Which CA school to choose?

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

Where should I attend?

UC Davis (Likely 5-10K/yr)
2
10%
UC Hastings (15K/yr needing only a 2.0!!)
7
35%
UC Irvine (10K/yr)
0
No votes
Loyola (32K/yr)
2
10%
Tulane (great sports law, 30K/yr)
0
No votes
San Diego (39K/yr)
0
No votes
UCLA (WL and likely no $$)
9
45%
 
Total votes: 20

tunarat
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:18 pm

Which CA school to choose?

Postby tunarat » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:45 pm

With admitted student days and alumni reception days looming in the next month, along with the absurdly early 1st Deposit deadlines, I am trying to whittle down my list of schools ASAP. I am from CA and would like to stay in CA (hence the school list), and I would also like to get involved with sports law. Less of the agent-type work, more of a front office/general counsel position.

In order to pay off my impending debt I'd like to work at BigLaw for a few years before shifting my focus to attaining a job in sports (hopefully baseball). I'd prefer to work/live in the Bay Area, but would not be opposed to being in LA (so I can watch all the Lakers fan convert to Clippers fans).

I've done my best to read all the posts about CA schools and sports law and the shitty job market but I would like to ask for your opinions.

Poll note: I am still awaiting USC response.
Last edited by tunarat on Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

apollo2015
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 am

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby apollo2015 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:51 pm

According to last year's USN&R, the schools were ranked by lawyers and judges as such:

UC Los Angeles: 3.9
UC Hastings: 3.8
UC Davis: 3.6
USC: 3.6
Tulane: 3.5
San Diego: 2.9
Loyola CA: 2.9
UC Irvine: N/A

User avatar
moneybagsphd
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby moneybagsphd » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:04 pm

I'm a big fan of Irvine. I think the small class size will give you more opportunities to get involved (e.g. law review) and the faculty is top-notch. They work hard for their students. At Hastings, you seem to get a lot less individual attention; you're on your own.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18406
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby bk1 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:13 pm

apollo2015 wrote:According to last year's USN&R, the schools were ranked by lawyers and judges as such:

UC Los Angeles: 3.9
UC Hastings: 3.8
UC Davis: 3.6
USC: 3.6
Tulane: 3.5
San Diego: 2.9
Loyola CA: 2.9
UC Irvine: N/A


This is pointless. Theoretically it seems like worthwhile data, but suffers from a lot of problems (mainly that this is a survey of lawyers everywhere and not just CA lawyers, and secondly that this data doesn't line up with hiring trends).

Tulane is obviously out if you want to work in CA. In addition, it is hard to get a job in sports law without connections and no law school can magically give you that connection. Either you have them or you don't.

UCD/UCH are peer schools. If you decide between those two, you should go to the cheaper one (if they're the same price then pick your preference). USC/UCLA are hands down better than UCD/UCH. UCI is brand new and hard to evaluate. UCI is definitely worse than USC/UCLA and some would argue that it is worse than UCD/UCH since UCD/UCH are established schools. Personally I think UCI due to it's small size and the initial effort being invested puts it on par with UCD/UCH since the latter 2 have had severe issues placing their grads into full time legal jobs (something like 1/3 of those schools don't get full time jobs as lawyers). The issue with places like Loyola (and possibly USD, but I'm not sure) is that they have scholarship stipulations that are around top 1/3, iirc. Meaning that you are more likely to pay sticker your 2L and 3L years than you are to actually keep your scholly.

The main thing is that you really shouldn't take out more than 100-120k in debt for any of these schools. Furthermore, if you want biglaw you shouldn't go to any of these schools since at the best of them (USC/UCLA) you'll only have a 1/3 or so chance at biglaw. If you really want biglaw, you should retake the LSAT and go to a T14 school since those schools generally at least give you a 50% shot, if not more, at biglaw.

If you can't improve your LSAT and these are the best schools you get into, I'd probably say leverage the schollies you have against each of the UC's so you can negotiate for as big a scholarship as possible. Then go to the cheapest UC of the 3. And if your debt is going to be larger than 120k or so, drop out if you don't do well after 1L.

User avatar
kapital98
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:11 pm

bk1 wrote:The main thing is that you really shouldn't take out more than 100-120k in debt for any of these schools. Furthermore, if you want biglaw you shouldn't go to any of these schools since at the best of them (USC/UCLA) you'll only have a 1/3 or so chance at biglaw. If you really want biglaw, you should retake the LSAT and go to a T14 school since those schools generally at least give you a 50% shot, if not more, at biglaw.

