George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

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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mi-chan17
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George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:27 am

There are other threads scattered about in the depths of this site answering questions from GW, and they usually had pretty good information but died out. I'm on here despite having graduated, so I guess I'm here to stay. Hopefully we'll be able to collect a lot of information in one place and not lose it.

Feel free to ask me anything about the admissions process, the school atmosphere, the curriculum, the campus, D.C., the jobs scene, etc. I would love for other GW students/grads to chime in as well.

It's all fair game, so go for it.
Last edited by mi-chan17 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Wily
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Re: George Washington Grad Taking Qs

Postby Wily » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:12 pm

I'll chime in too, as a 2L evening student (former 1L full-time last year).

Mi-chan, thanks for the help last year. Where are you working?

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:28 pm

Hey Wily, great to see you! I hope 2LE is treating you well. I'm clerking in district court right now. Just got home from there, in fact.

jenchoXD
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby jenchoXD » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:20 pm

I don't go to GW but I'm a 1L at Hastings and my crim professor, Cynthia Lee, is a visiting professor from GW. I was wondering if anyone has had her before and can provide some insight on what her exams are like and what she likes to see.

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:28 pm

I didn't personally have Professor Lee, so my exam knowledge is minimal. That said, my students did, so at the very least I can hook you up with an outline if you want one.

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Wily
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby Wily » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:37 am

jenchoXD wrote:I don't go to GW but I'm a 1L at Hastings and my crim professor, Cynthia Lee, is a visiting professor from GW. I was wondering if anyone has had her before and can provide some insight on what her exams are like and what she likes to see.


Had her last year. Haha, damn if I know what she likes to see, I got my worst grade in the fall in her class.

Her final was part short answers and part essay. She goes on about policy (from a rather liberal perspective) in her class, but it is not on her final exam. The short answers were all tweaking a certain fact pattern, one where a man raped a woman, and asking if it was still rape, and why (fun topic area, I know). Sample would be like, well what if she was 15 and he was 17? Or if they were both adults and she asked him to stop in the middle? Etc.

The main essay question was several homicides, and you were to analyze the degree of murder/manslaughter for each, whether it was felony murder or not, etc.

Know the blackletter law well would be my standard advice. Don't bother with policy reasons behind them, there's not much application for that in the exam.
Last edited by Wily on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Wily
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Re: George Washington Grad Taking Qs

Postby Wily » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:39 am

mi-chan17 wrote:Hey Wily, great to see you! I hope 2LE is treating you well. I'm clerking in district court right now. Just got home from there, in fact.


Cool! I am going to start working fulltime as a law clerk at a firm in a week.

One suggestion to anyone at GW Law: Go to the Halloween Party. GW takes Halloween like it's Serious Business, and it's a load of fun.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby jenchoXD » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:19 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:I didn't personally have Professor Lee, so my exam knowledge is minimal. That said, my students did, so at the very least I can hook you up with an outline if you want one.


PMed you.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:41 pm

Standard questions for y'all.. Do you like it there? How did you feel about your job prospects coming out? Are the students competitive or is everyone friendly/helpful? With such a large class size do you get to know people in your section? Are there a lot of opportunities for socializing?

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Wily
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby Wily » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:54 am

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Standard questions for y'all.. Do you like it there? How did you feel about your job prospects coming out? Are the students competitive or is everyone friendly/helpful? With such a large class size do you get to know people in your section? Are there a lot of opportunities for socializing?


I do like it here. I have seen no overt competitiveness among the students - in fact the best grades went to students who were mostly quiet and not appearing like gunners last year. The class sizes are like 70-80 now for first year sections, but there's chances to get to know each other through weekly Inns of Courts meetings which are like socializing/job search advising done by section.

Besides bar reviews and the excellent Halloween/Spring parties, there's a lot of clubs, happy hour meetings, and wine+cheese type events to get to know students. Being a larger law school has its advantage in there being a lot of clubs and journals.

