GULC vs UCLA (international law)

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hadokenstyle
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:38 pm

GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby hadokenstyle » Wed May 12, 2010 11:59 pm

me: 170/3.75 hard major (doesn't matter apparently)

I am interested in international law... not a starry-eyed "want to save the world" type, but I have returned from months working in The Hague. There I spoke to many attorneys in the ICTY Prosecutor's Office. I have an idea of what type of path I should take to land such a job. So, I am interested in international criminal law (which is a pretty emerging field, seeing that environment firsthand)... government and NGO work could fit in there, though I do realize that it is quite competitive and not-so-lucrative.

From my research I see that USNews rankings in international law should not be taken too seriously and int. law course offerings (+ clinics / journal / study abroad) exist at virtually every T50 school. And I suppose I could always just pick up a book about the ICC and read it over a summer.

A few things to note. I attended UCLA for UG and an MA already. However, I have family in California, namely a sick father who likely doesn't have much time, but who really wants to live to see me start the next stage of life and do the best I can (making deferral/time off a little difficult)... though deep down I really want to be around too. Plus, interests, transportation, and all my earthly possessions. I do like seeing and being in new places... I have grown up in the LA/OC area my whole life. Sushi and Mexican is awesome here. The whole emphasis on international law (and location) is certainly appealing at GULC. However, family is extremely important to me, and unless the trip is going to have a monumental impact on my career it will be more difficult to justify to myself.

As for location, I really have no idea where I would want to be. I know too many people who have returned to LA to practice to automatically assume that I would stay in DC/NY after GULC. However, UCLA is on the rise. I am strongly considering retaking the LSAT at the very least to grab some scholarship money. I was doing timed PTs w/ experimental at 175/176. BUT, I would also like to use as much time before 1L enjoying my life rather than studying. I could always transfer, too, but I don't want to go anywhere I'm not fully confident spending 3 years.

So: is the education in international law/alumni base/location at GULC a big enough deal?

I appreciate honest feedback, particularly from people in similar situations. Supporting any claims would be very useful and credible, too. Thanks, good luck and best wishes to everyone else here.

mah2012
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby mah2012 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:15 am

I'm sure some people may jump on me for this, but I know I would stick with UCLA. The location at GULC is admittedly more desirable, but you can absolutely get international from UCLA. The rankings difference isn't enough (for me) to justify going to GULC based solely on that.

It really depends on your priorities. I have sick dad experience also, so admittedly I'm voting UCLA because of that. I was packed and ready to move literally across the country for undergrad at a pretty prestigious school when my dad fell ill, and changed plans last minute to go to a significantly less spectacular (albeit, still good) school 30 minutes away from home. I may have a harder time getting into an ivy law school now, but I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat.

hadokenstyle
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby hadokenstyle » Thu May 13, 2010 12:29 am

mah2012 wrote:I'm sure some people may jump on me for this, but I know I would stick with UCLA. The location at GULC is admittedly more desirable, but you can absolutely get international from UCLA. The rankings difference isn't enough (for me) to justify going to GULC based solely on that.

It really depends on your priorities. I have sick dad experience also, so admittedly I'm voting UCLA because of that. I was packed and ready to move literally across the country for undergrad at a pretty prestigious school when my dad fell ill, and changed plans last minute to go to a significantly less spectacular (albeit, still good) school 30 minutes away from home. I may have a harder time getting into an ivy law school now, but I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat.


Thanks for this... yeah, this is a pretty awesome first post. I have a feeling a lot of people choose solely based on rank but at the end of the day you have to be a human being and live your life. I'm sorry to hear about your dad... it's really frustrating and a lot of people can't understand it at this age. Are you applying this cycle?

