CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

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Free-Market
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CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Free-Market » Fri May 07, 2010 8:30 pm

Hi All, new to the web site. Hope somebody can help me, QUICK! Because I am clueless and need to make a decision right away.

I live in California and would ideally like to practice law here in CA after I graduate. Preferably I would like to practice law in the bay area, so I applied a few bay area law schools and a few other schools around the state and a few out of state.

I got into a number of schools (USF, Utah, McGeorge, Santa Clara) and decided on Santa Clara because I have heard good things about it. Lawyers from LA told me it was a good school and well respected across the state and I like the campus (although it was tough picking Santa Clara over SF for the city factor). I paid my seat deposit, but was still waiting to hear back from Davis and San Diego.

Well, I was waitlisted at San Diego and eventually admitted. San Diego is ranked higher than Santa Clara (#56 I believe, while Santa Clara is #93 now). However, I haven't heard anything profound about San Diego and I am wondering why it is ranked so highly?

Basically here is my question:

What schools is better? Santa Clara or San Diego? Someone help me out! At least guide me to some resource where I could get more info on the schools, because I haven't found anything useful on the internet yet.

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bk1
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby bk1 » Fri May 07, 2010 8:32 pm

I don't know this for a fact but I would think that SCU will give you a better shot in the Bay Area than San Diego.

lawbug
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby lawbug » Fri May 07, 2010 8:43 pm

Santa Clara is not that great of a school. I know someone who works with SCU graduates and he doesn't have a lot of good stuff to say about them neither. Wasn't there an ethics professor at SCU who committed perjury recently? But I do agree that SCU might help you get some connections if you are looking to stay in the bay.

vijemi
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby vijemi » Fri May 07, 2010 8:49 pm

I'm not an expert but I believe that Santa Clara will serve you better in Bay Area but SD probably has better job prospects in SD than Santa Clara in SF.

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phoenix323
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby phoenix323 » Fri May 07, 2010 9:01 pm

lawbug wrote:[strike]Santa Clara is not that great of a school.[/strike] I know someone who works with SCU graduates and he doesn't have a lot of good stuff to say about them neither. [strike]Wasn't there an ethics professor at SCU who committed perjury recently?[/strike] But I do agree that SCU might help you get some connections if you are looking to stay in the bay.


ftfy.

And no, there wasn't an ethics professor who committed perjury. A Santa Clara Law ethics professor commented on Kenneth Starr's possible perjury issues. You should probably not post things like that if you don't know the information.

As a side note, what's your basis for saying that "Santa Clara is not that great of a school"?

Just curious.

Free-Market
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Free-Market » Fri May 07, 2010 9:55 pm

thanks for the responses.

I don't know why someone would say SCU isn't that great of a school either - maybe when you compare it to berkeley or standford, but otherwise i think it is pretty competitive. The median starting salary for graduate is about $120k, and I like the sound of that.

Also, SCU is really strong in their IP program. I think they're ranked 7th in the nation for that, and they cater to a lot of the silicon valley tech firms.

I still don't see a compelling argument in favor of San Diego, other than its higher ranking.

Free-Market
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Free-Market » Fri May 07, 2010 10:05 pm

additionally,

i havent heard that san diego really has any strong specialties. I've heard they specialize in tax law or something (yawn). IP sounds better.

yo!
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby yo! » Fri May 07, 2010 10:57 pm

This decision should be entirely based upon where you want to work. If bay area-go to SC, Southern Cal- go to SD. The only other consideration should be which school gave you more scholarship money. FWIW I would be very cautious about paying sticker at either of these schools. Also, take the schools' published salaries with a grain of salt, they are complete bullshit most of the time.

pegleg
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby pegleg » Fri May 07, 2010 11:04 pm

yo! wrote:This decision should be entirely based upon where you want to work. If bay area-go to SC, Southern Cal- go to SD. The only other consideration should be which school gave you more scholarship money. FWIW I would be very cautious about paying sticker at either of these schools. Also, take the schools' published salaries with a grain of salt, they are complete bullshit most of the time.


I second yo's advice. I'm in the same position as you (would like to be in the Bay Area) and had 12k at SCU and 23k at San Diego. Well I choose frugality :p I see two benefits to this. If I do well, the jump to transfer to a better school isn't as steep. If I don't do well, I will graduate with less debt (and frankly there are far worse fates in life than to end up practicing law in SD).

Free-Market
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Free-Market » Fri May 07, 2010 11:22 pm

hmm. i didn't receive a scholarship offer from either school. They are both equally expensive (about $40k a year for tuition). you said "be cautious about paying the sticker price"...is there anything I can do?

i think i would rather practice in the bay area, so SCU seems like the right choice. but still, i'd like to hear more about either school.

why is SD ranked so highly?

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arhmcpo
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby arhmcpo » Fri May 07, 2010 11:42 pm

Free-Market wrote:hmm. i didn't receive a scholarship offer from either school. They are both equally expensive (about $40k a year for tuition). you said "be cautious about paying the sticker price"...is there anything I can do?

i think i would rather practice in the bay area, so SCU seems like the right choice. but still, i'd like to hear more about either school.

why is SD ranked so highly?


