Law School Discussion

UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday

spanishpolice

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I am interested in public service, working first in Washington and then later in Pennsylvania.  I'd prefer to live in a city, but wasn't thrilled with Penn's area. 

UVA

Pros: Good reputation in public service (I'm basing this on political alumni, SCOTUS clerkships, and the fact that they include public service in government with their Public interest career office and repayment program, which I think is different from Penn and Georgetown), strong ties to DC, collegial environment, high prestige

Cons: Charlottesville, high school-ly feeling

Penn

Pros: Prestige, Good pennsylvania connections public-service-wise, fun city, close teacher interactions, collegial, good roommate

Cons: Weaker DC connections?, crummy neighborhood, an extra $22,000 over the three years

Georgetown

Pros: Strong Public service, DC connections, great city,

Cons: Large class sizes, comparably lower prestige


Right now, I'm not decided but I think I'm leaning UVA.  What do you guys think?  Also, if anyone disagrees with a pro/con, tell me what you think.  Thanks a lot.

Evo

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Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 09:42:17 PM »
If your going to work in Washington (DC) first, then I would go to Georgetown.  Even though you said you wanted to goto pennsylvania eventually, once you get your first job (which will be in DC), the school you went to will be a lot less important (which is why i would choose GULC over Penn in this case)

Goodfella Aaron

Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006, 09:45:51 PM »
How much do connections matter in public service? I definitely got the feeling that Penn was more NY-centric but I'm not sure how much it matters for PI jobs. I'd investigate how easily one can move laterally between them from DC to PA and use that in my decision. If it's easy, I'd go with UVA, if not, then maybe Penn.

Did you visit Penn? The neighborhood it's in isn't exactly the Upper East Side but it's got the college-y vibe going. Definitely better than the 'hood GULC is in.

Also, if you're interested in working in DC then you'll be able to live there when you graduate. Might be nice to experience something different. And to quote the career services guy at UVA ASW "We own DC."

Have you tried negotiating with Penn? They'll consider your UVA scholarship in giving you a merit award, but you should get to them about it ASAP.

KillMeNow

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Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 10:15:05 PM »
Regarding Georgetown:

Class size:

Are you referring to the total number of students?  If so, I don't see that as a valid concern because the total class is broken down into smaller sections (roughly 100 students per section), and I believe this is common at every law school.  I also believe students are only ranked within sections, so you would not have to worry about sections with easier professors and such (I cannot say this is completely accurate, but I seem to remember reading something to this effect).

Are you referring to the student:faculty ratio?  This is a more telling statistic but is also highly variable, depending on the interest in each specific course.

Are you referring to the actual class size in courses that draw your interest?  If so I would like to know where you acquired the information, as I would be very interested myself.

Summer living:

I am not sure if you have considered this because you do mention DC connenctions as a pro for Georgetown, but it seems as if you would have a great interest with summer employment in D.C.  Already living in D.C. would eliminate the hassle and additional debt (assuming you are have a 12 month lease at Penn or UVa) of finding a place to live during the summer.


Regarding Virginia:

You mention a high school like feeling at UVa.  I have not visited the campus, so I may be speaking out of my ass on this one, but will throw my two cents in anyway.  Charlottesville is definitely the "college town" of the three.  Don't forget that you are likely going to have a demanding job in a city for the rest of your life.  It may not be so bad to live in a more laid-back environment for three years.


Final thoughts:
Based on the information you have supplied, I would say the choice is between Georgetown and Virginia.  Georgetown is probably slightly less prestigious, so if that is a factor for you, go with UVa.  If not, Georgetown may offer some unique opportunities, especially during the school year.

Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 08:08:31 AM »
Easy Choice - UVA.  Half the pros you listed under Penn are trumped by UVA......collegiality and definately more prestige at UVA (looked at the peer and attorney assessments in USNews).  Can't go wrong with any of the three fortunately but UVa>>>>>>>>GTown for D.C.

spanishpolice

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Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2006, 04:27:04 PM »
I'd investigate how easily one can move laterally between them from DC to PA and use that in my decision

This is good advice, I'll look into that, although I'm not really sure how I'd find that out. 

Have you tried negotiating with Penn? They'll consider your UVA scholarship in giving you a merit award, but you should get to them about it ASAP.

My current situation of Penn being $22,000 more is a result of them coming close to matching the offer from Virginia a little over a week ago.  Would it be crazy to ask them again?

Regarding Georgetown class size-

Are you referring to the total number of students?  Are you referring to the actual class size in courses that draw your interest?  If so I would like to know where you acquired the information, as I would be very interested myself.

Summer living: I am not sure if you have considered this because you do mention DC connenctions as a pro for Georgetown, but it seems as if you would have a great interest with summer employment in D.C.  Already living in D.C. would eliminate the hassle and additional debt (assuming you are have a 12 month lease at Penn or UVa) of finding a place to live during the summer.


Regarding Virginia:
Don't forget that you are likely going to have a demanding job in a city for the rest of your life.  It may not be so bad to live in a more laid-back environment for three years.


Final thoughts:
Georgetown is probably slightly less prestigious, so if that is a factor for you, go with UVa.  If not, Georgetown may offer some unique opportunities, especially during the school year.

When I was referring to class size I guess I was referring to the fact that it might be kind of an impersonal learning experience with so many people in an entering class.  But that said, it might also be nice not to be limited to a fewer amount of people you see for three years. 

Your remarks about summer employment and Virginia were good points.

As for prestige, it's hard for me to gauge how important I should hold this factor. On one hand it's nice that UVA has more SCOTUS clerkships, but then I think that's kind of irrelevant because I will never be at the highest section of the academic scale to qualify for such opportunities.  And if I'm not going into BIGLAW, does that make the significance of prestige less important?  But perhaps these numbers are indicative of relative success at lower placements as well.  You are certainly right about Georgetown offering unique opportunities. 

Despite what my name implies, Cville isn't bad at all.  The new arena will be finished this summer and there will be a slew of concerts and other shows to go to that will be par with larger cities, if that's of interest to you (and you can walk from the law school, yay).  UVA has a beautiful campus, and the number and scope of UVA recreational facilities have spoiled me for life.  If you're interested in DC, UVA would be the better choice IMHO. 

Good to hear.  Thank you.

Re: UVA vs Penn vs Georgetown - Need to make my decision by Monday
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2006, 10:31:49 AM »
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