Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

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kglick
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Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby kglick » Thu May 17, 2012 1:55 pm

I am an incoming JD student who is debating between George Washington University and American University. Both are top 5 international law schools, but GW is ranked much higher overall. I believe I can rank much higher in my class at American, but I am told the job prospects are much better coming out of GW. For recruiters, how much is class rank weighted compared to school ranking? Also, I feel like the competition at GW will be much fiercer and cutthroat. Is this something I should take into consideration? Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

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stillwater
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby stillwater » Thu May 17, 2012 1:57 pm

kglick wrote:I am an incoming JD student who is debating between George Washington University and American University. Both are top 5 international law schools, but GW is ranked much higher overall. I believe I can rank much higher in my class at American, but I am told the job prospects are much better coming out of GW. For recruiters, how much is class rank weighted compared to school ranking? Also, I feel like the competition at GW will be much fiercer and cutthroat. Is this something I should take into consideration? Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks.


You won't be going into "international law" as a practice area. Specialty rankings don't matter. Never assume you'll place better in the class at a lower ranked school. Never spit into the wind, etc., etc.

GW is the TCR here (subject to proper pricing).
Last edited by stillwater on Thu May 17, 2012 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bmore
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby bmore » Thu May 17, 2012 1:58 pm

Do not assume you will do better at American.
Int'l Law "ranking" means nothing.
Competiton should be fierce everywhere.

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top30man
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby top30man » Thu May 17, 2012 2:06 pm

bmore wrote:Do not assume you will do better at American.
Int'l Law "ranking" means nothing.
Competiton should be fierce everywhere.

This is true. Especially since the different between their LSAT medians are only 3 or 4 questions. Which is cheaper?

kglick
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby kglick » Thu May 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Fair points about my prospective success at AU. In general, how does class rank compare with school rank in the job market though? AU is less expensive by about $8,000 with a small merit scholarship. It also felt like it had a much more coherent community. The competition may be fierce, but I don't think it will be quite as harsh and cutthroat. Just a feeling though, I suppose I could be wrong.

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Samara
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby Samara » Thu May 17, 2012 3:31 pm

GW is much more than $8k better than American. However, paying sticker there is still incredibly risky. Retake?

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Nova
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby Nova » Thu May 17, 2012 3:34 pm

kglick wrote: AU is less expensive by about $8,000 with a small merit scholarship.


8k less per year, or total?

Please, dont plan on inttternational lawl. GW > AU.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 17, 2012 3:38 pm

1) Don't go to law school to "practice international law" unless you have a very specific idea of what you want to do in mind and you know that legal jobs exist for this type of work and are attainable from the school you are attending.

2) Don't assume you will perform better at a lower ranked school. Attend the school with the best combination of placement power and cost and then try to do your best your first year.

3) I wouldn't put too much weight on personal vibes about a single visit to a law school, especially when placement power is significantly different (and cost is not) at a different school. I didn't get the best vibes from UT during ASW, but I still chose to attend because the cost combined with the job opportunities was probably the best option for me (plus I wanted to be closer to family and friends). I love UT and I realize my 2 day experience wasn't the most representative of the people who attend here. (Plus, the people that were a turn-off during ASW didn't even end up attending UT.)

4)
Samara wrote:GW is much more than $8k better than American. However, paying sticker there is still incredibly risky. Retake?
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Thu May 17, 2012 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu May 17, 2012 4:14 pm

I know people who recently graduated from American. Unless you are top 5-10%, you will be lucky to get any job that requires a JD - let alone international law. There are very, very few genuine "international law" jobs, and they go to the top graduates from HYS.

The American grad I know best is now working retail, after desperately trying to land any JD-required job that would pay her. I believe she was around median. Some of her friends did a little better, but all had to struggle for any paying JD-required job, and only some succeeded.

American and GWU have especially bad employment prospects, because many of the best t14 grads want to work in DC, and they generally take the best jobs.

727813
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby 727813 » Fri May 18, 2012 10:51 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:American and GWU have especially bad employment prospects, because many of the best t14 grads want to work in DC, and they generally take the best jobs.


I second this. I have a friend that went to a DC-local non-T14 school. He was an Army Officer vet -- so he secured a JD job at the VA downtown.

