Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

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DC_Patent_Law
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Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:24 pm

Hey all,
I'm trying to decide between the evening programs at University of San Diego and Loyola based on class size and class rank:

1. Loyola has an incoming class of 400 with the evening section being ~85 students. USD has an incoming class of 220 with an evening section of ~25-40 students. For the first year USD will also have class sizes of 60-70 students so it won't be much of a difference but in later years it might. Does the class size make a huge difference?

2. Loyola ranks its evening students with its day students while USD does not. This means that top 10% in Loyola is top 40 students whereas top 10% at USD means top 2 students. It seems to me, and I might be wrong, that its easier to squeeze into the top 40 than the top 2?

Other factors:

1. Loyola has year long classes with mid-terms that count for 25-35% of the grade. I believe having mid-terms gives you a "second bite at the apple" in case you mess up. USD has the traditional final exam at the end of the year. Don't know if this will make much of a difference.

2. USD is giving me 10k each year for four years of part-time school (tuition is 30k/year for part-timers so they're giving 33% of tuition) with a 2.0 stipulation, which should be easy to maintain. Loyola is giving me nada. But the amount of scholly is not that much and I'll be working part-time to payoff my debt, so it should be ok either way and is not a dealbreaker.

3. Princeton Review ranks Loyola #9 in the nation (out of 167 law schools) in the category of "Best Classroom Experience" (not sure what this means). That same survey ranks Loyola #7 for "Best Professors" and 7th for "Best Environment for Minority Students" (not sure what that means either). USD did not make it onto any of their top 10 lists.
http://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings.aspx

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DC_Patent_Law
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:09 pm

bump

bdole2
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby bdole2 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:3. Princeton Review ranks Loyola #9 in the nation (out of 167 law schools) in the category of "Best Classroom Experience" (not sure what this means). That same survey ranks Loyola #7 for "Best Professors" and 7th for "Best Environment for Minority Students" (not sure what that means either). USD did not make it onto any of their top 10 lists.
http://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings.aspx


Ignore this.

Would you rather practice in Los Angeles or San Diego? Where are you living now?

t14fanboy
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby t14fanboy » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm

Pick based on cost to attend if anything.

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DC_Patent_Law
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:01 pm

bdole2 wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:3. Princeton Review ranks Loyola #9 in the nation (out of 167 law schools) in the category of "Best Classroom Experience" (not sure what this means). That same survey ranks Loyola #7 for "Best Professors" and 7th for "Best Environment for Minority Students" (not sure what that means either). USD did not make it onto any of their top 10 lists.
http://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings.aspx


Ignore this.

Would you rather practice in Los Angeles or San Diego? Where are you living now?


I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?

bdole2
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby bdole2 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:23 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:
I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?


Have you ever been to Cali? Don't relocate for schools like these unless you are sure you want to practice there and have a job lined up that you could work part-time that would cover a majority of the costs. I told you to ignore those rankings because they will not help you find a job. Visiting both schools would give you a better feel for what the classroom experience would be like than some garbage rankings.

What are your GPA / LSAT? You should reconsider retaking the LSAT and trying to get into GW or GULC (or American with a sizable scholarship) if D.C. is where you really want to end up.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby BearsGrl » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 pm

bdole2 wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:
I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?


Have you ever been to Cali? Don't relocate for schools like these unless you are sure you want to practice there and have a job lined up that you could work part-time that would cover a majority of the costs. I told you to ignore those rankings because they will not help you find a job. Visiting both schools would give you a better feel for what the classroom experience would be like than some garbage rankings.

What are your GPA / LSAT? You should reconsider retaking the LSAT and trying to get into GW or GULC (or American with a sizable scholarship) if D.C. is where you really want to end up.


I agree with this general sentiment. You'll more than likely need a car (not always) but unless you have employment lined up, CA is pricey. Plus, if you are working part-time, it will be that much more difficult for you to find externships and such. Obviously, not impossible but you may have to find an opportunity that isn't paying due to the hours that you could work. Everything is dependent on if you already have a job or not. I moved away from CA myself a couple years ago and the economy was brutal then. I may be relocating there but that's because that's where my resume background is and I love the area. Know that you want to relocate for sure.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby Danteshek » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:39 pm

I am happy to discuss Loyola with you offline. I'm a 3L (who, incidentally, is moving to DC in less than 2 months).

