Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

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caorco120
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Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby caorco120 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:22 am

I'm choosing between Pepperdine and CU Boulder. I'm from CA and I imagine myself settling down here in the future. However, I am always open to exploring new places, traveling, living in different places for short periods of time, etc. I would love to go to CU Boulder if I had a little more confidence in being able to come back to CA. Everyone at Boulder said that most people get jobs in CO because they don't want to leave CO. Who knows, I may not want to either...but my family is in CA and I am positive that is where I will be sometime after law school. A lot of people choose which schools to attend based on the financial aid or scholarships they receive. I don't want to make that a huge factor in my decision so let's assume both schools are granting me the same scholarships and/or loans. Which school should I go to with the following in mind:

1. I am interested in a legal education that will provide opportunities in various sectors and careers. This can be narrowed down to business, sustainable development, and real estate. Whether I will be a practicing attorney or working in microfinance or starting my own business, I don't know. I still haven't figured it out yet but those are areas I'm interested in.

2. The quality of life at both places are appealing to me. Pepperdine is what I'm used to--the warm weather, the familiar places, and I can continue with the activities I enjoy now (assuming I will have a little bit of time for them). Colorado would be awesome too. I love snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, biking so according to our tour guide at the open house that is all very "Bouldery" and I would still be able to enjoy the activities I do now. It'll just be colder...and maybe I won't be able to run on the beach in the middle of February...

3. Pepperdine has the global justice program and palmer center for entrepreneurship. Both programs interest me. Programs like those haven't been as apparent to me at Boulder. Does anyone know more on this?

I welcome any and all opinions on where you think I should spend the next three years of my life, which could ultimately decide where I spend the rest of my life or at least a few years after law school.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby UCLAtransfer » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:39 am

With these two schools,

caorco120 wrote:where I spend the rest of my life


This is really what the decision means.

caorco120 wrote:at least a few years after law school.


This is not.

Realize that whichever school you choose, you will in all likelihood be practicing in that geographic region permanently. Obviously this isn't completely set in stone, but to practice anywhere outside the region of each of the schools is going to be a pretty big uphill battle.

ptblazer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby ptblazer » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:13 am

UCLAtransfer wrote:With these two schools,

caorco120 wrote:where I spend the rest of my life


This is really what the decision means.

caorco120 wrote:at least a few years after law school.


This is not.

Realize that whichever school you choose, you will in all likelihood be practicing in that geographic region permanently. Obviously this isn't completely set in stone, but to practice anywhere outside the region of each of the schools is going to be a pretty big uphill battle.


While I respect this user's opinion, I have to disagree. Is it easier to find employment in the city you graduated law school from? Yes, of course. You will have made local connections, alumni can play a role, career office is better suited to help in the city where it is located. These are few of the reasons why it is easier to find employment in the region where your law school is located. Are you stuck in the region permanently? No, I don't think so. For all the great things TLS has helped with, this is the one issue where I feel the notion that you are stuck where you go to school is way over blown.

I think that if you wanted to practice in LA, NY, DC, Chicago (and likes), where you go to school is a really important decision and it will usually mean going to T14 or a school in that region. If you wanted to practice in a city where there is a large and highly ranked school, you will probably experience serious difficulties, but after a couple years work experience I think it is possible. However, if you want to go to law school in one area and work in another and as long as that area's legal market isn't saturated by another law school, you should be just fine. Just my opinion.


As for which you should choose. Since you don't seem to have a strong preference, I would make my decision based on the cost of attendance for three years (I know you said to ignore that, but this is important to me and I can only tell you how I would approach this). I would also weigh where you feel most comfortable, with all others things being equal. I suppose this is just a gut feeling, because you probably haven't had an opportunity to make that judgment. It is reasonible to assume you will do better in law school in an environment where you feel comfortable. I don't think feeling comfortable necessarly means where you are most familiar. It could be the culture of the school itself. Maybe CU Boulder is an environment where you will excel.

caorco120
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby caorco120 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:09 am

Thanks for your posts. I am actually not that worried about where I will be after law school anymore. Whether I want to be in California, Colorado, or Spain, I believe I can make it happen for myself. I really want to go to CU Boulder. I loved the atmosphere, the faculty/student community, and the law school building. However, Pepperdine has two programs that I am very interested in: the Global Justice Program and Microfinance Program. If I could engage in a similar program at CU then I will go to CU. If CU has opportunities for me to learn about international law, sustainable development, and microfinance, then it would be an easy choice. I have to do some more digging on what CU has to offer in that respect...

