WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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waldorf
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WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:57 pm

just finished 2L. happy to answer any questions.
Last edited by waldorf on Fri May 10, 2019 3:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Stranger » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:08 pm

I'm glad to see this thread appear at last! I'll be visiting Wash U in a few weeks, and other than the official itinerary, was wondering what I should be on the lookout for.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 pm

Stranger wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:08 pm
I'm glad to see this thread appear at last! I'll be visiting Wash U in a few weeks, and other than the official itinerary, was wondering what I should be on the lookout for.
City or school wise or both?
How long will you be in town for (just to tailor realistic suggestions of things to check out)/how familiar are you with St. Louis?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Stranger » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:44 pm

waldorf wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 pm
Stranger wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:08 pm
I'm glad to see this thread appear at last! I'll be visiting Wash U in a few weeks, and other than the official itinerary, was wondering what I should be on the lookout for.
City or school wise or both?
How long will you be in town for (just to tailor realistic suggestions of things to check out)/how familiar are you with St. Louis?
I'm getting in Sunday night, touring Monday morning and early afternoon, and heading out Tuesday morning. I haven't spent much time in the city, really only passed through before. Since Wash U is a very likely landing spot for me, I think I need to focus on what student life will be like there. Where to live, what to eat, public transit, the gym, etc.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:33 am

Stranger wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:44 pm
waldorf wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 pm
Stranger wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:08 pm
I'm glad to see this thread appear at last! I'll be visiting Wash U in a few weeks, and other than the official itinerary, was wondering what I should be on the lookout for.
City or school wise or both?
How long will you be in town for (just to tailor realistic suggestions of things to check out)/how familiar are you with St. Louis?
I'm getting in Sunday night, touring Monday morning and early afternoon, and heading out Tuesday morning. I haven't spent much time in the city, really only passed through before. Since Wash U is a very likely landing spot for me, I think I need to focus on what student life will be like there. Where to live, what to eat, public transit, the gym, etc.
Cool!

I'm not sure what your Wash U itinerary is, but when I went for my interview, it included meeting with a current student, which I thought was the most valuable part of the experience by far. In terms of facilities, the law school is great (and is also beautiful) - large library with tons of study spots, one of the best cafes on campus in the building and a Starbucks next door, great classrooms and whatnot, and I have heard that the gym is great but when I still worked out regularly (lol lawl skool stole my life) I did so at a gym closer to my apartment so I can't speak to that personally. I'm not huge on studying at school, but there is a great cafe/coffee shop a block from the law school that's a popular study spot that I love. There's other various cafes, coffee shops, Starbucks, etc. nearby if you're like me and cannot stand the law library.

I personally live downtown (and I like it but the commute is kind of annoying so I wouldn't recommend it). I'd take a look at the Central West End, U City, and the Loop. If you go on apartments.com you can look at specifically those areas to get a price range. I honestly think one of the best ways to find housing in St. Louis near Wash U is to just drive around those areas as there are a lot of great apartment buildings that aren't as well-known but are cheaper or closer to school. The Central West End and the Loop have grocery stores, restaurants, nightlife, gyms, etc. basically everything that you need within walking distance. Personally, I'm moving to the Central West End next year - look up the neighborhood and drive around and you'll get a vibe for what living there is like! I'm looking forward to it.

I personally would not depend on public transit here unless a car is totally not an option for you. Most of the people that I know who began the semester without cars either 1) left them with their family and got them at some point during the semester, 2) bought a car, 3) live with a roommate who has a car. You can certainly get by without a car in your own neighborhood if you live in the Loop or CWE, but in terms of getting to school or to other areas, public transit can be kinda a pain in the ass. It's not great/reliable here, so while it's doable, I'd personally find it way too annoying to waste time waiting around/having to structure my day around it.

Depending on your goals, Wash U can be a great option, and despite what some say about St. Louis, I think it's a cool city and genuinely like living here for law school. Personally, given my goals, I took a big gamble coming here (due to a family emergency + not wanting to sit out a second year). I'm fortunate that it worked out for me, but definitely consider your goals before biting the bullet. Just my two cents after choosing to go against conventional wisdom (i.e. I retook late and should've sat out and reapplied but didn't want to sit out another year) and despite it working out, still thinking *what if* I had chosen differently. (Relevant side note - I'm targeting a totally different and somewhat insular market).

