WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

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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Xs20
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Xs20 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:45 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:The whole freaking problem with this system is embodied by the first dude stepping up and asking about our stupid ranking. Appropriately, the dean answered basically by saying that they're focusing on what actually matters, which is jobs.

Care to give us a quick synopsis of what else he said?

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:48 pm

Careful... the 28% number was NLJ 250 data, while the 23% number cited for c/o 2012 earlier was the LST large firm score, aka firms of 100+. They're not the same. We're still probably placing 10% less than pre-ITE, but still a lot better than two or three years ago. And according to Syverud, hiring is up like 10% from this time last year.

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Michael Bluth
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Michael Bluth » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:07 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:The whole freaking problem with this system is embodied by the first dude stepping up and asking about our stupid ranking. Appropriately, the dean answered basically by saying that they're focusing on what actually matters, which is jobs.

As much as we properly pillory the stupid us news rankings, schools care about them because students care about them.


But if we fall in the rankings, the employers flee in DROVES. I heard all the major St. Louis firms are flocking to University of Washington to recruit now. If we dip below Emory, then I bet Bryan Cave sets aside 5 slots for them, too.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:19 pm

I didn't go today (I knew I'd be late and the pizza would be gone), but I went to the student leaders meeting yesterday where he outlined a lot of what he'd say. Now that he's addressed the school, I'll share a few of the highlights:

Employment- Overall, things are looking up. As you guys have already noticed, around 1/4 of the c/o 2012 landed big firms or clerkships, up from the year before. I think he said around 70% of the c/o 2012 is in J.D.-required, full-time, permanent, non-school funded jobs, which is also up from last year. According to Syverud, there's also a decent chunk (probably those in the "JD Advantage" and "Professional" fields) that are in good jobs, I imagine things like business, consulting and tax work. Keep in mind that some of those in the 70% FT/LT/J.D. jobs field are probably still objectively underemployed and doing things they'd rather not be doing, but it's still an improvement from c/o 2011. They talked about how they are still doing a lot for the un/under-employed graduates from last year, and there is some task force committee that meets once a week to try to help people even after graduation. The current data for the 3L class is up 10% in employment over the previous year.

My analysis? Things are getting better on the employment front, and I think they will continue to improve. In my opinion, the smaller class size will help you 0Ls and 1Ls a lot too. But it's still not as high as some of our peers, and with the cost of the school, you better have a good scholly because there is still quite a divide between the haves and the have-nots.


Tuition- Tuition is going up like another 2k. The most suspect thing he said in our meeting yesterday was that keeping tuition lower than our peers is somehow is a bad thing, and he looks at our peer schools tuition and tries to split the difference in our increases. Something about how we're not a market-setter or something, which doesn't make sense to me. It was weird and I didn't buy it, but it is what it is. That said, financial aid dollars are more abundant (see below).


Admissions- Admissions are down, as they are pretty much everywhere. They started out way down here, even more than the national average (which I think is down 30%), but now we're only down 10%. We still have like 10-15 times as many applicants as seats, but it'll be tough to keep your numbers when apps are down like that. But personally, I think we'll be okay, and will probably keep our LSAT median steady.

Because of these concerns, the school is throwing out even more financial aid this year. While tuition is going up, he said he expects financial aid increases to outpace tuition increases for at least this year. Not much solace to those paying sticker (which is just crazy, IMO), but there should be more scholarship money per student than ever before.

It sounds like they're shooting for around 200 1Ls again next year.


Ranking- He and Dean Laybold were reserved in talking about the rankings, but they sounded cautiously optimistic. According to their projections, we should move back up, but USNWR has announced they are changing their algorithm for the rankings. I think they're putting more weight on employment, which should help us, assuming other schools are honest in their reporting. But they didn't want to make any guesses because it's hard to say what will happen.

