UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

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

What is my best option?

UC Davis ($$$)
10
14%
UC Hastings ($$$)
12
17%
UVA (Pay Full Tuition and OOS)
47
68%
 
Total votes: 69

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:58 am

Mick Haller wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:That leaves 40% of the class with bad outcomes. That's a huge gamble if you are looking at paying $270k.


if it's that bad at UVA, there's hardly a law school in America worth attending. Can I change my poll answer to "NONE"?


Haha. The issue here is that post recession, paying sticker at even tip-top schools is extraordinarily risky, and that risk likely won't recede due to the structural changes in the legal market. Basically, there are fewer jobs and the competition for the ones that remain is fierce, even for T14 graduates with average grades when they would have been fine as recently as 5 years ago. As such, many individuals would be better served by limiting their debt and choosing to attend a "top" school with a good scholarship (50%+) instead of a "tip top" school either at sticker or with a minimal scholarship.

Also, if the OP could get a half scholarship or better to UVA, it would certainly be worth it. $140-160K of debt/savings is about what a degree from UVA is worth after taking into account the risk of ending up with a bad outcome, strictly in my opinion.

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NR3C1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby NR3C1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:20 pm

albanach wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Everyone needs to remember that a significant amount of UVA graduates do not end up with positive outcomes.


Anything to back this up?

97.8% of the class of 2011 are employed in jobs requiring a JD.

98.6% are employed full-time in long-term positions.

84.3% are employed by firms, clerking or working for the government.

2 (not two percent, 2 graduates) are seeking employment.

So where does the significant amount come from?

The issue is not whether UVA grads are employed, but whether attending UVA is worth the 250K investment. IMHO, no, because servicing a 250K debt requires a big law job plus generous bonuses. How many grads get that? About 50%.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:07 pm

I voted Davis. I'm at a t40 school with a full ride merit scholly, and I picked this over lower t14 including UVA. There are dangers both ways but with T14 and that type of debt not only might you strike out at big law but you may hate it and have no other choice. My school is only around 10% big law, and of the people with offers in hand a lot have mixed feelings (I didn't like my big law summer but I have much debt there is no other choice. Myself I am interested in biglaw/midlaw but didnt want to have a gun to my head with debt.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:20 pm

albanach wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Many of those aren't positive outcomes, especially the firm jobs that aren't with big firms. 18 people were employed by firms smaller than 26 attorneys, with another 11 employed in the 26-50 attorney band. Most importantly, 64 out of 377 grads were employed by the school nine months after graduation.


Starting with the last point first, I can't think of anyone who took a fellowship that would quit it within nine months.

Let's think about it - 17% of graduates got a fellowship. 7% more than at the somewhat more prestigious NYU. At many other schools they would be unemployed. Instead their school stood by them and now they'll be getting year of solid legal experience. I suspect the majority will be retained permanently by their current employer. For those that are not, they at least enter a difficult job market with some experience behind them.

Looking at your comment on small firms (ignoring that several of those are probably boutiques paying market, and that at NYU 14% of 2011 grads are with small firms compared to 10% at UVA) you still have almost 75% of the class in the sort of positions that folk here seem to believe are the only successful outcomes from law school - that is big firm, clerking or with the government.

In this economy, I'd say UVA is a pretty good place to be right now.


No one is saying that UVa (or other schools) should not offer these fellowships. I agree with your assessment that it helps the student to get a year of legal experience in a tough market, hopefully better positioning them for finding a job after the fellowship ends. But that does not make being one of the unlucky 15-20% stuck with the fellowship a positive outcome. Frankly, it's a shit outcome given how much people are paying (this goes for all the schools that do this, not just UVa). It is also misleading for schools to lump the fellowships in with positive employment outcomes and claim to have 98% of their class employed.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:27 pm

OP you need to figure out some way to get into Berkeley or HYS. Because UVA sure as hell isn't worth sticker price for working in the SF bay area (UVA probably isn't worth full price for working in almost any area for that matter). UVA's a good school but it's not worth that kind of money/debt for most people.

