University of Washington 2012

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2012)
kalydscopeeyes
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:49 pm

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby kalydscopeeyes » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:23 pm

HuskyLaw wrote:Hello!

Congrats on considering/being admitted into UW Law's Class of 2012!

I'm currently a 1L at UWLS, and would be happy to give my take on any questions you might have about the school, the JD program, classes, admissions, etc.

Feel free to post a question, and I'll try my best to get back to you in a timely manner!


Thanks HuskyLaw. I am wondering how relatively difficult/easy it is to obtain residency after your first year? It seems pretty straightforward on the website and through my email exchange with the residency office (you obtain Washington ID/documents, live in the state for 12 months, and there is a waiver for graduate/professional students), but a coworker whose friend is a student there said that almost no one gets residency. I feel like I am hearing confliciting things and would like your input :)

BenjaminAlan
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:02 pm

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby BenjaminAlan » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:08 pm

tvaddicted wrote:
tralinds wrote:
tvaddicted wrote:I just got accepted and want to attend because I am in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest even though I have never been there...but everything I have heard abt the Seattle legal market seems to be telling me to not go to UW because it will be next to impossible to find a job there.


How can you be in love with Seattle/the NW if you have never been here?
It's really not that great. It's cloudy all the time, and people are unfriendly. Traffic is bad, public transportation sucks.


I am weird, I like cloudy weather. I think I might romanticize Seattle a bit (ok, maybe a lot), but I like it because of the temperate weather, the younger crowd it attracts, its liberal and educated population, and it natural beauty. I am used to horrible traffic. I live close to Houston.


I have lived in the NW, seattle area, nearly my entire life. Take it from me, it is that great. Its true it can be cloudy and raining a lot. and I HATE traffic. believe me. but any city has bad traffic. As far as cities go, can't think of one I'd rather live in. I dont know about the seattle legal market but I have heard similar things. its definitely one of the smaller markets for a big city. but man, there is no more beautiful place in the summer than seattle in my opinion. in the winter, if its cloudy and raining, I just go up into the mountains and ski. and also, in the winter you will actually have quite a few clear days where you can see the snowy mountains from the city and those days are priceless.

BenjaminAlan
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby BenjaminAlan » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:21 pm

wanderingpie wrote:I know it is early in the game to be planning for housing, but it doesn't hurt to try. I'm 99% sure I will be attending UW and want to start hearing about where is most livable in Seattle. Vitals (as far as housing goes):

Male/25
I would like to be close to a bar or two, but I don't need (or want) to be in party central/a student ghetto
I have a dog, so a house with fenced yard is preferred
I despise long and complex commutes, and want to either be close to campus OR to a direct bus route. I'm okay with a 30-40 minute bus ride, so long as I am not sitting in the wonderful NW rain waiting for a transfer every day

Any Seattle veterans want to help out and point me in the right direction (neighborhoods/etc.)?
Any other UW prospects already thinking of housing/looking for roommates/want to pool resources?

And:
Is anyone else attending the Clinic open house this Thursday (4/2)?


I'll be at the clinic open house actually. I have only lived in the city itself for a year so I'm not the best one to give advise about places to live. I live on queene anne which is a perfect place to live....but maybe not for being a student at uw. I'd have to check and see if a bus transfer would be invovled but its not THAT close to campus. the U district would be of course worth looking at, it might be party central at times and fit your negative stereotype....but you enver know, you might find a niche there that fits what you would want. I would just start with the u district and then spread out from there. seattles layout can be easy to think through if you look at a map. you dont want to be on the wrong side of a body of water from where you are trying to get too or the wrong side of a major free way because those are the kinds o things that will make commuting hard. following that advise I'd recomment looking to the north/and/or west of the uw. and u dist. but there you can't go too far without hitting wather or a freeway.

greenlake is worth looking at, a lot of young people live there and its a great area, its not too far from uw depending. u district will be the cheapest housing.

I would also recommend, in addition to jsut taking out a map, using that while checking bus routes online. really good point about not changing buses. that can be the diff. between a relaxing commute and a pain in the ass.

this year we had crazy snow and half of hte buses were closed for a few days. a lot of bus riders just got stranded because a connecting bus wasn't running. just to say, seattle public transportation, in my opinion and in that of many is pretty bad.

I would be more specific in my recommendatiosn but I just dont know about price and bus routes enough. any area will have its expensive housing and most areas will have some affordable rooms to rent if you hunt hard enough---in my experiecne.

BenjaminAlan
Posts: 23
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby BenjaminAlan » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:26 pm

bgc wrote:
tvaddicted wrote:
tralinds wrote:
tvaddicted wrote:I just got accepted and want to attend because I am in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest even though I have never been there...but everything I have heard abt the Seattle legal market seems to be telling me to not go to UW because it will be next to impossible to find a job there.

It's cloudy all the time, and people are unfriendly. Traffic is bad, public transportation sucks.

I am weird, I like cloudy weather. I think I might romanticize Seattle a bit (ok, maybe a lot), but I like it because of the temperate weather, the younger crowd it attracts, its liberal and educated population, and it natural beauty. I am used to horrible traffic. I live close to Houston.


Traffic is not that bad IN Seattle. Just don't live on the East Side.

Seattle is the best place EVAR.


What is making you pessimistic about the Seattle legal market? I'm not going to be in the PNW for school but want to move back there eventually.


I've heard that seattle can be really hard to break into from the outside but that if you go to law school here or if you have lived here in the past or if you come from a school with a national reputation its not as bad. I'm sure it all depends on what you are trying to do. One reason I heard for this was that seattle is just such a desirable city with a small market, that equals high competition.

gsquared86
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:49 am

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby gsquared86 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:49 pm

HuskyLaw wrote:Hello!

Congrats on considering/being admitted into UW Law's Class of 2012!

I'm currently a 1L at UWLS, and would be happy to give my take on any questions you might have about the school, the JD program, classes, admissions, etc.

Feel free to post a question, and I'll try my best to get back to you in a timely manner!


Hey HuskyLaw-

I am seriously considering UWLS so I want to see if I can get your general impressions of the school. Do you like your professors? The fellow students? How is the student atmosphere (in terms of friendliness/competition, etc.)? And although first year is still early yet, do you have an impression on what the career picture is looking like? Summer jobs, internships, etc.?

Thanks very much for your time.

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jcl2
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby jcl2 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:20 pm

tralinds wrote:
tvaddicted wrote:I just got accepted and want to attend because I am in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest even though I have never been there...but everything I have heard abt the Seattle legal market seems to be telling me to not go to UW because it will be next to impossible to find a job there.


How can you be in love with Seattle/the NW if you have never been here?
It's really not that great. It's cloudy all the time, and people are unfriendly. Traffic is bad, public transportation sucks.


What? As far as major cities go, I have not been to one that I would rather live in. The public transportation is pretty ridicules though.

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bgc
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby bgc » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:57 pm

BenjaminAlan wrote: I live on queene anne which is a perfect place to live....but maybe not for being a student at uw.


Queen Anne is great (I grew up there) but is a rough bus trip to the UW.

I would recommend Ballard, Capitol Hill, or Eastlake. All have easy bus commutes to the U.

