It is hard to read the initial post and sit back and not say something. I don't really post much on TLS, but I look at this site from time to time. This was on the main feed the other day, and I wanted to address a few things when I had some time. This rant is for both future and current students.
1) I am a transfer (as you can tell from my username), and I think I can provide good insight because of this. My old school was around T50, and I think/thought it was decently well respected. You should hear the horror stories from my old classmates about how their OCI went and how the job search is going for current 3Ls. The legal market sucks. Get over it. This is the world we live in, and it is bad for every school. I knew that before I went to law school, and you should have known that too. Oh, and please do not get me started on my old school’s CSO. I haven’t visited GW’s, but wow my old school’s CSO was a joke. I have heard most school’s CSOs aren’t really great. It is up to you, I guess.
2) Going to any school does not guarantee you Big Law. U of Chicago places the most people (percentage wise – I will come back to this) in NLJ 250 according to LST. Yet, over 40% there do not get Big Law. Further, I know countless people at way better schools than GW without Big Law. Not everyone can get Big Law. Did this student really think everyone should get Big Law and everyone he/she knows should get Big Law at a T20? Let’s be real.
3) I am confused why GW is a target for this student. Do not be mad for your failed research. GW's Big Law placement is commensurate with its ranking. Only BC, BU, and Fordham do better of the lower ranked schools. Those are all good schools who could easily be ranked above GW if the rankings were not such BS. It is not like you have American U placing more in Big Law than GW. Oh wait, American didn't even make the top 50 in Big Law placement. It is not like GW is a T14. GW basically places like its ranking should place (20th v. 22nd). Maybe this student thought he/she was attending a T5.
4) GW places a LOT of students in Big Law. Let’s not just look at the percentages. According to LST, GW places more students in Big Law than every school in America (9th overall) except for GTown, Michigan, NYU, Berk, UVA, Harvard, UPenn, and Columbia. I think the fact that firms are willing to take such a large number of GW kids is actually pretty impressive. That is a lot of students with GW on their resumes entering Big Law. Sure, GW has a lot of students but firms don’t care how many students your school has. The fact is that firms are willing to hire a lot of GW students into Big Law. This must say at least something about the school’s reputation.
4) Big Law is a special beast. Big Law is business. Because of this, grades and journal do not tell the whole story. Someone who shows special qualities can get Big Law (if you don’t know what these are, I can’t help you). This poster seems like a jerk. I am not surprised Big Law didn't want him. He/she would not be fun to work with. Someone mentioned a good amount of their buddies from the softball tournament got Big Law. I am not surprised. Those people are probably cool and would be a blast to work with, in addition to being smart and hard working. Poster would probably be the guy complaining he was called out on strike three looking and he deserves a fourth strike instead of just enjoying the game.
5) As I say with any profession, professional school, or anything in life really, for every bad story there is a good story. One person’s experience should not dissuade you. But you should go in with open eyes and reservations, unlike poster.
6) At my old school, I hated some professors (One in particular. Seriously, this guy was a prick). I also had some great ones. It is the same at GW. Some professors are wonderful, others stink. Professors don’t get hired for teaching skills at any law school and that should be considered a fact. Further, I don’t care about the professors. I came to law school to get a job, not play footsy or became buddies with professors. Is every client going to be a joy to work with? I think not.
7) I have Big Law lined up. I won’t get into particulars because I would be known pretty easily if someone read this thread. All I will say is that my grades from my old school are not deserving of Big Law. But I have other qualities that made me attractive (I am assuming). No I am not a URM. At the end of the day, GW got my foot in the door. We had an enormous OCI compared to my old school and compared with my friends at similarly ranked schools. GW will not get you a job, no school will. If you are weird, can’t dress well, can’t interview well, are not polite, etc., you better be top 5% and on the GW Law Review. If you don’t have persistence, if you don’t want to do whatever it takes to get big law, if you think it should be handed to you, you won’t get big law. GW did, however, get my foot in the right doors. I did the rest. I created my own luck. (I am not IP, by the way. And I have no work experience except for the clothing store I worked at in high school.)
If you attend GW, you ARE attending a T20. It is not over ranked. It is not over rated. It is a T20. Look at the hard numbers. Compare it with similarly ranked schools. Compare it with higher ranked schools. Compare it with lower ranked schools. It is a T20. Not a T5 and not a T50. Every school is pretty much getting the screws right now. It is just the way it is. If you want to be guaranteed a big pay out after law school, don’t go to law school because it is not guaranteed no matter where you go.
9) I probably did not cover everything. That is OK. I do not have the time. But I did write a lot, and I have finals to worry about and other stuff to do (as we all do). I will not sit here and say GW is perfect. It is far from it. Most schools probably are far from it as well. I haven’t even been here long enough to give a legitimate appraisal of the school. But this poster is a jerk, and I take offense to his post. I can’t just sit back and let him ream GW for future students to read. Every school is overpriced. No school guarantees a job. Every school has a few or many horrible professors. Not every school places in Big Law. Get over it. Instead of whining on some thread, do something about your situation. GW gives you very good opportunities. You have to seize them yourself.