Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

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whoomoi
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Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby whoomoi » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:26 am

I'm having a really rough time trying to sort out how to weigh the various factors I need to take into account in picking a law school. I am from southern CA, LA area, and I ultimately want to practice there. I currently go to Cal (undergrad), and as much as I love it here, I have been wanting to go back to So Cal for the longest time. Weather is a big deal to me, I am much happier when the sun's shining and it's warm, I would like to be able to just go home and visit my family on a random day, anddd my boyfriend's down there.
I realize choosing a law school is about my career and in the whole scheme of things it's only 3 years of my life, but I don't know how much I'm willing to sacrifice/compromise in terms of my "happiness." ("happiness" just because who knows how much those factors will contribute to my happiness if I do go to school in So Cal, I just know right now, I think they're really important).
I'm choosing between Hastings & Davis up here (I read the thread about those 2) and Irvine, Loyola, & Pepperdine back home. My question is, how important do you think it is to go to law school in the area you want to practice? And any thoughts on the prospects of Irvine? Do you think it'd be an issue that they don't have an alumni network?
I'd really appreciate the input! Thank you!

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kings84_wr
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:40 am

are there any scholarships at those schools?

I don't know how well Davis/Hastings grads have been placing in so cal lately, but anecdotally its pretty tough. are you looking for big law? Because the reality is that big law in SoCal from any of those schools is going to take top top grades.

Have you thought about taking a year off and applying again? or retaking the lsat and trying for USC/UCLA? I don't think its a good idea to go some place you will be miserable and if you don't like norcal that much maybe its not for you.

I'm personally higher on Irvine then a lot of people, but its just about impossible to predict how it will place, and it seems that it hasn't been doing that great so far.

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Lasers
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Lasers » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:54 am

i'm very likely attending hastings or davis, but i love norcal and socal almost equally (slight preference to norcal).

if you are sure you want to be in socal, i don't know how good hastings/davis will be for you.

whoomoi
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby whoomoi » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:59 am

So Irvine will pay for 1/3 tuition if you maintain a certain GPA, I think a 2.7, something that sounds reasonable. And I'm hoping for merit based scholarships, but haven't heard. Loyola will give me 23K, renewable if I stay in the top 1/3 of the class as a 2L and 3L and Pepperdine 25K, same requirements. Hastings doesn't look like they're giving me anything and Davis, I just got the acceptance so there's the possibility of scholarships, but I kind of doubt it.

I don't think I want to go for big law. I'd be more interested in public interest or smaller firms. I assume grades would still factor in quite a bit? And I guess if I do end up going that route, scholarships would be pretty important...

And yes, I did think about waiting a year, but for me I do think I'd be happy at the schools I got into and going straight, already being in that mode, just seems like it would work better for me. I will think it through though.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Zabini
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Zabini » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:26 am

Those grade stipulations are pretty gross, you would be very screwed if you fell below top 1/3 (and I have no way of knowing if Loyola/Pepperdine are like this, but many schools throw the scholly kids into the same section to ensure a portion of them won't meet the stipulation). At the same time, paying sticker for Hastings or Davis doesn't seem too wise either, particularly if you're explicitly looking to go PI or small firms.

You haven't talked about your numbers, but if retake/reapply to UCLA/USC next year is possible at all, I would strongly advise doing that.

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kings84_wr
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:29 am

Well do you have any preference of Orange county v. LA? I think even at its best UCI's strong point will be OC. I know to some people OC/LA is one metro area, but I know LA people that hate OC and vice-versa.

Those top 1/3 contingencies are pretty tough, the 2.7 at UCI is probably much easier (I'm assuming the curve somewhere in the 3.0/3.3 range).

Also the difference between Loyola and Pepperdine tends to be preference to the school types. Malibu compared to LA, pepperdine also has a conservative flair. I would suggest visiting the schools.

