USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

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USC, UCLA, or year off? [post response more important than poll]

USC
7
22%
UCLA
17
53%
Year off, reapply
7
22%
Transfer
1
3%
 
Total votes: 32

awhit
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USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby awhit » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:32 pm

[Edit] REMOVED.
Last edited by awhit on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:41 pm

1. USC and UCLA are peers. They place comparably and have for a while. The rankings gap is meaningless. UCLA *might* have a slightly better pull in NorCal but I doubt it. I think that if you gun for NorCal, you will get it from either.

2. Go to whichever school you prefer. 4k/year difference between the two is marginal enough to choose the school which you like better.

3. I only think this option is worthwhile if you can get a 172+ LSAT. You're not getting Stanford and Berkeley seems like a rough shot as well. You'd have to get at least 50k+ from MVP a T10 to make it better than the money you have at USC or UCLA.

4. Bad idea. They are equal for transferring. If you are in a place to transfer from either school, the only conceivable place I could see being worth transferring to would be HYS. Since that is so unlikely, don't worry about it. If you have the grades for a HYS transfer, you're already in a very good spot.

So all in all, I say go to your preference of UCLA or USC (assuming the cost difference is small) unless you are sure you can bang out a 172+ on your third LSAT.

stylishlaw
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby stylishlaw » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:00 pm

"However, I really do not want to go through the torture of waiting another year to go to law school when I am ready now. Plus, I don't feel like BSing my way into an entry-level job while secretly planning to leave for law school one year later."

I'm in the same boat you are, though my GPA is not nearly as strong. Sounds like the income you would get from having graduated law school a year earlier would outweigh the income/experience you get from delaying a year and working now. UCLA and USC have good job prospects, I would just go to either school. Both schools have also given you a decent amount of money.

IMO for your retake to be worth it you would need to score at least 5 or 6 points higher. Weigh the likelihood of that happening into your consideration. Scoring that high would open you up to HYSCCN and give you a chance of getting good money at MVPB. The chance of scholarship + the amount of income you would make in the year could then possibly offset the opportunity cost of delaying school for a year. This is also not factoring prestige (which seems to be important to you since you are gunning for t10). I would argue that UCLA and USC have given you enough money where delaying a year to go to MVPB seems like a marginal decision.

I would deposit at whichever school I liked better and then do the June retake. If you score higher, send the new score to your wait listed schools and hope to get in off the W/L. If you score 174+ then I would contemplate delaying a year.

The 174+ here is somewhat arbitrary, based on the hourumd/LSP probabilities that I would feel comfortable with. You should probably figure out a cutoff that agrees with your own risk tolerances and stick to that.

83947368
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby 83947368 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:12 pm

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Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:56 pm

Adm.Doppleganger wrote:
bk1 wrote:3. I only think this option is worthwhile if you can get a 172+ LSAT. You're not getting Stanford and Berkeley seems like a rough shot as well. You'd have to get at least 50k+ from MVP a T10 to make it better than the money you have at USC or UCLA.


I don't know if the above is true. If you want Bay Area big law UMich might actually be better than UCLA even at sticker.


I never said UCLA was better for Bay Area biglaw than MVP. In fact I agree with you on that point. However, I think 90k at USC or 60k at UCLA are better financial decisions for someone who wants the Bay Area than MVP at sticker. While I understand that OP wants biglaw, I still think it is foolish to turn down a decent scholly at USC/UCLA for sticker at MVP even if you have less of a shot at biglaw.

Adm.Doppleganger wrote:Why do you want to work in the Bay Area? Are you from there? I hear connection to the Bay Area are very important, even more so than most other markets.


This is definitely credited. OP if you want the Bay Area you ideally should have some ties there, and if you want IP then you better have the pre-law credentials to help you get that.

CanadianWolf
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:18 pm

UCLA.

adt231
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby adt231 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:34 pm

bk1 wrote:3. I only think this option is worthwhile if you can get a 172+ LSAT. You're not getting Stanford and Berkeley seems like a rough shot as well. You'd have to get at least 50k+ from MVP a T10 to make it better than the money you have at USC or UCLA.


Really??? How would a 169, 3.8 from Cali not have a decent shot at Berkeley? ESPECIALLY if OP is from Cali. Since we all know (or should know) that being from the public school's homestate is helpful in the admissions process.

"Dean Tom: “The number of in-state and out-of-state admits is just about equal now and both groups have average LSAT scores and GPAs that are equivalent."" http://www.top-law-schools.com/tom-interview.html

# of admits from Cali = # of admits from non-Cali. Let's think about this. I think it's fair to assume that there are more non-cali applicants. Moreover, despite the fact that each group have the same average LSAT and GPA (which to me, is not super helpful; I want to know the median scores), this would actually indicate that you can get in from Cali with poorer softs. How so? You have a smaller group of people who need the same GPA/LSAT than a larger group of people who need that same LSAT/GPA. Thus, the larger group of people is probably picked on other factors as well. Combined with the fact that we know Berkeley tends to be more "holistic," you don't have to be AS "holistic" of an applicant in order to be as competitive if you are from Cali.

