4 Options to pick from in California?!

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

Which of these would you pick?

UOP McGeorge School of Law
5
10%
Santa Clara University Law
2
4%
Pepperdine University Law
31
61%
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
13
25%
 
Total votes: 51

lynnj
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4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:07 pm

I'm interested in opinions on what others would do in my situation. Here is the breakdown of factors I'm considering:

1) I currently live in Sacramento at home, no rent.
2) I eventually want to live and practice in Southern California. (Not necessarily Los Angeles, but that would be a good start.)
3) I am not entirely sure what type of law I want to practice, but I want as many options available to me as possible.
4) I want to go to a school that is well respected by employers and the community at large.
5) I do not care about the amount of debt I will be in when I finish law school. I just want to be able to come out and get a job. (And yes, I realize the economy sucks these days and there is no guarantee of getting a high paying job, or even a job, period. But I want the school where my job prospects/opportunities will be highest.)

Now, here are my options so far:
1. UOP MCGEORGE (Sacramento) $11k scholly, 1/3 stip - Convenient because I live at home and would certainly save money
2. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY $13k scholly, 1/3 stip - I have no thoughts on this. I would probably pick McGeorge over it.
3. LOYOLA LOS ANGELES no scholly - I am debating heavily between this and Pepperdine. Recently spoke to an alum that went there and now works for a major TV network. They also require attendance at a "summer institute". Housing is a question in my mind as well. Neighborhood safety, too?
4. PEPPERDINE $15k scholly, "good standing" stip - I know this is a Christian school with conservative campus policies and am comfortable with that, it is not a concern. I do however wonder what its reputation is in SoCal (aside from being in a famously affluent community). I also like that it has dorms.

And finally, I am still waiting on UC Davis Law and USC for a response.

On "HOLD/RESERVE" with Harvard and Cornell, as they have read my application and have not yet issued a decision on whether they'll admit/deny/waitlist. Needless to say, if either of those schools informed me of an admit, this whole dilemma would not be a question and I would certainly go at sticker. But, eh. :roll:

So... thoughts?

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travman90
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby travman90 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:24 pm

.
Last edited by travman90 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

lynnj
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:27 pm

travman90 wrote:Well I think I can help add some perspective. I lived in So. Cal for high school and went to Davis undergrad so I know the best of both worlds!

As for your options.
1) UOP McGeorge - the money is good and you'll have much less debt living at home. Problem is if you want to end up in So. Cal you're not going to have a ton of luck. I had never even heard of McGeorge until I moved up to Davis, its not well known or respected in the south. I could see you stuck in Sac after this, so if the money is a huge issue take it but otherwise it seems to compete with your other goals.
2) Santa Clara - I'd go with McGeorge over this anyday, so I'm throwing it out of the running.
3) Loyola - no schooly is harsh and is going to leave you in debt. I'm not 100% sure of their credibility because recnetly they've taken a lot of heat for throwing off their post-grad employment numbers. I have met a few attorneys from here and they all seem great and people tend to respsect them so they have that going for them.
Pepperdine - Money = good and the location is phenominal. It's right by where I lived in high school, so I can honestly say it's been one of my favorite places to live. High living quality, generally respected, plenty of post grad opportunities, I honestly can't see not going with this option (unless you get into Davis or SC or something). This seems like the best option you have.


Your response was really helpful and you made some good points! I really appreciate it. :) (By the way, I'm graduating from Davis this year. Go Ags! ^^)

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No13baby
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby No13baby » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:31 pm

None. All of these schools are at the bottom of the heap in a very, very saturated market. Don't expect a job coming out.

That said, if you're one of those people who refuses to retake/reapply and is dead-set on going this year, I'd pick Pepperdine - it has a similar reputation to the other schools (which is to say, not much) but their scholarship is decent and you can probably keep it over all three years. The scholarship stipulations at McGeorge and SCU should be big red flags.

If you get into Davis or USC, I'd definitely go to either of those over the schools you've mentioned so far.

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romothesavior
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby romothesavior » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:08 pm

None. They are all terrible. Big debt and joblessness await you at these schools.

