California T2's...advice needed!

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samham22
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California T2's...advice needed!

Postby samham22 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:07 pm

I am having some second thoughts/worries the more I read about law school debt and the current legal market. I didn't look at these boards until after I applied, and needless to say my pre-law advisor was much more optimistic (maybe naive?) to the current market compared to most of the posters on here. I am a senior at the University of Iowa, and will graduate with a 3.4-3.5 gpa and have a 159 (78th%) LSAT score from last June (only taken it once, 156-162 scoreband). When choosing law schools I went with rankings/numbers, location, quality of life, and areas of strength. I want to live in the pacific (hate the midwest...must get out), ideally northern California but anywhere in California will do. I also love the Portland area but wasn't really attracted to Lewis and Clark or Oregon. Based off my numbers I started to look at schools I'd have a legitimate chance at getting into, so I applied to (in order of choice): UC Hastings, Loyola, Santa Clara, and USF. I am not "BIGLAW" determined, but at the same time I wouldn't say no to that type of job. I have a political science/international relations background and grew up in Jordan so I would say at this point something in the realm of international law interests me the most but this is a relatively broad field. As of right now I don't have my heart set on one specific area of practice. Ideally I'd like to graduate in the top 15% or so, get on a law review, and find a job that would enable me to make my monthly loan payments without breaking the bank (60-70k?). I'm not looking for 100k plus right after law school, with the economy and the rank of the school I'll most likely be going to I know that is not feasible. So I guess my question is (and after reading these boards Im afraid I know the answer) is it worth it to go to a Santa Clara or Loyola and pay sticker?? How hard is it to get scholarship money once attending school for the following years?? If I can crack that top 10-15% will I be able to get a good enough job to pay off that debt without a heart attack(I know people say you cant predict grades but I have a friend who attends Denver [similar rank] and is pulling a 3.67 so far and his LSAT score was much lower then mine...and he took it 3 times) Am I better off taking a year off, boosting my LSAT score a few points (I think I could max out in the 162-164 range) and getting some scholly money at one of these T2 places and/or getting into a Davis/Hastings where paying sticker would be more justifiable?? Any answers would be much appreciated...positive or negative....I'll take it all.

PS What about part time vs full time?? I threw in a last minute application to San Diego part time for the heck of it...with my numbers I am a shoe in...I know there are some disadvantages to PT but at USD you can request to transfer to FT after the first year....let's say I didn't get into any of the above full time programs or didn't want to take a year off...would USD part time be a good option?? What would be some advantages and disadvantages of USD part time? If I spent my 1L summer making up for lost credits in order to transfer into their FT program would that set me back significantly in terms of internship/job opportunities??


Any and all feedback is appreciated. Please don't hold back!

Thanks ahead of time.

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chango
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby chango » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:18 pm

too many words.

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moandersen
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby moandersen » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:27 pm

all i see is a block of text. :shock: but what i was able to retain from your essay, i will recommend using the search function at the top for the schools you are interested in. ill give you some advice about your posts though since it looks like you may be somewhat new to tls: keep it short and to the point. more people will read and give you a response. maybe.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:29 pm

chango wrote:too many words.


+1


...but I'm about to read it.

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voice of reason
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby voice of reason » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:34 pm

A year off would not be unwise. Santa Clara at sticker will put you into 6 figures of debt and may very well get you a 5-figure salary in an area with one of the highest costs of living in the world.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:44 pm

I am having some second thoughts/worries the more I read about law school debt and the current legal market. I didn't look at these boards until after I applied, and needless to say my pre-law advisor was much more optimistic (maybe naive?) to the current market compared to most of the posters on here. I am a senior at the University of Iowa, and will graduate with a 3.4-3.5 gpa and have a 159 (78th%) LSAT score from last June (only taken it once, 156-162 scoreband).

Bad economy
Yes, the economy sucks...your numbers are decent (disclosure: mine are very close). You won't find much security on this board, you need to do research, soul-search, ask yourself what your needs and expectations are, and be an adult about the decision.


When choosing law schools I went with rankings/numbers, location, quality of life, and areas of strength. I want to live in the pacific (hate the midwest...must get out), ideally northern California but anywhere in California will do. I also love the Portland area but wasn't really attracted to Lewis and Clark or Oregon. Based off my numbers I started to look at schools I'd have a legitimate chance at getting into, so I applied to (in order of choice): UC Hastings, Loyola, Santa Clara, and USF.

Locale

Ok. California has a lot of schools and is a cool place, good decision. Hastings is a WL/reject (I'm in the same boat, sadly, as it is my top choice), Loyola/SCU/USF should all take you (they all took me, some with scholarship). Research the schools a bit.

I am not "BIGLAW" determined, but at the same time I wouldn't say no to that type of job. I have a political science/international relations background and grew up in Jordan so I would say at this point something in the realm of international law interests me the most but this is a relatively broad field. As of right now I don't have my heart set on one specific area of practice. Ideally I'd like to graduate in the top 15% or so, get on a law review, and find a job that would enable me to make my monthly loan payments without breaking the bank (60-70k?). I'm not looking for 100k plus right after law school, with the economy and the rank of the school I'll most likely be going to I know that is not feasible. So I guess my question is (and after reading these boards Im afraid I know the answer) is it worth it to go to a Santa Clara or Loyola and pay sticker?? How hard is it to get scholarship money once attending school for the following years?? If I can crack that top 10-15% will I be able to get a good enough job to pay off that debt without a heart attack(I know people say you cant predict grades but I have a friend who attends Denver [similar rank] and is pulling a 3.67 so far and his LSAT score was much lower then mine...and he took it 3 times) Am I better off taking a year off, boosting my LSAT score a few points (I think I could max out in the 162-164 range) and getting some scholly money at one of these T2 places and/or getting into a Davis/Hastings where paying sticker would be more justifiable?? Any answers would be much appreciated...positive or negative....I'll take it all.