As for job search, it's probably similar to most schools outside the T14 - only 15-20% at most will get summer associateships through OCI. But there's an advantage to being in DC in that there's many firm and govt agency jobs you can easily apply to part-time during the school year or full-time during the summers. I was a full-time 1L and switched to part-time this fall, and I'm working now as a law clerk for a midsized firm and getting paid enough to not have to take out any more loans. That's just my experience.

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:55 pm

TheJanitor6203 wrote:Standard questions for y'all.. Do you like it there? How did you feel about your job prospects coming out? Are the students competitive or is everyone friendly/helpful? With such a large class size do you get to know people in your section? Are there a lot of opportunities for socializing?


I liked GW a lot. The people were great, as a general rule I had awesome professors (though that wasn't 100%, admittedly), and I never felt like it was super competitive. I didn't know everyone in my 1L section, which was about 108 people, but even with a big class size it didn't take long for everything to feel familiar and get a group of friends. I was the last class that was just "sections" and had no "inns of court", so I can't speak to what difference that made.

Socializing was easy to find, especially if you lived in the Aston.

In terms of job prospects, the market isn't great. In my group of friends, with a fairly even spread of GPAs and pre-school experience, it was about half-and-half. Half of us came out with jobs lined up, and half didn't and are currently using (or were, and now have gotten a job) the pathways fellowships. I'd guess we're pretty average for the non-T14s, the only downside is that we're coming out into one of the most sought-after legal markets and in a city with an obscenely high COL.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:25 pm

Bumped this thread. What are the job prospects for students seeking governmental work or non-profit work? What kind of work do you get coming out of GW?

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:21 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:Bumped this thread. What are the job prospects for students seeking governmental work or non-profit work? What kind of work do you get coming out of GW?


Depends on what you mean by "governmental work" and "non-profit work." I'm a government-oriented person, and so unsurprisingly it turned out a lot of my friends from law school are, too. Most folks I know ended up in government at some level. The question is just what level you mean.

If you're asking about the big-name Fed agencies: DOJ, State, etc. I don't know anyone who went to State. I know a few that went to DOJ Honors, but the number isn't significant. (I can't imagine it's all that significant a percentage of Any law school's class.) I know several that went to "less sexy" agencies, or less-sexy parts of moderately-sexy agencies (DHS Honors, IRS, DOL, USACE, DOE etc.) BigFed is possible, but it's not a massive part of our class.

I know even more people who ended up in state or local gigs - prosecutors, public defenders, children's services, career clerks for local courts, state AG offices, etc. Provided you have the ties to places that actually have those jobs, they're also possible.

In terms of "non-profit work" it depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking the mythical unicorn of "international human rights law" or something, then...I don't know a single person in my graduating class who is doing that. I'll check with my dual-degree buddies (who graduate this year, because it's a four-year gig), but so far none of them has mentioned going to work for the UN or OAS or anything.

Regular non-profits, like legal aid and such? We send people into those jobs every year, but it would depend on where you have ties and how little you're willing to be paid. Also might depend on if you're willing to be part of pathways for a year following graduation.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby fireflies133 » Thu May 01, 2014 7:59 am

Thank you for opening this post! I still haven't made attending GW law a certainty yet, but am trying my best to prepare for it.

I am interested in studying abroad for one summer after 1L year in law school. Do you know the competitiveness of study abroad programs at GW? If you had done this or know someone who had, was it a worthwhile experience?

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Thu May 01, 2014 8:32 am

mi-chan17 wrote:
Pragmatic Gun wrote:Bumped this thread. What are the job prospects for students seeking governmental work or non-profit work? What kind of work do you get coming out of GW?


Depends on what you mean by "governmental work" and "non-profit work." I'm a government-oriented person, and so unsurprisingly it turned out a lot of my friends from law school are, too. Most folks I know ended up in government at some level. The question is just what level you mean.

