Ok I need some feedback to this question:
How national is the GWU name? Specifically how does it compare vis a vis Notre Dame's national reputation? I am from the West Coast, but I quite frankly don't know where I will end up after law school. I want to keep my options open.
Thanks for the help.
While Notre Dame has a more widely known brand name among the average american, I don't think its law school has a more national reputation in terms of job placememnt. After all, the people recruiting for firms will all have gone to law school, and they know which schools have the best students. [If this theory wasn't true, then I'd be screwed for going to Penn instead of Penn State as an undergrad.] I am a huge Notre Dame fan and so it is really hard to say anything that would be less than glowing, but in terms of professional education you need to look at the numbers and see who is coming to recruit.
Allow me to refer you to the following online article:http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2006/02/national_and_re.html
While the article explains the caveats of the information I'm about to include it does help provide some raw numbers for the sake of making comparisions:
(In terms of number of firms that come to recruit on campus)
Over 400 firms: George Washington
, Howard, Northwestern, Texas, Yale
Over 300 firms: Cornell, UCLA, Vanderbilt
Over 200 firms: Boston College, Boston Univ., Emory, Fordham, North Carolina, Notre Dame
, Southern California, UC Hastings, William & Mary (and Washington & Lee is very close, with 197)
Now I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these number, and as the article states these numbers do not indicate where the firms are coming from so as to prove that one school is more "national" than the next.
BUT... that said.... here's my thought:
I'm from the East Coast, but I love California. I applied to schools on both coasts and in the end came down to deciding between University of Southern California and GWU. After talking to a lot of people both here at Penn, down at GW, and everywhere in between I arrived at the follow conclusions:
1. If I want to work in California and not in NYC or DC, I should go to USC.
2. If I want to work in DC or NYC, I should go to GW.
3. If I have no clue where I want to be, I should go to GW because the opportunity to study the law in Washington, DC is worth its weight in gold. [compared to every other city, not just South Bend]
In the info packet distributed during the preview weekend at GW contains information on the Employer Participants in the 2005 Fall Interview Program, and breaks it down by state. I count 50 firms from California, 52 firms from NYC, 125 from DC, 40 from Florida, & 14 from Chicago.[among many others]
I don't have any info on Notre Dame, but I can kind of relate with the dilema since USC has recieved a lot of national recognition for its exploits on the grid iron. In the end, I realized that there are more opportunities [for me] at GW than USC, and I would assume the same goes for Notre Dame --BUT I do not mean to make any kind of disparaging mark against the Blue and Gold. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if you want to work in a particular area go to school there, and if you can't, then go work there in the summer. While that probably doesn't help, I recall hearing from the lady in charge of CDO say that an L.A. firm is coming to campus in a few weeks and 75 students have already RSVP'd... if that's the case I'm sure West Coast firms will continue to supply recruiters to meet the interest of the students. Go to GW...but...