AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

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

Smartest school choice

American WCL
9
28%
WASHINGTON & LEE
22
69%
EMORY
1
3%
 
Total votes: 32

jjlee
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AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby jjlee » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:19 am

Hey guys,

Need quick advice on the following. Currently reside in DC with a preference of studying in DC. The schools I'm looking at and have been accepted to are

American - sticker (welp) but I'll save some money on housing or the other effects of moving because I can commute...

Washington & Lee (15k) - Really nice program and the admissions people are really cool. However, I'd have to move to Lexington, Va. School is currently ranked 24th but is regional.

Emory - love the school, this would be my choice if I were closer. No scholarship offer yet, assuming I go for sticker, and obviously have to move to ATL, pay housing etc etc.

My legal interests range from sports/entertainment law (pipe dream I know) to human rights law. All things considered, which one is the smartest move, though not much to pick from?

Any American wcl law students advice would be greatly appreciated...

GokartMozart315
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby GokartMozart315 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:23 am

i'm very interested in the replies in this thread. different situation but also in dc and weighing emory as placement back to dc. are you going to the admitted students' reception at jones day on tues?

secondhand on wcl: my boss and other big lawyers i know have gone there, but more recently, my ex went there and has described the recent hiring market for wcl grads as pretty poor. so tough to say

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:30 am

My advice would be W&L if you have to pick one of those options, but be prepared to both not end up in dc and to be employed by the school at graduation.

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Robespierre
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby Robespierre » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:57 am

You say you have a preference for studying in DC. Does that mean you want to practice law in DC, too?

You say you can commute to American. Does that mean living with your family, with room and board paid for?

Is the 15K from W&L per year, or total?

Just tryin to get all the facts.

jjlee
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby jjlee » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:01 pm

Robespierre wrote:You say you have a preference for studying in DC. Does that mean you want to practice law in DC, too?


Yes I would practice in DC or Ny, ATL isn't an issue either.. I'd be fine with that.
You say you can commute to American. Does that mean living with your family, with room and board paid for?

Is the 15K from W&L per year, or total?

Just tryin to get all the facts.

Yes live in Dc with roommates, rent is fine. So the cost of living isn't expensive in that aspect.

15k is per year with 3.0 gpa stipulations. Thanks


In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?

ze2151
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby ze2151 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:08 pm

yes unrealistic.

tennisking88
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby tennisking88 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:11 pm

Wow. Do not attend American at sticker. Under any circumstances. I would take WL over the two options. WL may actually place better in DC than American.

tennisking88
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby tennisking88 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:12 pm

jjlee wrote:
In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?


Yes.

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futurejdgirl
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby futurejdgirl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:17 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
jjlee wrote:
In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?


Yes.



I don't agree with this. Several WCL grads on here have said that scholarships start becoming available in the Spring of your 1L year and there are more than what's listed on the website and a good portion of students get them. Additionally, if you're taking out loans for all of these schools, I don't see the point in distinguishing between sticker vs. nonsticker. I'm debating between a couple of schools that gave me scholarship and then American, that only gave me a grant... and for me, its 20k in loans vs 35k in loans vs 55k in loans. Then, considering the location and strengths of the school. Calculate exactly how much money in loans you're taking out for each school, including COA, and compare them to see if there's a huge difference... then ask yourself what you REALLY want and where you see yourself going. Also, don't know if you have done this yet, but visit! I'll be visiting WCL in April.

I think some people on here don't realize that going to an amazing law school for free is NOT an option for a lot of people that still want to take out the investment. My LSAC GPA limits me in terms of where I could get scholarship money and admission, no matter how high I score on the LSAT. Loans are going to be inevitable for me, no matter where I go, if I go to grad school or law school or med school or culinary school or art school. Just be wise and sound in the decision you make and realistic and calculate every dime. I don't think it's wise to go to a TTT @ sticker, but American has a good reputation and there ARE successful grads from there and good internship opportunities and whatnot.