Back to OP, he's got some nice offers on the table right now (I'd pick UCLA of them) but if he REALLY wants SF, then it might be worth another year and apply A LOT earlier. Since getting the ding at Berkeley was probably due to mainly this:

As Dean Tom says: "Apply Early!

TLS: Excellent. And then, the concluding question: any additional advice that you’d like to offer applicants when they apply for the next academic year?

Dean Tom: “Yes. You must apply early. Even though we don’t have an early decision program, the early bird does catch the worm here. And by early I’m talking about October, mid-November at the latest." (Same link as before).

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Lawquacious
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:43 pm

Don't go to a school planning on transferring is my first advice. Secondly, maybe you will get some of your waitlist breaks? If so, I would prob take one of those. If not, and you want northern Cal, maybe it would be a good idea to retake; hopefully you would be in a position to get Berk or Stanford (given your very strong GPA).

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:47 pm

adt231 wrote:
bk1 wrote:3. I only think this option is worthwhile if you can get a 172+ LSAT. You're not getting Stanford and Berkeley seems like a rough shot as well. You'd have to get at least 50k+ from MVP a T10 to make it better than the money you have at USC or UCLA.


Really??? How would a 169, 3.8 from Cali not have a decent shot at Berkeley? ESPECIALLY if OP is from Cali. Since we all know (or should know) that being from the public school's homestate is helpful in the admissions process.


I don't think it's necessarily true that there are more competitive OOS applicants than IS applicants. I would assume that OOS vs IS is a wash at CA schools (which is different than other state schools such as UNC/UGA/etc who don't pull as many OOSers, or UVA/UT which have high mandatory percentages of IS students).

Boalt's medians for the class of 2013 are 3.8/167. Boalt is also known for being somewhat holistic compared to most schools. Since they didn't even waitlist OP with a 3.8/169, I'm not sure that reapplying with a 169 or even having a 170-172 would change too much since he's already over the LSAT median. A sub 170 is definitely a killer at the top schools, even with a 3.8. And with schools trying to raise their medians, OP's GPA is likely to be below median. A 170 will probably get at least one of MVPB, but I don't think sticker at these are superior to the scholarship offers OP has at UCLA/USC. The reason I said 172+ is because scholarships to MVPB or sticker at CCN are what OP would need to have a better offer than the current schollies to USC/UCLA.

adt231
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby adt231 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:32 pm

bk1 wrote:I don't think it's necessarily true that there are more competitive OOS applicants than IS applicants. I would assume that OOS vs IS is a wash at CA schools (which is different than other state schools such as UNC/UGA/etc who don't pull as many OOSers, or UVA/UT which have high mandatory percentages of IS students).


I too assumed this until I learned the facts. As my argument from above shows, there is good reason to think that your softs don't have to be as good as they need to be from applying out of state.

Again, the argument is you have X amount of people applying from Cali and Y amount of people applying from outside of cali, where X < Y. But you also have the same number of people, Z, chosen from each group. This, by itself, means that we can conclude that it is more competitive for out of state students. Now, when we take into the fact that the Z number of students who get in from ins tate versus the Z number of students who get in from out of state have the same statistically profile, it then allows us to conclude that it is likely that the "holistic" approach is LESS important for in state applicants (however, slight this may be).

bk1 wrote:Boalt's medians for the class of 2013 are 3.8/167. Boalt is also known for being somewhat holistic compared to most schools. Since they didn't even waitlist OP with a 3.8/169, I'm not sure that reapplying with a 169 or even having a 170-172 would change too much since he's already over the LSAT median.


This is true, but it is much more likely that the reason OP got rejected outright is because OP applied at the end of January/early February. This is near death at most schools, especially Berkeley (as Dean Tom implied from my quotes above).

bk1 wrote:A sub 170 is definitely a killer at the top schools, even with a 3.8.

This is true at *most* top schools, but is NOT true for Berkeley. As evidence by the fact that the medians are 3.8/167.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:41 pm

adt231 wrote:I too assumed this until I learned the facts. As my argument from above shows, there is good reason to think that your softs don't have to be as good as they need to be from applying out of state.

Again, the argument is you have X amount of people applying from Cali and Y amount of people applying from outside of cali, where X < Y. But you also have the same number of people, Z, chosen from each group. This, by itself, means that we can conclude that it is more competitive for out of state students. Now, when we take into the fact that the Z number of students who get in from ins tate versus the Z number of students who get in from out of state have the same statistically profile, it then allows us to conclude that it is likely that the "holistic" approach is LESS important for in state applicants (however, slight this may be).

