Penn Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
pleasepickme
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby pleasepickme » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:55 pm

Hey Penn Students, thanks for taking the time to talk to us!

I'm trying to decide between Penn on scholarship and Harvard right now. I'm interested in doing court of appeals level clerkships in California and maybe even taking a shot at a supreme court clerkship before going back to do PI work in San Francisco. Any thoughts on how solidly Penn would set me up to accomplish those goals? Would you choose Penn over Harvard if you had the choice? If you had the choice, why did you choose Penn?

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Core
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Core » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:02 pm

Does anyone recommend Sansom? Why all the hate? I'll just be turning 22 when I matriculate and never had the whole dorm experience. Sansom still a bad move - it seems really cheap and close to campus?

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:54 pm

Core wrote:Does anyone recommend Sansom? Why all the hate? I'll just be turning 22 when I matriculate and never had the whole dorm experience. Sansom still a bad move - it seems really cheap and close to campus?


The "whole dorm experience" is really fun as a freshman, when everyone else is a freshman, your dorm is relatively nice, etc. You do not get the whole dorm experience in Sansom, unfortunately.

I don't live at Sansom, but I have lived in grad housing at my alma mater, and it was fairly antisocial, grad students from different schools didn't really socialize with each other etc. From what I hear, Sansom is pretty similar. It's also just really not nice, and relatively expensive for what you're getting. Keep in mind that there are no kitchens in the single rooms at Sansom, and the single apartments (which have kitchens) in there are really overpriced. The consensus seems to be that for the money you pay to live there, you can find an alternative that's much nicer and still close to the law school. That probably has a kitchen. :P

In defense of Sansom, there are a decent number of law students there who seem to have some kind of Sansom community, it is relatively cheap, it's very close to the law school. It might be a good option if you can't make it out to Philly at all to go apartment hunting.

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tintin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby tintin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:31 pm

is sansom the only option for grad housing? there are no traditional style apartments?

if one wants to live in university city, can I wait until June/July to go and find an apartment? flying out there.....$$$

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:49 pm

pleasepickme wrote:Hey Penn Students, thanks for taking the time to talk to us!

I'm trying to decide between Penn on scholarship and Harvard right now. I'm interested in doing court of appeals level clerkships in California and maybe even taking a shot at a supreme court clerkship before going back to do PI work in San Francisco. Any thoughts on how solidly Penn would set me up to accomplish those goals? Would you choose Penn over Harvard if you had the choice? If you had the choice, why did you choose Penn?

I did not apply to HLS so I can't comment from personal options. I knew I didn't want to go to HLS so I didn't waste the money to apply. TBF had I gotten into SLS I would have gone in a heartbeat at full price but thats because SLS was always my dream. If you feel that way about HLS, go. I would not have gone to CLS, NYU, Mich, or Boalt for more money than Penn, and even Chicago didn't make the cut for me even though the money was similar.

SCOTUS clerkships go to 36 (+2 for retired justice) students every year, thats not much. If your grades are good enough for SCOTUS, you can transfer to YLS/HLS after your first year at Penn (and still take advantage of the money). If your grades don't turn out to be good enough for SCOTUS, at least you're saving money.

Thats my 2 cents.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:53 pm

Core wrote:Does anyone recommend Sansom? Why all the hate? I'll just be turning 22 when I matriculate and never had the whole dorm experience. Sansom still a bad move - it seems really cheap and close to campus?

People who recommend Sansom ALWAYS put qualifiers on that recommendation. Its nice because its close and its furnished and you don't have to put any effort into finding a place to live and comes with cable, internet, and utilites. But its a twin bed (one of those plastic-y ones like undergrad dorms), the furniture is uncomfortable, the elevators never work, they have heat/AC issues, the 1Br's are over priced and the 2Br's have no living space (you have a bedroom and a kitchen), the bathrooms are depressing, and the place just all around needs an update.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:57 pm

tintin wrote:is sansom the only option for grad housing? there are no traditional style apartments?

if one wants to live in university city, can I wait until June/July to go and find an apartment? flying out there.....$$$

What do you mean by "traditional style apartments"? Sansom has 3 options:
1) 1Br: A bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom
2) Single: A bedroom and a shared bathroom
3) Double: A bedroom, a roommate, a kitchen, a bathroom

You can probably wait until June, I don't know that I would wait until July but thats because I'm a planner and not good at not having things set well in advance.

