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.
mrmillet
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:09 pm

Re: George Mason Law School

Postby mrmillet » Mon May 25, 2009 2:19 pm

Ken wrote:I am not an expert on George Mason Law School but I did want to post what I do know. This is a law school that is on the rise. Over the last two decades from an unknown law school, to a strong regional school, to a school that is now attracting some national attention. It is ranked 37th by US News but an even more impressive 26th by the Leiter rankings. This is a law school degree that will be worth more when you graduate then when you began at George Mason.

An area of strong expertise is in law and economics, where one can receive a certification in. Additionally, being in Arlington, home of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, George Mason is also quite strong in intellectual property law.

As a public university, tuition is cheaper for Virginia residents at just over $15,000 a year and is $26,000 a year for out-of-state residents.

The campus is quite nice and a new and expansive facility was completed in 1999 and just given an update in 2007. The school, which was founded as recently at 1957 and named George Mason Law School in 1979, continues to ascend in prestige and in the opportunities it can offer its graduates. I would definitely consider attending George Mason Law School, especially if one is a Virginia resident. Note that it is very hard to gain residency and in-state tuition at Virginia.



What are your thougt's on the subject of George Mason since the previous posting? I have heard they have a reputable economics/law program. What are you thoughts on GML vs. Villanova Law?

Neel21
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:42 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby Neel21 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:56 am

can i buy these mason shoes at u.k i like these shoes

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby tarp » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:10 pm

This school is a very poor choice for any aspiring law student. The administration lacks human empathy and compassion, and there is absolutely no attention given to public service law or programs relating to social justice. Mason law's director of academic affairs, Annamaria Nields, as well as the dean, Daniel Polsby, kicked me out after I completed one semester because I was facing criminal charges in a redneck county of Virginia. I was merely charged -- not proven guilty. I fully explained the situation to the administration, including providing evidence of my innocence. The charges were later dismissed with prejudice by the judge during a jury trial. Mason refused to reinstate me as a student, and in fact the administrator I spoke to seemed angered by the inconvenient fact that I turned out to be innocent. I had a 3.3 GPA from my first semester, placing me in the top 25% of the class. This semester was completed during a very stressful time in my life, when I was facing indictments that carried 40+ years of jail time, while at the same time my girlfriend (now wife) was pregnant with my first child (and she also faced 30+ years of jail time on these trumped up charges). I am now attending a different law school and I feel the education is far superior, even though it is lower ranked than GMU.

reidmacharg
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:32 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:38 pm

Let this be a lesson to anyone who is charged with a serious felony in Real Virginia and is interested in Mason... So what happened to get you into that? Where did you transfer?

tarp
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:22 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby tarp » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:38 am

I am now at Drexel Law. I didn't actually transfer. I started as a new 1L. Drexel, and Philadelphia in general, has a much better vibe. The professors call you by your first name, but don't pull any punches when it comes to tough socratic questioning. The atmosphere is a lot more collegial and people seem more willing to help each other out. The school has a wide variety of student organizations representing a broader view of the political spectrum than Mason. Our exams were just as difficult, if not more difficult, than the ones given at Mason. Speaking as someone who took a semester at both schools, I can make these comparisons well. You will not sacrifice quality of education by going to Drexel. With the great placements I see coming out of the 3L class that just graduated, our as-yet unranked status does not bother me at all.

In general the students at Mason represent a very narrow segment of law students, mostly those who are interested in a conservative law school or a focus on economic theory in law. The economic theory in law, by the way, is emphasized much more strongly at Mason but it seems to be for no purpose other than to influence the students into making policy decisions based on libertarian free-market ideology. It really doesn't help you understand legal concepts; in fact it muddies them up. All law schools teach the fundamental law/economic concepts like the Coase theorem (just about every 1L Torts or Property casebook discusses this). Mason forces all 1L students to take an economics class which is poorly taught in a large auditorium and culminates in a very biased multiple-choice exam. A lot of the questions sound like "Restrictions on environmental pollution are bad because....". I got a B or B+ on that exam, but I learned nothing in that class that I didn't already know from undergraduate economics classes. The connections made to law were fleeting at best.

Is Mason a better fit if you want to work for a federal agency or get an internship in Capitol Hill? Probably, but those aren't my goals.

I have to run to Civil Procedure... later!

reidmacharg
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:32 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:27 pm

I'm happy that you've found a better fit, Tarp. I still wanna hear about your real VA arrest. Fill a brother in. Drugs? Violent crime? Did you hit a cop? Few crimes come with a 40 year sentence like that.

Are you Matt Borowski?

User avatar
xanderdellus
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:58 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby xanderdellus » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:39 pm

bump

User avatar
BigFatPanda
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby BigFatPanda » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:35 am

xanderdellus wrote:bump

8)

Pendulum
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby Pendulum » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:51 pm

As an occasional lurker here, I saw that not much has been written here for a while, so I thought I'd put my two cents in as a current first-year.

Overall, my experience here has been positive. One of the previous posts here wrote some criticism, but from a unique circumstance. I consider the education here to be excellent and in general I think the professors here are great instructors. I don't have anything to say about the administration, since like most students I've not really interacted with them.

