William & Mary

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:41 pm

Green Crayons wrote:Is there some sort of jockeying for these positions, or is it really just sort of knowing the right person and an opportunity just so happens to arise?


For general grad fellowship jobs, they send out a questionnaire to get an idea of what skills you might have - and then assign you to something that may or may not match your skills. IE: I had a lot of technical knowledge so I got assigned to do technical troubleshooting and setup for the courtroom.

For research with professors, outside of the big names like Van Alstyn or any professors you had in your 1L classes, I don't think most 1Ls know anything about the professors. You have the opportunity to say who you'd like to work with though, and I haven't heard of there being any cutthroat competition for particular professors. Maybe there is just enough work to go around that professors will have multiple research assistants...

Green Crayons wrote:What's the cost of living like in Williamsburg?


Cheap. I can't quote you exact figures for apartments since I live in the gradplex, but I've heard of people off campus having comparable costs to me.
As for living in the gradplex, its about $2500 per semester, which includes utilities and internet and furnishings.

Green Crayons wrote:From the website, it looks like the William and Mary Law Review only has a write on competition to join (instead of holding a certain number of seats for X number of students who are at the top X% of the class). Is this the case?


You don't get on "just" from your rank.... But I believe if you are in the top 25% of the class and do ok (not necessarily stellar) on the writing competition, you have a very very good chance of getting on. So its not exactly straight "grading on" to the law review, but some 2/3Ls have said it may as well be as far as preferential treatment goes based on class rank. I think I also heard offhand that 75% of the law review slots go to interested people that are in the top 25% of the class.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:22 pm

Green Crayons wrote:What's the cost of living like in Williamsburg?


It can run anywhere from ~$400 a month (with roomates) to upwards of $1000 to live on your own. I don't think it would be hard to find something that satisifes whatever you want. I moved here without ever even stepping foot in Williamsburg and I have a great place (with a roomate who came to look at places) that's a little under $500 a month/person. It's not brand new like some of the other places, but we are pretty close and our place is pretty good size.

Green Crayons wrote:From the website, it looks like the William and Mary Law Review only has a write on competition to join (instead of holding a certain number of seats for X number of students who are at the top X% of the class). Is this the case?


I doubt you are going to get a very satisfying answer on this because I have yet to get one :) . I've actually heard that the top 10% of the class only has to score in the top 75% of the write on competition to get on (which most, if not all, of them do). Like what dark has heard though, that's just the "word on the street." That would leave something like 10-15 spots open I think. From what I hear, that's pretty standard at most schools.

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scribelaw
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Re: William & Mary

Postby scribelaw » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:30 pm

You WM 1Ls -- what were your numbers, if you don't mind telling?

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:38 pm

I don't really know how telling you our specific numbers would help you out... If your numbers are reasonably close to the avg lsat scores here (in general, I've seen things go from high 150s - mid-high 160s) you probably have a good chance of getting in. If you're mid 160s and above, you can probably expect them to try and buy you in with a fellowship assuming you are out of state. Otherwise, expect some sort of merit based scholarship. I'm sure you'd have some other competitive offers if you're in the high 160s or break into the 170s though.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:49 pm

I suppose I don't mind seeing as you could easily find it through my old posts or on LSN (which you should check out if you haven't already). 3.1/171

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BiteyTLS
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Re: William & Mary

Postby BiteyTLS » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:09 am

:arrow:
Last edited by BiteyTLS on Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:54 pm

Congratulations on your acceptance.

I think the Gradplex (on campus housing) is a fairly reasonable option if you want to save money. The rent figure for 2009/10 is $2715 per semester with utilities included. For an entire year (two semesters not including June, July, and beginning of August) that would be double the rate at $5430. If you have the fellowship offer where you get paid to do some part time work, I think the money you get from that will go a long way (perhaps all the way if you don't eat out or go out for drinks often) towards offsetting your food expenses.

Green Crayons
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Green Crayons » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:28 am

Thanks for the responses - quite informative.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:21 pm

BiteyTLS wrote:Hi,

I recently was admitted to W&M and received the in-state tuition offer (10k scholarship a year deal). The price is manageable, especially considering my instate schools are around 35k a year for in-state and rising rapidly. CA is so broke that tuition prices are only going to explode over the next 2-3 years. Living expenses (LA and SF) are pretty out of control as well.

Was curious what your guys average living expenses amounted to by the end of the year. I think W&M estimates 6,825. If I had several roommates, lived on noodles- where would I stand financially?

