Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

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

Which school?

USF ($26k)
9
50%
Cal Western (Full + book stipend)
9
50%
 
Total votes: 18

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Great Satchmo
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Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:03 pm

I've been sorting through my options, my interests, feeling out my debt aversion, and trying to foresee myself years out of law school. I've whittled down my options in the regions and I've come to this:

University of San Francisco ($26k for one year):
- I've been living in the Bay Area for years and have lived in San Francisco for a year and have loved it. I'm from San Diego, moved up here for school, after graduation I moved back to SD for lack of an idea for what to do. After about 4 months I moved back up here to couch surf until I found a job - I did and I'm happy with the decision I made to take the chance on coming up here.
- USF is in a great area, the campus is gorgeous, and I get a good feel from the school. Speaking with students, it seems that they compete fairly well for jobs if you are in the upper area of the class and make your opportunities.
- I'm very open to careers, I don't have illusions of big law. I don't expect to make big bucks out of school, but I'd like the opportunities to get experience to build into a decent career (I know I won't be driving a Masserati in my lifetime, and that's fine by me).

California Western (Full plus a books stipend).
- I grew up in San Diego and I've really not been a fan of the place since leaving. However, the last time or two I went back, I realized it's not a terrible place to live. However, even being "downtown" in SD, it seems like no one is around, it's empty except for a handful of blocks on a Saturday night. In San Francisco, there is hustle and bustle all day in most places, and people are out doing things, I like that. Even being there for a few days, I realize how conservative a place SD is and I'm more comfortable with a more liberal area.
- Positive side: if I did well at CWSL, the job prospects aren't terrible - opportunities exist to begin building a career. I have two family members in solo practice in criminal law, and although I don't necessarily have interest in that, I feel like it could add some networking opportunities.
- Not having to pay tuition, and maybe even living with my parents for a semester or year (doubt the latter) could save even more money.


Now, I entered the law school application process thinking "I'll pay to go to the place that gives me opportunities and makes me happy". I still have that attitude, but debt is also a concern - with a similar job and future career, I can move on to financial security faster without the $1,000+/month loan payments.

So, I know that I will be happier in San Francisco, and it makes me incredibly sad to think that I would be "stuck" in San Diego and may never make it back (at least in my "youth"). However, I think Cal Western could give me decent opportunities and put me in a better financial situation. I don't think I would necessarily be entirely unhappy in SD, but the thought of leaving the Bay Area makes me sad; I know I want to live here.

I'm WL'd at Hastings, and will go should I get in. I'm waiting on Davis, and I'd definitely attend if accepted (and I'll wait out the WL if that's what happens).



These are my options - thoughts?

koehn2
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:36 pm

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby koehn2 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:38 pm

I am in the same boat as you (sort of). Contemplating to go to the school that would be financially responsible but feeling "stuck" in my home state. I have the attitude where you have to go where you will be the happiest. For the simple fact that most likely or at least in my case I will be in (Kansas) my whole life if I end up going to school there and if I am miserable then what kind of life is that? It's something to think about. Granted situations are a little different. I mean shoot I live in KANSAS!!! Would San Diego really be that bad of a situation?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:44 pm

koehn2 wrote:I am in the same boat as you (sort of). Contemplating to go to the school that would be financially responsible but feeling "stuck" in my home state. I have the attitude where you have to go where you will be the happiest. For the simple fact that most likely or at least in my case I will be in (Kansas) my whole life if I end up going to school there and if I am miserable then what kind of life is that? It's something to think about. Granted situations are a little different. I mean shoot I live in KANSAS!!! Would San Diego really be that bad of a situation?


And that's what makes this a tough decision, it's not like I'm choosing between Fargo, ND and San Francisco.

I don't think I'd be necessarily unhappy in San Diego, but I know that I'd be happier in San Francisco. And that's where weighing the debt versus the preference comes into play.

Plus, and I didn't mention this, Cal Western has a stipulation put on the scholarship and their curve is pretty tough (they drop the bottom 20% out of their 1L, which probably helps to keep their bar passage rate up with the T1/T2 schools). I'm not sure how to consider this, I know I have the dedication and ability that should keep the scholarship, but there is always the "what if". If I had to pay tuition at Cal Western, and I knew that now, I'd absolutely choose USF.

lawchampion
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:42 pm

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby lawchampion » Thu May 27, 2010 12:29 am

Great Satchmo wrote:
koehn2 wrote:I am in the same boat as you (sort of). Contemplating to go to the school that would be financially responsible but feeling "stuck" in my home state. I have the attitude where you have to go where you will be the happiest. For the simple fact that most likely or at least in my case I will be in (Kansas) my whole life if I end up going to school there and if I am miserable then what kind of life is that? It's something to think about. Granted situations are a little different. I mean shoot I live in KANSAS!!! Would San Diego really be that bad of a situation?


And that's what makes this a tough decision, it's not like I'm choosing between Fargo, ND and San Francisco.

I don't think I'd be necessarily unhappy in San Diego, but I know that I'd be happier in San Francisco. And that's where weighing the debt versus the preference comes into play.

