Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

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GanNingOfWu
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Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby GanNingOfWu » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:25 pm

Dear Top Law Schools Users:

I live in the Bay Area and have been planning to move to the east coast; specifically, I am expecting to move to D.C.

I'm wait listed for George Mason, GULC, and Maryland. If admitted, I would seriously consider attending any of those. I'm not sure about a Baltimore - D.C. commute, though, so I have questions about that.

I was offered $$$ from WCL (I know you guys love that one) and CUA, with the larger sum coming from the latter.

Ideally, I would absolutely love to attend GULC. I've been on the regular wait list since November (ED applicant on the day apps were opened), and since then I've submitted a LOCI, contacted the school to provide an updated resume, and sent one new LOR from my grad school professor. I have two more LORs being prepared, and I'm flying out to D.C. next week. I contacted admissions and they would not agree to meet with me, so I suppose I'll check in at their office and try to demonstrate my interest in attending.

Do you have any advice re: the wait list at GULC/GMU/Maryland, the choice I'm about to make, or if a life in D.C. is possible while attending Maryland? I've researched all of these schools extensively and I feel as though I'm treading water while trying to decide. I'm really interested in working for D.C.'s Public Defender Service or a similar position.

Thanks!

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pancakes3
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:47 pm

Maryland is terrible, even for Maryland practice. It's not going to get you into DC.

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hitherim
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby hitherim » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:49 pm

Cost of Attendance at all options (including WL) and GPA/LSAT?
Last edited by hitherim on Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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chuckbass
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby chuckbass » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:57 pm

If you want to be in DC so bad, why don't you move to DC and find a job and work for a couple years and see if that's even where you really want to be? I'm from DC and I can tell you for one, it is nothing like the Bay Area.

GanNingOfWu
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby GanNingOfWu » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:00 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:If you want to be in DC so bad, why don't you move to DC and find a job and work for a couple years and see if that's even where you really want to be? I'm from DC and I can tell you for one, it is nothing like the Bay Area.


I worked in D.C. and loved it. I'm glad it's nothing like the Bay Area, and I'm committed to building a life out there.

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chuckbass
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby chuckbass » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:10 pm

GanNingOfWu wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:If you want to be in DC so bad, why don't you move to DC and find a job and work for a couple years and see if that's even where you really want to be? I'm from DC and I can tell you for one, it is nothing like the Bay Area.


I worked in D.C. and loved it. I'm glad it's nothing like the Bay Area, and I'm committed to building a life out there.

Ok, then you need to retake the LSAT if you want to be a successful lawyer in DC.


GanNingOfWu
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby GanNingOfWu » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:30 pm



Thanks, I've seen that numerous times. Any advice re: the wait lists or Maryland would be greatly appreciated.

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hitherim
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby hitherim » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:32 pm

pancakes3 wrote:Maryland is terrible, even for Maryland practice. It's not going to get you into DC.

To give advice on the WLs, it would be helpful to know your GPA/LSAT

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chuckbass
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby chuckbass » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:48 pm

If you're WL you should retake so you can go to GULC with money.

bl1nds1ght
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby bl1nds1ght » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:16 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:If you're WL you should retake so you can go to GULC with money.

The problem is that GULC doesn't give out much merit aid and is stingy.
What's the average debt load at graduation from GULC these days?

That said, I still agree that retaking is the best option.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:04 pm

GULC with significant money or GW full ride are really the only options. Even if you get in off the waitlist, you would be paying far too much. Gotta retake

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Rigo
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Rigo » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:16 pm

If your stats didn't even get you a Maryland admit, you NEED to retake.
I understand the desire to relocate and start a new life, but starting a new life with six figure debt and pitiful employment outcomes is not the answer.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Capitol_Idea » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:57 pm

I'm slightly more bullish than SpanishMain, but he's pretty close to the mark - GW or GULC if you want to go to school in DC and have a wide range of options thereafter. You can go sticker at either and be fine (disclosure: I'm full-sticker at GULC) - just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot. That being said, getting money from the schools is always good.

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buckiguy_sucks
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:06 pm

.
Last edited by buckiguy_sucks on Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FSK
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby FSK » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:16 pm

I chose GW over GULC for the $$$, so I've been in a similar spot. Based on what I've gathered, Mason isn't worth going to, Maryland isn't worth going to, GULC you need at least a 1/2 ride to not be insane, and GW you need at least a 2/3 ride to not be insane.

In every case though, finding a DC job is just a clusterfuck.

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bjsesq
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby bjsesq » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:18 pm

zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?

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Rigo
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Rigo » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:26 pm

bjsesq wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?

Tarot cards.