But to any 0Ls out there reading: rankings, at least in the short term, are worthless. Fluctuations from year to year have no impact on jobs. We fell in the rankings last year and our jobs data is improving; it's not like employers are fleeing because we're 23 instead of 19. So try not to let this influence you one way or the other. Sure, it's nice to be a "Top 20 school," but most people think of GW, WUSTL, Emory, UIUC, BC, BU, even Fordham as "Top 20s" even though they're technically not. This should not be a factor in whether you come here.


Curriculum- The biggest curriculum thing they've done is they've expanded the externship program to allow for greater flexibility in spending semesters off campus. The "Semester in Practice" program will basically allow people to design their own externships in other cities. The school has been discussing it for a while, but it sounds like profs were concerned with the lack of pedagogical control over students if they go all over the place. There are still some kinks to work out, but they finally passed it, and he thinks (and I definitely agree) that this will be great for job hunting. If you want to work in Seattle or San Francisco or Chicago, or wherever, it will help you a lot to be able to set up a program with an agency there, spend a semester there, and network your face off during your 4 months there. I think this is a huge advantage that will help us become more national.

There's also some new international programs and partnerships but my eyes kind of glazed over at that part, so someone else might be better able to speak to that.


Job Reporting- For those of you who don't know, Dean Syverud is the Chair of the ABA Section on Law Schools and has been a huge driver changing ABA job data reporting and in forcing schools to comply with ABA standards. It sounds like there will be a significant auditing system in place to catch people who are reporting suspect job data, much like the IRS auditing tax returns.


That's all I can think of off the top of my head, other people chime in with stuff that I've missed.

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WokeUpInACar
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby WokeUpInACar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:22 pm

Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.

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Unoriginalist
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Unoriginalist » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:28 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.


+1

Looks like a lot of great (or at least improving) news. Thanks for the update!

ETA: any idea when that "semester in practice" program will begin? Does its passing mean that it will start getting rolled out next year?

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hoos89
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:38 pm

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Xs20
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Xs20 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:42 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:44 pm

hoos89 wrote:Did anyone else want to slap that chick?

I'VE GOT SOME QUESTIONS!!
NOBODY ELSE WANTS TO FOLLOW UP MY STUNNING PERFORMANCE? WELL GOOD, BECAUSE I'VE GOT EVEN MORE QUESTIONS

Someone should've W'd her and thrown a shoe

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deebs
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby deebs » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:51 pm

romothesavior wrote: According to Syverud, there's also a decent chunk (probably those in the "JD Advantage" and "Professional" fields) that are in good jobs like consulting and tax work.


Considering that's what I want to do, that's news to me. I've talked to everyone in the CSO trying to ask about people working at accounting firms or consulting firms, and no one in the office had any clue what I was talking about. They forwarded me to the business school and they were also confused that a law student was contacting them, making this quote seem very unlikely. The CSO was able to provide me with one (1) name of an alum at a tax firm or doing tax consulting over the past 4 years. Not to mention that while this was going on, the CSO tried to convince me that a New Jersey state court clerkship would be good for a career in tax. Just wanted to give someone else's point of view.

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:52 pm

Re: job reporting and rankings, Syverud says any school caught lying in an audit will face significant monetary penalties. If any other schools really have been fudging or outright pulling an Illinois, the threat of public ridicule and fines should put a stop to it. If nothing else, I doubt we're going to drop now that the new reporting standards are in place. E.g., we were using them last year while schools like ASU had "99% employment."

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:54 pm

Unoriginalist wrote:
WokeUpInACar wrote:Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.


+1

Looks like a lot of great (or at least improving) news. Thanks for the update!

ETA: any idea when that "semester in practice" program will begin? Does its passing mean that it will start getting rolled out next year?

Improving, but still not great. I don't want anyone to take anything I said too far... this is still a really expensive school and a big investment. The job market still ain't great.

I think it will be implemented next year, though it'll only be for 2Ls and 3Ls like the currently externship/clinical program.

wannabelawstudent
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby wannabelawstudent » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:13 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.

Thanks Romo, this totally makes up for you killing me in mafia.

