Hastings vs. Irvine

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which sounds better?

Hastings w/ $21k in scholarship/grants
18
51%
Irvine w/ 40% tuition (~$14k) scholarship
17
49%
 
Total votes: 35

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WhiteCochran
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Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby WhiteCochran » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:20 pm

So late last week I got a surprisingly nice offer from Hastings and I thought I had my law school plans figured out... and now I'm off the waitlist at Irvine. Thus, I am once again hoping that TLS can bestow some wisdom in my direction.

Details:

The Hastings money is comprised of a $11k Hastings grant and a $10k renewable scholarship with a 3.0 GPA stipulation (which seems reasonable given that Hastings now has a B+ curve). The Irvine money is the 40% scholarship that's offered to everyone admitted (not sure if I'd have any shot at anything on top of that).

I figure the key considerations are Big vs Small, Old/Established vs New/Groundbreaking, and NorCal vs SoCal. From my current perspective, there are merits on each side of these respective debates that kind of cancel each other out (i.e. I like the small class size at Irvine and figure the CSO there is less stressed, but I like that Hastings has a gazillion journals/trial teams/clubs and an existing alumni base). Also, I'm from central CA so I kind of lack a geographical predisposition. I have a larger network of friends/family in the LA/OC area, but most of the legal connections I have (which are admittedly pretty weak) are in NorCal (and Hastings alums to boot).

Right now, the biggest difference for is based on campus visits. While I liked aspects of each school's respective environment, my visit to Hastings was for ASD while my Irvine visit was just a random drop-in though so I feel like I have a better idea of what I'm getting myself into at Hastings. That being said, I want to make sure I'm not overlooking any dealmaking/dealbreaking considerations.

tl;dr I like both schools although I feel somewhat more "familiar" with Hastings. What would you do?

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bk1
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:23 pm

I'd pick the cheaper one but if one of them isn't cheaper then I'd say it's a coinflip. There is substantial risk either of them (Hastings has mediocre employment stats while Irvine is a huge unknown no matter how much people try to argue otherwise) so I'd basically pick based on whether you prefer NorCal or SoCal assuming the cost is comparable.

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ensign85
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby ensign85 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:34 pm

When did you get off the UC Irvine waitlist?

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WhiteCochran
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby WhiteCochran » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:24 pm

bk1: Yeah I need to do a little more research on housing to get a better idea of COL but I'm thinking that either choice would put me at roughly $100k of total debt. Do you have any insights on Bay Area vs LA/OC market conditions?

ensign85: I got off the WL yesterday morning. Earlier this week they had sent me an email asking for clarification on an addendum item, so I had an idea that they were at least looking at my application.

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bk1
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:26 pm

WhiteCochran wrote:Do you have any insights on Bay Area vs LA/OC market conditions?


CA is not in good shape overall but SoCal is definitely a better market to be aiming for than NorCal.

Salty
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Salty » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:29 pm

Irivine has the backing of many of the larger firms in Orange County (check UCI's website to see where rising 3Ls are working this summer). Hastings has to compete with Stanford, Berkeley, and Davis for jobs in a relatively small and extremely competitive market.

Both schools are going to pretty regional, so as other people have said, do you want Nor Cal or So Cal?

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Borhas
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Borhas » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:36 pm

I go to Hastings so I'm biased

but Hastings is the less risky choice, it's good enough for NorCal and SoCal... most (not exaggerating) lawyers in NorCal don't even know that UCI has a law school. If Hastings is cheaper and you seem to like it a bit better, I see no reason to go to UCI.

bk1 wrote:I'd pick the cheaper one but if one of them isn't cheaper then I'd say it's a coinflip. There is substantial risk either of them (Hastings has mediocre employment stats while Irvine is a huge unknown no matter how much people try to argue otherwise) so I'd basically pick based on whether you prefer NorCal or SoCal assuming the cost is comparable.