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splitbrain
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby splitbrain » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:50 pm

See if you can negotiate up Pepperdine's scholarship (if only by just asking). Out of these options, that's your best bet by far. Pepperdine and Loyola are basically the same in LA.

Pepperdine and Loyola both have good reputations in SoCal; you're just going to have a hard time right after graduation. You'll find work, but it may not be what you want (e.g. a small firm).

Santa Clara and Pacific are both out because their scholarships aren't impressive and they'd put you in a worse position.

I think it goes without saying that you should take Davis or USC over these options, though.

Edit: You should be able to get Loyola and Pepperdine to compete against each other. They're the very definition of peer schools.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby Stanford4Me » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:52 pm

I don't say this to be mean or insulting, but I don't the you understand the crushing force six figures of debt and no job can have on a person. There's a lot of discussion on the issue, not only here on these boards but in numerous articles by well-respected publications. Best of luck in your endeavors.

071816
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby 071816 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:54 pm

I could only see picking Loyola or Pepperdine out of all the schools on this list. But without a scholarship ( and even with a very small scholarship or one that has brutal stips) it is usually not worth it to attend these schools.

Wait for USC, Davis, etc. and if you don't get one of those consider a retake.
Last edited by 071816 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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2014
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby 2014 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:08 pm

What are your numbers?

If you had enough hope to drop app fees to Cornell and Harvard surely you could get into Davis, Hastings or UCI.

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20160810
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby 20160810 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:39 pm

Retake, Davis or don't go.

lynnj
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:01 am

Thanks everyone for your advice! I am taking it all into careful consideration (although at this point, retaking is not really an option.) :)

der_saeufer
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby der_saeufer » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:03 am

SBL wrote:Retake, Davis or don't go.


TITCR, with possible partial credit for Pepperdine.

If you want to work in SoCal and spent the money to apply to USC, Hahvid and Cornell, why didn't you apply to UCLA or UCI, especially UCI? If you're willing to consider Santa Clara, why no USD?

If you honestly believed you have a shot at USC, you'd have gotten in at UCI. If you have an honest shot at Harvard and Cornell, you'd have gotten in at UCLA and prolly some T14s.

Why no retake? It's really a good option at this point, especially since it's too late to apply to some of the other schools. Waiting a year and getting into UCLA or USC is totally worth it vs. going to Pepperdine IMO.

lynnj
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:42 am

der_saeufer wrote:
SBL wrote:Retake, Davis or don't go.


TITCR, with possible partial credit for Pepperdine.

If you want to work in SoCal and spent the money to apply to USC, Hahvid and Cornell, why didn't you apply to UCLA or UCI, especially UCI? If you're willing to consider Santa Clara, why no USD?

If you honestly believed you have a shot at USC, you'd have gotten in at UCI. If you have an honest shot at Harvard and Cornell, you'd have gotten in at UCLA and prolly some T14s.

Why no retake? It's really a good option at this point, especially since it's too late to apply to some of the other schools. Waiting a year and getting into UCLA or USC is totally worth it vs. going to Pepperdine IMO.


Haha, I didn't mention UCLA because I applied and was rejected. FWIW, I received a fee waiver from Cornell because they sent me a packet in the mail inviting me to apply, so that application was free. Here's the thing: I applied to schools I liked regardless of whether I thought I had a shot or not.

Obviously, Harvard and Cornell are reach schools for many, but one never knows. I'm apparently not bad enough of a candidate to those two if I didn't get denied right off the bat (like a friend of mine who applied with much higher GPA and LSAT to Harvard and was rejected within weeks of submitting her app, while I still sit on hold after one review). I think it just depends on the school, really. I don't consider LSAT and GPA to be the all-determining factors of whether or not I'll be admitted somewhere. If I were to be admitted on numbers alone, the only school for which my numbers would be at medians would be UOP McGeorge (and then I wouldn't even have decisions to make). So, truly it's not just that.

I didn't apply to UC Irvine because I feel like it's too new for my liking, doesn't have much of a reputation yet... I was simply just not interested. Irvine's just not somewhere I can see myself living for three years. USD? I thought about it. While I love San Diego, it's not quite the market I was looking for either.

