View Full Version : Got Accepted To My First Law School Today!
12-21-2000, 03:05 AM
So, Alphagene and magdalene, what's Georgetown like?
12-21-2000, 03:43 AM
Nice one! Congrats.
12-21-2000, 08:22 AM
Allow me to be the first to offer my condolences.
Anyone up for an intervention?
12-21-2000, 08:33 AM
Congrats until first semester exams....or the first time you get called on in Torts and have absolutely no clue what the hell the Prof is talking about and wish you could just crawl under your chair.
Dinsdale, an intervention is no doubt in order, but I have no idea as to how to do one.
Oh, yeah. Bring lotsa money.
12-21-2000, 11:06 AM
Thanks, y'all. Any tips on how to find out more about the atmosphere and environment of a particular law school? (The books I've read have sinisterly alluded to schools in which the students are so competitive that hiding books in the library is a general occurrence, but have declined to name names--saying only that a little research will yield information about the most cutthroat.)
Anyway, one down, six to go...
12-21-2000, 11:39 AM
Repeat after me: "Pass."
Be the first in your section. Try to pass on the first day. You will become a legend! Every once in a while those professors think they are in charge. Feel free to remind them that you are paying their salaries. Put them in their place!
What are the other 6? I don't know anything about GT, but I sure know a shitload of lawyers from all over the country.
As a rule of thumb, I suggest you probably want to go to the highest ranked law school you get accepted to. If there are any "party" law schools, you won't want them on your resume. And a lot of hiring lawyers look to pedigrees to give them plausible deniability. "Sure, she has two heads and smells funny. But she went to Harvard!" In many cases, it would be better to be last in your class from Harvard, than 1st in your class from the DeVry Institute of Truck Driving and Law.
Georgetown has a great rep. I have heard only good things about it. It offers loads of opportunities for internships. Consider exploring the possibility of a double major, in their int'l or public rel schools. Often you can graduate in 4 years with a J.D. and an M.A.
I was accepted at GT. The only thing that kept me from going there was that the acceptance letter was not accompanied by huge wads o' cash.
Depending on your finances, however, you should balance school ranking somewhat against the amount of debt you will incur. A decent instate public school may have advantages over going into major hock to attend a slightly better private school. My wife and I graduated from U of I, and are very glad we paid our own ways and graduated without any debt. Many of my colleagues have been out of school for a number of years, and have monthly loan payments greater than my mortgage. If mommy and daddy are picking up the tab, shoot for the moon.
Squirreling books can happen anywhere. As in most cases, the worst stuff you hear is probably exaggerated. But there is gonna be an ultra-competitive bunch in any law school. And the majority of folks in law school did not get there based on their personality and social skills.
Although there are certain to be a number of social retards, there will be no dummies in your classes. Which can be kind of a shock, going from undergrad, high school, and grade school where you were always at the top of your class, often with little effort, to law school where you are merely average and a good percentage of folks work their asses off. You can have a good time while in law school, but will probably not be anywhere near the top of your class.
Your next 3 years and all that money could be better spent elsewhere. Meet us tomorrow aft at the Berghoff and we can talk about this!
12-21-2000, 11:56 AM
haughty sniff Since you've overlooked the 3rd SDMB Hoya in your questions, I will congratulate you by saying that now we can throw you in a pool full of sharks and you won't even be bitten.
Brace yourself, Gadarene. The jokes will start flying fast and furious now. And you'll hear each and every one of them no less than 3 million times. Guaranteed. :D
12-21-2000, 11:57 AM
Welcome to the ranks of the law! I hope you aspire to doing great things, and not ambulance chasing!
12-21-2000, 01:11 PM
The other six: Cornell, Virginia, Stanford, Harvard, Michigan, Yale.
Dinsdale: I didn't get your "pass" comment. (Augh! I'm not smart enough to be a lawyer!) Enlighten me?
Unfortunately, I'm in Oregon--as such, we don't have any really decent in-state public law schools. I'm gonna be incurring debt no matter what, so I might as well go to a top-15 school to do it. Mommy and daddy aren't picking up the tab, though. This one's all me. :)
Oh, and as it happens, I wasn't at the top of my class in undergrad--my academic history is spotty to say the least. But I'm not at law school to slack off; I'll be finishing at the top of my class there. *grin*
Olentzero: Sorry for the omission. What can you tell me about GT? (Oh, and the jokes have already started. When I got a physical last week, my doctor told me the one about the honest lawyer in heaven. :rolleyes: )
egkelly: I've got good news and bad news for ya. :D The good news is, there's no way in hell I'm going to be an ambulance chaser. I don't even really want to litigate, and if I do, it'll be public interest stuff. And I do aspire to great things. I want to use my law degree to get into public policy. I've got a background in political science, and I'm smart enough and motivated enough to go pretty darn far.
