Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

On GWU Law

I do like it here. I have seen no overt competitiveness amon willy09/06/16
OK I'll play. How much debt will you have when you graduat anotherjd09/10/16
I don't know why you would respond with anything earnest, ye karlfarbman09/13/16
Sounds like you are looking at the economics of law school w jhbufford09/12/16
All I can say is trap school. Hope you get a high paying jo hairypalms09/14/16
Not a big fan of the "trap school" term to describe these T2 loblawyer09/14/16
Say what you will, but I still don't like those odds in view hairypalms09/14/16
Unfortunately, these schools still trap thousands of people spaghetti09/15/16
Yeah, I don't if this is the present mindset but when I was 6figuremistake09/15/16
When I was applying to schools in 2003, the two biggest up-a therewillbeblood09/16/16
Right. Schools in this range have just enough prestige to "t onehell09/15/16
They do make funny videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v doublefriedchicken09/16/16
YEEHAW!!! https://youtu.be/RNYe_UaWZ3U magellan06/16/17
I went to a similar school as GWU, didn't/couldn't go big la neclasslawyer06/18/17
This is an old thread, but FWIW there are lots of 3rd and 4t onehell06/19/17
To the fact that D.C. has one of the highest COLs in the cou flharfh06/19/17
willy (Sep 6, 2016 - 4:33 pm)

I do like it here. I have seen no overt competitiveness among the students - in fact the best grades went to students who were mostly quiet and not appearing like gunners last year. The class sizes are like 70-80 now for first year sections, but there's chances to get to know each other through weekly Inns of Courts meetings which are like socializing/job search advising done by section.

Besides bar reviews and the excellent Halloween/Spring parties, there's a lot of clubs, happy hour meetings, and wine+cheese type events to get to know students. Being a larger law school has its advantage in there being a lot of clubs and journals.

As for job search, it's probably similar to most schools outside the T14 - only 15-20% at most will get summer associateships through OCI. But there's an advantage to being in DC in that there's many firm and govt agency jobs you can easily apply to part-time during the school year or full-time during the summers. I was a full-time 1L and switched to part-time this fall, and I'm working now as a law clerk for a midsized firm and getting paid enough to not have to take out any more loans. That's just my experience.

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anotherjd (Sep 10, 2016 - 1:58 am)

OK I'll play. How much debt will you have when you graduate?

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karlfarbman (Sep 13, 2016 - 6:23 pm)

I don't know why you would respond with anything earnest, yet you have. It's not even random trolling, just shad or serbexo or green day indulging himself.

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jhbufford (Sep 12, 2016 - 2:11 pm)

Sounds like you are looking at the economics of law school while considering your future. If you can keep up working p/t at a law firm while going to school p/t, and keep paying as you go, you should do fine. You sound well-grounded and know what your actual prospects are once you graduate.

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hairypalms (Sep 14, 2016 - 8:27 am)

All I can say is trap school. Hope you get a high paying job.

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loblawyer (Sep 14, 2016 - 10:16 am)

Not a big fan of the "trap school" term to describe these T20-30 range schools, especially now that the cat is out of the bag. OP seems to know the figures - for GW, 15-20% of the class hitting biglaw seems reasonable. I think the expectations for this range of schools have been lowered. The odds of success are still better than the rest and of course are less than the T14.

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hairypalms (Sep 14, 2016 - 7:41 pm)

Say what you will, but I still don't like those odds in view of the elevated price tag. There are better alternatives IMO at a lesser price.

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spaghetti (Sep 15, 2016 - 11:53 am)

Unfortunately, these schools still trap thousands of people each year. They don't fully appreciate the bimodal salary distribution. They may acknowledge they're not getting big law unless they do really well, but countless people think (and the schools argue) that things will just work out.

Then 3L year and a six figure bill come along while the students are jobless and reality comes crashing down.

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6figuremistake (Sep 15, 2016 - 1:07 pm)

Yeah, I don't if this is the present mindset but when I was in school before the dam broke on the LS scam, there was a lot of faith in the existence of "middle of the road" jobs for those who couldn't land Biglaw.

If you take a look at the employment stats the ABA publishes for each law school, you'll see that these mid-sized attorney shops only hire a minuscule number of graduates.

Aside from the most elite schools, about 1/3rd to 10% of the class can land Biglaw caliber jobs while nearly everyone else is going the small firm/doc review/non-law, etc. route.

Even the LS defenders tend to admit this which is why they focus on the ostensible long term benefits of a JD rather than the immediate employment opportunities.

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therewillbeblood (Sep 16, 2016 - 7:25 am)

When I was applying to schools in 2003, the two biggest up-and-comers were, for some reason, GWU and Southern Methodist. I don't think either have achieved their predicted glory.

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onehell (Sep 15, 2016 - 4:54 pm)

Right. Schools in this range have just enough prestige to "trap" you into paying near full price, but the outcomes are still bimodal and the good outcome, though significantly more likely than most schools, is still less likely than the bad outcome. The bad outcome, meanwhile, will probably be little better than if you'd gone to Cooley.

For the approximately 70-80% of the class that bombs OCI, most of them would have been better off at a lower-ranked school that probably would have given them a lot more merit aid.

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doublefriedchicken (Sep 16, 2016 - 8:58 am)

They do make funny videos.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GxbsQdUSPxM

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magellan (Jun 16, 2017 - 11:19 am)

YEEHAW!!!

https://youtu.be/RNYe_UaWZ3U

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neclasslawyer (Jun 18, 2017 - 8:17 am)

I went to a similar school as GWU, didn't/couldn't go big law when I started. It turned out to be a blessing. If you come to the law with the mindset of an entrepreneur, the school you go to and the first job(s) don't really matter that much. If you are focused on selecting the correct practice areas and on how to run a business, there is still alot of money to be made in the law if that is your goal. Most lawyers are not good at building businesses, so there is still plenty of opportunity even given the glut of practitioners. I think if you focus on building a business instead of climbing the ladder, alot more doors open.

The toughest part is managing the debt and living expenses in the first few years while you are ramping up. It can be done though.

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onehell (Jun 19, 2017 - 4:13 pm)

This is an old thread, but FWIW there are lots of 3rd and 4th tier schools (often in much lower COL areas) that would give a full or nearly full ride to almost any kid who had the credentials to get into a school like GW. So you've basically paid 6 figures to increase your OCI odds from 5% to 20%. Once the OCI die is cast and you're in that lower 80%, there is no longer any reason to have incurred the higher cost.

Of course you could still succeed, but you can be "entrepreneurial" with any JD, including one from somewhere that would have charged you a lot less. That is what makes these places "trap" schools. It's not a worthless credential, it's just that there's an 80% chance you paid for prestige which will not translate into better outcomes. Not necessarily bad outcomes, just outcomes that are neither better nor worse than you would have had out of a lower-ranked school that would have given you more merit aid.

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flharfh (Jun 19, 2017 - 5:40 pm)

To the fact that D.C. has one of the highest COLs in the country add the fact that it is also one of the most glutted, competitive legal markets in the country. Most of the T-14 schools place significant portions of their classes in DC.

A GWU JD will be competing with T-14 grads locally and and it won't be as portable nationwide. Law school transparency pegs the full freight total cost at repayment for GWU at over 300k - if you don't get biglaw, you're never paying that back.

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