Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

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jrfreed
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Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby jrfreed » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:07 pm

Hi all-

I'm a newbie to the TLS forums, but I have seen a lot of valuable feedback here and would like to ask for some advice. I am originally from CA (LA), and would really love to move back (and eventually practice there). I have been really lucky this admissions cycle, and now have Boalt, UCLA, and USC as my CA options. I'm also in at Duke, Georgetown, and Cornell, all of which I really like and am honored to have been accepted to. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few others. I'm just not sure if it would be worth it to give up the ability to make CA connections and "settle down" a bit, though? Thankfully, cost of school will not be an issue in my decision, and as of now I have not received any scholarship offers anyways.

I have a few specific questions..

1. Competition: I have heard that competition at UCLA is really tough, and slightly lessened at USC. Given Boalt's grading system, is it really less competitive as compared to the other two?

2. I lean towards the libertarian right on the political spectrum. In your experience, just how liberal are Boalt and UCLA? Would I feel really out of place? This wouldn't be a deal killer, but it would be nice if I didn't feel as though people would like to burn me at the stake :)
To its credit, USC seems to be more moderate (and, from what I have seen, benefits from both a really effective private administration and enthusiastic alumni base). If it weren't for the USNWR rankings, that would be an easier decision. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

3. How do the three CA schools fare in placement in the LA market?

Thanks so much in advance for your guidance!

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teachmehowtoraji
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby teachmehowtoraji » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:14 pm

Any $?

karich
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby karich » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:05 pm

.
Last edited by karich on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:15 pm

All things equal, Boalt without a doubt. You would need a lot of $$ from UCLA or USC to even make this a consideration.

This being said, wait until you get your scholarship amounts from Boalt, Cornell, Duke, and Georgetown. You may be able to negotiation some money out of all four if you play your cards right.

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby jrfreed » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:48 pm

Thanks for the responses so far.. I appreciate it!

Teachmehow: none as of yet. Honestly, though, given my LSAT (167, but I'm a reverse splitter 3.96/4.0) I am pretty excited to have been accepted to those schools at sticker.

Karich- Nope, just a fortunate situation. I have a ton of respect for our vets, though.

doorkeeper: Point taken as to Boalt, and thanks for the advice. I'm not sure that I can expect much along those lines given my figures, through. There are probably a lot of higher LSAT scorers ahead of me. Out of curiosity, is there a period when the offers usually come in?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:04 pm

Have you considered a February retake?

BigZuck
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:33 pm

As per usual when you've got rich parents footing the bill, I say go wherever makes you happy. YOLO bro.

If you want to maximize your chances of getting a desirable job after graduation go to Berkeley.

If you want to maximize your chances of getting a lawyer job in CA go to Berkeley.

If you want to maximize your chances of getting any lawyer job at all go to Berkeley.

If you want to do the right thing retake the LSAT.

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Dmini7
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Dmini7 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:37 pm

jrfreed wrote:Thanks for the responses so far.. I appreciate it!

Teachmehow: none as of yet. Honestly, though, given my LSAT (167, but I'm a reverse splitter 3.96/4.0) I am pretty excited to have been accepted to those schools at sticker.

Karich- Nope, just a fortunate situation. I have a ton of respect for our vets, though.

doorkeeper: Point taken as to Boalt, and thanks for the advice. I'm not sure that I can expect much along those lines given my figures, through. There are probably a lot of higher LSAT scorers ahead of me. Out of curiosity, is there a period when the offers usually come in?


A 167 3.96 should get you money from USC and maybe even UCLA. All are fine choices, with Boalt being an obvious notch above the other two. With that said,you should go to the place that you feel most comfortable in and more welcomed since money is not an issue. Attend ASW or visit to get a better feel.

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Rotor
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Rotor » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:52 pm

jrfreed wrote:1. Competition: I have heard that competition at UCLA is really tough, and slightly lessened at USC. Given Boalt's grading system, is it really less competitive as compared to the other two?

2. I lean towards the libertarian right on the political spectrum. In your experience, just how liberal are Boalt and UCLA? Would I feel really out of place? This wouldn't be a deal killer, but it would be nice if I didn't feel as though people would like to burn me at the stake :)
To its credit, USC seems to be more moderate (and, from what I have seen, benefits from both a really effective private administration and enthusiastic alumni base). If it weren't for the USNWR rankings, that would be an easier decision. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

3. How do the three CA schools fare in placement in the LA market?

1. Never having attended another law school, I can't really compare. However, having gone to Boalt, I can't imagine that the SoCal schools could be any more relaxed on this front. I don't know that it's entirely attributable to the grading system, but it is a big factor. The other big factor is that Dean Tom has a knack for picking some awesome people.

