Is UC Hastings comparable at all to UCLA or USC for Nor Cal?

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notaznguy
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:48 am

Is UC Hastings comparable at all to UCLA or USC for Nor Cal?

Postby notaznguy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:30 am

So I've been looking at UC Hastings videos on youtube and I must say...I'm very impressed. For a school that's only a few buildings and looks like total shit on the outside, it actually looks very nice on the inside and I never realized how cool it was to be in the heart of San Francisco. Looks a lot better than Davis or Los Angeles lol (UC Davis, UCLA, and USC are other schools I'm looking into).

Anyways, I'm being very realistic about my school choices and my LSAT score, so Hastings is a school I'm considering. The only reason I'm worried about going to a school like Hastings is because of the employment prospects. After reading a bunch of threads on TLS, I believe around the top 20% or so in Hastings get big law and everyone else is on their own, if not, screwed.

But I've also heard that UC Hastings places and does just as well in the Bay Area/Nor Cal as does UCLA and USC in So Cal. Is this true? Are they "similar" caliber schools. Obviously UCLA and USC are great in So Cal, but it's not like they're T14 material and neither school will place 50% of their class in big law (from what I've read, it's more like top 1/3).

Personally one reason I'm asking this is also just for a ego/pride thing. I guess knowing UC Hastings is not a bad school and is comparable to UCLA or USC would make me not feel as "dumb" for attending a lower ranked school if I don't get into UCLA or USC.

For the record, I've been PTing on average 158-160, so UC Hastings is a more realistic reach for me (need around 163-164 to get in) than UCLA and USC (need around 167-169).

shmoo597
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: Is UC Hastings comparable at all to UCLA or USC for Nor Cal?

Postby shmoo597 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:39 am

Hastings is a decently respected school in norcal. It is not as well respected as UCLA or USC, even in the bay area (though USC doesn't get much respect up there either). There are tons of Hastings alumni in the area, doing all kinds of things.

I'd be very wary of attending at sticker though. You are competing with Berkeley and Stanford kids (and to a lesser extent Davis, Santa Clara, Golden Gate, SF, as well as the rest of the t14) for a small legal market. I highly doubt the top 20% get biglaw. More like top 10%.

notaznguy
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:48 am

Re: Is UC Hastings comparable at all to UCLA or USC for Nor Cal?

Postby notaznguy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:31 am

shmoo597 wrote:Hastings is a decently respected school in norcal. It is not as well respected as UCLA or USC, even in the bay area (though USC doesn't get much respect up there either). There are tons of Hastings alumni in the area, doing all kinds of things.

I'd be very wary of attending at sticker though. You are competing with Berkeley and Stanford kids (and to a lesser extent Davis, Santa Clara, Golden Gate, SF, as well as the rest of the t14) for a small legal market. I highly doubt the top 20% get biglaw. More like top 10%.


Assuming I get a 163/164 and do get accepted into Hastings, I probably will not be paying sticker, but I will be paying near sticker. I can't determine how much financial aid I'll get, but based on what I've read on TLS, most Hastings students will get ~12k in grants a year at maximum. I'm a low income student and my mother is a single parent. Our annual income has been under $20k for several years now and my family EFC will be 0. I would imagine I'd get the ~$12k grant a year, so it would ~$36k overall. Again this is just theoretical and basing off what I've read on TLS and the posts of Hasting students.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Is UC Hastings comparable at all to UCLA or USC for Nor Cal?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:48 pm

The one thing Hastings shares with the rest of the U California law schools is that it has become hideously expensive at a little over $120,000. Compare Hastings' tuition with Stanford's at $142K, both stratospheric but the schools are not comparable in reputation. Nothing wrong with Hastings, you understand, but Stanford is STANFORD, the West's ONLY school in the Top Three. (No, I didn't go there. I wish.)

I really don't know what an ambitious young Californian wanna-be lawyer is to do. Sticker at any ABA approved California school is at least one-third too high for the investment to make financial sense. (Save perhaps for the aforementioned Stanford). In the case of lower-ranked private schools, maybe twice as high. Career changers and the middle aged have the reasonable option of attending a CBE school but that is not a good idea (I don't think) for the youngster starting out in life because of the career doors earning a non-ABA degree will close.

If you are looking at sticker or close anywhere in California, the best advice might be to do something else with your life and career. Or, I suppose, biting the career bullet and going for cheap? Or moving out of State? Total in-state tuition for three years at some state law schools outside California runs as low as $40K. But you have to establish residency and get admitted. Not always so easy to do.




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