I spent some time on the Hill. Some of the policy people were going PT at night (not Georgetown) and they planned to use their networking to get a JD-required job post-grad. If you have connections (UG alumni, current job, etc) then go for it. But yea, there are lots of T14 (east Cost ones more often) in DC.

jarofsoup
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby jarofsoup » Fri May 18, 2012 11:05 am

727813 wrote:
AntipodeanPhil wrote:American and GWU have especially bad employment prospects, because many of the best t14 grads want to work in DC, and they generally take the best jobs.


I second this. I have a friend that went to a DC-local non-T14 school. He was an Army Officer vet -- so he secured a JD job at the VA downtown.

I spent some time on the Hill. Some of the policy people were going PT at night (not Georgetown) and they planned to use their networking to get a JD-required job post-grad. If you have connections (UG alumni, current job, etc) then go for it. But yea, there are lots of T14 (east Cost ones more often) in DC.



GWU has a bit more geographic reach. I think that it is leagues ahead of American as far as ranking and reputation.

There are a lot of GWU grads in NYC, so DC is not the only flooded market that GWU grads have access to.

Paul Campos
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby Paul Campos » Sat May 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Going to either of these schools at anything close to sticker is a terrible idea. Going to American at close to sticker is certifiably insane, unless you hate money and/or your dad/mom is a senator (U.S.).

kglick
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby kglick » Tue May 22, 2012 2:57 am

Thank you all for your responses. Even the pessimistic and cynical ones. I hope it is not as bad as you make it out to be. I'm sure it's not. I will be going to GW in the fall.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby Tom Joad » Tue May 22, 2012 3:20 am

Georgetown > American any day of the week.

rad lulz
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby rad lulz » Tue May 22, 2012 11:22 am

kglick wrote:Thank you all for your responses. Even the pessimistic and cynical ones. I hope it is not as bad as you make it out to be. I'm sure it's not.

lol it is. Have you read any news stories or blog poasts about law school in the past couple years? You're like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue May 22, 2012 12:32 pm

kglick wrote:Thank you all for your responses. Even the pessimistic and cynical ones. I hope it is not as bad as you make it out to be. I'm sure it's not. I will be going to GW in the fall.

Are you aware that right above your post a law school professor (Paul Campos) who has studied the job situation for recent graduates calls that "a terrible idea?" He is in a much better position than you to evaluate your options, since he has all sorts of information you lack.

Please don't think that you can just work hard, get good grades, and be one of the (few) successful ones. Law school grades depend largely on other factors. You have - in effect - rolled the dice, with a 1/5 chance of winning, and a 4/5 chance of ending up with over $200,000 of non-dischargeable debt you will not be able to repay.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Ranking vs. Success (GW vs. American)

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue May 22, 2012 3:31 pm

Will you listen to a current GW student?

http://www.gwhatchet.com/2010/01/21/law ... -advising/

"Three or four years ago, anyone with near top-of-the-class grades was all but assured a good shot at procuring a big firm job with a big salary to help pay off the tremendous student loans that most take out. In today's unfortunate reality, even top-of-the-class grades, which are really difficult to obtain when competing directly with the caliber of students at GW law, assures a GW law student nothing at all," second-year law student Mitchell Eisenberger said."

So, a GW student says that even being top of the class "assures... nothing at all." Of course, if you're not top of the class, the situation is much, much worse.

The school may claim some ridiculously high employment rate, but that's because they include people like this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grace-nas ... 97823.html

"The majority of law schools don't inflate their employment stats intentionally; instead, they willingly employ practices which lead to the inevitability of misleading numbers," Strickland explained. "Shortly after my graduation from George Washington Law School, I began receiving monthly phone calls from the Career Development Office (CDO). Each call would lead with a single question: 'Have you found a job yet?' Each time, I hadn't. For nine months I searched for employment. Finally, after nine months, I found a temporary paralegal position at a two-person law firm. At the end of that month, GW called again and asked how my search was going. I gladly told them I found a part time job as a paralegal. I haven't received a call since. Schools aren't looking for in-depth information. At this point, it's five years of graduating classes who can barely find a job, have little hopes of reaching their potential, and are suffering under the burden of student loans so large that it's only a matter of time before the next headline is 'Sallie Mae suffers devastating losses due to the student loan delinquencies.'"

He has a temporary position as a paralegal at a two-person firm. GW will list him in their employment stats under the "Employed - JD Advantage" category. I'm sure they didn't ask him for his salary - that way they don't have to report it.




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