In At Mercer Law

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SpencerPratt
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In At Mercer Law

Postby SpencerPratt » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:53 pm

Accepted today via status checker...nice to have a second acceptance down south (Samford, Mercer).

Anyone else with me?? 8)

lawlec48
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby lawlec48 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:09 pm

SpencerPratt wrote:Accepted today via status checker...nice to have a second acceptance down south (Samford, Mercer).

Anyone else with me?? 8)


Congrats on both acceptances!!

When did you go complete and review?

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Al Swearengen
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby Al Swearengen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:01 am

SpencerPratt wrote:Accepted today via status checker...nice to have a second acceptance down south (Samford, Mercer).

Anyone else with me?? 8)


got both of those acceptances too. Samford on wednesday and Mercer today. Feel like i'm on a roll. Hopefully tomorrow will have more good news on the status checkers.

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actorlaw
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby actorlaw » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:06 am

let me preface this by saying i am not hating on mercer...

but could those of you who applied tell me what has drawn you to the school?

i am sitting on the verge of whether or not to apply... i would apply to use it as a safety school with the intention of transferring out after the first year if i would ever attend... just not crazy about the location and limits a Mercer degree presents. i hear the campus is gorgeous though.

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Al Swearengen
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby Al Swearengen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:36 am

i applied as a safety as well, being that i am live in georgia. i am not crazy about macon either,but the job prospects are not as bad as you think. i know several grads working in atlanta making 100k+ after graduation. i have a family member who is a UGA law grad and partner at a big atlanta firm, and he told me he felt mercer grads got a more practical law education than georgia state grads. he said they graduate knowing what they are supposed to do and are very self-sufficient in the firm. i'm hoping to go to UGA or Bama, but if things don't work out, mercer isn't such a bad option.

highdraws
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby highdraws » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:45 am

Al Swearengen wrote:i applied as a safety as well, being that i am live in georgia. i am not crazy about macon either,but the job prospects are not as bad as you think. i know several grads working in atlanta making 100k+ after graduation. i have a family member who is a UGA law grad and partner at a big atlanta firm, and he told me he felt mercer grads got a more practical law education than georgia state grads. he said they graduate knowing what they are supposed to do and are very self-sufficient in the firm. i'm hoping to go to UGA or Bama, but if things don't work out, mercer isn't such a bad option.


+1

mercer was in the usnews top 100 not too long ago. i went complete in late september and got accepted in the first week of october. it's a safety school for me too, and the only way i'd consider attending is if they offered me $$. i'm extremely debt averse. but it's definitely a quality school with a very good reputation in georgia, impressive when it competes against emory and uga.

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Al Swearengen
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby Al Swearengen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:20 pm

just got my acceptance letter. it came with a scholarship offer of $25,000 per year which was very surprising. makes the decision a little more difficult.

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deadpanic
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby deadpanic » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:47 pm

Al Swearengen wrote:just got my acceptance letter. it came with a scholarship offer of $25,000 per year which was very surprising. makes the decision a little more difficult.


That's almost a full ride, no?

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ggocat
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby ggocat » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:54 pm

Hi. I'm a 3L at Mercer and happy to answer any questions you have about the school.

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Al Swearengen
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby Al Swearengen » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:48 pm

deadpanic wrote:
Al Swearengen wrote:just got my acceptance letter. it came with a scholarship offer of $25,000 per year which was very surprising. makes the decision a little more difficult.


That's almost a full ride, no?


Full tuition is about $34,000 so yea it is pretty close to it. I was planning on applying for financial aid, but never expected to get a scholarship with the acceptance. No real requirements with the money either. It just says I must stay in good academic standing. I had heard Mercer was generous with money, but damn.

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jennylynn
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby jennylynn » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:50 pm

Al Swearengen wrote:
deadpanic wrote:
Al Swearengen wrote:just got my acceptance letter. it came with a scholarship offer of $25,000 per year which was very surprising. makes the decision a little more difficult.


That's almost a full ride, no?


