George Mason 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.
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sky7
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby sky7 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:16 pm

If you look at BigLaw placement, it wins hands down. In order to get BigLaw from Mason, it looks like you need about top 15 percent (maybe top 25 if you're IP). Be top 50% in your class at GW and you'll be fine.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889529

Furthermore, judicial clerkships are pretty common coming from GW, as well as the potential for academia. You're fighting an uphill battle from both schools if you want to teach, but you have a much better shot from GW.

Furthermore, I was getting the feeling that Mason was a real practitioner's school. That's good on one end, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. I hear GW offers a good mix of theoretical thought and practice, and isn't so overwhelming to one side.

I have a really stable, awesome job right now, and I'll be going evenings to law school. I'm really going for the sake of learning about interesting stuff, and maybe opening myself up to new career opportunites. I don't feel the need to go to a "practitioner's" school.

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RoughRider
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby RoughRider » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:17 pm

reidmacharg wrote:Wow, why Mason over GW? Cost?


I haven't been accepted to GW yet, but if I do get accepted and I decide to attend Mason over GW, the main reason will be cost. I have a family and my wife doesn't make tons of $, so I would have a hard time going into uber-debt. On the other hand, I really liked GW when I visited last week (the school, the location, the opportunities, etc.). I was actually surprised as they don't get a lot of love on these boards at times.

If I don't get accepted, I'm almost positive that I'll be attending Mason (unless a miracle happens and I get off the UVA waitlist).

reidmacharg
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:30 pm

So does anyone feel really good about their decision to go to GMU? If so, tell me about it.

reidmacharg
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Tue May 13, 2008 6:41 pm

sky7 wrote:If you look at BigLaw placement, it wins hands down. In order to get BigLaw from Mason, it looks like you need about top 15 percent (maybe top 25 if you're IP). Be top 50% in your class at GW and you'll be fine.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889529

Furthermore, judicial clerkships are pretty common coming from GW, as well as the potential for academia. You're fighting an uphill battle from both schools if you want to teach, but you have a much better shot from GW.

Furthermore, I was getting the feeling that Mason was a real practitioner's school. That's good on one end, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. I hear GW offers a good mix of theoretical thought and practice, and isn't so overwhelming to one side.

I have a really stable, awesome job right now, and I'll be going evenings to law school. I'm really going for the sake of learning about interesting stuff, and maybe opening myself up to new career opportunites. I don't feel the need to go to a "practitioner's" school.




Hmmmm, I think you're giving GW too much credit. Everything I've read says top third, and from what I understand there's a world of difference between being in the top half and the top third.

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sky7
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby sky7 » Wed May 14, 2008 8:34 am

So the link didn't work for you? It's all there.

It's not rocket science. BigLaw percentage + 10-15 percent for clerkships/governemnt = 50%+

Furthermore, I happen to know several individuals outside of the top 35 percent who had several choices regarding BigLaw.

I'm not sure what else I can say to prove it to you, you'll either believe me or you won't.

Dasan1
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby Dasan1 » Mon May 19, 2008 6:53 pm

A LOT of people that get biglaw from GW are IP. i know for a fact its top 1/3 for non-IP biglaw from GW. even then, there are people i know who are top 1/3 who didn't get biglaw from GW. there are no guarantees outside of the T14.

shoebox
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby shoebox » Tue May 27, 2008 2:58 pm

GW is MUCH more expensive. If you're feel like you will finish in the top 25%-40% of your class, GW is probably a good investment (GMU top 25% does well from my experience). However, the top and bottom of GMU's class will have substantially less debt and will be in similar employment situations.

reidmacharg
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Tue May 27, 2008 3:05 pm

...

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blackacre
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby blackacre » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:49 am

Anyone have information on George Mason? I hear they have good placement in NoVa. How is the law taught with an economic slant?

reidmacharg
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:10 pm

I just got my class schedule, and for the first semester of my 1L, I'm taking a class called Economic Foundations- Legal Studies.

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yalie10
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby yalie10 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:15 pm

Mason places quite well in D.C. and extremely well in Northern Virginia. We have gained a very strong reputation in the Northern Virginia area and because we have a Virginia Circuit judge on the faculty with immense connections in the area, if you sign up for one of the clinics, you're basically guaranteed a job at a Northern VA firm. For a big law job in D.C. top 15% should get you in. I have heard that OCI is really only useful for students in the top 15% of the class and if you're below that you're basically on your own. NYC is a complete crapshoot. Only about 3% of GMU students go to NYC. To give you an idea of how poor the options are in NYC, I was told by the head of career services that I "should have several good options in New York City" being ranked 1/252 my class with a 3.95 GPA. GWU is clearly superior for both D.C. jobs and especially NYC jobs. It has a national reputation GMU just doesn't have. However, it's true that GMU is on the rise. In 3-4 years we've moved 40 places in USNWR and we're likely to keep rising.

