Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

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user8116
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Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby user8116 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:54 am

I am hoping to get some input and insight from the community on this one -
I have a full ride offer at Santa Clara and I would be able to live at home so I would have virtually no debt
VS.
Hastings has offered me a grant which comes to about half tuition plus the additional COL expenses of living in SF.
I want to work in Public Interest in the Bay Area. So what should be a priority, Hastings rank, location, and alumni vs. Santa Clara's debt aversion?

I appreciate any feedback!

lawfuture10
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby lawfuture10 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:00 am

Bay Area = Risky.

Hastings has been a blood bath of late from everything I've seen, and the people I've spoken to who go there.

If you can go to SC with 0 debt, and you're happy with that, it doesn't seem like a terrible option to me.

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Borhas
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby Borhas » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:08 am

Hastings location, LRAP +IBR + $$ make it a better choice for PI in the Bay Area.

[I'm a UCH 1L, so I have my biases]

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cinephile
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby cinephile » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:37 am

I'd take the full ride to Santa Clara.

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Borhas
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby Borhas » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:36 pm

normally it makes a whole lot of sense to take a full ride over loans, however, the one exception is when you go into law school w/ the goal of PI/Govt work. Reason: LRAP+IBR

For example, Hastings LRAP (called "PICAP") will pay 90-100% of your IBR payments through forgivable loans every 6 months (so basically reimbursing you for your payments).

So let's say you go to UC Hastings, graduate and work for a non-profit making 50k/year w/ $120k debt
the first year you graduate you will be paying $420/month in loan payments... Hastings PICAP will reimburse you w/ $378/month for the first year (90% of payment). So you'll be paying $42/month. Your IBR payment will increase as you make more money, but by year 4 Hastings will cover 100% of your IBR payments. At the end of 10 years the US government will forgive all your federal loans (Graduate PLUS included). Icing on the cake is that there is no income cap. If you qualify for IBR and you work for a non-profit or government agency then you'll qualify for the PICAP.

Going to Santa Clara for free is obviously even less of a burden, but you have to ask yourself whether the opportunities presented by actually living and working in San Francisco and going to Hastings will improve your access to Bay Area PI organizations is worth the extra $50/month when you graduate.

Here are the details
--LinkRemoved--


If you are not sure about PI work then obviously that's a factor that would weigh heavily in favor of going to Santa Clara, but bottom line is that w/ Federal Loan Forgiveness and Hastings PICAP, if you end up w/ a PI job, debt will not be an issue.

crit_racer
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby crit_racer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:39 pm

OP, are there no stipulations on your SC scholly? Mine, though not a full ride, had really strict stipulations (top 25% to renew). If it has that stipulation, then definitely hastings. If it doesn't have that stipulation, then definitely hastings.

user8116
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby user8116 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:00 pm

To answer the poster's question above:
There are no stipulations with the SCU scholarship. It is full tuition for three years, no GPA requirements.

user8116
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby user8116 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:07 pm

Borhas - Thank you so much for the input about the Hastings PICAP. My uneasiness with the Hastings situation is finding myself jobless after three years with the 120,000 debt. The PICAP only works if you have a job with the government/non-profit, correct? How much of a risk am I taking that I would be entirely unable to find a PI job in the area?

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Borhas
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby Borhas » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:38 pm

user8116 wrote:Borhas - Thank you so much for the input about the Hastings PICAP. My uneasiness with the Hastings situation is finding myself jobless after three years with the 120,000 debt. The PICAP only works if you have a job with the government/non-profit, correct? How much of a risk am I taking that I would be entirely unable to find a PI job in the area?

If you can't get a job out of Hastings then you probably can't get a job out of SCU... my thought process is geared towards maximizing job chances rather than minimizing costs of failure. Though you are right that not having a job would suck...

With that said...

1. You'll have a grace period from the loans, and starting this year UCH will start trying to game the rankings through fellowships... they're going to set aside a few hundred thousand dollars to pay for fellowships for fresh graduates so they'll improve the employment at graduation %.
2. 25 year IBR can help keep your head above water while you look for qualifying work
3. Another benefit of the new PICAP is that ANY gov't non-profit work that qualifies for the 10 year IBR loan forgiveness qualifies for the Hastings PICAP [don't take my word on this, I'll have to ask fin aid office if this interpretation is correct] The benefit of this is that you don't need a JD required job... you could work in a non-attorney position at such agency and still receive benefit.

Now, obviously if you have no job then you are in some trouble... but I honestly have no way of figuring out how likely you are to get a PI job, because it is so much more focused on YOUR background, experience, and commitment than grades or school. My friends who had significant PI work prior to law school had no problem getting 1L work, but my knowledge of PI work beyond 1L summer is mostly limited to indigent criminal defense. I will say that even though I had almost Zero public service work before law school, I volunteered regularly and had no problem getting 1L summer work either... others who volunteered extensively also had relatively easy searches for PI 1L summer jobs.

