romothesavior wrote: JCougar wrote: HondoK wrote:
quadsixm wrote:Wasn't me, JCougar went on the visit, I believe. I hope to visit, finances permitting...
We have similar avatars; you're forgiven.
I loved my visit, and definitely think St. Louis is a cool town. It's not Chicago, New York, or South Beach, but given the cost of living, there's some pretty cool areas to live and some pretty interesting things to do.
I talked with admissions; basically they have no idea what's going to happen with the waitlist/hold list right now because they have no idea how many people are going to withdraw. Dean Pless at Illinois basically said the same thing in his e-mail. This cycle is extremely hard to predict for admissions offices because of two things 1) the enormous amount of applications relative to the modest increase in applicants, and 2) the trend of more people retaking the LSAT and some of them getting higher scores. The first factor may really mess with yield rate, so schools are being extra cautious. No one wants to be the next U Miami. But the second could also mean that schools will end up having somewhat higher standards this year, or that some who applied late in the cycle might get hosed if you have marginal numbers. My guess is that schools are still trying to sort out how many of the extra applicants are just people concerned about the economy and/or applying everywhere to make sure they get in somewhere or that they have a lot of options for scholarship negotiation, and how many of the applicants are truly interested. Because of the trend of more people retaking the LSAT, 167s and 168s, etc. are also probably less rare this year, so there are more top-tiered applicants.
With that said, if you are really not going to Wash U, please withdraw soon!
Best of luck to you, man. I know you've really been hoping for an acceptance there. Is it your first choice?
Yes, but it's really close. I visited Illinois the next day and was equally impressed with things there, but for different reasons. I walked away from the Illinois campus tour thinking that campus is a bit more my own personal style. Each school has it's own flavor. Wash U was more Ivy-league-esque and nerdy, Illinois is a state school in a college town. The students in the Illinois class I sat in on were really having fun with each other and the professor (yet still making very cogent and sometimes passionate points). However, the ones I talked with were pretty excited about the extracurricular events such as softball (where there is apparently a bar on the field that serves beer) and law school prom. They seemed not to stress out too much about school, which is probably more congruent with my personality. I do my best work when I don't worry so much about the outcome. Also, Illinois allows you to audit classes outside the law school free of charge, so if you wanted to learn a foreign language, for example, you could audit a Spanish class. Or, if you wanted to brush up on economics, etc. you could still do that. This seems like it would be a tremendous resource. On top of that, Illinois has a very strong labor and employment law program, seemingly stronger than Wash U's. Since this is what I want to practice, and Chicago is where I want to work, it would make Illinois the right choice for me for so many different reasons.
On the other hand, Wash U. is in a big city, which probably offers a social scene more relevant to a student who will be 30 years old midway through 1L. And for me, a big component of law school is about a change in life philosophy. I've had my fun, and I really think it's time for me to revisit the inner nerd in me, and take my studies fairly seriously. The class I sat in on at Wash U. was an upper-level class, and Professor Greenfield was really tying the students' brains in knots and getting them to think thoroughly and completely about the material. It seemed pretty intense (definitely not in a bad way, from my perspective). Given that, part of dealing with the pressures of law school is being able to have fun, and I think St. Louis offers a more diverse array of opportunities that are a train ride away. I'm a big city person. I was born in a big city, and went to undergrad and grad school in a big city. The only time in my life I have ever lived in a small city/suburb is right now, and I hate it. But I want my main focus to be on being as big of a nerd as I can be. Not that Illinois students aren't nerdy or smart (obviously they are), but I think the Ivy-esque atmosphere that I got from Wash U. might be better for me in the big picture.
Given that, I'm on the waitlist at both places, so it might simply be a matter of who admits me first, if either one actually does. I'm not going to turn down an offer at one hoping for an offer at the other, unless scholarship money is less than what is normally given out for someone with my numbers. I'm in at Wisconsin now with in-state tuition, and Madison is awesome, so I don't think I could go wrong with that. But I want everything I do related to law school to have one common theme: I want to do the absolute best that I can possibly do at ever step of the process. From the LSAT to choosing a school to my exams to OCI, I will accept nothing less than the best from myself. I'm not going to let cost get in the way too much. If I do my best, I won't have to worry too much about debt, so I will pay more (within reason) to go to a better school.