Basically, compare the loan amounts from each school and see if there's really a substantial difference.

jjlee
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby jjlee » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:38 pm

futurejdgirl wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:
jjlee wrote:
In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?


Yes.



I don't agree with this. Several WCL grads on here have said that scholarships start becoming available in the Spring of your 1L year and there are more than what's listed on the website and a good portion of students get them. Additionally, if you're taking out loans for all of these schools, I don't see the point in distinguishing between sticker vs. nonsticker. I'm debating between a couple of schools that gave me scholarship and then American, that only gave me a grant... and for me, its 20k in loans vs 35k in loans vs 55k in loans. Then, considering the location and strengths of the school. Calculate exactly how much money in loans you're taking out for each school, including COA, and compare them to see if there's a huge difference... then ask yourself what you REALLY want and where you see yourself going. Also, don't know if you have done this yet, but visit! I'll be visiting WCL in April.

I think some people on here don't realize that going to an amazing law school for free is NOT an option for a lot of people that still want to take out the investment. My LSAC GPA limits me in terms of where I could get scholarship money and admission, no matter how high I score on the LSAT. Loans are going to be inevitable for me, no matter where I go, if I go to grad school or law school or med school or culinary school or art school. Just be wise and sound in the decision you make and realistic and calculate every dime. I don't think it's wise to go to a TTT @ sticker, but American has a good reputation and there ARE successful grads from there and good internship opportunities and whatnot.

Basically, compare the loan amounts from each school and see if there's really a substantial difference.



Thanks a lot, this is also my thinking in terms of loans being inevitable. If I wait a year and retake with intentions of getting into Georgetown I'd really have to kill the LSAT to the point where I get over 50% scholly.

Despite what many on here think WCL has a great rep with Dc. Their reluctance to give much money is really a bit of a turn off though. It's the type of thing that would make me go to Cardozo for a full ride just because I don't want to pay sticker.

Also reading this forum could lead me to never going to law school because it's the consensus to avoid sticker and especially so at the school I'm closest to and most likely to attend :(

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futurejdgirl
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby futurejdgirl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:43 pm

jjlee wrote:
futurejdgirl wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:
jjlee wrote:
In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?


Yes.



I don't agree with this. Several WCL grads on here have said that scholarships start becoming available in the Spring of your 1L year and there are more than what's listed on the website and a good portion of students get them. Additionally, if you're taking out loans for all of these schools, I don't see the point in distinguishing between sticker vs. nonsticker. I'm debating between a couple of schools that gave me scholarship and then American, that only gave me a grant... and for me, its 20k in loans vs 35k in loans vs 55k in loans. Then, considering the location and strengths of the school. Calculate exactly how much money in loans you're taking out for each school, including COA, and compare them to see if there's a huge difference... then ask yourself what you REALLY want and where you see yourself going. Also, don't know if you have done this yet, but visit! I'll be visiting WCL in April.

I think some people on here don't realize that going to an amazing law school for free is NOT an option for a lot of people that still want to take out the investment. My LSAC GPA limits me in terms of where I could get scholarship money and admission, no matter how high I score on the LSAT. Loans are going to be inevitable for me, no matter where I go, if I go to grad school or law school or med school or culinary school or art school. Just be wise and sound in the decision you make and realistic and calculate every dime. I don't think it's wise to go to a TTT @ sticker, but American has a good reputation and there ARE successful grads from there and good internship opportunities and whatnot.

Basically, compare the loan amounts from each school and see if there's really a substantial difference.



Thanks a lot, this is also my thinking in terms of loans being inevitable. If I wait a year and retake with intentions of getting into Georgetown I'd really have to kill the LSAT to the point where I get over 50% scholly.

Despite what many on here think WCL has a great rep with Dc. Their reluctance to give much money is really a bit of a turn off though. It's the type of thing that would make me go to Cardozo for a full ride just because I don't want to pay sticker.

