Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

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MeetMyBackhand
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Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby MeetMyBackhand » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:37 pm

I've been accepted to W&L for a while now, with about a half-ride ($20k/yr). I was waitlisted at Tulane, but was offered a spot yesterday with the same offer, but I must accept their offer by 5pm today with a $300 deposit. I figure I might as well make a decision.

Things I'm considering:

    I want to study international law, from what I can tell, W&L has some great int. law professors. On the other hand, Tulane teaches civil law (as well as common law, of course) which I've read is good for most of Europe (excepting the UK).

    Job mobility seems to be about even as well, although with the majority of both school working in the surrounding states. (I'm from Texas, but I live in California. I would like to work in NYC [20% from both schools end up working Middle Atlantic], Austin, San Francisco, or actually preferably abroad after I graduate).

    I'm not sure about W&L's 3L program, as I'm not sure I want to even practice law in the general sense of the term, although the international practicums seem useful (and I realize I could be way off on how useful the 3rd year could be... and how I can utilize a law degree internationally).

    I'm not super stoked on living in a small town in the middle-of-nowhere VA for 3 years. Granted it's not that long in the grand scheme of things, there's a lot of stuff to do outdoors (which I love) and the environment may be more conducive to studying. However, I'd take New Orleans in a heartbeat over it.

I visited W&L and like the school, campus, and people for the most part... and am tempted to go there based almost on rank alone. Does anyone have any insight into either school? It would be very much appreciated.

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arvcondor
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby arvcondor » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:54 pm

Can you start by explaining how on earth you were accepted at W&L with a half ride and waitlisted at Tulane?

lawboy81
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby lawboy81 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:01 pm

Tulane has some good international/ comparative law offerings. I would say the professors overall are so so but every professor I've had who does Int/ Comp law has been good and some are pretty big names. Tulane is also likely better known abroad than W & L. I think most pople woul agree that Tulane is not worth it at sticker, but w/ a 20K a year scholarship and particular interest in international law it might be a good choice (not to get into the whole question of whether there are actually any international law jobs).

Turtledove
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Turtledove » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:09 pm

lawboy81 wrote:Tulane has some good international/ comparative law offerings. I would say the professors overall are so so but every professor I've had who does Int/ Comp law has been good and some are pretty big names. Tulane is also likely better known abroad than W & L. I think most pople woul agree that Tulane is not worth it at sticker, but w/ a 20K a year scholarship and particular interest in international law it might be a good choice (not to get into the whole question of whether there are actually any international law jobs).


What do you mean when you say you want to work in International Law?

Leaving that issue aside, either school is solid but will place overwhelmingly in its geographic area. The basic question will come down to whether you want to live/work in La. Ala. Tx. or in Va, DC (if you do well), MD, NC. Both schools are somewhat risky propositions as only a small portion will make biglaw (something a bit shy of 20% at both) but at what you'd be paying either can probably be justified so long as you understand there's a very good chance you'd be working either for a small firm or at a local DA or PD office making 40k-60k a year coming out of law school and dealing with debts that, while serviceable at that level, will force you to live fairly cheaply for a few years.

Tl;dr: Either school is fine at that price, but only go if (1) you're okay with the kind of salary and job you can expect from either these days and (2) you're okay with living in their respective placement regions.

Edited for grammer

MeetMyBackhand
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby MeetMyBackhand » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:31 pm

Thanks for your responses so far.

arvcondor: I don't know. I was waitlisted at some schools that I thought for sure I would get in based on my LSAT/GPA (166/3.62). Tulane was such a surprise, so was Colorado, and William & Mary was as well, less so because of its rank, but W&L is similarly ranked and yet I got in + money.

lawboy81: Why do you think Tulane is better known abroad than W&L?

Turtledove: That's a good question, and I don't exactly have a good answer. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do, and a lot of this has to do with ignorance about the possibilities. I wouldn't mind working in the foreign service, or doing legal work for an NGO, or even doing some sort of international transactional law or just working in transactional law abroad. I'm not too concerned with making a lot of money (I was offered substantially bigger scholarships at Cardozo (35k) and Brooklyn (29k)- which is part of my hesitation to go to Tulane, similarly ranked to Cardozo but much less money), as I've put away a little money in my 5 years after undergrad to put a decent dent in the debt, plus I'm naturally extremely frugal.

