George Mason Vs. American

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MarkRenton
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George Mason Vs. American

Postby MarkRenton » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:39 pm

Traditionally, people have told those who're considering American to be hesitant about attending considering the high tuition cost in tandem with how the graduates are forced to compete for jobs in a saturated market with many other higher ranked schools. I don't hear this as much about George Mason. However, isn't George Mason basically in the same boat - albeit with cheaper tuition? Or does George Mason actually place better?

avacado111
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby avacado111 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:01 pm

IF YOUR INSTATE GMU ALL THE way.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby ATOIsp07 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:09 pm

This descriptive, unbiased comparison between the two is the best way to gauge what you'll like better:

George Mason: ranked 40th (top tier)...located in an urban part of N. Virginia which, ironically, is closer to downtown DC than American...said to be a conservative student body/faculty/administration...focuses extensively on economics and business law...cheaper than WCL...great opportunities in DC/MD and well as VA...recognized as an up-and-coming new school...competes with UVA, Washington&Lee and William&Mary in VA

American WCL: ranked 45th (top tier)...located in a DC suburb/residential area...known to be a liberal student body/faculty/administration...focuses extensively on international law and public interest...expensive, in general...great opportunities in DC, MD...recognized as an up-and-coming school...competes with Georgetown and George Washington in DC

to be honest, because it depends on who you are as a person, your lifestyle and political tendencies, this decision is truly a toss-up. if you're interested in BIGLAW, i'd say both schools are similar, maybe a slight advantage to GM. both of these schools are, in my opinion, quite underrated (and they're still within the top 50). it also depends on where you'd like to practice. comparing these schools, VA seems be more congested with better schools. but, this is also offset by the fact that DC is a more congested legal market in general (said to be one of the best) and that attracts people from everywhere in the country. if you'd like to study in DC, WCL may have the slight advantage. if in VA, definitely George Mason. finances can also make or break the decision and who wouldn't want to graduate with as little debt as possible? all in all, however, these schools both punch above their respective weights for schools in saturated legal markets. so, in conclusion, with these factors considered, it all comes down to you, where you want to practice/live and what you expect from law school.

good luck! i hope this helps!

Oban
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Oban » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:44 pm

American is in DC, not the suburbs. Sure it's on the edge of the city but still in DC.

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Gwen
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Gwen » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:46 pm

Oban wrote:American is in DC, not the suburbs. Sure it's on the edge of the city but still in DC.

The area around American is very suburban compared to where HU or GW is, for example

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ATOIsp07
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby ATOIsp07 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:51 pm

caliborn wrote:
Oban wrote:American is in DC, not the suburbs. Sure it's on the edge of the city but still in DC.

The area around American is very suburban compared to where HU or GW is, for example



got him!

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Gwen
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Gwen » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:53 pm

ATOIsp07 wrote:
caliborn wrote:
Oban wrote:American is in DC, not the suburbs. Sure it's on the edge of the city but still in DC.

The area around American is very suburban compared to where HU or GW is, for example



got him!

:D

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chadwick218
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby chadwick218 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:02 am

avacado111 wrote:IF YOUR INSTATE GMU ALL THE way.


I actually think that this might be the credited response. American has more in the way of lay prestige, but if you are a resident of VA and receive even a small scholly at GMU, I think that it would be very hard to pass up over American at sticker.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby ATOIsp07 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:20 am

like I said, they're both legit, top schools. it's down to you as a person and what your goals are after law school.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Vincent Vega » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:44 am

GMU, if you like March Madness.
jk... kind of....

arundodonax
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby arundodonax » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:49 am

I visited both.

American has a chicken restaurant and a CVS. The CVS is kind of dirty and the milk is all the way in the back.


GMU is in Arlington:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo

And the Starbucks, and the Starbucks, and the Starbucks, and the Starbucks...

Oban
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Oban » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:50 am

caliborn wrote:
Oban wrote:American is in DC, not the suburbs. Sure it's on the edge of the city but still in DC.

The area around American is very suburban compared to where HU or GW is, for example


It's hardly suburban, just not "downtown" if you will. The above posters "residential" description is credited though.

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jeeptiger09
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby jeeptiger09 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:26 am

I would go with Mason but of course it's situational. American is in NW DC but it's pretty far out there and the Law School is like a mile off the Metro. If you go to WCL and plan on commuting from a traditional DC neighborhood (DuPont or Adams Morgan) there might be some struggle there.

Mason Law is in Arlington (a nice part too), next to Clarendon and Ballston (both clean, nice places with lots to do). It's also reasonably close to the Orange line so you could commute from most parts (although I would highly recommend living in Ballston) without having a car. Sticker is much higher at American ($35K vs. $26K for OOS at GMU), and you're going to face ridiculously high cost of living at both schools.

GMU has a better rank, it's known as up-and-coming, and it has great opportunities in its Law and Econ. program.

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MarkRenton
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby MarkRenton » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:01 pm

I appreciate all the responses. So it seems like the biggest differences are location/culture/tuition. However, comparative job opportunities do not vary that much? I wonder whether GM travels to VA better, but it seems like it's virtually a DC school. And competition in Virginia must be rough considering UVa, W&M, and W&L.

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ATOIsp07
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby ATOIsp07 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:29 pm

MarkRenton wrote:I appreciate all the responses. So it seems like the biggest differences are location/culture/tuition. However, comparative job opportunities do not vary that much? I wonder whether GM travels to VA better, but[ b]it seems like it's virtually a DC school[/b]. And competition in Virginia must be rough considering UVa, W&M, and W&L.


actually, GMU is a Virginia school with DC reach.

