Any UNC law students?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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jss1100
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Any UNC law students?

Postby jss1100 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:29 am

Any UNC law students/alumni willing to talk about their experiences with the school a little bit?

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:38 am

sure.

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jss1100
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby jss1100 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:53 pm

Cool, Ty. Could you comment a bit about your experience at unc so far in general?

How would you describe your classmates and level of competition?

How about career services and job prospects in general?

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FunkyJD
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby FunkyJD » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:18 pm

jss1100 wrote:Cool, Ty. Could you comment a bit about your experience at unc so far in general?

How would you describe your classmates and level of competition?

How about career services and job prospects in general?


+1, especially about the career services part.

Also, is there a general sense in your class that the UNC law degree is portable to DC, or only with a lot of effort? What's the UNC Law network like in DC?

And can you also comment about the facilities (classroom, law library).

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:01 pm

jss1100 wrote:Cool, Ty. Could you comment a bit about your experience at unc so far in general?

How would you describe your classmates and level of competition?

How about career services and job prospects in general?



Classmates are pretty decent. Not many people at UNC seem to get caught up in the typical law school competition to be at the top of the class. A large percentage of UNC students are here because its affordable, good reputation and they are interested in public interest work. So I think that cuts down on a lot of the unpleasantness that you might see at other schools.

Career services is much improved from a few years ago. I don't have any particular complaints or praises about them, although I haven't used their services a whole lot to get the jobs I've landed.

Job prospects. Hmm. I think in general they are decent coming out of UNC. You do very well in state and depending on your grades/pedigree you're competitive in D.C., Atlanta, New York, and most of the rest of the southeast. That said, the current economy has taken a significant toll on job placement just as it has many similarly situated schools.

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:15 pm

FunkyJD wrote:+1, especially about the career services part.

Also, is there a general sense in your class that the UNC law degree is portable to DC, or only with a lot of effort? What's the UNC Law network like in DC?

And can you also comment about the facilities (classroom, law library).


I definitely feel like the UNC degree is portable to D.C. I was up there for the summer last year -- as were a decent number of my classmates. The alumni functions up there were well attended and I met attorneys working in all sorts of fields, from large firms to government to public interest. UNC law isn't going to guarantee you the ability to get a job in D.C., but it's not going to be some black mark on your resume that keeps you from getting a good job either.

The facilities are pretty blah. The school is a bit cramped since they've increased the class size and expanded the faculty in the last couple of years. Also, the main building was put up in the 60s and has started having some maintenance issues, like when a brick facade cracked in 2007 and forced the school to close several classrooms for three months. But everything is adequate. The library has everything you need and is well used. As an in-state student, I'm happy with a less-than-stellar building in return for the relatively low tuition. Also, there are plans in the works to build a modern facility at a new satellite campus. Construction was supposed to start this year, but everything appears to be on hold because of the economy.

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:57 am

Thanks for taking questions. I will be visiting UNC in 2 weeks, where do law students usually find housing?


Also, are the exams handwritten or typed?

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:58 am

eye wrote:Thanks for taking questions. I will be visiting UNC in 2 weeks, where do law students usually find housing?


Also, are the exams handwritten or typed?


A lot of grad students, and law students in particular, live in Glen Lennox. You'll also find law students scattered around places like Southern Village, Meadowmont, and any of the various apartment complexes in town. A good number choose to live in Southern Durham at some of the apartment complexes off 54.

Exams are typically typed. You always have the option to write by hand, but few people do.

blahblewblah
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby blahblewblah » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:10 pm

.
Last edited by blahblewblah on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:50 pm

What factors did it come down to when choosing this school over others?

How has your overall experience been with UNC law?

What do you know now that you wish you would have known when starting your first year?

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:32 pm

blahblewblah wrote:How were OCI for 2Ls this year? About where in the class do you need to be to get Raleigh or Charlotte "biglaw"? Any sense of the market starting salary for these positions?