WTFLOLIES

There are pages, upon pages, upon pages of threads about this. Many here will say don't pay sticker outside of the top 14 schools, other will say don't even pay sticker outside of the top 7.4 schools (depending on where their allegiances lay). In reality? This is a big question about yourself, your lifestyle, your stomach for debt, your risk-taking, and expectations.

I, personally, am looking at SCU at almost sticker. For me, I think it'll be worth it. Others will disagree vehemently, but you have to understand the selection of people on here, and that they do not always represent your best interests or, some of the time, what constitutes humanity. This is a very personal, difficult decision.

You CAN NOT, from what I understand, count on being top 10-15% no matter what your friend has done or will do. Maybe you get sick your first semester. Maybe you just don't get the material. Maybe you find a proclivity for smoking a certain type of rock. WHO KNOWS!? You can hope and aim for that top few, but it would be ill-advised to bank on it.

Retaking? That, again, is a personal question. If there is nothing really lost, it probably couldn't hurt if you are pretty sure you can raise your score. Personally, I think I could get a few points higher, but I would have to do it while working full time and having done that the first time, I realize it is not assured that I will perform better. I could move home and get part time work, saving a lot of time to study and probably rock a big score on the LSAT (I'm not an idiot, I just have a life...kinda) - but I'd sooner attempt a surgical intervention on my kidney with a spork than move home (love you mom and dad!...just don't want to live with you again).

PS What about part time vs full time?? I threw in a last minute application to San Diego part time for the heck of it...with my numbers I am a shoe in...I know there are some disadvantages to PT but at USD you can request to transfer to FT after the first year....let's say I didn't get into any of the above full time programs or didn't want to take a year off...would USD part time be a good option?? What would be some advantages and disadvantages of USD part time? If I spent my 1L summer making up for lost credits in order to transfer into their FT program would that set me back significantly in terms of internship/job opportunities??

PT vs FT

Everything I've heard about PT vs. FT is that there is not a difference for employers. Pro's and con's? Well, that's a lot up to you - what's important to you, what will you do with your time, etc? You'll have to check into USD's policy for transfering from PT to FT, but it seems like most schools allow it pretty easily.


Any and all feedback is appreciated. Please don't hold back!

Thanks ahead of time.


Ok, you need to make like, 12, posts of this - there are a lot of questions in there.

Your questions are all very valid, but you'll need to do a lot of searching on here and reading in general (as it sounds like you have done some already).

One word of caution on this board: DO NOT take everything everyone says seriously without a grain of salt. You will need to be a careful consumer of information and not accept what everyone says at face value.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:51 pm

voice of reason wrote:A year off would not be unwise. Santa Clara at sticker will put you into 6 figures of debt and may very well get you a 5-figure salary in an area with one of the highest costs of living in the world.


Essentially all schools (save a minimal few) will put you 6-figures in debt, especially when COL is added in.

The bay area has some expensive areas, but it is not impossible (ESPECIALLY further away from San Francisco) to find affordable places to live. I lived near SCU for a little while, and it wasn't all that bad - pretty much akin to any other desirable suburb-ish place.

Let's also not forget, that assuming the graduate with 6-figures in debt, but a decently high 5-figure starting salary is successful (well, they're employed, you have to assume that anyway, I suppose) - salary is not static. It's not like they will necessarily be living on $70k for the rest of their life. Years-in will increase pay, movement to new jobs, etc, etc, etc. This, we hope, coupled with a better economy down the road, may not amount of a deathblow.

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darknightbegins
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby darknightbegins » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:18 pm

Yeah most schools when you add in COL puts you in 6 figure or near 6 figure debt. However, 90,000 in debt vs 120,000 or 180,000 is a big difference.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:29 pm

darknightbegins wrote:Yeah most schools when you add in COL puts you in 6 figure or near 6 figure debt. However, 90,000 in debt vs 120,000 or 180,000 is a big difference.


It is, but I also wonder what the difference in employment opportunities are. I mean, on one hand you can't assume the job strait out of school is the end-all, be-all job. However, I also wonder how much that is a set trajectory, for the most part, and gets you locked into a certain echelon.

Anyhow, this is a question I'm considering myself.

Let's assume $60k-$90k for a T4 school, with a long road to finding a job, versus $140k for a better opportunity. Yes, the debt is significantly more, but is the trade-off worth it? I have no idea (and this is putting aside the T-14, etc, stuff since it's clearly not applicable here).

Also, add in the fact that most scholarships are renewable only with stipulations. So these T4, full-ride offers, they may end up costing a semester or two, in a non-ideal situation - the risk (of losing scholarship at a low ranked school) versus reward (of minimized debt) may not be worth it.

eth3n
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby eth3n » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:00 am

i couldnt read wall of text but i saw the bad lsat grade, retake an option?