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:13 am

go to pepperdine. spend a summer or semester in the london campus / OR go to uganda and intern with their supreme court / OR go to Germany with another program / OR create your own. Or you could just do that Global Justice stuff. Travel from the comfort of CA. Problem solved.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:59 am

Boulder. From what I hear, it's a really good school; I think its probably better academically than Pepperdine (and who could really ever study across the street from the ocean). Boulder will give you a very strong shot at Denver and the surrounding area while Pepperdine has several better schools to battle against in the area. Furthermore, as a Cali native, your ties to the area may make it less than impossible to get back to CA after or soon after law school.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:25 am

Interesting options. Colorado & Pepperdine are arguably the two most beautiful locations & settings among ABA accredited law schools (although Northwestern offers the most spectacular big city location, in my opinion). Your interest in Spain follows suit, as well.
Applications to Colorado law soared 12.7% this year bucking the trend of an 11.5% national decline of law school applications. (Yale was down 16.5%, Duke down by 20% & Chicago down 12%.) Colorado's gorgeous law school building is only about 5 years old. Pepperdine's ocean is still magnificent. Spain also seems to be maintaining its attractiveness.
The primary issue for you seems to focus on course & curriculum offerings. But, since your interests are quite varied & since both law schools offer a wide range of study options, you should attend the law school closest to where you intend to practice so that you can start building professional relationships now.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:35 am

Your options are also interesting because Pepperdine is politically & socially conservative whereas Colorado is quite liberal.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:41 am

Boulder easily for me, you'll have virtually no competition in the job market (at least nothing close to what Pepperdine faces) and will likely end up with a cheaper cost of attendance.

caorco120
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby caorco120 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:32 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Boulder easily for me, you'll have virtually no competition in the job market (at least nothing close to what Pepperdine faces) and will likely end up with a cheaper cost of attendance.


Which job market? Colorado or California? You think I'll be a better competitor in CA with a cu boulder degree or pepperdine?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:34 pm

Why do you think that Colorado-Boulder law grads face no competition in the job market ? The University of Denver School of Law is a degree factory offering both full & part-time law programs.

ptblazer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby ptblazer » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:46 pm

caorco120 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Boulder easily for me, you'll have virtually no competition in the job market (at least nothing close to what Pepperdine faces) and will likely end up with a cheaper cost of attendance.


Which job market? Colorado or California? You think I'll be a better competitor in CA with a cu boulder degree or pepperdine?


I think he/she meant CU in the Colorado market versus Pepperdine in the CA market. Pepperdine faces more competition in CA than CU-Boulder faces in CO.

I know Boulder has an international law program, although I don't know much about it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:04 pm

Fewer jobs in Colorado. Colorado-Boulder reported the lowest 9 month employment percentage (80%) among the top tier law schools.

P.S. And if USNews forbids reporting of snowboard/ski-instructor jobs, then it may fall further.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby UCLAtransfer » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:27 pm

ptblazer wrote:
UCLAtransfer wrote:With these two schools,

caorco120 wrote:where I spend the rest of my life


This is really what the decision means.

caorco120 wrote:at least a few years after law school.


This is not.

Realize that whichever school you choose, you will in all likelihood be practicing in that geographic region permanently. Obviously this isn't completely set in stone, but to practice anywhere outside the region of each of the schools is going to be a pretty big uphill battle.


While I respect this user's opinion, I have to disagree. Is it easier to find employment in the city you graduated law school from? Yes, of course. You will have made local connections, alumni can play a role, career office is better suited to help in the city where it is located. These are few of the reasons why it is easier to find employment in the region where your law school is located. Are you stuck in the region permanently? No, I don't think so. For all the great things TLS has helped with, this is the one issue where I feel the notion that you are stuck where you go to school is way over blown.

