Another Chicago/Columbia/Stanford v. full ride GWU thread

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Another Chicago/Columbia/Stanford v. full ride GWU thread

Postby cjl » Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:43 am

I have been surveying the forum for a few hours today and ran across several threads I found helpful. However, I was hoping to get as much of a response as possible to my particular situation before I make a final decision this week.

So, like many of you, I was accepted at several t5 schools while also getting a full ride at GWU. I attended GW as an undergrad, and while I enjoyed the classes for the most part and valued the experience, I can not escape the feeling that it is something of a degree mill. With the law school reaching over a thousand students, I am very concerned about attending. While I doubt I would denigrate into just a face in the crowd, the allure of t5 prestige and attention is certainly something I am thinking about. I have also been reading the horror stories about employment, even if they are largely coming from the t4/3/2 crowd.

I suppose my question can be summed as this: will I really gain much from spending 140k going to one of the top schools over GW? I am particularly interested in obtaining a judicial clerkship after graduating and have toyed with the idea of "constitutional law," whatever avenue that would lead me. To a large extent, I think that my real career route will be heavily influenced by my legal education. But I cannot escape the feeling that I am excessively indebting myself by going to a t5 and passing up an opportunity of a lifetime by settling for GW.

Has anyone with relevant experience had difficulty distinguishing themselves at any of these schools, particularly after graduation? How much of an difference do you think there would be settling for GW as opposed to the others? I enjoyed living in DC as an undergrad and am simultaneously excited to move to another part of a country and worried that I might find the environment unberable; can anyone comment on the campuses of the t5, particularly Hyde Park? I thank anyone who can enlighten me.

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Postby lsatagain » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:15 am

i would say go into debt and choose stanford (or possibly Columbia). From what I've heard, career options at GW are definetely not the same, especially if you're interested in clerking or Constiutional law. It's, in my opinion, an excellent investment. Also, it's probably too late now, but still worth a shot: sometimes you can use a scholarship from another school to "bargain" with the one you really want to go to. ie: "I got a full ride from GW but would really rather got to your school. However I'm concerned about the cost"

Check out average starting salaries, number of firms recruiting at each school and maybe join the vault for their info on job opportunites from different law schools.

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Postby nonunique » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:34 am

If you want to clerk in any regard, you would be robbing yourself blind by going to GW. The money goes away (and quickly with the three schools you listed). You could try bargaining, but I seriously doubt those schools give two shits about what GW offers (why should they?...this is bigger than being in the ball park...they aren't even in the same league).

As for the work you find afterwards, you may be doing yourself an even greater disservice. If the bottom of Georgetown has trouble getting decent placement, think of what anything but the top of GW is facing. I'm not saying you can't finish at or near the top, but the odds aren't really in your favor.

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Postby EE2JD » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:17 am

Go to Stanford.

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Postby Jumper » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:53 pm

Did you pay a deposit at all four of these schools? That seems like a bit of a waste of money.

I think your ability to do a clerkship will be limited by GW. I think you would be fine at the other three.

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Postby cjl » Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:56 pm

Unfortunately for me, I procrastinated in getting my application together (I didn't take the LSAT until this past December) and scraped by slightly after most schools' deadlines. Thus, my acceptances were late in coming, and some schools did not require a monetary deposit. But a $800 deposit to GW this friday pressures me to make a final decision.

Thanks for all the advice.

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Postby NewHere » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:01 pm

Not GW. Choosing between the others is more difficult.

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Postby 06072010 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:12 pm

The best economic decision is to go to the T5. Your debt will be erased by the dramatic increase in salary. You're closing doors if you choose GW.

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Postby mumbling2myself » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:13 pm

I picked Northwestern with a moderate scholarship over the GW scholarship. I think unless you're dead set on a non-profit position (and pretty much already have it lined up) you're better off going with your other options.

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Postby nonunique » Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:23 pm

Even if you are dead-set on a non-profit position, many of those other schools have impressive LRAPs. Run, don't walk, away from GW.

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Stanford Law School

Postby Ken » Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:23 am

Stanford is an amazing law school and only getting better. I will somewhat boldly predict that Stanford will be the top law school in the nation, usurping the title from Yale, within the next 20 years. I think this will likely happen in 10 years, but as I mentioned my prediction is only somewhat bold.

The clear clincher is that Stanford has a much better quality of life than Columbia or Chicago. Most at Columbia or Chicago would have preferred to attend Harvard, but most at Stanford have Stanford as their first choice. And the employment opportunities at Stanford are amazing.

Invest in yourself and do not even consider the GW scholarship. That would be interesting if your other choices were top 10 to top 14, but with top 5 options go for the gold!

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Postby MP » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:33 am

I would take Stanford/Chicago/Columbia over GW, although which between those three would have to be a very personal choice. You won't be limited in job opportunities with any of those three, but they each have a very different personality. They're all schools with national reach, so you won't be limited geographically either, upon graduation.

GW's scholarship is a nice deal, and if you were deciding between, say GW and Georgetown, or GW and UCLA, I'd say GW. In this case, though, I wouldn't sacrifice the name/prestige/increased opportunities in both private and public sectors for the $

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Postby schadenfreude » Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:01 pm

Ken speaks the truth. I will go further and claim Stanford is on the fast track to be the #1 overall University in the nation. It will climb the summit and plant its flag atop Harvard/Princeton/Yale. Stanford Law will get there sooner then the mothership.

If you got into Stanford go there. There is no other choice.

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