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:30 pm

I just completed the Contorts program. I want to preface my statements by pointing out that my opinions are my own and may not be reflective of other people you talk to.

This year, Contorts (Contracts and Torts taught together by the same prof) was part of a greater curriculum called "Introduction to Private Law." Theoretically this was supposed to integrate Contorts with CivPro and Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing. In reality, all it meant was that you were with the same cohort of 1Ls in every class (Property class was a large lecture class consisting of about 1/2 Contorts students and 1/2 non-Contorts). That, in my opinion, was the best aspect of Contorts -- you had a built-in support system of roughly 55 students who you really got to know on a fairly intimate basis. Our cohort was great -- almost all of the students were genuinely nice and decent people, and I would count almost all of them as good friends. It's a fairly supportive environment, though that's not to imply that the non-Contorts students aren't supportive.

Because of the insular experience of Contorts, especially in the IPL context that they piloted this year, there is a view that the 1L class is somewhat split into "Contorts" and "non-Contorts" -- though Contorts only lasts for two quarters. I guess it boils down to the fact that outside of Property class, Contorts students are only really exposed to other Contorts students, so there's not as much incentive to get to know other students outside of the group.

So that's the non-curriculum side of things.

The way the 1L experience is structured at UW, at least this year, is as follows:

-All students take Property and Legal Research/Writing over the course of both fall and spring quarters.
-Non-Contorts students take Torts in the Fall quarter, Contracts in the Winter quarter, and CivPro over the course of both fall and winter quarters.
-Contorts students take CivPro in the fall, and Contorts over both fall and winter quarters.

CivPro was taught by Maureen Howard and was compressed into one quarter.
Pros:
-Professor Howard. *The Best* professor, loved by all. Focused on the black letter, what-you-need-to-know-to-practice-law concepts.
-Instead of a casebook, the class textbook is Glannon's Civil Procedure "Examples and Explanations" outline. Until you try learning from a casebook, you will have no clue how tough it is to extract black letter CivPro law from it. And not "tough" in that good-for-you kind of way. Tough in the you're-doing-yourself-a-disservice kind of way. Glannon is God. Buy this book regardless of whether you take Contorts. It *will* save your life.
Cons:
-Civ Pro is not a good class to cram into three months. You'll miss some important concepts, like joinder of parties. You'll also freak out come exam time. But that still beats having to learn Civ Pro by casebook over the course of 6 months. In this case, drinking from a firehose wins. Trust me.

Legal Writing: We had a very caring but incredibly frustrating writing professor. I don't know if he'll be teaching next year, so I'll leave this part out. Legal writing is going to be a massive timesuck no matter who you take it from.

Contorts itself.
Contorts was very, very difficult. In my opinion, needlessly so. The professor is off-the-charts brilliant. "Got a PhD in Math, was the head of the Computer Science department at NYU and a math professor at Harvey Mudd before acing the LSAT and going to Yale where he served as Editor of Yale Law Journal" type of smart. Which means most of you will not understand half of what he's saying. I certainly didn't. Either you get it, or you will flounder around for six months feeling like you are the dumbest idiot in the world. His pegagogical style is unique. It doesn't conform to commercial outlines. They are useless. Indeed, we didn't get to offer and acceptance in Contracts until three weeks before the exam. Instead, he will give you class notes at the beginning of each class. By the end of March, you will have 650 pages of notes. They are not an excuse for missing class. They will not work as a substitute for outlining. He will flat-out tell you that he's not really concerned about black-letter law -- that's "for the bar review course." Instead, he is all about the "subtleties," the areas of law where case law and the restatements conflict, give seemingly incongruent results, or are "flat out wrong." In other words, if "the law" doesn't make sense to you, it's because instead of focusing on the 95% of law that is intuitive, he focuses on the 5% that doesn't make sense. You will feel like an idiot. You have to learn to be okay with that. You will not get below a B. My midterm reeked of absolute bewilderment, I earned less than half of the available points. I got a B. I don't know how I did on the final yet.

If law school is boot camp, then Contorts is Hell Week at SEAL school. It will be tough, and you have to be willing to work harder than your non-Contorts peers to simply keep your head above water. That said, you will likely emerge from your cocoon six months later as a f-ed up butterfly, somehow understanding the nuances of contract and tort law better than you would have had you not taken the class.

Think carefully about whether it's worth it to you. There's no shame in not being in the class. It's pretty much a given that if you put the level of time and energy that will get you a B+ in Contorts into a more straightforward non-Contorts class, you will likely get an A. I think the traditional track will better prepare you to pass the bar, I think the Contorts track will prepare you to be a better practitioner. If I had to choose again, I don't know that I'd volunteer for Contorts again (aside from the CivPro and the camaraderie). It was intellectually humiliating, and I wish I could have had more of a social life than the workload allowed me to. But that is admittedly a short-term view. Who knows, I might change my mind after I become a practicing attorney.

I hope that was helpful -- any other questions, feel free to ask.

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:45 pm

kalydscopeeyes wrote:
HuskyLaw wrote:
Thanks HuskyLaw. I am wondering how relatively difficult/easy it is to obtain residency after your first year? It seems pretty straightforward on the website and through my email exchange with the residency office (you obtain Washington ID/documents, live in the state for 12 months, and there is a waiver for graduate/professional students), but a coworker whose friend is a student there said that almost no one gets residency. I feel like I am hearing confliciting things and would like your input :)


Residency...As a non-resident, this is another issue near and dear to my heart.

If you come from out of state to attend the UW, you will not become a resident. Ever. That said, there is a Graduate/Professional Student Non-Resident Tuition Waiver you can apply for 12 months after you establish Washington residency that has the same effect. More information here: http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/newGRAD-PROF.htm

The major differences between residency and getting the waiver are a) the waiver does not make you eligible for financial aid that is only available to washington residents; b) you have to keep reapplying every year for it. But it allows you to pay in-state tuition for your 2L and 3L years. Bottom line, as soon as you get to WA, get to a DMV and get a drivers license/register to vote, register your car here, and open a Washington bank account. If you can move here before late June, even better -- if you decide to do an externship the summer after your 1L, you can get the non-resident waiver to knock down your summer quarter tuition.

Because of the budget crisis, the UW had tried to change the policy earlier this year so that students had to maintain physical presence in Washington once they came here in order to be eligible for the waiver. In other words, an Oregon resident applying for the waiver could not leave Washington to work/study in another state over the summer. There was a big fuss about this, so they rescinded the change. Currently, the criteria listed on the website above allow students to pursue law-related internships/employment outside of Washington over the summers.

That said, the residency issue appears to be subject to flux. The fact that they tried to change it on us this year makes me wonder if they might try to do the same later on. This makes me nervous. I would try to get something in writing from the UW residency classification office that says that the current policy will be in effect for the class of 2012. We've gotten affirmations for our class (so students can leave the state to work without fear of losing their waivers), but if law school teaches you one thing, it's that getting things in writing is always A Good Thing.

Hope that was helpful!
Last edited by HuskyLaw on Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:00 pm

gsquared86 wrote:Hey HuskyLaw-

I am seriously considering UWLS so I want to see if I can get your general impressions of the school. Do you like your professors? The fellow students? How is the student atmosphere (in terms of friendliness/competition, etc.)? And although first year is still early yet, do you have an impression on what the career picture is looking like? Summer jobs, internships, etc.?

Thanks very much for your time.


I like it here. I should have visited beforehand -- not the school, but the city. I had never lived in a city before, and pretty much moved here sight unseen. Which was a mistake. I learned I am not a city person, and I'm looking forward to leaving.

But that has nothing to do with UWLS. UWLS is pretty much the only thing Seattle has going for it, as far as I'm concerned (though to be fair, my view is the minority. Most people love Seattle. Just not me).

I love the UW. The people are great, the professors are great, the building is great. I was concerned about what my classmates would be like in law school -- I kind of assumed they'd all be the gunner douchebag stereotype we all hear about. There are one or two here, but they stick out like a sore thumb and are pretty much politely ostracized. The library is nice (though many complain about the abundance of undergrads that frequent here in the evenings).

As far as the career picture goes, I've been very pleasantly surprised. I had 4 offers (two of which were paid, in my home state), and will be spending the summer doing an externship with a federal district judge, and most everyone I know has a job in a field they are looking forward to working in. I didn't really trust the 2Ls who were all telling us "Don't stress it, you *will* get a summer job," but they were right. Don't expect to get paid the first summer unless you're a "diversity" student, but if you work for free (actually you're paying to work), you can get externship credit and graduate a quarter early. To be sure, the focus on the job market is on the PacNW, and if you want to find work outside of Washington or Oregon, you will need to put in a lot of legwork on your own. But we have a decent reputation, and people know it.

The best advice I'd have is to get over the stigma of "networking" and start making connections. This is how the game is played. I didn't have any connections for my judicial externship (I just got really lucky, don't bank on getting one), but the other three offers all came from knowing people and asking if they knew anyone they could put me in contact with. You will be paired up with a "professional mentor" -- a practicing attorney who has volunteered to meet with you and offer advice. What this really means is "this is your networking starting point." Just be a nice, sincere person, and they'll more than likely help set you up.

Hope this was helpful!

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pubintrst
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby pubintrst » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:40 am

HuskyLaw wrote:Hope this was helpful!

Yes! Thank you.

I've got a few questions (Please forgive egregious spelling errors, I'm writing this on my mobile):

1)You mentioned budget cuts in reference to out of state tuition waivers. Is there any sense within the law school community how current budget cuts will affect the school? I know the budgetary bombs are just now falling in Olympia, but it sounds severe.

2) What's up with the dean search? I know the four finalists visited in January and they all seem promising (especially poaching the SU dean). any idea when a candidate will be selected? If not how has the lack of a resident (non-interim) dean affected you UWLS experience?

3) You mentioned in-state financial aid as separate and distinct from federal student aid. Any idea what an in-stater is likely to receive aid wise? I know I will find out soon, within a month, when I get my FA package but I'm curious. I've heard of a tuition reduction for 1st professional degree seekers (me) and am hounding UW budget officers for more info, come to think of it yesterday may not have been a good day to call.

4) Are you planning to follow a concentration track? I am unsure exactly what type of law I wish to practice (other than public interest generally) and I am hoping to get some support during 1L, from faculty, admin, and mentors to flesh this out. Is that support readily available?

5) Do they teach you the type of sarcastic wit that is peppered throughout your post about contorts? Or is that a natural gift?

Thanks again.

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:08 pm

pubintrst wrote:
HuskyLaw wrote:Hope this was helpful!

Yes! Thank you.

I've got a few questions (Please forgive egregious spelling errors, I'm writing this on my mobile):

1)You mentioned budget cuts in reference to out of state tuition waivers. Is there any sense within the law school community how current budget cuts will affect the school? I know the budgetary bombs are just now falling in Olympia, but it sounds severe.

2) What's up with the dean search? I know the four finalists visited in January and they all seem promising (especially poaching the SU dean). any idea when a candidate will be selected? If not how has the lack of a resident (non-interim) dean affected you UWLS experience?

3) You mentioned in-state financial aid as separate and distinct from federal student aid. Any idea what an in-stater is likely to receive aid wise? I know I will find out soon, within a month, when I get my FA package but I'm curious. I've heard of a tuition reduction for 1st professional degree seekers (me) and am hounding UW budget officers for more info, come to think of it yesterday may not have been a good day to call.

4) Are you planning to follow a concentration track? I am unsure exactly what type of law I wish to practice (other than public interest generally) and I am hoping to get some support during 1L, from faculty, admin, and mentors to flesh this out. Is that support readily available?

5) Do they teach you the type of sarcastic wit that is peppered throughout your post about contorts? Or is that a natural gift?

Thanks again.


PubIntrst -- love the icon. Here's my take on your questions:

1: The budget cuts are a big deal, and it seems like every public school in every state is dealing with the same issues. We haven't had a tremendous amount of feedback on how this specifically will affect the law school, but I think it will boil down to the fact that we won't be hiring any new faculty or bringing in new guest lecturers for a few years. How the cuts will affect tuition is another obvious concern, but the budget meeting I've been to have focused on cutting expenses rather than raising revenue. Of course, we can still rustle up enough money to renovate Husky Stadium, so clearly priorities aren't being affected any. It's not something that would play a huge role in my decision whether to attend, but it's still something to have in the back of your mind.

2: Dean search. I haven't a clue. I think it's down to the SU dean and the dean from Arizona State. To be honest, I've seen the interim dean maybe three times since I got here, and once was at orientation. I'm just not seeing where who the Dean is or how the Dean search is progressing has impacted my life or the lives of my classmates.

3: Financial aid. Because I am a nonresident, I haven't a clue about the financial aid packages residents have received or are eligible to receive. That said, UW is by far one of the cheapest law schools of its caliber, particularly for in-state students, and especially for non-residents. Even without scholarships. Don't take it personally if you don't get a merit scholarship. Honestly, that was a bit of a bone of contention for me when I was deciding to go here. The fact of the matter is, most other schools of this caliber have very expensive tuition, but they also tend to offer hefty scholarships. So, if you get a no-strings-attached scholarship from other similar-caliber schools you'll wind up paying slightly more than you would as a nonresident at the UW (and remember nonresidents can get the waiver for their second and third years), but you have that psychological ego-boost of getting a scholarship. Not so at the UW. Even though the UW was cheaper, it kind of bummed me out that they didn't offer me any merit money. What I wound up doing, because I was a giant nerd with too much time on my hands, was making an Excel spreadsheet of all the schools I got in to, including their ranking, the tuition I would be paying, scholarship/tuition waiver offsets, costs of living, etc., and picked the one with the most "bang for the buck" -- which was UW. Sorry I can't be more help for in-state info, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a cheaper school with similar rankings. Ranking matters, and so does your debt load after graduation (esp if you want to go into public interest), so don't lose sight of the financial bottom-line in making your decision.

