Monday, March 9, 2009

Law school update

So, here's the final tally for law school admissions:

ACCEPTED:
Brooklyn Law
Northeastern
American

WAITLISTED:
Fordham
Georgetown (!)

DENIED:
NYU :(
George Washington

So, I'm really trying to decide between the three schools that accepted me, and to ignore the very slim possibility that I'll get an acceptance from the schools that placed me on their waitlists. But it's complicated, and here's why...

So, I love Northeastern. It's a very liberal school, very public-interest and social justice oriented, and it's widely considered the top school for public interest lawyers to attend. It places very well in San Francisco, which is, for now, where I think I'd like to head after graduation. They are known for their one-of-a-kind co-op program, which places students in four 3-month legal internships during the last two years of school; this means that upon graduation, I'll already have a year of experience in my chosen areas. It's here in Boston, which is a city I know fairly well now and really love. There may be a good dual-degree opportunity for me there, but since I didn't apply to the other component this year, there are no guarantees. The atmosphere there is collegial and almost nurturing but still academically and intellectually challenging; learning that law schools could be like that, as opposed to the classical adversarial/competitive idea of law school, is what piqued my renewed interest in law in the first place. Finally, instead of grades they give detailed evaluations, which I think is an interesting and possibly superior means of evaluating student performance. To be honest, I have thought for a long time that this is where I might go.

But then, there's American. It's also liberal and public-interest oriented, with a bit more emphasis on international law. It's in DC, which sketches me out a bit, even though I like DC; I haven't spent much time there, and I'm just not sure how I'll like living there. I'm also not certain how American places on the West Coast and other areas outside of DC, but I aim to figure it out. It's better-known (and better-ranked) than Northeastern, though this isn't necessarily the case in public-interest legal circles. Here's the real clincher: I've also been accepted to the Master of Public Policy program there, so I could do my optimal dual degree program at a great law school and a truly excellent school of Public Affairs.

Finally, there's Brooklyn. This was the friendliest law school I visited back in '05, with great facilities and a surreal location in Brooklyn Heights. The public interest component there is definitely good enough, with plenty of clinical opportunities, courses, and connections. The truth is, whereas I really like this school, it just doesn't quite compare to the opportunity at American. (Up until last year, Brooklyn offered the dual-degree program that I want, but recently stopped offering it. I kept the school on my app list because I liked it so much.) However, I'm going to visit all these schools again in the next few weeks, and standing in the shadow of the Federal Courthouse while looking up at the main law school building sure is something... and so is New York. As they say, if I can make it there....

:/
Any thoughts? I'm not making up my mind until I do visits, but that time is drawing nigh, and I am spending most days obsessing over the choices....

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