SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

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Great Satchmo
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SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:41 pm

I'm in SCU with a little money, up for an additional scholarship that I won't know about until probably after deposit deadlines. I'm in USD with no money.

I'm also in at Golden Gate with almost full ride, in at Cal Western with full ride, and in at McGeorge with 1/2 tuition (could end up moving it up a bit).

Location preference: SCU, I lived near it and really liked it. San Diego is where I grew up, it's not exciting to think about moving back, but it's not a terrible place to live. I still have family there, which could mean living at home if I was up to it and wanted to save some money (I would live near campus 1L and see how it went). I have family practicing law, such as criminal law, in solo practice in SD (could mean connections/networking, but nothing I've explored as of right now).

Goals: Something corporate/tax/business related. Open to pretty much anything as long as I find it intellectually stimulating and challenging. Not looking biglaw obviously, and no tech background so IP is out.

I'm not necessarily debt averse if it means I have the opportunities that provide a fulfilling job/career, if I seek them out (no illusions of anything falling in my lap).

Primarily I'm between USD and SCU. The former is dominant in the region, which is reassuring. The market for law in SD may not be stellar, but what there is, USD seems to pretty much dominate from what I understand (with the obligatory "except T14 people coming"). SCU, I'm not so sure about. They feed the South Bay, which would be a secondary market. However, I'm concerned about their stats being skewed to IP, where techies go back for their JD and end up in IP (with tech backgrounds, their prospects are likely much better).

Beyond those, I can see a future where I go with debt from just cost of living. Golden Gate seems to have an iffy reputation (to put it nicely) and it's in San Francisco, which is saturated. Cal Western, as far as I understand it, doesn't have as bad of a reputation in San Diego and only fights regionally with USD and Thomas Jefferson. My concern with a full ride is that it has strings (which I'd try to negotiate away as much as possible, but I'm sure they'll still be there). If I could go Cal Western and know I'd keep the full the entire time, it'd be hard to say no...however, it's roughly a top 25% stipulation and as confident as I am, I'd be miserable if I ended up with significant debt from going to Cal Western and losing the scholarship.

Then there is McGeorge. I'm not thrilled about Sacramento, and I should be able to get the scholarship to over 1/2 tuition, and there will be strings. But again, McGeorge seems to do well in the region (Sac).

Questions:

Are the job prospects for similar class rankings and having sought out similar opportunities (which, in the first place are those even equitable?), the same, or better for one or the other, at University of San Diego versus Santa Clara University?

I'm sure it's personal, but what are thoughts for attending a place like Cal Western on full-ride, or McGeorge 1/2-ish scholarship?

I have some reaches/waitlists to wait on, but I'm not counting on them.

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arhmcpo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby arhmcpo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:30 am

seems like you already have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the school you got into. SC if you want to practice in norcal; usd if you wanna practice in socal.

I would see if you could squeeze some money outta of usd using your sc scholly. The fact that you could live at home to save money is essentially a scholarship in and of itself since COL is so freaking high in CA. Plus having family in law in sd could be invaluable trying to get a job in this market. And you mentioned the possibility of tax law which I think is one of USD's biggest strengths if I remember correctly. Sounds like USD is the logical choice-

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:52 pm

USD does have a well regarded tax program, but I'm not sure how much that really influences employment, especially in a market where they are top anyhow. USD, for the "living with the parents" scholarship, and the dominance in the market seem to take the edge.

However, I feel like quality of life, for my wants and needs, are more fit to SCU (I love Northern California).

I'm really split between the two. If USD is a much better choice for a career than SCU, I'll have to weigh that in. However, if the two place about the same, and will essentially put me in the same place for my career, I'd have to go with SCU.


EDIT: I know USD's strengths due to their position in San Diego. I guess I wonder: is SCU in the same position with San Jose/South Bay?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:34 pm

And hell, is USF a decent choice? I've kinda put it out of the running by convincing myself the job prospects were bad...but most T2/T3's are bad. I have a $26k first year, non-renewable scholarship there. I would hope that I could find more money in 2L. Networking would be solid being in the city.

ARG!

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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby BruinsFan » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:49 pm

Hi TLS friend,

I'm pretty much in the exact same boat, as you know. I can live at home and go to USD, which is why I'm putting it ahead of SCU and USF, although I got negligible $$ at both. I think it depends on the region you want to practice in, but, not going to lie, the idea of droppin' 140 K to go to school in such a saturated NorCal market scares the crap out of me. At least USD is top dog in San Diego. Although, to be honest, I don't know if I'm comfortable going that far into debt and I realllly don't want to go to Cal Western. The curve is ridiculous and the job prospects don't seem that great. Why work your butt off for less than good prospects?

