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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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:16 pm

Peg wrote:How do WUSTL's job prospects within St Louis compare with the lesser-known St Louis University? I ask this because my friend goes to SLU, and he says that WUSTL has better placement in Chicago but SLU has much better placement in St Louis.

And besides placement, how do you feel the students, profs and opportunities compare at the two schools?

There is this persistent myth that WUSTL students don't find jobs in STL. Considering STL is our second largest market (according to the CSO), I'd say there is little truth to it.

As far as comparing WUSTL to SLU, you have to keep in mind that there is a lot of self-selection going on. SLU students stay in STL because they are usually from STL or can't find work in other cities. It just isn't a national or even regional school... it is pretty much a St. Louis school. On the other hand, WUSTL students usually disperse a lot more than SLU students. I'd say the vast majority of my classmates would prefer to work in another city. I'd say this has its pros and cons. On the pro side, I am glad to be competing against fewer people who want to be in St. Louis long term. However, I do think employers are a bit skeptical of WUSTL students, especially those who are not from St. Louis or the midwest in general. With all things being equal, however, I think WUSTL is a much better school for landing in St. Louis if that is what you want to do.

I know someone who picked SLU over WUSTL because she had a full-ride at SLU and was looking at sticker at WUSTL. I think this was the right decision for her since she is from St. Louis, and I would never recommend WUSTL at sticker because it is a really expensive and risky proposition ITE. I came here because I got a good scholarship, I'm not set on biglaw, and I want to practice in St. Louis or the midwest generally. For people in a similar situation, I think WUSTL can be a great choice. I am glad I came here and I feel like it will be able to get me where I want to be.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:24 pm

thexfactor wrote:Like most midWASTERN cities they love protecting their own turf and have an inferiority complex.. IE they want people who are from the area because they think (and rightfully so) that you will leave at the first chance...

I understand you have a lot of frustration right now and I agree with a lot of your post, but I think we could all go without unwarranted the digs at the Midwest. Believe it or not, a lot of people love this region, including myself. I think the uppity New York/Florida/California crowd heaps enough unwarranted criticism on the Midwest without having to hear about it on the interwebz, so lets try to keep this thread on the topic.

miamiman
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby miamiman » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:25 pm

How long before you transfer to Georgetown?

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motedust
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby motedust » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:33 am

Just jumping in real quick Romo if you don't mind.

(1) There are definitely some cliques but it's easy to mingle when out at bar review or happy hour.

(2) I do not have a vehicle and live in CWE about a 6 minute metro ride to school. But seriously a ton of kids live in CWE and I get a ride to school and back often from 2Ls and 1Ls. It has definitely not hindered my social life as most of my friends do live within walking decision and clubs and bars are close enough to cab. Might have to cut it down soon actually haha.

(3) I hosted a happy hour (which are seriously amazing) and pointed some professors in the direction of the Jim and the riesling.

(4) I know several 2Ls who have accepted offers for summer (one V15 in NY) and some that have been gone constantly for callbacks.

shemori
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby shemori » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:59 pm

Do you think someone from new York can adjust well to St. Louis?

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Jack Smirks
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:03 pm

What's the focus like on public interest at WUSTL? What's their reputation like for landing decent public interest jobs and 2L gigs?

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180orbust
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby 180orbust » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:51 pm

shemori wrote:Do you think someone from new York can adjust well to St. Louis?

Not really. The world is a smaller place when you're in St. Louis. That's a tough adjustment for a lot of people, especially if you're not planning on sticking around (and thus have less incentive to truly understand the culture and lifestyle, STL's redeeming qualities). If you're from NY and intend to return there, you should probably try to go to Fordham instead, unless they give you something near a full ride.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:04 pm

180orbust wrote:
shemori wrote:Do you think someone from new York can adjust well to St. Louis?

Not really. The world is a smaller place when you're in St. Louis. That's a tough adjustment for a lot of people, especially if you're not planning on sticking around (and thus have less incentive to truly understand the culture and lifestyle, STL's redeeming qualities). If you're from NY and intend to return there, you should probably try to go to Fordham instead, unless they give you something near a full ride.

Romothesavior, J. concurring in part and dissenting in part.

