Hey guys! I'm a GTown 1L. I was a splitter: 173 / 3.1, an Ivy League graduate, former Varsity Athlete, five years out of school when I applied, and I had four years of teaching experience. I was waitlisted almost everywhere in the Top 20 last year (special preferred at Georgetown) and the whole process was emotionally demoralizing. For what it's worth, I was interviewed by Georgetown before I was waitlisted, which seems to have been a pretty common practice. The one thing I am sure of is, GULC does proactively yield protect: if you have T6 numbers, you need to be clear and deliberate about your intent to attend GTown if admitted. I have several classmates who turned down the higher ranked schools, and many were waitlisted first.
Last year I turned to this website for advice and support, but at times it felt a little like the blind leading the blind. I am no expert and I don't claim special insight, but I can tell you about GULC and the waitlist experience if you're weighing choices.
My final choices were between GW, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Duke and Michigan Law, after absorbing two heartbreaking rejections from NYU and Columbia (early decision). I picked GULC (Georgetown University Law Center) largely because of Curriculum B (an alternative first-year curriculum offered exclusively at Georgetown). Columbia and NYU are excellent schools and I don't doubt I would have been happy either place--- and I don't doubt I could have been happy at the other places I turned down. However, I am thankful CLS rejected my ED application because knowing what I know now, I wouldn't want to be anywhere other than Georgetown.
As for the education, there are a couple things worth mentioning right away: first, the clinical program is the best in the country, and second, our professors have the kind of resumes where they could be doing anything they want in the world (my Legal Writing professor used to represent the Rolling Stones) -- and yes, many professors are keeping current with projects in DC (consulting on or arguing cases before SCOTUS, for example) -- but Georgetown chooses professors who love to teach and who devote themselves to students... not professors viewing the school as a stepping stone to judicial appointments. My professors all know me by name on and on a personal level. This is not the case at every T14 school.
Curriculum B is unique and a progressive experience: I personally believe it is the smartest way to do law school (because you get the "Big Picture" intertwined with traditional doctrines), and I'd bet that 40 years from now it will be the way most top schools approach the first-year curriculum. (Curriculum B was first implemented at Georgetown 20 years ago so those who sign up no longer need to feel like guinea pigs-- they know what they're doing.) And even if you choose to take the standard Curriculum A, exposure to classmates who have taken Curriculum B will provide you a learning resource and perspective in your 2L and 3L classes that you cannot get at any other school. However, I'll admit, I chose Curriculum B largely on blind faith because it sounded cool... I found that the descriptions offered were vague and when I started in August, I did not feel I knew what I was actually jumping into. Thus, I was nervous about how this would end up altering my law school experience and employment prospects. If anyone has questions on Curriculum B, shoot me an email.
Community Myths & Experience: I am from DC and had fought against the idea of going to Georgetown-- my impression of Georgetown Law (from living here) had been that it seemed cold and impersonal (a factory for the "washington lawyer"), and besides, my best friends were all living in New York City so that seemed fresh and exciting by comparison. In hindsight, GULC is nothing like what I expected, and enrolling has proven to be the best decision I've ever made in my life (which is why I'm bothering to share on this website now.) For starters, it is the most supportive, open, caring, eclectic and interesting community I've ever been part of-- I am incredibly loyal to my undergraduate alma mater, but as for as individualized, personal support, Georgetown has the Ivy's beat 10 to 1. I'm in office hours, or asking questions with Career Services or the Dean of Students, every week. My classmates are talented, brilliant, and generous citizens, as well as scholars -- going through first semester exams together, it felt like a team sport... we were in the same bunker, brothers in arms... NOT what I expected. There is no air of arrogance or competition: for example, two of my classmates starred in this semester's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Curtains. The whole section turned out to support them, and additionally, the two cast members had had a crazy production week, missed class, and the rest of us considered it our responsibility to make sure they were thoroughly caught up on notes from class. Exam week especially-- I'd missed an entire unit in one of my classes because I fell behind-- my study group took the time to thoroughly teach me, discuss and debate, what I'd missed, which took the better part of a day. That was much more than I would ever have anticipated, given that the class is graded on a curve.
I don't pretend to be an expert in any way, just happy to share the perspective I've gleaned from making it through to the other side, and concluding my first semester. I'm sorry if any of the above sounds like too much of a sales pitch--- that's not my intent--- rather, my intent is to offer a perspective that I did NOT have last year.
Feel free to email questions...
Best wishes! And don't worry... even if it's stressful now, it really does work out.