Law School Discussion

Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?

Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« on: May 08, 2007, 08:36:08 PM »
We all know law school is competitive by its very nature (as is the profession), and therefore we expect it as part of the culture.  However, some schools are known to be extremely cutthroat while others tend to be much less competitive and more collegial.  Cutthroat here is defined as limited outline sharing, books missing, attempts to psychologically rattle peers, grades posted publicly, etc.  For those who have done their homework on various schools, toured the campuses, and obtained a sense of the "atmosphere", I'm curious to know, based on anecdotal evidence, reputation, and observations (i.e. completely unscientific approach), which schools are/seem to be the most Collegial and most Cutthroat?

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2007, 08:40:55 PM »
I don't have any sort of a list, but from my experience, the concept of "cutthroat" is enforced more through people buying into a high school mentality than any external forces. You can bypass a lot of the more juvenile aspects of law school by decided to not play along.

I've also met individuals from schools all over the country, and can't say that I've ever thought "wow, if that's what students at X are like, they must all be jerks."

A lot of the issue depends on how you choose to approach things.

bamf

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Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2007, 09:32:19 PM »
BC has a website where, among other things, students openly share outlines.  they have a pretty extensive database.

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 10:28:58 PM »
BC is extremely cutthroat. It's a good school, but it has tons of gunners. BU has a more collegial atmosphere, despite it's more urban location.

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2007, 01:46:19 AM »
Is being cutthroat a desirable attribute nor not? I suppose it is for me. I hate work, but I enjoy competition, so that would alleviate some of school's horror. That's what I liked about French schools, teachers would post everyone's grades, and even hand back tests in order of score, announcing each grade.

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 01:59:22 AM »
Competitive does not have to be cutthroat. Taking away the cordial aspects of law school while leaving the work and competition just sounds like one big wad of suck.

These are your competitors now, your colleagues in three years.

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2007, 08:12:23 AM »
You can be a jerk if you want to, but it won't help. In the end, it will probably do more harm than good. Who wants to go to a cocktail party in three years and be remembered as “that gunner a-hole” when we're all in the real world and networking for jobs?


I do if that means I pull up to the party in a Ferrari...

 :D

This is, unfortunately, a somewhat salient point.

AlphaBusey

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Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2007, 08:18:24 AM »
You can be a jerk if you want to, but it won't help. In the end, it will probably do more harm than good. Who wants to go to a cocktail party in three years and be remembered as “that gunner a-hole” when we're all in the real world and networking for jobs?


I do if that means I pull up to the party in a Ferrari...

 :D

This is, unfortunately, a somewhat salient point.

Not really.  It's possible to be successful and not be a feminine hygiene product.  Being a gunner does not necessarily mean one is achieving more, as it seems a lot of gunners tend to be idiots.  Success doesn't mean you're a gunner, it has more to do with the attitude that you approach everything with.  I plan on doing pretty damn well, but does that mean I'm going to not share outlines and jump all over other folks when they get a question wrong in class?  No.

Butters Stotch

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Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2007, 08:26:40 AM »
Don't kid yourself:  ALL schools are "cutthroat" to some extent.  This is by virtue of the forced curve that needlessly pits students against one another because, after all, if you're not top 20%, your job prospects can be bleak.

Re: Collegial vs Cutthroat: Which law schools are which?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 09:04:06 AM »
Don't kid yourself:  ALL schools are "cutthroat" to some extent.  This is by virtue of the forced curve that needlessly pits students against one another because, after all, if you're not top 20%, your job prospects can be bleak.
The students are in competition with each other over grades.

That's a far cry from having to be an ass.