I agree that you should take Fordham if you want to get back to NYC. Getting back to NYC is definitely doable if you're not from here, and I know a lot of people who are looking to wind up in NYC (both in my class and upperclassmen). Overall though, Fordham is definitely the better option if you want NYC. Now if you want to have some flexibility in where you end up and you don't mind being in the Midwest after graduation, I'd take WUSTL over Fordham for sure.

As far as culture and lifestyle, I don't think you'd have a problem adjusting. St. Louis is not Chicago or New York, but it also isn't Des Moines, Iowa either. Everyone I have met here seems to be enjoying St. Louis and WUSTL. A lot of them are quick to admit they wouldn't want to settle down here, but I do think people adjust pretty well. (The Florida crowd is already moaning about the "cold" 60 degree weather, but you obviously wouldn't have trouble with that.) I have friends from New York, California, Boston, Florida, etc. and they're all enjoying themselves quite a bit. STL isn't glitzy or glamorous, but there are things to do.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:11 pm

naterj wrote:What's the focus like on public interest at WUSTL? What's their reputation like for landing decent public interest jobs and 2L gigs?

We have a lot of people who want to do PI work, that's for sure. Like I said before, I can't speak too well to the job situation at Wash U since I'm not going through it yet, but I think one of our strengths for people interested in PI are our clinics. We have a lot of clinics and they seem to be well-funded and strongly encouraged.

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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby Oban » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:37 am

St. Louis is small and boring compared to NYC, but it's definitely a place you can spend 3 years in school and be happy. I was skeptical at first, but I've found my scene here, which is important because im into a lot of things that few of my friends at the law school are, so it's helped me be happy both inside and outside of school. As long as you don't have Island Sydrome you'll be fine, now about staying here forever? I don't think so, but i would even be happy working here for a few years out of school.

IMO you should approach choosing a school a little differently than college. In college you are going more for the enivironment and not the job prospects. It's the exact opposite for lawl school.

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soccerfreak
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:19 am

Thanks a lot for doing this, very helpful as I have similar numbers ( 167/3.8 ) and am planning on living in Saint Louis (I'm from here originally).

What kind of $$ did they offer you?

Where relative to campus do most students live?

I've heard a lot living in Stl about the extremely competitive nature of the undergrad. What is the law school environment relative to their undergrad, as well as compared to other law schools?

Have you heard anything about clerkship placement? I am wondering if proximity to the district courts in Stl give it a boost.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:23 am

soccerfreak wrote:Thanks a lot for doing this, very helpful as I have similar numbers (167/3.8) and am planning on living in Saint Louis (I'm from here originally).

What kind of $$ did they offer you?

Where relative to campus do most students live?

I've heard a lot living in Stl about the extremely competitive nature of the undergrad. What is the law school environment relative to their undergrad, as well as compared to other law schools?


I got 25k per year, which is about standard for my numbers. You're probably looking at similar (perhaps a bit less with the lower LSAT, depends on this year's incoming class and other factors).

Most law students either live in Central West End or along the Loop. I live right off the Loop in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood. A few others live in Clayton or south of campus, but most are in the CWE or near Delmar.

I think the law school environment is pretty good. I haven't noticed any hyper-competitiveness and I think most people are laid back. You'll have a few bad apples in every bunch, but that's true in anything in life I suppose. I enjoy the majority of my classmates and I think most people like to kick back and have a good time throughout the semester.

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soccerfreak
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:33 am

did you visit other schools? how did the campuses compare to each other?

also, what high school did you go to?
/joking

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thexfactor
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby thexfactor » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:32 am

hey im at WUSTL. if you are trying to put yourself in the best position to get a job, I would go to a T14 or ucla/usc/vandy/texas.

I like the classes and my friends here. People are generally nice and sociable. The library is AWSOME. However, in my opinion, wust's placement level in the same league as bc/bu/fordham/gw. Strong regional school with some national overlap. The only difference is that Wustl doesn't really have a big home market. It is a double edged sword. Take a look at Cleveland or Pittsburgh, they have more middle/big size firms than STL. So keep that in mind.


Outside the top 18, I would choose the school in the area that you want to practice. Wustl does pretty well in KC and STL for people who do well and have some connections to the area. The chicago market is cess pool right now. THere was a report of NALP SA positions being down from a high of 900 in 07 to around 290 or so last year. In this economy, the school that you go to matters even more than ever.