Full tuition is about $34,000 so yea it is pretty close to it. I was planning on applying for financial aid, but never expected to get a scholarship with the acceptance. No real requirements with the money either. It just says I must stay in good academic standing. I had heard Mercer was generous with money, but damn.

Yeah they throw scholarships around like candy.

pmr
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby pmr » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:41 pm

Would either of you mind sharing numbers? I'm submitting my app this week.

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Al Swearengen
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby Al Swearengen » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:49 pm

3.1/160 and in-state. thought i was pretty safe to get in there.

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FacistCommunist
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby FacistCommunist » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:14 pm

ggocat wrote:Hi. I'm a 3L at Mercer and happy to answer any questions you have about the school.


What made you choose Mercer? What were your stats?

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ggocat
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby ggocat » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:47 am

FacistCommunist wrote:
ggocat wrote:Hi. I'm a 3L at Mercer and happy to answer any questions you have about the school.

What made you choose Mercer? What were your stats?

My stats were 160/4.0.

I chose Mercer for a number of reasons, primarily because I received a good scholarship, and the cost of higher ranked schools did not justify the marginal increase in employment prospects. Also, I visited seven or so schools before deciding, and by far I had the best "vibe" from Mercer (students, profs, administration--every one here is fantastic). Finally, although I didn't realize the true value of the legal writing program when I was still deciding on a school, I first became interested in the school because of its U.S. News ranking for legal writing.

This article came out when I was a 1L, but it basically sums up my decision re: cost vs. employment prospects: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1.

I was deciding between Iowa with about $110K debt and Mercer with less than $5K debt. Biglaw + federal clerkship placement, IIRC, was about 18-20% for Iowa and about 9-10% for Mercer. The difference wasn't worth the money to me.

sarahd
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby sarahd » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:16 am

Now that you are a 3L how do you feel about your decision with hindsight thrown in?

How are your job prospects looking?

Would you take additional points in to the equation of where to attend beyond what you did?

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ggocat
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby ggocat » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:02 pm

sarahd wrote:How are your job prospects looking?

I have a job clerking for a judge in my home state (outside Georgia), so I am pretty happy with how things turned out. But overall, the economy is really taking its toll on job prospects. The problem is universal among schools. I was reading another thread on TLS about offer rates at some of the T14 schools being in the 30-50% range. Mercer has also suffered with large firms. I think the classes of 2008 and 2009 had about 10-15% in biglaw. If I had to guess for class of 2011, I'd say we're at about 5% in biglaw. Class of 2010 had about the normal number 10-12% in biglaw summer gigs, but not a whole lot of people got offers. All of the local Macon firms have continued hiring as normal. Thus, I think Mercer will weather the economy better than most schools in larger markets. It has a lock on all the local firms, and the Mercer name carries much farther into the other smaller Georgia cities compared to Georgia State (e.g., Columbus, Savannah, Augusta, Warner Robbins).

sarahd wrote:Now that you are a 3L how do you feel about your decision with hindsight thrown in?

I wanted to clerk since before going to law school, so I am very happy how things turned out. I might have gotten the same or a better starting job if I attended a different school, but I'd have mountains of debt. I would not be happy with the debt. I'd like to buy a house in a few years and eventually hang a shingle. Both of those things will be easier to do with out all the debt. With new federal programs like Income Based Repayment (IBR), I wouldn't be as worried today about taking on debt as I was three years ago. So if you are considering law school without a scholarship, definitely look into IBR before making any decisions.

In hindsight, I probably would have retaken the LSAT. When I was researching law school in 2005/2006, schools averaged LSAT scores. Now that schools take the highest, there's almost no reason not to retake. But I am really happy with how things turned out at Mercer. Given my options, I would make the same decision today that I made then.

sarahd wrote:Would you take additional points in to the equation of where to attend beyond what you did?

Another point I would have taken into consideration is the fact that there are very few Mercer graduates in my home state. Part of me wishes I was staying in Georgia because I've met a lot of fantastic people here. I think it will be difficult to just pick up and move without any of my classmates being in the same state. But generally speaking, I think location is a factor that many applicants place too much emphasis on. So long as you have personal connections to a state, I think it's relatively easy to return to that state after law school. Just be sure to spend your summers working in the state you want to practice in (even if your summer work in that state would be less prestigious compared to a state you don't want to work in). But I've known people from Mercer who graduated in the last several years who ended up taking jobs in totally random places that they had never been to (e.g., Colorado). And there are people in my class who worked summer jobs in states that they had no connections to whatsoever.