(I agree with the sentiment above. If you have no compelling reason to be in California, you should not come to law school here. You are much better off going to law school in or around DC. Furthermore, if you do not have a full-time job in California, it makes absolutely no sense to go to school part-time here).

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DC_Patent_Law
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:49 pm

Excellent points raised by everyone. To give you a bit of background, I've been working in D.C. practicing patent prosecution for the past 8 years. I'm going to law school just to get rubber stamped as a lawyer, my work experience as a registered patent agent will trump a lot of the school, ranking factors etc. I will be working for my current firm in D.C. remotely from Cali so I won't be incurring much, if any debt at all. I have strong D.C. roots and patent law experience and a job at my current firm or a lot of D.C. patent law firms is pretty much guaranteed. So going to school in D.C. is not important.

I've been to Cali many times, especially LA and I like the place/energy and of course, the sunshine which is why I'm moving. Also, I have friends here. I could use a change of pace after 8 years in D.C. and while I'm here, figure out if Cali is a place I want to be in for the long run.

Since getting a job will not be an issue, soft factors such as a classroom experience, professors etc play a role in my decision. That being said, I still want to do really well at any school I attend. Loyola seems a lot more competitive than USD from what I've seen. Also, my GPA is 3.72, LSAT was 158. I could probably raise it to 162 if I retook. But I'm 31, so taking another year off might be pushing me towards retirement age ;)

bdole2 wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:
I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?


Have you ever been to Cali? Don't relocate for schools like these unless you are sure you want to practice there and have a job lined up that you could work part-time that would cover a majority of the costs. I told you to ignore those rankings because they will not help you find a job. Visiting both schools would give you a better feel for what the classroom experience would be like than some garbage rankings.

What are your GPA / LSAT? You should reconsider retaking the LSAT and trying to get into GW or GULC (or American with a sizable scholarship) if D.C. is where you really want to end up.

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splitbrain
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby splitbrain » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:53 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:Excellent points raised by everyone. To give you a bit of background, I've been working in D.C. practicing patent prosecution for the past 8 years. I'm going to law school just to get rubber stamped as a lawyer, my work experience as a registered patent agent will trump a lot of the school, ranking factors etc. I will be working for my current firm in D.C. remotely from Cali so I won't be incurring much, if any debt at all. I have strong D.C. roots and patent law experience and a job at my current firm or a lot of D.C. patent law firms is pretty much guaranteed. So going to school in D.C. is not important.

I've been to Cali many times, especially LA and I like the place/energy and of course, the sunshine which is why I'm moving. Also, I have friends here. I could use a change of pace after 8 years in D.C. and while I'm here, figure out if Cali is a place I want to be in for the long run.

Wow, yeah, that changes things quite a bit. I'd go entirely off location then. I'll toss in a few soft stats, too:

USD: 13.6:1 student/faculty ratio, 7.1% 1L attrition, 388 322 grads c/o 2010
Loyola: 15:1 student/faculty ratio, 13.8% 1L attrition, 322 388 grads c/o 2010
Last edited by splitbrain on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby MrAnon » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:09 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:
bdole2 wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:3. Princeton Review ranks Loyola #9 in the nation (out of 167 law schools) in the category of "Best Classroom Experience" (not sure what this means). That same survey ranks Loyola #7 for "Best Professors" and 7th for "Best Environment for Minority Students" (not sure what that means either). USD did not make it onto any of their top 10 lists.
http://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings.aspx


Ignore this.

Would you rather practice in Los Angeles or San Diego? Where are you living now?


I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?