Also reading this forum could lead me to never going to law school because it's the consensus to avoid sticker and especially so at the school I'm closest to and most likely to attend :(



The majority of people on this forum are geared towards the top 14 law schools, so keep that in mind. For those of us that do not have that option, you have to just be realistic about what you're doing and where you want to end up..and your capabilities. The legal market is extremely tough in DC and that shouldn't be underestimated, but you can't make your decisions solely based on the opinions of anon users online. I am also turned off by how expensive WCL is, but when it comes down to it, it's not *that* much more expensive for me than any other REPUTABLE law school with a SOLID reputation. I've also spoken with a WCL alum from 2000, who is still paying off her loans, and despite that she says she really enjoyed DC and the opportunities she had. She's working in Public Interest so she gets assistance from the state bar for loan repayment. It's not a black hole of debt if you don't want it to be, but you have to be willing to work hard. I've also talked to several of my advisors, professors in international relations, etc and no matter who I mention it too - everyone has positive things to say about WCL. It's not cheap, but it's certainly not astronomical like people make it out to be.

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bk1
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby bk1 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:49 pm

futurejdgirl wrote:WCL. It's not cheap, but it's certainly not astronomical like people make it out to be.


70k/year cost of attendance. 250k debt at graduation. How is that not astronomical?

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futurejdgirl
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby futurejdgirl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:02 pm

bk1 wrote:
futurejdgirl wrote:WCL. It's not cheap, but it's certainly not astronomical like people make it out to be.


70k/year cost of attendance. 250k debt at graduation. How is that not astronomical?


What other reputable private law schools are there that do not have high tuition amounts and COA... specifically in DC? Yes, it is expensive, but you are assuming that the loan amounts will not decrease at all for each year - that someone going sticker for the first year will be doing that all three years. Just as you should not assume that you will get a scholarship or be in the top5%, you should not assume that you won't get any help from the school at all. There are too many unknowns to try and write off a school assuming the worst case scenario, but that's just my opinion. Also, outside scholarships - there are more of them available once you're already IN law school. I'm not even taking out 70k worth of loans for the first year because I got a grant. Furthermore, my situation does not allow me to be so stingy when it comes to taking on significant debt.. I'll have that problem anywhere. So, to me, it is not astronomical, because frankly, any good school with good connections will be expensive for me. I'm poor and I don't have the amazing GPA to help me otherwise. and no, I do not want to change my mind and forget about law school.

timbs4339
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:25 pm

If you got a grant that counts as a scholarship. Any money that you don't have to pay back is usually counted as a scholarship for purposes of calculating COA.

futurejdgirl wrote:Just as you should not assume that you will get a scholarship or be in the top5%, you should not assume that you won't get any help from the school at all.


How many students every year manage to get scholarships or grants from the school while they are in law school? I have never heard of this happening unless a student absolutely kills it and threatens to transfer after 1L. And any help they will give you will be a drop in the bucket compared to 70K per year. It's really not even worth entering into the equation.

These schools do not give a shit how poor you are or how much loan debt you have. Students at the schools in the title routinely amass +200K in student loan debt and the school doesn't bat an eye. True need based aid is effectively dead at almost all American law schools.

When making this decision you should not assume you will be exceptional. That's why TLS advises people to assume they will be graduating at median. That means no bribes to not transfer, and very little chance at a good paying job during the 1L or 2L summer.

Outside scholarships, I have found, are generally limited to 1) members of an ethnic/racial/religious group, 2) people who live in the county. I actually got an outside scholarship for 5K as a 3L, so it does happen. But I looked around and only saw two scholarships I qualified for (one from my home city's bar association and one from an -American group I belong to). Like I said, drop in the bucket.

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bk1
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby bk1 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:28 pm

futurejdgirl wrote:Yes, it is expensive, but you are assuming that the loan amounts will not decrease at all for each year - that someone going sticker for the first year will be doing that all three years. Just as you should not assume that you will get a scholarship or be in the top5%, you should not assume that you won't get any help from the school at all.