Which puts me up a creek with a lot of paddles and I don't know which one to use...

Did you apply anywhere in Oregon? I've been accepted at U of O and L & C, but am leaning U of O because of a scholly that would make it more like in state tuition. Plus, the cost of living is cheap, there's no income tax and no sales tax (if I remember correctly). Which will make it a lot easier to pay off loans.

Just a thought?

I have the McGeorge at 1/2 tuition offer too... I'm visiting because they flew me up, but I've heard very very mixed things. I'd have to like it better than Oregon. Something tells me that won't happen.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:05 pm

I was just browsing around and found some charts with % of attorneys from each school in a city or county. San Diego was about 1/4-1/3 from USD. However, it looked like SCU was similar in San Jose. This really is the operative question: is the San Jose market as viable as San Diego (in so far as available jobs, compensation, areas of employment, and competition) and is SCU's reputation in the South Bay similar to USD's in San Diego?

I didn't apply to anywhere in Oregon, but I'm still waiting for some other schools, albeit unlikely, to hear back from or wait out the WL's.

I do feel like USD is the better choice, except for the fact that I would really miss living up here.

Cal Western is attractive because I have family that graduated from there and are doing well - plus if I could keep my GPA up, I'd be only in for COL (and I could even reduce that by living at my parent's place). However, as I mentioned, my fear of losing the scholarship may be too great unless I can get them to REALLY loosen the strings.

I guess another question may be: for corporate law or tax law, is there going to be a large difference in employment prospects between SCU/San Jose and USD/San Diego?

I'm waitlisted at Cardozo, and I just sent them a fairly strong email asking for consideration for May admission and that if it were offered, I'd pretty much put my deposit down right away. Although I recognize that Cardozo is in a spot similar to USF, it seems that their graduates do pretty well...although the cost is even above places like USD..eek.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:49 pm

Anyone with ideas/input on USD and SCU? Or even in comparison to USF with $26k one time?

Looking for a viable market/school to get into corporate/tax law.

Fortuita
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Fortuita » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:58 pm

Hi,

I'm a 3L at USD. I love USD and recommend it highly. However, I think you are mistaken about the feed of USD grads into USD law firms. It is quite lower than you think. Since the economy has been hit, most firms around here have taken a few USD people, but a lot of been pulling mostly from USC and UCLA. I am in the top 5% of my class and had 17 interviews just in San Diego area and only received one offer (Luce Forward, who ended up pulling their whole summer class so thank God I didn't accept). I know two people in my whole class that have San Diego firm jobs. I've got a great job up in Long Beach, but the reason I came to USD was for a San Diego job so I wanted to explain to you that it doesn't have that "dominance" so many people think. With great LA schools so close and LA school grads loving the idea of coming down to SD, really USD takes back seat to them. I know it has a lot to do with timing, but I wouldn't bet on working down here to find a SD job, most of my friends who have jobs are going up to OC and LA. If you're happy with those areas as well as working in SD, I'd say come down here. But it sounds like you prefer NorCal. I've heard Santa Clara places really well up there, the tech industry is still expanding. While I hate to do this to my school because I adored my experience here, I have to recommend Santa Clara for your particular situation and needs. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Fortuita
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Fortuita » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:06 pm

I must clarify that I am mostly referring to big and mid size law firms when I spoke about my peers that have jobs. There may be more opportunities in very small firms in SD, I am just not as aware of them or people who have taken advantage of them. Oh, and transactional work is hit very hard right now. No one coming out of law school is finding anything in that area at all, but this will likely change your 2L year when you are searching for jobs. A close USD friend of mine in the top 10% was a finance major and will only do corporate transactional work because he does not want to litigate, and he does not have any job offers (though had many interviews). So keep your options open when looking for a job, you can always change your mind later.

conlaw
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby conlaw » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:36 pm

I plan on attending SCU in the fall. From what I've gathered from talking to current students, the job market really SUCKS right now. And that once you're not a T20 student, it boils down to your class ranking, gpa and connections. While SCU does have great programs, they do have to compete with the regional dominances like Cal, Berkeley, Hastings, and Davis. And even USF. But despite these less than pleasing news, I'm still really excited for the fall. I hear the students here are more friendly (though still very on top of their game and competitive) than schools like Hastings (which I hear is just extremely tough given the intensity of their students and teaching methods).