Because do you really think the classroom experience is better than Penn, NYU, Chicago, Georgetown, USC, UCLA or any number of schools that overall beat the stuffing out of it in terms of quality of students and professors and reputation? Its just a marketing thing. Its like saying a Chevy Malibu with sticker of $150,000 is better than a Mercedes with sticker of $150,000 because the Chevy Malibu scored higher in crash test ratings. Really? You would go buy a Malibu for that much because of the crash test rating?

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby t14fanboy » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:10 pm

splitbrain wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:Excellent points raised by everyone. To give you a bit of background, I've been working in D.C. practicing patent prosecution for the past 8 years. I'm going to law school just to get rubber stamped as a lawyer, my work experience as a registered patent agent will trump a lot of the school, ranking factors etc. I will be working for my current firm in D.C. remotely from Cali so I won't be incurring much, if any debt at all. I have strong D.C. roots and patent law experience and a job at my current firm or a lot of D.C. patent law firms is pretty much guaranteed. So going to school in D.C. is not important.

I've been to Cali many times, especially LA and I like the place/energy and of course, the sunshine which is why I'm moving. Also, I have friends here. I could use a change of pace after 8 years in D.C. and while I'm here, figure out if Cali is a place I want to be in for the long run.

Wow, yeah, that changes things quite a bit. I'd go entirely off location then. I'll toss in a few soft stats, too:

USD: 13.6:1 student/faculty ratio, 7.1% 1L attrition, 388 grads c/o 2010
Loyola: 15:1 student/faculty ratio, 13.8% 1L attrition, 322 grads c/o 2010


Seconded. In your shoes I would probably pick based on cost to attend then.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:24 pm

splitbrain wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:Excellent points raised by everyone. To give you a bit of background, I've been working in D.C. practicing patent prosecution for the past 8 years. I'm going to law school just to get rubber stamped as a lawyer, my work experience as a registered patent agent will trump a lot of the school, ranking factors etc. I will be working for my current firm in D.C. remotely from Cali so I won't be incurring much, if any debt at all. I have strong D.C. roots and patent law experience and a job at my current firm or a lot of D.C. patent law firms is pretty much guaranteed. So going to school in D.C. is not important.

I've been to Cali many times, especially LA and I like the place/energy and of course, the sunshine which is why I'm moving. Also, I have friends here. I could use a change of pace after 8 years in D.C. and while I'm here, figure out if Cali is a place I want to be in for the long run.

Wow, yeah, that changes things quite a bit. I'd go entirely off location then. I'll toss in a few soft stats, too:

USD: 13.6:1 student/faculty ratio, 7.1% 1L attrition, 388 grads c/o 2010
Loyola: 15:1 student/faculty ratio, 13.8% 1L attrition, 322 grads c/o 2010


Wow, I'm surprised by Loyola's attrition rate. Student/faculty ration seems pretty similar. USD indicated that they will be shrinking their number of admitted students and class size in the next few years, probably as a way to bump their rankings.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:26 pm

t14fanboy wrote:
splitbrain wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:Excellent points raised by everyone. To give you a bit of background, I've been working in D.C. practicing patent prosecution for the past 8 years. I'm going to law school just to get rubber stamped as a lawyer, my work experience as a registered patent agent will trump a lot of the school, ranking factors etc. I will be working for my current firm in D.C. remotely from Cali so I won't be incurring much, if any debt at all. I have strong D.C. roots and patent law experience and a job at my current firm or a lot of D.C. patent law firms is pretty much guaranteed. So going to school in D.C. is not important.

I've been to Cali many times, especially LA and I like the place/energy and of course, the sunshine which is why I'm moving. Also, I have friends here. I could use a change of pace after 8 years in D.C. and while I'm here, figure out if Cali is a place I want to be in for the long run.

Wow, yeah, that changes things quite a bit. I'd go entirely off location then. I'll toss in a few soft stats, too:

USD: 13.6:1 student/faculty ratio, 7.1% 1L attrition, 388 grads c/o 2010
Loyola: 15:1 student/faculty ratio, 13.8% 1L attrition, 322 grads c/o 2010


Seconded. In your shoes I would probably pick based on cost to attend then.