If you're asking about the big-name Fed agencies: DOJ, State, etc. I don't know anyone who went to State. I know a few that went to DOJ Honors, but the number isn't significant. (I can't imagine it's all that significant a percentage of Any law school's class.) I know several that went to "less sexy" agencies, or less-sexy parts of moderately-sexy agencies (DHS Honors, IRS, DOL, USACE, DOE etc.) BigFed is possible, but it's not a massive part of our class.

I know even more people who ended up in state or local gigs - prosecutors, public defenders, children's services, career clerks for local courts, state AG offices, etc. Provided you have the ties to places that actually have those jobs, they're also possible.

In terms of "non-profit work" it depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking the mythical unicorn of "international human rights law" or something, then...I don't know a single person in my graduating class who is doing that. I'll check with my dual-degree buddies (who graduate this year, because it's a four-year gig), but so far none of them has mentioned going to work for the UN or OAS or anything.

Regular non-profits, like legal aid and such? We send people into those jobs every year, but it would depend on where you have ties and how little you're willing to be paid. Also might depend on if you're willing to be part of pathways for a year following graduation.


I'm looking for prosecutorial work and/or international work. As naive as this sounds, I want to work for an international criminal tribunal or the ICC. They want years of experience in prosecutorial work, so that's my sub-goal. The big-name Fed agencies are ideal, but I want to know what other options GW grads have.

As for non-profit work, international ones are my bag so I can build up a future network, especially in human rights. The UN only takes experienced legal people anyway, per their careers websites.

Also, I'm interested as well in the study abroad experiences. Are they worth doing for networking or experience?

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu May 01, 2014 9:04 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:I'm looking for prosecutorial work and/or international work. As naive as this sounds, I want to work for an international criminal tribunal or the ICC. They want years of experience in prosecutorial work, so that's my sub-goal. The big-name Fed agencies are ideal, but I want to know what other options GW grads have.

As for non-profit work, international ones are my bag so I can build up a future network, especially in human rights.


I'm hoping you've read enough around here to realize that your chance of getting to do war crimes prosecution is essentially zero, no matter what school you went to. In terms of the ICC, I think it's actually legally impossible - the U.S. isn't a party to the Rome Statute, and I think (IIRC) that you have to be from a party state to prosecute in it. That aside, though, it's just a job that maybe one or two people get the chance to do in each decade. MAYBE.

If you want to be a prosecutor with some far-off (and statistically miraculous) goal of prosecuting at the next ICTY or something, GW can get you into prosecutorial stuff. I know people from my class who are prosecutors in several different states. If you want to go bigger and go for the U.S. Attorneys Office, it won't happen straight out of GW. You'll need to do local/state prosecution first, or you'll need to clerk first, possibly both, depending on the office. Just know, though, that gunning hard for Pros requires foregoing some other opportunities most of the time. You need to demonstrate dedication to public service and prosecutorial work - that means you don't work in biglaw your 2L summer, which makes biglaw exceptionally difficult if the prosecutor thing doesn't work out.

I have classmates that interned in international-type gigs: State Department, the Red Cross, victim advocacy in other countries, etc. Those were internships, though. We'll see if any of them managed to convert those to jobs when the pathways period ends, but it's a tough road to walk.

The best advice I could give, in terms of what you dream of doing, is to talk to Prof. Buergenthal at GW. He sat on the International Court of Justice for awhile, and has better connections and more experience in the field than most.

EDIT: Also, Profs. Steinhardt and Murphy are good resources. I know they took RAs to do a summer gig for the UN in Geneva (or set up students to RA for other representatives there).

fireflies133 wrote:I am interested in studying abroad for one summer after 1L year in law school. Do you know the competitiveness of study abroad programs at GW? If you had done this or know someone who had, was it a worthwhile experience?


Pragmatic Gun wrote:Also, I'm interested as well in the study abroad experiences. Are they worth doing for networking or experience?


I know a lot of people who studied abroad. Through the law school itself there are a number of options, but the two most common were the IP study abroad program in Munich and the International Human Rights program at Oxford. I heard nothing but great things about both. In terms of the Oxford program, I had a number of people say it was their favorite thing in all of law school.

