Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

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Wake Forest or Washington & Lee?

Wake Forest
5
56%
Washington & Lee
4
44%
 
Total votes: 9

griffinz

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Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby griffinz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:56 pm

As the subject suggests, I am trying to chose one of these schools... Wake's first deposit is due this Friday. Quick responses are much appreciated.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I had my heart set on GWU or GULC before taking the LSAT. My numbers are 161/3.7, and I was wait listed at GWU. My LSAT wasn't high enough to spend the money on the GULC application. In short, I am planning to retake the LSAT in June. Based on that score, I may reapply in the next cycle. In the meantime, I need to choose one of these schools to pay a deposit at. I'm originally from South Carolina, and I would like to practice in Washington - I'm aware that neither school is known to place many folks there.

Wake Forest is currently at $37,000... tuition is approximately $43,500, and COA is $66,000. That's an 85% scholarship. Washington and Lee is at $37,500... tuition is approximately $46,000, and COA is $67,500. 80% scholarship.

So far, I have liked the folks at W&L the best. I like the sense of community at the school, and they seem to have a good academic program. However, it's in nowhere land Lexington, VA. Wake Forest is very similar in community and academics, but it's in a larger town and closer to my hometown. I'm having a very hard time choosing between the two, and I would appreciate any feedback you guys can provide, especially in consideration of my career goals. Thank you!

TirantMartorell

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby TirantMartorell » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:02 pm

If you're goals are DC and only DC, then re-taking in June and applying next cycle is your best option - but that seems to be what you already want to do.

Neither school is going to put you in a great position to land a DC job.

HYPSM

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby HYPSM » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:20 pm

Don't deposit. Re-take for T-14.
Last edited by HYPSM on Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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deadpanic

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby deadpanic » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:25 pm

DC is ultra-competitive, so retake is the correct answer. What do you want to do in DC?

You basically have zero chance at BigLaw from either school, and there aren't really many traditional small law firms there with a general practice. To the extent they are, they will hire a relative, someone from a more local school, someone that interned there, and FYI: these types of firms will not be paying hardly anything, and DC is one of the expensive cities in the country.

For government work, the federal government gigs are very, very competitive and you virtually have no chance at those, either. Sure, you could probably land some staffer/aide position on the Hill making 30k/year, but a law degree is not able to really help you there. It will just be giving you debt in an expensive ass city.

DC always seems like a natural, great place to go for those with a law degree, but in actuality, outside of those from very top schools, it is just a waste from my experience.

I would think Wake Forest is somewhat justifiable at that cost if you are okay with NC. That being said, I would be scared of the NC legal market as well with no ties (especially if you land outside the top 10-15%). It is pretty glutted. Someone recently posted they are top 5% at either UNC or Wake and struck out at firms.

griffinz

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby griffinz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:17 pm

I definitely recognize and mostly agree with everything you guys are saying. I'm deeply interested in the idea of government work in DC, and I understand that I need to go to a good school to be competitive there. That's why I was aiming at GWU and GULC (I know those are two different levels).

I am literally studying for the retake right now, but my concern is that it may not go as well as I hope. In that case, I would like to have a back up plan, and that's why I am planning to pay a deposit at one of these schools. If DC doesn't work out at the end of the day, I can always practice in the Carolinas. I have enough connections here to warrant getting a RELATIVELY inexpensive legal education. I mostly was just wondering if I was correct in my assumption that neither of these schools really outweigh each other in DC job prospects.

This has been helpful so far. Keep posting folks! Thank you.

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deadpanic

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby deadpanic » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:24 pm

griffinz wrote:In that case, I would like to have a back up plan, and that's why I am planning to pay a deposit at one of these schools. If DC doesn't work out at the end of the day, I can always practice in the Carolina's. I have enough connections here to warrant getting a RELATIVELY inexpensive legal education.


How strong are the connections? The reason I am asking is that it is pretty damn hard to use the local firms or local gov't as "backups." Your resume is going to show the Carolina employers they were a backup and that you actually wanted DC instead (resume will scream DC if you intern there during summers). And then you will be up against other law students who interned in NC/SC during their law school time, proving they want to be in the area and strengthening their ties. So, basically, that is not an option; it just does not work that way in legal hiring, unless your dad has his own practice or something.