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darknightbegins
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby darknightbegins » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:31 am

Great Satchmo wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:Yeah most schools when you add in COL puts you in 6 figure or near 6 figure debt. However, 90,000 in debt vs 120,000 or 180,000 is a big difference.


It is, but I also wonder what the difference in employment opportunities are. I mean, on one hand you can't assume the job strait out of school is the end-all, be-all job. However, I also wonder how much that is a set trajectory, for the most part, and gets you locked into a certain echelon.

Anyhow, this is a question I'm considering myself.

Let's assume $60k-$90k for a T4 school, with a long road to finding a job, versus $140k for a better opportunity. Yes, the debt is significantly more, but is the trade-off worth it? I have no idea (and this is putting aside the T-14, etc, stuff since it's clearly not applicable here).

Also, add in the fact that most scholarships are renewable only with stipulations. So these T4, full-ride offers, they may end up costing a semester or two, in a non-ideal situation - the risk (of losing scholarship at a low ranked school) versus reward (of minimized debt) may not be worth it.


Depends on the TTT and the TTTT school and most importantly the region. In order for me to go a TTT or TTTT I have to be paying very little tuition if any. When I say very little, we are talking around 10K a year AND that has to be the main game in town. For example, University of Arkansas which I am considering since I have money there and I like the south, the climate and the culture appeal to me. That is the only game in the state. Also a school like West Virginia, again a TTT, but essentially the only game in the state. Also Hawaii is the only school in its state.

Assuming you get in state tuition after the first year and you lose your scholoraship money you are looking at between 20 and 30K of tuition date facing you. I don't add in cost of living since that can vary widely by region and by person. If I am ok with living in a state like a WV an Arkansas or a Hawaii then I don't see a big problem in going to these schools with very very little debt coming out. You likely aren't looking at BigLaw jobs with these schools, but that is alright, you can get a starting salary at a govt job starting pay of 40-50K with benefits and there is always Personal Injury. With 20 to 30K tuition debt you would have the flexability to take these jobs.

However, OP is talking about California not the three states I mentioned. From that nightmare block of text he is considering UC Hastings, Loyola, Santa Clara and USF. I would scratch Santa Clara off right now as that is a big ass sticker and his undergrad does not lend well to IP law. OP says USF and I'm not aware of what school that is so I can't comment. So out of Santa Clara, UC Hastings and Loyola I would take UC Hastings. UC Hastings is I think a T1 school and from what I've read places well in California. Annual tuition for in state residents is 32K while out of state is 43K, yikes. OP can get in state after a year, assuming OP doesn't already have in state, and cost of living is on average 20K a year. So...

UC Hastings:
43,000 first year, 32,000 2L and 3L = 107,000
20K cost of living 3 years = 60,000

So OP would be looking at roughly 167K debt coming out. Also since the state of Cali is bankrupt (how the fuck a state with that big of an economy, larger than many countries, goes bankrupt is truely amazing but thats beside the point) the tuition at any state school could spike at any time. But lets just say 167K debt coming out.

Santa Clara:
38K a year full time so over three years looking at 114,000 and cost of living, we will say its 18K so its just a little under San Fran, for three years is 54,000 so overall looking at 168K a year. But OP doesn't have a background made for Silicon Valley. Santa Clara has a good International Law program apparently but Santa Clara is a mid T2 while Hastings is a T1 school.

OP will be paying roughly the same for three years but I would think Hastings could land you in a better job than Santa Clara. Now if OP had a background to help him in IP then he might have a better shot at that 100K starting salary in Silicon Valley but he doesn't so I wouldn't count on it.

If you want to live in California I would have a hard time going to a not top100 school MAYBE outside McGeorge. Only reason I sawy McGeorge because they are right there in Sac and I would think they could hook you up with some kind of state govt job. If I could get into McGeorge Full Ride and have that full ride have little in the way of GPA requirements I might consider that over the 160K debt I am looking at with Hastings or Santa Clara. Short of that I have a hard time going to a TTT or TTTT school in California just because the state has already so many good law schools and the state is in a budget crisis right now.

So...overall I would take Hastings if you get in. Santa Clara you are looking at as much debt but I think Hastings is a better school. Do any schools have a LRAP? If so that could seriously affect what school you go to and would really cut down on your cost factor.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:22 pm

darknightbegins wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:Depends on the TTT and the TTTT school and most importantly the region. In order for me to go a TTT or TTTT I have to be paying very little tuition if any. When I say very little, we are talking around 10K a year AND that has to be the main game in town. For example, University of Arkansas which I am considering since I have money there and I like the south, the climate and the culture appeal to me. That is the only game in the state. Also a school like West Virginia, again a TTT, but essentially the only game in the state. Also Hawaii is the only school in its state.

Assuming you get in state tuition after the first year and you lose your scholoraship money you are looking at between 20 and 30K of tuition date facing you. I don't add in cost of living since that can vary widely by region and by person. If I am ok with living in a state like a WV an Arkansas or a Hawaii then I don't see a big problem in going to these schools with very very little debt coming out. You likely aren't looking at BigLaw jobs with these schools, but that is alright, you can get a starting salary at a govt job starting pay of 40-50K with benefits and there is always Personal Injury. With 20 to 30K tuition debt you would have the flexability to take these jobs.

