because I keep getting PMs asking what I like/dislike about WUSTL and about my general experience here, I'm just going to post it here and get it done with at once. I recognize there's a risk associated with doing this because i'm pretty sure anyone at WUSTL who reads TLS already knows who I am, but whatever
I'll try to be methodical about it
I used to think our facilities were amazing until I saw the new additions to the business school next door. Now our facilities look like trash. But I serve on an SBA committee that meets with the administration to discuss updates to the facilities and student services (e.g. cafe). And there are good things coming our way that I'm sure you guys will appreciate
I haven't yet had a professor who's intelligence I've questioned. Oftentimes I sit in lecture thinking "holy shit this prof is a genius" which is quickly followed by the thought "oh fuck how am i gonna impress this prof on their exam?" Our profs are accessible and they know what they're doing. We don't pay them the kind of money we do for stupid profs. Yes some of them have their idiosyncrasies and some of them might have unfavorable exam policies, but at the end of the day you're gonna learn some shit from them if you apply yourself.
It's not NYC. Which is great, because NYC sucks. It's generally clean here. You can drive from point A to point B without running into major traffic and subsequently questioning everything about your life. Living here is cheap. There's beers to be drank and sports to be watched. There's enough to do to keep you occupied but not so much to overwhelm you or bankrupt you.
I guess this is more controversial but i'll be honest. There are times in lecture when some of my classmates talk and I just sit there in fury because that imbecile is getting the same J.D. as me. But it's usually the same kids over and over again and it's usually when the entire room (not just me) starts rolling their eyes. But most of my classmates--whether I like them or not--are extremely capable, driven, and smart. They will be excellent lawyers. There are opportunities here for people to pursue different interests and everyone seems to find their group fairly quickly.
Like any non-elite school (HYSCCN or arguably just HYS), there are haves and have-nots. At the extreme there will be people who straight up just won't have a job by graduation or even after they pass the bar. Sure it happens. But for the most part it's not a haves vs. have-not situation. It's a have-more vs have-less or have-right-now vs will-have-later situation. People with legal connections and/or good grades will generally find employment quicker than those that don't. People who go through OCI and get an SA will generally have some more certainty whereas the kids who opt out of firm employment face more uncertainty. But this isn't a TTT. Do your work and hustle and the odds are that you will be just fine.
I've said this privately before but I'll re-iterate it here (and likely paint a target on my back). Law school grades are NOT random in the sense that everyone turns in identical exams and the professor just flips a coin to assign grades. The students who spot the most issues and analyze them the most deeply will get the best grades (for your normal 1L issue-spotter exam). Working hard, working smart, finding a good mentor, etc... are all things that the top performing students have in common. VERY rarely will there just be a genius who just understands everything naturally and does well with minimal effort. Lets assume that all 1Ls are equally smart and all have the necessary mental endurance (they don't, but lets assume they do). Even then, there are things that take kids out of the race, i'll break it down here:
1. Kids who have no idea what's going on and don't know what to do
2. Kids who are just genuinely too lazy to put in the work
3. Kids who know exactly what to do but become overconfident and therefore become complacent
4. Kids who think they're smarter so they don't work hard
5. Kids who work hard, but do things the wrong way
6. Kids who become distracted because of something personal (e.g. relationship...drugs...etc...)
7. Kids who are too opinionated and refuse to learn/apply the law the way their professors want them to
8. Kids who hate law school so much that they just avoid all things related to it, and therefore don't bother working
9. Kids who are too nice or soft to be as competitive as they probably need to be
10. Kids who believe the kool-aid the school feeds them about not needing good grades to do well
11. Kids whose mentors told them that they would be fine so they stop working because they think that the approval of their mentors somehow means good grades are a sure thing.
That's just eleven categories i thought of off the top of my head as I watch the Michigan-Texas game.
The ONLY reason we tell 0L's that law school grading is "random" is because we have a random selection of 0L's and we have no idea whether they'll fall into one of those categories or whether they're smart enough or whether they're willing to work smart enough. Because we speak to a random selection of 0L's, we need to tell them grading is random, because we don't know enough to give them any kind of accurate assessment. But as far as YOUR LIFE/CAREER is concerned, grading is not random. Figure out how to do well and do the work. Honestly, it's in your hands more than anything else.
General happiness and what not
My happiness fluctuates depending on whether or not I have con law that day. In all seriousness, I go to a school with smart peers, sit in classes taught by excellent professors, and enjoy the brand power of a school that can give me career opportunities that were a pipe dream a few months ago. This could probably apply to every school in the T30. So figure out if WUSTL is a good fit for you. No one can give you a checklist of criteria to determine if it's a good fit for you or not.
Minimize your debt while maximizing career opportunities in your desired market. Then figure out which school you'll enjoy attending for 3 years.