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Author Topic: T20 v. T25 v. T31  (Read 976 times)

MachuPicchu

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T20 v. T25 v. T31
« on: April 03, 2007, 06:04:50 PM »
Hi Everyone,
Here's the deal:

I am: 0L, accepted to the three schools (WashU-STL; GW; W&M) in the title, and waiting to hear back from GULC and UVA.
 
My goals: Maximum flexibility in terms of several types of job options (biglaw for a few years or public interest/non-profit or government, etc.), with maximum flexibility in terms of location/region/small city/major metro area, etc. I am pretty open-minded to different types of work and locations but do not want to cut myself off from anything (including BigLaw) in case I end up becoming interested in it.

I recognize: that names and ranks count to a certain extent (although I question their methodology, level of arbitrariness, general injustice, etc.), and that certain schools can translate into more job offers/greater flexibility in terms of different types of choices.

I recognize also: that regardless of my best efforts, I may end up in bottom third of my class no matter where I go. 

I have: the opportunity (owing to a combination of scholarships, savings, and assistance from a third party) to attend any of these schools without significant financial difficulty for the first one to two years (may need a loan for the last year).

I have also: lived/spent considerable time in all four locations of the five schools mentioned above. I like all said cities/towns/states, although from what I hear of the Virginia Bar, I may have to bypass that exam (hmmph).

Several 3Ls (who may be biased?) have told me they don't think there exists an appreciable "reputation/name recognition" difference among, say, the Top 30 or 40 schools until you get into the T14. If this is the case, I choose W&M, irrespective of its recent drop from 27 to 31. The campus, environment, location, and ambience all appeal to me a little bit more than the others.

At the moment (recently released rankings), Wash U/WUSL is highest at 19. There's a spreadsheet floating around that a LSD member very kindly drafted to indicate the past ten years or so of rankings, and I think WUSL was holding strong between mid-to low twenties for most of that time (W&M fluctuated from low thirties to mid  twenties).

GW has also had a few point drop, but I am a little bit concerned about it (and GULC) in terms of quality of life (unhappy? ultra-competitive? impersonal or lack of comfort with profs?). Also, again noting that I have no idea how well I will do in law school, I may end up in the bottom half or third of my class--would this be significantly worse at W&M than at WUSL or even GW?

Any thoughts--especially ones that focus on rankings and job prospects as opposed to location or cost--would be appreciated.

Thanks



botbot

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 06:13:18 PM »
Advice: the rankings difference between the three does not matter, go to the school that you like the most in the area that you like the most.

MachuPicchu

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 06:16:56 PM »
thanks for your response; think I agree.

prelaw200

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 06:18:40 PM »
Ditch W&M and decide between GW and WUSTL.
Me Go Cornell

MachuPicchu

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 06:20:04 PM »
Hi prelaw200--why ditch W&M? thanks

ElectricalStorm

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 06:22:40 PM »
Between the three schools I'd say pick the place you'd be the most happy. The rankings differences (especially the fluctuations this year) don't really matter that much, but I would imagine getting a job on the east coast would be easier from W&M and GW. Personally, my preference would be W&M.
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barenakedtjm

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 06:25:47 PM »
I will echo others and say that those schools are close enough rankings-wise that they are basically interchangeable.  Go where you are most comfortable.

bamf

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2007, 06:47:22 PM »
i remember back in the day when pl200 wasn't such a prestige whore.  ah well...

I would ditch WUSL first ... the other two will put you on the east coast more easily.  GW is probably the better school of the two in terms of placement.  In fact they are one of the top 20 for placement in NLJ 250 firms.  The degree will also be more portable than WM.  But the discrepancy isn't huge.  If you will be happier at WM go there, because the happier you are the better your grades will be.
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MachuPicchu

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 01:47:16 AM »
Ha, well, I won't hold that against pl200.

Thanks for the suggestions. You are right; the schools are comparable in many ways.

Is anyone else wondering what will happen if a school that seems safely ensconced in a certain tier or set of 20 or so rankings will do a free-fall while you're a 2L or 3L at said school? Then you'll be kicking yourself you didn't go elsewhere (such is human nature), although recruiters might take the earlier rank into consideration--who knows?

I think it just backs up the idea that the place you pick now had better be a place you can enjoy and admire even if rankings go south.

bamf

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Re: T20 v. T25 v. T31
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 01:51:19 AM »
rankings are fickle ... your job prospects wont change with a change in rankings while you are in school.
2L, Boston College Law

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