This school has a reputation of being conservative. Compared to American, it certainly is. But I would say that the student body is only about half conservative (or maybe 60% at most), and only a fraction of that I would consider to be hardcore conservative. There are also some pretty liberal people here as well, and lots of people in the middle if you were to blur the line between liberal and conservative. For that reason, while this school is more conservative than most, I would not personally say that this school represents a narrow band of law students. As one would expect, the in-state population is more liberal than the out-of-state population.

The "law and econ" curriculum... As you've probably already read, law and econ is GMU's strongest point in terms of scholarly research. In a recent internet poll by Leiter, GMU was within the top 10 schools in this field. GMU requires one (and only one) course on applied microeconomics, which consists of 3/15 of your first semester (in terms of credits). Since the economic topics covered are very narrow, I don't think you're disadvantage if you weren't an econ major, as long as you're open to learning about the topic. From what I recall, only 5-10% of the class were econ majors anyways. Since a lot of our law and econ professors teach contracts, you might see some econ in your contracts classes as well. The rest of the curriculum is relatively free of law and econ. In my opinion, I find the law and econ aspect to be useful as a tool to understand the law. In many ways, it does muddle legal analysis, but then again, isn't that the whole point whenever you have a relatively new theoretical approach to old problems.

Our writing program (which takes up 1/6 of your 1L credits) has been mentioned a few times in the previous posts. I would agree with those observations. I think our writing classes are what first years complain about the most in terms of academics, mainly because its graded, and graded by students. The flip side is that the writing program has helped boost our reputation among employers -- at least that is what the administration claims, and I think I believe it. Our writing program also requires some mandatory participation in moot court, though this aspect is not graded.

Coming from a relatively large undergrad with a well-integrated campus, it took a bit to get used to the location style of GMUSL. The downside of having an isolated campus is the lack of certain facilities, such as gyms, but Arlington is a decent neighborhood where you can pretty much find anything you want. The school is very close to the metro, which adds to some flexibility in terms of commuting. Our new building under construction, which will double the physical size of the law school, looks really good and those entering this year will certainly be able to use it by graduation.

As for employment, without drawing on anecdotal evidence, I don't have any good statistics that you can't also find on the internet. I would think that since our main primary market (DC) has not been hit as hard as some of the other ones, and that our main secondary market (Northern VA) is in a state with one of the lowest unemployment rates (6.9, vs 12.4 for CA, for example), the economic problems probably has not had as big of an impact here as it has for other T1s. As with for other schools, the employment stats for the class of 09 will be released later in the year. In any case, the location does have the advantage of allowing students to take fall/spring internships (often for credit) which students of a more rurally located school would not be able to. Semester internships are common among 2Ls and 3Ls.

User avatar
brigun
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:13 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby brigun » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:33 pm

Would GMU be worth full sticker? I was accepted, but no scholly. IP law or in-house corporate counsel interests me.

User avatar
brigun
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:13 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby brigun » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:36 pm

bump

lawlife2010
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby lawlife2010 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:28 pm

Who is planning on going in the fall! =)

ram jam
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 1:32 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby ram jam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:01 pm

I am also debating whether GMU is worth attending at sticker + out-of-state + high COL. When will the 2009 employment stats be released?

reidmacharg
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:32 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby reidmacharg » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:37 pm

It's all relative to your best outside option, right?

scubagirl
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:55 am

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby scubagirl » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:05 pm

Hello,
I will be in D.C. this summer so if anybody is looking to sublease a place within walking distance to the metro, please message me. Thanks!

lawlife2010
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby lawlife2010 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:50 pm

Who is planning on attending in the fall? Is anyone going to admitted students day? Hopefully we can get some discussion about the school going here again! =)

ylwbellysloth
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby ylwbellysloth » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:01 pm

I'm going to the open house Saturday to get a better idea of how I feel about the school. I've lived in southern California my entire life, undergrad in San Diego, and I am finding it ridiculously difficult to justify leaving a place where I know I want to live and work eventually in my life. My other option is USD, and every stat (employment rates, average salaries, etc) points to choose George Mason, but I've never lived on east coast and have no idea what to expect in Virginia. I would be paying both at sticker - but have no idea what to do!

gracekim123
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby gracekim123 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:32 pm

I sent my letter of intent last week. It was kind of a difficult decision, to be honest. I was deciding between GW and GMU and went with GMU because of the scholarship $ they offered me. I went to their Open House in March and it was...pleasant. Some of the professors seemed the absent-minded odd-cookie type, which I really like. Go figure. The younger ones were very engaging and encouraging.

Anyone else planning on attending in the fall?

gracekim123
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: George Mason University School of Law

Postby gracekim123 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:38 pm

ylwbellysloth wrote:I'm going to the open house Saturday to get a better idea of how I feel about the school. I've lived in southern California my entire life, undergrad in San Diego, and I am finding it ridiculously difficult to justify leaving a place where I know I want to live and work eventually in my life. My other option is USD, and every stat (employment rates, average salaries, etc) points to choose George Mason, but I've never lived on east coast and have no idea what to expect in Virginia. I would be paying both at sticker - but have no idea what to do!


The advice I've been given is to go to a law school in the state you want to practice law in. I have a family and live in VA, which is why I applied exclusively to DC schools. I'm told that the connections that you make during law school are invaluable for the future, and if your future isn't in DC/VA, perhaps GMU isn't the best? Then again, this is the advice someone else has given me, so pls take it w/ a grain of salt. Personally, I love living in the area. Perhaps you'd like it out east enough to stay. Who knows? :-)




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest