USD Part Time

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samham22
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:30 pm

USD Part Time

Postby samham22 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:18 pm

I am seriously considering going to USD, however I was only accepted into their part time program. San Diego as a city is my top choice for location, it may even be my favorite city in all of the US (besides maybe NYC in the summer). Anyway, I am straight out of undergrad so I had never really considered part time but this has recently become quite appealing. USD as a law school is my second choice (top choice being UC Hastings, but barring a USA over USSR hockey type miracle I wont get in there) and like I said I am in love with San Diego. I have been accepted to USF and Miami full time but will be withdrawing from both (Love SF but cant justify paying sticker for the 5th/6th best school in the region and after visiting Miami [just the city] I decided I dont want to live in there). The only thing keeping me from fully committing to USD, is the fact that I don't have a job lined up and am worried I'll be doing part time with no work on the side. Does my work have to be legal work (ie would it be horrible if I worked part time at like a Starbucks or something?) Does it matter if I plan on transferring into the full time program after 1L anyway (which I do plan on doing)?? Will I be the only 21-22 year old in the part time program??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Bruinsfan if you're out there I know you are considering a similar (maybe even same?) option??

PS Yes, I do realize that I'm looking at paying sticker for a T2 but I have decided that living in San Diego, with even the slimmest chance at a decent job is worth mountains of debt. Economically it may not sound rational, but law school/being an attorney is my dream and San Diego is my dream city. I could care less if this means that I cant buy a house until my mid 40's or have to live like a homeless person my first 10 years or so after law school...I'm willing to take that risk/face that reality. I'm also holding out hope that I get some grant money to ease the debt (my parents income took a drastic hit 2 years ago and I only work part time during undergrad so Im hoping to be eligible for some need based aid) and that if I bust my ass I can earn some scholarship money after 1L (I realize this is an unkown variable, this is why I'm not 'counting' on it...just something to work towards).

Thanks in advance for any help.

nakedjuice
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby nakedjuice » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:32 pm

I honestly don't see any benefits of the part-time program unless you already have a job worth hanging onto.

Think about who you're competing against just for that first 1L summer position. I know it's not determinative of your career but think about this: you're potentially going up against 350 other 1L USD law students for the same summer positions. Unless you're learning something of value at your job while doing PT, why would an employer hire you over someone else who has demonstrated that he/she is committed to a career in law? What about employers for your 2L summer? What about graduation? Do you have a story that will compel them?

Keep in mind that we're in a HIGHLY competitive market right now and San Diego is in a city where the legal market is small. Heck, most San Diego 1L's do not stay in San Diego for the summer; many have to interview for public interest groups/organizations/firms in LA where they'll have to compete against UCLA/USC 1L's. Think about where you stand if you're going to be spending 160-180k if you do the 1L PT->2L/3L FT route.

PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.

I know you've mentioned the advantages/disadvantages of your situation, but I HIGHLY recommend you crunch the numbers. Find out how many people who graduate from USD end up staying in San Diego. For those who stay, what areas of law are they principally in? What's their age and relevant work experience? There's a story behind these numbers and you need to do research to see if you're on the up-side of the curve.

samham22
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:30 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby samham22 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:25 pm

nakedjuice wrote:PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.




Which is what I'm essentially trying to do (although I'm not a big fan of the term "backdoor" but I suppose it's appropriate here). Does that make it more sensible, in your opinion?
Also, I do have some networking connections in SD (where as I have none in any of the other cities of schools I applied to), including an attorney (USD grad) so I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sort of legal exposure, even if it's unpaid. But nothing is set in stone.

Is this "backdoor strategy" common? Frowned upon?

Thank you for your response, nakedjuice.

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CmonSD
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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby CmonSD » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:35 pm

samham22 wrote:
nakedjuice wrote:PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.




Which is what I'm essentially trying to do (although I'm not a big fan of the term "backdoor" but I suppose it's appropriate here). Does that make it more sensible, in your opinion?
Also, I do have some networking connections in SD (where as I have none in any of the other cities of schools I applied to), including an attorney (USD grad) so I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sort of legal exposure, even if it's unpaid. But nothing is set in stone.

Is this "backdoor strategy" common? Frowned upon?

Thank you for your response, nakedjuice.


When did you get accepted if you don't mind me asking? I am impatiently waiting to hear back. I applied part-time but only because I have a really good job and a fiance that is stationed here. So part-time just makes sense. However, if I leave San Diego I will go somewhere full-time. My boss, however, (who is a USD grad) keeps telling me I don't want to go part-time. He doesn't really say why though.... San Diego is amazing though! If you decide to go, hopefully I will see you in the Fall. If not, I want your spot. lol. :D

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Great Satchmo
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 2:34 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:51 pm

samham22 wrote:
nakedjuice wrote:PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.




Which is what I'm essentially trying to do (although I'm not a big fan of the term "backdoor" but I suppose it's appropriate here). Does that make it more sensible, in your opinion?
Also, I do have some networking connections in SD (where as I have none in any of the other cities of schools I applied to), including an attorney (USD grad) so I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sort of legal exposure, even if it's unpaid. But nothing is set in stone.