If you are a dual-degree person (JD/MA in International Affairs), you can get some legal experience while studying abroad under the Elliot School's purview, too.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby bsktbll28082 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:14 pm

I'm interested in some recommendations on housing :D

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:47 am

bsktbll28082 wrote:I'm interested in some recommendations on housing :D


A lot of folks live in Foggy Bottom or other nearby places in Northwest (Georgetown, Dupont, etc.). This will put you walking distance to school (or bussing distance), but it's also going to be pretty expensive. If you go further out, Cleveland Park or H Street, it will be slightly cheaper, but you'll need to metro in to school, which could take awhile (especially since CP is on the redline). Northeast is also on red line, which is inconvenient, and their attempts to rapidly gentrify it have resulted in rent prices that are way too high for what you're getting. Eastern Market and Capitol Hill may be worth checking out, though cost/space ratio is oftentimes as bad as in FB and Dupont.

Cheapest way to go is usually living in Arlington/Alexandria and taking metro in. It still won't be Cheap, but you get significantly more space for your money, in Virginia, and even paying metro fare won't make the cost equivalent to what you'd pay in DC. Arlington is on the orange and blue lines, both of which go to Foggy Bottom (the law school).

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby bsktbll28082 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:44 pm

Is it weird living outside of DC? Is it hard to go to events? Looks like the metro stops running at 12am. Getting home would be a nightmare.

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mi-chan17
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby mi-chan17 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:05 pm

bsktbll28082 wrote:Is it weird living outside of DC? Is it hard to go to events? Looks like the metro stops running at 12am. Getting home would be a nightmare.


I lived in DC 1L year, and then in VA 2L and 3L. I didn't notice a huge change in difficulty of getting to/from places, since I lived so close to metro. Metro runs until 3am on Friday and Saturday, which are the nights it matters most anyway, and I lived close enough to DC that a cab home usually cost me less than $15 if I really needed to party later than midnight during the week.

That said, if being out every night is a serious factor for you (and no judgment if it is), it may be Slightly easier to be in DC.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby bsktbll28082 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:59 am

Any recommendations for professors/classes for a focus on transactional law?

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby fanlinxun » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:28 am

bsktbll28082 wrote:Any recommendations for professors/classes for a focus on transactional law?


As a first year transactional associate at a NY V-5, I think the most useful transactional classes I took at GW were:

John Sponagle: International Business Transactions - He can be tough to sit through, but the issues he brings up in class come up again and again when working on deals. The class is a good overview of the language of commercial law which applies as much domestically as it does internationally.

Karen Brown: Corporate Tax - She's not the best professor, and it is a tough subject, but you will learn more about M&A and structuring deals here than perhaps any other law school class. I remember nothing about the tax portion, but structuring issues come up on almost a weekly basis at work.

Dalia Mitchell: Bankruptcy - It was a pretty enjoyable class when I took it with quite a bit of discussion. Just about everything I know about debt came from this class. This comes in handy for a number of typical first year projects, like due diligence of debt instruments and coordinating with banking lawyers on debt financing documents for deals.

Don't underestimate the value of being familiar with the language of transactional law when coming out of law school. The classes mentioned above gave me a huge head start in understanding deals over my first year workmates who took easy or enjoyable classes for their last two years of law school.

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby FSK » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:36 am

When do they usually announce Journal results? I'm on the cusp for LR, and really want to know.

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bsktbll28082
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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby bsktbll28082 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:00 am

What do you think/know about Corporations (Fairfax), Evidence (Pierce), or CrimPor (Lerner)?

Also, it looks like corporations is a prereq for a lot of business classes. Should I try to take any concurrently/ take those that do not have a prereq or wait until spring?

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Re: George Washington Grad and Students Taking Qs

Postby dudders » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:06 am

flawschoolkid wrote:When do they usually announce Journal results? I'm on the cusp for LR, and really want to know.


'13 grad here.
LR (and all other journals) made their calls on the same day, maybe first or second week of July? They will do it before the OCI bid deadline, but not terribly far ahead. That would just be too convenient.




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