how worthwhile are visits?

(Where, When and What Did You Think)
Troianii
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how worthwhile are visits?

Postby Troianii » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:32 am

Most advisors (not to mention anyone associated with a law school) seem to strongly recommend visiting schools to get a feel for the "fit", but is it worth it? I mean, if I'm in the area then I'll certainly visit - there are a few I've applied to an hour or two from where I am and I'll check them out, and there's a few near where I'm going for the holidays and I'll go to see them, but most law schools I've applied to aren't close. I'm not made of cash, and don't have parents to pay for the expenses, so a trip of 500-1500miles to visit a law school hardly seems worth it, given the costs.

Assuming it isn't close and/or convenient (in which case I can't see why not), is visiting law schools worth it? I mean, please tell me if you think I'm mistaken, but I hardly think the "feel" or "fit" matters: I'm going to law school to attain legal employment, not to have a safe space.

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lymenheimer
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby lymenheimer » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:30 am

Clever. Except the purpose of the safe space was to avoid the mold, not shape into it. As for your question, there are numerous other threads that answer this question. Since you seem to want to really start discussion on every little thing that doesn't matter, I'll summarize: no. Your visit doesn't matter. It only matters to you if you want to see if you like the school and then it's only suggested (by these fora) if you are accepted (in cases of a tie between two schools) at which point you can go to the asw/asd or when you are waitlisted so that you can show interest (though the effect is likely minimal if effective at all). Thousands of people get accepted without visiting the school. If you wanna improve your chances, retake the LSAT/life.

/thread plz

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:12 pm

Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Traynor Brah
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby Traynor Brah » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:29 pm

I would advise not visiting any schools until you're completely narrowed down, have negotiated scholarships to the max, and have to make a decision in April.

The school you should choose should have the best nexus of the following three factors:
- General placement power
- Placement into your preferred region
- Cost of attendance

Factors like "this law school building is really pretty," "this town sucks," and "these restaurants are really great" (i.e. the only things you get out of a visit) are meaningless in the grand scheme of your law school decision, and should only be considered if you have a bona fide tie with respect to the three factors I listed at the end of your cycle.

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jbagelboy
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:51 pm

1) Regarding costs, once you're admitted, schools will typically reimburse a certain amount of expense for you to visit for their admitted students days. ASD/ASW's provide more information about the school and its programs than a simple visit to the city or town, but they are recruiting pitches and have to be taken with a grain of salt as with anything else.

2) It's worth visiting a school/location if you are strongly considering it for other reasons and you've truly never been there. Making the rounds of the ASW/ASDs for all the T20 schools "just because" can't possibly be worth your time, although people do it. I think, for example, once you've narrowed it down based on the factors Traynor Brah identified, if you're trying to decide between options you've deemed equally worthy on paper e.g. Michigan and Duke or Harvard and UChicago and you've never been to Ann Arbor, Durham, Cambridge, or Chicago, respectively, it's worth visiting IMO to see where you'd be happiest spending at least three years of your life.

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rnoodles
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby rnoodles » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:33 am

Have to echo blades up there, with a bit of a twist. I visited three schools. Didn't get positive responses from the one's where I had my two best visits and really hit it off with the Deans, admissions officers, etc. But I ended up getting my best offer w/ $$$ at the one where I basically awkwardly lurked the admissions door cause no one but the secretary and student volunteer could talk to me (it was awkward and atrocious and I doubt it helped at all). I'll probably never know if that visit actually helped or not.

Point is, don't go out of your way like I did for visits. If you can do it, it's not financially burdensome, etc. then sure, why not? Maybe it'll work. But based on my personal experience I'd say to put some effort in the more important parts of your apps. And honestly it's probably best anyway to save the visits for if you get waitlisted somewhere you really want to go to.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:31 pm

I think your instincts are correct. If you are in the area and can easily visit, fine. But don't spend a lot of money or burn a lot of calories to do it.

lesalexander
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Postby lesalexander » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:47 am

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lymenheimer
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:50 am

lesalexander wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:Clever. Except the purpose of the safe space was to avoid the mold, not shape into it. As for your question, there are numerous other threads that answer this question. Since you seem to want to really start discussion on every little thing that doesn't matter, I'll summarize: no. Your visit doesn't matter. It only matters to you if you want to see if you like the school and then it's only suggested (by these fora) if you are accepted (in cases of a tie between two schools) at which point you can go to the asw/asd or when you are waitlisted so that you can show interest (though the effect is likely minimal if effective at all). Thousands of people get accepted without visiting the school. If you wanna improve your chances, retake the LSAT/life.