Because they are better at gaming the arbitrary US NEWS ranking system?

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Shot007
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Shot007 » Sat May 08, 2010 12:20 am

I wouldnt put too much faith in Santa Clara's reported starting Salary....especially when you consider that this is only from 35% reporting....whereas USD reporting is from 52% not great, but still a lot better.

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arhmcpo
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby arhmcpo » Sat May 08, 2010 12:36 am

Shot007 wrote:I wouldnt put too much faith in Santa Clara's reported starting Salary....especially when you consider that this is only from 35% reporting....whereas USD reporting is from 52% not great, but still a lot better.


Agreed. I've heard the Santa Clara salary info gets thrown off because the IP lawyers its graduates (who tend to have the requisite math/science background) go on to make $bank$, while the rest of the grads struggle for much lower paying jobs.

lawbug
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby lawbug » Sat May 08, 2010 12:39 am

phoenix323 wrote:
lawbug wrote:[strike]Santa Clara is not that great of a school.[/strike] I know someone who works with SCU graduates and he doesn't have a lot of good stuff to say about them neither. [strike]Wasn't there an ethics professor at SCU who committed perjury recently?[/strike] But I do agree that SCU might help you get some connections if you are looking to stay in the bay.


ftfy.

And no, there wasn't an ethics professor who committed perjury. A Santa Clara Law ethics professor commented on Kenneth Starr's possible perjury issues. You should probably not post things like that if you don't know the information.

As a side note, what's your basis for saying that "Santa Clara is not that great of a school"?

Just curious.


Obviously you didn't hear about this one! Check out if Troy Benson is/was on the SCU's faculties list
http://www.crimeandfederalism.com/prose ... isconduct/

yo!
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby yo! » Sat May 08, 2010 2:20 am

Free-Market wrote:hmm. i didn't receive a scholarship offer from either school. They are both equally expensive (about $40k a year for tuition). you said "be cautious about paying the sticker price"...is there anything I can do?

i think i would rather practice in the bay area, so SCU seems like the right choice. but still, i'd like to hear more about either school.

why is SD ranked so highly?


IMHO, here is what you need to do:

First, you really need to think about your reasons for attending law school. You will likely be fighting an uphill battle in finding employment from any school. I'm not one of the T14 nazis on this forum that thinks no other school is worth sticker price, but you really need to think about how much the education will cost you versus the benefit of having the degree. DO NOT take the schools salary statistics seriously, as they are completely fabricated and manipulated. If you are going to law school for the correct reasons, you could justify paying sticker at either school. Just understand that six figure law jobs are incredibly hard to get, and the debt load will be a complete bitch to pay off.

Second, hit the schools up for scholarship money. It may not work, but it never hurts to try. I wasn't offered anything from Davis, but I was able to get 10K per year by sending a simple email to the dean. I literally made 30K by writing a 10 minute email. Mention your options and the difficulty of your choice, but be extremely polite. My email said something along the lines of "your school is my top choice, but my decision is very difficult because of offers X, Y, and Z. A scholarship would make my decision a hell of a lot easier." Obvioulsy be more professional, but you get the point. SD and SC both offered me scholarships, but SCU has a reputation for being more stingy. Either way, it never hurts to try.

As far as the rankings go, I have no idea why any of the schools are ranked where they are. The whole system is pretty arbitrary IMO. However, I wouldn't pay much attention to the specialty rankings, because no one really seems to care about them. The IP rankings matter a little if you are actually interested in IP law. If not, don't worry about them.

In typical TLS fasion, I must advise you to wait and retake the LSAT if you think that you can improve. Just a few points can turn sticker into a full ride at some schools and turn denials to acceptances at others. Best of luck with whatever path you choose.

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pany1985
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby pany1985 » Sat May 08, 2010 2:26 am

Free-Market wrote:The median starting salary for graduate is about $120k, and I like the sound of that.


The sound of that, while nice, also seems a little bit misleading... and by misleading I mean that graduating at the median from Santa Clara will almost certainly not get you a job making 6 figures.

Grad09
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Grad09 » Sat May 08, 2010 3:57 am

pany1985 wrote:
Free-Market wrote:The median starting salary for graduate is about $120k, and I like the sound of that.


The sound of that, while nice, also seems a little bit misleading... and by misleading I mean that graduating at the median from Santa Clara will almost certainly not get you a job making 6 figures.


+1

I went to an admitted student's brunch at SCU. Everyone is really nice and the campus is great too. BUT, I did speak with students that agreed the salary figures were skewed to tech-background patent lawyers. Most people jump on the IP bandwagon with liberal arts degrees and English majors. There is not a plentiful number of jobs available for non-tech IP specialists that want to do copyrights or trademarks [and Boalt + Stanford get the bulk of those available]. The Silicon Valley big guys want patent prosecutors. THEY get top dollar because THEY are rare to find. Without an engineering or chem B.S., competition and the job market is tough coming out of SCU.

