Law School Discussion

Chapman v. Whittier - My visit this weekend

Chapman v. Whittier - My visit this weekend
« on: February 27, 2006, 09:20:46 AM »
This weekend I visited both Chapman and Whittier and I decided to write a comparison of their facilities. I did not go on a guided tour or attend an open house (However, I attended Chapman's open house in January so this was my second visit to Chapman). This just my opinions regarding the facilities from my visit. I am not rating the programs etc. Let me know if you have any questions or if I left anything out.

Library:

Whittier's library is definitely more spacious and much bigger even though it is only one floor, which Chapman's is two floors. Whittier's library is big enough that you have a sort of buffer zone from other students, while Chapman has less tables and study areas. Whittier's library has a more extensive collection and seemed to have more computers that student's could use. I did see study rooms in Chapman's law library and I did not see them in Whittier's law library.

Advantage: Whittier

Classrooms:

Chapman's classrooms are more modern and look more like a law school. There are leveled rows (stadium seating) in Chapman's classrooms and the chairs are comfortable and look new. Chapman's classrooms have a class schedule outside of each class room so students know when the classrooms will be occupied. This is very helpful for students who want to study inside the classrooms (Whittier's classrooms did not display this information). Chapman's classrooms definitely seemed more technologically advanced. They have computers and projectors while very few of Whittier's classrooms had these items. Very few of Whittier's classrooms had stadium leveled seating; most of the classrooms consisted of tables pushed together in a "U" shape facing the professor's podium. In most of the classrooms, the teachers podium was a brown table with a podium on top. Instead of projections and computers (maybe the professors bring labtops...?), there was a white board and markers. Electrical outlets were taped to the table legs at Whittier; they were a socket on top of the table at Chapman.

Advantage: Chapman

Courtrooms:

Chapman's courtrooms are AMAZING. They have 2 courtrooms, an appellate court room and a regular court room. These courtrooms big leather chairs, microphones and seats for the audience. I was really impressed with their courtrooms. Whittier has two courtrooms as well. One courtroom was a regular classroom with the tables pushed into a "U" shape; there was absolutely NO resemblance to a real courtroom. The only reason I knew it was a courtroom was because labeled as such. The second courtroom resembled an actual courtroom but wasn't as nice as either of Chapman's

Advantage: Chapman

General Facilities:

Chapman feels and looks like a law school right when you walk in. There is a huge marble wall, which reads "Road to Freedom" and it has quotes from the Magna Carta, 10 commandments, the constitution etc etched into the wall. It is truly a sight to be seen. Chapman also has a nice game room and cafeteria. They have lockers in a room adjacent to the cafeteria. Whittier looks less like a law school and more like a high school. Instead of the lockers being in one room like Chapman, the lockers line the hallway, which gives it a very high school feel. You truly don't feel like you are in a law school. Whittier also has a game room and the cafeteria looked bigger than Chapman.

Advantage: Chapman

Outdoor facilities:

Whittier has a huge lawn and a beautiful fountain. There are lots of tables outside, where law students can study in the sun. Unlike Chapman, Whittier law students don't have to worry about sharing their facilities with UG students. Chapman has a small courtyard with tables, I didn't see a large lawn like Whittier's. Chapman's architecture is magnificant, while Whittier's is nothing to rave about.

Advantage: Chapman (barely)

Finally, Location:

Chapman is located in beautiful Old Town Orange. There are lots of small restaurants, coffee shops, bars and cute shops within walking distance.This is a very good thing for students who want to grab a quick bite and get back to studying. There are banks and even a Starbucks within walking distance! I really liked the area a lot. There are lots of small law practices there (presumably belonging to chapman law grads). Whittier is in Costa Mesa in the middle of a business district. The law school is literally surrounded by businesses. There are no restaurants/coffee shops within walking distance, although there is an ikea and costco nearby (but not walking distance). The school is fairly close to the AMAZING Southcoast Plaza (which is a plus in my book). There is also a Barnes and Nobles fairly close to the school, where a lot of law students like to study.

Advantage: Chapman

Overall Winner: Chapman

Again, if you have any questions or if I left anything out, please feel free to comment or send me a PM. I hope this post is helpful to those of you decided between those 2 law schools. Remember, I'm not evaluating the professors/programs/classes etc, just the facilities and area.

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Re: Chapman v. Whittier - My visit this weekend
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2006, 08:14:48 PM »
thanks, pinkybella- I was planning on ditching out on Chapman's scholar's weekend program thing I received an invitation for (the invite is looks like a wedding announcement) but hearing your review makes me think it might be worth a look.  Thanks for the review