1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

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Zannie1986
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1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:05 pm

A lowly top-50 school student would like to help any inquisitive minds out there- good luck on your cycles :)

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androstan
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby androstan » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:20 am

So... what's it like? I got accepted there, PT.

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:13 pm

Well that's pretty broad, and I don't know how much my experience difference from the part timers but I'll just hit some points that I think are relevant.

Atmosphere: this is going to be a typical 1L experience wherever you go, and you’ve probably read some books or seen paperchase or something but for me and some I know it’s a little like this: you get to class having understood 10% of a case, maybe you’re able to answer the surface level of a question, and you’re like ok I see the easy answer here. Your comrades will fill in all the gaps that you had about the case, and you’re left wondering, how’d/where’d they get THAT from, why didn’t I see that, what’s HAPPENING. You answer the ‘surface level’ question, and then it turns out there are like 8 other different answers that you hadn’t even considered. Even if you’re on top of your shit which maybe I wasn’t because I tended to opt out of the supplement scene except for exam period, I feel like you need to realize early on that while it looks like everyone knows everything, it’s really just a composite; the prof has to push the whole class and each student contributes bits and pieces to the puzzle but it’s not likely that they all knew the whole puzzle to begin with. Even if you are one of those puzzle holders you’re not necessarily in a better position than the rest of the class, because there are others who come off as puzzle holders and you think to yourself, I’m just like this guy how am I going to be BETTER than this guy when exam time rolls around.

One piece of advice I DON’T believe in anymore: ‘it’ll all come together, don’t worry so much’. I’m not saying it’s good to worry, but I’m also saying, once you don’t understand something, don’t rely on it getting clarified for you as the course continues. I was told that the classes will come full circle and really blow your mind or clarify things you didn’t get in the beginning and you’ll have the bigger picture by then. Don’t believe that. You WILL have time to see your profs if you don’t get something or use the sufficient time to catch up and teach yourself when it’s exam period, but don’t bank on it all coming together, and be sure you’re actively trying to have a handle on the material, at least by reading over your notes at the end of the week or reading a supplement to re-inforce it. There is so much material in the programs that it really is not to your benefit to memorize, but if you’re good at handling and applying concepts the work should come more naturally to you.

Transportation/Location: The campus is in a very awkward spot in the middle of suburbia. You have the necessities (starbucks, cvs, three-ish restaurants) but it’s not DC in the stereotypical sense. It is not a metropolis. The ‘metropolis’ is accessible, yes, but it’s far less convenient than, say, attending GULC which is a couple blocks away from the courthouses. Most people take the redline metro to Tenleytown to catch the law school’s shuttle and it’s supposed to come every 15 minutes but it CAN be inconsistent, or if you just miss it, then obviously you have to wait another 15 minutes which could make you late; in general, if you’re able to take a bus to school, I would say it’s more reliable and a better (probably cheaper) option for you. Also because the metro has its own set of unreliable tech probs.

People: The students are very approachable and are super friendly, much friendlier than I expected; people will just start up a conversation with you about how it's chicken nugget day (which apparently is a massive deal), or something else, that's just an example. Maybe this is expected to you all, but I came from a school where the big thing was being awkward and that's really not here, people have pretty good social skills and although the sections get cliquey, at least my section became sort of a nice family I'd say

Academics/Profs: I really have no complaints about the level of teaching I've been getting. Only one of my profs was particularly questionable, but he was sort of one of those too smart to dumb it down for 1Ls type, and I think while he is supersmart, he's not necessarily the best at relaying that information to the class. My civ pro prof was incredible, and my contracts prof was great (although he ended up being the hardest regarding testing). the academics definitely makes up for the school's shortcomings which brings me to:

Technology/Bureaucracy: this is the school's weakness, for no good reason as far as I can tell. The printing system regularly goes down. There are network issues. It takes a while for the school to communicate with you regarding things you need to know about (when my financial aid will actually come through?) and it's generally a less coddling environment in terms of things you need to do to finish your degree, more like 'figure it out for yourself'. i never even got an acknowledgement email that they had received my deposit, i was terrified for a while there. I know an upperclassman, a 3L who actually had suddenly been 'lost' in the computer system, erased as a student. I don't know how she ended up resolving all that. but yes, this was a big problem for me the first weeks of classs, and made me seriously doubt if I was in the right place; when so many things go wrong (like the microphones suddenly giving feedback throughout the semester) it makes you feel like you've chosen a deficient school. I haven't had tech problems for several months now and the people and academics ultimately made up for my having had a rough time.