Is this "backdoor strategy" common? Frowned upon?

Thank you for your response, nakedjuice.


Just check into the procedure and requirements (as well as how many students try and are successful) for transferring to full time after 1L. I tried to do this with Fordham, to no avail. However, from what I've read on here, there is nothing wrong with doing it if it gets you into the school you want to go to. You may have to try a bit harder to network the first year, but otherwise it seems fine.

nakedjuice
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby nakedjuice » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:44 pm

samham22 wrote:
nakedjuice wrote:PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.




Which is what I'm essentially trying to do (although I'm not a big fan of the term "backdoor" but I suppose it's appropriate here). Does that make it more sensible, in your opinion?
Also, I do have some networking connections in SD (where as I have none in any of the other cities of schools I applied to), including an attorney (USD grad) so I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sort of legal exposure, even if it's unpaid. But nothing is set in stone.

Is this "backdoor strategy" common? Frowned upon?

Thank you for your response, nakedjuice.


It might be sensible if that's your only way to get into USD and you're certain of all the benefits that USD and San Diego has to offer. In this respect, you need to do more research.

Don't just look at the rank and location. Look at actual employment data after graduation; specifically the percentage that go into big firms, medium firms, small firms, public organizations, and go solo. Where do most end up working after graduation? Look at the type of employment help if you're not in the top 10%. Come visit the campus and ask students how they like it, etc. San Diego is a small-mid level legal field and that won't ever change. etc.

I'm just saying you need to do more research because you've only given me 2-3 reasons why USD is "perfect" for you. 3 years of law school go by in a breeze; the last thing you want to do is realize in your third year you made a horrible 160k mistake.
Last edited by nakedjuice on Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nakedjuice
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby nakedjuice » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:48 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
samham22 wrote:
nakedjuice wrote:PT only makes sense if you're trying to backdoor your way into the FT program after 1L, or already have a valuable career that you can leverage. Otherwise, you're at a disadvantage.




Which is what I'm essentially trying to do (although I'm not a big fan of the term "backdoor" but I suppose it's appropriate here). Does that make it more sensible, in your opinion?
Also, I do have some networking connections in SD (where as I have none in any of the other cities of schools I applied to), including an attorney (USD grad) so I'm hoping I can at least pick up some sort of legal exposure, even if it's unpaid. But nothing is set in stone.

Is this "backdoor strategy" common? Frowned upon?

Thank you for your response, nakedjuice.


Just check into the procedure and requirements (as well as how many students try and are successful) for transferring to full time after 1L. I tried to do this with Fordham, to no avail. However, from what I've read on here, there is nothing wrong with doing it if it gets you into the school you want to go to. You may have to try a bit harder to network the first year, but otherwise it seems fine.


Transferring to FT is a cakewalk. The application form is 1 page and only has a handful of lines to fill out. It's more a formality than anything. Note, it's the same idea for most PT programs as well.

USD doesn't care about it won't affect their numbers for US News Ranking formulations. Also, it's actually a benefit because you'll continue paying extra summer tuition to play catch up to graduate in 3 years with the rest of "your class."

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BigA
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Re: USD Part Time

Postby BigA » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:42 pm

nakedjuice wrote:
It might be sensible if that's your only way to get into USD and you're certain of all the benefits that USD and San Diego has to offer. In this respect, you need to do more research.

Don't just look at the rank and location. Look at actual employment data after graduation; specifically the percentage that go into big firms, medium firms, small firms, public organizations, and go solo. Where do most end up working after graduation? Look at the type of employment help if you're not in the top 10%.


Is that the data that you would get from the school?

nakedjuice
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: USD Part Time

Postby nakedjuice » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:52 pm

BigA wrote:
nakedjuice wrote:
It might be sensible if that's your only way to get into USD and you're certain of all the benefits that USD and San Diego has to offer. In this respect, you need to do more research.

Don't just look at the rank and location. Look at actual employment data after graduation; specifically the percentage that go into big firms, medium firms, small firms, public organizations, and go solo. Where do most end up working after graduation? Look at the type of employment help if you're not in the top 10%.


Is that the data that you would get from the school?


Yes. From the career center offices.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: USD Part Time

Postby quickquestionthanks » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:21 pm

Two bits of advice you might not have heard before (I honestly didn't read every response).

1. Part time + no job = more time to study. My brother went PT (not SD) and worked 40 hours/week in finance. And had an active social life. Did awful in law school. I mean, really bad GPA. He has a dream job now, but it underpays and is not in the legal field because he didn't do well enough to get a job as an attorney.

2. USD might get mad that someone posted this, but at the ASD, at least two current students mentioned that they "switched" from the part time program to the full time program. True, I don't know their situations exactly, so it's possible they were accepted to both... But one of the things I really liked about the school (prob bc my UG was like this) was this sense that once you're in, you're family. So do well in your first year, with all that extra free time on your hands, and perhaps you can become a FT student. I'd be surprised, if you got good grades and profs liked you, if they didn't let you switch.




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