I do not agree at all that you should expect any additional $ from the school once you're in (as you implied above OP might get). The people who would get money almost always are the people at the top of the class because the school is trying to discourage those people from transferring.

If this were such a common practice that most people got additional money from their school, then we would hear about it. But we don't. There is no evidence to back up your claim. If anything, due to inflation and rising tuition, people should expect to have to take more money out rather than less for 2L/3L.

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futurejdgirl
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby futurejdgirl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:04 pm

Right. So I'm not exactly sure what you guys think is the best thing to assume. That we'll be graduating at median, with no hopes of jobs or that we won't get any help at all and be taking out close to sticker amount of loans. Honestly, "not having heard" of people getting help from law schools in terms of scholarships, later on in law school, specifically from American, just simply does not equate to it being impossible or nonexistent.

Anyways, I do plan on asking the Director of Financial Aid when I visit or by phone, about the frequency of scholarship awards given and what the considerations are. That is definitely something I would like to clarify and will post about once I have that information. but so far, it seems that there are substantial opportunities at American and even the alum I have talked too have constantly mentioned this - alum that don't have a stake in my attendance there. Even the alum that was unhappy with her debt told me that she's happy with her decision overall because of the experience she got and where she is now.

I've emphasized before that there are way too many unknowns in this equation and that not having substantial debt for any professional, or graduate program is very unlikely, especially for someone without a stellar GPA. Also, rising tuition is usually combated with more aid/scholarship opportunities - not always, but there are schools who do this. Again, I plan on clarifying the scholarship availability at American but I do not want to completely write it off as a "marketing tactic" without getting more information.

ze2151
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby ze2151 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:08 pm

futurejdgirl- SERIOUSLY consider the gravity of what you're about to do.

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Blindmelon
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:24 pm

If you have the stats to only get into American, the correct thing to do is move to VA for a year and apply to GMU. Instate GMU >>>>>>> American. Rule out Emory instantly - not worth the cost, and won't get you to DC. W&L will also be a bumpy ride. American will be a crazy uphill battle for anything - federal government is incredibly competitive and bigfirm work is out unless you're in the top 5-10% and on LR.

TL:DR - establish residency in VA then go to GMU. Otherwise, law school might not be the best idea.

timbs4339
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:27 pm

futurejdgirl wrote:Right. So I'm not exactly sure what you guys think is the best thing to assume. That we'll be graduating at median, with no hopes of jobs or that we won't get any help at all and be taking out close to sticker amount of loans. Honestly, "not having heard" of people getting help from law schools in terms of scholarships, later on in law school, specifically from American, just simply does not equate to it being impossible or nonexistent.

Anyways, I do plan on asking the Director of Financial Aid when I visit or by phone, about the frequency of scholarship awards given and what the considerations are. That is definitely something I would like to clarify and will post about once I have that information. but so far, it seems that there are substantial opportunities at American and even the alum I have talked too have constantly mentioned this - alum that don't have a stake in my attendance there. Even the alum that was unhappy with her debt told me that she's happy with her decision overall because of the experience she got and where she is now.

I've emphasized before that there are way too many unknowns in this equation and that not having substantial debt for any professional, or graduate program is very unlikely, especially for someone without a stellar GPA. Also, rising tuition is usually combated with more aid/scholarship opportunities - not always, but there are schools who do this. Again, I plan on clarifying the scholarship availability at American but I do not want to completely write it off as a "marketing tactic" without getting more information.


The best thing to assume is that you will be graduating at median. This DOES NOT mean you will be graduating without a job. It probably means your job will be in the 40-50K range of starting salaries and you will not see a significant bump for some years. This makes paying back 200K in debt very uncomfortable. You can do the math on how you will repay this with a 40-50K salary. At that point your best option is to hope that 40-50K is a public sector or public service job, go on federal public service loan repayment, hope to god that you don't get fired or the Republicans don't cut the program, and wait ten years for your loans to be forgiven. That's the best option.