However, OP is talking about California not the three states I mentioned. From that nightmare block of text he is considering UC Hastings, Loyola, Santa Clara and USF. I would scratch Santa Clara off right now as that is a big ass sticker and his undergrad does not lend well to IP law. OP says USF and I'm not aware of what school that is so I can't comment. So out of Santa Clara, UC Hastings and Loyola I would take UC Hastings. UC Hastings is I think a T1 school and from what I've read places well in California. Annual tuition for in state residents is 32K while out of state is 43K, yikes. OP can get in state after a year, assuming OP doesn't already have in state, and cost of living is on average 20K a year. So...

UC Hastings:
43,000 first year, 32,000 2L and 3L = 107,000
20K cost of living 3 years = 60,000

So OP would be looking at roughly 167K debt coming out. Also since the state of Cali is bankrupt (how the fuck a state with that big of an economy, larger than many countries, goes bankrupt is truely amazing but thats beside the point) the tuition at any state school could spike at any time. But lets just say 167K debt coming out.

Santa Clara:
38K a year full time so over three years looking at 114,000 and cost of living, we will say its 18K so its just a little under San Fran, for three years is 54,000 so overall looking at 168K a year. But OP doesn't have a background made for Silicon Valley. Santa Clara has a good International Law program apparently but Santa Clara is a mid T2 while Hastings is a T1 school.

OP will be paying roughly the same for three years but I would think Hastings could land you in a better job than Santa Clara. Now if OP had a background to help him in IP then he might have a better shot at that 100K starting salary in Silicon Valley but he doesn't so I wouldn't count on it.

If you want to live in California I would have a hard time going to a not top100 school MAYBE outside McGeorge. Only reason I sawy McGeorge because they are right there in Sac and I would think they could hook you up with some kind of state govt job. If I could get into McGeorge Full Ride and have that full ride have little in the way of GPA requirements I might consider that over the 160K debt I am looking at with Hastings or Santa Clara. Short of that I have a hard time going to a TTT or TTTT school in California just because the state has already so many good law schools and the state is in a budget crisis right now.

So...overall I would take Hastings if you get in. Santa Clara you are looking at as much debt but I think Hastings is a better school. Do any schools have a LRAP? If so that could seriously affect what school you go to and would really cut down on your cost factor.


Some of what you said seems to be on point, and other things not so much.

First off, UC Hastings, with his numbers, are a likely reject or WL (not being mean, I'm in the same boat and they are my first choice). Davis is another option, but the same issue with numbers. Also, your tuition numbers are off, Hastings is significantly more than you quote, and will be more in the coming years. Hastings/Davis place very well in CA, and very well in Nor Cal/Bay Area.

USF - University of San Francisco. They are just at the end of the top 100. They seem to have placed decently well in SF, but outside of that it may get tough. Good alumni network in the city. I hear conflicting things (but then again, who doesn't hear conflicting things about the T2 schools for the most part).

SCU - yes, IP is the strength, but it does not appear to be the one and only reason to go there. They are in the South Bay, about an hour south, of San Francisco. They seem to be the main school feeding the Silicon Valley and San Jose/South Bay area, at least of local schools.

McGeorge, which he did not mention, is in Sac like you said. They are off the top 100, but aside from the hate from the elitists on here, they seem to have a very strong reputation in Sacramento. That being said, it's not a guarantee, from my understanding, of a great job and you are, for the most part, confined to Sacramento. Cheap COL though.

T2/T3/T4 decision in California are going to be personal and specific, depending on debt aversion, location preference, and the scholarships offered. For example, McGeorge might be a good deal for me, for the most part, but there are GPA strings and Sac isn't the most exciting idea for me - so it'd take something set in motion for me to change my mind on it. SCU, despite not being IP-bound, is a real played despite a small scholarship - I feel that it's a more primary school in a secondary market (San Jose area), and the locale is something I think I'd be very happy with. USF offered me more, and I love living in the city right now, but I'm concerned about competition for jobs in SF as well as being able to focus in school while in the city.

These are really personal and specific considerations. I think it gets especially sticky when talking about scholarships. As much as we all want to be in the top 20% of the class, not everyone will be. Some people count on a full ride being a full ride for all 3 years, others may treat it as only 1 year and hope for the best the next 2. My concern with renewable scholarship is that (a) I have no idea what law school will be like, and (b) despite my intelligence and drive, there are going to be others like me - so with these, if I decide to go to a school where scholarship is the defining reason, if I were to lose it, I'd be pretty upset with my decision.

Also, I think it's foolish to calculate the cost of school without cost of living. The comparison makes it much more real, for example, a $10k difference becomes less substantial, in the face of other considerations, when you add the ~$60k in living expenses you will likely incur throughout the 3 years.

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saltoftheearth
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby saltoftheearth » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:26 pm

you are not a shoe-in at USD PT

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:27 pm

saltoftheearth wrote:you are not a shoe-in at USD PT


How not?

I made it into USD full time with only slightly better numbers.

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darknightbegins
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby darknightbegins » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:42 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:Depends on the TTT and the TTTT school and most importantly the region. In order for me to go a TTT or TTTT I have to be paying very little tuition if any. When I say very little, we are talking around 10K a year AND that has to be the main game in town. For example, University of Arkansas which I am considering since I have money there and I like the south, the climate and the culture appeal to me. That is the only game in the state. Also a school like West Virginia, again a TTT, but essentially the only game in the state. Also Hawaii is the only school in its state.

