What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
GettingReady2010
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:08 pm

I'm curious about what attracts you to certain schools (other than ranking). What's most important to you (class size, clinics, location, diversity, etc.), and why?

User avatar
Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby Knock » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:09 pm

GettingReady2010 wrote:I'm curious about what attracts you to certain schools (other than ranking). What's most important to you (class size, clinics, location, diversity, etc.), and why?


Probably job prospects, atmosphere, location, class size in that order.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12279
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby gdane » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:10 pm

The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!

User avatar
Knock
Posts: 5152
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby Knock » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:11 pm

gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!


I've heard lots of good things about Ann Arbor.

GettingReady2010
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:12 pm

gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!


Interesting. I can't say I would make the same choice, but I do remember someone posting a while back about possibly dropping out of Mich, because they were extremely depressed there. I don't know if it was the weather or what.

Incidentally, I've also heard of people having problems at Cornell.
Last edited by GettingReady2010 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
beachbum
Posts: 2766
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby beachbum » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:14 pm

Knockglock wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:I'm curious about what attracts you to certain schools (other than ranking). What's most important to you (class size, clinics, location, diversity, etc.), and why?


Probably job prospects, atmosphere, location, class size in that order.


Ditto.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby 2014 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:15 pm

gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!

To each their own. I'm more familiar and comfortable with a college town atmosphere so I would have no obligation to Ann Arbor, Ithaca, Charlottesville, Durham etc whereas living in DC would not be my first choice.

GettingReady2010
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:16 pm

beachbum wrote:
Knockglock wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:I'm curious about what attracts you to certain schools (other than ranking). What's most important to you (class size, clinics, location, diversity, etc.), and why?


Probably job prospects, atmosphere, location, class size in that order.


Ditto.


I would probably switch atmosphere and class size.

User avatar
lzyovrachievr
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:24 am

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby lzyovrachievr » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:21 pm

GettingReady2010 wrote:I'm curious about what attracts you to certain schools (other than ranking). What's most important to you (class size, clinics, location, diversity, etc.), and why?


Most of my search has progressed by looking at location first. Then I consider if the school has courses in a few of the different areas that I'm interested in. (I realize that may change, which is why not having one of the areas is not a major issue. Because I have a background in international environmental policy and national security issues, I check for those areas in case I do end up pursuing them.) Then I check for the general rank of schools within those locations that have those areas. I personally wouldn't go somewhere ranked #50 because it had a strong international law program (especially after hearing what people on here think of international law, heh). I think I'd be better served by #14, etc.

To me, employment prospects are often part of a school's rank, so they are important as well. Then I go to class size, diversity, atmosphere and competitiveness, campus, public versus corporate focus, etc.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12279
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby gdane » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:34 pm

GettingReady2010 wrote:
gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!


Interesting. I can't say I would make the same choice, but I do remember someone posting a while back about possibly dropping out of Mich, because they were extremely depressed there. I don't know if it was the weather or what.

Incidentally, I've also heard of people having problems at Cornell.


This was Oblomov. I dont know the exact story, but the gist of it was that because Michigans career services office wouldnt help him, he dropped out. What a p*ssy...

Im a city type of guy so thats probably why Id avoid most of the schools in the middle of nowhere.

User avatar
afcanoe
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:30 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby afcanoe » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:34 pm

Knockglock wrote:
gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!


I've heard lots of good things about Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor is a great place to live. Plus, its cost of living is much lower than DC's!

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby traehekat » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:45 pm

Behind ranking, the next two biggest things pretty much EVERYONE should consider is geographic location and cost. Chances are you will end up practicing in the general area of the country where your school is located. Most people have a preference where they live for the next 5-10 years or so, so it is important to consider where the school is. You may have lots of friends and family you prefer to stay close to, as was the case with me. The next big thing I paid attention to was whether or not I would have the opportunity to gain residency tuition (if available) by my second year. I ruled out pretty much any school where I would not have that opportunity. Then of course you have to look at how much in scholarships you may or may not be receiving, and the cost in general. Paying sticker at state schools typically is nowhere near as bad as paying sticker at private schools.