We have an excellent career services office - but again you'll want to be top 15% to get the advantage of OCI. Unfortunately, NO good NYC firms come to Mason, and only a handful of DC firms interview here. Even as #1 in my class I was unable to secure a 1L Associate position at Hogan & Hartson (Vault ranked #35, #3 in D.C.). I'm actually surprised they interviewed me; all the other students being interviewed were from T14s. I was given a callback for the fall as they likely knew I was transferring. Fortunately, Mason is extremely good at placing students into the federal government. 25% of GMU students enter the government. We're also not bad for clerkships. 15% of students clerk. The top 10% can obtain clerkships at federal district courts. Our students -have clerked at the Circuit level and we're sending our first clerk to the Supreme Court this year.

I found GMU to be a good jumping off point as a transfer student. Because of the conservative nature of GMU, we are able to obtain conservative faculty members from top universities. This year we have 4 incoming professors from the University of Chicago, 1 from Stanford, 2 from Harvard, and one from Michigan - all with extremely impressive credentials. All of my professors had quite impressive CVs and went to top schools. Many also had significant experience in their fields. GMU is known for having practical bent - we like professors that have actually practiced in the field their teaching for a significant period of time. Brian Leiter ranked our faculty #26 in the nation. I found GMU faculty to be far better than our USNWR rank would suggest. GMU will definitely provide a good legal education. It's weakness is in its weak reputation with other law schools (note our 2.8 peer assessment score vs. 3.3 among lawyers/judges) and our student body. Part of the reputation problem is due to the conservative nature of our school (economically libertarian), but the rest is just due to the fact that we've shot up in the rankings so quickly, and reputation tends to lag actual quality.

We have some truly excellent faculty (Professor Vermont, Torts; Professor Eagle, Property, Professor Parker, Civil Procedure) but also a few duds (Professor O'Neill, Crim Law - nominated for a federal district judgeship only to find that he had plagiarized several law review articles. He's also a horrid professor; Professor Hodge, Legal Research & Writing - just incompetent). All in all, I found the professors to be excellent but the student body was merely average. They were intelligent but had no scholarly bent and very little intellectual interest in the field of law. I found the students at Brandeis both more intelligent and far more intellectual/academic.

Anyone considering GMU should consider our LRWA (Legal Research & Writing) program. It's the most intense in the nation. It's a 10 credit, 4 semester writing/research requirement that every student must fulfill. Unlike other schools, the class is GRADED and unfortunately it is taught by 3Ls who often know less than the students they're teaching. Some firms look at our LRWA program as a boon, but the students certainly don't. The classes are tedious, asinine, and reward mechanical writing while punishing significant thought or creativity. Any argument behind the most simple similes will garner a poor grade. I found that the better my work product, the worse I did, and vice versa. There was a strong negative correlation between LRWA grades and overall rank. Students in the top 5% of the class tended to get Bs in LRWA. The students that teach the class merely had to do well in LRWA; many were poor or average students overall and have a weak grasp on legal concepts involved.

We are probably also the only law school in the nation to require an Economics class as part of the 1L fall curriculum (we take Civ Pro in the Spring!) I personally found the class to be extremely useful. For anyone that likes Law & Economics, GMU is a great place to be. My Econ professor was the Chief Economist at the FCC and was the head expert for the XM-Sirius merger. He was an impressive man and a great professor. We learned basic Econ, and learned how we could use Economics as a tool for analyzing legal issues. Professor Vermont basically teaches Torts using the Hand Formula (to be precise - the "least cost avoider" principle); I probably did more practical Econ in that class than in my Econ class. For someone interested in Law & Econ, there are few better schools, and certainly none in GMU's range.

As a transfer, top 10% should get you into a Top 10, and top 5% into a Top 5 assuming a good undergrad GPA. Top 15% will get you into Georgetown (and top 1% will get you waitlisted :)) It's possible to get into one of HYS from Mason. I know because I was accepted at Yale, and another student was accepted several years back as well. From what I hear, Harvard won't take students from GMU because they prefer students from higher ranked schools. I don't know anything about Stanford. Mason has something of a brain drain. Most of my close friends are transferring to top 10s, so I'm not sure what it'll be like next year, but I did encounter some extremely intelligent and highly intellectual individuals at GMU. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

KristaLyn
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby KristaLyn » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:04 am

Bump, for us new mason students who dont want to look through 5 pages!