I just don't want to retake for a couple of reasons:
1. I studied a lot for the LSAT, and while my score is not 90th %ile, I'm satisfied enough that I don't feel compelled to try again, since I already jumped 15 points from my cold score.
2. I believe I would do worse if I retook, since I haven't looked at the LSAT since I took it. I also don't want to go through the process of reapplying. If I didn't do worse, I probably would only do marginally better, which would then warrant an explanation on an addendum. Not interested.
3. Even if I did want to retake it, my parents are EXTREMELY strict and do not see taking a year off as an option. I almost caught hell for just talking about it (it was originally my plan).

So... I'm left with these options. Which, to be honest, are not too shabby. At the very least, I have connections in the legal market here in Sacramento which would still leave going to McGeorge a better option than not going at all. Were I to stay, I'd have a job lined up. I just don't want to...

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Tom Joad
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:09 am

Where is Stanford on the list? Stanford is a great school and is generous with financial aid.

If you are ballsy and want to take out a lot of loans with a real chance of unemployment, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are options at sticker, but if you get good scholarships they are good options.

lynnj
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:14 am

Tom Joad wrote:Where is Stanford on the list? Stanford is a great school and is generous with financial aid.

If you are ballsy and want to take out a lot of loans with a real chance of unemployment, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are options at sticker, but if you get good scholarships they are good options.


Applied to Stanford, was denied. Same with Berkeley and UCLA. USC is my last hope for a top 20 Southern California law school, but that is helpful to know! I suppose I am ballsy, haha... though if I didn't have some degree of parental support I'm sure I would be thinking twice about it. Thanks!

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RaleighStClair
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby RaleighStClair » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:54 am

You say that if you stay in Sac and go to McGeorge you'll have a job lined up afterwards. Are you unable to have this as a fallback if you go to Loyola or Pepperdine?

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20160810
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby 20160810 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:10 am

lynnj wrote:
der_saeufer wrote:
SBL wrote:Retake, Davis or don't go.


TITCR, with possible partial credit for Pepperdine.

If you want to work in SoCal and spent the money to apply to USC, Hahvid and Cornell, why didn't you apply to UCLA or UCI, especially UCI? If you're willing to consider Santa Clara, why no USD?

If you honestly believed you have a shot at USC, you'd have gotten in at UCI. If you have an honest shot at Harvard and Cornell, you'd have gotten in at UCLA and prolly some T14s.

Why no retake? It's really a good option at this point, especially since it's too late to apply to some of the other schools. Waiting a year and getting into UCLA or USC is totally worth it vs. going to Pepperdine IMO.


Haha, I didn't mention UCLA because I applied and was rejected. FWIW, I received a fee waiver from Cornell because they sent me a packet in the mail inviting me to apply, so that application was free. Here's the thing: I applied to schools I liked regardless of whether I thought I had a shot or not.

Obviously, Harvard and Cornell are reach schools for many, but one never knows. I'm apparently not bad enough of a candidate to those two if I didn't get denied right off the bat (like a friend of mine who applied with much higher GPA and LSAT to Harvard and was rejected within weeks of submitting her app, while I still sit on hold after one review). I think it just depends on the school, really. I don't consider LSAT and GPA to be the all-determining factors of whether or not I'll be admitted somewhere. If I were to be admitted on numbers alone, the only school for which my numbers would be at medians would be UOP McGeorge (and then I wouldn't even have decisions to make). So, truly it's not just that.

I didn't apply to UC Irvine because I feel like it's too new for my liking, doesn't have much of a reputation yet... I was simply just not interested. Irvine's just not somewhere I can see myself living for three years. USD? I thought about it. While I love San Diego, it's not quite the market I was looking for either.

I just don't want to retake for a couple of reasons:
1. I studied a lot for the LSAT, and while my score is not 90th %ile, I'm satisfied enough that I don't feel compelled to try again, since I already jumped 15 points from my cold score.
2. I believe I would do worse if I retook, since I haven't looked at the LSAT since I took it. I also don't want to go through the process of reapplying. If I didn't do worse, I probably would only do marginally better, which would then warrant an explanation on an addendum. Not interested.
3. Even if I did want to retake it, my parents are EXTREMELY strict and do not see taking a year off as an option. I almost caught hell for just talking about it (it was originally my plan).