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20160810
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby 20160810 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:48 am

It is very, very easy to get to LA from either Davis or Hastings.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:41 pm

Please! It's not "NoCal", okay? The proper term is "Superior California". :twisted:

Between Hastings and Davis, my preference (based on nothing but knowing the area a little) would be Davis. First, I prefer clear weather, whether its cold or hot, so I like Sacramento better than S.F. Second, Sacramento is cheaper to live in than the Bay Area.

Preferring as I do Superior California over...well, let's just say "Lower California"...I'd pick either of the northern schools over any southern school. Again, that's just based on where I wouldn't mind living.

And boyfriends are fungible. :wink:

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Alex-Trof » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:05 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Please! It's not "NoCal", okay? The proper term is "Superior California". :twisted:

Between Hastings and Davis, my preference (based on nothing but knowing the area a little) would be Davis. First, I prefer clear weather, whether its cold or hot, so I like Sacramento better than S.F. Second, Sacramento is cheaper to live in than the Bay Area.

Preferring as I do Superior California over...well, let's just say "Lower California"...I'd pick either of the northern schools over any southern school. Again, that's just based on where I wouldn't mind living.

And boyfriends are fungible. :wink:


I was in Sacramento visiting friends for New Years, went to one of the their best clubs called Park on New Years night. The place was half-empty by the time it was 1pm. I would not come back to that town. There is absolutely nothing there. Even Sacramento Kings are considering leaving. LA, on the other hand is amazing, as long as you have the money for it. Not to mention how many beautiful exotic women live there.

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aesis
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby aesis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:43 pm

TL;DR - Retake, go to UCLA/USC. If not, go to Hastings/Loyola.

I'm a SoCal native and went to UG there as well, so I understand your yearning for the very different atmosphere in SoCal. My first piece of advice is to retake the LSAT and go to UCLA/USC. You need to seriously evaluate whether you are willing to settle for the lower-ranked schools. If you feel like you did your best on the LSAT then this is a non-issue.

That said, all else being equal, choose between Loyola and Hastings.

IMO, Irvine is too big of a risk, Pepperdine has much less pull than Loyola. Davis is just straight up boring. Loyola would be a return to warm winters and sunshine, but you'll also be dealing with downtown LA traffic every day. Traffic is the biggest drawback of LA so take that into consideration. Then again, Hastings is located in a really busy area of SF anyway, so maybe this is tied. Loyola's scholarship contingency is also a gambit so I wouldn't weigh it too heavily in your decision.

Ultimately, Hastings is a better school by far, it's in SF, but it's ultra-competitive (Paper Chase), which you won't find at Loyola. I'm not sure if it has a campus, but neither does Loyola. Hastings would be better for job opportunities overall, but there's not a single Hastings associate at my NLJ250 firm right now, yet there are multiple Loyola grads. Just anecdotal evidence that Loyola is indeed the 3rd best school for LA.

I just threw out some things to consider, ultimately it's up to you to weigh them. IDK how important family/bf/weather is to you. I would personally go to Hastings bc it's better ranked, but I didn't spend 4 years of my life in the cold, foggy bay like you did.

whoomoi
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby whoomoi » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:41 pm

Thanks for all the responses!

That's a good point that scholarships shouldn't weigh too much in my decision. I feel retaking/reapplying is out of the picture for me, and my focus will just be on choosing a school.

I don't have a preference for LA or OC, I wouldn't mind ending up in either area. If I go to Loyola, I'd live at home. Would feel obliged to save the money since my homes about 20 miles away. Not sure how that would play out. I want to go back to So Cal cause my family's great, but living with them through law school could be problematic.