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Stranger » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:38 am

waldorf wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:33 am
Depending on your goals, Wash U can be a great option, and despite what some say about St. Louis, I think it's a cool city and genuinely like living here for law school. Personally, given my goals, I took a big gamble coming here (due to a family emergency + not wanting to sit out a second year). I'm fortunate that it worked out for me, but definitely consider your goals before biting the bullet. Just my two cents after choosing to go against conventional wisdom (i.e. I retook late and should've sat out and reapplied but didn't want to sit out another year) and despite it working out, still thinking *what if* I had chosen differently. (Relevant side note - I'm targeting a totally different and somewhat insular market).
Fortunately, my wife's career is fairly portable, and there are a number of locations we'd be happy landing in the South and Midwest, including St. Louis. My career goals are going to depend in part on my debt load. If I can keep it under $100K, I'd want to work on the public service end of things, preferably in criminal law. If I wind up over that, I'll be looking at private practice as an option. I'm a super splitter, and I highly doubt retaking will change my outcomes, though I suspect I would have had more options in last year's cycle. How do you mean that your choice has worked out? Is that in terms of Wash U giving you a good option, or are you getting lucky laying groundwork for the area you're targeting?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:48 pm

Stranger wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:38 am
waldorf wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:33 am
Depending on your goals, Wash U can be a great option, and despite what some say about St. Louis, I think it's a cool city and genuinely like living here for law school. Personally, given my goals, I took a big gamble coming here (due to a family emergency + not wanting to sit out a second year). I'm fortunate that it worked out for me, but definitely consider your goals before biting the bullet. Just my two cents after choosing to go against conventional wisdom (i.e. I retook late and should've sat out and reapplied but didn't want to sit out another year) and despite it working out, still thinking *what if* I had chosen differently. (Relevant side note - I'm targeting a totally different and somewhat insular market).
Fortunately, my wife's career is fairly portable, and there are a number of locations we'd be happy landing in the South and Midwest, including St. Louis. My career goals are going to depend in part on my debt load. If I can keep it under $100K, I'd want to work on the public service end of things, preferably in criminal law. If I wind up over that, I'll be looking at private practice as an option. I'm a super splitter, and I highly doubt retaking will change my outcomes, though I suspect I would have had more options in last year's cycle. How do you mean that your choice has worked out? Is that in terms of Wash U giving you a good option, or are you getting lucky laying groundwork for the area you're targeting?
Worked out in that i ended up with really high grades and a 1L SA in my target city. I networked like crazy, which definitely helped, prepped hard for all of my callbacks, and was fortunate that my boyfriend is familiar with the legal market I am targeting. Big law is very grade dependent, though, as I am sure you know, and while I won't tell you to assume median, I worked my ass off, read all the TLS (now LSL) guides on law school success, etc. and my grades were beyond anything I was expecting.

If you're looking at private practice in the Midwest, you need to go into OCI at top third to be comfortable, although you can certainly go a bit below that and snag an offer. Network in cities that like to see ties to show your dedication to the area. Grades can be unpredictable - you can get screwed by one bad exam, etc. - and if you're below median here it seems you're going to have a tough time getting into private practice absent incredibly strong connections (which I've only seen happen in St. Louis personally since it is so small/insular).

If you want PI, that's a different situation that I have no experience with (in terms of grades etc.)
Last edited by waldorf on Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by par283 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:42 pm

I'm here right now and checked out Delmar Loop/Campus (it was pretty cool) and am currently sitting in the conference center across from the law school. Any insight about what questions are the most important to ask tomorrow during my visit? Anything else I should try and do tonight? I'm not really sure what to do with myself (and its super cold) so any advise about my visit and the school in general would be super helpful!