A HUGE portion of UVA grads end up "employed" by the school in temporary "fellowships" that pay around 35K a year. I believe something like almost a 1/3 of the class ends up doing that. Many graduate without any job in hand at all. I am a current UVA 3L. If you land below the median you are almost certainly not going to get a firm job in SF. Even if you hit the median you will be in very dicey territory.

I'm going to be real about this--even though no one wants to hear it. The way things are right now the only truly "good" options in this economy are HYS or some other school that's strong in the region you want to work for free or close to it. Sticker is NOT a good choice ANYWHERE except HYS (and the likelihood that you'd be paying sticker there is not that high anyway).

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bk1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby bk1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:29 pm

I think that UVA at full sticker is risky but may be justifiable if you want to work at big firm (and the exit options that that entails). I may be slightly biased due to the fact that I attend a T14 at sticker. That being said, I think only those who are open to working in NYC should attend a T14 at sticker. NYC is by far the easiest place to biglaw and you would need biglaw to pay for the debtload you would take on. Other markets (especially CA and NorCal) are brutal and it wouldn't make sense to bank on paying sticker and only wanting a specific non-NYC area.

Assuming you are open to NYC, I think the question is what risk are willing take. If you go to UVA you have a 25-50% risk of being employed as a lawyer but without a salary to shoulder your debt burden. At UCD/UCH you have a 25-50% risk of not even being employed as a lawyer. I've used broad ranges so people don't nitpick them, but my guess is that your bad outcome chance at either school is around 1/3.

Pick your poison as neither choice is particularly attractive.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:34 pm

Anyone who could get a near full ride at UCD/UCH but has to pay sticker at UVA needs to retake the LSAT.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:37 pm

bk1 wrote:I think that UVA at full sticker is risky but may be justifiable if you want to work at big firm (and the exit options that that entails). I may be slightly biased due to the fact that I attend a T14 at sticker. That being said, I think only those who are open to working in NYC should attend a T14 at sticker. NYC is by far the easiest place to biglaw and you would need biglaw to pay for the debtload you would take on. Other markets (especially CA and NorCal) are brutal and it wouldn't make sense to bank on paying sticker and only wanting a specific non-NYC area.

Assuming you are open to NYC, I think the question is what risk are willing take. If you go to UVA you have a 25-50% risk of being employed as a lawyer but without a salary to shoulder your debt burden. At UCD/UCH you have a 25-50% risk of not even being employed as a lawyer. I've used broad ranges so people don't nitpick them, but my guess is that your bad outcome chance at either school is around 1/3.

Pick your poison as neither choice is particularly attractive.


To be fair, anyone below median at UVA is going to have a hell of a time getting biglaw in NYC too.

One ray of hope I'll give about the Bay Area (and Cali overall) and UVA. I've noticed that California firms in general seem to give a lot more leeway for being from there than a lot of other markets do. What I mean by that is that I don't think being below median instantly rules you out of all SF firms if you're from the Bay and attend UVA. Whereas with say Atlanta or Chicago, even if you are from there being below median still instantly rules you out of almost all of the big firms.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:40 pm

I think that there is a major disconnect here between what the OP was asking for and what has actually been said.

If the OP had said "I want to go to a school that is worth the investment, and I have no other considerations..." then the subsequent discussion would make sense. But instead, the OP asked what (s)he should do in order to secure work in the SF Bay Area.

To that end, here are some things OP might want to consider:

1) About half the biglaw placements from Davis are actually to biglaw offices in Sacramento, this was a major reason why I turned Davis down when I applied.

2) I disagree with Mick Haller's assessment of the SF biglaw job market. The issue is not firm preference for "T14 students from across the country." Rather, the issue is that the class sizes are small, period. As an example, this year both Nixon Peabody and Baker & Mackenzie only took 3 SAs each at their Bay Area offices. In both cases, 1 of the students is from Hastings. Mick makes it sound like they fly in 50 Harvard students and take no one from Hastings. This isn't the case, it's just that they're taking almost no one in SF period.

3) As a result of the previous point, you need to recognize that your chances of working in SF straight out of UVA are slim. If you REALLY care about working in SF, then retake the LSAT and reapply to Berkeley and Stanford.