I think that if you wanted to practice in LA, NY, DC, Chicago (and likes), where you go to school is a really important decision and it will usually mean going to T14 or a school in that region. If you wanted to practice in a city where there is a large and highly ranked school, you will probably experience serious difficulties, but after a couple years work experience I think it is possible. However, if you want to go to law school in one area and work in another and as long as that area's legal market isn't saturated by another law school, you should be just fine. Just my opinion.


As for which you should choose. Since you don't seem to have a strong preference, I would make my decision based on the cost of attendance for three years (I know you said to ignore that, but this is important to me and I can only tell you how I would approach this). I would also weigh where you feel most comfortable, with all others things being equal. I suppose this is just a gut feeling, because you probably haven't had an opportunity to make that judgment. It is reasonible to assume you will do better in law school in an environment where you feel comfortable. I don't think feeling comfortable necessarly means where you are most familiar. It could be the culture of the school itself. Maybe CU Boulder is an environment where you will excel.


Funny that you consider the geography thing overblown, because I think it's one of the few issues on which the general consensus on TLS provides a pretty accurate view of reality. I think that common sense, anecdotal, and actual evidence all directly oppose your view that you aren't pretty much stuck where you go to law school. I'm curious, and I don't mean this disparagingly in any way, but what is your status (0L, LS student, atty)? I ask because I had a view very similar to yours before making it through LS.

Something to think about:

Pepperdine:
-Founded 1971
-Number of CA attorneys: 2,075 (http://www.martindale.com/Results.aspx)

Boulder:
-Founded 1901
-Number of CA attorneys: 93 (http://www.martindale.com/Results.aspx)

93 attorneys out of 170,000+ active CA Bar members. Based on my quick search, it looked like fewer than a dozen of them graduated from Boulder in the last decade. Sure, self-selection undoubtedly factors into this, but no reasonable person could claim that this is the only thing at play here.

LS is not undergrad, it's a professional school. No reasonable person should be basing their decision to attend one law school over another in an entirely different geographic area based on where they "would like to spend 3 years" or even "what programs are offered." (But the latter is an entirely different issue for another thread.)

Three things truly dominate legal hiring: (1) prestige of institution; (2) grades; and (3) professional/alumni network/familiarity with graduates from that school. If really OP intends to return to CA, I think they would be shooting themselves in the foot by attending Boulder. Sure, if they truly desire to return to CA and work incredibly hard at it, it is possible, but is it at all probable that they will be able to do so? Absolutely not. As long as OP knows this is a risk, and is fine going into it with their eyes open to the incredibly steep uphill battle, okay. But this whole "if you try hard enough you will definitely be able to get back thing" is not the credited response when you are making a decision that can seriously impact your future.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby UCLAtransfer » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:33 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Boulder easily for me, you'll have virtually no competition in the job market (at least nothing close to what Pepperdine faces) and will likely end up with a cheaper cost of attendance.


I think this is really hard to square with:

CanadianWolf wrote:
Fewer jobs in Colorado. Colorado-Boulder reported the lowest 9 month employment percentage (80%) among the top tier law schools.

P.S. And if USNews forbids reporting of snowboard/ski-instructor jobs, then it may fall further.

ptblazer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby ptblazer » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm

@UCLAtransfer.

I think if you take TLS as a whole you don't get a very accurate picture of the landscape, which is why I said it is overblown here. TLS, more or less, is a group of the perspective elite. We can see this based on how much more active the threads for 1-50 are verse 51-200 and even within the schools we are more likely to see the 75 percentile over the 25 percentile. Because the talent level on TLS is high, the aspiration of many people on here is the T14, which has excellent mobility of its degree. So... This is one of the reasons I think it is overblown on this site (not fabricated, just overblown). When you compare CU-Boulder (for example) to schools like YHS, the mobility is quite simply awful, no question. If this website was dominated by T3 and T4 schools I'm not sure the mobility issue would be so strongly voiced, my reason being people would be comparing a school were relocating is difficult to another school where relocating is difficult. People would talk about its difficulties, but not how its T14 or bust (which I feel like TLS leans towards). Anyway that is why I think it is overblown on this site in particular, it isn't however an example why it doesn't exist.