Assuming you get in state tuition after the first year and you lose your scholoraship money you are looking at between 20 and 30K of tuition date facing you. I don't add in cost of living since that can vary widely by region and by person. If I am ok with living in a state like a WV an Arkansas or a Hawaii then I don't see a big problem in going to these schools with very very little debt coming out. You likely aren't looking at BigLaw jobs with these schools, but that is alright, you can get a starting salary at a govt job starting pay of 40-50K with benefits and there is always Personal Injury. With 20 to 30K tuition debt you would have the flexability to take these jobs.

However, OP is talking about California not the three states I mentioned. From that nightmare block of text he is considering UC Hastings, Loyola, Santa Clara and USF. I would scratch Santa Clara off right now as that is a big ass sticker and his undergrad does not lend well to IP law. OP says USF and I'm not aware of what school that is so I can't comment. So out of Santa Clara, UC Hastings and Loyola I would take UC Hastings. UC Hastings is I think a T1 school and from what I've read places well in California. Annual tuition for in state residents is 32K while out of state is 43K, yikes. OP can get in state after a year, assuming OP doesn't already have in state, and cost of living is on average 20K a year. So...

UC Hastings:
43,000 first year, 32,000 2L and 3L = 107,000
20K cost of living 3 years = 60,000

So OP would be looking at roughly 167K debt coming out. Also since the state of Cali is bankrupt (how the fuck a state with that big of an economy, larger than many countries, goes bankrupt is truely amazing but thats beside the point) the tuition at any state school could spike at any time. But lets just say 167K debt coming out.

Santa Clara:
38K a year full time so over three years looking at 114,000 and cost of living, we will say its 18K so its just a little under San Fran, for three years is 54,000 so overall looking at 168K a year. But OP doesn't have a background made for Silicon Valley. Santa Clara has a good International Law program apparently but Santa Clara is a mid T2 while Hastings is a T1 school.

OP will be paying roughly the same for three years but I would think Hastings could land you in a better job than Santa Clara. Now if OP had a background to help him in IP then he might have a better shot at that 100K starting salary in Silicon Valley but he doesn't so I wouldn't count on it.

If you want to live in California I would have a hard time going to a not top100 school MAYBE outside McGeorge. Only reason I sawy McGeorge because they are right there in Sac and I would think they could hook you up with some kind of state govt job. If I could get into McGeorge Full Ride and have that full ride have little in the way of GPA requirements I might consider that over the 160K debt I am looking at with Hastings or Santa Clara. Short of that I have a hard time going to a TTT or TTTT school in California just because the state has already so many good law schools and the state is in a budget crisis right now.

So...overall I would take Hastings if you get in. Santa Clara you are looking at as much debt but I think Hastings is a better school. Do any schools have a LRAP? If so that could seriously affect what school you go to and would really cut down on your cost factor.


Some of what you said seems to be on point, and other things not so much.

First off, UC Hastings, with his numbers, are a likely reject or WL (not being mean, I'm in the same boat and they are my first choice). Davis is another option, but the same issue with numbers. Also, your tuition numbers are off, Hastings is significantly more than you quote, and will be more in the coming years. Hastings/Davis place very well in CA, and very well in Nor Cal/Bay Area.

USF - University of San Francisco. They are just at the end of the top 100. They seem to have placed decently well in SF, but outside of that it may get tough. Good alumni network in the city. I hear conflicting things (but then again, who doesn't hear conflicting things about the T2 schools for the most part).

SCU - yes, IP is the strength, but it does not appear to be the one and only reason to go there. They are in the South Bay, about an hour south, of San Francisco. They seem to be the main school feeding the Silicon Valley and San Jose/South Bay area, at least of local schools.

McGeorge, which he did not mention, is in Sac like you said. They are off the top 100, but aside from the hate from the elitists on here, they seem to have a very strong reputation in Sacramento. That being said, it's not a guarantee, from my understanding, of a great job and you are, for the most part, confined to Sacramento. Cheap COL though.

T2/T3/T4 decision in California are going to be personal and specific, depending on debt aversion, location preference, and the scholarships offered. For example, McGeorge might be a good deal for me, for the most part, but there are GPA strings and Sac isn't the most exciting idea for me - so it'd take something set in motion for me to change my mind on it. SCU, despite not being IP-bound, is a real played despite a small scholarship - I feel that it's a more primary school in a secondary market (San Jose area), and the locale is something I think I'd be very happy with. USF offered me more, and I love living in the city right now, but I'm concerned about competition for jobs in SF as well as being able to focus in school while in the city.

These are really personal and specific considerations. I think it gets especially sticky when talking about scholarships. As much as we all want to be in the top 20% of the class, not everyone will be. Some people count on a full ride being a full ride for all 3 years, others may treat it as only 1 year and hope for the best the next 2. My concern with renewable scholarship is that (a) I have no idea what law school will be like, and (b) despite my intelligence and drive, there are going to be others like me - so with these, if I decide to go to a school where scholarship is the defining reason, if I were to lose it, I'd be pretty upset with my decision.

Also, I think it's foolish to calculate the cost of school without cost of living. The comparison makes it much more real, for example, a $10k difference becomes less substantial, in the face of other considerations, when you add the ~$60k in living expenses you will likely incur throughout the 3 years.


