William & Mary

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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omega_watts
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Re: William & Mary

Postby omega_watts » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:38 pm

I do have some history in VA (my aunt lives in Newport News, I was stationed in Ft. Lee, lived there for a 6 months when I was a kid) but I have 0 experience with having a family there.

To be honest, I'd much rather be there then in the midwest... I'm all for 4 seasons, but I dont think I'm ready for all this cold snap nonsense.

Well thanks for the info Nat! I didnt know that Richmond was also in commute distance from Da Burg.

Is anyone planning on going to the admitted students day?

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:10 am

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 not sure if you are planning on making a permanent move to the east coast, but if not you may want to seriously consider staying in Texas for law school. I have really enjoyed W&M, don't get me wrong, but it may not be the best choice for those of us from Texas. I didn't realize until I began the job search how much of the market is taken up with the local law schools. SMU takes Dallas; South Texas and UofH take Houston; Baylor takes what they can get and UT takes whatever they want (slight exaggeration but you get the gist). I wish I had had a little more warning that this may be a more permanent move than I had planned.

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omega_watts
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Re: William & Mary

Postby omega_watts » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:34 am

texas08 wrote:
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 not sure if you are planning on making a permanent move to the east coast, but if not you may want to seriously consider staying in Texas for law school. I have really enjoyed W&M, don't get me wrong, but it may not be the best choice for those of us from Texas. I didn't realize until I began the job search how much of the market is taken up with the local law schools. SMU takes Dallas; South Texas and UofH take Houston; Baylor takes what they can get and UT takes whatever they want (slight exaggeration but you get the gist). I wish I had had a little more warning that this may be a more permanent move than I had planned.

I figured as much. I would like to practice in TX but El Paso is not what you would call a thriving legal market, and they take folks from just about any LS here. The only two schools that seem to have a big foot print here are TTU and St Marys.

I wouldnt mind staying East for a few years, if that's where the good jobs are.

Thanks for the feedback though. Any other advice for TX>VA transplants.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:03 pm

omega_watts wrote:Any other advice for TX>VA transplants.


Not that I can think of off the top of my head :) . Like I said, I have really enjoyed W&M. And maybe I'm being a bit harsh since it's usually tough for 1Ls anyways. They have a Texas Interview Program for 2Ls for summer employment so I'm really looking forward to that. I believe dark already said this, but for everyone from out of state, visit if you can. I came here having never visited and it worked out fine, but I know the visits made a lot of peoples' choices easier. If you have any specific questions about moving, apartments, stuff like that later on feel free to PM me.

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omega_watts
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Re: William & Mary

Postby omega_watts » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:44 pm

texas08 wrote:
omega_watts wrote:Any other advice for TX>VA transplants.


Not that I can think of off the top of my head :) . Like I said, I have really enjoyed W&M. And maybe I'm being a bit harsh since it's usually tough for 1Ls anyways. They have a Texas Interview Program for 2Ls for summer employment so I'm really looking forward to that. I believe dark already said this, but for everyone from out of state, visit if you can. I came here having never visited and it worked out fine, but I know the visits made a lot of peoples' choices easier. If you have any specific questions about moving, apartments, stuff like that later on feel free to PM me.

Well thanks for all the info. I will make plans to head out there for the ASW (barring any green lights from my reach schools).

Good Luck

PS- Gig-em

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:25 pm

I don't mean to make light of Texas' situation, or imply that W&M has more of a national reach than it does (actually, technically speaking, I think we have alumni in all 50 states, including 8 in Alaska - although of course alumni seem to be very heavily concentrated around Virginia/DC) - but taking a quick look at the alumni directory shows that there is a very respectable number practicing in Texas. The economy is certainly a grim reality impacting the job search for everyone around the country this year, but I've had some cautious success so far in my home state of Massachusetts, an area crowded with local law schools and fewer W&M alumni than Texas.

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Displeased
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Displeased » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:53 pm

Hey Dark and Texas08, did you get any of your grades yet? I'm pretty sure neither of you are in any of my classes...

I'm only curious about whether the other sections have gotten their grades, I'm not asking what those grades are. I got my Crim grade back a week or so ago, but nothing else so far.