So unknown employment is just as good as mediocre employment?

that's a weird assumption to make


====

anyway, OP, here are the UC Hastings employment stats:
--LinkRemoved--

Salty wrote:Irivine has the backing of many of the larger firms in Orange County (check UCI's website to see where rising 3Ls are working this summer). Hastings has to compete with Stanford, Berkeley, and Davis for jobs in a relatively small and extremely competitive market.


as far as I know, the Bay Area is much bigger than Orange County
furthermore Hastings does actually place quite a few students in SoCal

Hastings is regional, but the region is California
UCI might be regional, but you seem to be saying their region is Orange County

Salty
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Salty » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Borhas wrote:I go to Hastings so I'm biased

but Hastings is the less risky choice, it's good enough for NorCal and SoCal... most (not exaggerating) lawyers in NorCal don't even know that UCI has a law school. If Hastings is cheaper and you seem to like it a bit better, I see no reason to go to UCI.

bk1 wrote:I'd pick the cheaper one but if one of them isn't cheaper then I'd say it's a coinflip. There is substantial risk either of them (Hastings has mediocre employment stats while Irvine is a huge unknown no matter how much people try to argue otherwise) so I'd basically pick based on whether you prefer NorCal or SoCal assuming the cost is comparable.


So unknown employment is just as good as mediocre employment?

that's a weird assumption to make


====

anyway, OP, here are the UC Hastings employment stats:
--LinkRemoved--

Salty wrote:Irivine has the backing of many of the larger firms in Orange County (check UCI's website to see where rising 3Ls are working this summer). Hastings has to compete with Stanford, Berkeley, and Davis for jobs in a relatively small and extremely competitive market.


as far as I know, the Bay Area is much bigger than Orange County
furthermore Hastings does actually place quite a few students in SoCal

Hastings is regional, but the region is California
UCI might be regional, but you seem to be saying their region is Orange County



I agree the Bay Area is a larger market than Orange County. My statement doesn't say that it is smaller. I also included the word relatively for a reason (considering the Bay area is one of the most desirable markets for top T14 grads with CA ties).

I do think your Hastings stats are helpful to OP making a decision.

I also think that if you are interested in PI, there are probably more opportunities in the Bay than Orange County.

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ensign85
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby ensign85 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:51 pm

OP, how long do you have to make a decision?

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bk1
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:16 pm

Borhas wrote:So unknown employment is just as good as mediocre employment?

that's a weird assumption to make


I don't know about just as good, but considering the amount of effort that is being put into UCI I think that the schools are equally risky. On one hand you have a brand new school without a lot of backing but no alums and no proven track record, on the other hand you have a school where barely more than half (60%) of its grads end up as full time lawyers after 9 months. My belief (and I could be wrong) is that seeing what is going into UCI makes me think there is a 50% chance that UCI has >60% full time lawyer employment and a 50% chance that UCI has <60% full time lawyer employment.

While UCI is unknown statswise, they do have all this backing and all this effort/hype being put in. If they did not then I would agree that they would not be justifiable, but when you are putting them up against UCD/UCH where you have more than 1/3 of the class failing to obtain full time employment as a lawyer I think that picking UCI can be a calculated risk worth taking.

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WhiteCochran
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby WhiteCochran » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:26 pm

Thanks for the employment stats links

ensign85 wrote:OP, how long do you have to make a decision?

End of next week at the latest (that's my personal deadline, not one posed by either school)

bk1 wrote:
Borhas wrote:So unknown employment is just as good as mediocre employment?

that's a weird assumption to make


I don't know about just as good, but considering the amount of effort that is being put into UCI I think that the schools are equally risky. On one hand you have a brand new school without a lot of backing but no alums and no proven track record, on the other hand you have a school where barely more than half (60%) of its grads end up as full time lawyers after 9 months. My belief (and I could be wrong) is that seeing what is going into UCI makes me think there is a 50% chance that UCI has >60% full time lawyer employment and a 50% chance that UCI has <60% full time lawyer employment.

While UCI is unknown statswise, they do have all this backing and all this effort/hype being put in. If they did not then I would agree that they would not be justifiable, but when you are putting them up against UCD/UCH where you have more than 1/3 of the class failing to obtain full time employment as a lawyer I think that picking UCI can be a calculated risk worth taking.

I definitely expect that Irvine will have solid employment numbers, in part due to the effort/hype but also because of its small class size. On the flip side, I think that the relatively huge class size at Hastings (2nd largest non-T14 behind GW IIRC) predisposes the school to having mediocre employment percentage numbers (not that Hastings would automatically have awesome numbers with a smaller class size, but I'm sure it would help). I suppose what I should be asking is do you guys think that one school will open more doors than the other (i.e. offer greater initial access to more prestigious employment)?