4: At this particular moment, I'm not planning on pursuing a particular concentration track. I think the majority of students don't pursue one. But in terms of getting support to help flesh your ideas out, you'll be beating support off with a stick here. As I mentioned earlier, it seems like they're all about "mentors" at the UW. You will be assigned a professional mentor (a practicing lawyer/judge) for career stuff (most mentors only have one student they're mentoring). Your section of ~25 1Ls will be assigned "peer mentors" -- 4 or 5 2Ls who will meet with you 3 or 4 times over the year to offer advice. You'll be assigned a "faculty mentor" based on an interest sheet you fill out. The Director of Academic Advising is also super-helpful (if you seek her out on your own). And you may develop a relationship with one of your professors or a 2L/3L who can offer informal guidance and advice. I've met with professors to discuss career planning and interview tips -- most of them really are willing to go the extra mile to help you out.

5: They don't teach funny. It's a survival tool I've adapted to keep from going insane. Keeping a sense of humor and a "big picture" perspective on things will save your life as a 1L and in the Real World (don't forget there is such a thing). It's easy, too easy, to let law school consume your life. I consider myself to be among the more noncompetitive, well-adjusted students in my class, and I do law-school related stuff 6 days a week, for 8-11 hours per day. Some of my colleagues live in lawschool-land 24/7. They're the ones who cry at the end of finals. Don't be those people. Please. The best tip I can offer you is, barring obvious craziness like moot court and finals, to treat law school like the crappiest 9-5 job you've ever had. Make a schedule. Come in at a reasonable hour (I'm here at 9AM sharp), do your studying in the library, and have a time at which you're done for the day (usually 7:30ish-8PM for me). Then put your books in your locker and go home.
When you're home, try as hard as you can to do normal-people stuff. I drink beer and watch TMZ. They kick you out of the library at 6PM on Fridays. They're doing you a favor. Don't do anything law-related after 6PM on Fridays. On Saturdays, I pretend law school doesn't exist. I sleep in, I hang out, I eat cheese, I go places. Then I sleep in and spend Sunday afternoon at school (parking is free on weekends). I may not get every case briefed (nobody does anyway), but I don't let this place destroy my soul. It takes work and self-discipline (seriously, saying "i'm not going to work on this" requires self-discipline too), but it will pay off hundredfold dividends.
Work hard in school, don't get me wrong, but have a hobby. Have friends. Have friends outside of law school. If you, like I did at one point last quarter, find yourself pissed off at toddlers playing at the beach because they're enjoying life and have no clue about the terrible world of torts, pay attention to that cue. Give yourself a break. Go up to Vancouver for the weekend (one of the best parts about living in Seattle), or head into the mountains -- whatever it takes to get your soul back. Don't spend a good chunk of your twenties or thirties being miserable.

This applies to any law school anywhere, btw.

Hope this was helpful!

rwong11
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby rwong11 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:12 pm

For what it's worth, the admissions letter I got Monday said that the tuition remains in flux and could go up as a result of the budget situation.

I'm in a similar predicament where other, lesser-ranked schools have offered me money and I don't expect UW to provide any. However, I think UW's caliber makes the higher cost worth it.... or at least I hope.

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:41 pm

rwong11 wrote:For what it's worth, the admissions letter I got Monday said that the tuition remains in flux and could go up as a result of the budget situation.

I'm in a similar predicament where other, lesser-ranked schools have offered me money and I don't expect UW to provide any. However, I think UW's caliber makes the higher cost worth it.... or at least I hope.


Also for what it's worth, I got the same letter last year from the UW. :wink:

Are the scholarships from the other schools no-strings-attached? The GPA or class-rank contingent ones freaked me out -- by definition, 75% of the class will not be in the top 25% of the class, and it would really suck to be stuck at a lower-ranked school with *no* scholarship.

How big a difference in rankings are we talking about? The difference between USNWR 30 and 40 is pretty much nonexistent, the difference between a 30 and a 70 is enormous, both in terms of future career opportunities and in terms of your colleagues. I wrestled with much the same thing; for a while I was going to go to a 3rd tier school on a full-tuition scholarship, simply because of the debtload I'd be facing. Then I visited the school, and withdrew that same day. It makes that much of a difference.

If I could offer one big piece of advice -- if it is at all possible, try very hard visit your top two choices of schools before you make your decision. Trust me on this one!

tvaddicted
Posts: 101
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby tvaddicted » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:48 pm

HuskyLaw wrote:
rwong11 wrote:For what it's worth, the admissions letter I got Monday said that the tuition remains in flux and could go up as a result of the budget situation.

I'm in a similar predicament where other, lesser-ranked schools have offered me money and I don't expect UW to provide any. However, I think UW's caliber makes the higher cost worth it.... or at least I hope.


Also for what it's worth, I got the same letter last year from the UW. :wink:

Are the scholarships from the other schools no-strings-attached? The GPA or class-rank contingent ones freaked me out -- by definition, 75% of the class will not be in the top 25% of the class, and it would really suck to be stuck at a lower-ranked school with *no* scholarship.

How big a difference in rankings are we talking about? The difference between USNWR 30 and 40 is pretty much nonexistent, the difference between a 30 and a 70 is enormous, both in terms of future career opportunities and in terms of your colleagues. I wrestled with much the same thing; for a while I was going to go to a 3rd tier school on a full-tuition scholarship, simply because of the debtload I'd be facing. Then I visited the school, and withdrew that same day. It makes that much of a difference.

If I could offer one big piece of advice -- if it is at all possible, try very hard visit your top two choices of schools before you make your decision. Trust me on this one!


I am going to be visiting UW next to next Monday and I have a feeling I am going to like it a lot. However, I was just recently accepted and have not yet applied for a scholarship. If it is need-based, I do not think I will be getting it. However, I really need to not go into too much debt. I was also accepted to UIUC with a 90k scholarship (no strings attached) and Washington and Lee (with a 85k scholarship). But I would prefer UW over these schools because of its location. Do you think it would be wise for me to mention these scholarships to the financial aid office and ask for a similar scholarship? How do you think they would respond to that?

HuskyLaw
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:28 pm

tvaddicted wrote:
I am going to be visiting UW next to next Monday and I have a feeling I am going to like it a lot. However, I was just recently accepted and have not yet applied for a scholarship. If it is need-based, I do not think I will be getting it. However, I really need to not go into too much debt. I was also accepted to UIUC with a 90k scholarship (no strings attached) and Washington and Lee (with a 85k scholarship). But I would prefer UW over these schools because of its location. Do you think it would be wise for me to mention these scholarships to the financial aid office and ask for a similar scholarship? How do you think they would respond to that?


Do you mean "location" as where you want to spend the next three years, or location as where you want to spend the rest of your life?

I had hefty scholarships from other schools and I brought the mention of merit money up -- didn't do much good. The logic at the school is that they keep the tuition low for everyone rather than jack up tuition and dispense scholarships to a few.

There's a Machiavellian reason why merit scholarships are so LSAT-sensitive -- it boosts the 75th %ile LSAT score at their institution, which is weighted very heavily in the USNWR ranking. UIUC is a key example of this -- they implemented this LSAT-based scholarship strategy several years ago, which bumped them up substantially in the rankings. UW and UIowa would be much higher in the rankings if their 25th-75th %ile LSAT medians were amped up, but they (like Boalt) are definitely focused much more on the GPA.

