UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

UCLA vs. Columbia?

UCLA /w $95k
55
37%
Columbia
92
63%
 
Total votes: 147

nervous1
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby nervous1 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:03 pm

What kind of 1L summer job offer did she get? 1L job offers are hard to get for ANY 1L in this economy....

minuit wrote:I know a girl who went through this exact decision process last application cycle... She wants to live and work in LA after school, her family is in LA, but she still chose Columbia. Why? Because it's Columbia. She has 1L summer job offers from LA, so she will be spending her summer there making contacts and such.

nervous1
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby nervous1 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:14 pm

In any case, I strongly suggest talking to a variety of lawyers in LA about this.

I did and actually got mixed responses. Hence the board post....

Dignan wrote:
nervous1 wrote:1. UCLA has better/comparable Big Law placement on the West Coast, especially SoCal
2. It is way, way cheaper and I am debt-averse
3. I would much prefer to spend the next three years in LA over NYC
4. For local government positions, local schools have an edge over HYS

A lot of LA firms have only a handful of Columbia grads and a whole lot of UCLA/USC grads. Can anyone explain this?

Looking at Columbia's numbers....20% of the class is from the West Coast yet they only place 10% there! I mean does this mean half the class doesn't want to go back where they came from....or is the West Coast placement harder? That difference seems significant....]

1. I really, really doubt that's true. Do you have any evidence? The statistic you cited at the end of your post (about 20% of the class being form the west coast and only 10% placing) isn't very persuasive. I think most California residents who go to Columbia plan to work in NYC or DC. I'm a lifelong California resident, and that's my plan. In any case, I strongly suggest talking to a variety of lawyers in LA about this. The few lawyers I've talked to in NorCal say Columbia places just as well (and maybe even better) than Berkeley in California. If Berkeley struggles to keep pace with Columbia's reputation in California, you can imagine how UCLA is going to fare.
2. I can't argue with you here. As you are aware, though, 90K at UCLA is far from a free ride. With rapidly rising UC fees and COL expenses, you will still have to take on some debt at UCLA.
3. That counts for something.
4. I doubt this. It's true that most HYS grads don't bother pursuing local government positions (why would they?), but I bet HYS grads would do very well if they decided to apply to such jobs. And, as I think you are aware, a position with the U.S. attorney's office in LA does not count as a "local job."

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RVP11
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby RVP11 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:49 pm

nervous1 wrote:What kind of 1L summer job offer did she get? 1L job offers are hard to get for ANY 1L in this economy....

minuit wrote:I know a girl who went through this exact decision process last application cycle... She wants to live and work in LA after school, her family is in LA, but she still chose Columbia. Why? Because it's Columbia. She has 1L summer job offers from LA, so she will be spending her summer there making contacts and such.


Job offers are not hard to get. I've gotten a few. BigLaw job offers are another story.

From looking at your other posts, this seems like it will be yet another TLS thread of 0L trying to convince themselves that Worse School is somehow better than Better School and refusing to believe anything to the contrary.

nervous1
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby nervous1 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:11 pm

The only difference is (1) I actually got into the [much] better school. (2) I would believe anything to the contrary that wasn't other 0L's pulling things out of nowhere. And that hasn't happened so far....

Plus consider this: 58% of Stanford Law graduates work outside of CA after graduation Assume Stanford and Columbia have similar student bodies, in terms of where students came from geographically (Stanford has more West Coast ppl proportionally and Columbia has more East Coast ppl proportionally.) Why do the vast majority of Columbia students stay on the East Coast but this isn't true for Stanford graduates and the West Coast? Because the East Coast market is much bigger than the West Coast market. Sure Stanford grads place superbly well into NLJ 250 Big Law firms, but in order to get those jobs they need to leave CA!

Conclusion: UCLA might not be that much worse off than Columbia for LA placement (of course Columbia would blow UCLA out of the water everywhere else)....the recent placement nightmare @ UCLA might be because Skadden in LA has like 20 associates while Skadden in NYC/DC has like 200+. Does anyone else see this but me? Am I going crazy here?



JSUVA2012 wrote:
nervous1 wrote:What kind of 1L summer job offer did she get? 1L job offers are hard to get for ANY 1L in this economy....

minuit wrote:I know a girl who went through this exact decision process last application cycle... She wants to live and work in LA after school, her family is in LA, but she still chose Columbia. Why? Because it's Columbia. She has 1L summer job offers from LA, so she will be spending her summer there making contacts and such.


Job offers are not hard to get. I've gotten a few. BigLaw job offers are another story.

From looking at your other posts, this seems like it will be yet another TLS thread of 0L trying to convince themselves that Worse School is somehow better than Better School and refusing to believe anything to the contrary.

mwazaumoja
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby mwazaumoja » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:03 pm

Here's why I would choose Columbia (actually, I chose NYU, but same difference):

You never know.