Double Edit:

1) I realized I math-failed on the Irvine money (40% of $42k= $16800). Not sure if it makes much difference.

2) Forgot to mention I had called Arizona to withdraw earlier this week and they came back with a $25k scholarship offer (out-of-state, no stips). I have a preference for staying in CA but I really liked my visit there and I'd take work in AZ over no work in CA. Any say on how this stack up in comparison?

Danteshek
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Danteshek » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:45 pm

IIT we learn why UCI will not meet expectations.

jarofsoup
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:10 pm

As far as COL goes at Hastings=

Hastings is on a BART line you can look to the east bay for a little cheaper rent. A little cheaper but not drastically.

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bk1
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby bk1 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:57 pm

WhiteCochran wrote:I definitely expect that Irvine will have solid employment numbers, in part due to the effort/hype but also because of its small class size. On the flip side, I think that the relatively huge class size at Hastings (2nd largest non-T14 behind GW IIRC) predisposes the school to having mediocre employment percentage numbers (not that Hastings would automatically have awesome numbers with a smaller class size, but I'm sure it would help).


Hastings employment stats have more to do with the strength of the CA market and the schools it has to compete with than the size of the school. Davis has around 1/3 the students that Hastings does and has equivalent employment stats.

flexityflex86
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby flexityflex86 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:02 pm

I think Irvine is better than Hastings. According to LSN, all their classes are getting better #'s, and I know some of their faculty is very well respected so when the rankings do come out, I think it is a virtual lock to crack the top 30, and will likely be IU: B's equivalent.

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Borhas
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Borhas » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:26 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:I think Irvine is better than Hastings. According to LSN, all their classes are getting better #'s, and I know some of their faculty is very well respected so when the rankings do come out, I think it is a virtual lock to crack the top 30, and will likely be IU: B's equivalent.


their past two classes have had very good numbers... but, your conclusion follows only if:

1) student #'s can boost USNWR report by themselves... not having any rep among lawyers and judges will hurt a lot, and probably among academia reputation section as well

and

2) that USNWR rankings leaps lead to better employment... they don't... example: IUB has been ranked higher than Hastings for a while, and despite the shittiness of CA's economy, Hastings has better employment prospects. (see the threads stickied to this forum for more info)

jarofsoup
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:02 pm

Borhas wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:I think Irvine is better than Hastings. According to LSN, all their classes are getting better #'s, and I know some of their faculty is very well respected so when the rankings do come out, I think it is a virtual lock to crack the top 30, and will likely be IU: B's equivalent.


their past two classes have had very good numbers... but, your conclusion follows only if:

1) student #'s can boost USNWR report by themselves... not having any rep among lawyers and judges will hurt a lot, and probably among academia reputation section as well

and

2) that USNWR rankings leaps lead to better employment... they don't... example: IUB has been ranked higher than Hastings for a while, and despite the shittiness of CA's economy, Hastings has better employment prospects. (see the threads stickied to this forum for more info)



To be honest I do not think it will make difference if UCI ranks higher than Hastings. Hastings has a huge alumni network, solid name and a lot of connections with in the SF legal community.

Does Irvine even have alumni yet or full accreditation? I mean the school was formed right before the market crashed...I do not really see it getting by just off the quality of its first class....

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:02 pm

Why doesn't UCI just say that tuition is 40% less than posted if everyone gets at least that much? This makes no sense

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bk1
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby bk1 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:37 am

JamMasterJ wrote:Why doesn't UCI just say that tuition is 40% less than posted if everyone gets at least that much? This makes no sense


Because it changed each year. Their first class got a full ride, the second class got a 2/3 scholarship, and this class is getting a 1/3 scholarship.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:42 am

bk1 wrote:I'd pick the cheaper one but if one of them isn't cheaper then I'd say it's a coinflip. There is substantial risk either of them (Hastings has mediocre employment stats while Irvine is a huge unknown no matter how much people try to argue otherwise) so I'd basically pick based on whether you prefer NorCal or SoCal assuming the cost is comparable.



+1. Dude gives good advice.

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ensign85
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Re: Hastings vs. Irvine

Postby ensign85 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:32 pm

How's it looking, OP?




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