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tintin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby tintin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:36 pm

Georgiana wrote:
tintin wrote:is sansom the only option for grad housing? there are no traditional style apartments?

if one wants to live in university city, can I wait until June/July to go and find an apartment? flying out there.....$$$

What do you mean by "traditional style apartments"? Sansom has 3 options:
1) 1Br: A bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom
2) Single: A bedroom and a shared bathroom
3) Double: A bedroom, a roommate, a kitchen, a bathroom

You can probably wait until June, I don't know that I would wait until July but thats because I'm a planner and not good at not having things set well in advance.


ahhhhhhhhh, i thought they just had dorms basically.

too bad i have a cat though.......im guessing its not pet friendly!

dshenoy
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby dshenoy » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:59 pm

Hi! Thanks for taking questions. I was awarded a scholarship at Penn and will probably be accepting tonight and sending in my enrollment deposit tomorrow. I'm excited.

I was just wondering, do people generally have cars at Penn? When I was on the Duke forums people kept saying you really can't manage without a car there, and that would be the kind of thing I'd like to know before going to Penn. I'm sorry if this has been asked before-- I haven't really had a chance to look through the whole conversation.

Thanks!

mrm2083
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby mrm2083 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:05 pm

I'm not at Penn yet but everyone I talked to while I was there told me it's completely unnecessary to have a car.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:45 pm

dshenoy wrote:Hi! Thanks for taking questions. I was awarded a scholarship at Penn and will probably be accepting tonight and sending in my enrollment deposit tomorrow. I'm excited.

I was just wondering, do people generally have cars at Penn? When I was on the Duke forums people kept saying you really can't manage without a car there, and that would be the kind of thing I'd like to know before going to Penn. I'm sorry if this has been asked before-- I haven't really had a chance to look through the whole conversation.

Thanks!

You definitely don't need a car and most students don't have one. It's nice to have a few friends with them though just in case. You can also get a membership with Philly Car Share (or some other car company) if you want a car every so often for grocery/mall trips etc.

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blondebruin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby blondebruin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:52 pm

kurla88 wrote:
A lot of people have roommates - I think living with one other 1L is most common just b/c it's a bit harder to find larger apartments and coordinate with more people.



Thanks for the response! One last quick question: how do 1Ls usually find each other when searching for roommates? I don't know anyone who'll be in the 2013 class and am at a loss. Thanks again!

dshenoy
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby dshenoy » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:22 am

Thanks for the response! One last quick question: how do 1Ls usually find each other when searching for roommates? I don't know anyone who'll be in the 2013 class and am at a loss. Thanks again!


Are you from UCLA? I'm from Santa Clara, in Northern CA, and I have a brother at UCLA. I'll be in the 2013 class- I'm glad to see that someone else from CA (I'm assuming you are) will be there :)

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violaboy
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby violaboy » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:09 am

blondebruin wrote:
kurla88 wrote:
A lot of people have roommates - I think living with one other 1L is most common just b/c it's a bit harder to find larger apartments and coordinate with more people.



Thanks for the response! One last quick question: how do 1Ls usually find each other when searching for roommates? I don't know anyone who'll be in the 2013 class and am at a loss. Thanks again!


Join the Facebook page.

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tintin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby tintin » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:35 pm

any of you penn students know anyone who is going into or wants to go into academia? how are they faring?

CCA
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby CCA » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:11 pm

Normally you don't try to become a professor right after graduating. Most professors clerk, work for a firm, and/or get some kind of other advanced degrees. It's rare to get just a JD and become a professor immediately. Current students wouldn't have any specific experiences in this area.

The best way to answer your question is to look at law school faculties and see how many Penn grads there are.

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tintin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby tintin » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:21 pm

thank you.

i have another question- is there a lot of social mixing between the grad schools at upenn? is it easy to meet other grad students?

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underachiever
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby underachiever » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:13 pm

tintin wrote:thank you.

i have another question- is there a lot of social mixing between the grad schools at upenn? is it easy to meet other grad students?


Yes, I would say so. They have Grad student "mixers" where they have free drinks/food or drink/food specials all over Philly. The Penn Grad Student Association is very involved (we get at least 1 email a week about events or programs). By choice/habit, most law students stick around law students, but I have had great conversations with students from other grad schools at some of these events.

mrm2083
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby mrm2083 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:15 pm

I'm sure people do. The only person I will know at Penn starting in the fall will be a friend of mine who is going to the dental school. I plan to hang out with him so I'm sure I will meet his friends and vise versa. Surely many people are in a similar situation.