Law School will change a lot of what you think, and when that happens you want to be in the place that will afford you the most opportunities. You will regret closing so many doors on yourself so early in your career. For all you know, you might love NYC. You might want to go into Public Interest law in Missouri, or you might want to work in D.C. for the Senate Judiciary Committee. My point is, you just want to go to the place that would afford you the most chances to do as much as possible. So for that reason you'd be best off going to Columbia.

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thelawguy777
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby thelawguy777 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:13 am

mwazaumoja wrote:You never know.

Law School will change a lot of what you think, and when that happens you want to be in the place that will afford you the most opportunities. You will regret closing so many doors on yourself so early in your career. For all you know, you might love NYC. You might want to go into Public Interest law in Missouri, or you might want to work in D.C. for the Senate Judiciary Committee. My point is, you just want to go to the place that would afford you the most chances to do as much as possible. So for that reason you'd be best off going to Columbia.


This is excellent advice. Columbia is an amazing school. Leiter ranks it at the very top of job placement. It's ranked 4th by USNEWS...

UCLA could have offered me a stipend and full tuition and I would gladly pay sticker for Columbia without hesitation.

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thelawguy777
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby thelawguy777 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:16 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:
nervous1 wrote:What kind of 1L summer job offer did she get? 1L job offers are hard to get for ANY 1L in this economy....

minuit wrote:I know a girl who went through this exact decision process last application cycle... She wants to live and work in LA after school, her family is in LA, but she still chose Columbia. Why? Because it's Columbia. She has 1L summer job offers from LA, so she will be spending her summer there making contacts and such.


Job offers are not hard to get. I've gotten a few. BigLaw job offers are another story.

From looking at your other posts, this seems like it will be yet another TLS thread of 0L trying to convince themselves that Worse School is somehow better than Better School and refusing to believe anything to the contrary.


What a great post.

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ruleser
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby ruleser » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:20 am

I agree flame - there have to be some options in between if you got into Columbia, like MVP with $$$, or Cornell w/$$$, etc. That is your debate, lower T14 w/$$ vs. Columbia. That you are making it UCLA vs Columbia makes it not so believable.

In any case, UC's are not the best choice right now - the budget cuts are not just affecting tuition, but course availability, etc. - and 95k? That is what, 32K/year? Tuition will be 50 instate by your last year, so you'll still be paying 18K/year - and that's if tuition doesn't go up more than expected, which it very well may...

scionb4
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby scionb4 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:25 am

Fuck NYC. You couldn't pay me to live there or go to school there. Bring on the criticisms for this statement.

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ruleser
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby ruleser » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:27 am

scionb4 wrote:Fuck NYC. You couldn't pay me to live there or go to school there. Bring on the criticisms for this statement.

...concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do...

mwazaumoja
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby mwazaumoja » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:11 am

scionb4 wrote:Fuck NYC. You couldn't pay me to live there or go to school there. Bring on the criticisms for this statement.


It's not for everyone. You might be claustrophobic and can't ride the subways, or you might be only like eating at Denny's and thus be put off by the lack of chain restaurants.

nervous1
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby nervous1 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:34 am

There are more important things than just rankings. I have ties to LA (girlfriend/family, etc.) that make the LA location ideal for me. It isn't just about the money people! I also got into Upenn, NYU, Cornell, etc. and if I'm not going to be in LA then I'm not going anywhere else but NYC (the 2nd best city in the country). I just want to know that my job prospects aren't killed by going to UCLA. Duh, Columbia is better in most areas but placement in LA specifically I think is debatable. The 58% of Stanford grads leaving CA but the equivalent amount NOT leaving the East Coast from Columbia is quite telling.....(in terms of LA job market)

I think the 20% from the West Coast, 10% going back from Columbia is more than just half the people preferring the East Coast...it's easier to find a NLJ250 job in NYC over LA/SF. 200 summer associate class vs 20...

People here only seem to care about prestige! It's disgusting...

ruleser wrote:I agree flame - there have to be some options in between if you got into Columbia, like MVP with $$$, or Cornell w/$$$, etc. That is your debate, lower T14 w/$$ vs. Columbia. That you are making it UCLA vs Columbia makes it not so believable.

In any case, UC's are not the best choice right now - the budget cuts are not just affecting tuition, but course availability, etc. - and 95k? That is what, 32K/year? Tuition will be 50 instate by your last year, so you'll still be paying 18K/year - and that's if tuition doesn't go up more than expected, which it very well may...

fortissimo
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby fortissimo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:40 am

I also think the OP is a flame. For the record, I know people from my undergrad who chose Columbia over Berkeley at the same cost even though they are highly considering working back in California. And the other poster is right. Tuition is skyrocketing for the UCs so you will be paying 50k instate for UCLA by your 3rd year.

