Visiting Law School tips... help

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sarlis
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Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby sarlis » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:51 am

I am going to visit a few law schools before their ASD/W (I cannot make the ASD/W). Since this is more of a one-on-one visit, I am kind of nervous.

What kinds of things do I ask about? Obviously I know to ask about job prospects, how the students like the school, ect. but I am just worried about there being awkward silence as we are walking around or heading to sit in on a class or something. Are there any do's or don't I should be aware of?

Also, is there any sort of dress-code? Dress nicely obviously, but I don't need to over due it, right?

Ahh, help here out here, Thanks!

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Gunz353
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby Gunz353 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:54 am

Yeah, very interested in hearing the answer to these questions. I feel like, almost all of my questions will be about life in the prospective city, rather than the academics cause I have already done my research...don't wanna sound like a tard when faced with admissions tour people.

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TTH
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby TTH » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:01 am

sarlis wrote:I am going to visit a few law schools before their ASD/W (I cannot make the ASD/W). Since this is more of a one-on-one visit, I am kind of nervous.

What kinds of things do I ask about? Obviously I know to ask about job prospects, how the students like the school, ect. but I am just worried about there being awkward silence as we are walking around or heading to sit in on a class or something. Are there any do's or don't I should be aware of?

Also, is there any sort of dress-code? Dress nicely obviously, but I don't need to over due it, right?

Ahh, help here out here, Thanks!


Ask about what you want to know about, of course. The guide kept the silences filled throughout every LS tour I've taken, but I was always sure to get the info I needed out of them at least to the extent I could. I'm pretty sure admissions offices recruit gung-ho students to do that stuff and as such, they tend to be less than candid. As far as do's and don'ts go, some schools want you to let the professor know you're visiting and sitting in on their class ahead of time if it hasn't been previously arranged. I imagine this would be a bigger deal if you're visiting early in a semester when the professor may not recognize faces yet.

Dress code is usually business casual.

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sarlis
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby sarlis » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:04 am

TipTravHoot wrote:
sarlis wrote:I am going to visit a few law schools before their ASD/W (I cannot make the ASD/W). Since this is more of a one-on-one visit, I am kind of nervous.

What kinds of things do I ask about? Obviously I know to ask about job prospects, how the students like the school, ect. but I am just worried about there being awkward silence as we are walking around or heading to sit in on a class or something. Are there any do's or don't I should be aware of?

Also, is there any sort of dress-code? Dress nicely obviously, but I don't need to over due it, right?

Ahh, help here out here, Thanks!


Ask about what you want to know about, of course. The guide kept the silences filled throughout every LS tour I've taken, but I was always sure to get the info I needed out of them at least to the extent I could. I'm pretty sure admissions offices recruit gung-ho students to do that stuff and as such, they tend to be less than candid. As far as do's and don'ts go, some schools want you to let the professor know you're visiting and sitting in on their class ahead of time if it hasn't been previously arranged. I imagine this would be a bigger deal if you're visiting early in a semester when the professor may not recognize faces yet.

Dress code is usually business casual.


Thanks for the great response! I'll be sure to email the admissions office tomorrow and ask about whether they would like me, or them, to notify the professor of the class about my visit.

Also, business casual... so jeans are a no go?

anyone else have any experiences?

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hans3n
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby hans3n » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:09 am

I would say, imagine yourself as a student. What kinds of things would you want to know if all of the sudden you woke up tomorrow and it was your first day, and you knew nothing. This can take you many places in terms of things to ask about. Ask the guide what are some things they wish they knew before they started(if its a student), or some major things you should know if you were a student there. Ive done 2 school tours, one with a group of prospective students, and one just with a guide and 2 of my family members. It does get a bit awkward when its just you. Just by talking to your guide about general things will make you think of questions to ask as well.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:11 am

I asked this same question last semester and the question I was told to ask that I found most valuable was, "Do you validate parking?"

deadatheist
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby deadatheist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:49 am

TheBigMediocre wrote:I asked this same question last semester and the question I was told to ask that I found most valuable was, "Do you validate parking?"


ha.

If there's not already a solid thread on this i think some compiling over the cycles could make a really great resource.

Really, these should come relatively natural to you, and you're the one considering the school, so what's important to you can lead to some good qs to ask.

i think some questions are always fine to ask to almost anyone, even if generic/cheesy (i.e. what's your favorite thing about working at/attending ____? i love to volunteer... what are some of the common volunteer/pro-bono activities students here become involved in?)

if you end up having a student guide you on tour, you can ask them more personal questions (what has your experience been like with _____? (finals, clinics, socratic method, computers, w.e.!)) and even further (do you live near school? what neighborhoods do you recommend? can you tell me a little bit about what your 1L sched is like? what's the social experience here been like for you? etc.)

also, for a good portion of the questions you ask, you can/should build a foundation for your qs, to provide more info about yourself. this may be natural, but i mean... realistically, just spewing qs is awkward and a lot of people do do that, especially for ASWs. for more intimate visits, it'll probably be more like a give and take, or a real conversation. if you have a good dozen or some sets of questions, you should be fine and not have to worry about awkward silence bc it shouldn't last too long or be awkwardly silent . . . these people are pros at this!