AbsolutLax
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby AbsolutLax » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:40 pm

Good call on the bump Krista- What Yalie had to say was incredibly informative. Are there any other Mason TLSers that can speak more about the school, whether on class experiences, professors, employment, etc.

Thanks!

AbsolutLax
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby AbsolutLax » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:24 pm

To better centralize the various threads relating to GMU i've posted their links here- feel free to add more as they come up.


Accepted at Mason:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=51595&hilit=gmu

Mason ASW:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=61723&hilit=mason

George Mason Law Class of 2012:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=57075&hilit=mason

George Mason Law Class of 2011:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=33376&hilit=gmu

George Mason Law Class of 2010:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6058&hilit=gmu

Waitlisted at Mason:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=62101&p=1313164&hilit=mason#p1313164

GMU vs. Miami vs. Cardozo/Brooklyn:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59570&p=1303172&hilit=gmu#p1303172

GMU vs. Cardozo vs. Brooklyn:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58138&p=1211085&hilit=gmu#p1211085

GMU vs. American vs. Uconn vs. Depaul:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=61838&p=1303553&hilit=gmu#p1303553

GMU vs. American:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=61225&p=1288937&hilit=gmu#p1288937

GMU vs. American (2):
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=55583&hilit=gmu

GMU vs. American (3):
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5507&p=90245&hilit=gmu#p90245

GMU vs. Loyola vs. Catholic vs. Santa Clara:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61009&p=1280661&hilit=gmu#p1280661

GMU vs. Iowa vs. Uconn:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=60843&p=1275848&hilit=gmu#p1275848

GMU vs. Iowa:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=62766&p=1329484&hilit=MASON#p1329484

GMU (out-of-state) vs. Buffalo (full tuition):
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58938&p=1259348&hilit=gmu#p1259348

GMU vs. Villanova/Temple:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58022&hilit=gmu

GMU vs. William & Mary:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=55109&start=0

GMU vs. American vs. W&M:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=62707&p=1328768&hilit=mason#p1328768

Mason vs. GULC:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50931&p=1053817&hilit=gmu#p1053817

CU-Boulder (instate) vs. GMU (out-of-state):
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28398&p=574030&hilit=gmu#p574030

GMU vs. W&M vs. GW:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49198&p=1039785&hilit=gmu#p1039785

Better DC Reputation/Pay: GMU or W&M:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28701&p=581410&hilit=gmu#p581410

GMU $$ vs. GW:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=22690&p=405187&hilit=gmu#p405187

GMU vs. UMD:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9883&start=0

GMU vs. IUB:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7738&hilit=gmu

GMU vs. Albany $$$:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8074&start=0

GMU vs. UNC vs. Cardozo:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6202&p=106289&hilit=gmu#p106289

GMU vs. Indiana:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5473&p=89087&hilit=gmu#p89087

GMU vs. UF: (great comments from Ken)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=301&p=643&hilit=mason#p643

George Mason Law Campus:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59994&p=1254223&hilit=gmu#p1254223

George Mason Informational Session:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4784&hilit=gmu

George Mason = Future top 20?:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=56235&p=1161217&hilit=gmu#p1161217

Living In or around DC:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=54252&hilit=gmu

Establishing VA Residency:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61035&p=1282700&hilit=gmu#p1282700

DC/Northern VA Housing:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=61079&p=1284895&hilit=virginia+square#p1284895

Living In or Around DC:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=54252&hilit=virginia+square

DC/Virginia Information:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=57251&p=1184475&hilit=virginia+square+metro#p1184475

Underrated Law Schools:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=261&p=468&hilit=mason#p468

DC Law Schools:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=404&p=1067&hilit=mason#p1067
Last edited by AbsolutLax on Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

AP86
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby AP86 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:30 am

Thanks! That helps a lot!

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byu85
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby byu85 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:39 am

Wow, that list is intense, thanks

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sapereaude2012
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby sapereaude2012 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:41 pm

AbsolutLax, you are the bomb.

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tchadwick
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby tchadwick » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:29 pm

bump

reidmacharg
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:08 pm

AbsolutLax wrote:Good call on the bump Krista- What Yalie had to say was incredibly informative. Are there any other Mason TLSers that can speak more about the school, whether on class experiences, professors, employment, etc.