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chuckbass
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby chuckbass » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:28 pm

bjsesq wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?

Oh ok is this the key to doing well in law school? Crazy how no one had thought of this before.

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romothesavior
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:34 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:GULC with significant money or GW full ride are really the only options. Even if you get in off the waitlist, you would be paying far too much. Gotta retake

This

Marylander25
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Marylander25 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:36 pm

Absolutely do not commute between DC and Baltimore. I've been in DC the last six years and the single greatest stressor hasn't been grad school or work; it's been the insane commutes. And that's living within reach of the metro. Don't do it to yourself.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Capitol_Idea » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:19 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?

Oh ok is this the key to doing well in law school? Crazy how no one had thought of this before.


First of all, 300K debt is stupid. If you go to law school and get into 300K debt, then you are stupid. I will be at about 90K post-grad, which, with a law firm job lined up, means it is very manageable.

Despite previous posters smart-assery, you CAN actually educate yourself about your abilities and chances. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

Q1: Do you have any legal experience?

Q2: Did you do well on the LSAT? (In and of itself it's a BS test, but it shows you can jump through BS hoops - welcome to law school!)

Q3: Did you do well in undergrad? If you can figure out what professors want and tailor exam answers to their expectations, you will do better than if you just go in and write

Q4: Do you have a study methodology researched and planned? I looked into how to 'study smart' that works with my learning style - most of it is no brainer stuff: do the reading, take notes on paper, no laptop in class, make my own outline from scratch, etc.

Q5: Have you researched and do you understand the geographic and practice areas you may want to enter?

Law school is a cost/benefit risk assessment - if you don't gauge your abilities and likelihood of success relative to the cost of going and potentially not making it, then you're not cut out to be a professional or, quite frankly, a functional adult. You can't know 'for sure' that you'll be above or below average, but there is a LOT of research you can do to figure out rough approximations. I waited 5+ years from undergrad until I was sure I was ready for law school, the hiring market would be there, and that I could handle the workload, understand the material, and be a prime candidate for legal employment thereafter.

For various reasons, I'm tied to DC - so that meant Georgetown and BigLaw in DC. I did as much research as possible, weighed the pros and cons, and decided that I could make it. My advice is that doing no less, you will statistically be fine even if you pay full sticker. If you flail around blindly and assume that you could never know anything about your chances/abilities, then nothing short of HYS and well-connected parents will save you.

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bjsesq
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby bjsesq » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:22 pm

That was a whole lot of text to essentially say jack shit. Thanks, Zach.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Capitol_Idea » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:32 pm

bjsesq wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?



To give specifics of how I did it:

1. Honest self-assessment of undergraduate achievement - I had a 3.34 coming out of undergrad. That stinks. But I was lazy at age 18, and in my last year I wised up and had a 3.8+ for my final semesters. Accordingly, I figured I could do all right if I approached law school like a committed adult.

2. Honest assessment of current capabilities. Can you do the reading? ALL of it? Can you show up to every class, pay attention, take notes, and keep the laptop closed? Can you make your own outline instead of going to outline banks for someone else's work?

3. Figuring out exactly what summer associates and new associates are doing - talk to friends who are lawyers or in law school. Read TLS, Above the Law, actual reputable law blogs, etc. to get an idea of the general capacity of what you're dealing with as competition. Law school is graded on a curve. Be better than the pack, and you will be fine.

4. Get some professional, ideally legal, experience. In my time in legal consulting, I became WAY better at just being a functional adult than when I was fresh out of undergrad. I learned how to communicate efficiently and professionally. I learned how to multi-task, prioritize competing work commitments, and work in teams. I ALMOST learned not to respond to trolls on TLS (so there are at least some noticeable limits on my intelligence)

5. Read law review articles, briefs, and opinions. I informed myself on areas I found interesting. By the time I started law school, briefing a case wasn't scary. Still took me an hour to get Marbury v. Madison down perfect that first time

6. READ! There are books upon books, blogs upon blogs, reports and articles that tells you what it is like to be a lawyer and a law student. Read as much as you can - take each piece with a grain of salt, but let it inform your understanding of your learning style and ability to commit, and see if you measure up to what will be demanded of you in the coming years.

If you can understand the great demands in front of you of your time, intelligence, patience, and capacity for risk, and you blink for even an instant - don't go to law school short of HYS (or lower with money). If you don't even have the patience to do the research in the first place - don't go to law school. anywhere. ever.

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chuckbass
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby chuckbass » Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:33 pm

bjsesq wrote:That was a whole lot of text to essentially say jack shit. Thanks, Zach.

Also says that sticker is stupid, but that you'd be fine going at sticker. Ok, ok.




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