But that's the school and their politics. You are you. Those three schools are pretty much interchangeable in terms of rankings (I, incidentally, also strongly considered offers from UIUC and W&L). They're all top regional schools, but none of them are exactly national. That doesn't mean if you go to UW you can't practice in DC, or if you go to UIUC you can't practice in Portland, it'll just be a lot more legwork. I'd recommend putting them into a spreadsheet. What I also did, as a reality check which almost nobody else seems to do, was to calculate an estimate your total debt after graduation, and plug that number into a loan payment calculator to really see how much of a loan payment you'll be faced with after graduating. Unless you are convinced that you want to live and practice law on the West Coast, UW doesn't make sense if you'll be taking on a whole lot more debt going here as opposed to UIUC or W&L. Same goes for the other school. Just keep in mind -- law school is, in the end, a business decision. Treat it as such, and you won't have nearly as much buyer's remorse.

Hope my opinions are helpful!

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pubintrst
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby pubintrst » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:33 pm

[
rwong11 wrote:I am going to be visiting UW next to next Monday and I have a feeling I am going to like it a lot. However, I was just recently accepted and have not yet applied for a scholarship. If it is need-based, I do not think I will be getting it. However, I really need to not go into too much debt. I was also accepted to UIUC with a 90k scholarship (no strings attached) and Washington and Lee (with a 85k scholarship). But I would prefer UW over these schools because of its location. Do you think it would be wise for me to mention these scholarships to the financial aid office and ask for a similar scholarship? How do you think they would respond to that?


From what I know the only full scholarships at UW are the Gates PSL. I think they have a few in the 1/2 range and several smaller ones. I am less sure of that last sentence.

To echo HuskyLaw, if you're out of state look into the waiver for professional studies. It's different from establishing residency, which is impossible, but fiscally speaking the same. Of course double check this all before acting on it.

All of this, my own included, financial speculation is a bit premature. They wil start sending out Financial Aid packages in mid-April. I hope there is not a huge lag time in those letters between early admits and late admits.

I visited in the fall before I left for some travel. I will be visiting my two other current options within the next two weeks and I have already visited the four schools at which I still have outstnding applications. Again I have to agree with Husky Law, visit! I eliminated a school I thought I wanted to attend after visiting. Even though it was more highly ranked than the UW.

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jcl2
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby jcl2 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:25 pm

tvaddicted wrote:
HuskyLaw wrote:
rwong11 wrote:For what it's worth, the admissions letter I got Monday said that the tuition remains in flux and could go up as a result of the budget situation.

I'm in a similar predicament where other, lesser-ranked schools have offered me money and I don't expect UW to provide any. However, I think UW's caliber makes the higher cost worth it.... or at least I hope.


Also for what it's worth, I got the same letter last year from the UW. :wink:

Are the scholarships from the other schools no-strings-attached? The GPA or class-rank contingent ones freaked me out -- by definition, 75% of the class will not be in the top 25% of the class, and it would really suck to be stuck at a lower-ranked school with *no* scholarship.

How big a difference in rankings are we talking about? The difference between USNWR 30 and 40 is pretty much nonexistent, the difference between a 30 and a 70 is enormous, both in terms of future career opportunities and in terms of your colleagues. I wrestled with much the same thing; for a while I was going to go to a 3rd tier school on a full-tuition scholarship, simply because of the debtload I'd be facing. Then I visited the school, and withdrew that same day. It makes that much of a difference.

If I could offer one big piece of advice -- if it is at all possible, try very hard visit your top two choices of schools before you make your decision. Trust me on this one!


I am going to be visiting UW next to next Monday and I have a feeling I am going to like it a lot. However, I was just recently accepted and have not yet applied for a scholarship. If it is need-based, I do not think I will be getting it. However, I really need to not go into too much debt. I was also accepted to UIUC with a 90k scholarship (no strings attached) and Washington and Lee (with a 85k scholarship). But I would prefer UW over these schools because of its location. Do you think it would be wise for me to mention these scholarships to the financial aid office and ask for a similar scholarship? How do you think they would respond to that?


You should at least turn in the scholarship application, it cant hurt and it is pretty easy. Same with telling them about your other scholarships. With scholarships that big from those two schools I would think that you might have a good chance at something from UW. You should at least wait until you visit and probably wait see if they offer you anything before you decide against it. Also, think seriously about where you want to work after law school, if that is Seattle or Portland, or maybe even California, then UW may be better than the other schools you mentioned even with a little more debt, but if you want to be in NYC, DC, or Chicago, then UIUC and Washington and Lee are probably the better options.

kalydscopeeyes
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby kalydscopeeyes » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:30 pm

Thanks, HuskyLaw, for answering my residency questions. I actually had assumed I couldn't work out of state, even for the summer, due to having to have twelve consecutive months of residency. I was even concerned about coming home for winter break and potentially working for my current employer while I am home, and that screwing with my residency status! As it stands, I was planning on moving up sometime in early August, before my Oregon driver's license expires (to avoid having to replace that and get a new WA one immediately thereafter), in hopes that by Fall 2010 I could qualify for the waiver.

I saw you wrote somewhere else above here that most people don't find paying summer jobs after their first year, I didn't know that... so what do people do if they can't make money over the summer? More loans? I don't have money sitting around to be able to not earn any money over the summer. On that note, you said I should get a Washington address by June in case I have to pay summer tuition for an externship, I wasn't aware of that either, and will look into that... is that pretty common then, to do externships for credit during the summer after your first year?

Thanks!

HuskyLaw
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:05 pm

kalydscopeeyes wrote:Thanks, HuskyLaw, for answering my residency questions. I actually had assumed I couldn't work out of state, even for the summer, due to having to have twelve consecutive months of residency. I was even concerned about coming home for winter break and potentially working for my current employer while I am home, and that screwing with my residency status! As it stands, I was planning on moving up sometime in early August, before my Oregon driver's license expires (to avoid having to replace that and get a new WA one immediately thereafter), in hopes that by Fall 2010 I could qualify for the waiver.

I saw you wrote somewhere else above here that most people don't find paying summer jobs after their first year, I didn't know that... so what do people do if they can't make money over the summer? More loans? I don't have money sitting around to be able to not earn any money over the summer. On that note, you said I should get a Washington address by June in case I have to pay summer tuition for an externship, I wasn't aware of that either, and will look into that... is that pretty common then, to do externships for credit during the summer after your first year?

Thanks!


The issue of whether you could leave the state was contentious -- the requirement is to "maintain 12 consecutive months of legal residency" before you qualify for the waiver. As you'll learn in CivPro, legal residency is not the same thing as domicile, nor is it the same thing as physical presence. For a while, the policy was that you could work in any state except the one you came to the UW from. But they just relaxed the standard so that as long as you maintain legal residency in Washington (i.e. keep your drivers license, keep your stuff stored in WA while you're gone, don't register to vote elsewhere, etc.) you will qualify for the waiver. When I mentioned moving up in June if you could, that was in order for you to get your 12-consecutive-months-of-legal-residency clock ticking. If you move in August and take externship credits during your 1L summer, you will not have been here 12 months prior to the start of summer term, and will have to pay nonresident tuition during the summer. If you establish residency here before summer quarter 2009 starts, your 12-month-clock will run out before summer 2010 quarter, thus making you eligible. Make sense?