My numbers for Hastings came off the TLS website.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/hastings-law-school.html

Now I would count on the cost going up as the state is in budget hell and likely all UC schools will at some point get the tuition jacked up. As for cost of living, I see where you are coming from, but its dificult to say for certain what you will spend on cost of living. If you feel comfortable with a 20K estimate at these schools thats fine with me. You could even say 20K at Hastings and say 16K for Sac. I don't know how much it costs to live in different areas of California.

As for USF, hmm if he could get close to a full ride than maybe. If we through Hastings out and assume Davis is out too, then out of the options I may go with Santa Clara. Thats alot of debt but you have to pay to play in a state like California.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:05 pm

darknightbegins wrote:My numbers for Hastings came off the TLS website.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/hastings-law-school.html

Now I would count on the cost going up as the state is in budget hell and likely all UC schools will at some point get the tuition jacked up. As for cost of living, I see where you are coming from, but its difficult to say for certain what you will spend on cost of living. If you feel comfortable with a 20K estimate at these schools thats fine with me. You could even say 20K at Hastings and say 16K for Sac. I don't know how much it costs to live in different areas of California.

As for USF, hmm if he could get close to a full ride than maybe. If we throw Hastings out and assume Davis is out too, then out of the options I may go with Santa Clara. That's a lot of debt but you have to pay to play in a state like California.


Ya, I just looked on Hastings' site and it still says ~$32k a year. From what I understand, within a year or two it'll be over $40k for in-state. If you look around, there is a lot of info out there.

Sure, it's difficult to project, I just think it's a safe bet to assume a high cost of living, and $20k seems to be on the high/higher end of things. If you live at $16k a year in Sac, cool, but it's nice to be prepared for the amounts. It's going to be variable, you can find housing in SF for $700-$900 (people quote much higher, but I think those people are either lazy, misinformed, or have to live in the nicer areas) but then you don't need a car. If you live in Sac, it seems like you can find a decent place for around $500-$600, but you'll also need a car (payments, gas, insurance). It's variable, but I just operate under the assumption that I'll be paying $20k a year, and I'll see what happens.

I do think it's necessary to assume Hastings and Davis are out. So that would leave USF with smallish scholarship, McGeorge with a possible decent scholarship, and SCU with probably nothing.

Each of these schools has a pitfall, but honestly I would say that McGeorge is probably safer. The likelihood of scholarship is greater, the COL is cheaper, and it's not like the SF market with everyone and their mother trying to get in. SCU seems to have a good reputation and feeds a secondary market, but it's going to cost an arm and most of a leg (maybe a few molars too). USF is still going to be expensive, yet probably less than SCU by a bit. However, you are in SF which has a lot, lot of competition - although, they do have a good alumni base and people still seem to do pretty well.


I mean, in the end, this is going to be what personal weight the poster (or whoever) puts on each issue.
Last edited by Great Satchmo on Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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saltoftheearth
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby saltoftheearth » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:05 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
saltoftheearth wrote:you are not a shoe-in at USD PT


How not?

I made it into USD full time with only slightly better numbers.


25th-75th from 08-09:

157-161
3.31-3.68

I wouldn't call any applicant without at least 1 hard# over the 75th as a "shoe-in," and even then, you cannot always count on that 1 # alone to get you in

with that said, I'm not hating on his chances- he'll probably get in

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:08 pm

What are the medians?

I don't think you need to set the bar at the 75%tile for one of the numbers. It makes sense that being at/around the median for one, and above the median for the other should make you a solid candidate (doesn't hurt their numbers, and helps their numbers).

That being said, I thought their PT enrollment had lower numbers than that, so I see where your comment is coming from.

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darknightbegins
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby darknightbegins » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:50 pm

To be a "shoe in" I'd say either your GPA or Lsat need to be over the 75th and the other score at the median. At least thats how I've always ball parked my chances into schools.

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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby samham22 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:57 am

Sorry, I was basing that "shoe in" statement off the ABA data I read on LSAC.org (156-158, with 157 as the median and 3.04-3.339, with 3.20 as the median). LSP also had me at 88% chance to get in. However, USD's own website has the higher numbers listed, which keeps me far from being a "shoe in." I probably turned it in too late anyway, so I doubt it will matter in the end.

Great Satchmo, I have done my research and even took a visit to Hastings, as well as stopping by USF and SCU just to browse around. But at that time I hadn't discovered the TLS forums and most of my advice had come from my prelaw advisor and friends in law school (here at Iowa and one at Denver). That being said, I didn't realize the disparity in rankings and just assumed anything in the top 100 would turn out alright....this seems to have been a poor assumption. At the same time, my friends at Iowa hate their lives, complain about the difficult curve and struggle to stay in the top 40% or so of their class. All of these kids also scored 163+ on their LSAT. While my other friend, at Denver (who scored in the low 150's) is loving his experience. He has taken on the challenge and pulled a 3.67 his first semester. He loves Denver as a city and is always has nothing but positive words. Obviously, some of this can be attributed to the fact that each student is different and maybe my Denver friend has a better approach. But to have multiple friends at Iowa (all with better LSAT scores, just as motivated...if not more, and in my opinion more raw intelligence) be so negative about their experience makes me think that the location/quality of life aspect of the law school is more important than the USnews rank. I took a visit at Iowa and have lived in Iowa City since 3rd grade and could not have been more turned off by the atmosphere. I would have stood a pretty good chance at getting in (they have a points plus system for in-state kids) but have no desire to live in the midwest (hate it!) and I'm not sure how well Iowa places nationally. Some people might say I'm crazy for passing up a good chance (didnt even apply) to go to a top 30 school, where I grew up but personally I need to get out. Also, I would much rather try my hand in an enjoyable living location. So right now (assuming Hastings is out...barring a miracle or admissions office slip up it is--LSP says 17% chance) I am heavily leaning towards SCU (if I get in)...after seeing the campus and the more research I do online (interviews, etc.) I find myself more and more attracted. I also am very intrigued by their international law program (ie study abroad opportunities, a lot of international business in the valley) and [although I lack the background] their IP program. Is it unheard of for someone with a non technical background to get into IP law??

