DC Law Schools
February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
Georgetown Law and George Washington Law were the two schools I focused on visiting during my trip to the D.C./Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area. I could’ve gone west and taken the DC Metro Orange line towards Vienna until I hit the Virginia Square/George Mason University/Law stop. I could’ve gone east taken the Metro Red line towards Glenmont until I hit Union, where I would transfer to the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train up to West Baltimore to visit the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. However, I chose to spend the weekdays of my trip in the area checking out the two DC law schools.
I would probably have an easier time getting out of a first-round armbar applied by UFC women’s champion Ronda Rousey before I get into Georgetown Law. Oh, what the hell, why not visit the campus anyway?
It was a short visit, shorter than Alfred Hitchcock’s Academy award acceptance speech. Georgetown Law doesn’t do official visits and tours Monday through Friday, opting to choose specific day(s) each month for tours. Unfortunately, they’re doing info sessions only and not any tours in February or March. Their next two dates for campus tours are 4/12 and 4/26, 12:15pm EST. You may find the RSVP links and the information here. As for sitting in and auditing a course while class is in session, that privilege is available only to those recently admitted to Georgetown Law. But the buildings sure are beautiful.
Georgetown Law is not located on the Georgetown University undergraduate campus. You’ll save some embarrassment by not ending up on the wrong campus. In case you do show up on the undergraduate campus, I suggest heading over to Baked & Wired Bakery for a delectable cupcake (or twelve).
A short word
On one side, there’s the private sector of law, solo practices in the shadow of national firms like Morrison Foerster, Perkins Coie, and WilmerHale. On another, there’s the public side, from clinics like Bread in the City to government positions located on Capitol Hill. You could be working with your local assemblyperson from back home or you could be clerking for a justice from a District Court, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces or the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court of the United States (basketball court located on the 4th floor). The location of these law schools afford current JD students and recent JD graduates ample opportunities to gain experience in their fields of interest.
George Washington Law
If you know a friend currently attending GW Law, maybe they may have the time to show you around the six buildings that make up the school. If not or you want to RSVP for the guided tour and in-class visit, then that’s a fine choice as well. Located in the southeast corner of the George Washington undergraduate campus, you meet at the admissions office located at 20th and G Streets, in the lower level of the building. There is a Starbucks a few blocks away, but do yourself a favor and get a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from GW Deli. You’re never going to work off all that bacon you just ate.
Tours are provided in the morning, Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 11 AM. In-class visits are open to visitors from 11 AM to 12 PM. If you can’t make the morning times, the school offers tours on Monday evenings, from 5 PM to 6 PM, followed by an in-class visit from 6 PM to 7 PM. The classes you’ll sit in on depends on the day and time you tour the campus. This semester’s offerings include Dean Morrison’s Constitutional Law, Professor Turley’s Torts, and Professor Kerr’s Criminal Procedure. Chances are, you’ll get to sit in the Raymond Niro Amphitheater, which seats ~100-110 students for larger classes. Class offerings and professors vary by semester so RSVP and keep an eye on this page when scheduling your visit (link here) to George Washington Law.
Why do you want to go to law school?
I flew into DC not knowing why I want to go to law school and I flew out of DC still not knowing why. It’s an innocent question asked with good intentions by friends and family, it’s mentally overwhelming if you haven’t really thought about it, let alone where or when you may pursue your JD degree, but it matters. For some people, they knew immediately why they want to go to law school and if you can identify with that, congratulations and godspeed. But if you’re not immediately sure why, it may be wise to find out quickly if you decide to make the time and financial investment and go right into law school. There will be challenging times brought forth by classes and assignments that will remind you of times when people ask why you want to go to law school. You will question yourself as to why you put yourself through such rigors of a legal education.
For JD students who have a solid reason as to why they go to law school, it may help them overcome the reading, the production assignments, and the overall onslaught of information being crammed into your brain.
But if you don’t have the grade point average, the >90th percentile LSAT score, let alone a significant reason to go to law school that overcomes scrutiny, it’s best to figure out with some soul-searching whether law school is right for you. From some initial looks, it’s not really helpful how Diane Neal, Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams or Meghan Markle describe it at USA Network. Make some friends. Network. Meet some people stressing out the rolling admissions right now. Those doing the admitting and those being admitted. Maybe take some time off between getting your BA/BS/both and going for further education. Do whatever it takes to make things happen, or realize that you need to be in a different industry to make things happen.