I guess going to school up here, would be a sacrifice/compromise that I just don't know if I'm going to feel is worth it when it comes down to making my decision mid April. It feels like/is a decision between ranking and non-career related factors (family/bf/weather). I keep going back and forth between trying to convince myself I can suck it up for 3 more years and then feeling like 'why should I have to give up what I truly want in the moment, what if I end up doing that forever, and then where does that leave me?' and how much does ranking really matter if I'm not top 10 anyway?
I want to keep my sanity in law school of course, and I feel like family, weather, bf (though fungible-good point and word Beautiful SW) would all help that. But then, I didn't necessarily want to come to Cal, but I did it, and I do love it. Then again, for whatever reason I still really want to go back to So Cal.

I'll visit all the schools by the time April rolls around and I'm sure that'll shed more light on my situation.

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dr123
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby dr123 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:47 pm

Alex-Trof wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:Please! It's not "NoCal", okay? The proper term is "Superior California". :twisted:

Between Hastings and Davis, my preference (based on nothing but knowing the area a little) would be Davis. First, I prefer clear weather, whether its cold or hot, so I like Sacramento better than S.F. Second, Sacramento is cheaper to live in than the Bay Area.

Preferring as I do Superior California over...well, let's just say "Lower California"...I'd pick either of the northern schools over any southern school. Again, that's just based on where I wouldn't mind living.

And boyfriends are fungible. :wink:


I was in Sacramento visiting friends for New Years, went to one of the their best clubs called Park on New Years night. The place was half-empty by the time it was 1pm. I would not come back to that town. There is absolutely nothing there. Even Sacramento Kings are considering leaving. LA, on the other hand is amazing, as long as you have the money for it. Not to mention how many beautiful exotic women live there.


hastings is in SF dude, why are you comparing sac and LA?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:48 pm

Irvine FTW. If you got in there with money I'm surprised that USC and UCLA are out of reach. I think UCLA or USC would be ideal, but it sounds like retake may not be an option you are considering. As things stand I think Irving is TCR given that you are tired of living in No. Cal. and I think it should give you some good options in So. Cal. even though it is still in process of accreditation. Why spend 3 years more somewhere you don't really want to be when you have other options?

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Alex-Trof
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Alex-Trof » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:13 pm

dr123 wrote:


hastings is in SF dude, why are you comparing sac and LA?


LOL. You mentioned living in Sac so I decided to share my experience.

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General Tso
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby General Tso » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:37 pm

aesis wrote:Ultimately, Hastings is a better school by far, it's in SF, but it's ultra-competitive (Paper Chase)


it's not any more competitive than any other T1 law school. it has better name recognition than Loyola, but Hastings students are having a hard time finding jobs right now. I actually think Loyola with a big scholarship might be a safer choice. But OP should drop out of they lose the scholarship.

Danteshek
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Danteshek » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:40 pm

General Tso wrote:
aesis wrote:Ultimately, Hastings is a better school by far, it's in SF, but it's ultra-competitive (Paper Chase)


it's not any more competitive than any other T1 law school. it has better name recognition than Loyola, but Hastings students are having a hard time finding jobs right now. I actually think Loyola with a big scholarship might be a safer choice. But OP should drop out of they lose the scholarship.


This is a bit dramatic.

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General Tso
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby General Tso » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:47 pm

Danteshek wrote:
General Tso wrote:
aesis wrote:Ultimately, Hastings is a better school by far, it's in SF, but it's ultra-competitive (Paper Chase)


it's not any more competitive than any other T1 law school. it has better name recognition than Loyola, but Hastings students are having a hard time finding jobs right now. I actually think Loyola with a big scholarship might be a safer choice. But OP should drop out of they lose the scholarship.


This is a bit dramatic.


Depends on their circumstances to be sure, but I would not pay $40k+ tuition for a small firm job with a likely 50-60k salary.

crit_racer
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby crit_racer » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:29 pm

does loyola section stack??

Danteshek
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Re: Nor Cal vs So Cal - location vs ranking + happiness factors

Postby Danteshek » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:31 pm

crit_racer wrote:does loyola section stack??


Yes, all the best students will be in whatever section you will be in, regardless of scholarships. I will talk to the Dean and make sure this happens to you.




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