I hope some of that was helpful, sorry if it's overkill. if you have any specific questions let me know.

ClutchCity24
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby ClutchCity24 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:35 pm

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Could you describe an average day as far as schedule? What is it that led you to choose American? And have your expectations been met? Thanks again.

Gatorbull84
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Gatorbull84 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:22 pm

Thanks for taking questions. I just got in and I haven't heard anything about scholarship money. A lot of people have repeatedly told me that American does not give any money. Im pretty much wondering if this is true? I want to go but cannot afford it at sticker. That amount of debt would destroy me

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:28 pm

yea I didn't get any money...I'm pretty sure that was common. they do have some fantastic scholarship but I think you pretty much have to be a rockstar ( I forget if it's given to only one person or....it's some SIGNIFICANT minority and it's for a whole lot of the tuition, sorry for the vagueness but I only found out about it MONTHS after it was due, so that was awesome), and even though I did average on the Lsat and GPA scene ( I think it's still on my profile), the other schools I got into around the same rank or style of school gave me money. I don't have too much advice on the money front. When I started I asked a decent amount of upperclassmen what the experience was for jobs, and they said that summer '10 people generally found things, but they were random 'i'm going to africa because there's no legal job' kind of things i guess? i was under the impression that this year is going to be better though; I don't know if your cycle is as doom and gloom as ours tended to be, it was really into emphasizing how this all isn't going to go where you all want it to (ie. to finding a legal career, the field's flooded, everyone's getting laid off, etc) but I haven't really felt that pressure (yet?) in terms of how much of a struggle it's going to be. that's probably because we've all been concentrating on grades for the most part.
I didn't get into many of the schools I applied to, I aimed for places out of my reach generally (most were top 30s); I got in to Northeastern, Seton Hall, and American, and that was it! I got too nervous about Northeastern because of their no-grade system and it IS lowest-ranked, and I wasn't sure how to fall on the whole rank thing so I thought it would be better to just play it safe, leaves you with less to explain to lawyers I felt. Seton Hall seemed really nice, but I really didn't want to be in Jersey. American was actually the one I liked least when I visited but I kind of went with praticality over other things (I get too influenced by silly things like the way the campus looked, the vibes I was getting from people, things that shouldn't matter ).

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:38 pm

I missed some stuff, didn't I.
The most classes I had in a day were 2. This coming semester it's three; every day we had a morning class; it's unusual to have friday classes, but we had em, which prevented some people from doing the thursday bar[the alcoholic kind] reviews. There was sufficient time between my two classes that I could get my work for that second class done in the interim between the classes. That said, expect 10 pages of casebook reading to take about an hour in teh beginning, so if you're assigned 50 pg of reading then it can add up fast. I generally would wake up at 8 or 9 and be finished with school and work about 12 hours later. maybe more. I think something that's stereotypically but truly important is maintaining a balance. I was freaking out the first week because everyone just STAYED there studying after classes, and I was just confused when I was supposed to leave, all these resources are here at the library, when do I eat dinner I don't want take out every night?!!!! eventually I started leaving either when I got hungry, which let me force myself to take a break (in the beginning you feel way guilty when you try to relax cause you know other people aren't relaxing, they're studying/getting a leg up on you, etc) or when I felt I started becoming not productive.
I guess I applied to AU because of their interest in human rights--I'm interested in prisoners' rights, but they're definitely more internationally-oriented than I'm inclined to be so that's not a problem, but sometimes feels like a mismatch, I guess. Students are very dedicated and ambitious in their interests so it's nice to see that variety in peoples' passions. I haven't met--or have been aware of meeting--a firm job guy or girl yet, which is something I prefer.