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bruceaquizzer1

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby bruceaquizzer1 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 pm

Same choices for me, probably going with W&L considering their job prospects and i know several big law firm lawyers who went there in charlotte.I believe their dean of career services or whatever its called, is from charlotte too.
W&L biglaw is around 16%(2014)
Wake big law is like 9%(2014)

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existentialcrisis

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:25 pm

bruceaquizzer1 wrote:Same choices for me, probably going with W&L considering their job prospects and i know several big law firm lawyers who went there in charlotte.I believe their dean of career services or whatever its called, is from charlotte too.
W&L biglaw is around 16%(2014)
Wake big law is like 9%(2014)


If you want Charlotte big law I very seriously doubt that WL is better than WFU. That being said, don't got to either school if you want big law.

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deadpanic

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby deadpanic » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:46 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
bruceaquizzer1 wrote:Same choices for me, probably going with W&L considering their job prospects and i know several big law firm lawyers who went there in charlotte.I believe their dean of career services or whatever its called, is from charlotte too.
W&L biglaw is around 16%(2014)
Wake big law is like 9%(2014)


If you want Charlotte big law I very seriously doubt that WL is better than WFU. That being said, don't got to either school if you want big law.


But dude, the Dean is from there!

Charlotte does not have that many BigLaw gigs. Even from Duke, without pretty good grades, it can be difficult. From Washington & Lee? Better hope your Dad is on the board of Bank of America or be #1-4 in your class for a shot. W&L is in the middle of nowhere, and with the job prospects for law grads these days, is almost an afterthought with the surplus of grads, especially in NC. That is not an endorsement of Wake Forest; you should not go there for big law either.

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AT9

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby AT9 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:21 pm

deadpanic wrote:I would think Wake Forest is somewhat justifiable at that cost if you are okay with NC. That being said, I would be scared of the NC legal market as well with no ties (especially if you land outside the top 10-15%). It is pretty glutted. Someone recently posted they are top 5% at either UNC or Wake and struck out at firms.


This might have been me. Still got a biglaw SA, just not in a market I had any plans to be in. NC big-law/quality mid-law isn't easy to get. Got tons of interviews and did decently well in them, there just aren't many SA slots and I had no pre-existing ties.

However, OP is from S. Carolina and I am not. I think SC people probably have an easier sell wrt local ties, especially in Charlotte.

OP: I can't speak to W&L, but Wake has one or two DC externship programs that help students make connections in DC. But as others have said, DC is really competitive, so you'll have to network hard to have any hope getting a real lawyer job there. DC biglaw is really a long shot. Retaking for GULC or another T14 is your best bet if you want DC. If you're ok working any lawyer job (not biglaw) in the Carolinas, then it might not be a bad option if you don't improve the LSAT.

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bruceaquizzer1

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby bruceaquizzer1 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:34 am

Some big law firms will let you search lawyers by school. So search for yourself. Numbers don't lie :D

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existentialcrisis

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:37 am

bruceaquizzer1 wrote:Some big law firms will let you search lawyers by school. So search for yourself. Numbers don't lie :D


I'm well aware. The numbers say that W&L had BL+ FC stats that are consistently under 20 percent. Some of that 20 percent will be IP, some of those jobs will go to super well connected kids. These numbers suggest that it is a terrible school go to with big law goals.

If you want big law please retake the LSAT and shoot for the T14.

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bruceaquizzer1

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby bruceaquizzer1 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:44 pm

existentialcrisis wrote:
bruceaquizzer1 wrote:Some big law firms will let you search lawyers by school. So search for yourself. Numbers don't lie :D


I'm well aware. The numbers say that W&L had BL+ FC stats that are consistently under 20 percent. Some of that 20 percent will be IP, some of those jobs will go to super well connected kids. These numbers suggest that it is a terrible school go to with big law goals.

If you want big law please retake the LSAT and shoot for the T14.

How much of that can you contribute to small class size? Assuming they have 90 students, not all of them are going to even want big law.

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existentialcrisis

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Re: Wake Forest or Washington & Lee

Postby existentialcrisis » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:57 pm

bruceaquizzer1 wrote:
existentialcrisis wrote:
bruceaquizzer1 wrote:Some big law firms will let you search lawyers by school. So search for yourself. Numbers don't lie :D


I'm well aware. The numbers say that W&L had BL+ FC stats that are consistently under 20 percent. Some of that 20 percent will be IP, some of those jobs will go to super well connected kids. These numbers suggest that it is a terrible school go to with big law goals.

If you want big law please retake the LSAT and shoot for the T14.

How much of that can you contribute to small class size? Assuming they have 90 students, not all of them are going to even want big law.


Not very much I don't think. At a these schools, there will be a lot of big firms that will really only be looking to hire from the Top 10%. Probably some others have a cutoff at the top quarter. That's not to say firm's don't make exceptions for IP dudes or URMs, but by and large, at regional schools big law firms essentially only look to hire from the top of the class.



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