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:27 am

par283 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:42 pm
I'm here right now and checked out Delmar Loop/Campus (it was pretty cool) and am currently sitting in the conference center across from the law school. Any insight about what questions are the most important to ask tomorrow during my visit? Anything else I should try and do tonight? I'm not really sure what to do with myself (and its super cold) so any advise about my visit and the school in general would be super helpful!
I'm sorry, I just saw this!

If you're meeting with a current student, definitely talk to them about your target market, career goals, etc. They should be able to give you some good insight. Always feel free to PM me as well. I'd ask about recommendations re: places to live as well. In terms of other questions to ask, that depends on your personal preferences and what's important to you (professor accessibility, gym, facilities, etc.). For example, law review was really important to me so I asked about the process for that, but it ended up changing by the time I actually enrolled anyway.

Here are some other questions you might wanna ask:
1. What are the class sizes like? Not the size of the entire 1L class, but the amount of people in your core 1L classes and then in your seminar/elective classes.
2. How accessible do professors tend to be?
3. What type of research assistant opportunities are there? (if this is important to you)
Like I said, this really depends on what is important to you. If you're a minority, maybe ask about different organizations that you can join and how inclusive the school is. If you are pretty set on/interested in a certain field, ask about organizations or volunteer opportunities available to 1Ls to help you get experience. You can ask about different ways to get involved on campus generally and how to balance your time if leadership/involvement are really important to you.

It's probably too late tonight, but tomorrow if you're around I'd definitely check out the CWE area and other areas near campus. I think the best way to get a good idea of where you'd like to live is to just drive around the various neighborhoods, since there are hidden gems you won't find on apartments.com or whatever.

If you have any specific questions you don't get answered/don't feel comfortable asking tomorrow, feel free to PM me.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Eurapoopin » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:08 am

Wash U 3L willing to take some questions here until people who are much more involved with the school take over and offer much better insight.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Stranger » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:03 pm

Eurapoopin wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:08 am
Wash U 3L willing to take some questions here until people who are much more involved with the school take over and offer much better insight.
What led you to Wash U? Have you been able to secure a job offer in line with your goals?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Eurapoopin » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:11 pm

Stranger wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:03 pm
Eurapoopin wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:08 am
Wash U 3L willing to take some questions here until people who are much more involved with the school take over and offer much better insight.
What led you to Wash U? Have you been able to secure a job offer in line with your goals?
Honestly, my scholarship. I had put a deposit down at another school and wash u upped their offer in response. I have to say, I got very lucky because I've grown very fond of St. Louis and while I can't say I like law school in general, Wash U is a pretty good place to study law.

I was able to find a job I wanted. I had my sights set on becoming a public defender after my 1l year and a lot of people at wash u helped me get my dream position. I got help from career services, my connections through internships, and my connections through clinics. It seems my class is doing pretty well employment-wise but that's just a general vibe I get, rather than anything based on empirical evidence.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by notorious_rbg » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:40 pm

What are opinions on living in the loop vs central west end?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:43 pm

.
Last edited by BearCat on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:49 pm

notorious_rbg wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:40 pm
What are opinions on living in the loop vs central west end?
Personally, I think the loop is a lot better. It's way closer to school and therefore really convenient, and I prefer the restaurants in the loop. CWE is either super expensive restaurants or bar food. The loop has seoul taco (great korean/mexican fusion), corner 17 (great authentic chinese food were you can watch people hand pull noodles), cool ice cream places, indian food, great bbq, etc. It also has united provision right there which is really handy (a grocery store).

CWE has a lot of professional students (med students, law students), and the loop has more undergrads, if that matters to you. CWE also houses a bunch of trivia joints, and trivia appears to be a big thing with law students. CWE has a much more vibrant "night life" than the loop.

If you like alcohol/bars, being around older students, trivia, and being further away from school, CWE is your thing. If you love to eat (like me), don't care too much for being within walking distance to a dozen or so bars, and like the convenience of being able to walk to school, then the loop is more your thing.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:03 pm

IPeeLaw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:49 pm
notorious_rbg wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:40 pm
What are opinions on living in the loop vs central west end?
Personally, I think the loop is a lot better. It's way closer to school and therefore really convenient, and I prefer the restaurants in the loop. CWE is either super expensive restaurants or bar food. The loop has seoul taco (great korean/mexican fusion), corner 17 (great authentic chinese food were you can watch people hand pull noodles), cool ice cream places, indian food, great bbq, etc. It also has united provision right there which is really handy (a grocery store).