ViIIager
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby ViIIager » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:01 am

For the OP, I'd say that both schools compete fairly equally in both locales + Maryland. If you're not from around DC/NoVA/MD, all of the law schools compete with each other in all three places (with some advantage to GW and GULC). I'd say American and GMU are rather inbred in terms of placement and opportunity, except that we in the District/Commonwealth/State prefer to keep the term "inbred" to our neighbors in the West (Virginia).

That said, if you want employment in Maryland, I'd recommend Maryland; if you want employment in VA, I'd recommend GMU; if you want DC, go with American or any of the above. Simple reason is that once you get outside the metropolis into surburbia/rural areas it feels like there is more portability for in-state degrees. Most people on TLS don't care about employment in Fairfax, Springfield, Roanoke, Hagerstown, etc., but if that's something you're interested in, it may factor in.

The rest is all about the dollars and culture: conservative (GMU) versus liberal (American).

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pjo
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby pjo » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:15 am

tag. I'm very interested in this too

umichgrad
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby umichgrad » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:44 am

I know a bit about both, with friends at both schools. I've also spent a lot of time ont he WCL campus. Here's my two cents, in order of priority:

1. If you're concerned about MONEY: go GMU if you get in-state. Otherwise your debt will be about similar.

2. Career Options: If you want law & economics, business, military (JAG, etc), defense, etc, take GMU. It has a strong (read 'forceful') bent toward economics and the students and faculty tend to be scientifically oriented, i.e. issues of defense, business contracts, etc. If you're interested in anything international, human rights, public interest, environment, immigration, etc definitely definitely take American. Their public interest program is very strong, offering a number of valuable clinic options and a huge course catalog in these areas. Additionally, WCL has really strong ties to a number of well-respected DC public interest organizations, such as immigration groups and government/judicial externships. What WCL might lack in biglaw prestige it more than compensates in networking opportunities for the socially-minded grad.

3. Reputation/Politics/Social Life/Location: There's no beating around the bush: GMU is conservative. Its students are also a bit isolated from the DC community (figuratively, not literally) and are thought of as older, republican, and very serious. There is not much of a social life there, though the area is quite pretty and easily livable/commutable. WCL, on the other hand, is quite liberal with a relatively diverse student body. There are plenty of people with children, full-time jobs, international students, etc. It is not in downtown DC, but there are buses that run directly from Dupont Circle to the door of the law school many times daily with a commute time of roughly 30-35 minutes. There are a number of inexpensive areas near WCL such as Cleveland Park and Friendship Heights that are directly on the red line and make the commute much shorter. It's also a pretty social environment.

In summary, if you're looking for a collegial environment with plenty of opportunities to explore what DC has to offer in terms of public interest or international law, take American and don't fret too much about where to live or how you're going to get there. It can be done. If you're more traditional and looking for a career in military, government, or economics/policy, and especially if you're a resident of VA, then george mason is probably a better choice.

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pjo
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby pjo » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:09 pm

this may have been answered indirectly but essentially which places better in Biglaw in DC? I've been looking on NALp directory and it seems like more DC firms do oci at AU than at GMU. I'm really interested in working in DC, but my fall back would def be Northern VA (which makes me think GMU would be a better decision for me). Also of note, I'm not a VA resident, but how hard is it to get residency 2L and 3L at mason?

umichgrad
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby umichgrad » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:41 pm

pjo wrote:this may have been answered indirectly but essentially which places better in Biglaw in DC? I've been looking on NALp directory and it seems like more DC firms do oci at AU than at GMU. I'm really interested in working in DC, but my fall back would def be Northern VA (which makes me think GMU would be a better decision for me). Also of note, I'm not a VA resident, but how hard is it to get residency 2L and 3L at mason?



Question 1- probably roughly equal, maybe with a slight edge to WCL.

Question 2- it's nearly impossible to get residency in VA for school.

dibreezy
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby dibreezy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:48 pm

Hey,

I know this is an older topic but I am interested in raising it again.

I am less interested in biglaw and more so in federal lobbying. I am moderately conservative.


It doesn't scare me at all to be at a liberal school. I am comfortable with that notion.

I have been accepted at Catholic with a scholly equivalent to 2/3 of the part-time tuition for all four years. Still waiting on these two and GW.

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Nova
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Nova » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:56 pm

Less than 40% of Catholic & American grads ever get real legal jobs.

GMU is bad too. Its a 50/50 shot at a real legal job.

dibreezy
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby dibreezy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:01 pm

Nova wrote:Less than 40% of Catholic & American grads ever get real legal jobs.

GMU is bad too. Its a 50/50 shot at a real legal job.


I guess I'm lucky I'm not looking for a real legal job then.

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Nova
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby Nova » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:17 pm

dibreezy wrote:
Nova wrote:Less than 40% of Catholic & American grads ever get real legal jobs.

GMU is bad too. Its a 50/50 shot at a real legal job.


I guess I'm lucky I'm not looking for a real legal job then.

Their general legal placement should make you extremely skeptical of the value of their degree.

Why do you think need to go to law school to lobby? Cant you do that now?

dibreezy
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Re: George Mason Vs. American

Postby dibreezy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:32 pm

Because when pressed this is what I was told by lobbyist's that an individual with a law degree and Hill experience is all they are really interested in hiring.




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