Oh, the bad news? I'm a liberal. *evil grin*
12-21-2000, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Gadarene
The other six: Cornell, Virginia, Stanford, Harvard, Michigan, Yale.
Day-um! That's quite a list. Wouldn't suck going to any of them.
-I'm not sure what Cornell has to offer over the others that would make it worth spending 3+ years in bumfuck NY.
-And Stanford is either in or out depending on whether you want to stay within a couple thousand miles of your home or not. Beautiful campus/top notch school. Air fare and long distance calls all the way cross the continent will be a bitch. So while it will be a great experience to check out the other coast, don't plan on frequent trips/calls home. And just because you can borrow money to cover them, control yourself. I can give you phone numbers of any number of lawyers who regret what they borrowed in law shcool. Economize wherever you can.
-I can't imagine why you would rather go to Michigan than GT (or Harvard/Yale). Up in Ann Arbor they call it "The Harvard of the Midwest." I doubt too many folk out in Cambridge refer to "The Michigan of the East Coast."
-I personally think making it through 3 years of H or Y would be nigh unbearable. But, it would an experience unlike any other. (Hell, I can imagine having a badger trapped in my shorts would also be an experience unlike any other, but that doesn't mean I'm personally eager to experience it.) And once completed, no one could ever take that line from your resume.
-Do you anticipate ANY of them will offer money?
Given the additional background, I strongly suggest you check out the double major at GT. At one time I knew a bit about what they offered. But that was many moons ago. I know others who have gotten JD/MBA in 4 years. Get all the schooling out of the way now. And if you think you want to consider public policy, GT is located at the center of the public policy universe. Where better to learn whether or not it is your cup of tea.
I didn't get your "pass" comment. (Augh! I'm not smart enough to be a lawyer!) Enlighten me?
Nope. Sorry. Just remember where you heard it first.
12-21-2000, 01:59 PM
That's just mean Dinsdale! :D
A "pass" is basically telling the professor, "I'm not prepared today. Go bug someone else." Doing it on the first day would not be in your best interest.
12-21-2000, 02:01 PM
I missed this until now, but Dinsdale has been doing a great job.
Georgetown's law campus is separate from the rest of the University, by the Judiciary Square Metro station. I've heard nothing but good things about the law school. You might want to talk to SuaSponte - he is both a Georgetown grad and a lawyer. An old friend of mine is going there, I haven't talked to him in a year or so but if you email me and remind me I can track down his email address for you.
You will be surrounded by smart, ambitious people who really, really, really like to argue stuff. You will also be in an incredible environment for public policy. D.C. is a great city, there's lots of free feed-your-head type stuff to do. You are a great writer, so you will probably have no trouble doing well in school!
Congratulations, and good luck!
And Olentzero, not everyone overlapped with the weird kid who dressed like Lenin. :D
12-21-2000, 02:04 PM
Dinsdale, save you energy, btw. The intervention is tomorrow!
12-21-2000, 02:27 PM
Oh, and by the way, y'all, the proper abbreviation is GU.
12-21-2000, 02:31 PM
As regards the OP, there's not a whole lot I can tell you about GU Law, since I was an undergrad there and, as magdalene pointed out, the main campus and Law were separate and quite distant. UG is at 37th and 'O' NW, Law is somewhere around 4th and 'G' NW. I strongly suspect the undergrad life is radically different from them there graduate law types. :D
12-21-2000, 02:37 PM
Yeah, maggie, but gad ain't gonna be there!
How's this? You go to law school, and you're gonna have to start buying your own beer! (Sorry. Didn't mean to make you cry.)
Hey everyone, gazoo's a big ole party pooper! Don't listen to him gad. Law professors love it when you pass.
And when class starts to drag, they really appreciate it if you point it out to them and ask them to move it along a bit. I actually drove a professor out of the room one time in a State and Local Government class. I mean, the whole course boils down to, the government either can, or cannot regulate/tax certain things. And if they can, you'd damn better well find out the specific rules for your jurisdiction. So then the damn hat-trickers would get into endless debates over whether they thought one side was better than the other. Yeah. Like those of us in the back row care if you fucks prefer chocolate or vanilla. This especially gets tedious if, like me, you haven't read the material. (Hell, I stopped buying books by the middle of 2d year.)
So one time they start going around for about the fifth time as to whether or not a certain jurisdiction should or should not tax a certain thing, and I raised my hand and politely asked whether, since we killed this particular horse some time ago, we could refrain from continuing to beat it. My professor asked me if I had any suggestions, and I suggested that we move along. She asked if I would like to present the next case, and I politely declined.