Thanks!


I'm wrapping up my first year here at GMU. I'd like to offer a perspective to complement Yalie's.

First, I met Yalie last August and got his take of his first year at GMU before I started. I see why Yalie would be and is happier at Yale. Yalie is undoubtedly a hard worker who is always digging deeper into an issue or argument and fleshing it out.

Yalie, you were a philosophy major, correct? I, on the other hand, was an economics major, and I'm more concerned with the efficient allocation of my time than with my passion to better understand. Perhaps I am one of the students who is going into law for money. I think this is true of most law students. Law school is incredibly expensive, and if there wasn't a substantially higher salary on the other end, I doubt I would take on this much debt. It's unreasonable to think that people would or should go 100k in the hole for passion alone, unless, of course, you go to Yale or Chicago and spend the rest of your life concerned with the nuances of the law.

For the rest of us who are doing this primarily because we're good at it and want to make money, GMU is a fantastic school. It's a relative steal, the area is phenomenal in terms of opportunity and standard of living, and the faculty continues to impress me (though I largely agree with Yalie re the writing program). I respect the bulk of my peers.

The writing program has its faults no doubt. We are curved in groups of seven, which doesn't always provide for the fairest results and negates the purposes of a curve (because the comparisons among groups become meaningless). We are graded by accomplished third year students who vary significantly in their preferred style. For example, one third year could give my paper the median grade, while another could give it the high. The grading system is unnecessarily frustrating, but its design provides for rough comparison, more feedback, and lower tuition (because it's run by students). There is little instruction, which is also frustrating; however, in the end it makes us self-sufficient, and we have much more experience researching and writing than students from schools where the class is pass/fail.

Furthermore, there's a genuine work ethic and sense of scrappiness at George Mason. Being a public, top-forty school (and hopefully top 30 soon) gives Mason the best of both worlds (but if you can go to a top 10 school, of course you should do it). There is not that tip-top-school attitude of entitlement or classism. People here are down to earth. Still, Mason is a top-tier school, and everyone I know has worked hard to get here.

That said, I'm a fan of GMU Law. The Arlington campus will double in size next year, and the school's prestige is quickly increasing. The fact that it's accomplished so much in such a short amount of time indicates that it's undervalued. I'm glad I got in on GMU. You should too.
Last edited by reidmacharg on Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

AbsolutLax
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby AbsolutLax » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:22 pm

AbsolutLax, you are the bomb.


no problem man, just thought it would help those trying to figure out if GMU is the right fit. I'm pretty sure i'll be there in the fall, and am starting to get pretty excited.

Thanks Reid, you have consistently been a great source of information on the school!

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rayiner
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby rayiner » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:27 pm

reidmacharg wrote: (High LSATs and shitty grades screams lazy and privileged to me.)


Sounds about right, but isn't that a core demographic at GMU?

reidmacharg
Posts: 36
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:22 am

Of the people with whom I've divulged that information, only one person has a 170+/<2.8. LSN isn't a good indicator for something like that because it's prone to sampling error and self-reporting bias. Our entering class median though was 3.7/164.

Rayiner, what info are you referring to in your assertion that high LSAT/low GPA is a core demographic at Mason?

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rayiner
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby rayiner » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:34 am

reidmacharg wrote:Of the people with whom I've divulged that information, only one person has a 170+/<2.8. LSN isn't a good indicator for something like that because it's prone to sampling error and self-reporting bias. Our entering class median though was 3.7/164.

Rayiner, what info are you referring to in your assertion that high LSAT/low GPA is a core demographic at Mason?


"Core demographic" was a bit of a joke. Still, they seem to admit anyone above their 75th-percentile LSAT, almost regardless of GPA:
http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchRes ... AC5827.pdf

Yalie mentioned that he knew like half a dozen 170+ folks in his class. Obviously those people wouldn't be there without terrible UGPAs.

Of course, I don't think this is a bad policy at all. Admitting high-GPA/low-LSAT and high-LSAT/low-GPA splitters is a winning tactic for improving your rankings. If Mason wants to overtake W&M in the rankings, they'll probably maintain this policy for the foreseeable future.

Mona21
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby Mona21 » Tue May 19, 2009 7:08 am

Which location of George Mason University

AbsolutLax
Posts: 71
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Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby AbsolutLax » Tue May 19, 2009 8:52 am

Which location of George Mason University
Which location of George Mason University


Haha..wow. Those shoes are really shitty. I wouldn't pay 2 dollars for a pair.




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