I got a full ride to GGU, but declined. A T4 is just no comparison to a T1. Plus we all know how snobby law firms are. But of course, depends on the type of law you want to do...

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:20 pm

conlaw wrote:I plan on attending SCU in the fall. From what I've gathered from talking to current students, the job market really SUCKS right now. And that once you're not a T20 student, it boils down to your class ranking, gpa and connections. While SCU does have great programs, they do have to compete with the regional dominances like Cal, Berkeley, Hastings, and Davis. And even USF. But despite these less than pleasing news, I'm still really excited for the fall. I hear the students here are more friendly (though still very on top of their game and competitive) than schools like Hastings (which I hear is just extremely tough given the intensity of their students and teaching methods).

I got a full ride to GGU, but declined. A T4 is just no comparison to a T1. Plus we all know how snobby law firms are. But of course, depends on the type of law you want to do...


I also got a full ride (minus a thousand or two) from GGU, and after wanting so badly to be "ok" with the school, after a lot of research and talking with students, I realize I just can't even come close to considering the school.

For the Bay Area, I was between SCU and USF - but USF offered more money. Plus, USF is in the city, which is ultimately where I'd like to be (maybe later down the road I'd like to move to the north bay) and I just felt more comfortable there.

I'm waiting on Davis to reply, gonna ride out the Hastings WL, let the SCU deposit deadline pass me by, and then probably end up depositing at USF.

Makes me sad, I think I could have been happy at SCU and it's a beautiful area, but I just think USF is a better fit.

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Italia8183
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Italia8183 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:11 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
conlaw wrote:I plan on attending SCU in the fall. From what I've gathered from talking to current students, the job market really SUCKS right now. And that once you're not a T20 student, it boils down to your class ranking, gpa and connections. While SCU does have great programs, they do have to compete with the regional dominances like Cal, Berkeley, Hastings, and Davis. And even USF. But despite these less than pleasing news, I'm still really excited for the fall. I hear the students here are more friendly (though still very on top of their game and competitive) than schools like Hastings (which I hear is just extremely tough given the intensity of their students and teaching methods).

I got a full ride to GGU, but declined. A T4 is just no comparison to a T1. Plus we all know how snobby law firms are. But of course, depends on the type of law you want to do...


I also got a full ride (minus a thousand or two) from GGU, and after wanting so badly to be "ok" with the school, after a lot of research and talking with students, I realize I just can't even come close to considering the school.

For the Bay Area, I was between SCU and USF - but USF offered more money. Plus, USF is in the city, which is ultimately where I'd like to be (maybe later down the road I'd like to move to the north bay) and I just felt more comfortable there.

I'm waiting on Davis to reply, gonna ride out the Hastings WL, let the SCU deposit deadline pass me by, and then probably end up depositing at USF.

Makes me sad, I think I could have been happy at SCU and it's a beautiful area, but I just think USF is a better fit.



Hey G.S.

I'm considering both USF and SCU as well. Have you visited USF? If so, what was your experience there?

Also, it sounds like your depositing at USF, is that correct?

Best of Luck,

Italia
Last edited by Italia8183 on Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:13 pm

Italia8183 wrote:

Hey G.S.

I'm considering both USF and SCU as well. Have you visited USF? If so, what was your experience there?

Also, it sounds like your depositing at USF, is that correct.

Best of Luck,

Italia


Drum roll please!

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Great Satchmo
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Re: SCU vs USD (or full rides elsewhere)

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:58 pm

Italia8183 wrote:Hey G.S.

I'm considering both USF and SCU as well. Have you visited USF? If so, what was your experience there?

Also, it sounds like your depositing at USF, is that correct?

Best of Luck,

Italia


Considering this post comes after the deposit deadline, I doubt it'll help, but I'll reply anyway.

I visited both schools, SCU for an admitted students day and then USF once to sit in on a class and then another for a tour.

USF's campus is clean, modern, and seems well laid-out. I, for whatever reason felt comfortable there (probably in part since I live in the city already). The students I spoke to were up-beat and happy with their decision. The 3L's I talked to also seemed to do well as far as internships and some had jobs lined up for after graduation. Certainly they mentioned that the job market is rough, but in candor they still felt that if you do well at USF, you have options for work.

I wanted to be convinced that SCU was somehow that much better than USF, and I think it may be in some ways (although not to an extent that would push me to attend). However, talking with a handful of SCU students, outside of IP (not what I'd get into anyway), it's really a geographic preference. I'd prefer to live in SF than Santa Clara, and the scholarship was better for the former anyway.

If some other stuff doesn't pan out, USF is likely where I'll default to.




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