Just be careful. Dont just assume that you can get a position in Chicago if you go to WUSTL. With that being said, I def thing WUSTL will overtake one or 2 of the t18 schools. The school has a lot of money and isn't afraid to use it. However, the problem is that the extra prestige prob woudln't help you get your first job.

Good luck

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:12 am

soccerfreak wrote:did you visit other schools? how did the campuses compare to each other?

also, what high school did you go to?
/joking


In terms of campuses, WUSTL's blew the others away. I visited schools that are generally considered top campuses (Vandy and Michigan and a few others) and I thought WUSTL had the best.

As far as high schools, I went to the most awesome (awesomest?) high school in Illinois.

I'll also throw in that I generally agree with xfactor. I'm only a 1L so I'm not quite as down on things as he is, but I can understand the sentiment. I'm freaking out quite a bit right now too and I'm nervous about employment. Before you attend WUSTL (or law school at all), people need to seriously investigate the job market, do some soul-searching, and make sure this is what you want to do with your life. Also think about where you want to practice and what you want to do. WUSTL is a great school, but is not for everyone, and people should do their research before committing to go here (or anywhere).

whymeohgodno
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby whymeohgodno » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:47 am

I hope everyone this cycle withdraws from Cornell like you did.

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:10 pm

Where have I been for this entire thread :|

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kaftka juice
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby kaftka juice » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:31 pm

I'm not interested in biglaw and the idea of getting some $$ really attracts me to WUSTL. What are people who have median grades getting? I'm guessing mid/small law? There's a ton of doom and gloom on TLS but it is hard to tell if that's just with biglaw or not.

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Grizz
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby Grizz » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:11 pm

kaftka juice wrote:I'm not interested in biglaw and the idea of getting some $$ really attracts me to WUSTL. What are people who have median grades getting? I'm guessing mid/small law? There's a ton of doom and gloom on TLS but it is hard to tell if that's just with biglaw or not.


Nope. It's doom and gloom in re everything.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:46 am

kaftka juice wrote:I'm not interested in biglaw and the idea of getting some $$ really attracts me to WUSTL. What are people who have median grades getting? I'm guessing mid/small law? There's a ton of doom and gloom on TLS but it is hard to tell if that's just with biglaw or not.


It is hard to tell because it is still early. Big law hiring is early (like August/September) but most other places hire later in the game. With that said, I know there are a lot of 3Ls still unemployed and actively seeking jobs, as I'm sure there are at any other school outside of the top few schools. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my OP, I just don't have a lot of insight into employment yet since I'm still just a 1L.

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beachbum
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby beachbum » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:19 am

Any updated thoughts and impressions? With a few months in the books now, would you still make the decision to come to WUSTL over Vandy/Illinois/Cornell? Do you all ever interact with SLU law?

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:29 am

beachbum wrote:Any updated thoughts and impressions? With a few months in the books now, would you still make the decision to come to WUSTL over Vandy/Illinois/Cornell? Do you all ever interact with SLU law?


It is difficult to say at this point. I try not to think about "what ifs" and just focus on the task at hand (aka rocking finals and popping bottles of champagne at Thompson Coburn or something). I definitely don't regret turning down Cornell, no matter what people on TLS say. I think maybe I was a little short-sighted in turning down Illinois and I dunno what I was thinking about with Vandy. But I really do want to practice in St. Louis, and I think there was no better school for me to accomplish that than here. I think WUSTL was a good compromise of my different priorities (location/cost/rank/job prospects). And finally, I really love WUSTL, my professors, the city, and my friends here, and I think there is something to be said for being happy.

As for SLU, I was just studying with a lovely lady from SLU today actually. Her and I have gotten to be good friends and we study together about once a week. We went to SLU for to study last weekend and it was the first time I had been in their law building. My friends an I also drink at Humphrey's and the Library Annex once in a while, which seem to be pretty big SLU hangouts. Beyond that, sometimes there are events that involve SLU students, like speaker series and things like that.

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Grizz
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby Grizz » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:44 am

romothesavior wrote:As for SLU, I was just studying with a lovely lady from SLU today actually. Her and I have gotten to be good friends and we study together about once a week.


You poking her? Feel free to PM.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:42 pm

I know all 0Ls only want to hear about jobs, but 1Ls really have no idea until they go through OCI themselves.