So... I'm left with these options. Which, to be honest, are not too shabby. At the very least, I have connections in the legal market here in Sacramento which would still leave going to McGeorge a better option than not going at all. Were I to stay, I'd have a job lined up. I just don't want to...

If you improved your score 15 points already you should be salivating to retake, because you KNOW you can improve your score and you know you can learn the LSAT. I got a 165 and wish I'd retook. Because of the reasons you mentioned (pride, mainly, also not wanting to feel like I was wasting a year), I didn't. I wish I had. Do not make the same mistake.

Explain to your parents that you're only in at crappy schools that aren't worth the money. They might not know how bad the economy is. Try and explain it to them. If you have strict tiger parents, trust that they'd much rather you were at Cal, Stanford or UCLA, even if it takes a year.

At a bare minimum though, go to Davis.

JasonR
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby JasonR » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:39 am

1. I studied a lot for the LSAT, and while my score is not 90th %ile, I'm satisfied enough that I don't feel compelled to try again, since I already jumped 15 points from my cold score.
2. I believe I would do worse if I retook, since I haven't looked at the LSAT since I took it. I also don't want to go through the process of reapplying. If I didn't do worse, I probably would only do marginally better, which would then warrant an explanation on an addendum. Not interested.


Did you do everything you possibly could to prepare for the LSAT? Just 3-4 points can be worth tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money or admission to a much better school with future financial rewards. If someone promised you $50K or more just for bumping your LSAT score up a little, would you not take the chance? It's really crazy not to consider it as an option if you think you could have prepared better. None of the schools you've listed are remotely worth taking on large debt loads.

3. Even if I did want to retake it, my parents are EXTREMELY strict and do not see taking a year off as an option. I almost caught hell for just talking about it (it was originally my plan).


That's really a shame. Your parents should attempt to educate themselves about the current realities of law school prestige, law school debt, job availability, etc. before taking a knee-jerk hard line on anything. They're not doing you any favors. Quite the opposite, actually. You could probably compose a decent reading list for them from some posts on this site.

apropos
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby apropos » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:54 pm

I'm usually turned off by the seemingly automatic "retake or don't go" advice that fills these threads.

However, here I think it's different.

Retake, or just wait a year and reapply, and apply to UCI, UCD, UCH and USD. All of those options are better and it sounds like you'd almost definitely get into at least one.

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thexfactor
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby thexfactor » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:11 pm

romothesavior wrote:None. They are all terrible. Big debt and joblessness await you at these schools.


+1 unless you can beat the odds like jeremy lin....
Do you feel lucky, punk?

lynnj
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby lynnj » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:19 am

Hmmm... Overall, I've been getting some pretty good responses. I think this needs some serious consideration as at this point ive done a bit more research as well and loyola even sounds less appetizing. Thanks, everyone! :)

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mattviphky
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Re: 4 Options to pick from in California?!

Postby mattviphky » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:56 am

I was there last year, man. Retook, reapplied. I don't regret it one bit. I'm working this year at a prestigious job (for a recent grad), and I got into a local T25.
lynnj wrote:[
3. Even if I did want to retake it, my parents are EXTREMELY strict and do not see taking a year off as an option. I almost caught hell for just talking about it (it was originally my plan).
.


Was there, too. My dad insisted I go to a local TTTT cuz they offered me 5k/year. He is a smart man, but totally clueless to the legal job market, but in all fairness, I was also pretty naive when for the most part of my first cycle. I just bucked his wishes and retook. Taking a year was probably not as hard of a pill to swallow for him since I had a good job to help me put away money and be busy for a year. I think most parents are hesitant about time off, because we all know people who took "time off", and they never went back. But this year, I'm in at the same TTTT with a full ride, and a local T25 with 5k/year. Probably the best STFU I ever gave the old man. But now I gotta convince him that the much more expensive COA at the T25 is worth the money (relative to the TTTT), without looking like a total dipshit.




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