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:41 pm

Civ pro, my first one, came back a few hours ago today. I haven't heard anything for torts and crim.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:23 pm

Same as dark. Some legal skills have their grades too, but I don't.

emkayo
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Re: William & Mary

Postby emkayo » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:42 pm

Can you give me an idea of what your study schedule was like during your first semester? What expectations or concerns did you have about being a 1L that turned out to be wrong? Thanks!

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:58 pm

emkayo wrote:Can you give me an idea of what your study schedule was like during your first semester? What expectations or concerns did you have about being a 1L that turned out to be wrong? Thanks!


I think this answer is going to vary a lot by who you ask, and what point during the semester. For the first three months I would say I mostly just did my reading and that was it. Closer to exams (after Thanksgiving) I started working through supplements and outlining. And the last week before exams I was in the library at least 8 hours a day. The biggest thing that helped me was not letting the stress get to me. Just do your work and go home and relax.

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NosferatuDracon
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Re: William & Mary

Postby NosferatuDracon » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:43 am

http://law.wm.edu/careerservices/classprofile/employertype/index.php

So I'm looking at this graph and am wondering specifically what type of placements WM grads get as far as clerkships and government jobs. Do you know if career services has more detailed information about this? I'm really interested in clerking and then trying for DOJ or the Fed, or a number of other government agency's that hire attorneys. I'm really torn between UVA and WM right now, because I really like all the programs and opportunities UVA offers but WM is an awesome school with an awesome tuition(in-state).

While tuition is certainly a factor, ultimately I want to go to a school where I will have the best chance of getting a job I would be happy with...i.e. a federal or legislative gig.

Thanks for any help you can give on this...I may just end up emailing career services and requesting the information from them too, but I'm also interested in a students perspective even if it is limited in scope.

Thanks!

soxfan08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby soxfan08 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:38 pm

Another W&M 1L here. When I was applying last year I e-mailed Career Services directly, and they sent me a list of where students got employed during the last few years. You can also probably get a list of where 2L's and 1L's have spent the summer recently.

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livitup11
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Re: William & Mary

Postby livitup11 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:35 pm

I just visited W&M yesterday- I had an amazing time and everyone was really accommodating.

A few questions:

1) Is the Legal Skills program really such a drag as everyone says it is? There was athread a few years back where a couple W&M students went on a tirade against it. It seems to me like it would be a bit tedious, but useful in the end. In any case, even though it's pass/fail, if I'm going to be doing it for two years, it would be comforting to know it's not a total waste of time.

2) I just got accepted to GW. This forces me to confront a big question directly- what are the disadvantages of not being in a clutch location like DC? I've lived both in cities and in quiet towns, so I'm not averse to either environment and I recognize their pros and cons. What it comes down to for me is, am I missing out on opportunities by being out in Williamsburg versus DC, and is it worth the increased CoL to be there?

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:43 pm

livitup11 wrote:1) Is the Legal Skills program really such a drag as everyone says it is?


A lot of people give the legal skills program flack because unlike most other law schools it goes for two years - meaning you'll have less free time your 2L year than someone at another school. It is very extensive though. This is not just a legal writing class. Legal skills will teach you how to do legal research, give you tips on interviewing clients, tips on negotiations, preparing for trial, representing clients, and arguing in front of judges (allegedly, sometimes we have actual judges volunteer to judge the fictitious trials). It'll also give you experience with the technology in our courtroom, which is supposed to have the latest groundbreaking technology.

People also knock it because they don't consider each aspect (research, representing clients etc) to be as extensive as say, challenging yourself with moot court, or taking a separate class that focuses on research only. Honestly though, its all about how much time you want to spend on things. Legal skills is pass/fail and you basically won't get a fail as long as you turn in your assignments and you put in an average amount of effort. Of course it is to your benefit to put in lots and lots of time on the assignments and to seek out advice and learn the most you can... but, because we are all law school students taking 3 or 4 graded classes each semester - I think as the semester goes on and people have less free time, students spend more time focusing on their graded classes and less time on legal skills assignments.

livitup11 wrote:2) I just got accepted to GW. This forces me to confront a big question directly- what are the disadvantages of not being in a clutch location like DC? I've lived both in cities and in quiet towns, so I'm not averse to either environment and I recognize their pros and cons. What it comes down to for me is, am I missing out on opportunities by being out in Williamsburg versus DC, and is it worth the increased CoL to be there?