Cheers


I think the W&M estimate (which coincidentally is also what you get in loans) is pretty accurate for the average person. If you find somewhere extra cheap and live on noodles and don't drink you could get away with less than what they say. I would say that their estimate is on the cheap side for rent though, and given the housing ordinance here (no more than 3 unrelated people in a house) I don't know how much lower you could go. Dark is right about the stipend though, it can do a good job keeping the loans down if you use that as your food, etc money.

mhernton
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Re: William & Mary

Postby mhernton » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:02 am

Who are the professors in the line-up to teach the incoming 1Ls and what are their specialties???

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:18 pm

No idea who is going to be teaching next fall.... I don't even know if the professors know yet :)
You can certainly find out about specific profs, their specialties, their reputations on the wiki page for WM Law or on the lawschool website.

Although I saw many current names, be advised that some of the people listed in the wiki are historical notable alumni, like George Wythe, the first professor of law in the US who was a professor at W&M in the 1700s...

ragnarok545
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Re: William & Mary

Postby ragnarok545 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:41 pm

Hey guys. As repeated already, thanks a bunch for taking questions. I'm also a recently admitted fellowship student, and I'm trying to decide between here and Boston U (also possibly Temple if I gain a full scholarship). A few questions I have:

Do you have a sense yet of how your 2L fellowship work will be assigned? Will you request to work with a professor or will they pick you. Are the 2Ls still working in administration those who just fell through the cracks or did they mostly choose to remain there? I know this has kind of been covered already, but if you could shed light on any further details, it would be awesome.

Does working in alumnae relations and admissions mean that you call alumnae for money and act as a tour guide for students, respectively, or is there more to it than that? If you are assigned a certain 1L job after filling out the questionnaire, can you request that they reconsider if you don't think it would be a good fit? (I mostly ask this last one on the chance that alumnae relations is mostly asking for money).

Do any of you guys have significant others who do not attend W+M Law, and if so, how do the rules work for them gaining access to gym facilities, the cafeteria, etc. Is it possible for them to live in the Grad Plex as well, or is it strictly students only?

How would you describe the condition of the law school facilities (classrooms, equipment, etc.). I've seen pictures of the library and it looks awesome, but is everything else pretty well cared for, or are things in poor shape?

Do you guys have a sense yet of where you are going to try to work for your 1L summer?

I know that this is a long list, but any information you can provide in regards to the above would be enormously helpful! I'm currently leaning towards William and Mary as a good balance of a solid school vs. non-life ending debt (w/ the fellowship), and am planning to visit there in a few weeks. I'd love to get an insider view first.

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Displeased
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Displeased » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:29 am

ragnarok545 wrote:Hey guys. As repeated already, thanks a bunch for taking questions. I'm also a recently admitted fellowship student, and I'm trying to decide between here and Boston U (also possibly Temple if I gain a full scholarship). A few questions I have:

Do you have a sense yet of how your 2L fellowship work will be assigned? Will you request to work with a professor or will they pick you. Are the 2Ls still working in administration those who just fell through the cracks or did they mostly choose to remain there? I know this has kind of been covered already, but if you could shed light on any further details, it would be awesome.



I'm not entirely sure, but I think you list your preferred professors, and the administration does their best to get students matched up with the professors they chose. I can't imagine people voluntarily choosing to do administrative work, since working with a professor pretty much guarantees a letter of recommendation.

Does working in alumnae relations and admissions mean that you call alumnae for money and act as a tour guide for students, respectively, or is there more to it than that? If you are assigned a certain 1L job after filling out the questionnaire, can you request that they reconsider if you don't think it would be a good fit? (I mostly ask this last one on the chance that alumnae relations is mostly asking for money).


Not a clue. I suspect admissions involves a lot of envelope stuffing and other menial office work. The tour guides I see tend to be 2Ls, but then again, I haven't seen that many tours yet, its still a little early.

Do any of you guys have significant others who do not attend W+M Law, and if so, how do the rules work for them gaining access to gym facilities, the cafeteria, etc. Is it possible for them to live in the Grad Plex as well, or is it strictly students only?


Gradplex is student only, sorry. However, I think the school is very accommodating towards non-students when it comes to access to facilities. People bring their significant others to class all the time, and the library is open to everyone. There's no real cafeteria in the law school, just a lounge/coffee area that anybody can hang out in. The big cafeterias on campus let anybody in, though its rare to see a law student eat on campus.

The gym has such elaborate security measures, its somewhat of a joke amongst students. I wouldn't be surprised if we start needing retinal scans to get in next semester. However, you can bring a guest, for a $5.00 a day fee.
How would you describe the condition of the law school facilities (classrooms, equipment, etc.). I've seen pictures of the library and it looks awesome, but is everything else pretty well cared for, or are things in poor shape?


