Thanks for the input everyone! Keep it coming! The choice is still really tough. Tbh I'm not sure if I'd want NorCal or SoCal just yet. I haven't stayed in Cali long so I haven't had the chance to compare cities in CA for their living, culture, etc. If someone would make recommendations/offer thoughts I'd be grateful for that.
keg411 wrote:Your chances at getting BigLaw from any of these schools is not great (I'd guess somewhere between 10-20%). SF is a particularly competitive market and ATL has been decimated. I don't know about UCI in the LA/OCI area; it's kind of a risk (although at least they will be accredited this summer - I think), but it's your only SoCal option if you want SoCal.
If I were you, I'd visit the three CA schools or even just UCD/UCH if you are from the Bay area and don't want SoCal and then decide from there. Just know your chances at a BigFirm job are low unless you get top grades. You have to go to a school where you would be comfortable graduating with median grades rather than thinking of which one would place best if you are at the top.
Concerning location: As I mentioned in my parent post, the idea of being stuck in GA/the South is scary to me. But on the off chance I place in the top third or fourth of the class I think I'd have a decent chance at getting into a NYC BigLaw firm, which would be ideal. Cali is probably safer but will be just as unfamiliar for me, since I've not been to GA or CA much. It's true I should just think of a school where I'd be comfortable with a median...so that would defo favor Cali.
Also, it seems employment wise for big firms Davis is worse off than Emory (not just in the reputation ranking, but Big Law %-wise placement too). But it all depends on the scholarship I suppose. Emory seems a *safer* bet now after having some conversations with people who have mixed feelings towards Emory's career service. Basically, yes, there are problems with them, but it's no problem at all if you market yourself and be proactive rather than expecting a job (and this is the same for most schools apparently)....
Cade McNown wrote:Additionally, please ignore the votes for UC Irvine. Sure it projects to be a strong school. If you go there you will be on your own for job hunting. I don't see any argument for Irvine unless COA is FREE. And for you it isn't.
But aren't we all on our own for job hunting below T-14? OCI sucks this year almost universally it seems, even for Yale and Harvard it was worse than last year apparently...Irvine is definitely a risk, but if it's one with a decent payout...it could either end in great happiness or great regret, I suppose.
thegreattk wrote:Personally, I believe Irvine blows the other two out of the water, since quality of professors is the biggest factor in my decision. Add the 1/3 scholarship, gorgeous weather, a student body that seems overwhelmingly passionate, a more cooperative atmosphere, and the fact that Irvine could eventually be a T-20 institution down the road, and it becomes the clear winner in my mind.
Since UCI won't be ranked for a while and the professors seem awesome it's also a tempting choice (I think employers will be attracted to it while it has small classes and great profs). I think being part of "making" something (orgs, etc) will have greater import there than at the other law schools, since if I was going to Davis or Emory (for example) then I would just apply to law journals and other orgs that were formed ages ago. BUT I would hesitate to be so sure that Irvine will place in the top 20. For one thing, it lacks the grand facilities and alumni bases of current 20s-ranked schools, and though that could change over the years, it won't be that much better in 2 years, or 3.
But it's still so tempting to go! The facilities they do have are great, and I hear several reputable law firms visited Irvine to pick up grads as future partners. Sheppard (sp?) was among them. Still, the idea of graduating into BigLaw is a huge uncertainty, and it looks like no one from UC Irvine law can really....say anything more about that. As people said, still too uncertain, which makes my choice still a tough one.
SBL wrote:It's reasonable to assume Davis is "on the rise" given the changes in rankings. 1-2 years of USNews are hardly the end-all, be-all, but if you're choosing between D and H and don't have a strong reason to want to be in SF, why wouldn't you go with the higher ranked option? Hastings is a fine school, but it's not the one I'd pick right now.
That said, I think the "Hastings is a sinking ship" stuff is a little silly and mainly stems from the fact that UCH was a top-20 school in the 80s. It's ALWAYS been regarded as a solid T1 school and will continue to be.
Davis is still the same school as it was 3 years ago when it was ranked in the 30s, though, no? What has changed other than the building of the new King Hall and the school's apparent newfound experience with "gaming" the employment stats? Just playing devil's advocate here.
I will also say I'm convinced Hastings is the worst option now though, even if all the stuff about a sinking ship is false.
The choice between Davis, Emory and UCI is still difficult! Would like others to weigh in if possible?
Let's debate the merits of CA/GA legal job markets? Or would that just go nowhere? I'm also wondering about Davis' career services, and how they compare to Emory's abysmal counterpart (again: take it with a grain of salt, as you're meant to go looking for jobs rather than expect them, according to common knowledge).