I don't get why anyone would ask UCLA v. Columbia, when your prospects of landing A LEGAL JOB are much higher out of Columbia. We are not just talking LA biglaw, we are talking about getting any legal job after graduation. The market is absolute garbage right now and at least with Columbia you have a much higher chance of landing a job because you aren't restricted by market limitations (a Columbia degree is much more portable) and it is an arguably much more prestigious law school so firms will probably dig deeper into its class.

I know you want to stay at home with mommy and daddy for law school, but 3 years of your life flies by, and who knows, you might actually enjoy living outside of your comfort zone. If you can, get your girlfriend to move with you. Besides the gf argument, I don't understand why people want to stay in the same place their entire life.

People here care about prestige because hiring partners care about prestige. Law is a prestige-whoring industry.
Last edited by fortissimo on Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:56 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby Kiersten1985 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:46 am

I'd give my first born child to get into CLS.

But that's just me...

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chris0805
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby chris0805 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:21 pm

CLS has a lot of kids from CA, and the percentage grows with each class. I think this year's incoming class is around 35 % from California. Furthermore, the biggest club on campus is not Fed. Soc. or ACS. It's the California Society, a group geared at getting west coast people (primarily from CA) together for social and networking events. I think they even have their own mini OCI (this is in addition to regular EIP, which, as far as I know, all the major CA firms attend).

**Anectdotal Evidence: Take it FWIW**
The economy is terrible right now, and I do know a few non-public interest people who don't have a job. I DO NOT, however, know of anyone who wanted to work out west and is stuck working in the east. Furthermore, I have not noticed any trend suggesting those who want to go out west are faring worse. If anything, they seem to be faring better.

Oh, and I'm a CLS 3L so take that FWIW too.

nervous1
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby nervous1 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:48 pm

I am only looking for a job in LA so Columbia's superior placement elsewhere is a moot point. Also, I don't think a significant enough % of UCLA's grads are unemployed (it is a top 15 law school isn't it?) such that looking for any legal job would make Columbia the superior choice.

Also as for "leaving my comfort zone" and not being with "mommy and daddy" I am not in LA right now. I have spent the past six years away from home (East Coast actually) due to undergrad and current job and law school would make it another three years for a total of NINE years not in LA. Hence, the desire to spend the next three years there and find a job there because it is where I want to settle down.

If that means giving up a guaranteed six-figure job and hustling a lot harder at UCLA for one, then so be it. With a 175+ on my LSAT, I believe I can do well at UCLA. Possibly even graduate top 10-25%. And even in this economy I can't believe that the top 10-15% at a top 15 law school that is the best school in the region can't place into Big Law in LA. Columbia is surely more prestigious, but I don't think they would dig that deep over a top UCLA kid....

fortissimo wrote:I also think the OP is a flame. For the record, I know people from my undergrad who chose Columbia over Berkeley at the same cost even though they are highly considering working back in California. And the other poster is right. Tuition is skyrocketing for the UCs so you will be paying 50k instate for UCLA by your 3rd year.

I don't get why anyone would ask UCLA v. Columbia, when your prospects of landing A LEGAL JOB are much higher out of Columbia. We are not just talking LA biglaw, we are talking about getting any legal job after graduation. The market is absolute garbage right now and at least with Columbia you have a much higher chance of landing a job because you aren't restricted by market limitations (a Columbia degree is much more portable) and it is an arguably much more prestigious law school so firms will probably dig deeper into its class.

I know you want to stay at home with mommy and daddy for law school, but 3 years of your life flies by, and who knows, you might actually enjoy living outside of your comfort zone. If you can, get your girlfriend to move with you. Besides the gf argument, I don't understand why people want to stay in the same place their entire life.

People here care about prestige because hiring partners care about prestige. Law is a prestige-whoring industry.

scionb4
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby scionb4 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:57 pm

mwazaumoja wrote:
scionb4 wrote:Fuck NYC. You couldn't pay me to live there or go to school there. Bring on the criticisms for this statement.


It's not for everyone. You might be claustrophobic and can't ride the subways, or you might be only like eating at Denny's and thus be put off by the lack of chain restaurants.


I need space . . . and sunshine.

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vanwinkle
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:01 pm

nervous1 wrote:I am only looking for a job in LA so Columbia's superior placement elsewhere is a moot point. Also, I don't think a significant enough % of UCLA's grads are unemployed (it is a top 15 law school isn't it?) such that looking for any legal job would make Columbia the superior choice.

I don't know anything about UCLA, but I do know that ND is ranked in the top 25 and folks there on Law Review/in the top 10% haven't found jobs yet this year.

