W & L, W & M, or Emory??

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Where do you think I should go:

William and Mary- 26 k in debt
23
30%
Washington and Lee- 5k in debt
28
37%
Emory- 35 k in debt
23
30%
BU- no scholly (pretty much ruled out, but just for fun)
2
3%
 
Total votes: 76

afinnst
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W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:18 pm

Need to decide between W&L, William and Mary or Emory University:

Money is a factor, but not a definite deal breaker. I'd like to work in the DC area immediately after law school, but I'm really not too picky. I've done A LOT of research for all three schools and have heard very mixed reviews about each school from graduates, lawyers, etc. Since I've done a lot of research, I know pretty much all that stats that you can find online so I'm mostly interested in input that you have from personal experience. I'm particularly interested in career prospects for each. I am bit concerned about the recent employment stats for Emory. I am also interested in DC prospects from W & L and W & M (seems W & M is a bit better)

Debt (Following numbers do not count accumulated debt from Cost of Attendance):
Washington and Lee- 5k total debt
William and Mary- 26k total debt (possibly 20k)
Emory University- 35k total debt

sladegalute
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby sladegalute » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:14 pm

If you really want to work in DC than W&M seems like the obvious choice, if you don't mind working in ATL then Emory would be a great option too. W&L is an excellent school but for whatever reason just doesn't do as well in northern Virginia and DC as W&M

ze2151
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby ze2151 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:26 pm

W&M is a great school. WL is truly in the middle of no-place... so allow that to factor into your decision.

Full disclosure- I picked Emory. In your position, I'd pick Emory. Have you visited? Connected with a faculty member? Emory has a presence in DC, though I can't say whether it's better or worse than W&M (i imagine worse). But if you got that kind of 'ship money, you must be a pretty intelligent kid and may be able to break into whatever market you like anyway. 35k isn't awful... of course, it isn't my money we're talking about. you have some great options. Pick Emory!

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Barolo
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby Barolo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:55 am

Emory! Great school, I'll be there too. Been the other two and I prefer Atlanta and Emory.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:00 am

Barolo wrote:Emory! Great school, I'll be there too. Been the other two and I prefer Atlanta and Emory.


OP you should read this as "Emory! Great school, it must be since I'm going there. Been the other..."

I voted W&M based on your D.C. inclination.

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:31 pm

I'm hesitant to believe that William and Mary is worth 20k more than W & L. W & M seems to have more cache and I guess 2 ranking spots but how important is the ranking since they are both regional schools? Anyone have any more insights on that?

sladegalute
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby sladegalute » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:08 pm

afinnst wrote:I'm hesitant to believe that William and Mary is worth 20k more than W & L. W & M seems to have more cache and I guess 2 ranking spots but how important is the ranking since they are both regional schools? Anyone have any more insights on that?


I will start by saying that I chose to attend William and Mary but did so because it will cost me about 10K a year less than W&L would. Looking at the employment packet they gave admitted students William and Mary still seems to be doing pretty well in DC and this board seems to be pretty unanimous that W&M is better in DC. I think that your right about the money though. I would say the two schools are more or less a wash except they clearly do better in their specific area (Southwest and Tidewater). Just depends if you value a possible leg up in DC as worth 20K. I havent seen W&Ls 2009 numbers though so this might not be completely accurate depending on how they're weathering the economy.

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:16 am

I visited W & M again and I really liked it. It did seem like a more lively place than W & L, especially the surrounding area. But one thing that I like about W & L is the small class size. W & L's class 138 and W & M's is 230ish. But at Wash and Lee I'm worried about being a part of the experimental class that is required to do the new third year program. Are there any current students of either school out there that can give me some more insight? Particularly on the new third year, it scares me and excites me at the same time....

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:17 am

If anyone out there is trying to make a decision between these schools, what are your thoughts?

rando
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby rando » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:19 am

If you are intent on DC then go to W&L or W&M. I can't really say which. Emory doesn't place that well in DC, which is already a saturated market. If you are open to Atlanta or other parts of the South, I would choose Emory hands down.

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:02 am

poll is way too close--still need help!

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chinagator
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby chinagator » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:25 am

I am in your EXACT same position regarding both schools and money, and I'm goin with W&M. I went to W&L's open house, and although they seemed really great, I had a couple issues. One is location. Lexington is gorgeous, don't get me wrong. R.E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried there, which is badass, but it's just way too small. I don't even mind small towns, since I grew up in one, but that's the kind of smallness that would drive you crazy by year two. Other issue is that third year program. Take the rankings fall with a grain of salt, since professors at other schools are of course going to disapprove of it, and their reviews make a difference. From what I hear, employers seem to like it. My only issue is that it's still an unknown. It might fail, especially given the dean who implemented it is gone. If this was a couple years down the road, I might more strongly consider them.

Atlanta's a great town. I have no complaints there. My only thing was I preferred the DC area. Virginia is a perfect blend of Southern hospitality and Northern intelligence. W&M places great in that whole area. Emory's facilities also underwhelmed me. Some people love it, but that was my feeling.

W&M's 09 placement looked impressive. Gorgeous and brand new library. Decent sized town in comparison with Lexington. But small enough to feel loved. Also, they are very nice with money offers. That's my take, but it comes down to your preference as far as where you want to practice.

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UFMatt
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby UFMatt » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:29 am

In this economy, I would be hesitant to focus exclusively on one market, even one as large as DC. For portability, Emory has the edge. If you're still set on DC, I'd go for W&M. Full disclosure: I also applied and got into both W&M and Emory. Although W&M would be quite a bit cheaper, I accepted Emory's offer.

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Blindmelon
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby Blindmelon » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:33 am

If you want DC, then its WM. It places the same as Emory and has the same portability roughly.