Generally speaking, law schools tend to be very well maintained. As for William and Mary, I haven't seen anything worth complaining about, and everything looks very clean. The classroom technology is as advanced as you can ask for, we've got spiffy fiber optics and all that. The McGlothlin Courtroom is the most technologically advanced courtroom in the world, as I'm sure you'll hear many, many times when you visit.

The area around William and Mary is well maintained, since its Colonial Williamsburg and all. We all have a love/hate relationship with CW, confusion corner, and the pedestrian ridden Merchant Square. How I loathe that damnable puppetmaster....(these are all hilarious W&M in-jokes, you'll know what I am talking about if you chose to go here).

The point is, W&M is clean, and the surrounding area is probably one of the most well maintained places in the country.


Do you guys have a sense yet of where you are going to try to work for your 1L summer?


OCS seems to be pushing us to work government jobs in D.C. or in District Attorney's offices throughout the country. At least, those are the jobs that the e-mail us about, I don't think they mentioned anything about firm jobs. People are trying for internships with judges, but nobody I know has gotten any callbacks yet.

Its a bit early to get a sense of what's attainable and what's not, especially since we won't have grades until January. Its still early in the game, I haven't gotten an interview yet (and I doubt I'm unique), though somebody else may have had better luck than I. The point is, I have no clue where I'm going to work, I'm just tossing resumes at people, hoping something sticks.

ragnarok545
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Re: William & Mary

Postby ragnarok545 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:43 pm

Displeased, thanks a million for answering all that! Good luck with the summer job hunt and maybe I'll see you next year!

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Displeased
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Displeased » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:42 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:Displeased, thanks a million for answering all that! Good luck with the summer job hunt and maybe I'll see you next year!


No problem.

I'm hoping somebody else weighs in on the fellowship questions, I was more or less just guessing, based on my experience with the fellowship and half-remembered conversations with other students.

Once you actually start attending classes and getting into the swing of law school, your graduate fellowship work becomes pretty routine and casual. Not to say that you stop caring about it, but it is one of the least stressful parts of law school. So, its odd to see 80% of questions in this topic be about the grad fellowship, when it accounts for maybe 5% of my total law school stress.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:05 am

ragnarok545 wrote:Do you have a sense yet of how your 2L fellowship work will be assigned? Will you request to work with a professor or will they pick you. Are the 2Ls still working in administration those who just fell through the cracks or did they mostly choose to remain there? I know this has kind of been covered already, but if you could shed light on any further details, it would be awesome.


From what I've gathered... it's sort of a bidding system. You rank what you would prefer to do, professors obviously get a say in who will be working for them (and I think grades can give you a leg up here) and then it's somehow assigned (sometimes randomly, sometimes not). Sorry, I know that's not a great answer. As far as I know most 2Ls work for a professor and a couple are TAs. I only know 3Ls who decided they didn't want to research anymore and went back to their admin jobs.

ragnarok545 wrote:Does working in alumnae relations and admissions mean that you call alumnae for money and act as a tour guide for students, respectively, or is there more to it than that? If you are assigned a certain 1L job after filling out the questionnaire, can you request that they reconsider if you don't think it would be a good fit? (I mostly ask this last one on the chance that alumnae relations is mostly asking for money).


Alumni is mostly administrative work; you can help call alumni if you want but generally that is not required (you do it to make extra money during Phone-a-Thon (you can also do this if you work another job or do not even have the grad fellowship, it's open to all students). Admissions Graduate Fellows do not usually do the tours as far as I know. It is usually 2 and 3Ls and is done on a volunteer basis, not as part of your fellowship hours. I don't know if they will reassign you if you ask, but I don't know anyone who tried. If there is something you really want to do, I think you would be better off just requesting that rather than listing what you don't want to do.

ragnarok545 wrote:How would you describe the condition of the law school facilities (classrooms, equipment, etc.). I've seen pictures of the library and it looks awesome, but is everything else pretty well cared for, or are things in poor shape?


I think it is in great shape. It seems like all the students really care about keeping it that way too. You will hardly ever see people just leave their trash lying around or anything like that.

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:14 pm

I concur with everything said about the fellowship work. I don't have any more information to add on that front.

The law school is in great shape. The lobby, the library, the rooms themselves are all really modern and clean. Classrooms have modern projection equipment and things as well. Additionally, our law school courtroom is literally the most technologically advanced courtroom in the world. We just revamped it with the latest and greatest equipment and software last summer and we did some aesthetic revamping as well, putting wood panels on the walls and changing seats and things. I can attest to all of this, because part of my fellowship work involved cataloging all the receipts for the courtroom and taking inventory of the stuff we received :lol:

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:21 pm

ragnarok545 wrote:I'm trying to decide between here and Boston U (also possibly Temple if I gain a full scholarship).