This is true, but it is much more likely that the reason OP got rejected outright is because OP applied at the end of January/early February. This is near death at most schools, especially Berkeley (as Dean Tom implied from my quotes above).

This is true at *most* top schools, but is NOT true for Berkeley. As evidence by the fact that the medians are 3.8/167.


1. What facts? Where have you seen that there is a significant difference in the amount of qualified OOS applicants vs qualified IS applicants? I understand your argument and that is not what I have a problem with. My problem is that you have no proof that the premise of your argument is true and I have never seen any data backing up the claim that it is easier for CA ISers to get in. CA is really large and Californians overwhelmingly like Berkeley whereas OOSers probably don't prefer it nearly as much as ISers do. Could there be significantly more qualified OOSers? Sure, but I don't buy that argument without seeing data to corroborate that or proof that it is easier for ISers to get in.

2. See 3.

3. You're right, it isn't as true at Berkeley, but OP has at or above median numbers for GPA/LSAT and got denied. If softs didn't matter as much because he is IS and he is not raising, or at least not hurting, both medians then he should have been waitlisted at worst for a late application (this is conjecture on my part). I highly doubt that OP will get into Berkeley next cycle without a better LSAT.

adt231
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby adt231 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:05 pm

bk1 wrote:1. What facts? Where have you seen that there is a significant difference in the amount of qualified OOS applicants vs qualified IS applicants?

You're right that this is the most valuable piece of information, but if it is true that X < Y, this is reason enough to conclude that it is very likely that the possibility you are pointing to is not the case. Now, how significant is the difference? This does depend of obtaining more information, but at this point, we can reasonably infer that is more likely that softs matter somewhat less for in state students. Of course *proof* of this requires the evidence that you are looking for, but we don't need to prove it an more than we need to prove many of our other inferences about the admissions process, hiring practices, etc. from the limited data that is available.

bk1 wrote:You're right, it isn't as true at Berkeley, but OP has at or above median numbers for GPA/LSAT and got denied. If softs didn't matter as much because he is IS and he is not raising, or at least not hurting, both medians then he should have been waitlisted at worst for a late application (this is conjecture on my part). I highly doubt that OP will get into Berkeley next cycle without a better LSAT.


This conjecture on your part may be true, but I'm not so sure. If OP really wants the bay area, it might be worth it to try it out next year. If it were me and I applied at the very end of January and didn't have the cycle I really wanted, I would seriously consider trying again next year. But, obviously there are considerations for and against this which people have thus far offered helpful advice with regards to. Another one to consider is that a year off from UG before law school is usually a good idea. But of course, these sorts of considerations are highly dependent on the particulars of OP's unique circumstances and personality.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:20 pm

adt231 wrote:You're right that this is the most valuable piece of information, but if it is true that X < Y, this is reason enough to conclude that it is very likely that the possibility you are pointing to is not the case. Now, how significant is the difference? This does depend of obtaining more information, but at this point, we can reasonably infer that is more likely that softs matter somewhat less for in state students. Of course *proof* of this requires the evidence that you are looking for, but we don't need to prove it an more than we need to prove many of our other inferences about the admissions process, hiring practices, etc. from the limited data that is available.

This conjecture on your part may be true, but I'm not so sure. If OP really wants the bay area, it might be worth it to try it out next year. If it were me and I applied at the very end of January and didn't have the cycle I really wanted, I would seriously consider trying again next year. But, obviously there are considerations for and against this which people have thus far offered helpful advice with regards to. Another one to consider is that a year off from UG before law school is usually a good idea. But of course, these sorts of considerations are highly dependent on the particulars of OP's unique circumstances and personality.


But IS and OOS applicants fare the same at CA schools (as per LSN). Heck I think CA schools might have an incentive to up their OOS percentage to try and make up for cuts.

UCLA/USC will be just fine for the bay area. If we were talking about Vandy/UT then I would agree that somebody who wants NorCal should retake/reapply. But in this case OP has USC/UCLA with good scholarships and I don't see anything other than a decent scholly to a low T14 or sticker at CCN being a better deal than UCLA/USC with $ for NorCal. If OP got Berkeley at sticker, I would not recommend it over the $ currently offered by UCLA/USC.

As I said above, OP needs a 172+, in my opinion, to get offers that would be more worthwhile than what is currently on offer. I'm usually in favor of always retaking/reapplying, but OP has good options for OP's goals and if a mid 170's isn't within reach then I don't see it changing much next cycle.

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bk1
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Re: USC vs. UCLA vs. Year Off? Want Bay Area

Postby bk1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:26 pm

adt231 wrote:OP's unique circumstances and personality.


Law school applicants circumstances and personalities are not as unique as they often like to think they are.

I think retake/reapply is generally a good idea, but I would hazard that OP has a high likelihood of ending up in the exact same situation.




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