As far as summer legal employment goes, paid work in the legal field is hard to come by unless you land a "diversity fellowship" at the big firms, or you have prior connections. This is the case at almost all but the very top law schools. Because face it, you won't have much to offer in terms of legal experience, and you'll be jousting with ~500 other 1Ls applying for the same gig with the same skill set. That should change during your 2L summer -- you have a much better chance of getting a paying job then. But as a 1L, you will most likely not be getting paid if you want to gain legal experience. So the workaround for this is doing a "public service externship." Basically, during your nine quarters as a UW student, you can earn up to one full quarter's worth of credit doing an unpaid externship. This can be for a judge, a government office, prosecutor/PD, non-profit, etc. Then you have the opportunity to graduate in March 2012 instead of June 2012. You don't have to do this during your 1L summer, but many people do. Others save it and do an externship during the academic year.

The downside, obviously, is that you are paying tuition to work for free. The upside if you do it during your 1L summer is that you'll be paying for four quarter's worth of tuition at the 2009-10 rates rather than 3 quarters each year with annual tuition increases. You can get financial aid (i.e. more loans) over the summer to offset not being paid.

Of course, you don't *have* to do this -- you can do whatever you want during your summers. Most everyone you'll ask will recommend spending the summer gaining legal experience to add to your resume, though. And nothing's stopping you from working a weekend job or picking up some evening shifts. Or you could spend half the summer doing an externship (earning 6 credits), and the other half working, and then use the other 6 of your available externship credits doing something else during your 2L or 3L years. But if I had to wager a guess, I'd say that some 60-70% of the 1L class are using externship credits this summer, myself included.

Hope this helps!

BenjaminAlan
Posts: 23
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Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby BenjaminAlan » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:07 pm

HuskyLaw wrote:
kalydscopeeyes wrote:Thanks, HuskyLaw, for answering my residency questions. I actually had assumed I couldn't work out of state, even for the summer, due to having to have twelve consecutive months of residency. I was even concerned about coming home for winter break and potentially working for my current employer while I am home, and that screwing with my residency status! As it stands, I was planning on moving up sometime in early August, before my Oregon driver's license expires (to avoid having to replace that and get a new WA one immediately thereafter), in hopes that by Fall 2010 I could qualify for the waiver.

I saw you wrote somewhere else above here that most people don't find paying summer jobs after their first year, I didn't know that... so what do people do if they can't make money over the summer? More loans? I don't have money sitting around to be able to not earn any money over the summer. On that note, you said I should get a Washington address by June in case I have to pay summer tuition for an externship, I wasn't aware of that either, and will look into that... is that pretty common then, to do externships for credit during the summer after your first year?

Thanks!


The issue of whether you could leave the state was contentious -- the requirement is to "maintain 12 consecutive months of legal residency" before you qualify for the waiver. As you'll learn in CivPro, legal residency is not the same thing as domicile, nor is it the same thing as physical presence. For a while, the policy was that you could work in any state except the one you came to the UW from. But they just relaxed the standard so that as long as you maintain legal residency in Washington (i.e. keep your drivers license, keep your stuff stored in WA while you're gone, don't register to vote elsewhere, etc.) you will qualify for the waiver. When I mentioned moving up in June if you could, that was in order for you to get your 12-consecutive-months-of-legal-residency clock ticking. If you move in August and take externship credits during your 1L summer, you will not have been here 12 months prior to the start of summer term, and will have to pay nonresident tuition during the summer. If you establish residency here before summer quarter 2009 starts, your 12-month-clock will run out before summer 2010 quarter, thus making you eligible. Make sense?

As far as summer legal employment goes, paid work in the legal field is hard to come by unless you land a "diversity fellowship" at the big firms, or you have prior connections. This is the case at almost all but the very top law schools. Because face it, you won't have much to offer in terms of legal experience, and you'll be jousting with ~500 other 1Ls applying for the same gig with the same skill set. That should change during your 2L summer -- you have a much better chance of getting a paying job then. But as a 1L, you will most likely not be getting paid if you want to gain legal experience. So the workaround for this is doing a "public service externship." Basically, during your nine quarters as a UW student, you can earn up to one full quarter's worth of credit doing an unpaid externship. This can be for a judge, a government office, prosecutor/PD, non-profit, etc. Then you have the opportunity to graduate in March 2012 instead of June 2012. You don't have to do this during your 1L summer, but many people do. Others save it and do an externship during the academic year.

The downside, obviously, is that you are paying tuition to work for free. The upside if you do it during your 1L summer is that you'll be paying for four quarter's worth of tuition at the 2009-10 rates rather than 3 quarters each year with annual tuition increases. You can get financial aid (i.e. more loans) over the summer to offset not being paid.

Of course, you don't *have* to do this -- you can do whatever you want during your summers. Most everyone you'll ask will recommend spending the summer gaining legal experience to add to your resume, though. And nothing's stopping you from working a weekend job or picking up some evening shifts. Or you could spend half the summer doing an externship (earning 6 credits), and the other half working, and then use the other 6 of your available externship credits doing something else during your 2L or 3L years. But if I had to wager a guess, I'd say that some 60-70% of the 1L class are using externship credits this summer, myself included.

Hope this helps!


I am also making a choice between the UW and UIUC. I am living in seattle but both schools are great options for me. I have a 20K scholarship to UIUC per year, just fyi.

The point about summer employment is significant I think... My impression is that the chances of getting summer paid work would be better from UIUC (I could be wrong about this, but I THINK I heard someone from Illinois say that "most" of their students get paid work--however I dont remember if it was specifically asked about the 1L summer).

I know that is a vague recollection, but its also true that Seattle is one of the smaller legal markets and is very far away from the largest legal markets of NY, Chicago, and DC. UIUC being much closer and more intimate with one of hte largest legal markets in the country it would make sense (to me, from where I stand), that your chances of obtaining a paid summer position would be higher.

Thats just one of many things that could tip the scale. My decision seems to have come down to a litany of such pros/cons on either side. Its gonna be a tough one...

HuskyLaw
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:00 pm

BenjaminAlan wrote:
I am also making a choice between the UW and UIUC. I am living in seattle but both schools are great options for me. I have a 20K scholarship to UIUC per year, just fyi.

The point about summer employment is significant I think... My impression is that the chances of getting summer paid work would be better from UIUC (I could be wrong about this, but I THINK I heard someone from Illinois say that "most" of their students get paid work--however I dont remember if it was specifically asked about the 1L summer).

I know that is a vague recollection, but its also true that Seattle is one of the smaller legal markets and is very far away from the largest legal markets of NY, Chicago, and DC. UIUC being much closer and more intimate with one of hte largest legal markets in the country it would make sense (to me, from where I stand), that your chances of obtaining a paid summer position would be higher.

Thats just one of many things that could tip the scale. My decision seems to have come down to a litany of such pros/cons on either side. Its gonna be a tough one...


