GW vs. BU (for a DC native with some wanderlust)

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GW vs. BU (for a DC native with some wanderlust)

Postby Abbie_Lin8 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:46 am


I am a DC native (from Maryland suburb, attended UMD for undergrad) with an interest in corporate law. I have an undergraduate background in finance and entrepreneurship, which explains my interest in corporate law, specifically doing work related to small ventures. I am extremely aware that these interests can, and probably will, change to some degree. Post-graduation, I currently have a goal to move over to the West Coast (but that's kind of an unfounded goal, and the Northeast is probably fine too).

I've received attractive offers from both GW and BU. My tuition at GW would be about $15k/year, while my tuition at BU would be $23k/year. Apparently DC has a higher COA than Boston, but I seriously think I can keep costs low in both cities.

Looking purely at cost, the obvious choice is GW. However, I've heard that GW doesn't place well in big law with the notable exception being those who concentrate in IP. Also, I have reservations about the market in DC being so heavily driven by federal/government work, which I really don't think I have any interest in. While Boston seems to be hotter in terms of the practice area I want, I am also concerned that it's a much smaller market (more competition for fewer positions, and less well-known). I also want to explore a new city a little bit, and while I could grow personally at both schools, I imagine myself growing more by challenging myself in a new environment.

So I guess my questions are: (1) Please correct any of my assumptions if they are totally wrong!!! (2) Which do you think is the overall better school choice? (3) Which school do you think has better corporate hiring prospects, both in the Boston/DC/NY/Northeast corridor and on the west coast?

Thanks for reading! :) :)


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Re: GW vs. BU (for a DC native with some wanderlust)

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:47 pm

Honestly neither are great for biglaw, but BU is certainly a little better. However, if you want West Coast, neither is going to get you there.


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Re: GW vs. BU (for a DC native with some wanderlust)

Postby JHP » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:57 am

For placing in biglaw in general, I think GW and BU are comparable, though BU might have a slight edge. You should also think about being a DC native then also going to a DC school, and if you apply to a different market for work, some markets will be skeptical as to whether you actually want to be in that market since it seems like you've stuck around a particular area for a reason.

I wouldn't call Boston a smaller or lesser-known market--not sure where that came from. I think Boston is generally regarded as a major legal market, with transferrability to other areas of the country as well.

As to which school will help you get a job in a particular area, it's a different answer for different schools. Want to be in DC? Go to GW. Want to be in Boston? Go to BU. Want to go to NYC? Either GW or BU. Want to go to LA? Either GW or BU since it's tough either way to go to CA, though it's possible. I think BU probably has better national brand recognition, but that's my subjective opinion and different people at different firms may see it differently.

The real question is--where do you think you can be a big fish in a small pond? Standing out and being as close to top of your class is what will help you get a job or at least make a difference as to whether you get a biglaw corporate job from whichever school you choose.

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