I'll admit I'm a 0L, I also want to make clear that I'm not claiming that moving to another city is as easy as packing your bags and sending in resumes. Although I don't have any legal experience behind me, I'm trying not to make empty claims, although I'm sure I make the mistake from time to time of not being clear when it is my opinion and not based on fact. On my various campus visits one of the first questions I ask current students and alumni is, how mobile do you feel your XXXX school degree is? For the most part people acknowledge the fact that there are hurdles you have to overcome (like retaking the Bar), but most also said it was very possible and they didn't feel trapped. Many even said they graduated with others who are living and practicing in a different region. For what its worth I think they were being sincere and not just pumping up their school, but there is no way of knowing.

I will say this about those stats, at CU-Boulder I was told that people stay in the denver area not because they are forced, but because denver is a destination city and people want to stay. I don't know how much of that is true, but like you said, something to think about. CU-Boulder law is also relatively small, but you're right those numbers say a lot.

Furthermore I want to agree with you that no reasonable person should make a decision on where they would like to spend 3 years. But I also don't think you are forced to make a decision on where you want to spend the rest of your working life. Be prepared to work in that region for a while and if you want to relocate secure a job before you move, that would be my advice on this subject. I also agree with how you've ranked legal hiring; Institution, grades, and network.

Anyway I'd love to hear about your experience with this, it sounds like you've graduated already and probably have a perspective I haven't heard yet. If you feel up to sharring you can PM me.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby arhmcpo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:53 pm

ptblazer wrote:@UCLAtransfer.

I think if you take TLS as a whole you don't get a very accurate picture of the landscape, which is why I said it is overblown here. TLS, more or less, is a group of the perspective elite. We can see this based on how much more active the threads for 1-50 are verse 51-200 and even within the schools we are more likely to see the 75 percentile over the 25 percentile. Because the talent level on TLS is high, the aspiration of many people on here is the T14, which has excellent mobility of its degree. So... This is one of the reasons I think it is overblown on this site (not fabricated, just overblown). When you compare CU-Boulder (for example) to schools like YHS, the mobility is quite simply awful, no question. If this website was dominated by T3 and T4 schools I'm not sure the mobility issue would be so strongly voiced, my reason being people would be comparing a school were relocating is difficult to another school where relocating is difficult. People would talk about its difficulties, but not how its T14 or bust (which I feel like TLS leans towards). Anyway that is why I think it is overblown on this site in particular, it isn't however an example why it doesn't exist.

I'll admit I'm a 0L, I also want to make clear that I'm not claiming that moving to another city is as easy as packing your bags and sending in resumes. Although I don't have any legal experience behind me, I'm trying not to make empty claims, although I'm sure I make the mistake from time to time of not being clear when it is my opinion and not based on fact. On my various campus visits one of the first questions I ask current students and alumni is, how mobile do you feel your XXXX school degree is? For the most part people acknowledge the fact that there are hurdles you have to overcome (like retaking the Bar), but most also said it was very possible and they didn't feel trapped. Many even said they graduated with others who are living and practicing in a different region. For what its worth I think they were being sincere and not just pumping up their school, but there is no way of knowing.

I will say this about those stats, at CU-Boulder I was told that people stay in the denver area not because they are forced, but because denver is a destination city and people want to stay. I don't know how much of that is true, but like you said, something to think about. CU-Boulder law is also relatively small, but you're right those numbers say a lot.

Furthermore I want to agree with you that no reasonable person should make a decision on where they would like to spend 3 years. But I also don't think you are forced to make a decision on where you want to spend the rest of your working life. Be prepared to work in that region for a while and if you want to relocate secure a job before you move, that would be my advice on this subject. I also agree with how you've ranked legal hiring; Institution, grades, and network.

Anyway I'd love to hear about your experience with this, it sounds like you've graduated already and probably have a perspective I haven't heard yet. If you feel up to sharring you can PM me.


