Emory School of Law Opinions
November 28, 2005 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Does anybody have experience with Emory's School of Law? Their brochure seems snooty but I like Atlanta and want some other opinions re:conservative/liberal, diversity of ethnicities, competitiveness of students, faculty.
posted by designbot to Education (4 answers total)
I wouldn't set much store by the tone of the viewbook. The better law schools are all much more alike than they are different these days; it may well be the viewbook writer/editor took an unusual angle.

As at every other highly-ranked law school in the country, most Emory students are liberals. However, Emory may strike you as more conservative because, unlike highly-ranked law schools outside the South, the top Southern schools all have a vocal, proud and unselfconscious conservative minority. (Non-Southern law schools conservatives are vocal but very self-conscious and hemmed in by political correctness to a greater or lesser extent.)

Emory's ethnic diversity is typical of the highly-ranked Southern law schools. (See US News). The main difference between the highly-ranked Southern law schools and highly-ranked law schools elsewhere is that the Southern schools have slightly more African American students and many less Asian American students.

Emory may be a bit less competitive than other schools in its rating range. The good, but not elite schools (such as Emory) can be fiercely competitive because everyone is smart but the plub jobs aren't guaranteed as they effectively are at the elite schools. Emory attracts a fair share of people who aspire to return to their home markets in second-tier Southern cities, making it a bit easier for the rest of the class to compete for the plum Atlanta / Charlotte / Miami (and, to a lesser extent, big non-Southern city) jobs.

Can't comment on the faculty.
posted by MattD at 9:46 AM on November 29, 2005

plub = plum!
posted by MattD at 9:46 AM on November 29, 2005

I don't have much to add to MattD's comment, except to reiterate that most good law schools are alike these days.

As far as competitiveness goes, you could do what some mad law students do and get the JD with no intention of ever practicing law. That will take you out of the game and you can enjoy a lot of observational amusement for those three years.
posted by newscouch at 10:31 AM on November 29, 2005

I polled a few 2Ls currently at Emory. Their collective impressions:

The student body spans the spectrum of political ideology. There are active groups at all points on the spectrum; you can find your niche without feeling subjected to groupthink.

The professors are more thoughtful than ideological; very friendly and willing to engage. Emory used to be known for having a heavily male faculty, but has hired more diverse faculty members in recent years.

Emory does support causes that could be deemed liberal. The entire campus is moving to self-sustaining buildings, both new construction and renovations. The law school is very supportive of public service. There are many summer stipends for public interest work and I think there is a tuition forgiveness program for those that do public service after graduation - check with Emory for the fine print, obviously.

The student body is very young - average age between 22 and 24, depending on the class. Many people fresh out of undergrad without the life experience we call "work". Contrary to Matt's assertion, very few students (in the last few years, at least) are from second-tier southern towns. The student body pulls from all areas of the country and does not suffer from feeling regional. A large percentage of students come from the Northeast and used Emory as a "safety" school when applying to Ivy League schools. A number of those live out their first year at Emory pissed off that they didn't get into Harvard/Yale/fill in the blank.

The students, on balance, are very affluent. The content of the parking lot at the law school is quite impressive when one realizes that the drivers have yet to earn any income in their short lives to date. That being said, all the law school parties I've personally crashed have been fun and friendly, not snooty.

It's a law school - it's competitive. Like everywhere else, you're graded on a curve and if you're shooting for the top 10 or 20 percent, then yeah, it's a grind. No surprise. Law school, in general, collects assholes. You will have to deal with them and compete against them. The rest of the Emory Law students still make fun of the gunners and suck-ups, the same as anywhere else. The feeling of competitiveness varies from class to class. In an unscientific poll, it was found that this years 1Ls are more high-strung than the current 2Ls were in their first year. YMMV.
posted by sardonista at 5:35 PM on November 29, 2005

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