A lot of TLSers say "Don't go to X school unless you want to spend 3-5 years practicing in the state in which X school is located." I think this is bad advice. Just from my limited exposure to the legal profession over the past several years, I understand that the profession depends very much on relationships. If you spend 3-5 years cultivating relationships in one state, I think you lose a lot by picking up and moving elsewhere. It's certainly an option, but I wouldn't recommend it. I'd recommend focusing your initial job hunt in your desired location (including your summer internships).

There are a lot of other minor factors that I took into consideration, most of which played into the "good vibe" I mentioned earlier. Also, there are a lot of things I learned about Mercer after I started school that have made me like the school even more. I'll mention a few of these: (1) the level of commitment professors have for the students, (2) the small size of the classes and congenial atmosphere, (3) the quality of the legal writing program, (4) the quality and reputation of the moot court program, and (5) the unique curriculum.

(1) the level of commitment professors have for the students.
The professors here are amazing. Even back when I was looking at schools, the Princeton Review student surveys consistently ranked the professors highly. Here are the recent rankings, which place Mercer as #1 for "Professors Accessible" (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... rev-3.html) and in the top 25 for "Professors Interesting" (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... lties.html). I've found the Princeton Review surveys to be very true. Professors are always available at the law school, and they are committed to the students. Many of the professors go out of their way to help students find jobs (forwarding resumes, making phone calls, etc.). The professors also listen to student concerns. They teach new courses if there is enough demand, and they pay attention to end-of-semester surveys to alter their courses for the following semesters. A lot of them are just fun, too. They are active participants at students events, and there is a faculty band that plays at some fundraisers run by student organizations.

(2) the small size of the classes and congenial atmosphere.
With only about 150 students and a small student-faculty ratio, the school is very close knit. During 1L, I had at least one class with almost every other student in the 1L class (save for about 25 students). I know everybody's face and most of their names. Everyone is very helpful. Students openly share old student outlines and exams, and you can always count on somebody for notes if you miss a class. The upperclassmen are also very eager to help 1Ls succeed.

(3) the quality of the legal writing program.
It goes without saying that the legal writing program is amazing. The U.S. News ranking for legal writing, which is based on surveys from legal writing professors at every law school, consistently ranks Mercer among the top programs. The legal writing program extends through the third semester of law school and even longer for students pursuing a legal writing certificate (about half of all students are enrolled in the certificate program). Unlike many schools that utilize TAs (3Ls) to teach much of the writing courses, all writing courses at Mercer are taught by tenure or tenure-track faculty members devoted to the scholarship of legal writing. They know their stuff.

(4) the quality and reputation of the moot court program.
Mercer has a strong Moot Court and Mock Trial program. Over 1/4 of the professors coach teams. This is just a sample of recent competitions:
1. First place in the ABA's National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition. https://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=195
2. Second place in Buffalo Herbert Wechsler Criminal Law Moot Court Competition. http://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=196.
3. Second place in Vale Corporate Law Moot Court Competition in Wilmington, Del. http://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=189
4. First place in the BLSA Southern Regional Convention in Nashville, Tenn. http://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=182
5. First place in the Region 5 National Moot Court Competition. http://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=76
6. First place in the Emory Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition. http://www.law.mercer.edu/news/ARTICLE/?pkid=65

During the 2008-2009 season, Mercer placed #12 in the nation according to LawSchoolAdvocacy.com: (via TaxProfBlog) http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... kings.html.