Having neither lived nor worked in DC, I can't really answer your first question. I know a number of current students who picked WM because of its proximity to DC and reputation for placing people in that area. It also does appear that there are a lot of WM grads employed in Federal Government agencies and DC law firms. There was a federal government career fair/information session last semester with lots of WM alums from the last several decades showing up to tell us about their jobs and their employers. I'd imagine that actually being in DC may help you with making connections during the semester if you join local DC professional organizations and the like, but I don't think coming to WM is going to drastically reduce your opportunities to work in DC, either in Fed Gov. or at a DC firm if that's what you want to do.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:04 pm

livitup11 wrote:1) Is the Legal Skills program really such a drag as everyone says it is? There was athread a few years back where a couple W&M students went on a tirade against it. It seems to me like it would be a bit tedious, but useful in the end. In any case, even though it's pass/fail, if I'm going to be doing it for two years, it would be comforting to know it's not a total waste of time.


Sometimes it does feel like a big waste of time. Of course you also got here at a bad time for Legal Skills because they just assigned us the ultimate busy-work project at the beginning of this semester so everyone was pretty pissed. However, the advantage is that with all the mock-clients and research we have to do, it can look really good on applications and in interviews compared to other schools that just have a semester or two of research and writing.

livitup11 wrote:2) I just got accepted to GW. This forces me to confront a big question directly- what are the disadvantages of not being in a clutch location like DC? I've lived both in cities and in quiet towns, so I'm not averse to either environment and I recognize their pros and cons. What it comes down to for me is, am I missing out on opportunities by being out in Williamsburg versus DC, and is it worth the increased CoL to be there?


I actually faced this exact question. If it had cost close to the same I would have gone to GW. But I got offered no scholarship money there and the Graduate Fellowship here so it was a no brainer for me. There was no way I could justify paying nearly double to live in DC. I would say your only disadvantages are going to be small-town life vs city life and having to move during the summers for internships because there is nothing in Williamsburg.

Headybrah
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Headybrah » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:12 pm

So I just applied,
didnt apply for the fellowship or write the essay and I kind of regret it

Is there any chance at getting into one of those programs once I am accepted (if I am...)

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:32 pm

Headybrah wrote:So I just applied,
didnt apply for the fellowship or write the essay and I kind of regret it

Is there any chance at getting into one of those programs once I am accepted (if I am...)


I don't remember there being a special essay for the Graduate Fellowship, just for some of the other ones and I didn't write those. I'm not sure about getting into them later, you can try calling Admissions and asking them. Sorry I wasn't much help.

dark
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Re: William & Mary

Postby dark » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:12 am

Yeah, I don't recall there being an essay or application for the graduate fellowship. I just got notice I was being offered it in the envelope that had my admissions letter.

Although, I heard WM is doing some new things with admissions this year, notably, they have an online status checker - I don't recall there being one last year.

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Displeased
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Re: William & Mary

Postby Displeased » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:13 pm

I'm of two minds about Legal Skills.

On one hand, Legal Thrillz is a fantastic waste of time. They schedule ridiculously pointless events at completely random times, totally screwing with your schedule from week to week. When I say pointless, I mean pointless. Westlaw seminars, multiple library tours (where they just tell you that everything is on Westlaw), worksheets, busy work, etc. In many ways, Legal Skills is a huge distraction from all the actually important things you will do in law school. It doesn't help that the Skills program has an uncanny knack for scheduling things at the worst possible times. Rest assured that when you feel like you are drowning in work, that's when Skills will pile it on. First week back, middle of OCI applications? They hit you with that "ultimate in busy work" assignment that Texas mentioned. Moot Court tryouts? Time for Client B! It can be obnoxious.

On the other hand, its not really that bad. If you spend more than two hours a week doing Legal Skills stuff, you are doing it wrong. Client interviews can be amusing (though some people take them seriously, which is a downer), and I hear that some of the stuff you do as a 2L can be interesting. Memos are annoying, but you have to write memos at every school. Also, I suppose Legal Skills is helpful for keeping us busy and giving us something to do academically besides constantly reading cases. Granted, this semester we have job applications and organizations and extracurricular stuff to keep us busy, but in the first semester Legal Skills can be a welcome break from endless case readings.

