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.