CWE has a lot of professional students (med students, law students), and the loop has more undergrads, if that matters to you. CWE also houses a bunch of trivia joints, and trivia appears to be a big thing with law students. CWE has a much more vibrant "night life" than the loop.

If you like alcohol/bars, being around older students, trivia, and being further away from school, CWE is your thing. If you love to eat (like me), don't care too much for being within walking distance to a dozen or so bars, and like the convenience of being able to walk to school, then the loop is more your thing.
this is TCR, but edit - CWE has similar food options with the addition of nicer restaurants. prices may be slightly higher but there's also some great Mexican food, Thai food, ice cream places, bbq, etc. i personally like the CWE a little better and have a car so being super close to school isn't as important to me.

also, as to why i chose WUSTL:
two reasons: 1) i am from the area and a family emergency made me want to be close to home. 2) my scholarship and unwillingness to sit out a cycle since i had already taken an unplanned gap year. i was originally a reverse splitter and retook twice (after finding TLS, actually) but late.

my retake was substantially better, but it was too late to really apply anywhere else for the cycle. one school upped my scholarship money (i deposited at three schools banking on the retake) but it was so late that schools were running low on funds at that point. WUSTL up'ed me from almost a full ride to a full ride and stipend, and that was that.
Last edited by waldorf on Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Eurapoopin » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:13 pm

I'm on team cwe. The loop was great for about a year then I couldn't stand the undergrad vibe. I live just south of the cwe now and it definitely feels a little more part of the city itself than the loop does. I disagree with the claim that the loop has better food options but I think it completely comes down to personal preference. But yeah, as ipee said, you could walk to school from the loop which is really nice. I think both places can be really great or completely overrated depending on what you're looking for.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by lawboye » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:00 pm

waldorf wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:48 pm

I worked my ass off, read all the TLS (now LSL) guides on law school success, etc. and my grades were beyond anything I was expecting.
Any specific resources you could point to?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by FuturePIJD » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:31 pm

How is WUSTL for public interest/government compared to the T14?

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:42 pm

lawboye wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:00 pm
waldorf wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:48 pm

I worked my ass off, read all the TLS (now LSL) guides on law school success, etc. and my grades were beyond anything I was expecting.
Any specific resources you could point to?
I did LEEWs mid-October - I think the way they set out how to tackle an issue spotter is really helpful.
TLS --> TLS Content Competitions. Lots of great guides.

They're very helpful but don't bank on top 10% just because you read them, work hard, and try to learn how to take a law school exam.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:41 pm

FuturePIJD wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:31 pm
How is WUSTL for public interest/government compared to the T14?
As a general rule of thumb, it's going to be easier getting anything from a T14 than WUSTL, all else being equal (grades, interview ability, etc.), with the exception of STL jobs.

However, most people say that PI/gov't isn't as grade or prestige sensitive as the private sector, so the answer to your question is probably going to be "not too much different." I'm not doing PI/gov't though so someone else who is can give more details.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:48 pm

Word of warning to those deciding between WUSTL scholarship vs T14 (a very common position to be in):

If you think you would get higher grades at WUSTL than at a T14, you're wrong. Law school admissions is based on only two factors: LSAT and uGPA. WUSTL's entering LSAT and uGPA medians are not materially different from the lower T14 at all. Regardless of your opinion on whether those two things predict law school success, my point is that the only difference between a majority of WUSTL students and T14 students is something like 0.2 grade points from undergrad, and that difference is utterly meaningless.

Approach your decision as if you'd get the same grades at WUSTL as you would at a T14. Here, you're competing with tons of other students who turned down T14 for a big scholarship at WUSTL.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by waldorf » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:55 pm

IPeeLaw wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:48 pm
Word of warning to those deciding between WUSTL scholarship vs T14 (a very common position to be in):

If you think you would get higher grades at WUSTL than at a T14, you're wrong. Law school admissions is based on only two factors: LSAT and uGPA. WUSTL's entering LSAT and uGPA medians are not materially different from the lower T14 at all. Regardless of your opinion on whether those two things predict law school success, my point is that the only difference between a majority of WUSTL students and T14 students is something like 0.2 grade points from undergrad, and that difference is utterly meaningless.