I would appreciate any other advice any of you or others have to give, and once again, thanks for your input.

lawboy81
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby lawboy81 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:34 am

When I was reseaching LLM programs a little bit I came across a website that lists the most popular LLM programs in the US for foreign students. Tulane was #32 and I don't think W & L was on the list of the top 100. This is just a list on a website, but W & L is a tiny school in a rural area and Tulane is in a famous city that Europeans are very famliar with so I think it makes sense Tulane would be better known abroad at least among lay people/ students. Again, not saying you should make too much of this, as I suggested before it might be very difficult to get any kind of job in intrnational law.

lawboy81
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby lawboy81 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:39 am

BTW, I think W & L is a cool school and would not have minded attending there myself. But I like rural/ small town Southern.

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arvcondor
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby arvcondor » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:56 am

I think the Tulane experience would probably beat W&L hands down, but I also think a W&L degree is probably more valuable. If the NLJ250 rankings are barometric of anything, then W&L has better employment prospects. And the thing I found with Tulane (I was ultimately split between them and Temple and chose the latter after about 2 months of soul searching) is that it doesn't feed particularly well into the NOLA market unless you can show ties there or at least a 100% commitment to stay. You can ask Aberzombie about this, too (I have no idea if he agrees, but he's the resident Tulane expert).

My vote is for W&L; I'm curious to hear if others agree.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:58 am

arvcondor wrote:I think the Tulane experience would probably beat W&L hands down, but I also think a W&L degree is probably more valuable. If the NLJ250 rankings are barometric of anything, then W&L has better employment prospects. And the thing I found with Tulane (I was ultimately split between them and Temple and chose the latter after about 2 months of soul searching) is that it doesn't feed particularly well into the NOLA market unless you can show ties there or at least a 100% commitment to stay. You can ask Aberzombie about this, too (I have no idea if he agrees, but he's the resident Tulane expert).

My vote is for W&L; I'm curious to hear if others agree.


I'm not certain that a W&L degree would be more valuable. Before the new NLJ250 rankings came out, I might have considered agreeing - but W&L lost half of its NLJ placement over a 1 year span (unless I'm mistaken). I don't believe that this has happened to any other school. In terms of only degree value, I would probably give a slight edge to Tulane because more employers (geographically) are aware that it is a good school without having to ask (and this comes in handy when mass mailing) and Tulane is the best school instate.

Employers here do indeed like to see ties from Tulane students, but I'm certain that this is true for many T1 private schools (Notre Dame, W&L, BYU, WashU, Emory, and so forth). So I don't see a Tulane specific problem in that regard. However, I do know people who received New Orleans offers who aren't from the area (myself included). I really can't give much more information unless I knew who all wanted New Orleans and did or did not get it.

Ultimately, I would vote Tulane primarily because it's located in a city (and there are many benefits to this). Your international aspirations would be better served by Tulane, even though they may be a little out of touch with reality. While I know some 1L's and 2L's spending their summer overseas (United Nations, foreign firms, etc.), I'm uncertain as to the probability or possibility of actually receiving a full time offer overseas.

LSATfromNC
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby LSATfromNC » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:05 am

MeetMyBackhand wrote:Thanks for your responses so far.

arvcondor: I don't know. I was waitlisted at some schools that I thought for sure I would get in based on my LSAT/GPA (166/3.62). Tulane was such a surprise, so was Colorado, and William & Mary was as well, less so because of its rank, but W&L is similarly ranked and yet I got in + money.

lawboy81: Why do you think Tulane is better known abroad than W&L?

Turtledove: That's a good question, and I don't exactly have a good answer. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do, and a lot of this has to do with ignorance about the possibilities. I wouldn't mind working in the foreign service, or doing legal work for an NGO, or even doing some sort of international transactional law or just working in transactional law abroad. I'm not too concerned with making a lot of money (I was offered substantially bigger scholarships at Cardozo (35k) and Brooklyn (29k)- which is part of my hesitation to go to Tulane, similarly ranked to Cardozo but much less money), as I've put away a little money in my 5 years after undergrad to put a decent dent in the debt, plus I'm naturally extremely frugal.