I'm preaching now, but lawyers need to have good judgment and be relatively risk averse. It does not demonstrate either of those traits when you assume you will do better than the median student. In fact, there are some people on this site who would advise prospective law students to assume they will be in the bottom 25% because the costs of ending up there are so huge. I'm not one of those people, but you can see why it might make sense.

This is a forum of people who live and breathe law school. If there was a practice of schools awarding aid money while in law school in anything but the rarest circumstances we would have heard of it. Unfortunately, common sense would seem to reject this, since these schools routinely let people graduate with 200K or more in student loan debt. Just that fact tells us it is very likely there is no support offered or the support that is offered is nominal. In fact, the tuition rises at these law schools to the tune of 1-2K per year. I have been following law school for four years- one year as an applicant and three years as a student. I have never heard of a school offering widely available scholarships/grants for current students unless they are exceptional students who are at risk to transfer.

Alums do have a stake in your attendance- it adds to the school's reputation. If nobody wants to attend their alma mater it devalues their degree. The usual caveats when speaking with alumni apply here.

There are low-cost alternatives to these super-expensive schools. There are plenty of state schools with relatively low in-state tuition. I would advise someone who is absolutely dead-set on law school to attend CUNY or Rutgers in-state over NYLS, St. Johns, Touro, or any one of the half-dozen expensive NYC area private schools. You can also work a few years while re-taking and evaluate your options in the future.

pride09
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby pride09 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:30 pm

American! I'm excited to see what they do with their new campus in Tenleytown.

Jinomas
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby Jinomas » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:54 pm

If you want to go to American, you should probably go to American.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:21 pm

futurejdgirl wrote:
tennisking88 wrote:
jjlee wrote:
In terms of American I figured I could attend paying sticker first year, do well and get a scholarship the remainder of the way. Unrealistic?


Yes.



I don't agree with this. Several WCL grads on here have said that scholarships start becoming available in the Spring of your 1L year and there are more than what's listed on the website and a good portion of students get them. Additionally, if you're taking out loans for all of these schools, I don't see the point in distinguishing between sticker vs. nonsticker. I'm debating between a couple of schools that gave me scholarship and then American, that only gave me a grant... and for me, its 20k in loans vs 35k in loans vs 55k in loans. Then, considering the location and strengths of the school. Calculate exactly how much money in loans you're taking out for each school, including COA, and compare them to see if there's a huge difference... then ask yourself what you REALLY want and where you see yourself going. Also, don't know if you have done this yet, but visit! I'll be visiting WCL in April.

I think some people on here don't realize that going to an amazing law school for free is NOT an option for a lot of people that still want to take out the investment. My LSAC GPA limits me in terms of where I could get scholarship money and admission, no matter how high I score on the LSAT. Loans are going to be inevitable for me, no matter where I go, if I go to grad school or law school or med school or culinary school or art school. Just be wise and sound in the decision you make and realistic and calculate every dime. I don't think it's wise to go to a TTT @ sticker, but American has a good reputation and there ARE successful grads from there and good internship opportunities and whatnot.

Basically, compare the loan amounts from each school and see if there's really a substantial difference.

Ha! I wouldn't touch GULC at sticker, let alone GW, let alone American.

ze2151
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby ze2151 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:31 pm

"loans are inevitable for me wherever i go."

just be careful how many you take out.

wfudeacons2005
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:59 am

Not saying go or don't go but this article pretty much scared me out of American at sticker:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 66666.html

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futurejdgirl
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Re: AMERICAN WCL vs W&L vs. EMORY

Postby futurejdgirl » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:28 am

wfudeacons2005 wrote:Not saying go or don't go but this article pretty much scared me out of American at sticker:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 66666.html


Can you post the entire article? It's only available to subscribers :(




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