After that, I look at the atmosphere of the campus/area. I wanted more of a college campus feel than a city feel. Some people may be the opposite. Weather may matter to you, especially if you are used to being somewhere warm. These are all secondary things, however, and should really come after you consider rank, location, and cost. They may help when you narrow it down to two or three schools of equal rank/cost/location, though, and then you can consider stuff like clinics, class size, etc.

revolution724
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:16 am

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby revolution724 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:55 pm

For me, it was geographic location and public interest offerings.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:01 pm

After rank, my second biggest deciding factor was whether or not they accepted me. I found being accepted made a bigger difference in choosing a school than almost anything else.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:17 pm

Free Money>Job prospects>Location>Rep. in Academia

cowgirl_bebop
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:21 pm

Location and scholarship money. I refuse to go anywhere colder than NYC and if the school is tight with the funds Im most likely not interested.

User avatar
angiej
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:25 am

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby angiej » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:30 pm

gdane5 wrote:The surrounding environment. I have no idea why people would go to Ann Arbor, Michigan or Ithaca, NY because these two places are so damn dreary. If I had a choice between Michigan or Georgetown, Id take Georgetown regardless of rank because Id much rather live in DC than Ann Arbor. Of course I probably wont have to make this decision. Haha!


+1

p.s. I'm the "mom" of two great danes (a/k/a the Great "Pains.") :lol:

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:31 pm

What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Rank

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:45 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Rank


This took longer than expected.

2011Law
Posts: 822
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby 2011Law » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:46 pm

Well definitely job prospects, specifically clerkships, though that goes hand in hand with rank. After that, I really want to be in a big city (D.C. or L.A. mainly), as I have lived in the epitome of a mid-sized college town for the last 3 years (Tallahassee). How much it costs (and scholarship) will definitely be an issue as well.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:48 pm

gdane5 wrote:This was Oblomov. I dont know the exact story, but the gist of it was that because Michigans career services office wouldnt help him, he dropped out. What a p*ssy...

Im a city type of guy so thats probably why Id avoid most of the schools in the middle of nowhere.


I already didn't like you much to begin with, but this post just made me dislike you even more. You don't know Oblomov's exact story, but you're willing to call him a p*ssy for dropping out? If anything, it may have been in his best interest to drop out. You don't know the story, so STFU. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Also, Oblomov was a pretty well-respected and well-liked poster on TLS. Given your reputation on here, you should try taking notes instead of calling names.

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby northwood » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:54 pm

cornell has one of the highest incidence of suicide attempts ( and unfortunatley suicide deaths) in the country. Each semester for the past few years, unfortunatly has had at least 1 student attempt suicide.

I look at the overall atmosphere of the school, where the school is located, and how close to my target market it is. I also look at student life, campus environment, ease and overall feel of the library, and cost of living. I also try to get opinons from various practicing lawyers about which schools they would recommend and why. Overall, id say that Cost of living is right up there for me.( While I love big cities, i cant afford, or rationalize spending 1k a month on rent and utilities ( I do not want a roomate, as i have had horrible experiences with them) So, unfortunately no big city school, unless i get a big city scholarship

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:57 pm

northwood wrote:cornell has one of the highest incidence of suicide attempts ( and unfortunatley suicide deaths) in the country. Each semester for the past few years, unfortunatly has had at least 1 student attempt suicide.

IIRC, this does not apply to the law school at all. I also remember reading somewhere that Cornell's suicide rate isn't really higher than other schools, but they just get a lot of attention because they occur in the gorges sometimes. I could be wrong though.

As for the OP:

1. Cost
2. Geographic Location (Will it land me where I want to end up?)
3. Vibe/Atmosphere of School

The Real Jack McCoy
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:58 pm

Faculty and class profile, by a wide margin.

GettingReady2010
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Re: What do you look for in a school (other than rank)?

Postby GettingReady2010 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:01 pm

northwood wrote:cornell has one of the highest incidence of suicide attempts ( and unfortunatley suicide deaths) in the country. Each semester for the past few years, unfortunatly has had at least 1 student attempt suicide.

I look at the overall atmosphere of the school, where the school is located, and how close to my target market it is. I also look at student life, campus environment, ease and overall feel of the library, and cost of living. I also try to get opinons from various practicing lawyers about which schools they would recommend and why. Overall, id say that Cost of living is right up there for me.( While I love big cities, i cant afford, or rationalize spending 1k a month on rent and utilities ( I do not want a roomate, as i have had horrible experiences with them) So, unfortunately no big city school, unless i get a big city scholarship


Why is this? Is the atmosphere extremely competitive or something?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: carlos_danger, echonov and 9 guests