At my age, quality of life and a city I want to be in is pretty important. My current firm covers cost of attendance in DC, they might give me a partial scholly to CA schools as well. I'll be having a meeting with the managing partner on Monday.

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splitbrain
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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby splitbrain » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:30 pm

DC_Patent_Law wrote:Wow, I'm surprised by Loyola's attrition rate. Student/faculty ration seems pretty similar. USD indicated that they will be shrinking their number of admitted students and class size in the next few years, probably as a way to bump their rankings.

I should clarify that it is for academic reasons as well as "other" - but it's still good to know how many people generally drop after 1L. You should see the TTTT's in CA - I saw one that hits almost 40% every year and sometimes exceeds it!

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby Danteshek » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:50 pm

The stats quoted above ignore Loyola's evening division. Loyola graduates about 430 people per year, including LLMs. Taking out the LLMs, that's about 390 JDs per year.

http://reg.lls.edu/documents/DegreesAwardedByYear.pdf

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:55 pm

MrAnon wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:
bdole2 wrote:
DC_Patent_Law wrote:3. Princeton Review ranks Loyola #9 in the nation (out of 167 law schools) in the category of "Best Classroom Experience" (not sure what this means). That same survey ranks Loyola #7 for "Best Professors" and 7th for "Best Environment for Minority Students" (not sure what that means either). USD did not make it onto any of their top 10 lists.
http://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings.aspx


Ignore this.

Would you rather practice in Los Angeles or San Diego? Where are you living now?


I'm currently in Washington D.C. I've been working in patent law for a while as we. I'm not sure if I want to practice in LA or San Diego yet. I do like the big city atmosphere. Btw, why did you ignore the classroom experience/professor rankings?


Because do you really think the classroom experience is better than Penn, NYU, Chicago, Georgetown, USC, UCLA or any number of schools that overall beat the stuffing out of it in terms of quality of students and professors and reputation? Its just a marketing thing. Its like saying a Chevy Malibu with sticker of $150,000 is better than a Mercedes with sticker of $150,000 because the Chevy Malibu scored higher in crash test ratings. Really? You would go buy a Malibu for that much because of the crash test rating?


A valid point, but what if the crash test rating is important to me? Also, since I'm not in at a mercedes school (UCLA or USC), the comparison between a Malibu and a Mercedes doesn't apply. USD and Loyola are pretty much similarly ranked regional schools. This is a marketing ploy by Loyola for sure, but the rankings were generated by Princeton review, they didn't come up with it themselves. They pride themselves on the classroom experience. Returning to my original question, are the rankings for professors and classroom experience of Loyola important, considering I'm comparing apples to apples (USD to Loyola?)

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby splitbrain » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:58 pm

Danteshek wrote:The stats quoted above ignore Loyola's evening division. Loyola graduates about 430 people per year, including LLMs. Taking out the LLMs, that's about 390 JDs per year.

http://reg.lls.edu/documents/DegreesAwardedByYear.pdf

Actually they were right, I just f'd up the numbers between the two schools. I'll edit that now.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby vkgarrett » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:08 pm

I think numbers and statistics can only tell you so much, you obviously already have a job lined up and aren't worried about that element, so I'd look at it from 3 points:

1. Where will you incur less debt?
2. Where will you be happier?? (you said part of the reason you are going to CA is for a change of pace.... I personally do not like LA but love SD)
3. What do YOU think about the professors/students/classes/etc from your visits there. It might also help to try and get in contact with current students from each...

I really think what it comes down to is there are a million different numbers and stats you can look at, but where do you feel like you will feel more comfortable? Do you feel like you will succeed more at one school? What school is going to make you a better student & lawyer I guess... sounds kind of corny but b/c you aren't worried about costs/jobs as much, I would try and take your own personal thoughts/feelings about the places into consideration.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby vkgarrett » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:10 pm

I'll add that I also think there is a benefit to USD being the top school in it's city, while Loyola is competing w/ UCLA & USC, but that may not be as big of a factor b/c you have a job lined up, still think its worth something.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby DC_Patent_Law » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:38 pm

vkgarrett wrote:
I think numbers and statistics can only tell you so much, you obviously already have a job lined up and aren't worried about that element, so I'd look at it from 3 points:

1. Where will you incur less debt?
2. Where will you be happier?? (you said part of the reason you are going to CA is for a change of pace.... I personally do not like LA but love SD)
3. What do YOU think about the professors/students/classes/etc from your visits there. It might also help to try and get in contact with current students from each...