CanadianWolf
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Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 13, 2010 12:39 am

UCLA is a great law school, as is Georgetown. International opportunities are probably better at Georgetown, but consider studying abroad for a semester or summer while in law school. A master's degree in comparative law may also be helpful if seeking employment as an attorney outside of the USA.
Have you checked out the course offerings in international law & study abroad opportunities offered at UCLA law school and other UCLA graduate schools/programs?
Some law schools offer internship opportunities with foreign law firms, although this often requires fluency in another language.

hadokenstyle
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby hadokenstyle » Thu May 13, 2010 12:50 am

CanadianWolf wrote:UCLA is a great law school, as is Georgetown. International opportunities are probably better at Georgetown, but consider studying abroad for a semester or summer while in law school. A master's degree in comparative law may also be helpful if seeking employment as an attorney outside of the USA.
Have you checked out the course offerings in international law & study abroad opportunities offered at UCLA law school and other UCLA graduate schools/programs?
Some law schools offer internship opportunities with foreign law firms, although this often requires fluency in another language.


Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with UCLA's offerings. I actually have taken about a fourth of their international law faculty as an undergraduate there, one course being a summer abroad in NYC so I got fairly close with a couple professors. And UCLA is linked with the ICTY and helped sponsor a conference there while I was working there... so I also met up with some professors. There is a plus that I know people who would be willing to give me more personal career advice. But the downside is that, well, I already know them (less novelty and mystery I suppose?).

Not too sure about internships... I am decent at Spanish and can read/write/speak about a year's worth of Japanese. But I am definitely eyeing study abroad, UCLA has Japan and GT has Netherlands... where I could meet up with friends from my recent trip.

mah2012
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby mah2012 » Thu May 13, 2010 1:49 am

hadokenstyle wrote:
mah2012 wrote:I'm sure some people may jump on me for this, but I know I would stick with UCLA. The location at GULC is admittedly more desirable, but you can absolutely get international from UCLA. The rankings difference isn't enough (for me) to justify going to GULC based solely on that.

It really depends on your priorities. I have sick dad experience also, so admittedly I'm voting UCLA because of that. I was packed and ready to move literally across the country for undergrad at a pretty prestigious school when my dad fell ill, and changed plans last minute to go to a significantly less spectacular (albeit, still good) school 30 minutes away from home. I may have a harder time getting into an ivy law school now, but I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat.


Thanks for this... yeah, this is a pretty awesome first post. I have a feeling a lot of people choose solely based on rank but at the end of the day you have to be a human being and live your life. I'm sorry to hear about your dad... it's really frustrating and a lot of people can't understand it at this age. Are you applying this cycle?


Thanks! And I'm sorry about your dad also. No, I'm not applying this cycle; I'm just a glutton for punishment. I'll be applying next cycle at the earliest, although most likely not until the cycle after depending on a few variables.I agree about losing your humanity in the ratings game, but I always figured maybe I was just still too sentimental for TLS.

Also, this is completely anecdotal, but I recently talked to an alum from my university who clerked in DC after graduating UT Law, and then worked in the international game for a number of years. When he and his wife decided they wanted to settle down and have a family, he was able to move back to Texas and became a partner at a firm near their relatives. I think there are benefits to having a JD from a school that can travel but that also place extremely well in a particular region.

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Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby 174 » Thu May 13, 2010 4:32 am

0L Disclaimer

I'm also interested in a career in "international law," so I've done a bit of research on the topic. This is only one article, but it seems to be the credited response around here in these types of threads.
http://www.annaivey.com/iveyfiles/2008/11/international_law_believe_the_hype
International law is an extremely small niche that you are going to have to struggle to break into. If you carve out an international career path, factors such as the languages you speak and the contacts you've made are both going to be 1000 times more important than the strength of a school's international law specialty. I'd suggest taking GULC's international specialty out of the equation and decide which law school is really the one you want to attend. It sounds like you have some compelling reasons for attending UCLA and I wouldn't chase after GULC just because of this specialty program.

hadokenstyle
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: GULC vs UCLA (international law)

Postby hadokenstyle » Thu May 13, 2010 5:17 am

Yeah... I think I'm considering it more just from a pure education and networking /alumni side. I.e., GT bigger for int. law so know people for it, etc.
I've seen that article. Keep in mind that almost all the attorneys I ran into began in criminal law and never did anything in domestic law. The route to "international law" is just having a strong background in US criminal law. And most of the time, multiple languages isn't required, since courts have translators... definitely no "let's travel the world by doing international law..."




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