If you can't improve your LSAT and these are the best schools you get into, I'd probably say leverage the schollies you have against each of the UC's so you can negotiate for as big a scholarship as possible. Then go to the cheapest UC of the 3. And if your debt is going to be larger than 120k or so, drop out if you don't do well after 1L.


There is almost no way he will be able to graduate with less than $150K of debt from any UC school listed. COA is approximately $65K for each school considering he's a California resident. Even assuming a decent scholarship from Davis, Hastings, or the minimum scholarship from Irvine, he's still looking at ~50K-55K in debt per year.

The only way to get down to a $100-120K after graduation debt is to do outstanding your first year and get a nice 2L+3L merit grant. If you do that you'll also have a good shot at biglaw. However, if you don't do well you will have more debt and no shot at biglaw.

It's like playing Russian roulette.

Note: I didn't even factor in unannounced, but expected, tuition increases for UC schools. Over the last 4 years tuition has more than doubled! I wouldn't be surprised if it increased by ~10K per year by the time he graduates.

User avatar
kapital98
Posts: 1188
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:17 pm

My advice: If you absolutely must have biglaw go with Hastings. It has slightly better biglaw placement than the other schools.

Otherwise: Go with Loyola. If needed, negotiate to change the merit scholarship into top-50%. You'll graduate with a small amount of debt that is manageable for an entry level legal job. If you do well your first semester you can always transfer into a better school with improved biglaw opportunities.

User avatar
Mr. Somebody
Posts: 867
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:42 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:45 pm

Your goals are way too lofty to be considering these schools. USC/UCLA should be a minimum. 3 more points on the LSAT will give you a shot at them, as it is now you are likely to be waitlisted.

User avatar
splitbrain
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby splitbrain » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:21 pm

If you won't consider retaking the LSAT, I'd advise on waiting for UCLA or USC above all else for the fields you are looking to get in to.

You have the GPA that could give you a solid shot at Berkeley or even Stanford, so I have to ask if you're sure you want to settle for that LSAT.

In fairness to your original question, out of those options, Hastings is your best shot at biglaw per their employment statistics. You have a really good GPA, so if you maintain that work ethic, you'll probably be fine...as long as you understand the risk involved. Only 40% of those with firm jobs got firms with 100+ attorneys.

Loyola, Tulane, and USD are all out based on the limited opportunities they would give you.

UCI is probably not what you are looking for, although they do have Leigh Steinberg as a lecturer, haha.

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:28 pm

Stanford all the way.

tunarat
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:18 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby tunarat » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:48 pm

Thank you for all the votes and responses. Quick update: 1. 15K/yr scholarship at Hastings with only a 2.0 stipulation! 2. In at Davis, no word on scholarship money yet. 3. Waitlisted at UCLA (no surprise there. Good guess Mr. Somebody) 4. Still waiting on USC (welcome to the club, I know)

bk1/kapital98: Loyola changed their scholarship stip to top 50% and no longer group all the scholarship kids into one group (according to their admissions assistant).

kapital98: I am also worried about tuition increases at UC schools. I know Hastings is not controlled by UC Regents, but their fees still do seem to go up often.

Splitbrain: Firstly, you are one of my favorite people on this forum, as you are coherent and knowledgeable and seem to post on issues I am concerned with.
Secondly, I am working at a start-up which is already very successful (future government contracts, huge clients...) and the CEO (who has sold companies previously for million$$$) is extremely intent on keeping me with his management team. This may present an opportunity to gain business acumen and see if I prefer business over law, and find out whether business success/connections could just as easily lead me into a baseball front office. If I want to jump ship after a few years I could re-take the LSAT and hopefully score the way I practice test (high 160s, low 170s). (@Tom Joad: Stanford here I come)

I am keeping my options open and doing everything I can to visit schools and attend ASD's at all the schools I am considering. At the least, it provides me with more leverage when negotiating a raise at my start-up. : )

User avatar
splitbrain
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: Which CA school to choose?

Postby splitbrain » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:14 pm

tunarat wrote:Splitbrain: Firstly, you are one of my favorite people on this forum.

AWWW <333

(to be fair I can be a complete dumbass, but I <3 you too)

And that's good to hear about your start-up and that you're taking it slow/keeping your options open; good luck to you!




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: stego and 3 guests