Honestly, I would suggest looking at things from a long-term rather than short-term perspective. This is just my opinion, obviously, but I think the issue of whether or not you are likely to get paid for 2.5 months in summer 2010 shouldn't cloud your judgment one way or another about the rest of your 40-year career. If you want to live and work in Chicago after you get your JD, it obviously makes more sense to go to UIUC. If you want to work in the PacNW, choosing UIUC because of the possibility of paid summer employment as a 1L doesn't really pass muster. And look at it this way too -- regardless of whether you're getting paid, what's really important are the networks you're forming withing the professional community, not your 1L summer paycheck or lack thereof. I turned down two (highly) paying jobs in my home state in favor of an unpaid federal judicial externship. Not because I didn't need the money (I do), but because in the long run, federal judicial experience opens more doors.

Seattle *is* a smaller market than Chicago or DC, obviously, but that can work in your favor as well. People know people, and if you're a halfway decent person, they'll be willing to pass your name along. And you have *no idea* how important backdoor-connections are. Like I said before, with the exception of my judicial externship, all of my other job offers (one with the Attorney General's office, one in oil & gas law, and another with a city attorney's office) came through back doors that were opened by my professional mentor, his contacts, or friends-of-friends of someone I met.

Also one thing worth taking into consideration is the prestige of the school in comparison to the other "feeder" schools in that particular legal market. UW is the top law school in the PacNW. That means that all other factors being equal, an employer is more likely to pick a UW student before they pick an equally-qualified, equally-personable student from Seattle, Lewis & Clark, U of O, or Gonzaga. UIUC will trump Loyola, John Marshal, Chicago-Kent, Depaul, NIU, SIU, etc., but you will still fall beneath students at the U of C, Michigan, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. Just something to keep in mind as well.

These are such tough decisions to make -- do you want a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW? Regardless, you're gonna be happy with what you wind up with!

Hope this was helpful!

tvaddicted
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:10 am

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby tvaddicted » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:50 pm

HuskyLaw wrote:
BenjaminAlan wrote:
I am also making a choice between the UW and UIUC. I am living in seattle but both schools are great options for me. I have a 20K scholarship to UIUC per year, just fyi.

The point about summer employment is significant I think... My impression is that the chances of getting summer paid work would be better from UIUC (I could be wrong about this, but I THINK I heard someone from Illinois say that "most" of their students get paid work--however I dont remember if it was specifically asked about the 1L summer).

I know that is a vague recollection, but its also true that Seattle is one of the smaller legal markets and is very far away from the largest legal markets of NY, Chicago, and DC. UIUC being much closer and more intimate with one of hte largest legal markets in the country it would make sense (to me, from where I stand), that your chances of obtaining a paid summer position would be higher.

Thats just one of many things that could tip the scale. My decision seems to have come down to a litany of such pros/cons on either side. Its gonna be a tough one...


Honestly, I would suggest looking at things from a long-term rather than short-term perspective. This is just my opinion, obviously, but I think the issue of whether or not you are likely to get paid for 2.5 months in summer 2010 shouldn't cloud your judgment one way or another about the rest of your 40-year career. If you want to live and work in Chicago after you get your JD, it obviously makes more sense to go to UIUC. If you want to work in the PacNW, choosing UIUC because of the possibility of paid summer employment as a 1L doesn't really pass muster. And look at it this way too -- regardless of whether you're getting paid, what's really important are the networks you're forming withing the professional community, not your 1L summer paycheck or lack thereof. I turned down two (highly) paying jobs in my home state in favor of an unpaid federal judicial externship. Not because I didn't need the money (I do), but because in the long run, federal judicial experience opens more doors.

Seattle *is* a smaller market than Chicago or DC, obviously, but that can work in your favor as well. People know people, and if you're a halfway decent person, they'll be willing to pass your name along. And you have *no idea* how important backdoor-connections are. Like I said before, with the exception of my judicial externship, all of my other job offers (one with the Attorney General's office, one in oil & gas law, and another with a city attorney's office) came through back doors that were opened by my professional mentor, his contacts, or friends-of-friends of someone I met.

Also one thing worth taking into consideration is the prestige of the school in comparison to the other "feeder" schools in that particular legal market. UW is the top law school in the PacNW. That means that all other factors being equal, an employer is more likely to pick a UW student before they pick an equally-qualified, equally-personable student from Seattle, Lewis & Clark, U of O, or Gonzaga. UIUC will trump Loyola, John Marshal, Chicago-Kent, Depaul, NIU, SIU, etc., but you will still fall beneath students at the U of C, Michigan, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. Just something to keep in mind as well.

These are such tough decisions to make -- do you want a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW? Regardless, you're gonna be happy with what you wind up with!

Hope this was helpful!


Thank you so much for your responses...As of right now, I could see myself eventually landing up in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle or Portland, but not rural PacNW), but I am a bit apprehensive about UW (even though it is the best ranked school in the PacNW) because of everything I hear about Seattle and Portland being such small legal markets that are next to impossible to break into unless you have connections or ties to the area or come in from a top 14 school. Your experience obviously speaks to the contrary, but I wonder why many alumns view these two cities as so hard to get jobs in? I know you are only a 1L, but have you heard anything abt the scarcity of legal jobs in the northwest? Or is it all hearsay? One grad went so far as to say that she knew people on law review at UW who graduated at the top of their class and who could not find jobs and had to go down to California and Texas to look. I have also been accepted at BC and BU but have not yet received any financial aid info. from them yet, and I am strongly considering them as well because I like Boston and NYC too. I guess it is all going to come down to my visits. I do not have the time to visit UIUC or Washington and Lee, and I have sort of crossed W and L off my list anyways because I can't stand living in the rural south. Ugh, decisions, decisions. I know I would probably be happiest at UW because I like the PacNW, but I really know no one there and have no connections there, and it would probably be much more expensive because the tuition is going to be hiked yet again for nonresidents. So my gut tells me to go to UW but my rational side tells me that it would be harder to find a job there and that I would be in more debt.

HuskyLaw
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby HuskyLaw » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:18 am

tvaddicted wrote:Thank you so much for your responses...As of right now, I could see myself eventually landing up in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle or Portland, but not rural PacNW), but I am a bit apprehensive about UW (even though it is the best ranked school in the PacNW) because of everything I hear about Seattle and Portland being such small legal markets that are next to impossible to break into unless you have connections or ties to the area or come in from a top 14 school. Your experience obviously speaks to the contrary, but I wonder why many alumns view these two cities as so hard to get jobs in? I know you are only a 1L, but have you heard anything abt the scarcity of legal jobs in the northwest? Or is it all hearsay? One grad went so far as to say that she knew people on law review at UW who graduated at the top of their class and who could not find jobs and had to go down to California and Texas to look. I have also been accepted at BC and BU but have not yet received any financial aid info. from them yet, and I am strongly considering them as well because I like Boston and NYC too. I guess it is all going to come down to my visits. I do not have the time to visit UIUC or Washington and Lee, and I have sort of crossed W and L off my list anyways because I can't stand living in the rural south. Ugh, decisions, decisions. I know I would probably be happiest at UW because I like the PacNW, but I really know no one there and have no connections there, and it would probably be much more expensive because the tuition is going to be hiked yet again for nonresidents. So my gut tells me to go to UW but my rational side tells me that it would be harder to find a job there and that I would be in more debt.