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Core
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Core » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:30 am

Probably a stupid question, but is it still reasonable to go to Penn and expect to get NYC biglaw? What do most Penn students who want but don't get biglaw end up doing? I know the answer to the second one probably doesn't differ among schools, but any insight would be appreciated.

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:12 am

Core wrote:Probably a stupid question, but is it still reasonable to go to Penn and expect to get NYC biglaw?


Absolutely. That's what the majority of our students do. It's not a guarantee from the bottom of the class, but it's a reasonable expectation, especially if you make median or so.

Core wrote:What do most Penn students who want but don't get biglaw end up doing? I know the answer to the second one probably doesn't differ among schools, but any insight would be appreciated.


I don't really know, but I think CPP is really pushing people to apply to clerkships/secondary markets around your target area (as in NJ instead of NY)/smaller firms etc.

tintin wrote:any of you penn students know anyone who is going into or wants to go into academia? how are they faring?


As far as academia, I don't personally know anyone who's gunning for it, but we do have the Sharswood program to encourage Penn grads into academia http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/fellowships/

Penn Law wrote:ELIGIBILITY
Sharswood Fellow applicants must have earned a law degree or PhD or equivalent in a related field and should not yet have held a full-time tenure track legal academic appointment. The Sharswood Fellows Program provides excellent opportunities for predoctoral research for candidates who have completed a JD or for postdoctoral research.

One of the Fellowships every two years is designated for Penn Law graduates.


That tells you a bit about how competitive it is, though...
Last edited by kurla88 on Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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tintin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby tintin » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:15 am

what advantages do you see penn having over chicago (if any)?

thank you for taking the time to do this btw :D

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:21 am

tintin wrote:what advantages do you see penn having over chicago (if any)?

thank you for taking the time to do this btw :D


As far as job placement, I don't think we have an advantage, maybe a slight edge in the NYC market.

As far as environment, I think we're pretty different. We're one of the smaller schools in the t-14, but still larger than Chicago. I think your incoming class is supposed to be around 250. We have all that "collegiality" going on. And I think the "interdisciplinary" thing is really true here - for e.g.: our Crim professor was a practicing psychologist and he talks about psychology and crim all the time. Whereas Chicago, from what I hear, has their Law & Econ approach in every single class. There also seems to be a lot of diversity here about what students want to do with their lives, but maybe this will change come OCI, and everyone will decide they want NYC biglaw after all...

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underachiever
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby underachiever » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:36 am

tintin wrote:what advantages do you see Penn having over Chicago (if any)?

thank you for taking the time to do this btw :D


(1) I would say atmosphere. I have been to Chicago and I didn't really get the same feeling. I find Penn much more laid back and more tied into the the University as a whole. THIS is the real difference I would say. If you have been to both schools you will prefer one to the other.
(2) Clerkships Chicago wins out....although I will say we are getting much better, as I personally know a few 3Ls who have Circuit Court clerkships next year (and Penn is REALLY pushing clerkships at all levels hard now). I also met a recent grad who had recently had a SCOTUS interview.
(3) Jobs wise. I think Chicago does much better in Chicago/the Midwest of course but I think Penn can do as well in NYC (maybe slightly better because of our strong alumni network there) and also give them a a run in DC...mostly due to self-selection.

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underachiever
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby underachiever » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:43 am

Core wrote:Probably a stupid question, but is it still reasonable to go to Penn and expect to get NYC biglaw? What do most Penn students who want but don't get biglaw end up doing? I know the answer to the second one probably doesn't differ among schools, but any insight would be appreciated.


(1) God I hope so, judging by my Sallie Mae account I'll need it. But in all seriousness I would say yes, a good 70% will have a chance at those jobs. (I would say that only 60ish% will get them in the end). As for others markets. There are about 8-12 people in my section alone who want California and about the same amount for Texas and about 20 for DC. There is also a spattering of other local/regional market folks.

(2) There are a surprising (at least for me, given Penn's reputation for Biglaw only) number of students who want to do international work and a even bigger amount who want to do PI work in Philly (a market we dominate) or in NYC/DC.




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