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danielr
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby danielr » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:21 pm

Well, the information you guys have been providing us 0Ls is most definitely helpful, whether it is ultimately positive or negative.

Regarding increased financial aid for incoming students (I'm guessing you mean scholarships and need grants): are we thinking that the $/student is probably going to be more spread out across the board, or that the school is probably going to spend more money on higher-number applicants and median to lower-number applicants? What I'm asking is, did it sound like money was going to be distributed more evenly across the board (and maybe a bit thinner at the top), or just that they were going to commit even more dollars to more applicants than they have in the past?

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:33 pm

romothesavior wrote:Tuition- Tuition is going up like another 2k. The most suspect thing he said in our meeting yesterday was that keeping tuition lower than our peers is somehow is a bad thing, and he looks at our peer schools tuition and tries to split the difference in our increases. Something about how we're not a market-setter or something, which doesn't make sense to me. It was weird and I didn't buy it, but it is what it is. That said, financial aid dollars are more abundant (see below).


Nice summary. I'll just comment on the above. The way the US News rankings work, raising tuition and then giving that money back through scholarships helps you in the rankings, because it creates more "expenditures per student."

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:44 pm

Michael Bluth wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:The whole freaking problem with this system is embodied by the first dude stepping up and asking about our stupid ranking. Appropriately, the dean answered basically by saying that they're focusing on what actually matters, which is jobs.

As much as we properly pillory the stupid us news rankings, schools care about them because students care about them.


But if we fall in the rankings, the employers flee in DROVES. I heard all the major St. Louis firms are flocking to University of Washington to recruit now. If we dip below Emory, then I bet Bryan Cave sets aside 5 slots for them, too.


DROVES

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hoos89
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:55 pm

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dproduct
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby dproduct » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:18 pm

Xs20 wrote:
WokeUpInACar wrote:Good stuff Romo, thanks a lot man.

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andy261
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby andy261 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:00 am

romothesavior wrote:There's also some new international programs and partnerships but my eyes kind of glazed over at that part, so someone else might be better able to speak to that.

Thanks for the detailed summary!

Can anyone else recap this part? I'd be very interested to hear what they said.

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goldeneye
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby goldeneye » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:06 am

andy261 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:There's also some new international programs and partnerships but my eyes kind of glazed over at that part, so someone else might be better able to speak to that.

Thanks for the detailed summary!

Can anyone else recap this part? I'd be very interested to hear what they said.


I'm not sure I heard much about the international programs, but they mentioned that a new professor was transitioning into that role. They definitely didn't give any new specifics regarding this, but rather with the LLM program, they've had alumni extend into many more countries and they hope to leverage them.

In reality though, international law isn't really a thing and I'm not sure why we push it so much. We do have a good relationship with the Hague apparently but I imagine only a few students ever get this.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:36 am

I always wonder how much money they pour into the World Law Institute. It does get speakers to come here.

Offhand, I do know more than a handful of people that had internships overseas in public interest, etc. I don't know if these lead to permanent jobs, though.

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andy261
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby andy261 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:59 am

I received job data for the few grads that have already passed through the TLP program, it was decent. Wash U probably has the most intriguing international law program outside of the T14. Also Prof. Sadat is pretty big in the public international law field.

I know international law in the U.S. is somewhat lacking, but there are more jobs if you're willing to work outside of the U.S. In my case, I did an exchange program in The Hague during college and am hoping to get an internship through one of my professors there who wrote me a rec and is also a prosecutor at an international tribunal.

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goldeneye
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby goldeneye » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:08 am

I liked the questions regarding employment directed towards the dean. Our St. Louis employment is a problem of the St. Louis market and how insular it is, so I thought that question was a bit unfair. But I do agree that our career services acts more as a backup rather than a primary solution for students.

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hoos89
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:21 am

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Xs20
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Xs20 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:05 am

hoos89 wrote:Most annoying = everything that came out of that one chick's mouth=

Alright, I'm curious what this girl said




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