Aqualibrium
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:49 pm

I hope you didn't write your exams in the same style you wrote your post...

justsaying dontkillthemessenger

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:59 am

Yes I usually assume I'm not getting graded by assholes, just sayinIwrotemorethan15practiceexamsandamnowonbreak

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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:19 am

Zannie1986 wrote:Yes I usually assume I'm not getting graded by assholes, just sayinIwrotemorethan15practiceexamsandamnowonbreak



LOL I like that. "Too Shay" my friend. Enjoy your break.

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gdane
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby gdane » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:46 am

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I know youre a girl, but maybe thats better. You can give me your honest opinions.

How are the girls at WCL? Are there a lot of pretty girls or are they rare to find? I heard there were a lot of AZN girls at WCL. True?

Gatorbull84
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Gatorbull84 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:09 am

Thanks for answering my question. I appreciate it

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URMdan
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby URMdan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:21 am

gdane5 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I know youre a girl, but maybe thats better. You can give me your honest opinions.

How are the girls at WCL? Are there a lot of pretty girls or are they rare to find? I heard there were a lot of AZN girls at WCL. True?


+1

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DeeCee
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby DeeCee » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:15 pm

Hi there, just wanted to know how you feel about paying sticker (if I read that correctly in the earlier posts) while going to school in D.C. I was just accepted at American and Northeastern as well, and I've also applied to many other places, incl. GW and Georgetown, but I haven't heard from them yet. I am a bit worried about the high cost of living in D.C., if I choose to go to American. How expensive would you say living arrangements are? I had always lived in relatively cheap areas and I'm weighing my options.

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:17 pm

I wouldn't say that the asian girl population is massive, it won't be anywhere like california but it's there to an extent. I would say that we're a good looking bunch! I did kind of expect there to be the sort of brains and perhaps not so much beauty? but I think there are a lot of pretty girls. I don't know much about the hookup scene or anything cause I'm not really into the bar scene and am generally oblivious to a lot of the politics in the groups.

I feel like i"m not really in a typical position to make a lot of comments re: the sticker price; my family is helping me in terms of school finances, but as far as out-of-school costs, I live in a safe area about 20, 30 minutes away from the school with my boyfriend and pay 875 for rent per month + about 110 for food/entertainment(kinda the same thing in my book :P) a week. Like I mentioned, I don't drink so I don't really rack up the bills there. Sorry I can't speak to much else in those terms.

You probably are doing this already, but I'd wait to hear from your other schools and see if you can rank up a little; I still don't know what is right in terms of Northeastern vs. American; sometimes I wonder how different life would be like there, just because of their having no grades and of course the coop system. I think you should consider where you want to be when all this is over; something that put me over the decision hump was calling up organizations doing what I specifically, actually want to do when I get out, and finding out how much rank, name, any other important factors weighed in employers' minds. I'm interested in public interest/ non profit work so I wasn't sure how it may differ from the big law expectations, but it was generally the same (go to the best school you can). so that was pretty influential.

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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby ksimon2007 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:19 pm

When does American typically send out scholarship info?

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:27 pm

I want to say feb/mar. but I could be off, i'd check the site.

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gdane
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby gdane » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:28 pm

Thanks for answering my question! I look forward to meeting my future female classmates. :mrgreen:

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:32 pm

Checked the email archives, my " hey you don't deserve our aid!" email came mar 10.

ksimon2007
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby ksimon2007 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:33 pm

Zannie1986 wrote:Checked the email archives, my " hey you don't deserve our aid!" email came mar 10.


haha thanks...thanks for your help

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DeeCee
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby DeeCee » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:34 pm

Zannie1986 wrote:I live in a safe area about 20, 30 minutes away from the school with my boyfriend and pay 875 for rent per month + about 110 for food/entertainment(kinda the same thing in my book :P) a week.