4) Consider asking yourself what's more important to you, working in SF or working in biglaw. everything on TLS is biglaw focused, and UVA definitely has a good chance of getting you biglaw. It does not, however have a good chance of getting you SF.

albanach
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby albanach » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:48 pm

BruceWayne wrote:A HUGE portion of UVA grads end up "employed" by the school in temporary "fellowships" that pay around 35K a year. I believe something like almost a 1/3 of the class ends up doing that. Many graduate without any job in hand at all. I am a current UVA 3L. If you land below the median you are almost certainly not going to get a firm job in SF. Even if you hit the median you will be in very dicey territory.


It's only a HUGE proportion if you believe 17% to be a huge proportion. It's certainly nothing like 1/3 of the class.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:18 pm

Based on the chart on the previous page:

Desirable employment outcomes:

UC Hastings: < 18%
UC Davis: ~ 18%
UVA: 53%

Expected value factor: 53%/18% ~ 3

Full tuition at UC Davis (assumed): ~ 200k

Therefore, all else equal, scholarship necessary at UVA to make the expected value equivalent to a full ride at UC Davis: 200/3 ~ 66.6k.

Fix the variables yourself, but this is the sort of math you should be doing if you want to take your emotions out of the decision. Note that this ignores differences in cost of living and relative probabilities of finding desirable employment specifically in SF, among other things (hence "all else equal"), but I'm too lazy to do that research for you. You can do it yourself, though, and adjust the math accordingly. That is how I would approach this if I was in the hypothetically posed situation. That, or I would just go to UVA; but I'm a little more of risk seeker than average.

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NR3C1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby NR3C1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:42 pm

FattyMcFatFat wrote:Based on the chart on the previous page:

Desirable employment outcomes:

UC Hastings: < 18%
UC Davis: ~ 18%
UVA: 53%

Expected value factor: 53%/18% ~ 3

Full tuition at UC Davis (assumed): ~ 200k

Therefore, all else equal, scholarship necessary at UVA to make the expected value equivalent to a full ride at UC Davis: 200/3 ~ 66.6k.

Fix the variables yourself, but this is the sort of math you should be doing if you want to take your emotions out of the decision. Note that this ignores differences in cost of living and relative probabilities of finding desirable employment specifically in SF, among other things (hence "all else equal"), but I'm too lazy to do that research for you. You can do it yourself, though, and adjust the math accordingly. That is how I would approach this if I was in the hypothetically posed situation. That, or I would just go to UVA; but I'm a little more of risk seeker than average.

But all else is not equal. In your analysis you are assuming JD from UC Davis = JD from UVA, and that is absolutely not the case. The expected outcomes should also be considered, namely that a UVA JD pays more, on average, than a UC Davis JD.

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bk1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby bk1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:04 pm

BruceWayne wrote:To be fair, anyone below median at UVA is going to have a hell of a time getting biglaw in NYC too.

One ray of hope I'll give about the Bay Area (and Cali overall) and UVA. I've noticed that California firms in general seem to give a lot more leeway for being from there than a lot of other markets do. What I mean by that is that I don't think being below median instantly rules you out of all SF firms if you're from the Bay and attend UVA. Whereas with say Atlanta or Chicago, even if you are from there being below median still instantly rules you out of almost all of the big firms.


True but they are going to be in a far better position at any class rank if they are open to NYC. My point wasn't to minimize the reality that many people have bad outcomes, but more to point out that being open to NYC is practically necessary for maximizing the chance at a good outcome.

The second comment isn't relevant to OP since he/she has ties. I agree that CA firms are less parochial than other secondary markets, but they still really value ties and care about grades. The issue with CA firms that has been pointed out (and this applies to pretty much all secondary markets) is that the small class sizes create a lot of randomness.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:23 pm

bk1 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:To be fair, anyone below median at UVA is going to have a hell of a time getting biglaw in NYC too.

One ray of hope I'll give about the Bay Area (and Cali overall) and UVA. I've noticed that California firms in general seem to give a lot more leeway for being from there than a lot of other markets do. What I mean by that is that I don't think being below median instantly rules you out of all SF firms if you're from the Bay and attend UVA. Whereas with say Atlanta or Chicago, even if you are from there being below median still instantly rules you out of almost all of the big firms.