On the other hand, USD virtually has a monopoly on the San Diego market. Granted, its not as big as LA or SF, but doing relatively well and networking a bit can get you a good job. Plus, its ranked higher and I think it has a better reputation across CA in general. I could be wrong, this is just my impression.

If you are deadset on SF Bay, then go to Santa Clara and gamble being top 20%. If you want better job prospects (or, as I think of it, a better insurance on a big investment,) go to USD, work for a couple of years in SD to build your resume and then try finding a job in SF.

Then, of course, there is scholarship negotiation to consider (if you still can)

and write to Davis like a person on crazy pills to get off that waitlist and make your decision a LOT easier.

I hope this helps. GL.

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dspit
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby dspit » Sat May 08, 2010 4:06 am

Free-Market wrote:[strike]thanks for the responses.

I don't know why someone would say SCU isn't that great of a school either - maybe when you compare it to berkeley or[/strike]standford, [strike]but otherwise i think it is pretty competitive. The median starting salary for graduate is about $120k, and I like the sound of that.

Also, SCU is really strong in their IP program. I think they're ranked 7th in the nation for that, and they cater to a lot of the silicon valley tech firms.

I still don't see a compelling argument in favor of San Diego, other than its higher ranking.
[/strike]
That is all

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phoenix323
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby phoenix323 » Sat May 08, 2010 5:04 am

lawbug wrote:
phoenix323 wrote:
lawbug wrote:[strike]Santa Clara is not that great of a school.[/strike] I know someone who works with SCU graduates and he doesn't have a lot of good stuff to say about them neither. [strike]Wasn't there an ethics professor at SCU who committed perjury recently?[/strike] But I do agree that SCU might help you get some connections if you are looking to stay in the bay.


ftfy.

And no, there wasn't an ethics professor who committed perjury. A Santa Clara Law ethics professor commented on Kenneth Starr's possible perjury issues. You should probably not post things like that if you don't know the information.

As a side note, what's your basis for saying that "Santa Clara is not that great of a school"?

Just curious.


Obviously you didn't hear about this one! Check out if Troy Benson is/was on the SCU's faculties list
http://www.crimeandfederalism.com/prose ... isconduct/


1. This is not the case you mentioned earlier. Nice job digging up the dirt though.
2. I'm not sure what the conduct of one person has to do with overall quality of the school and whether or not once should attend. Should people not have attended Pepperdine because of the conduct of Ken Starr?
3. Still no rationale for your statement that Santa Clara is not a good school.

Free-Market
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby Free-Market » Sat May 08, 2010 2:44 pm

Yo!,

I am assuming you are going to Davis? That was originally my number 1 school, but I still have yet to hear anything from them... according the lsac's admission statistics for Davis, I realize I'm on the fringe as far as being admitted goes. But I still have hope by virtue of the fact that I haven't been denied yet. Do you think there is anything I can do at this point to better my chances of being admitted? Maybe a letter of continued interest? If I got into Davis, screw seat deposits I've paid and scu and sdu, it all about davis for me.

To everyone else:

why is that this website's description of scu is basically gushing? And sdu doesn't sound so great?

Basically what I've gathered is: if I wanna work in the bay, then scu. If I wanna work in socal, then sdu.

ViP
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby ViP » Sat May 08, 2010 2:56 pm

Definitely, definitely go to Santa Clara if you plan to work in Norcal. Don't think twice.

But to answer your question about USD... it has quite a strong faculty that is often overlooked because job prospects out of USD are pretty crappy.

yo!
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Re: CA Law Schools San Diego v Santa Clara - NEED HELP ASAP

Postby yo! » Sun May 09, 2010 12:16 pm

I have no idea what I'm talking about with regard to admissoins, but my hunch is that a LOCI wouldn't help much at this point. I think Davis understands the fact that people really want their decisions and they are probably getting tons of LOCI's from people who haven't had decisions. My advice would be to just wait it out. If you end up on the WL, then send a LOCI sometime in June. As far as what the LOCI should contain; your guess is as good as mine. Here is something that I found in a taking questions thread (credit Davis3L):

Waitlist - you can get in if you really want it. I know a few people who got in off the waitlist because they wrote genuine letters explaining why they like Davis. You should be careful that your letter doesn't sound too..."Davis is best for ME because MY goals are X, Y, Z." Try to explain why you would be a good fit for the King Hall community.
No, not necessarily what you can bring. More like, explain how the small class size, clinics, and "community" feel appeal to you. It doesn't have to be complicated...just say you're grateful to be waitlisted, and that if offered admission, you would likely attend because you are drawn to Davis for X, Y, Z. For example:

"I'd like to attend King Hall because my mindset seems consistent with many of your current students'. I would cherish the opportunity to attend a school where students are willing to share notes and professors have students over for dinner. I think this creates the best environment for the study of law, and thus would greatly like to be a part of it."

*Warning, don't copy that.

I guess it's more of a tone thing. Don't make it sound like it's all about you. A lot of people write letters that sound like this:

"I want to attend UCD because I want to practice environmental law. I took many enviro law classes in college. I worked at Sierra Club last year. I think Davis is a good fit for me because I can take advantage of the clinics. Going to Davis can help me achieve my goals."




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