But I can say that the list of firms that still OCI here after the economic crash come from all around the nation. WUSTL is more national than it gets credit for. It doesn't get as many national firms as the T14, but if you go here and you do reasonably well (top 33%) you will have a shot (it's definitely not guaranteed ITE) in any region of the country you want, provided you can convince firms that you have a reason to want to stay there. There's still a handful of NY firms, DC firms, CA firms, and TX firms to chose from. There's even multiple firms from OR, WA, FL, ATL, and Boston. There's two from CO, quite a few from Milwaukee, and then there's a handful of midlaw firms from the more medium-sized cities around the southern Midwest...a lot from KY, IN, TN, etc. And of course there's a bunch from Chicago.

But you have to do well, and you can't slack off.

With that said, life here is pretty enjoyable, and St. Louis is really cheap for as big of a city as it is. And the campus is absolutely beautiful. People here (both at WUSTL and the city in general) are noticeably super-friendly, and the chicks around town think WUSTL is like Harvard or something. It's pretty easy to get some numbers if you go to WUSTL law. I'd much rather be here (if you simply count the city alone) than in South Bend, Urbana-Champaign, Iowa City, Nashville, Charlottesville, Durham, Ithaca, Atlanta, etc. It's not a booming cosmopolitan metropolis, but it holds its own in having fun things to do: TONS of museums, Forest Park (right next to campus), three major professional sports teams (well, two and a half, considering the Rams), some beautiful theaters, and enough of a nightlife to keep a law student busy and not bored. You could also double your living expenses by living in DC, Chicago, NY, LA, etc...but you should be asking yourself, "Is it really worth it to take out an extra $10,000 in loans per year to live in a city like that while I am a law student?" For some people, it might be.

Job-prospect-wise, though, it's pretty comparable with the other schools ranked between 19 and 25. It's more similar to this group than it is to the group ranked 15-18, although WUSTL is more national than the other, similarly-ranked Midwestern schools like Minnesota and Illinois. But it's a pretty nice place to live.

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beachbum
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Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby beachbum » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:48 pm

JCougar wrote:I know all 0Ls only want to hear about jobs, but 1Ls really have no idea until they go through OCI themselves.

But I can say that the list of firms that still OCI here after the economic crash come from all around the nation. WUSTL is more national than it gets credit for. It doesn't get as many national firms as the T14, but if you go here and you do reasonably well (top 33%) you will have a shot (it's definitely not guaranteed ITE) in any region of the country you want, provided you can convince firms that you have a reason to want to stay there. There's still a handful of NY firms, DC firms, CA firms, and TX firms to chose from. There's even multiple firms from OR, WA, FL, ATL, and Boston. There's two from CO, quite a few from Milwaukee, and then there's a handful of midlaw firms from the more medium-sized cities around the southern Midwest...a lot from KY, IN, TN, etc. And of course there's a bunch from Chicago.

But you have to do well, and you can't slack off.

With that said, life here is pretty enjoyable, and St. Louis is really cheap for as big of a city as it is. And the campus is absolutely beautiful. People here (both at WUSTL and the city in general) are noticeably super-friendly, and the chicks around town think WUSTL is like Harvard or something. It's pretty easy to get some numbers if you go to WUSTL law. I'd much rather be here (if you simply count the city alone) than in South Bend, Urbana-Champaign, Iowa City, Nashville, Charlottesville, Durham, Ithaca, Atlanta, etc. It's not a booming cosmopolitan metropolis, but it holds its own in having fun things to do: TONS of museums, Forest Park (right next to campus), three major professional sports teams (well, two and a half, considering the Rams), some beautiful theaters, and enough of a nightlife to keep a law student busy and not bored. You could also double your living expenses by living in DC, Chicago, NY, LA, etc...but you should be asking yourself, "Is it really worth it to take out an extra $10,000 in loans per year to live in a city like that while I am a law student?" For some people, it might be.

Job-prospect-wise, though, it's pretty comparable with the other schools ranked between 19 and 25. It's more similar to this group than it is to the group ranked 15-18, although WUSTL is more national than the other, similarly-ranked Midwestern schools like Minnesota and Illinois. But it's a pretty nice place to live.


Awesome post, thanks. Also, egregious anti-Rams trolling (first place, WOO WOOOOO!).




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