OCI was rough this year. The number of firms that came was much smaller than normal. Things should be better by the time the class of 2013 hits OCI, but there are obviously no guarantees.

This year, to get the Raleigh or Charlotte big firms you needed to be at a minimum in the top third and probably higher depending on your other credentials. In years past I think it dipped closer to top half, but I'm not sure.

Market for the large regional firms and big law firms with offices in the Carolinas is $130,000. You can double check that on NALP if you're interested.

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:41 pm

eye wrote:What factors did it come down to when choosing this school over others?


Cost was the biggest. Compared to my other options, UNC was considerably cheaper. Also I was already familiar with the area and had friends and family here, so that made it easier. The last was that while I wasn't sure when I started law school if I wanted to stay in North Carolina post-grad, I knew that I wanted to at least be somewhere between Baltimore and Charlotte. I felt like UNC would be a strong enough name to make getting jobs in any of the cities in that region realistic.

eye wrote:How has your overall experience been with UNC law?


It has been pretty good so far. I've made some good friends. Most of the professors I've had have been excellent and a few of them have been down right inspiring. I've had plenty of opportunities to get involved in things outside the classroom that interest.

eye wrote:What do you know now that you wish you would have known when starting your first year?


How useless study groups are for me. I wasted a lot of time my first semester in study groups. I'm sure they're great for most people, but not me. A lot of the first semester is figuring out what works for you and what doesn't since everybody learns a little differently.

blahblewblah
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby blahblewblah » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:14 pm

What is your sense of UNC vs. Duke vs. UVa for staying in NC?

Thanks.

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:10 pm

blahblewblah wrote:What is your sense of UNC vs. Duke vs. UVa for staying in NC?

Thanks.


UNC law -- perhaps obviously -- has the biggest alumni network in the state and the alumni are extremely supportive of fellow Tar Heels. That's a major factor in its favor.

I think if you're coming from Duke or UVa into the N.C. legal market then it's helpful to have some additional ties to the state, such as being from here or at least having gone to one of the universities here for undergrad.

Personally, I'm not sold on the notion that the extra tuition cash for Duke or UVa is worth it if you know you want to work in the state. If scholarships reduce that difference, then it's probably worth going to the higher ranked school for the greater portability nationally. You may change your mind on wanting to work in N.C.

Between Duke and UVa, I don't know if there's a big difference as far as getting jobs here. I've met more Duke lawyers and assume it has a bigger network in state, but I also assume Virginia grads can do well here. Obviously Duke is going to give you greater opportunities during the school year to network locally, but Charlottesville isn't that far away.

All that's coming from a Tar Heel who didn't apply to Duke and didn't get in off the waitlist at UVa, for what it's worth.

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:16 pm

How big are the sections 1L?

I know that UNC is known for its great professors, but are there any we would be better off avoiding?

jle
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby jle » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:16 pm

I am a 1L at UNC and can echo TarHeel 11's comments regarding the collegiality of the student body. For my first semester, I have two large sections of 85 each (i.e. my college as a group), a small section of 30 and a legal writing section of 45. This semester, I have three sections of 85 and a legal writing section of 17.

As far as portability, I am having very few problems searching outside of the east coast/southeast (even including some firms), however you need to perform your own legwork and show connections to the area.

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:53 pm

eye wrote:I know that UNC is known for its great professors, but are there any we would be better off avoiding?


There are definitely some to avoid, but I'm not going to complain about anyone on a message board. As a first year, you have minimal control over your schedule. So by the time you get a chance to actively avoid professors, you'll have had a chance to talk with second and third year students about which profs they liked and which ones they didn't.

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:33 am

TarHeel11 wrote:
There are definitely some to avoid, but I'm not going to complain about anyone on a message board.


Noted.

Can any of you comment on the social scene at UNC Law. What are law students doing when they're not studying law? Also are there noticeable cliques or does everyone kind of stick together?

