankings between 73 and 82 is so minute that it hardly matters.  When it comes down to it, SU places better in the Seattle market (unsurprisingly).

Anyhow, my main concern is whether someone who definitely wants to practice in Seattle but didn't (yet!) get into UW or a T25 would be better off going to SU, or attending a higher-ranked school (say American or Temple) and trying to move West after getting a J.D.  Everyone I've spoken with says time and again "study where you want to practice."

That is mostly good advice, but it has limits. I think the top-35 or so and above would be a good place to begin relaxing that rule. If I were choosing between Illinois and SU, I would have to pick Illinois, even if I wanted to practice in Seattle. There's always a chance that my plans could change, and the Illinois degree is much more portable. If you look at Seattle Magazine's list of top attorneys, you'll see that many came from top schools nationwide; a surprising number of them came from "very good", but not "elite", schools. So a degree from a top school in another market can be ported to Seattle.

win200

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Re: Seattle University
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2009, 08:47:04 AM »

Oh...for what it's worth, my personal experience with UW Law students is that some (not all) can have real attitudes or lack people skills. And, even those who enter law school with a modicum of charisma can have it sucked out of them by the bland and sometimes negative energy in the school. SU students are smart, yet humble (again, not all) and more collegial. They have people skills...this is one of the most important things the SU adcom looks for, and not all schools do. They want evidence that they are not admitting some stiff who will lack the people skills to fish for himself and make connections. As for the administration's impact on a school, I believe in top-down influence; as goes a school's administration and faculty, so goes the student body.


That's interesting. I had an hour-long interview at SU and was admitted very quickly afterward. I'm a good interview in that I'm gregarious and have a scintilla of charisma/people skills, and general really enjoy interviews. After I'd exhausted my questions we ended up chatting for 40 minutes about tangential issues, like travel, other law schools, etc. I have a relatively unorthodox application and she seemed to appreciate that I wanted to come in in person to discuss it.

I'm gunning for some top schools - GULC, NUSL, Vandy, UVA, Cornell - but I don't think I'm going to be admitted to any. W&L and W&M are more likely, and I'd be really inclined to go to one of them. From what I've read, it seems unlikely to me that if I went to W&L and did well that I'd have a horrible time finding employment in Seattle.