Plus, and I didn't mention this, Cal Western has a stipulation put on the scholarship and their curve is pretty tough (they drop the bottom 20% out of their 1L, which probably helps to keep their bar passage rate up with the T1/T2 schools). I'm not sure how to consider this, I know I have the dedication and ability that should keep the scholarship, but there is always the "what if". If I had to pay tuition at Cal Western, and I knew that now, I'd absolutely choose USF.


I am in the same boat. However, my scholarship at Cal Western is only $6.000 compared to zero from USF. At this moment I am inclined to go with USF cause the difference is not that big.

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20160810
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby 20160810 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:54 pm

USF is honestly not much better than Cal Western. Top 4-5 students in the class might have a shot at biglaw ITE. Take the money. Take the money. Take the money.

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Regionality
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:13 am

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby Regionality » Fri May 28, 2010 4:07 am

You have a tough stipulation added to your full scholly, and if you don't meet it you lose everything?...any you're also worried about being in the bottom 20% of your class and getting kicked out? I think I might be misunderstanding that...

Either way, if Cal Western has a stip, you HAVE to assume that you'll lose it after the first year...and then you'll be paying sticker for worse school in a region you like less.

USF is the correct decision in this situation, IMO.

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quickquestionthanks
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby quickquestionthanks » Fri May 28, 2010 4:29 am

Great Satchmo wrote:
koehn2 wrote:I am in the same boat as you (sort of). Contemplating to go to the school that would be financially responsible but feeling "stuck" in my home state. I have the attitude where you have to go where you will be the happiest. For the simple fact that most likely or at least in my case I will be in (Kansas) my whole life if I end up going to school there and if I am miserable then what kind of life is that? It's something to think about. Granted situations are a little different. I mean shoot I live in KANSAS!!! Would San Diego really be that bad of a situation?


And that's what makes this a tough decision, it's not like I'm choosing between Fargo, ND and San Francisco.

I don't think I'd be necessarily unhappy in San Diego, but I know that I'd be happier in San Francisco. And that's where weighing the debt versus the preference comes into play.

Plus, and I didn't mention this, Cal Western has a stipulation put on the scholarship and their curve is pretty tough (they drop the bottom 20% out of their 1L, which probably helps to keep their bar passage rate up with the T1/T2 schools). I'm not sure how to consider this, I know I have the dedication and ability that should keep the scholarship, but there is always the "what if". If I had to pay tuition at Cal Western, and I knew that now, I'd absolutely choose USF.



I would go to USF in your position if you're definitely set on taking a job as an employee. It sounds like you really want to be in San Francisco. You can be sure that with a degree from Cal Western, you'll be spending at least the next 8-10 years in San Diego. Why do it if it doesn't make you happy?

Now, if you've got the entrepreneurial spirit and a tolerance for criminal law, you should go to CW for free, get about 6 months of experience after school with your family practice to build a case record. Then move to SF and start your own criminal defense practice. Best of both worlds. You're virtually debt free and in business. I promise people will still be committing crimes 4 years from now.

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Regionality
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:13 am

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby Regionality » Fri May 28, 2010 4:35 am

quickquestionthanks wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
koehn2 wrote:I am in the same boat as you (sort of). Contemplating to go to the school that would be financially responsible but feeling "stuck" in my home state. I have the attitude where you have to go where you will be the happiest. For the simple fact that most likely or at least in my case I will be in (Kansas) my whole life if I end up going to school there and if I am miserable then what kind of life is that? It's something to think about. Granted situations are a little different. I mean shoot I live in KANSAS!!! Would San Diego really be that bad of a situation?


And that's what makes this a tough decision, it's not like I'm choosing between Fargo, ND and San Francisco.

I don't think I'd be necessarily unhappy in San Diego, but I know that I'd be happier in San Francisco. And that's where weighing the debt versus the preference comes into play.

Plus, and I didn't mention this, Cal Western has a stipulation put on the scholarship and their curve is pretty tough (they drop the bottom 20% out of their 1L, which probably helps to keep their bar passage rate up with the T1/T2 schools). I'm not sure how to consider this, I know I have the dedication and ability that should keep the scholarship, but there is always the "what if". If I had to pay tuition at Cal Western, and I knew that now, I'd absolutely choose USF.



I would go to USF in your position if you're definitely set on taking a job as an employee. It sounds like you really want to be in San Francisco. You can be sure that with a degree from Cal Western, you'll be spending at least the next 8-10 years in San Diego. Why do it if it doesn't make you happy?

Now, if you've got the entrepreneurial spirit and a tolerance for criminal law, you should go to CW for free, get about 6 months of experience after school with your family practice to build a case record. Then move to SF and start your own criminal defense practice. Best of both worlds. You're virtually debt free and in business. I promise people will still be committing crimes 4 years from now.



Yea but after they pay their Aladdin Bail Bond they won't have any green left over for a lawyer!

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quickquestionthanks
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:30 pm

Re: Input - University of San Francisco vs. California Western

Postby quickquestionthanks » Fri May 28, 2010 4:55 am

Regionality wrote:
quickquestionthanks wrote:I promise people will still be committing crimes 4 years from now.



Yea but after they pay their Aladdin Bail Bond they won't have any green left over for a lawyer!


Oh, right. You will need to get paid in drugs and sex.




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