Seattle University School of Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
J Mack
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby J Mack » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:56 am

CookNbyTheBooK wrote:Im from the PNW and took the LSAT there, I was accosted by several groups of law students telling me not to go to law school, and I was just minding my business at a table studying before the test.

I dunno, that doesnt seem like a good sign if you want to go there.


-that happens everywhere, it happened to me at stanford, and georgia state. i work at a law firm now and everytime i meet new lawyers and tell them i'm going to law school they say the same thing.

-how was/is the campus though?

-is crime a problem? is the city dog friendly? are professors and administrators willing to meet/help students?

Ymi09
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby Ymi09 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:55 am

From what I understand, the administration and the professors, even the Dean, make themselves available to the students. You would never guess that SU is as large as it is. It seems like a smaller community. Career Services could certainly do more. A lot more. They don't seem to be very well networked. They have a mentor program, which has worked out well, and the professors have been very willing to meet and go over things. They don't seem intimidating or haughty at all. Unfortunately, the school doesn't seem to have a particularly well connected or active alumni organization. (I think the whole U of Puget Sound changeover, messed this up a bit).

The Legal Writing program is well regarded and is, in fact, very good. The academics are strong and most of the students I've met seem to be focused and bright, there's plenty of competitiveness (not overt) and hardworkers. With only two law schools for an entire 200+ mile radius, a lot of smart cookies are going to wind up here by default, unless they travel far from home. That, plus it is the only pt program, attracting people who want law degrees in addtion to their careers in biotech, medicine, aerospace, etc. (Boeing and Microsoft pay tuition for law school). SU has a large non-trad student population, with many over age 30 and many working at least part-time. The daytime student body seems less accomplished, on average, than the part-time student body.

Career services has been very sketchy about graduate hire results. Not so sure they are doing this deliberately. I think mostly, they're just not very organized or proactive. But I would venture to guess that the majority of students at SU are not after BigLaw (I might even say that about UW, too) mainly because it's a smaller legal market and there isn't the same demand or even the same awareness about BigLaw that there is in other, larger cities. It's more about public interest, small firms and government work. But those who want BigLaw, will find they are well prepared, too (getting the firms to notice you, is another matter).

To answer some of your other questions:

People in Seattle are dog crazy. I think there are more dogs here per capita than children. In fact, they seem to respond more to dogs than people.

Crime in general is not a particular issue, and when it does exist, it's usually pegged to gang kids or junkies, (both of which are issues). There is a high rate of car theft, however. From watching the evening news it seems like more crime happens in the 'burbs and rural areas these days than in the city. SU has a very cozy, compact, clean (hey, those Jesuits run a tidy ship) and comfortable campus with well tended and pleasing grounds. It's also fairly secure, eventhough it's very open, and some of the immediate surrounding area is a wee bit dicey at night. If you happen to be Catholic, you can light a candle in the chapel and pray for divine mercy before you take those exams. But even if you aren't a Papist, spending time in the gem of a chapel is very soothing. It's a beautiful building. The University is in a most central location. There are many options for housing around the city, it's very affordable compared to other major cities, and it's pretty easy to get to SU from most neighborhoods. But most of what the city has to offer is within walking distance to the campus (albeit up and down some pretty steep hills).

The library is modern, filled with natural light, lots of windows (an important thing to note in this climate) and always seems to be very quiet, orderly and easy to find a work space. The gym facilities only 2 short blocks away, on the other hand, are soul crushing. They reside in an enormous cement bunker with *no* windows...really, none! With a rat maze of hallways and rooms. It has a lot of space, plenty of equipment and a couple of pools but it's a depressing, windowless, bombshelter of a building. Oh, and sometimes it smells, in a way that only old, depressing linoleum floored cement school buildings can. And if that doesn't get to you, the outdated flourescent lighting certainly will. I feel anxious just describing this place. The track and field are right across the street (and down the block) from the law school building. Better to enjoy sports and exercise in the rain than the crypt, imo.

