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Posted: 9/17/2004 1:01:29 PM EDT
...where I have to consider colleges.

Due to financial situations, I basically have to either go to college in VA or get a scholarship. Which isn't really a problem, because there are some teriffic colleges in VA. I just don't know that many.

There are three (civilian) fields I am currently considering, which have absolutely nothing to do with each other: law, comp. sci., or photography, plus I'm also considering a military career.

So, my current list is: George Mason, UVA, VT, William and Mary, VCU, and the USNA, USAFA, and USMA.

What school is generally considered to have the best law program in VA? For the fields I'm considering, do you have any other colleges to consider? Advice (besides have good grades and SAT scores)?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 1:44:30 PM EDT
I can't help a whole lot, but I do know that George Mason has a separate School of Law somewhere in the Arlington/Alexandria area. They also have a Second Amendment club there.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 2:21:30 PM EDT
If you have a choice to get into one of the academy's GO! They have the best education IMHO. Go Navy.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 3:49:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 3:51:14 AM EDT by nickfinity]
I'm not sure if it's still the case, but UVA was ranked the top public university in the country for quite a few years. Based on a quick search the UVA School of Law ranks #7 in the country. William & Mary and George Mason also rank pretty high.

I was a CS major and in my opinion the school you choose for CS isn't as important as choosing a school for law. Another school for CS would be James Madison. I know a couple of guys that have graduated from there and they seemed to have liked it.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 2:41:26 PM EDT
Here's a place for you to start: College Board

Tons of good information to get you on your way. Good luck!

Small blurb on what they do:

"The College Board's mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. We are a not-for-profit membership organization committed to excellence and equity in education. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,500 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning."

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:17:49 PM EDT
I know a few lawyers who have gone to Hampden-Sydney college. It's a private liberal arts school; plus it is an all male school.
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 6:09:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ogre_4070:
plus it is an all male school.

Now, even if HSC looked like it would be good (took a little look... doesn't seem like a great place, unlike places like UVA and VT), why would I want to go to a place with no hott hott college wimminz?
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 6:14:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 7:40:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2004 7:43:51 AM EDT by Ker-Pow]

A friend of mine's son just graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy (www.vfmac.edu) up near Phili, PA. The nice thing about this is he obtained an associates degree from the school and a commision in the U.S. Army. He selected to enter the VA Natl. Gaurd for his commitment. He is now obligated to complete his education and obtain a Bachelors degree. For this, he has selected Longwood.
The advantage to a program like this, if you are considering the military, is he is now a commisioned 2Lt at age 19. He now has a jump on others individuals with time in grade. He will make 1Lt and Captain much sooner than others when he graduates in 2 years.
I didn't know this program existed until 2 years ago when they started talking about it.

I know you said cost is a consideration, but it is worth exploring. I worked and paid my way through school myself and did work/study, obtained PELL grants, and took out education loans to finance my education. Look into all these.

Another consideration you should look into is to attend a Junior/Community College for your associates degree for the first 2 years. I wish this option had been available when I was going to school and Virginia seems to have one in just about every community of any size. The advantage to this is you will be able to get most of your base courses (english, math, science) out of the way at a reduced cost (vs. a university) in classes that are reasonable in size. You can then transfer to a university to complete your degree. Just make sure that the university you want to attend will accept most/all of your credits.

Good Luck!
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 8:28:16 AM EDT
If you're considering CS, as in computer science, consider: CS is becoming a passe profession due to outsourcing. I'm in the major right now, have maybe a year or so to go, & the number of jobs out there isn't nearly as prolific as it was 5 years ago. Pay isn't as high as it was either. I attribute this partly to the economic situation, & it should improve a little in the long-term. However, I don't see the outsourcing trend waning. It's just too easy to ship projects out to foreign workers, some of whom are actually pretty good. The main attraction for U.S. companines is the labot cost, where a typical CS professional in India makes 1/6th to 1/10th the wage of a typical U.S. CS professional. Enrollment numbers are dropping in CS majors because this trend is becoming all too obvious.

A buddy of mine who attended some company presentations at our campus (UW, Bothell) told me that more than one presentor has point-blank told him that CS is the wrong major; better to go into Business school. Another student who was in the program did just that - transferred into the business department, & never looked back. U.S. companies don't give a damn about keeping creative talent stateside (& neither does the gov't for that matter). I'm personally considering getting into another field entirely, though I will more than likely finish out my degree, since I'm getting close to being done. I suppose I could get lucky & land a good gig, but long-term stability is still wanting in the field. Companies seem to be doing a lot of shifting their manpower pools around (which they like refer to as "adaption"), so there is no real sense of stability these days. Have a friend who got in at MSFT during the good years, made his money, & then got out after he became disgusted w/ the way things were being run there. Basically, compared to other professions out there, you're more of a pawn in the computer biz.

Of course, if you fully intend to go to law school, then it won't matter what degreee you get.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 4:15:24 AM EDT
Law and Comp Sci aren't mutually exclusive specialties, especially if you're interested in computer security. The legislative and judicial ground has barely been broken in this area. If this interests you, get your CS degree first, then return for the law degree after a few years on the job.

Ker-Pow also has some excellent advice, plus there's another consideration: if you go into the military it's very likely you'll come out with a security clearance. In the DC metro area tech jobs for contractors with clearances are going begging. This is one area that simply can't be outsourced since non-citizens aren't eligible for clearances.

It's scary, but sometimes the clearance level is worth more than the degree.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:41:48 AM EDT
If you want to eventually go to law school your undergraduate major is nearly completely irrelevant. Your GPA is NOT. So find a major that you enjoy and have the aptitude for and get high marks. This will help you more than being a "pre-law" major of some kind (which helps you not at all if you take time off before law school). For state schools in VA, you may want to investigate the ratios of grads they admit. For example, GMU Law tends to take very few GMU undergrads. UVa may be the same. I would personally recommend W&M for all of the above. My wife is an alum of there as an undergrad. I went to GMU, the college experiences are totally different. In terms of ranking VA state schools think:

Tech (though these next couple are major/experience you want dependent)
and then it is a big step before:

The top five are great schools (and there are others) the bottom schools are not as hot.


p.s. IM me when you get to the law school decisions to....I am a college prof and married to an attorney.

And oh yeah, GO NAVY (great deal in an education)
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:32:47 AM EDT
As everyone pointed out, your undergraduate work has little effect on law school however IMHO and I admit I'm prejudiced, William & Mary graduates have a definite edge in being accepted at the law school there. That is considered by many, including myself, the best law school in the state.

On the other hand, ask ten lawyers, get 30 answers.

BTW, it's also expensive
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