Saturday, February 24, 2007

Visiting Schools

Last week I had the opportunity to visit my top two schools. I'm not going to call them number one and number two (or first choice and second choice) anymore, because I am not so sure number one is really number one for me. So the school which was formerly known as number one I will now call downtown, and the school formerly known as number two I will now call uptown. I had a rather informal visit at downtown -- it wasn't an admitted students' day, I just sat in on a class and took a tour. The class was not that engaging, and the students didn't seem terribly interested, or prepared. Perhaps it was the subject matter (property), or the fact that it was a Friday, I don't know. But I wasn't terribly impressed. The school itself is very nice, though. I like the way the library is laid out and there are lots of quiet areas to study. I didn't really get a chance to talk to any students and I left the school feeling pretty neutral towards it.

The visit at uptown was a larger event (but not an admitted students' day either). I sat in on a class, attended a brunch with students and administrators and took a tour. The class was much more engaging, there was a lot of back and forth with the students, several of whom raised their hands to contribute or ask questions. Again, it could have been the subject matter (criminal law) that made the class more interesting, but even if it wasn't, is it really fair to compare schools based on one class led by one professor? They might not be representative of all the classes or all the professors.

At the brunch I had the good fortune of sitting at a table with the Director of Financial Aid (who helped me figure out how to answer the unanswerable questions in the financial aid application) and a student mother who told me about how supportive everyone was when she got pregnant her 1L year. I left that event feeling really good about uptown, to the point that I think I am actually leaning towards choosing uptown if the money is about equal. However, I don't feel like I really got a sense of what downtown is like from my visit there and I may be selling it short. So, I will be going back this Friday for the Admitted Student Day. Hopefully I will get a chance to sit in on another class and talk to some students. I am hoping that I end up liking it just as well as uptown after another visit, because the deciding factor is probably going to be money, and if I get the scholarship I applied for from downtown I don't want to feel disappointed that I won't be going to uptown, because there is no way I could turn that down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't decide on schools based on one class - if you come to our school and sit in my 9:00 am contracts class you will get a totally different feeling than if you come to the 1:30 tuesday torts class.