Sunday, March 06, 2005

Albany Visit

My trip to Albany was not bad. The school is located near the Med school and the pharmacy school. The three schools share apartments which are right behind the law school. It has a very community oriented feel because of all of the school related buildings. My impressions of the school are all positive. (However, my impressions of the staff are not, but that will be discussed later). The 1928 building is beautiful. The upkeep of the building is amazing. Inside everything looks brand new. There is a lot of glass throughout the building and classrooms which is nice. I like that everything seems transparent. The moot court room is in this building, and it is quite impressive. It has seating for about 250ish people. The seats are for the most part comfortable which is important. The entire building is wireless, which is great. The 2000 building was also very nice. Since it was just built, it is very modern. This building houses the clinics. This building is also wireless and open and airy. The school is quite comfortable. I really would enjoy the atmosphere at Albany.

The library was also impressive. It was three floors, but it was really open and welcoming. It had a lot of space for people to break off by themselves or with a small group to do work. There was also a lot of glass that let natural sunlight in, which I thought was nice for those days when you have to be holed up in the library for hours and hours.

The mock class was ok. I felt that it was really remedial, and at times boring. I could not believe that the professor actually asked some of the questions she did. I felt like I was in second grade all over again when we talked about wording and punctuation in statutes. If someone does not grasp the concept that: blah blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah, and blah blah. Means that everything is included and all of the commas mean AND then they probably should not be attempting to go to law school. Despite this, the woman teaching it was really engaging. She was definitely the best speaker there.

Now, my problem with the faculty is that they were not as warm, kind, and open as the faculty I have spoken to and met with at other schools. They just seemed very rigid and standoffish. It was odd; you would think they would want to portray warmth and comfort. They just seemed very stiff.

After the orientation I scoped out the surrounding area. It seems like a mix between a lot of nice and not so nice areas. There seems to be a lot of restaurants and shopping areas on the main roads. It was a little hard to navigate Albany because their signage was not the best, but I managed. Oh, the area that my hotel was in was by the airport. It was on a strip that had all kinds of shopping and entertainment. There were a ton of amazing places to eat. I was shocked by how much stuff there was in one little area.

Anyway, even though my experience was positive, I am not sure I will be admitted to Albany. After the dean of admission stressed the importance of GPA/LSAT, she opened the floor for questions. I asked how they weighed masters degrees. At this point she more or less trivialized graduate work. She said that although they look at it, they do not weigh the GPA heavily because to be in most programs you need to maintain a 3.3. That may be true, but what happens to people like me who have the 4.0. I went through a lot of hard work and hours upon hours of research to get the GPA. It was not easy and I know that I am one of the only people who have a 4.0 in my program. It appears that they do not put a lot of weight on soft factors. After lunch, (a nice array of sandwiches and desserts) I met up with her one on one and asked her about multiple LSAT scores and how they view addendums. Again, she said they look at them, but they do not really put much stock in them. They basically average the score because that is the best determinant of success in law school.

So, I doubt I will get an acceptance letter due to the feel I got from the dean of admissions, but I am going to write her a quick email and thank her for her time. She said that for those who have not heard yet, we should hear within the next few weeks. My fingers are crossed, but I am not holding out a ton of stock in getting an acceptance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I stubbled on your page looking up stuff on Albany Law. Just wanted to thank you for blogging, it was really helpful. I'm thinking of going to Albany because it's the best ranking school I got into and rent there is cheap. Thanks again. Good luck with the decision making! I'm sure you'll rock wherever you wind up going.

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