Approach your decision as if you'd get the same grades at WUSTL as you would at a T14. Here, you're competing with tons of other students who turned down T14 for a big scholarship at WUSTL.
And just to be clear, particularly if your goals are grade selective (thinking big law, clerkships), median, top third, whatever at a T14 is a way better position to be in than the equivalent at WUSTL.

Despite a year reading TLS, I truly did not realize the difference in opportunities available to students at schools just a few ranks above mine (think lower T14) until I went through the job application process. I don’t want to come off as trashing my school, because I have had a good experience here and things have worked out for me so far.

And yes, I worked very hard. I put in a ridiculous amount of hours - think 24/7 studying for the last month and a half of the semester outside of showering and sleeping. I read the guides. I took practice exams. But as an anecdote, a friend of mine who worked just as hard took one of her finals with a fever, chills, etc. and pulled a decent grade but it probably wasn’t nearly as well as she could have done. Sometimes you get unlucky and for whatever reason don’t do well on a final despite your best efforts. At a school where the difference between the top 25%/top third and median is huge, just one grade can seriously alter your job prospects.

I really think if you’re BL or bust, you need to strongly consider how unhappy you’d be if you don’t get it before committing to WUSTL because you just can’t assume you’ll have certain grades as long as you put the work in.
Last edited by waldorf on Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Daddy » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:37 pm

waldorf wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:55 pm
IPeeLaw wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:48 pm
Word of warning to those deciding between WUSTL scholarship vs T14 (a very common position to be in):

If you think you would get higher grades at WUSTL than at a T14, you're wrong. Law school admissions is based on only two factors: LSAT and uGPA. WUSTL's entering LSAT and uGPA medians are not materially different from the lower T14 at all. Regardless of your opinion on whether those two things predict law school success, my point is that the only difference between a majority of WUSTL students and T14 students is something like 0.2 grade points from undergrad, and that difference is utterly meaningless.

Approach your decision as if you'd get the same grades at WUSTL as you would at a T14. Here, you're competing with tons of other students who turned down T14 for a big scholarship at WUSTL.
And just to be clear, particularly if your goals are grade selective (thinking big law, clerkships), median, top third, whatever at a T14 is a way better position to be in than the equivalent at WUSTL.

Despite a year reading TLS, I truly did not realize the difference in opportunities available to students at schools just a few ranks above mine (think lower T14) until I went through the job application process. I don’t want to come off as trashing my school, because I have had a good experience here and things have worked out for me so far.

And yes, I worked very hard. I read the guides. I took practice exams. But as an anecdote, my best friend worked just as hard but had a notoriously difficult professor (think very subjective/hard to know what he wants since he teaches the law in his own way) and despite her putting 100% into that class, she didn’t do well on the final. That one grade took her out of the running for top 10% and put her at median. Another friend of mine took one of her finals with a fever, chills, etc. and pulled a decent grade but it probably wasn’t nearly as well as she could have done. Sometimes you get unlucky and for whatever reason don’t do well on a final despite your best efforts. At a school where the difference between the top 25% or even top third and median is huge, just one grade can seriously alter your job prospects.

I really think if you’re BL or bust, you need to strongly consider how unhappy you’d be if you don’t get it before committing to WUSTL because you just can’t assume you’ll be in the top 10% or top 25% or whatever as long as you put the work in.

Damn.

Wellp, I'm withdrawing.

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Re: WUSTL Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by BearCat » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:44 pm

Just to clarify, top 25% is definitely not a requirement for biglaw from WUSTL. I have friends who were top 1/3 and got market paying biglaw everywhere from Texas to NYC. But you'd need to be in the top 1/3 to not feel like you're really under the gun come OCI. It's possible for people outside the top 1/3 to get biglaw, and they do, but it takes a lot more luck/networking/luck/luck.

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