Well, the questions I guess I would ask (and it seems like you have answered) is "where do you want to practice after you graduate, and what do you want to do after you graduate?" Those are questions you're really going to have to address if you're going to not be stuck with a case of buyers remorse no matter where you end up. The reality of your situation (and mine, last year) is that all of the schools you mentioned are top regional schools, but none are really "national." So your ability to get jobs in a specific market is going to have a lot to do with where you go, because none of your other options are going to be a clear-cut better alternative. If you want to practice in Seattle or Portland, you will not be better off going to BC/BU or UIUC. Conversely, if you want to practice in Boston, go to BU/BC, not UW.

Keep in mind that most legal jobs aren't BigLaw jobs, and not everyone will want to work in BigLaw. Sure, if you want to work for a big firm, you're going to have to work your ass off to get that job. That's gonna be the case whether you go to UW or BU. I'm willing to bet that the people who are talking about how the PacNW legal market is so tight are your typical law students: that is, they are 50th percentile students who think "six-figures-or-bust" without really, really crunching the numbers on how much free time a 2,250 billable hour requirement actually leaves you with. They didn't get a job with a name-brand firm, so that translates to "there are no jobs here." Talk to a 50th percentile student at BU or UIUC, and you'll likely get a similar answer.

I dunno, I'm kind of an aberration in that respect. I'm a bit older than the typical 1L, have worked a 9-5 before, and place a high value on having a personal life. I have absolutely no interest in a big firm job, I don't want to work in a major metropolitan area, and I don't want to work more than, say, 50 hours or so per week. I'm perfectly willing to take the salary hit for that. I haven't tried interviewing at Perkins/K&L Gates/Stoel, but I've still managed to be "successful" in the areas that matter to me. So take what I say with a grain of salt, knowing that's the lens I'm viewing law school through. But here's the Bottom Line: you'll get a job, and most likely a very well-paying one (if that's what you're aiming for) upon earning a JD from any of the schools you're considering. Where that job will be will likely hinge on where you wind up going to school, because of the networking you do while a student. When you say you've heard that Seattle & Portland are "next to impossible to break into unless you have connections or ties to the area" -- well, going to school here establishes your ties to the area, and is one of the best ways to begin networking within the legal community here. Same is true for any legal community in any city you decide to go to school at.

If I were in your shoes, I'd ask "where do I most want to spend the next 10-15 years of my life?" (that's how long it'll take to become debt-free to the point that you can do whatever you feel like doing) and go to the law school in that region. You don't have to be chained to an area that long (I, for one, am planning on leaving Seattle the day after I get my JD), but if you are comfortable making your peace with an area for that long, you'll be fine.

Listen to your gut -- it got you this far, didn't it?

tvaddicted
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:10 am

Re: University of Washington 2012

Postby tvaddicted » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:47 am

HuskyLaw wrote:
tvaddicted wrote:Thank you so much for your responses...As of right now, I could see myself eventually landing up in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle or Portland, but not rural PacNW), but I am a bit apprehensive about UW (even though it is the best ranked school in the PacNW) because of everything I hear about Seattle and Portland being such small legal markets that are next to impossible to break into unless you have connections or ties to the area or come in from a top 14 school. Your experience obviously speaks to the contrary, but I wonder why many alumns view these two cities as so hard to get jobs in? I know you are only a 1L, but have you heard anything abt the scarcity of legal jobs in the northwest? Or is it all hearsay? One grad went so far as to say that she knew people on law review at UW who graduated at the top of their class and who could not find jobs and had to go down to California and Texas to look. I have also been accepted at BC and BU but have not yet received any financial aid info. from them yet, and I am strongly considering them as well because I like Boston and NYC too. I guess it is all going to come down to my visits. I do not have the time to visit UIUC or Washington and Lee, and I have sort of crossed W and L off my list anyways because I can't stand living in the rural south. Ugh, decisions, decisions. I know I would probably be happiest at UW because I like the PacNW, but I really know no one there and have no connections there, and it would probably be much more expensive because the tuition is going to be hiked yet again for nonresidents. So my gut tells me to go to UW but my rational side tells me that it would be harder to find a job there and that I would be in more debt.


Well, the questions I guess I would ask (and it seems like you have answered) is "where do you want to practice after you graduate, and what do you want to do after you graduate?" Those are questions you're really going to have to address if you're going to not be stuck with a case of buyers remorse no matter where you end up. The reality of your situation (and mine, last year) is that all of the schools you mentioned are top regional schools, but none are really "national." So your ability to get jobs in a specific market is going to have a lot to do with where you go, because none of your other options are going to be a clear-cut better alternative. If you want to practice in Seattle or Portland, you will not be better off going to BC/BU or UIUC. Conversely, if you want to practice in Boston, go to BU/BC, not UW.

Keep in mind that most legal jobs aren't BigLaw jobs, and not everyone will want to work in BigLaw. Sure, if you want to work for a big firm, you're going to have to work your ass off to get that job. That's gonna be the case whether you go to UW or BU. I'm willing to bet that the people who are talking about how the PacNW legal market is so tight are your typical law students: that is, they are 50th percentile students who think "six-figures-or-bust" without really, really crunching the numbers on how much free time a 2,250 billable hour requirement actually leaves you with. They didn't get a job with a name-brand firm, so that translates to "there are no jobs here." Talk to a 50th percentile student at BU or UIUC, and you'll likely get a similar answer.

I dunno, I'm kind of an aberration in that respect. I'm a bit older than the typical 1L, have worked a 9-5 before, and place a high value on having a personal life. I have absolutely no interest in a big firm job, I don't want to work in a major metropolitan area, and I don't want to work more than, say, 50 hours or so per week. I'm perfectly willing to take the salary hit for that. I haven't tried interviewing at Perkins/K&L Gates/Stoel, but I've still managed to be "successful" in the areas that matter to me. So take what I say with a grain of salt, knowing that's the lens I'm viewing law school through. But here's the Bottom Line: you'll get a job, and most likely a very well-paying one (if that's what you're aiming for) upon earning a JD from any of the schools you're considering. Where that job will be will likely hinge on where you wind up going to school, because of the networking you do while a student. When you say you've heard that Seattle & Portland are "next to impossible to break into unless you have connections or ties to the area" -- well, going to school here establishes your ties to the area, and is one of the best ways to begin networking within the legal community here. Same is true for any legal community in any city you decide to go to school at.

If I were in your shoes, I'd ask "where do I most want to spend the next 10-15 years of my life?" (that's how long it'll take to become debt-free to the point that you can do whatever you feel like doing) and go to the law school in that region. You don't have to be chained to an area that long (I, for one, am planning on leaving Seattle the day after I get my JD), but if you are comfortable making your peace with an area for that long, you'll be fine.

Listen to your gut -- it got you this far, didn't it?


A very insightful response, and it is greatly appreciated!! I certainly do not want to work at Biglaw, but I would be willing to if given the opportunity for a few years just to pay the debt off faster. However, I just talked to a family friend who hires at a biglaw firm and she was telling me how competitive biglaw jobs were. She also said that a lot of people have big egos and have an attitude of entitlement because of the school they went to. It certainly does not seem like the place I want to be. Although I am unsure of the particular field of law I would like to practice in, UW seems like it provides many opportunities to explore different areas and develop an area of focus.




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