True but they are going to be in a far better position at any class rank if they are open to NYC. My point wasn't to minimize the reality that many people have bad outcomes, but more to point out that being open to NYC is practically necessary for maximizing the chance at a good outcome.

The second comment isn't relevant to OP since he/she has ties. I agree that CA firms are less parochial than other secondary markets, but they still really value ties and care about grades. The issue with CA firms that has been pointed out (and this applies to pretty much all secondary markets) is that the small class sizes create a lot of randomness.



Honestly, the OP is not going to be in a "far" better position at any class rank if she is open to NYC. Frankly, below median at UVA has something like a 30 % chance of getting NYC biglaw. If she misses that boat, she really won't be any better off than the typical Indy student. People don't realize that once you miss biglaw most, if not all, of the top 14 luster is gone. Non biglaw non big fed employers don't really give much of a boost for going to a top 14.

You must have misread my post. What I'm saying is that California firms WILL give her signficantly more leeway since she is from California. This is different from a secondary market like Atlanta where they really don't care if you're from there or not if you are below median at a top 14.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:10 pm

NR3C1 wrote:But all else is not equal.


No shit.

NR3C1 wrote:In your analysis you are assuming JD from UC Davis = JD from UVA, and that is absolutely not the case. The expected outcomes should also be considered, namely that a UVA JD pays more, on average, than a UC Davis JD.


Um... the only thing that IS considered is the bolded, albeit not comprehensively (i.e., the difference in outcomes between the 47% of UVA grads and 82% of UC Davis grads who do not get clerkships or biglaw (as defined in the chart on page 1) is ignored. Is this what you're trying to say?). The underlined is also just plain false. If I was making that assumption, there would be no purpose to any of this. I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make...

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bk1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby bk1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:27 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Honestly, the OP is not going to be in a "far" better position at any class rank if she is open to NYC. Frankly, below median at UVA has something like a 30 % chance of getting NYC biglaw. If she misses that boat, she really won't be any better off than the typical Indy student. People don't realize that once you miss biglaw most, if not all, of the top 14 luster is gone. Non biglaw non big fed employers don't really give much of a boost for going to a top 14.

You must have misread my post. What I'm saying is that California firms WILL give her signficantly more leeway since she is from California. This is different from a secondary market like Atlanta where they really don't care if you're from there or not if you are below median at a top 14.


I think we're mainly into semantics about "far." My main reason is that the firms with submedian callback medians have much bigger class sizes (and are more plentiful) in NYC than in CA.

I don't think CA firms will give people with CA ties much, if any, more leeway. The average callback median for Bay Area firms is around top 1/3 (not weighting for SA class size). IME, the SA classes I've seen tend to be overwhelmingly (around 80%+) people with CA ties. I don't know about ATL or other secondary markets but I don't think CA firms are going to be easier for OP.

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Justin Genious
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Justin Genious » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:34 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:That leaves 40% of the class with bad outcomes. That's a huge gamble if you are looking at paying $270k.

No. Some students wish to go into PI, government, and even state clerkships. I assure you that it is considerably less than 40%.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:40 pm

Justin Genious wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:That leaves 40% of the class with bad outcomes. That's a huge gamble if you are looking at paying $270k.

No. Some students wish to go into PI, government, and even state clerkships. I assure you that it is considerably less than 40%.


If you're talking about UVA I'm sorry but 40% of the class are definitely in positions that they did not come here for (i.e "bad outcomes"). I'm not saying that they are "bad" compared to the population at large. But they're definitely not the types of jobs that people forked over 270K in tuition and living expenses to get. They're no different than the types of jobs people at regional schools achieve--we're just paying a lot more than they are.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:41 pm

OP: What are your LSAT/GPA numbers ? Any other options ?

Virginia is a solid, but expensive, option IF you are willing to consider other destinations. Otherwise, you should consider retaking the LSAT to earn more options.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby bk1 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:49 pm

BruceWayne wrote:They're no different than the types of jobs people at regional schools achieve--we're just paying a lot more than they are.


This doesn't make sense.