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chinagator
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby chinagator » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:37 am

I really disagree that Emory has more portability. They are both regional schools, and if you want to go to a different part of the country, networking will be the factor, not the school.

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mavsman88
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby mavsman88 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:45 am

I had to make this same decision and it came down to portability. I loved W&L over W&M, thought it had a better feel and I wasnt a fan of colonial Williamsburg. Also, W&M felt a little more uptight and the feeling was "were great but we dont have to tell you why." Students I spoke to seemed to settle on W&M because they were rejected from GW and Georgetown which I didnt like. So I edged W&L over W&M. Now W&L versus Emory, I was very unsettled going to the 3rd best school in a state (UVA>WM>WL). Also, Emory's faculty was unbelievable. Their facillities were a notch below both schools, but the Emory name is much stronger then both WL and WM. To say either WM or WL is as portable as Emory is just not true. I'd choose Emory, it'll open up more doors, and has been moving up in the rankings each year (not to say the rankings shouldnt be taken with a grain of salt, but they are obviously doing something right.)

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Blindmelon
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby Blindmelon » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:11 pm

mavsman88 wrote:I had to make this same decision and it came down to portability. I loved W&L over W&M, thought it had a better feel and I wasnt a fan of colonial Williamsburg. Also, W&M felt a little more uptight and the feeling was "were great but we dont have to tell you why." Students I spoke to seemed to settle on W&M because they were rejected from GW and Georgetown which I didnt like. So I edged W&L over W&M. Now W&L versus Emory, I was very unsettled going to the 3rd best school in a state (UVA>WM>WL). Also, Emory's faculty was unbelievable. Their facillities were a notch below both schools, but the Emory name is much stronger then both WL and WM. To say either WM or WL is as portable as Emory is just not true. I'd choose Emory, it'll open up more doors, and has been moving up in the rankings each year (not to say the rankings shouldnt be taken with a grain of salt, but they are obviously doing something right.)


Where do you get that from? 62% of Emory grads stay in the "South Atlantic" and the rest just seem to go to NYC. WM is basically the same thing 62% South Atlantic, but the rest of grads seem more spread out.
Just because its ranked a few spots higher doesn't mean anything. They're peer schools by almost any indicator. Go the regional school thats cheaper and in the region you want to practice.

This is easy.

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chinagator
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby chinagator » Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:31 pm

Blindmelon wrote:
mavsman88 wrote:I had to make this same decision and it came down to portability. I loved W&L over W&M, thought it had a better feel and I wasnt a fan of colonial Williamsburg. Also, W&M felt a little more uptight and the feeling was "were great but we dont have to tell you why." Students I spoke to seemed to settle on W&M because they were rejected from GW and Georgetown which I didnt like. So I edged W&L over W&M. Now W&L versus Emory, I was very unsettled going to the 3rd best school in a state (UVA>WM>WL). Also, Emory's faculty was unbelievable. Their facillities were a notch below both schools, but the Emory name is much stronger then both WL and WM. To say either WM or WL is as portable as Emory is just not true. I'd choose Emory, it'll open up more doors, and has been moving up in the rankings each year (not to say the rankings shouldnt be taken with a grain of salt, but they are obviously doing something right.)


Where do you get that from? 62% of Emory grads stay in the "South Atlantic" and the rest just seem to go to NYC. WM is basically the same thing 62% South Atlantic, but the rest of grads seem more spread out.
Just because its ranked a few spots higher doesn't mean anything. They're peer schools by almost any indicator. Go the regional school thats cheaper and in the region you want to practice.

This is easy.


TITCR.

This is not to say that Emory isn't a great school. If the OP wanted to practice in Atlanta, this is a no-brainer. OP specifically mentioned D.C. though, making W&M or W&L probably a better choice (with WM getting the edge due to placement).

Also, the idea that Emory "opens up more doors" is marginal at best. Here are the actual numbers for '09.
http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/law%20sc ... page12.pdf

There's a 1.7% difference for both clerkships and NLJ250 firms.

As far as the comments on W&M being uptight and arrogant, this was not my experience at all. Everyone was wonderful to me. I was accepted to GW, but given sticker price plus not massive difference in placement, W&M was right for me. It does seem the competition level is a bit higher than W&L, partly because class size in Lexington is so small. Students at the open house said in Lexington, everyone knows your business, and everyone is pretty close. This can be good or bad, based on preference. And that is what OP's decision should all come down to, preference for region and environment. Not a few spots on the rankings, given neither are T-14.

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:58 am

Hypothetically, if money was not a factor and neither was location of the job market (I would work either in DC or Atlanta and be equally happy). Which school would be better? I'm guessing Emroy?

texaspecial88
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby texaspecial88 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm

If you want DC, choose W&M.

texaspecial88
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby texaspecial88 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:08 pm

afinnst wrote:Hypothetically, if money was not a factor and neither was location of the job market (I would work either in DC or Atlanta and be equally happy). Which school would be better? I'm guessing Emroy?


Yea, Emory. But not THAT much better...

afinnst
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Re: W & L, W & M, or Emory??

Postby afinnst » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:33 pm

I just visited Emory and, while I thought everything was about on par with W&M and W&L, I really loved Atlanta. I could see myself living there and maybe practicing there. I still have an eye on DC in the future, but I am very flexible with job location. In that case, would anyone make the leap to say that Emory is just a better school? And, why?

I already have quite a few connections via family friends etc. in DC law that could hopefully help me get interviews in DC. My thinking is that these connections can help me get an interview whether I come from Emory OR W&M. However, if I go to Emory I'll have a better chance in the South then I would in W&M and hence, cover more ground. ---- Is this reasoning backwards? Is it better to go to law school where you already have connections or will those connections work from any similar ranked school in another region?




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