I think if you are this motivated you could eventually break into CA somehow. However as a professional, after spending 3 years and $200k on school/col, are you really going to want to shell out another $3000+ for a CA bar prep class for the chance to take the hardest BAR in the country at which point you will be faced with a non existent alumni network and a CU boulder degree which is not going to be particularly impressive considering how many law schools there are in CA and how many of them are peers or more prestigious than CU. For example, on TLS, CU Boulder is >>> USD but in San Diego/Orange County the USD degree will trump. Based on your comments, it seems like your decision will come down to visiting and seeing where your more comfortable. Good luck!

ptblazer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby ptblazer » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:07 pm

arhmcpo wrote:I think if you are this motivated you could eventually break into CA somehow. However as a professional, after spending 3 years and $200k on school/col, are you really going to want to shell out another $3000+ for a CA bar prep class for the chance to take the hardest BAR in the country at which point you will be faced with a non existent alumni network and a CU boulder degree which is not going to be particularly impressive considering how many law schools there are in CA and how many of them are peers or more prestigious than CU. For example, on TLS, CU Boulder is >>> USD but in San Diego/Orange County the USD degree will trump. Based on your comments, it seems like your decision will come down to visiting and seeing where your more comfortable. Good luck!


I'm not sure if this was directed at me, but I have no interest in moving to CA; you make really good points though, haha. Personally I want to live long term in the cities where I am applying and will probably work there my entire career, so my entire discussion really doesn't apply to me. I just wanted the OP to know from what I've heard it wasn't impossible. :)
Last edited by ptblazer on Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:07 pm

California bar exam has a low pass rate due to the many non-ABA accredited law schools in California. Bar exams test competency, not brilliance. Do not worry about the California bar exam if you graduate from Colorado.

P.S. ptblazer: Discussion is about the OP.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:10 pm

Yeah the CA bar has a low bar passage rate for artificial reasons.

(LA has the lowest bar passage rate for real reasons, and the lowest passage rate overall).

ptblazer
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby ptblazer » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:59 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. ptblazer: Discussion is about the OP.


I'm not really sure what you are talking about. I haven't said anything here that is to my benifit, I've only given the OP advice based on what I've heard at CU or clearified my position. I apologize if I've taken it off topic, but I think it is important that the OP know that based on what I've heard relocating isn't impossible as TLS sometimes makes it sound.

If you're talking about my previous post, just look up the page. My entire passage was quoted and the first sentence couldn't apply to the OP, so it must have been directed at me.

caorco120
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby caorco120 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:59 pm

I just visited pepperdine yesterday. I have to say, the buildings and facilities are a bit outdated. Not like ucla outdated, just ugly and old to put it bluntly. I know that shouldn't be a huge factor into making a decision but that was my first impression and i will be spending all my time on campus. After listening to the faculty and students, I quickly became excited about the programs and community of the school. This will sound strange but its biggest downfall is location. Sure the views are pretty but it's up on a hill secluded from everything in malibu, which doesn't seem to offer much at all. Current students either live in calabasas or Santa Monica, a 30 min commute. Not to mention west la has been my home for the past 4 years and I'm not too keen on staying for another 3. I really liked the community of faculty and students at Colorado as well, the presence of programs I'm interested in jut isn't as apparent. Colorado for its quality of life, faculty/students, law building, and environmental law. Pepperdine for its accessible faculty and microfinance program.

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patrickd139
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby patrickd139 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:46 pm

It's professional school, not vacation school. Go to Pepperdine.

caorco120
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby caorco120 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:37 pm

Than
patrickd139 wrote:It's professional school, not vacation school. Go to Pepperdine.


Thanks, I needed that.

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patrickd139
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Re: Pepperdine or CU Boulder???

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:17 am

caorco120 wrote:Than
patrickd139 wrote:It's professional school, not vacation school. Go to Pepperdine.


Thanks, I needed that.

Not sure if you're serious, but yw!

ETA: Are you really complaining of not being able to find a high enough quality of life in Malibu?!




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