/thread plz


This is obnoxious


except it's the right answer as you may have noticed by the other posters' responses. But thanks for your useful input.

lesalexander
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Postby lesalexander » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:08 pm

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lymenheimer
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:11 pm

lesalexander wrote:The usefulness of your post is lost in its snide tone.


noted and disregarded. But it's a shame I didn't ask your opinion before I posted my comment. Maybe I'll start doing that from now on.

NoDayButToday
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:43 pm

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Last edited by NoDayButToday on Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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CJRpnw
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby CJRpnw » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:11 pm

NoDayButToday wrote:I think visiting can be very worthwhile, actually, especially when you're choosing between similarly-regarded/performing schools.

Over a two year period, I visited all of the schools I ended up applying to (~13), even the schools that were big reaches or that I wasn't that interested in. I tried to fit in as many of these visits when I was otherwise going to be in the city so that it wouldn't be a huge independent expense. With some schools, I waited until I was admitted and offered money to visit.

I'm really glad that I visited. It helped me get a stronger sense of my own preferences.

At the end of the day as a 0L, I was debating between BU and BC. All of the research I did showed similar career outcomes for both schools. Pre-visit and pre-scholly negotiation, I had comparably high offers from both schools. They were both pretty strong academically in areas that interested me, while also offering their own advantages. That was, however, the year that BU and BC went from tied in the low 30s to ~27 and ~36 in the rankings, respectively. Concerned that BC was declining in some reputational way, while BU was improving, I went into my first visit of the pair -- to BU's ASD -- thinking I was more likely to attend BU than BC. In fact, I almost considered blowing off BC's ASD.

I left BU unenthused. It was clearly a great school, but it just didn't feel like a match for me. At BC the next day, I had a completely different reaction. I liked the faculty and administrators better, I liked the location and look of the school better, and I liked the current students I met better. Before I visited, I felt like I could go either way. After visiting, the choice was easy.

My visits were also hugely important in my transfer cycle this past year. As a 0L, I had visited NYU and Columbia while visiting my sister in NYC. I had an AMAZING experience at NYU. The atmosphere was so welcoming and the students seemed so happy and down-to-earth. When I visited Columbia, I didn't like it. On paper, before visiting, I would have gone for Columbia over NYU any day...but again, like BU and BC it was still a close call. When I applied for transfer admissions, I didn't even bother with Columbia. I knew it wasn't a fit for me and that I wasn't going to give up law review and my scholarship for it if I got in.

Outcomes are obviously one of the most important factors...but don't discount the three years while you're in law school. Being happy where you are during those three years, I think, can contribute to your success. Plus, your law school classmates are part of your future legal network...good to pick a group of people that you fit in with.


This is a great response -- thanks!

Drmrndaphd
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby Drmrndaphd » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:28 pm

Is it better to visit on a Saturday or not visit at all?

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squirtlesquad14
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby squirtlesquad14 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:00 pm

Drmrndaphd wrote:Is it better to visit on a Saturday or not visit at all?


If they have student-led tours on the weekends, I would definitely say visit on a Saturday over not visiting at all. The only thing you're really going to miss out on is being able to sit in on a class, but you'll still get a feel for the campus and everything it has to offer.

lawlawlaw22
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby lawlawlaw22 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:17 pm

If something someone asks on a law school forum actually bugs you to the point of responding in a lengthy tirade, it might be time to invest in a life outside the confines of TLS.

Echoduck
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Re: how worthwhile are visits?

Postby Echoduck » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:04 pm

Drmrndaphd wrote:Is it better to visit on a Saturday or not visit at all?


I was in Boston for work and only had an opportunity to visit BU and BC on a Sunday. While I was only able to speak to a handful of students, it was nice to see the campuses. Prior to arriving I emailed the admissions offices and explained my situation. They sent me a lot of useful info prior to my arrival. I sent an email after my self-guided tour thanking them the for the useful information. If not to big of a burden, I recommend visiting - although I was rejected at both... :shock:




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