LA is a tough market. You should 1) go to the best law school possible and 2) go to a school that gives you other options. Maybe you think you're "only" interested in LA now, but three years from now you're going to be very interested in finding some kind of work, whether it's in LA or elsewhere; the UCLA degree is really only going to be useful on the West Coast, while the Columbia degree will be useful everywhere.

And it will trump the UCLA degree, no matter where you go. If you're from CA already, and you get a CLS degree, you'll be golden. You have connections back to the state, so you will be able to convince law firms there to hire you, and they'll love your degree.

CLS is the superior choice, especially ITE. The legal market is a bloodbath right now, and going to a school like CLS may be the best way to insulate yourself from it. At least there if you can finish above median you have a good chance at what you want, or at least at finding work at all when you graduate.

fortissimo
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby fortissimo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:22 pm

nervous1 wrote:I am only looking for a job in LA so Columbia's superior placement elsewhere is a moot point. Also, I don't think a significant enough % of UCLA's grads are unemployed (it is a top 15 law school isn't it?) such that looking for any legal job would make Columbia the superior choice.


I heard UCLA's OCI was a slaughterhouse, so who knows. I wouldn't be surprised if a significant portion of the class were unemployed ite, but UCLA hasn't released current employment data from this past OCI (nor have most schools), so who knows what's going on. "Top 15" doesn't mean guaranteed employment in this recession. There are Harvard 2Ls who are unemployed.

nervous1 wrote: Also as for "leaving my comfort zone" and not being with "mommy and daddy" I am not in LA right now. I have spent the past six years away from home (East Coast actually) due to undergrad and current job and law school would make it another three years for a total of NINE years not in LA. Hence, the desire to spend the next three years there and find a job there because it is where I want to settle down.


Okay, then you are used to living away from home. Columbia is just much better in my opinion. I think your odds of landing an LA job are better out of Columbia because firms will cut you more GPA slack.

nervous1 wrote:If that means giving up a guaranteed six-figure job and hustling a lot harder at UCLA for one, then so be it. With a 175+ on my LSAT, I believe I can do well at UCLA. Possibly even graduate top 10-25%. And even in this economy I can't believe that the top 10-15% at a top 15 law school that is the best school in the region can't place into Big Law in LA. Columbia is surely more prestigious, but I don't think they would dig that deep over a top UCLA kid....


Law school testing isn't exactly the same thing as taking the LSAT. Law school grading is pretty random in my experience and different professors like different methods of writing. There are also different types of exams (i.e. all multiple choice, all essay, mix of both, short answer, etc.) (Of course you have some types who work 10+ hours a day and do consistently very well.) I wouldn't be so overconfident to think that just because you got a 175 on the LSAT (on multiple retakes, which makes your argument of doing well on the LSAT correlating with 1L success more questionable) that you are guaranteed top 10-15% of your class.

It looks like you have already made up your mind though, so best of luck.

redginseng
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby redginseng » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:45 pm

What if OP ends up bottom half or third in Columbia and doesn't get any OCI from LA firms where OP wants to work? Many of you make it sound like it so easy to get LA job from Columbia.

OP might come back LA without a job and with 200K in debt while OP would be in much less debt from UCLA.

Now, does it seems irrational to pick $$$ UCLA over Columbia if one wants LA market?

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RVP11
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby RVP11 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:58 pm

redginseng wrote:What if OP ends up bottom half or third in Columbia and doesn't get any OCI from LA firms where OP wants to work? Many of you make it sound like it so easy to get LA job from Columbia.

OP might come back LA without a job and with 200K in debt while OP would be in much less debt from UCLA.

Now, does it seems irrational to pick $$$ UCLA over Columbia if one wants LA market?


I'd still consider CLS the right pick. You can play "what if" all you want.

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vanwinkle
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:08 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:
redginseng wrote:What if OP ends up bottom half or third in Columbia and doesn't get any OCI from LA firms where OP wants to work? Many of you make it sound like it so easy to get LA job from Columbia.

OP might come back LA without a job and with 200K in debt while OP would be in much less debt from UCLA.

Now, does it seems irrational to pick $$$ UCLA over Columbia if one wants LA market?

I'd still consider CLS the right pick. You can play "what if" all you want.

+1

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Reedie
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby Reedie » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:06 am

Ok, I know this is off-topic but why the heck are you simply not considering places like Penn? Don't be so quick to narrow your options dude!

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chadwick218
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:29 am

Personally, I would take Columbia over UCLA (but I am exclusively focused on biglaw and have no interest whatsoever in PI). For the most part, top 25% of Columbia + a personality should get you from OCI into the office to interview. At UCLA, I think that the could only be said if you are in the top 10%.

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chadwick218
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Re: UCLA with $$$ or Columbia???

Postby chadwick218 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:31 am

I also think that later in life, the money will be an after thought and prestige is all that will remain!




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