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Law School News--Georgetown Wins Popularity; UC Irvine Discounts Tuition; Law Lust Remains Strong

Vivia Chen

November 12, 2010

Students Georgetown's Allure

The most popular law school in the land for 2009 is Georgetown. "Last year, the Law Center received 12,404 applications--the most of any law school in the nation--for 592 spots," reports  The Hoya, Georgetown University's paper (hat tip: Vault). That means that "one in every seven law school applicants nationwide submitted an application to the Law Center."

Part of Georgetown law school's popularity is that the university's own undergraduates can't wait to go there. "In 2009, they sent the Law Center more applications than did the undergraduates of any other school," says Hoya. "This fall, 44 of the 592 members of the entering class had an undergraduate degree from the university."

There's this little secret benefit too: No LSATs for select GU undergrads! Yup, you don't have to shell out thousands of dollars for those prep courses under GU's Early Assurance Program, which permits Georgetown juniors to apply to the law school without the LSAT. "Last year, 66 students applied, of whom ten were accepted," reports Hoya. But not everyone can qualify--the program "suggests that applicants maintain a 3.8 GPA."

UC Irvine's Tuition Discount

Attention shoppers: "The University of California, Irvine School of Law has announced that members of the class of 2014 will each receive a scholarship worth one third of their $40,000 in-state tuition, or the $50,000 out-of-state tuition," reports The National Law Journal.

You might recall that Irvine, which opened its doors just a year ago, had waived tuition for its first class. It did so through private donations--"a deal that made it among most competitive law schools to get into. "

The school's second class, which numbers 83, will be paying half the tuition.

My guess is that the third class will be paying even more. So get those applications in before the coupons expire.

Still Smitten

Here we go again--another tale of how we are a nation of lawyer wannabes. According to a study on The Evolution of the Legal Profession by DiscoverReady (a discovery service) in the NLJ, there are two reasons people willingly assume debt to go to law school even in the face of job uncertainty: "First, most prospective law students sincerely believe they will graduate in the top 10 percent of the class. . . . Second, law school applicants are generally naive consumers of debt."

"As soon as tuition rose to a level where people had to borrow significant sums in order to go to law school, you had students with no experience taking out loans, repaying them, or understanding what it means to have debt," University of Miami law school dean Patricia White tells the NLJ.  "It was a little bit like the foreclosure crisis and the mortgage debacle."

"You sign the loan papers with the idea that it will all pay off, and it is the idealized big-firm life that allows people to take debt," Indiana University law school professor William Henderson tells the NLJ.

So I guess the future lawyer ranks will be filled with bunch of delusional optimists. Would you want legal advice from anything less?


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Point taken. Correction made.
The Careerist.

After your comment in your October 21, 2010, column with the heading "MBAs More Uncouth than J.D.s?," that the "I-bank club could use a refresher on grammar," the first sentence of this piece was a bit surprising: "The most popular law school in the land for is Georgetown."

Considering how easy it is to make errors of our own, sometimes it is just not a good idea to poke fun at errors made by others... particularly when our own error is so glaringly found in our first sentence.

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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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