Wow that's great. I was expecting a much, much higher cost of living. My boyfriend and I pay $700/month for a large 2BR apartment in the town I currently attend grad school , so I was expecting a much higher number for rent, about triple the price. Perhaps if I end up going to American you can tell me about the safe, cheap areas? I was thinking of living in MD near the school, but I'm not familiar with the area so I could have no idea what I'm talking about.

I'm definitely going to weigh all of my options. I'm waiting for the other DC schools, and I also applied to several outside of DC. I really what to end up in government, or perhaps non-profit in the environmental field, as my background and BA and MA research are in environmental topics. This is what really drew me to American; that and my numbers were a decent fit. However, I have a lot of softs so I'm going to see how it goes, and see what my other options are. Thanks for being so helpful!

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Zannie1986
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby Zannie1986 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:06 pm

I live in cleveland park, two blocks away from the metro and around a bunch of little restaurants. it's not really urban or too suburban, but kind of neighborhoody-urban, tons of runners;we were generally looking at 1800 as our limit; we saw things as low as in the 12 or 1400s but they were in not safe neighborhoods..[brookland]; silver spring might be doable, cheaper and safer, but it's far out on the redline; you would need a car or bus route to have it be convenient for you.
American, and actually GWU and Georgetown too, are in Northwest, so one would assume you'd want to stay somewhat close to there (I don't know how many people live too far out, say, in VA, but bethesda, if you can find something affordable, would be great for you).The consensus is, as far as I know, that most everything in Northwest is safe. Northeast can be popular but it safer closer to the govt. buildings. The anacostia river represents a sort of notorious division between privileged and the lower income, higher crime areas.

as a sidenote, I got books on amazon, and I actually paid less for books in LS than in my undergrad..400 (mostly used but not heavily marked).

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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby HeavenWood » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:25 pm

How do you feel about employment prospects? Are things as bad as TLSers make them out to be?

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DeeCee
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby DeeCee » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:03 am

Zannie1986 wrote:I live in cleveland park, two blocks away from the metro and around a bunch of little restaurants. it's not really urban or too suburban, but kind of neighborhoody-urban, tons of runners;we were generally looking at 1800 as our limit; we saw things as low as in the 12 or 1400s but they were in not safe neighborhoods..[brookland]; silver spring might be doable, cheaper and safer, but it's far out on the redline; you would need a car or bus route to have it be convenient for you.


My boyfriend and I have 1 car each. We are used to a rural lifestyle (hiking, bouldering, outdoor sports and mountains), but we're excited about D.C. because it will be so different and fast-paced for us and we want to end up in a city after I'm done. Are there sufficient places to keep two cars, or is this a definite problem? I did not apply to schools in NYC because I knew there would be no way we could keep our cars or any remnant of our lifestyles, but I believe in D.C. if we were to live in MD it would be a compromise. I do not mind riding the metro or whatever I need to do, as long as start to finish my commute could be 45 minutes to an hour tops.

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DeeCee
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Re: 1L at American WCL, avoiding studying, taking Qs

Postby DeeCee » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:05 am

DCLaw11 wrote:
Zannie1986 wrote:I live in cleveland park, two blocks away from the metro and around a bunch of little restaurants. it's not really urban or too suburban, but kind of neighborhoody-urban, tons of runners;we were generally looking at 1800 as our limit; we saw things as low as in the 12 or 1400s but they were in not safe neighborhoods..[brookland]; silver spring might be doable, cheaper and safer, but it's far out on the redline; you would need a car or bus route to have it be convenient for you.


My boyfriend and I have 1 car each. We are used to a rural lifestyle (hiking, bouldering, outdoor sports and mountains), but we're excited about D.C. because it will be so different and fast-paced for us and we want to end up in a city after I'm done. Are there sufficient places to keep two cars, or is this a definite problem? I did not apply to schools in NYC because I knew there would be no way we could keep our cars or any remnant of our lifestyles, but I believe in D.C. if we were to live in MD it would be a compromise. I do not mind riding the metro or whatever I need to do, as long as start to finish my commute could be 45 minutes to an hour tops.


Edit: one way 45mins - 1hour




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