Ideally I'd like to live in northern California/Oregon...and SCU at least gives me a chance at one of those areas. If I don't get into SCU I'm leaning towards either considering PT SDU (assuming I get in) [San Diego is my 3rd ranking area to live] or taking a year off and bumping up my LSAT score 3-4 points and re-applying to SCU and Hastings [and maybe OU as well...the only reason I didn't apply to OU or L&C this year is because they both lack international law programs but I now realize that shouldn't have been a be all, end all factor]. Much like you GS, it would be very difficult for me to take a year off and would probably involve some time living back at Mom or Dads [ahh just typing it is frightening...its been so long].

Thank you everyone for your responses/feedback. It is much appreciated.


PS--Screw debt...anything that will get me away from this Iowa weather is worth 6 figures and years of hell paying it back.

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darknightbegins
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby darknightbegins » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:06 am

I hate the cold too. The most Nothern school I applied to was William and Mary. Being able to live in a warm climate and enjoy the place where I will be living i.e. quality of life, is a big factor in my decision on where to go to school.

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chango
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby chango » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:03 pm

samham22 wrote:Sorry, I was basing that "shoe in" statement off the ABA data I read on LSAC.org (156-158, with 157 as the median and 3.04-3.339, with 3.20 as the median). LSP also had me at 88% chance to get in. However, USD's own website has the higher numbers listed, which keeps me far from being a "shoe in." I probably turned it in too late anyway, so I doubt it will matter in the end.

Great Satchmo, I have done my research and even took a visit to Hastings, as well as stopping by USF and SCU just to browse around. But at that time I hadn't discovered the TLS forums and most of my advice had come from my prelaw advisor and friends in law school (here at Iowa and one at Denver). That being said, I didn't realize the disparity in rankings and just assumed anything in the top 100 would turn out alright....this seems to have been a poor assumption. At the same time, my friends at Iowa hate their lives, complain about the difficult curve and struggle to stay in the top 40% or so of their class. All of these kids also scored 163+ on their LSAT. While my other friend, at Denver (who scored in the low 150's) is loving his experience. He has taken on the challenge and pulled a 3.67 his first semester. He loves Denver as a city and is always has nothing but positive words. Obviously, some of this can be attributed to the fact that each student is different and maybe my Denver friend has a better approach. But to have multiple friends at Iowa (all with better LSAT scores, just as motivated...if not more, and in my opinion more raw intelligence) be so negative about their experience makes me think that the location/quality of life aspect of the law school is more important than the USnews rank. I took a visit at Iowa and have lived in Iowa City since 3rd grade and could not have been more turned off by the atmosphere. I would have stood a pretty good chance at getting in (they have a points plus system for in-state kids) but have no desire to live in the midwest (hate it!) and I'm not sure how well Iowa places nationally. Some people might say I'm crazy for passing up a good chance (didnt even apply) to go to a top 30 school, where I grew up but personally I need to get out. Also, I would much rather try my hand in an enjoyable living location. So right now (assuming Hastings is out...barring a miracle or admissions office slip up it is--LSP says 17% chance) I am heavily leaning towards SCU (if I get in)...after seeing the campus and the more research I do online (interviews, etc.) I find myself more and more attracted. I also am very intrigued by their international law program (ie study abroad opportunities, a lot of international business in the valley) and [although I lack the background] their IP program. Is it unheard of for someone with a non technical background to get into IP law??

Ideally I'd like to live in northern California/Oregon...and SCU at least gives me a chance at one of those areas. If I don't get into SCU I'm leaning towards either considering PT SDU (assuming I get in) [San Diego is my 3rd ranking area to live] or taking a year off and bumping up my LSAT score 3-4 points and re-applying to SCU and Hastings [and maybe OU as well...the only reason I didn't apply to OU or L&C this year is because they both lack international law programs but I now realize that shouldn't have been a be all, end all factor]. Much like you GS, it would be very difficult for me to take a year off and would probably involve some time living back at Mom or Dads [ahh just typing it is frightening...its been so long].

Thank you everyone for your responses/feedback. It is much appreciated.


PS--Screw debt...anything that will get me away from this Iowa weather is worth 6 figures and years of hell paying it back.


wow, even more words.

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saltoftheearth
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby saltoftheearth » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:04 pm

samham22 wrote:Ideally I'd like to live in northern California/Oregon...


Have you considered Lewis & Clark in Portland?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby Great Satchmo » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:41 pm

samham22 wrote:Sorry, I was basing that "shoe in" statement off the ABA data I read on LSAC.org (156-158, with 157 as the median and 3.04-3.339, with 3.20 as the median). LSP also had me at 88% chance to get in. However, USD's own website has the higher numbers listed, which keeps me far from being a "shoe in." I probably turned it in too late anyway, so I doubt it will matter in the end.