I will say that by far the best thing you could do while in school is clinics/experiential learning, because these agencies won't have the resources for extensive on job training... that means the more experience you have the better of a candidate you are. UCH has awesome clinics on its own, but a huge benefit of this place is the ease of access to all the PI agencies in the Bay Area. All that means is that it will be easier for you to get 2L or 3L Spring/Fall externships. This is what I'm trying to do next year in my 2L. There are over 6 public defender agencies within an hour long car ride from where I live, and they all take Hastings students... The best thing I can do to further my dream/career aspirations is to get as much experience as possible. So yeah I'll spend my 1L and 2L summer interning for a PD office, but I'll also try to get at least one semester of an outplacement clinic/externship so I can network and gain experience. Now, you may not want to be a PD, but there are TONS of PI orgs in SF that take Spring/Fall externs. The same general rule applies to them.

As far as your chances of getting PI work specifically... only thing else I could say is that some areas are more likely than others...

for example, there is a ton of Housing related issues/jobs in SF... there are A LOT of public defender agencies in CA (that actually pay well too), and since they aren't California State agencies, but county/local agencies they don't all have hiring freezes like the state government. San Francisco has the vast majority of Federal regulatory jobs in CA, but Fed work is VERY competitive. So, if your idea of PI is enforcing environmental regulations through the EPA or DOJ, well then I'd say you have an uphill climb, but outside of that I don't think it's TOO HARD. (Unless you want ACLU or something really prestigious, in which case your best bet is to go to Stanford or finish the top 1% of the class and be a Fed COA clerk.)

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prezidentv8
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:44 pm

If you can get it with no stips, then...

cinephile wrote:I'd take the full ride to Santa Clara.

user8116
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby user8116 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:08 pm

Just wanted to bump this one more time as I have still not been able to choose a school! I appreciate the in-depth responses about Hastings and am currently leaning that way but am having a hard time walking away from the full ride and sunshine of the South Bay.
Thanks again.

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bk1
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:30 pm

I still think 0 debt at SCU is risky considering only 23.3% of their 2009 grads got full time jobs as lawyers (source: --LinkRemoved--).

Can you live at home and commute to Hastings instead of living in SF? Even if you can't, I honestly think Hastings is risky at $120k debt but still worth it over SCU at $0 debt considering there is a high chance you won't even get a full time job as a lawyer coming out of SCU.

mrwarre85
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby mrwarre85 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:40 pm

bk1 wrote:I still think 0 debt at SCU is risky considering only 23.3% of their 2009 grads got full time jobs as lawyers (source: --LinkRemoved--).

Can you live at home and commute to Hastings instead of living in SF? Even if you can't, I honestly think Hastings is risky at $120k debt but still worth it over SCU at $0 debt considering there is a high chance you won't even get a full time job as a lawyer coming out of SCU.


+1

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prezidentv8
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:18 pm

user8116 wrote:To answer the poster's question above:
There are no stipulations with the SCU scholarship. It is full tuition for three years, no GPA requirements.


SCU FTW.

user8116
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby user8116 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:43 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
user8116 wrote:To answer the poster's question above:
There are no stipulations with the SCU scholarship. It is full tuition for three years, no GPA requirements.


SCU FTW.


Care to expand at all?
Even with a 25% chance at full-time employment?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:05 pm

user8116 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
user8116 wrote:To answer the poster's question above:
There are no stipulations with the SCU scholarship. It is full tuition for three years, no GPA requirements.


SCU FTW.


Care to expand at all?
Even with a 25% chance at full-time employment?


user8116 wrote:It is full tuition for three years, no GPA requirements.

Mostly that^ but also some negative small-sample-size-anecdotal-data that suggests Hastings isn't doing too well job-wise either. Plus, the price of Hastings seems too high. Plus I don't really trust any LRAP, IBR, or loan forgiveness program to be around in the future. Plus the whole thing about still having loans to pay if you can't get the right job or the change your career goals up in the future.

Short answer: I don't think a Hastings degree is worth the risk/potential cost, but I do think an SCU degree is worth considerably more than three years of work.

But mainly I'm bored, rambling, and like the South Bay.

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verklempt
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby verklempt » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:28 am

I am w/l at Hastings, in at SCU, so that is my bias.

My impression (non-trad student, having lived/worked in this area for a while) is that SCU lawyers are well regarded. I don't think the employment situation has been terrific for law grads anywhere, but it does seem to be improving. Anecdotal observation. I don't know how you define "public interest" but there are plenty of opportunities and the need for qualified lawyers is not going to decrease soon. (I have done a lot of work with local ngos and am currently working with a law clinic.) I hear that it's harder to get government jobs, but since I would not want to work for the government myself, that's not an issue.

Hastings has a bad rep, deserved or not I can't say, but the consensus is that the environment is hostile and nastily competitive. Depending on your own personal style, that may or may not be a huge negative. If I went to Hastings, I would blow that off as much as possible (but then, I am not 22 and looking to school for my social life). The vibe at SCU is much more pleasant. Plus the beautiful campus and great location.

If the choice were SCU and Boalt, I'd say go with Boalt. Worth the extra $$. But SCU and Hastings? Take the full ride.

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stonepeep
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Re: Santa Clara($$$) vs. Hastings($$)

Postby stonepeep » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:42 am

verklempt wrote:Hastings has a bad rep, deserved or not I can't say, but the consensus is that the environment is hostile and nastily competitive.


The "consensus" of uninformed 0Ls, perhaps. I'm starting to think this stupid rumor will never die.

That being said, SCU might still be the better choice. Job prospects are not great at either school, so you might as well graduate with no debt.




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