Why W&L over W&M?

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kuttlefish
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Why W&L over W&M?

Postby kuttlefish » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:06 pm

I'm not trying to start a flame thread here, but some things are unavoidable. There are a million W&L vs W&M threads in the forums and they all end the same way... "they're peer schools, they have the same amount of prestige from firms/judges, W&M has better networking opportunities, W&L cooks the books to get better employment rates"

So (again, I'm being serious) why do people choose W&L? I mean, they can't give out scholarships to everybody. The honor code sounds nice, but that's like choosing vanderbilt for the pretty trees. I'm assuming that everybody who applied to one applied to the other and probably got the same results (aside from borderlines/WL-> acceptance)

So what's up?

FWIW, I have not visited either school and I don't know any alumni, so if I'm missing something obvious, please excuse my ignorance.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby ndirish2010 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:45 pm

Tuition for W&L would have only been $4K a year for me, whereas W&M would have been $16K or something. That could be a pretty good reason. Plus, I would love to go to school in Lexington. I think that puts me in the minority here. I didn't go to either of them, but just putting forth an explanation.

nebula666
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby nebula666 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:46 pm

Washington and Lee places 12.4% in biglaw to W&M's 6.9%, 7.8% in clerkships to W&M's 7.4% and 6.2% in public service to W&M's 20%.

If you are a VA resident, I think W&M is the better option because of how much cheaper it is.

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kuttlefish
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby kuttlefish » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:49 am

nebula666 wrote:Washington and Lee places 12.4% in biglaw to W&M's 6.9%, 7.8% in clerkships to W&M's 7.4% and 6.2% in public service to W&M's 20%.


But isn't W&L's class size about half of W&M's so don't the raw numbers even out? I mean, if 10 out of 100 people at W&L make big law, that's 10%; if 10 out of 200 people at W&M make big law, that's 5%. Either way, only the top 10 students from each school are making big law. (according to the raw numbers on LST, 16 from each school are employed as full-time attorneys in firms with 100+, but you know what I'm saying).

I guess you could argue that the smaller class size gives you a better chance to be at the top, but I could see that working against you too. In other words, one mediocre test grade could send you plummeting down the ranks since there are fewer people to cushion your medians.

Again, I'm not trying to bash W&L, I'm just trying to understand other people's thought processes. I'm trying to make a compelling case for every school I've been accepted to so I don't overlook any opportunities.

Cellar-door
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby Cellar-door » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:04 pm

kuttlefish wrote:
nebula666 wrote:Washington and Lee places 12.4% in biglaw to W&M's 6.9%, 7.8% in clerkships to W&M's 7.4% and 6.2% in public service to W&M's 20%.


But isn't W&L's class size about half of W&M's so don't the raw numbers even out? I mean, if 10 out of 100 people at W&L make big law, that's 10%; if 10 out of 200 people at W&M make big law, that's 5%. Either way, only the top 10 students from each school are making big law. (according to the raw numbers on LST, 16 from each school are employed as full-time attorneys in firms with 100+, but you know what I'm saying).

I guess you could argue that the smaller class size gives you a better chance to be at the top, but I could see that working against you too. In other words, one mediocre test grade could send you plummeting down the ranks since there are fewer people to cushion your medians.

Again, I'm not trying to bash W&L, I'm just trying to understand other people's thought processes. I'm trying to make a compelling case for every school I've been accepted to so I don't overlook any opportunities.


Total number in big law is a dumb way to think about it. The point of using employment stats is to find schools that minimize bad outcomes. The same number of people in a much smaller class getting big law means far fewer students are getting bad outcomes. 20% of W&M class is unemployed, with the larger class size that means 45 students with no job at all to W&L's 15. Looking at the full-time long term legal jobs, 98 W&M students didn't have one, to 54 at W&L.
So while neither is an ideal option, less students come out of W&L totally screwed, despite similar percentages, your big law chances as a percentage are better at W&L, employment overall is similar as a percentage.

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UVAIce
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby UVAIce » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:08 pm

I'm curious to see what W&L's employment numbers are going to look like for the current "super class." That class should certainly show if W&L has enough pull to get more people jobs over W&M.

Also, if you live in Virginia the clear choice is UVA.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:05 am

People who are making this choice probably don't have the numbers for UVA...

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bluepenguin
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby bluepenguin » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:36 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:People who are making this choice probably don't have the numbers for UVA...


yet...

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kuttlefish
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby kuttlefish » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:55 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:People who are making this choice probably don't have the numbers for UVA...

Le sigh...

talesofyore
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby talesofyore » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:58 pm

Does anyone have anything to add to this?:)

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kuttlefish
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby kuttlefish » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:38 pm

talesofyore wrote:Does anyone have anything to add to this?:)


Well, I just got $40k/year from W&L, so I'm starting to see the attraction :roll:

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jrf12886
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby jrf12886 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:58 pm

Go to whichever will cost less.

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cinephile
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Re: Why W&L over W&M?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:04 pm

If cost is equal then there's nothing wrong with picking a school because you prefer the physical location or fit in with the student body better.




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