All and all, it's not an exciting place to study law, very understated...which is how we roll in Seattle in general. Plenty of smart, focused, people but not particularly ambitious ones...and the ones that are don't like to show it. It's part of the culture here. Also, people say it's hard to make friends in Seattle. (the infamous Seattle (n)ice treatment). Maybe law school students are immune to this because of their own special camraderie, but generally speaking...it's hard for anyone over 25 to forge new friendships here...it takes a loooong time to make close friends in Seattle. Maybe that's why they all have dogs.
Last edited by Ymi09 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kimber1028
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby kimber1028 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:02 pm

Thank you so much for this! This has to be one of the most informed, enlightening posts I've seen on the site. I feel like I have a much better mental picture of SU now. I'm happy to read that the Seattle culture doesn't differ much from the Portland one. Curiously, do you happen to know anything about the tax program and how it's regarded? Have you spoken to many students who are interested in practicing in Portland after graduation? Thanks in advance for your responses!

Ymi09
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby Ymi09 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:16 pm

kimber1028,
Beyond Legal Writing, (which also offers some nice scholarships for students who perform at the top of their class each semester) I'm not sure that there is any one program that stands out, other than those dealing with 'social justice'. Better that advice comes from a current student/recent grad rather than me. Although it's a regional school, a few national firms come to OCI. (tech oriented,...looking for IP, Patent law, etc.) I guess, because there are many students who also have solid tech backgrounds and connections here. SU students wind up all over the west coast, but I would imagine that UOregon, Lewis and Clark and even UW,provide enough competition in Oregon that SU wouldn't place at well. I didn't particularly notice BigLaw from Portland area on SU OCI schedule this past fall. More SU grads wind up as associates in BigLaw after starting out somewhere else, and those that do, tend to have important accolades (Law Review, Moot Court, Summa/Magna cum laude, Scholarships, etc.).

Good luck with your pending applications and decisions!

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kimber1028
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby kimber1028 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:45 pm

Thank you for the info and the well wishes!

sigmachiev
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:04 pm

Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby sigmachiev » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:14 pm

First, the imput is much appreciated. A lot of what I'm hearing I've either been suspecting or sort of hinted at by other students. Bless the internet anonymity for some more down-to-Earth answers! Some thoughts though...

1. As for the area, I can speak on this (been in or 15 minutes from Seattle for since I moved here as a very young kid). Having been to San Fran' Tenderloin, it's basically like a diet version of that. Not as bad, but along the same lines and probably the closest place in the country to compare it to. Capitol Hill isn't that big though and the surrounding areas can be pretty tits. Greenlake, Ravenna, Phinney, Queen Ann and Freemont are all places you can live at that are much nicer, relatively young (not as young as Capitol Hill) and not too far away (although I suppose U District and Greenlake would be pushing it).

2. As for Belltown which someone mentioned earlier, it's yuppie central for Seattle and expensive as hell. But it's the premier night life scene in the city if that's important to you.

3. The Seattle (n)ice treatment is a perfect way to put it. People here are content but no one is really bouncing off the walls to be here. From a fun standpoint Seattle can be good but we're basically all just waiting out the rain until June hits. Our summers here are incredible with tons of stuff to do, perfect weather and two big lakes to play on if you're into that. Also if you're a boarder/skier this state is hard to beat. I'd hesitate to say Colorado is better because with Washington you get just as many good mountains and Whistler is five hours north if you hustle.

4. I've visited SU twice now (once for the LSAT and again for their scholarship reception). The building is modern and the campus is nicer and larger than I expected. But I've heard from everyone I've spoken with that the school is very insular and you are around the same people everyday. And the old thought that law school is like high school all over is very much alive here from those people I've talked with.