1. You're ignoring the fact that the bad outcomes at top schools (being employed in a full time legal job) are good outcomes for people at regional schools. The bad outcomes for people at regional schools are not getting a full time legal job at all.

2. You're not paying more for a better outcome. You're paying more for a better shot at a better outcome. Will some people end up screwed? Of course, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it. I'm not saying it is worth it, but I don't find fact that *some* people end up in the same spot as people from regional schools is a compelling argument. I think you're trying to force your "below median T14ers aren't any better off than below median top regional-ers" argument onto this. There may be some merit to that argument but I honestly don't find it compelling when you compare the percentage of people getting full time legal jobs at T14s to the percentage of people getting those jobs at regional schools.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Law Sauce » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:53 pm

BruceWayne wrote:To be fair, anyone below median at UVA is going to have a hell of a time getting biglaw in NYC too.


This was true this year to the extent that it was difficult. But a large percentage of people below median got what they wanted eventually. In my 1L section, I only know of one person who did not get a firm (true I dont know everyone's outcome, but I probably know 15-20). I also know several who had below median grades (well below) that got NY biglaw. Also the only person that I knew that wanted SF and had slightly above median grades got it. Basically I think that Bruce is giving you the hard line, but things are not that bad for most people (I understand that some do not come out ahead, but I think that this year, it is safe to say that most did). Also, many would pay full sticker for UVA. A bunch of us here did and do not regret it. The other options are far far far too risky. Come to Cville.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby albanach » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:20 pm

BruceWayne wrote:If you're talking about UVA I'm sorry but 40% of the class are definitely in positions that they did not come here for (i.e "bad outcomes"). I'm not saying that they are "bad" compared to the population at large. But they're definitely not the types of jobs that people forked over 270K in tuition and living expenses to get. They're no different than the types of jobs people at regional schools achieve--we're just paying a lot more than they are.


That's just not the case amongst the students I know. Given Career Services stats show 59% of the 2011 class are in 50+ firms or clerking, a chunk of others are in government jobs and at least a few percent came in with the goal of doing non-government public interest, I don't even see how the 40% figure could be possible.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby be(au)ar » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:27 am

Thanks for all the chatter but I'm leaning toward UVA...

I'd think I'm willing to take on the extra debt and would definitely work hard to work my way above "the medians" and land some kind of decent job. UC Hasting and UC Davis's job placements are bleak (and plus, they're raising tuition) and I would still be forking quite a bit of money away (based on the math, I would graduate with roughly 60K more dollars in debt if I choose UVA). To me, UVA's %FTLT (regardless of where exactly-biglaw, fellowship, etc) compared to that of UCH and UCD makes me think UVA is worth the extra debt. I do want to work in San Francisco but I'm open to working wherever my degree takes me.

At the end of the day, I think it boils down to a matter of expectations. Like a earlier poster said, a decent/average job for a UVA grad would be a huge win for a UCH/UCD grad. And a good job for a UCH grad would seem like garage to a Cavalier alum.

The more I think about it and the more I see numbers being thrown around, debt and its numbers lose their value and while I am debt-averse to a certain extent, I would hate to give up the opportunity to attend a T14, go to UCH, get an average job coming out and wonder where would I be had I gone to a school that greatly outpaces UCH and UCD. I'd much rather have an extra 60-90K in debt, have a better shot at a better job, and enjoy being at a better law school.

Again, thanks for the responses

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bk1
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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby bk1 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:59 am

be(au)ar wrote:I'd think I'm willing to take on the extra debt and would definitely work hard to work my way above "the medians" and land some kind of decent job.


You should work hard, but don't think for a second that hard work will get you above median grades. Many smart, hard working people end up below median every year.

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Re: UVA (Full Sticker) vs. UC Hastings ($$$) vs. UC Davis ($$$)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:24 pm

bk1 wrote:
be(au)ar wrote:I'd think I'm willing to take on the extra debt and would definitely work hard to work my way above "the medians" and land some kind of decent job.


You should work hard, but don't think for a second that hard work will get you above median grades. Many smart, hard working people end up below median every year.


This. Also, if a school places 60% of the class in desirable outcomes, that does not mean that that 60% is the top 60% (it never is).




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