American ranks 6th out of 7 DC-area law schools at putting students into jobs as lawyers.
UAX09 wrote:I graduated from the undergraduate program in 2010. In terms of location, AU Law will be moving to Tenley campus. I lived on Tenley campus for a year. I really like the location. It's about a five minute walk to the metro station and is quite safe. There is a shuttle from the metro to Tenley which runs every 10 minutes or so.
AU will be renovating on of the biggest buildings at Tenley to use as the law school. There are several buildings on Tenley campus which will also be renovated. The entire campus will be used for the law school. The current law school is somewhat small for the student population. The move will increase the space available for students. I'm actually excited about the move, being an AU alum. I really liked my undergrad experience at AU. AU is in an excellent location and surrounded by embassies. Safety isn't an issue so long as you use common sense.
A few teaching assistants from the law school helped out with my undergrad classes. They seemed to like their law school experience and spoke intelligently about the class subject matter. Keep in mind that most of my experiences where pre-recession and the early part of the recession.
I can't speak for the job opportunities at AU as I am a law student at WUSTL. The criticism that AU gets is understandable. Keep in mind that AU is the
third sixth best school in DC. There are three is one other law schools behind AU. Georgetown, GW and AU all have student bodies in excess of 1,200 students. Three schools are pumping out 1,500 graduates a year. DC is a magnet for T14 students from all around the country. DC is within driving distance to T50 schools such as George Mason, William and Mary and University of Maryland. It is absolutely ridiculous for GT, GW and AU to have such large student bodies. These numbers will not go down any time soon. Those three schools are relatively poor. Out of those schools, GW is the richest with about 1.3 billion dollars in endowment. AU has a measly 400 million dollar endowment. Large student bodies help fund these law schools which are largely tuition driven.
You are not competing with GT and GW students. You will be competing with students from all around the country. AU Law is a great school with excellent professors. TLS makes AU seem like a shitty school
when and in reality it's not just that. You will get an excellent education at AU. However, you have to be mindful that unless you have great grades at AU, or even GW or GT for that matter, the chances for biglaw are slim. If you get below median grades at any DC school, you are screwed. Below median GT students have it easier because of its T14 status, but there are still many unemployed GT grads.
My advice: Don't go to any DC school unless you understand that DC is arguably the most competitive legal market in the country and willing to compete in the DC market against thousands of recently law graduates from all around the country.
I have no doubt you will get an excellent education at AU. TLS criticism of AU's academic quality is unwarranted, but the warnings about job prospects should be heeded if you are applying to
AU and GW any law school.
If you consider all schools nationally and then rank them by the percent of graduates employed in DC, American actually drops to 9th:
Third best by USNWR ranking or perceived "prestige" perhaps--but in terms of actually producing lawyers, American is a terrible place to attend.
As for the arguments that AU is a trash school, those are almost exclusively based on the high cost and terrible employment outcomes. One of the great bamboozlings of the law school industry (note: I didn't say education system) is that educational quality doesn't seem to diminish very much from one school to the next. Whether or not AU provides an "excellent" education is all relative, but it's employment outcomes are certainly clear cut.
American is fully deserving of the routine lambasting it receives on this forum, and absolutely no one should attend this school for any reason. They don't offer full tuition or even 50% tuition aid anymore, no matter what your numbers are. As you say they are an institution with a low endowment that relies on income from the student body. They couldn't care less about maintaining their USNWR ranking.
Read the notice linked below. This is not the place for debating which law schools are worth attending. Please refrain from further posts along these lines in this forum.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 7&t=146613