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Captain

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UPenn Visit
« on: January 19, 2007, 03:38:34 PM »
I just got back from a visit to Penn Law today. Overall, I am really impressed. The building is right adjacent to most of the other university buildings. It is a really beautiful building, particularly where you first enter the school -- that grand staircase, and the classrooms above it are really pretty.

I got a good vibe from the students I talked to. They definitely didn't seem very stressed out. They had started this semester's classes, but hadn't received their fall grades yet. They complained about the 1L job hunt, but were quick to point out that the 2Ls usually have no problem getting interviews.

Penn doesn't assign GPA or class rank to its students, but the classes are graded (on a curve too), which seems pointless (if there is no GPA, why not stick to pass/fail?).

The law library was really nice, and there were a lot of comfortable places to sit down and read (or whatever) throughout the building.
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LuvHurtz

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 03:46:22 PM »
Thanks for the info. Did any of the students you talked to happen to mention when they were expecting to receive their grades?

RedWine

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 03:49:36 PM »
Did you schedule a visit with the admissions people, or did you just drop by on your own?  I've walked by the building dozens of times but since I work full time, it's hard to get there while anything is going on.  I might take a day off work to go visit -- in your opinion, is this worth doing or not?  FWIW, I applied RD in mid-December (later than I should have, but I kept uselessly "tweaking" my app and sent almost exactly what I had started with :-\) and obviously haven't heard anything yet.

Edited: Just called and scheduled into the info session next Friday.  My boss is awesome ;D and it can't hurt to go.  If anything useful comes up, I'll post it after I go.  Is anyone else going to be there?

chitownluva

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2007, 05:32:46 PM »
For those who have visited, what's the surrounding area like?  I've never been to Philly and I've heard mixed reviews.  Also, is it close to the train stop by any chance?  I'd like to visit and will probably travel via train.

Towelie

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 05:45:44 PM »
For those who have visited, what's the surrounding area like?  I've never been to Philly and I've heard mixed reviews.  Also, is it close to the train stop by any chance?  I'd like to visit and will probably travel via train.

The train station is about 4 blocks away. You can walk it or cab it (there are a ton of cabs all lined up ready to take you).
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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2007, 01:22:31 AM »
Thanks for the info. Did any of the students you talked to happen to mention when they were expecting to receive their grades?

Yes. "soon"

I'm sure Towelie can tell you more concretely.

For those who have visited, what's the surrounding area like?  I've never been to Philly and I've heard mixed reviews.  Also, is it close to the train stop by any chance?  I'd like to visit and will probably travel via train.

30th Street Station is walkable from UPenn, and there is a smaller SEPTA station right by Franklin Field (no idea what line that is on though). The area is urban. It's not center city, and the neighborhood is improving, but it isn't the richest part of the city. STILL, the UPenn-Drexel complex of Philly is nice enough.

Philadelphia is not a city that is for everyone, but once you get used to it, you sort of fall in love with the charm. It's also a GREAT city if you are a sports fan -- there is nothing like going to Chickie's and Pete's to watch an Eagles game, or being in the Palestra for a Big 5 rivalry game.

I don't think I want to work in Philadelphia after law school, but I'd much rather spend three years living in Philadelphia during law school.

So... Towelie... you have any pull with admissions yet?
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ciao-a-bunga

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 01:25:15 AM »
Thanks for the info. Did any of the students you talked to happen to mention when they were expecting to receive their grades?

Yes. "soon"

I'm sure Towelie can tell you more concretely.

For those who have visited, what's the surrounding area like?  I've never been to Philly and I've heard mixed reviews.  Also, is it close to the train stop by any chance?  I'd like to visit and will probably travel via train.

30th Street Station is walkable from UPenn, and there is a smaller SEPTA station right by Franklin Field (no idea what line that is on though). The area is urban. It's not center city, and the neighborhood is improving, but it isn't the richest part of the city. STILL, the UPenn-Drexel complex of Philly is nice enough.