(5) the unique curriculum.
Mercer has a unique curriculum that won the ABA's Gambrell Professionalism award (--LinkRemoved--). The curriculum includes 8 required hours of legal research/writing, 6 hours of legal ethics (including one during the first year), and numerous practical skills courses. A few of the skills courses are required, including statutory interpretation, client counseling, and dispute resolution. Some of the other elective skills courses are listed here: http://www.law.mercer.edu/academics/cat ... ?blockid=9.
Last edited by ggocat on Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

BCgoUSC
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby BCgoUSC » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:35 pm

Does anyone know how tough it is to get the Woodruff Scholarship? I was accepted a few weeks ago with a 155/162 and 3.46 and granted a full scholarship but am wondering if I would have any chance of the Woodruff b/c it comes with a 5,000 a year stipend which would be AWESOME. That plus the free laptop would almost make me want to withdraw my other 20 applications. I'm gonna apply for it regardless just didn't know if there were any current Woodruff Scholars on here who could shed some light. Thanks!

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ggocat
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:57 pm

BCgoUSC wrote:Does anyone know how tough it is to get the Woodruff Scholarship? I was accepted a few weeks ago with a 155/162 and 3.46 and granted a full scholarship but am wondering if I would have any chance of the Woodruff b/c it comes with a 5,000 a year stipend which would be AWESOME. That plus the free laptop would almost make me want to withdraw my other 20 applications. I'm gonna apply for it regardless just didn't know if there were any current Woodruff Scholars on here who could shed some light. Thanks!

About a dozen applicants are invited to the law school for 2-3 days (expenses paid), and there is a is a short interview (30 minutes, maybe). Four students receive the Woodruff. Some of the students are also awarded the Walter F. George scholarship (but I don't think it's a requirement that you apply for the Woodruff to be eligible for the George scholarship). The George scholarship is the same except the stipend is $6,000 per summer spent working in public service; so the overall payout is only $3K less than the Woodruff. And if I remember correctly, I think you can get the $6,000 for working six weeks, which means you could split the summer with a firm and still get the award. Don't quote me on the # of weeks, though. You can also get the $6,000 if you work in a paid government/public interest position (so you can "double up").

I'm not sure how many law school applicants end up applying for the Woodruff. There is a two-page essay, so I think that small requirement ends up making a lot of people not apply. It's difficult to assess how "tough" it is to get the scholarship. But I should also mention for anyone else considering applying: you don't need to already have a full scholarship to have a chance at the Woodruff. I know someone from a few years ago who was awarded a partial scholarship, and then he ended up getting the Woodruff. Also, I think that if you are selected as one of the 12 finalists and don't already have a full scholarship, there is a good chance you will be awarded a full scholarship regardless--that happened to a current student here.

Congrats again on your acceptance and scholarship!

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General Tso
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby General Tso » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:09 pm

Hugh Mercer is among my least favorite obscure Revolutionary War officers

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deadpanic
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby deadpanic » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:46 am

Accepted this morning via status checker!

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actorlaw
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby actorlaw » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:32 pm

Accepted via status checker! 12/17

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MoS
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby MoS » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:16 am


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ggocat
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby ggocat » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:43 pm

Congrats to all the people recently accepted! It's an exciting time of year when those acceptances start rolling in.


In the context of comparing Mercer and GSU, I commented about Ken's review of Mercer in this thread earlier in the year: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62986

I primarily addressed the issues of employment prospects and academics. Here's the short version: the review is inaccurate, strangely biased, and written by someone who doesn't know anything about the school. I would encourage prospective students to do two things: (1) focus on actual placement numbers rather than someone's characterization of those numbers; and (2) speak with people who have actually attended the school. I also recommend reading the "students say" section of the Princeton Review website (you have to register for free, but the info is useful).

I've suggested in the past that the TLS reviews should be open source, like Wikipedia, so that people familiar with the schools can edit and update the reviews.

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actorlaw
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Re: In At Mercer Law

Postby actorlaw » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:14 pm

thanks ggocat for the info!

what are the chances of receiving scholarship money if there wasn't any mention of it in the acceptance? i know some people here said they received pretty generous scholarships with their acceptances... any chance you might get something later down the line? i assume they will still have some money to throw around once people start accepting/rejecting admission offers...

my numbers are right in the median for mercer... not sure if receiving $$ is wishful thinking.

while i have already gotten into the school, is there anything I can do at this point to convince them to throw some money my way?




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