Great Satchmo, I have done my research and even took a visit to Hastings, as well as stopping by USF and SCU just to browse around. But at that time I hadn't discovered the TLS forums and most of my advice had come from my prelaw advisor and friends in law school (here at Iowa and one at Denver). That being said, I didn't realize the disparity in rankings and just assumed anything in the top 100 would turn out alright....this seems to have been a poor assumption. At the same time, my friends at Iowa hate their lives, complain about the difficult curve and struggle to stay in the top 40% or so of their class. All of these kids also scored 163+ on their LSAT. While my other friend, at Denver (who scored in the low 150's) is loving his experience. He has taken on the challenge and pulled a 3.67 his first semester. He loves Denver as a city and is always has nothing but positive words. Obviously, some of this can be attributed to the fact that each student is different and maybe my Denver friend has a better approach. But to have multiple friends at Iowa (all with better LSAT scores, just as motivated...if not more, and in my opinion more raw intelligence) be so negative about their experience makes me think that the location/quality of life aspect of the law school is more important than the USnews rank. I took a visit at Iowa and have lived in Iowa City since 3rd grade and could not have been more turned off by the atmosphere. I would have stood a pretty good chance at getting in (they have a points plus system for in-state kids) but have no desire to live in the midwest (hate it!) and I'm not sure how well Iowa places nationally. Some people might say I'm crazy for passing up a good chance (didnt even apply) to go to a top 30 school, where I grew up but personally I need to get out. Also, I would much rather try my hand in an enjoyable living location. So right now (assuming Hastings is out...barring a miracle or admissions office slip up it is--LSP says 17% chance) I am heavily leaning towards SCU (if I get in)...after seeing the campus and the more research I do online (interviews, etc.) I find myself more and more attracted. I also am very intrigued by their international law program (ie study abroad opportunities, a lot of international business in the valley) and [although I lack the background] their IP program. Is it unheard of for someone with a non technical background to get into IP law??

Ideally I'd like to live in northern California/Oregon...and SCU at least gives me a chance at one of those areas. If I don't get into SCU I'm leaning towards either considering PT SDU (assuming I get in) [San Diego is my 3rd ranking area to live] or taking a year off and bumping up my LSAT score 3-4 points and re-applying to SCU and Hastings [and maybe OU as well...the only reason I didn't apply to OU or L&C this year is because they both lack international law programs but I now realize that shouldn't have been a be all, end all factor]. Much like you GS, it would be very difficult for me to take a year off and would probably involve some time living back at Mom or Dads [ahh just typing it is frightening...its been so long].

Thank you everyone for your responses/feedback. It is much appreciated.


PS--Screw debt...anything that will get me away from this Iowa weather is worth 6 figures and years of hell paying it back.


Sorry, I hope I didn't come off condescending about doing your research. I think pretending like any one source is sufficient is a huge mistake. Although I've become SO, SO much more knowledgeable through reading TLS and related articles. However, there is a very clear bent to "recommendations" and "advice" you read here (quotes very intentional, despite how knowledgeable some posters are). In short, I've been a careful consumer of information and opinions for a while, but this site and law school application process has pushed me to a new level of self-confidence in my own opinion borne from sifting through dispirit data.

One note: international law seems to be, in a consensus here, a kinda fake concentration. Study abroad opportunities are something else, and I think are available at a lot of schools. But I'd read a lot about the path to international law before picking a school based upon it - granted, I don't know either way how it works.

As far as IP, my understanding is it's very, very, very unlikely you'll get into it without a technical background. That, at least, is my understanding.

See how the cycle plays out and make your own decisions.

Retaking the LSAT, as horribly unlikely as it is that I'd do it, would require a huge change in life. If I stay in a, frankly very respectable and solid, research job, I won't have the time or energy to commit to the test that I'd like to. However, law schools seem to only place tangential importance in the application to something like this. So, it'd be in my best interest, if I were to retake the LSAT, to move back in with the parents, get a part time job, volunteer and get some leadership positions, and study - study - study. I feel like this is a cheat, but it's what would give me an advantage.

In truth, as much as I wish I was Boalt/Stanford bound, I think I'd be pretty darn happy at USD or SCU. I'll just have to see how the rest of my cycle plays out, but unless something bizarre comes up, I doubt I'd end up retaking. I want to move my life along at 25.

star10
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Re: California T2's...advice needed!

Postby star10 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:07 pm

I'm right there with you guys about retaking the LSAT...I'm on the fence about it, but really want to get going on school since I've been out of undergrad almost 2 years now.

I've gotten into most of the CA tier 2's I applied to so far (USF, USD, LLS...waiting on SCU and Pepp) with no money and then really nice schollys at the two tier 3's I applied to (SW and McGeorge). I got a 159 and really don't know if I should retake. I would want to retake so I could get a chance at $$ at the tier 2's and maybe break into some tier 1's (UCD, Hastings)...maybe even USC but I doubt it.

I got hired at my job with the understanding I'd be leaving in July, so my replacement is all lined up. I would have to move home and find a new job. I don't know what I should do because if my score went up it could open a lot of doors...if it didn't I could be screwed (i.e. maybe not even getting into the schools I already got into...who knows what the admission cycle will be like next year)

Anyways if anyone has any thoughts, they would be super appreciated. Feel free to PM me as well.




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