I really think what it comes down to is there are a million different numbers and stats you can look at, but where do you feel like you will feel more comfortable? Do you feel like you will succeed more at one school? What school is going to make you a better student & lawyer I guess... sounds kind of corny but b/c you aren't worried about costs/jobs as much, I would try and take your own personal thoughts/feelings about the places into consideration.

I'll add that I also think there is a benefit to USD being the top school in it's city, while Loyola is competing w/ UCLA & USC, but that may not be as big of a factor b/c you have a job lined up, still think its worth something.


Excellent points. I got the same sense that USD was top dog in SD whereas if you're going to Loyola, people (rightly) consider it as third best in LA and have an "eh" reaction to it. In contrast, people in SD positively beam at the mention of USD. School pride counts for something (naive though it may be). I totally agree about going to a school where I feel the most comfortable. I'll be going back to San Diego next week to sit in on classes. The admissions staff at USD is really nice, the Dean met with me and career services people were super nice as well. Loyola staff on the other hand wasn't that warm or friendly, could be because they don't need to with all the demand they get from LA students for seats. USD however seemed very stuffy on my first visit, the campus is too pristine and Disneylike, if that makes any sense. I guess I'm used to living in D.C.

Another thing to consider is, although I have a job lined up right now, there is no guarantee I want to continue with it forever. If I ever get laid off/want to change jobs, LA has a bigger job market. However, I'll be facing competition from UCLA and USC grads in LA. USD does a very good job of placing in SD in comparison. The patent law program is stronger at USD, so is the patent law industry. USD has some reach into the OC patent law market as well, not as much as LA probably.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby t14fanboy » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:58 pm

Vkgarrett are you even from southern california? Saying that USD is the best school in its city and that Loyola is the third best in LA adds nothing. If you think that UCLA or USC grads don't compete for jobs in San Diego you are kidding yourself.

OP you have great work experience and that might get you a job in LA or San Diego but don't go expecting great things out of the reputations of these schools. Since you say finances don't matter as much, pick based on where you want to live and the feel of the schools.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby splitbrain » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:04 pm

Since the softs are entirely up to you, I'll toss in some more stats to show that the two are remarkably similar and to show that you really should rely on the softs for your decision:

Loyola (#51): 2.4% unemployed/seeking, 3.7% clerkships, 12.8%@firms with 51+ attorneys, 84% bar pass rate (3 year avg, July only)
USD (#65): 1.4% unemployed/seeking, 3.1% clerkships, 14.9%@firms with 51+ attorneys, 73% bar pass rate (3 year avg, July only)

Employment data is for C/O 2010 out of employed/unemployed and seeking grads only. There is no info for FT vs PT nor temp vs perm.

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby Danteshek » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:09 pm

The notion that someone should choose USD over Loyola simply because USD is somehow "top dog" in San Diego is ludicrous and a product of TLS group think. The reality is that outside of 2L OCI (which really only helps about 5-10% of students at schools like Loyola and USD) students from the different schools are not really directly competing against each other for jobs. It's more individualized than that. Most students from Loyola or USD get jobs after they graduate based on how well they did in school, student-specific pre-law-school experience, demonstrated interest during law school, internships etc. OP has several years in patent prosecution in DC. He needs to be close to the firms that will value that kind of experience. There are more many more firms that will hire this person as a law clerk in LA than in SD. Hell, I know two people (both with heavy IP backgrounds) at Loyola who clerked at Irell and Manella as students and are going back there (one last year and one this year).

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Re: Loyola vs. USD - Class size and class ranking

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:12 pm

If you are going back to your current firm after law school why pay anything for the JD?




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