At that point the prof picked up her stuff and ran out of the room. Tho I was not particularly proud of my actions, I thought she had over-reacted somewhat. Damn, I was paying a pretty penny. I wanted to be entertained! Bunch of other students got on my case, but fuck them.
Hey, guess what. When I saw her last summer, she still remembered me after 15 years! Who'd a thunk? (Actually we had a very pleasant conversation. I didn't know she was a UU. Hell, I wasn't a UU at the time.)
Here's another one for you, gad:
Hook and go!
Believe me, words to live by. Shut up, gazoo!
12-21-2000, 03:04 PM
And don't forget...RTFS!
12-21-2000, 03:28 PM
You're a troublemaker, Dinsdale. Go away. :)
12-21-2000, 03:40 PM
Gadarene, you're going to be in my neck of the woods? You mean I can buy you beer and harass you over your stinkin' liberal politics in person? ;) Joy!
Congrats--it couldn't happen to a better person!
12-21-2000, 03:49 PM
And I'm one of the NICER guys you'll meet in law school. Now if that doesn't make you run screaming into another field of endeavor, I don't know what more I can do. You know of course what lawyers use for birth control ...
Yes, I can remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in a law school class and thinking, "Man, all these people are such assholes, without a legitimate personality among them." Then I realized, "Gee, if this is who goes to law school, who the fuck am I gonna be working with throughout my career?"
If I knew then what I know now, I'd have transferred to the college of ornamental horticulture learned to speak Spanish. But that's just me. And seriously, if I hadn't gone to law school, I would not have bet the beautiful and wise Mrs D. And between us we almost total an entire personality. (She has it on Thursdays.)
So, fess up. Why did you choose the big 6? Which do you want to go to? What do you think the next 3 years will be like?
Final hint. While there need not be anything inherently bad about going to law school and being a lawyer, I suggest studying something you think you will really want to do, instead of something you think might help you do something else.
Really final hint. You say now that you want to get into public policy. But, to point out the obvious, I assume you have never worked as a "public policy" lawyer (whatever that is), and so have no personal experience as to whether or not that is something you want to do. Moreover, just because you want to do it doesn't mean someone's gonna hire you (and pay you a living wage) to do it in three years.
12-21-2000, 03:57 PM
Law school will most likely be the most challenging thing you've ever done. Don't worry about the grades, although that's hard to ignore. Everyone there will be used to getting mostly A's. It can be difficult when the majority of people start getting C's.
You'll most likely find that everyone seems to be picking up on things much faster than you. This is an illusion, so try to ignore the feeling. People will think the same way about you. :)
I loved law school although it almost killed me - I'll spare the gory details. I love the law. I love studying the law. Unfortunately for me, I realized after the first semester that I didn't want to be a lawyer. By that time, I was already up to my ass in debt. I decided that a law degree and three mountains of debt was better than one semester of law and a single mountain of debt. It's still too close to call whether or not I made the correct decision.
Damn good thing for me that I have a pretty good technical background and can (barely) afford my loan payments.
Most people I've talked to have said that the nightmares of the first year will taper off by middle age. I'm not holding my breath on that one, though.
Many people complain about attorney fees being too high. After your first year, you'll have personal knowledge as to the reason why they are. ;)
Good Luck! I wish you all the best...
12-21-2000, 04:17 PM
Gadarene, congratulations. Don't listen to Dinsdale at all - I went to Yale, and it totally ROCKED. First semester-required courses-graded pass/fail. The rest of your law school career, grades=Honors, Pass, Low Pass, Fail. But it was nearly impossible to get anything less than a Pass. Generally good professors, New Haven is experiencing something of a renaissance, and best of all you get to play the Yale golf course for a $10 greens fee, and it's one of the nicest courses I've ever played. Woo hoo!
FWIW, my brother went to GT Law and loved it. There are LOTS of opportunities for government-related work (obviously) - he interned for Tom Foley when he was Speaker, and did some work at one or two lobbying firms as well. Not a bad place if you can't go to Yale. ;)
The only place I heard being competitive as you described was Columbia, and that was probably 10-15 years ago. I don't know what it's like now.
You'll most likely find that everyone seems to be picking up on things much faster than you. This is an illusion, so try to ignore the feeling. People will think the same way about you. He's right - some people are just better at faking it, a skill that you'll find coming in handy throughout your career. Although I know a lot more now than when I started practicing, I am also much more comfortable bullshitting about stuff I only think I know. Trust me - it works.