I would appreciate any other advice any of you or others have to give, and once again, thanks for your input.


Did W&L get cheap this cycle? They were handing out near full rides for slightly worse numbers last cycle.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:08 am

Applications went down across the board (almost). All law schools are easier to get into now (and offer better packages).

Metaread
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Metaread » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:08 am

You mean it was easier in the last cycle (beginning fall 2010) or later on?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:13 am

Students starting fall 2011 had it easier than students starting in fall 2010 and likely fall 2009 as well. I'm not saying it was easier across the board, or that it was significantly easier. But it was easier.

MeetMyBackhand
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby MeetMyBackhand » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:17 pm

LSATfromNC: It does look like people with similar numbers were receiving larger scholarships last year.

It seems, if you can apply economics to law school admissions, that with the decrease in numbers applying for 2011 that there would be more demand for the top students and thus higher scholarships awarded... but I'm obviously not an expert.

Thanks a lot, Aberzombie and Arvcondor, for your input. I withdrew from Tulane on the 28th, before I saw your latest comments. I have a soft spot for Tulane and really saw myself going there, but my thoughts were along the line of Arvcondor's. If Tulane had offered just a little more money I think it would have been a different story. I know far too much weight is given to rankings, but for roughly the same price of school and the same money awarded, and 18 spot jump is big.

I was also really annoyed with Tulane's waitlist policy. 24 hours to make a decision? Even though I was able to extend it an extra day, two days is not enough, IMO. I think a week would've been fair. I saw myself in NOLA, and I guess my biggest hesitation with W&L is the size of the town. I can't quite wrap my head around the fact I'll be living in a town of less than 7,000 for 3 years. At least everyone I talked to there seemed to really like it there, and I like the outdoors. Hopefully it will all work out.

Thanks again guys.

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Grizz
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Grizz » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:20 pm

Go to whichever one is cheaper, and don't count on practicing international law.

MeetMyBackhand
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby MeetMyBackhand » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:26 pm

They'll be roughly the same price. Although I bet the cost of living at Lexington would be cheaper.

EDIT: And I'm not counting on it. It is my hope, however.

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Fred_McGriff » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:40 pm

MeetMyBackhand wrote:They'll be roughly the same price. Although I bet the cost of living at Lexington would be cheaper.

EDIT: And I'm not counting on it. It is my hope, however.


COL isn't going to be much cheaper in Lexington than in New Orleans. You've got a heavily saturated tiny real estate market with very limited competition. Lexington also has 3 bars, is in an ice cold valley, and is miles upon miles from any major center of anything. Charlottesville is the closest thing, and UVA's got that market more than covered.

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arvcondor
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby arvcondor » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:48 pm

Fred_McGriff wrote:
MeetMyBackhand wrote:They'll be roughly the same price. Although I bet the cost of living at Lexington would be cheaper.

EDIT: And I'm not counting on it. It is my hope, however.


COL isn't going to be much cheaper in Lexington than in New Orleans. You've got a heavily saturated tiny real estate market with very limited competition. Lexington also has 3 bars, is in an ice cold valley, and is miles upon miles from any major center of anything. Charlottesville is the closest thing, and UVA's got that market more than covered.
I remember thinking that TITCR when I was looking at W&L. I would expect NOLA to be cheaper than Lexington, or at least have more cheap options.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:41 pm

W&L is a better school, but I would go with the cheaper one and forget about International law.

ran12
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby ran12 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:47 pm

This person withdrew from Tulane already so the thread is over.

MeetMyBackhand
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Re: Washington & Lee vs. Tulane

Postby MeetMyBackhand » Wed May 04, 2011 1:49 pm

Fred McGriff: When I was there it seemed like the going rate for a room was around $300-350, with some people able to find deals for $250/month. Of course if you wanted your own baller place, it'd be more expensive. I just imagined it'd be harder to find a place in NOLA for anywhere close to $250, but I could be wrong- I have no idea how Katrina affected the housing market.




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