Thanks for all the helpful answers so far and nice of you to join jle.

laughingberries
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby laughingberries » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:42 am

In regards to the quality of life, do people from the law school tend to hang out together and socialize much outside of class, or does everyone go their own way for their (limited) down town?

What is the city of Chapel Hill like in general? I'm from the Seattle area, and plan to visit UNC before making my deposit, but what can I expect of the area? Is there a descent bar scene to blow off steam on weekends? Are there local farmers markets? What is there locally in terms of hiking/camping/backpacking for long weekends?

What does the student body at UNC generally look like? I'm very excited to hear so much about how collegiate everyone... law school will be stressful enough without being in a classroom full of gunners! Do most students live alone/do roomates? Are most of the students still single or are many married with kids, etc?

thanks for all the advice so far!

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:38 am

laughingberries wrote:In regards to the quality of life, do people from the law school tend to hang out together and socialize much outside of class, or does everyone go their own way for their (limited) down town?
There's a good mix of both. Some of us are less social or have families, other stuff going on and don't get out as much. But for the most part, law school people tend to socialize with each other.

What is the city of Chapel Hill like in general? I'm from the Seattle area, and plan to visit UNC before making my deposit, but what can I expect of the area?
Chapel Hill is primarily a college town, almost everything is geared toward the university. So you get a lot of what you would expect in any other big college town. Chapel Hill and Carrboro are the most liberal/progressive towns in N.C. and among the most liberal/progressive in the South. It also serves as an upper-class suburb for Durham/RTP and to a lesser extent Raleigh, so if you get away from downtown it feels very suburban.

Is there a descent bar scene to blow off steam on weekends?
There are a ton of bars in Chapel Hill and there are ones that cater to all sorts of different crowds.

Are there local farmers markets?
YES! We have a couple of great farmers markets in the area. There's also an awesome co-op grocery store (Weaver Street) in Carrboro and people are into community supported agriculture if you're looking for that sort of thing.

What is there locally in terms of hiking/camping/backpacking for long weekends?
Hiking locally is a little bit limited, but you've got some good trails at Duke Forest, Eno River State Park, Jordan Lake and a few other places. As far as long weekend trips there is a ton of great stuff within a half-day drive: It ranges from primitive camping on uninhabited islands on the Outer Banks, to hiking the Appalachian Trail or the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. You're a two and a half to five hour drive from the mountains and two and a half to five hour drive from the coast. In the Piedmont (the flat area between) there are also some nice areas to hike/camp like the Uwharrie.

Do most students live alone/do roomates? Are most of the students still single or are many married with kids, etc?
A lot of people have roommates, but plenty live alone too. I would guess maybe a third are married.

thanks for all the advice so far!

blahblewblah
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby blahblewblah » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:39 am

Is LRW graded or pass/fail?

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:29 pm

Is it true that grades take forever to come in? I fear this might be a drawback when looking for the 1L summer gig.

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eye
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby eye » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:30 pm

blahblewblah wrote:Is LRW graded or pass/fail?


pass/fail according to the schools website.

laughingberries
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby laughingberries » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:16 pm

do i have to run parallels on my mac to use the testing software?

(between my hiking/farmers market/mac questions, its' pretty obvious i'm from the northwest :lol: )

TarHeel11
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Re: Any UNC law students?

Postby TarHeel11 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:57 am

blahblewblah wrote:Is LRW graded or pass/fail?

First semester is a 1 hour pass/fail. Second semester is a 3 hour graded class but there's no curve.

eye wrote:Is it true that grades take forever to come in? I fear this might be a drawback when looking for the 1L summer gig.

Yes, it's true. Most people aren't hurt by how slow they are to come in. Either you're applying to places before grades come in -- so they're not making a decision on that -- or your grades get in by the time it matters (Spring OCI). My small section got screwed, though, during my first year because our prof didn't turn in grades until early March, so we did not have them for Spring OCI.




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