12-21-2000, 04:27 PM
I'm genuinely looking forward to that, Phil. At the very least, I'll be visiting the law school for a look-see; I'll definitely let you know when I'm gonna be in town. What kind of beer do y'all have out there, anyway? It'd have to be pretty good to take the edge off your half-assed libertarianism, that's for sure! ;)
Why did you choose the big 6?
Seven, actually, pass-boy. I wanted to go to a top school, I didn't want to live in New York or Chicago, and I'd already been to Duke. Made my choices pretty easy. :)
Which do you want to go to?
I want to go somewhere with a great con law program. Of the schools to which I applied, Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, and Virginia particularly qualify. At this point, I would lean towards going to Harvard, Yale, or Virginia over Georgetown, and to Georgetown over Michigan, Cornell, and Stanford. Either way, I hope to visit the campuses of each school I'm accepted to before I make a decision. I honestly don't feel like I can go wrong with any of 'em.
What do you think the next 3 years will be like?
Believe it or not, I've actually got a pretty good idea. I've read a couple of amazingly helpful books on the topic. I'm gonna work my ass off the first year, secure a paid position with a firm or judicial internship that summer, win a place on law review that spring, get a good summer associateship after 2L, publish a note or two, and do an appellate court clerkship after third year. Easy. :)
Seriously, for the most part I know what to expect. A lot of reading, a lot of writing, a lot of self-discipline and organization.
While there need not be anything inherently bad about going to law school and being a lawyer, I suggest studying something you think you will really want to do, instead of something you think might help you do something else.
Planning on it. I'll see what interests me in the first-year curriculum when I get there. I've got a first cousin who heads up the largest mass tort and consumer fraud law firm in New York; if I do well enough in school, I've got a place there after graduation. In short, I'm keeping my options open.
Moreover, just because you want to do it doesn't mean someone's gonna hire you (and pay you a living wage) to do it in three years.
Gotcha. ;) Hey, you're not such a bad guy--why, beneath the prickly exterior is a slightly less prickly interior! C'mere, you...
12-21-2000, 04:45 PM
Crack'dOff and Cantrip: Great posts! Thanks!
Cantrip, you realize that if I get into Yale, I'll be asking you which professors are really good and which should be avoided at all costs. I've read in several different places that the best teacher can make the most boring subject fulfilling, and vice-versa. In fact, how long ago did your brother go to Georgetown? I'd love to hear his recommendations. :)
12-21-2000, 04:54 PM
That's "when", not "if", right Gadarene? :) Whatever, feel free to ask. If you want to email me, my addy is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actually, I got interested in my field (trusts and estates) because of a professor that I had first semester of my third year (not that I would have thought the course boring in any event). I had already accepted a clerkship (at the district court level, which is a hell of a lot more fun than the appellate court, IMHO) and figured to be a litigator for a while, then *BAM!* - John Langbein went and changed my life. So I did the clerkship (always a valuable experience) and then went into T&E, although I do a bit of T&E-related litigation, too (will contests and the like). He was an incredible professor.
My brother graduated from GT in, let's see, 1997 or 1998, I can't recall which. If you don't get into Yale, Harvard or VA, let me know; I'll email him any questions you have and post his responses.
Oh, and FWIW, Stanford and Michigan are top schools that, if you want to work on the East Coast, make you geographically diverse for recruiting purposes. ;)
12-21-2000, 07:21 PM
I responded to your email about G-town today, but the Mailer-Daemon ate my response. Drop me another line.
P.S. G-town was your FIRST acceptance?!! Gah, you're a genius. I was ecstatic when I got my first acceptance - at New York Law School. :)
12-21-2000, 07:44 PM
I'm not sure whether to congratulate you or not -
how about, I wish you the best in whichever course you choose....
Originally posted by Gadarene
Dinsdale: I didn't get your "pass" comment. (Augh! I'm not smart enough to be a lawyer!) Enlighten me?
Certain professors like to play this cute little game called "You are stupid." In the game, the professor calls on you and asks you a series of questions. How well you do in this game has NO effect on your grades, which is wonderful because no matter how well prepared you are, your answers will not be the right ones - and you will be left feeling publicly humiliated, questioning your intelligence, and praying that no one in the room was paying attention.
"Pass" tells the prof to play with someone else.
12-22-2000, 01:13 PM
Cantrip: Yes, when I get accepted to Yale, and when I decide to attend, I'll be mercilessly hounding you for any tips you might be able to provide. So expect it; you won't be able to hide. (Aren't you glad I said "when" and not "if"? *grin*)
I'd love to get your brother's opinion on the atmosphere of GT, and the professors to take and to avoid. Thanks for the help; I'm sure I'll be e-mailing you, too.
Sua: I e-mailed you again last night; did you get it? Try me either at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I'm no genius; I just write a hell of a personal statement. (Thanks, Jodi!)
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