On a side note, I'm unsure about exactly how different our Legal Skills program is from the typical LRW classes at other law schools. The administration constantly brags about how special and amazing our Legal Skills program is, but they have obvious biases. I mean, take away the goofy client interviews, law camp, and a few other miscellaneous things, and I don't think our program is truly distinguishable from other schools. At the very least, it probably doesn't deserve all the hype it gets. That's just me musing, I haven't really spoken to my friends at other schools about their LRW programs.

Having said all of that, I believe the Skills program is getting reevaluated and restructured this year. You guys will probably have a considerably different experience than us.

Don't take my first paragraph too seriously, I'm a little over dramatic.

EDIT: I'm 99% sure there's no special application or essay for the Graduate Fellowship. I didn't even know it existed until I got the acceptance letter.
Last edited by Displeased on Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

goblue2010
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Re: William & Mary

Postby goblue2010 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:54 pm

HI! Kind of dumb question, but for visiting, is it best to fly into the Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF) airport? When I type in Williamsburg, priceline keeps telling me to go to Richmond, but it looks like PHF is the closest to the school, right?

laureng05
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Re: William & Mary

Postby laureng05 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:29 pm

Hey guys, thanks to everyone who's answering questions on this thread.

I have a question about housing - i know there's the gradplex, but i'd really like to live alone. I got a nice scholarship from W&M, plus in-state tuition, plus i've been working for the past 4 years so I'm okay with splurging alittle on housing. where do you guys recommend i look? the only place i've heard of is oxford new town. Ideally, i'd like a place close to campus (biking distance) and where other law students live. THanks for any help!

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NatSec
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Re: William & Mary

Postby NatSec » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:31 pm

goblue2010 wrote:HI! Kind of dumb question, but for visiting, is it best to fly into the Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF) airport? When I type in Williamsburg, priceline keeps telling me to go to Richmond, but it looks like PHF is the closest to the school, right?


if you're renting a car, i think the drive is only like 45-55 min from richmond to w&m.

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texas08
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Re: William & Mary

Postby texas08 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:18 pm

goblue2010 wrote:HI! Kind of dumb question, but for visiting, is it best to fly into the Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF) airport? When I type in Williamsburg, priceline keeps telling me to go to Richmond, but it looks like PHF is the closest to the school, right?


Newport News is much closer, only about 20 minutes away. But you will probably need to rent a car either way, so if flying into Richmond is cheaper I would do that. It's about 45 min to an hour away. There is also Norfolk if you want to fly Southwest, but that is at least an hour in good traffic, and usually the traffic sucks.


laureng05 wrote:Hey guys, thanks to everyone who's answering questions on this thread.

I have a question about housing - i know there's the gradplex, but i'd really like to live alone. I got a nice scholarship from W&M, plus in-state tuition, plus i've been working for the past 4 years so I'm okay with splurging alittle on housing. where do you guys recommend i look? the only place i've heard of is oxford new town. Ideally, i'd like a place close to campus (biking distance) and where other law students live. THanks for any help!


Oxford New Town is probably where the biggest group of law students live that I know of. If you can afford it, their one bedrooms are a really good size. However, it is pretty far from school (relative to other places). Maybe a 15 minute drive? I'd say it's 4-5 miles by bike if you cut through campus. People tend to spread out a bit, because there aren't a whole lot of student only complexes. At least that's my opinion based on the college town I lived in during college. There's also Sterling Manor which is closer and has one bedrooms. There are quite a few law students there this year too. It's maybe a two mile drive/bike ride.

goblue2010
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Re: William & Mary

Postby goblue2010 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:41 pm

thanks for getting back to me on the flights thing - couldn't seem to find it anywhere. surprisingly, for me the flights to newport news were actually cheaper!

looking forward to visiting - i am bummed that i can't attend the actual admitted student's day, but want to go another time.d o you think they will let me sit in on a class?

i would also like to know how you guys enjoy living in williamsburg? do you ever get bored being in a pretty small town, or does law school keep you busy enough so you don't notice?

thanks for answering all these questions!




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