5. Finally, from what else I've heard about SU, one problem with the curve comes from it being around a B- instead of UW's B+. Not only does B- just look ugly compared to that, but it limits other options (example: you'll be at the upper crust with a B+, but transferring with that looks awkward to other schools). And on that note, whereas a lot of schools lose a fair portion of the top students to higher ranked schools, only a few of those from SU actually peace out. Make of that what you will. For jobs, I was told not to expect a paying gig 1L summer (seems consistent with the rest of what students say), and the goal should be to grab something that gives you some kind of relevant experience.

txraider182
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby txraider182 » Thu May 28, 2009 8:55 pm

I just got accepted into SU as a transfer student from a tier 4 law school. I am top 15% and likely to make law review here. My heart is in public interest/government work. I have always wanted to be in seattle.

Any current/former students have any advice for me on a tough decision?

KIM_SAYS:
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby KIM_SAYS: » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:32 pm

Does anyone know what my chances are with a 3.5 and a horrendous 152 LSAT? Mediocre ECs (mainly journalism and PR experience) with a pretty solid PS. I'm retaking in Dec., but I feel so behind not having any apps in at this point. Any feedback on chances would be much appreciated.

chris0406
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Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:54 pm

Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby chris0406 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:47 pm

Does anyone know the statistics for Seattle U's Part time program? (LSAT score)
I'm planning to take the test in October and apply early.


Thank you!

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honolulu_hopeful
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby honolulu_hopeful » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:37 pm

Plan on attending SU. Married with a kid and trying ot get an idea about housing in the area. Is there any housinbg through SU for family/non-traditional students?
Last edited by honolulu_hopeful on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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atcushman
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby atcushman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:18 pm

honolulu_hopeful wrote:Plan on attending SU. Married with a kid and trying ot get an idea about housing in the area. Is there any housinbg through SU for maily/non-traditional students?


There is no campus housing for law students...I am assuming with a kid you are going to need at least a 1 bedroom? do you have a car? are you looking to live within walking/bus distance?

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honolulu_hopeful
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby honolulu_hopeful » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:22 pm

atcushman wrote:
honolulu_hopeful wrote:Plan on attending SU. Married with a kid and trying ot get an idea about housing in the area. Is there any housinbg through SU for maily/non-traditional students?


There is no campus housing for law students...I am assuming with a kid you are going to need at least a 1 bedroom? do you have a car? are you looking to live within walking/bus distance?


2 bdr. Yes to a car. Driving distance is less of an issue. Use to live just north of Northgate mall. Looking at same area-ish.

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honolulu_hopeful
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby honolulu_hopeful » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:35 pm

Is there a "4-yr plan" similar to what undergrad has for SU? Kind of an anal planner (thank you Navy)?

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atcushman
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby atcushman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:10 pm

honolulu_hopeful wrote:Is there a "4-yr plan" similar to what undergrad has for SU? Kind of an anal planner (thank you Navy)?


not totally sure what your asking...the school is on capital hill im sure you can find something

Are you asking if you can take 4 years to get your jd instead of 3?

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honolulu_hopeful
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby honolulu_hopeful » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:46 am

On the SU site they tell you what classes you take for 1L, and I was wondering if there was any guidance on courses to take during 2L and 3L beyond take electives or a focus area. It just seemed so ala carte that I wasn't sure how topic focused one needs to be when selecting their elective courses.

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atcushman
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby atcushman » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:59 am

gotcha...ya 1L year is pretty much locked in
2L year you have con law and legal writing 2
Evidence prof responsibility and a "skills" course are also required

They have focus areas which give you an idea of classes people in that field may find handy and you get a certificate or something but it dosnt show up on your transcript or diploma and general consensus is employers dont really care at all about if you completed a focus area. One exception is working for prosecutors offices they want to see a commitment to crim law.

As for choosing classes its a long way away but there are several approaches to choosing. Some will say pick classes your interested in, others will say find classes you can get an easy A in, some people say pick classes that will challenge you whatever the fuck that means, the best advice I have heard is to take classes that teach subjects tested on the bar exam (bar prep classes).

The focus areas do provide a good road map but i wouldnt follow them lock step if your are interested in different things.

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honolulu_hopeful
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Re: Seattle University School of Law

Postby honolulu_hopeful » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:34 am

I doubt the school could've answered that any better. Much appreciated. I do intend to do the crime focus.




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