Princeton students may be "in the nation's service" but how does this compare with being located in the nation's capital? Chad Priest '07, a religion major, explores the two schools.
I am a graduate of Princeton and am currently a second-year law student at the Georgetown University Law Center. It is difficult to compare my experiences in college and now in law school, but I will try.
In terms of academics, I had many great professors at Princeton, in many different departments. I have also had several outstanding professors at Georgetown, but on the whole they have not made themselves as accessible as the professors I had at Princeton. The precept system at Princeton was also a much more engaging academic experience for me than my 100-plus person first-year law sections. Overall, my law school education has been much more anonymous than my education at Princeton.
Second, the administration at Princeton is, by far, better than Georgetown --- I cannot emphasize this enough. At Princeton, facilities problems are fixed immediately, computer help is always available, official e-mails are proofread and contain concise, relevant information, and in general, everything proceeds in an unbelievably smooth manner. I did not fully appreciate this until I got to Georgetown. Without going into too much detail, I can say that in one semester alone two of my professors complained in front of class about how poorly-administered the Law Center is, and many students I know voice strident criticism.
Third, while it is difficult to compare the student bodies at the Georgetown Law Center and Princeton, in general I would say that Princeton is home to a more diverse and talented group of students. Certainly, the students at Princeton are more international, both in terms of background and focus.
Finally, the only advantage Georgetown might have over Princeton is its location: I have found living in Washington to be a welcome change from the sleepiness of Princeton. That being said, I really enjoyed the close-knit Princeton community when I was a student and did not feel like I was trapped while I was there. It is, after all, really easy to get to New York for the night or the weekend.
If you're a former Tiger who is now pursuing graduate studies elsewhere or a Princeton grad student who attended undergrad outside the Orange Bubble and would like to contribute a comparison send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.