If it comes down to BU versus WM, I encourage you to go to each schools admitted students day. They were on different days last year, so it was possible.

I wouldn't have made a decision for WM (which I feel was the right choice for me) if I hadn't gone to each one and had the chance to compare the two schools based on my personal impressions rather than simply reading lots of brochures or blogs, or talking to people on TLS.

ragnarok545
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Re: William & Mary

Postby ragnarok545 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:33 am

Thank you sincerely for all the info, guys. I fully intend on visiting both Boston and Williamsburg before deciding anything, but it's great to get a student's perspective first. Best to you all.

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omega_watts
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Re: William & Mary

Postby omega_watts » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:16 pm

I am a 2013 admit and your posts were very helpful.

I wonder if any of you have spouse and kids, and if not, are there many students who do?

How easy is it for families to manage in the Burg and surrounding areas?

Are there plenty of jobs for spouses in the area?

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:43 pm

Hi Omega,

I think I speak for the three of us (myself, Displeased and Texas) if I say that none of us three have a spouse or kids. I've met several students who have spouses and fiances, and a handful who have kids, but I don't have a good sense of how many there might be in the student body.

I don't know about jobs for family members in Williamsburg since I haven't done any research into jobs in the area, but Williamsburg itself is a clean and safe place and is very comparable to my suburban hometown in the Northeast (except there are more things to do in Wburg).

lethe405
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Re: William & Mary

Postby lethe405 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:51 pm

Hi Omega,

I'm yet another 1L who found this board very helpful last year, so I'll take a stab at answering your question. I'm not married, but I do live with my boyfriend (who moved out to Williamsburg with me). His job search taught us that you really have to look outside Williamsburg for most jobs that don't involve the tourism industry or the college. Your spouse would probably be looking at a commute to one of the surrounding cities (Newport News being the closest at 20-30 minutes away).

In terms of life in general for students with significant others, the law school does have a events for married/engaged/etc. students. If you decide to attend W&M, there will be an info session for said students and their partners during orientation. There are quite a few married students (four in my Legal Skills firm alone, which is a class of about 15 students), so you definitely won't be alone.

Feel free to reply or PM me if you have more specific questions.

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omega_watts
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Re: William & Mary

Postby omega_watts » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:04 pm

Good info. I live in a mid size city in far West Texas, so the Mrs. is used to commuting to work. I'm just starting to stress a bit because having to move a family adds an additional layer of pressure to the whole LS experience.

Well, if everyone is as friendly as the folks in this forum, I'll be in good hands!

Thanks again everyone. I'll repost questions as the time gets closer to make a choice.

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danidancer
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Re: William & Mary

Postby danidancer » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:51 pm

omega_watts wrote:Good info. I live in a mid size city in far West Texas, so the Mrs. is used to commuting to work. I'm just starting to stress a bit because having to move a family adds an additional layer of pressure to the whole LS experience.

Well, if everyone is as friendly as the folks in this forum, I'll be in good hands!

Thanks again everyone. I'll repost questions as the time gets closer to make a choice.


I used to live in VA, and the good thing about W&M is that it's fairly equidistant (about an hour to each) to two major metropolitan markets: Richmond and Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, etc). Depending on your wife's industry, I'm sure she could job search in both. Good luck!

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NatSec
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Re: William & Mary

Postby NatSec » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:38 pm

omega_watts wrote:Good info. I live in a mid size city in far West Texas, so the Mrs. is used to commuting to work. I'm just starting to stress a bit because having to move a family adds an additional layer of pressure to the whole LS experience.

Well, if everyone is as friendly as the folks in this forum, I'll be in good hands!

Thanks again everyone. I'll repost questions as the time gets closer to make a choice.



i'm originally from texas and currently live with my wife in dc. having this same concern regarding commute times for her to work we recently did all of the drive times. it helps that she graduated from wm undergrad. from the periphery of richmond to wm you have a roughly 45 min. drive that is all highway. going the other direction into newport news/norfolk you have about a 25-35 min. drive also on the highway. the commute would be closer to what happens around dallas vs. the debacle that is austin if that makes any sense. its definitely nothing like the commute here in dc.

as of right if i get in at wm we are planning to live closer to her work and i would commute the distance to school. i figure she'll be much happier with a 10 min. commute and i'll drive the 30 min or so to campus. heck, if we end up in the same area we could carpool!




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