Philadelphia is not a city that is for everyone, but once you get used to it, you sort of fall in love with the charm. It's also a GREAT city if you are a sports fan -- there is nothing like going to Chickie's and Pete's to watch an Eagles game, or being in the Palestra for a Big 5 rivalry game.

I don't think I want to work in Philadelphia after law school, but I'd much rather spend three years living in Philadelphia during law school.

So... Towelie... you have any pull with admissions yet?

The Market line is two blocks from the law school, at 34th and Market.

Towelie

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 04:11:11 AM »
Thanks for the info. Did any of the students you talked to happen to mention when they were expecting to receive their grades?

Yes. "soon"

I'm sure Towelie can tell you more concretely.

For those who have visited, what's the surrounding area like?  I've never been to Philly and I've heard mixed reviews.  Also, is it close to the train stop by any chance?  I'd like to visit and will probably travel via train.

30th Street Station is walkable from UPenn, and there is a smaller SEPTA station right by Franklin Field (no idea what line that is on though). The area is urban. It's not center city, and the neighborhood is improving, but it isn't the richest part of the city. STILL, the UPenn-Drexel complex of Philly is nice enough.

Philadelphia is not a city that is for everyone, but once you get used to it, you sort of fall in love with the charm. It's also a GREAT city if you are a sports fan -- there is nothing like going to Chickie's and Pete's to watch an Eagles game, or being in the Palestra for a Big 5 rivalry game.

I don't think I want to work in Philadelphia after law school, but I'd much rather spend three years living in Philadelphia during law school.

So... Towelie... you have any pull with admissions yet?

I have no pull with admissions, but I am going to be one of the people in charge of ASW. If you have any opinions, feel free to message me, but I think we'll be putting on a pretty tight program for you guys who are going. Unfortunately, I can't get you into the school.
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chitownluva

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 11:23:24 PM »
Thanks for the info on the train situation everyone.  I'm looking forward to Penn ASW because I definitely feel like I have the most to learn (never having been to Philly and not knowing as much about the school).  I also just got the free book in the mail by Professor Roosevelt III.  That was a nice touch.

RedWine

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Re: UPenn Visit
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 10:21:05 AM »
I'm posting an update to this thread after my visit to Penn on Friday.  On the whole, I was very impressed.  The law building is very confusing at first and even after having a tour, I don't think I could find my way back to most of the rooms.  However, all of the rooms we saw were great.  The moot court room in particular is very beautiful

The library was huge with lots of light, although it still seemed pretty library-ish to me.  I probably wouldn't spent a lot of time studying there, but it definitely wouldn't feel like punishment to have to do some work there.  In the library, we saw a small classroom which is mainly used for upper-level, discussion-style classes.  I liked it, it felt cozy and intimate.

I also sat in on a con law class and it was awesome.  Even though I had no idea about the initial case they were discussing, it led into more contemporary issues I knew from the news, so it ended up being really interesting.  The professor was very young and very good.  I'd say about 6 students got called on, and a couple others volunteered, but when people were trying to answer and got stuck or got lost, he was fairly quick to move things forward rather than letting them squirm for too long.  There was also lots of laughter - the Penn students who post that on here definitely are telling the truth.  If one thing made me really want to get into Penn, it was probably that class.  It just had a really good feel to it.

A lot of the class looked very young to me, but our guide had been out of college for a couple years before going back to law school.  Of the group at the info session, it seemed like about 60% had graduated and were working, and 40% were still in undergrad.  This isn't necessarily representative of the students at the law school - I think the median age is 23 - but I was glad that not everyone I met was straight from undergrad.

The admissions/financial aid discussion was less helpful, but some good stuff did come out of it.  The man who was running it said that approximately 30% of this year's offers have been made as of right now.  He also said they look most at the student's summer earnings right before entering law school, and less at the previous year's earnings, when figuring out financial aid (a good thing for those of us who work full-time).  He discussed the LRAP a little, but unfortunately I don't remember that much about it except that you have 10 years to enter the program so you don't have to go straight into public service to qualify.

All in all, the visit made me really want to get into Penn.  It didn't give me that "it's the only place for me" feeling, but I do think it would be very easy to be happy there.