Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

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Iamconflicted
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Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Iamconflicted » Thu May 10, 2012 3:48 pm

So I've been lurking for awhile and am now very conflicted about my choice of law school.

I deposited at UCLA with a $105k scholarship. Not in-state but want to work in SoCal. Thought with that scholarship at UCLA I couldn't really go wrong.

I had a few T14 acceptances but with lackluster scholarship offers (or no scholarship). Decided taking the money at a school with a good reputation in the area I want to work was a good choice. But I keep seeing UCLA get shit on on here. Any time there is a thread with people choosing between UCLA and a T14 the T14 always wins by a long shot.

I don't want to start school in the fall unhappy with my choice...I want to know: Is UCLA over a T14 a terrible idea? It's not like it's Thomas Jefferson over a T14. UCLA is the highest-ranked school in Southern California. But now I'm starting to question my decision...Is this just because of TLS prestige bias or am I really stupid?

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Skunky Bumps
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Skunky Bumps » Thu May 10, 2012 3:51 pm

$105k scholly to the best school in the market you want? I don't see the issue here.

Iamconflicted
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Iamconflicted » Thu May 10, 2012 3:53 pm

Skunky Bumps wrote:$105k scholly to the best school in the market you want? I don't see the issue here.


Well that's what I originally thought, and why I chose UCLA. But I've seen people with scholarships even larger than mine deciding between UCLA and a T14 at sticker told to choose the T14.

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Skunky Bumps
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Skunky Bumps » Thu May 10, 2012 3:57 pm

Iamconflicted wrote:
Skunky Bumps wrote:$105k scholly to the best school in the market you want? I don't see the issue here.


Well that's what I originally thought, and why I chose UCLA. But I've seen people with scholarships even larger than mine deciding between UCLA and a T14 at sticker told to choose the T14.


Did they want to practice somewhere other than LA? If you want portability, go T14. If you want to live in LA, I'd say UCLA is an excellent decision with that kind of cash.

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99.9luft
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby 99.9luft » Thu May 10, 2012 3:59 pm

Skunky Bumps wrote:$105k scholly to the best school in the market you want? I don't see the issue here.


+1

Some people here are prestige whores/elitists. Some others ignore the regional success of UCLA placing in LA biglaw. Others have no idea what they are talking about and just mimic what the previous two groups say. If you want to practice in LA, choosing UCLA on such an awesome scholarship is much better than choosing NYU, for instance, on a minimal/no scholarship. People often underestimate how hard it is to break into the LA market if going to an east coast school.

You're doing the right thing. Enjoy UCLA!

Gemini198
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Gemini198 » Thu May 10, 2012 3:59 pm

If it makes you feel better, I only have a 75k scholly from UCLA and im seriously considering it over UPenn (45k scholly). My main reason is because I'm from Cali and also want to practice instate. So no, you're def not crazy. In fact, I had 105k from UCLA I think I would def go there over Penn.

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Samara
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby Samara » Thu May 10, 2012 4:01 pm

Iamconflicted wrote:
Skunky Bumps wrote:$105k scholly to the best school in the market you want? I don't see the issue here.


Well that's what I originally thought, and why I chose UCLA. But I've seen people with scholarships even larger than mine deciding between UCLA and a T14 at sticker told to choose the T14.

I don't think you made a bad decision. And if the consensus was that the T14 is the better choice, it's not like it would be a hugely better choice. I might vote in favor of UCLA, but I'd have to see the details of your situation and other offers.

I think the thought process for leaning towards T14 schools (at least, for me) is that unless you are able to get your debt low enough to not need biglaw for repayment, it's best to maximize your chances of landing the biglaw job. Diminishing returns and all that. $150k is not that different from $250k in that if you miss the biglaw boat, you're probably screwed either way. Thus, T14s often win out, even at big cost differentials because they offer much higher biglaw placement.

dixon02
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby dixon02 » Thu May 10, 2012 4:02 pm

You did fine, don't sweat it. I'd have to see other threads, but I'd assume some of that advice was based in part on OP's desire to get BigLaw in some other markets or having some sort of portability, etc. If your goal is to stay in L.A., going to UCLA with $105k scholly is a great deal. Congrats and enjoy.

SaintFond
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby SaintFond » Thu May 10, 2012 4:04 pm

UCLA is a good school and 105K is a good scholarship. If you want to work in SoCal, it's not a bad choice, especially if your other choices are non-T6 schools at sticker or close to sticker.

You just have to be aware that UCLA doesn't have quite the same placement rates that T14 schools have, especially ITE. If you aren't in, say, the top 1/3 of your class at UCLA, your chances of getting BigLaw are low, and in order for BigLaw to be a lock, you'll probably have to be top 20%. You don't want to end up at median at UCLA ITE. Then again, if UCLA is offering you that much money, there's a good chance that you'll probably be able to place well there.

See if you can convince them to go up to 120K. But to answer your question, no, 105K at UCLA is not that bad.

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flem
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Re: Is UCLA that bad of a decision?

Postby flem » Thu May 10, 2012 4:05 pm

Samara wrote:I don't think you made a bad decision. And if the consensus was that the T14 is the better choice, it's not like it would be a hugely better choice. I might vote in favor of UCLA, but I'd have to see the details of your situation and other offers.

I think the thought process for leaning towards T14 schools (at least, for me) is that unless you are able to get your debt low enough to not need biglaw for repayment, it's best to maximize your chances of landing the biglaw job. Diminishing returns and all that. $150k is not that different from $250k in that if you miss the biglaw boat, you're probably screwed either way. Thus, T14s often win out, even at big cost differentials because they offer much higher biglaw placement.


TCR




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