found/learn-ed things...

Friday, March 14, 2003  

Slim pickins...

No news on the admissions/application front. My snail mail has all but dried up, although I'm getting 2-3 e-mails a day with offers to visit certain schools, reminders to complete financial aid forms and "Here's why I chose X university" notes from current students. I'm stuck in admissions purgatory, waiting for judgements from three schools while a completed Intent to Enroll form and accompanying deposit for MWU sit in a sealed, stamped envelope on my desk. What to do, what to do...

No regional students?

I have noticed lately that in the world of the TPR boards, the law school survival guides and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the law school blawgs, a tendency for the perspective of students from the Top 15 (or at least Top 50) schools to be overrepresented. MWU is a solid (*crosses fingers*) member of the second tier, as are most of the other schools to which I have applied. Given the fact that schools in the bottom 3 tiers vastly outnumber those in the first one, it seems surprising to me that there are so few resources for students attending schools of this ilk. We make up, in fact, the vast majority of law school students. But resources such as this guide occasionally go so far as to suggest that students who are admitted only to a regional school should work for a year, retake the LSAT if necessary and send in a new crop of applications during the next cycle. In other words, if Cornell snubbed you but State U says "come on over," ignore the call and hold out for a better option: Nothing good can come from attending a regional state university.

I'm sure some students have taken the author's advice and done just that. For whatever reason -- their desire to go NYCBIGLAW, their Ivy-only attitude, their unwillingness to "settle" (tongue in cheek, people) -- waiting one more year to attend law school is a better option than attending a regional university. Perhaps the vast majority of people who buy law school survival guides are those who manage to garner acceptance to Harvard, Michigan, Texas or Vanderbilt. Maybe that's where the market for those types of books is. Still, I can't help but wonder if this sends the wrong signal to the rest of us -- the majority of us -- who attend solid regional schools that may not be nationally recognized but still manage to put skilled, well-educated attorneys who succeed in passing the bar. I know this is a personal issue for me -- wanting desperately to *want* to attend MWU. It's such an enormous investment in time and money that is seems crucial to attend a school in which you believe. But I think one of the central reasons that I'm not yet convinced that MWU is the place for me is that there are so few people -- blawgers, authors, whathaveyou -- suggesting that regional schools are solid academic choices that, if a student works diligently, can lead to fulfilling, I'm-paid-enough-to-make-my-loan-payment-and-maybe-a-little-extra type positions...

posted by elle | Friday, March 14, 2003 |

Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

Happy birthday...

... to Justice Scalia.

posted by elle | Tuesday, March 11, 2003 |


My allergies are horrible right now, so this won't be a long post, but I did want to provide an update following this weekend's open house.

It was a generally positive experience. As I've griped about before, I'd give MWU a "C" in terms of its ability to recruit students. Their primary tactic in terms of recruitment this weekend seemed to be scaring students with the amount of debt they're likely to accrue and the fact that starting positions are likely to pay $35K - $45K (at least for these types of regional institutions). They might as well have screamed "We're cheap, so give us those deposits!"

However, the facilities, faculty and staff does MWU proud. The law college building is small but nice and friendly, and the library is midwestern-luxe.* The staff that spoke with us were particularly kind, especially the law librarians, who repeatedly stressed their desire to serve students in whatever capacity possible. The career services unit seems very earnest and determined to increase opportunities for students, and the professor that conducted a mock class on the $80/$800 cow was a riot (given our fear that he would call on us). I'll rank MWU a "B+" in terms of the warmth and collegiality that seemed to exude from the place.

Having taken H with me to the event, I asked his opinion as we left the building.

"I think you're going to have a ball," he said.

I'm still waiting on letters from schools no. 6, 7 and 8. Two of those applications are under review, one is listed online as not yet being complete. It could likely be beyond April 1 (MWU's deposit deadline day) before I hear from them. I'm considering mailing my check to MWU this week...

* - a bit arts-and-craftsy but without the FLWright-ish bulkiness, with a strong nod to the landscape context.

posted by elle | Tuesday, March 11, 2003 |
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