malcolm wrote:Is it really that clear cut? Do you not think GW's location might be a better place to develop a track toward a public interest career, and is it really irrational to think I won't be one of the 20% of graduates who has to rely on GW's school-funded program? These aren't rhetorical questions, I'm interested in your opinion.
malcolm wrote:So, in your opinion, this holds true for DC as well, even if GW affords much more opportunity for developing contacts in the public sector?
And again, thanks for chiming in everybody.
First off, none of the 20% who ended up in GW's $15/hour positions expected that they would end up there, and the vast majority of the other 20% that wound up with no JD-required job didn't expect they would be in that position either. I guarantee you that if you speak with the friends of these folks, you'll hear that many of them were very intelligent, diligent students that, for whatever reason, didn't have the peculiar knack for doing particularly well on law school exams.
Beyond that, you (and some other 0Ls on this thread) are vastly overrating the importance of GW's location. When the prestige gap is as wide as it is between Michigan and GW, prestige easily trumps location. I'd take Michigan over GULC as well, no matter what you wanted to do. You may be able to hit the Capitol with a rock from GULC, but grads from the entire rest of the T14 will have a placement advantage relative to students of the same rank at GULC. DC is the opposite of provincial. The most prestigious employers in DC -- whether federal gov't, BigLaw, or PI, and more than employers in any other location in the country -- are looking for students with the most prestigious pedigrees.
The way to develop the most meaningful contacts with DC employers is to work for one or more of them over your summers, and you definitely will have an easier time getting a good summer job from Michigan than you will from GW. Whatever schmoozing and networking you would do during the school year (when a GW student needs to be doing everything he/she can do to get the best possible grades) is not going to give you a special advantage for getting a job at the ACLU or the DOJ. The kind of jobs you're talking about are tougher to get than BigLaw and are even more prestige-focused.
The only way this becomes a real question, in my opinion, is if GW ponies up somewhere from $120K to full tuition. At equal cost, this is not even close to being a question.