an example of how to come up with qs based on say, your field of interest "_____":

you can transition into your qs by giving a little insight into your background/interest in the school (so they know you've done some research - some people ask questions one would think would be obvious/common knowledge to a reasonably interested applicant/accepted student). say, I'm really interested in ____ area of law, so I've read a lot about ... (professor x and some of the really interesting work s/he's done in that area; a clinic/center or journal on campus, the school's proximity to firms....)
actual qs:
what is the alumni network in this field? Are there networking events, if so, love to learn more...
are students able to seek mentorships with alumni in related fields?
are there many ____ firms in the area, and if so, do students here get the chance to intern/work in these firms often? how are these firms represented at say, OCI? what other opportunities for hiring does the school organize...
based on your knowledge, what do you think this school can offer students that is particularly strong in this area of law?

etc.

if you are feeling the need to ask away, then try to ask diff qs, and you prob don't want to grill them to death on certain topics (the economy, rankings... some things the school doesn't have much control over they may not be able to give you useful responses, let alone want to answer a ton of qs on the subject. (and for example, don't grill about fin aid, instead maybe ask 1-2 qs about fin aid AND ask if you can learn more about fin aid while you're visiting... who to ask, where to go. it's always a good idea to ask where you can go or who you should talk to if you're especially interested in certain subjects.)

hth. most of these are off the top of my head and prob phrased poorly, but hopefully you get the idea. may be ridiculously generic, but just my 2 cents. gl!

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sarlis
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby sarlis » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:42 am

deadatheist wrote:
TheBigMediocre wrote:I asked this same question last semester and the question I was told to ask that I found most valuable was, "Do you validate parking?"


ha.

If there's not already a solid thread on this i think some compiling over the cycles could make a really great resource.

Really, these should come relatively natural to you, and you're the one considering the school, so what's important to you can lead to some good qs to ask.

i think some questions are always fine to ask to almost anyone, even if generic/cheesy (i.e. what's your favorite thing about working at/attending ____? i love to volunteer... what are some of the common volunteer/pro-bono activities students here become involved in?)

if you end up having a student guide you on tour, you can ask them more personal questions (what has your experience been like with _____? (finals, clinics, socratic method, computers, w.e.!)) and even further (do you live near school? what neighborhoods do you recommend? can you tell me a little bit about what your 1L sched is like? what's the social experience here been like for you? etc.)

also, for a good portion of the questions you ask, you can/should build a foundation for your qs, to provide more info about yourself. this may be natural, but i mean... realistically, just spewing qs is awkward and a lot of people do do that, especially for ASWs. for more intimate visits, it'll probably be more like a give and take, or a real conversation. if you have a good dozen or some sets of questions, you should be fine and not have to worry about awkward silence bc it shouldn't last too long or be awkwardly silent . . . these people are pros at this!

an example of how to come up with qs based on say, your field of interest "_____":

you can transition into your qs by giving a little insight into your background/interest in the school (so they know you've done some research - some people ask questions one would think would be obvious/common knowledge to a reasonably interested applicant/accepted student). say, I'm really interested in ____ area of law, so I've read a lot about ... (professor x and some of the really interesting work s/he's done in that area; a clinic/center or journal on campus, the school's proximity to firms....)
actual qs:
what is the alumni network in this field? Are there networking events, if so, love to learn more...
are students able to seek mentorships with alumni in related fields?
are there many ____ firms in the area, and if so, do students here get the chance to intern/work in these firms often? how are these firms represented at say, OCI? what other opportunities for hiring does the school organize...
based on your knowledge, what do you think this school can offer students that is particularly strong in this area of law?

etc.

if you are feeling the need to ask away, then try to ask diff qs, and you prob don't want to grill them to death on certain topics (the economy, rankings... some things the school doesn't have much control over they may not be able to give you useful responses, let alone want to answer a ton of qs on the subject. (and for example, don't grill about fin aid, instead maybe ask 1-2 qs about fin aid AND ask if you can learn more about fin aid while you're visiting... who to ask, where to go. it's always a good idea to ask where you can go or who you should talk to if you're especially interested in certain subjects.)

hth. most of these are off the top of my head and prob phrased poorly, but hopefully you get the idea. may be ridiculously generic, but just my 2 cents. gl!


Great response and very helpful! This has me thinking of things to say, what not to say, ect. Thanks!

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j.wellington
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:48 am

Are you visiting before or after you've been accepted? I was going to wait until after, but is there any consensus on whether visiting while you're under review helps your chances?

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sarlis
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby sarlis » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 am

j.wellington wrote:Are you visiting before or after you've been accepted? I was going to wait until after, but is there any consensus on whether visiting while you're under review helps your chances?


I am visiting all of my schools after being accepted; but I'm sure the same responses to this thread apply to pre-admit visits.

ughOSU
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Re: Visiting Law School tips... help

Postby ughOSU » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:43 pm

So pretend that you're about to take out $100k+ in loans to pay for your education. Think about everything you would want to know before doing this and ask it.

But seriously, I like the person who advised to just talk to them about general stuff as if they're human beings, and that it will lead into more questions that you have that you would like to know. If it's a student, especially ask about student quality of life, where the happening spots to live are, good places to eat, whether the student body is cohesive or more individual, and what their impression of the overall value and quality of the education they're receiving is. If the conversation turns in this direction, feel free to ask them about how shitty the economy is and what percentage of people are having trouble finding gainful employment. This isn't that difficult.




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