2. Don't worry about the politics. Will you be outnumbered? Sure. Welcome to pretty much any law school. I am roughly where you are on the scale, but loved my time there. And to think I almost didn't apply for what turned out to be a non-factor. While there were plenty of folks there who were way out there, everyone is at least civil and pleasant. The Federalist Society is very strong there too, so you'll have some folks to meet if you want to hang with people like yourself.

3. I'll let others with data speak to this one.

In short, as of now, you have no reason NOT to go to Berkeley. Given $ at UCLA/USC, it could be a different story.

Boggs
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Boggs » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:32 am

jrfreed wrote:Hi all-

I'm a newbie to the TLS forums, but I have seen a lot of valuable feedback here and would like to ask for some advice. I am originally from CA (LA), and would really love to move back (and eventually practice there). I have been really lucky this admissions cycle, and now have Boalt, UCLA, and USC as my CA options. I'm also in at Duke, Georgetown, and Cornell, all of which I really like and am honored to have been accepted to. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few others. I'm just not sure if it would be worth it to give up the ability to make CA connections and "settle down" a bit, though? Thankfully, cost of school will not be an issue in my decision, and as of now I have not received any scholarship offers anyways.

I have a few specific questions..

1. Competition: I have heard that competition at UCLA is really tough, and slightly lessened at USC. Given Boalt's grading system, is it really less competitive as compared to the other two?

2. I lean towards the libertarian right on the political spectrum. In your experience, just how liberal are Boalt and UCLA? Would I feel really out of place? This wouldn't be a deal killer, but it would be nice if I didn't feel as though people would like to burn me at the stake :)
To its credit, USC seems to be more moderate (and, from what I have seen, benefits from both a really effective private administration and enthusiastic alumni base). If it weren't for the USNWR rankings, that would be an easier decision. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

3. How do the three CA schools fare in placement in the LA market?

Thanks so much in advance for your guidance!


1. I don't know. Haven't attended UCLA or USC. Boalt is pretty chill.

2. Politics doesn't matter. We rarely talk about it. If you have fundamentally different ideas about justice, you'd be a welcome addition to class discussion.

3. Boalt is great for LA. I'll be summering in LA, as will two of my three roommates and a bunch of other 2Ls.

PM me if you'd like.

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby jrfreed » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:11 pm

ndirish: I'm confident that my first take represented the best of my abilities; otherwise, I certainly would.

big: Thank you for the clear advice, and point taken. As above, though, I'm really happy with my score.

Dmini: I'll be sure to stay on the lookout for any offers; thank you for the info as to where I might stand.

Rotor: Thanks for the advice.. it is great to hear from a likeminded individual who attends/ attended Boalt. I am just fine with being in the minority, but it's nice to know that I wouldn't be the only one..

boggs: As with Rotor, it is nice to hear from someone who goes there; thanks for the helpful advice! I'd definitely be interested in summering in LA. I'm glad that is a possibility, and you answered an important question that I forgot to ask.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help me out!

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt -with an update

Postby jrfreed » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:23 pm

Hi all-


As a number of you said to check back if scholarship offers are on the table, I was hoping to ask for your advice again. USC just made a really, really generous offer (105k; 35k/yr. with no strings attached). Since I'm from LA, want to work there, and like many of USC's programs, the offer is really enticing. At this point, I'm struggling to decide between Berkeley at sticker and USC at, well, nearly free. With that said, both are financially acceptable given my current situation. In terms of programs that interest me, they are just about equal. Any and all advice will be highly appreciated! Berkeley's grading system still seems like a major bonus...

Thanks!

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francesfarmer
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt -with an update

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:29 pm

jrfreed wrote:Hi all-


As a number of you said to check back if scholarship offers are on the table, I was hoping to ask for your advice again. USC just made a really, really generous offer (105k; 35k/yr. with no strings attached). Since I'm from LA, want to work there, and like many of USC's programs, the offer is really enticing. At this point, I'm struggling to decide between Berkeley at sticker and USC at, well, nearly free. With that said, both are financially acceptable given my current situation. In terms of programs that interest me, they are just about equal. Any and all advice will be highly appreciated! Berkeley's grading system still seems like a major bonus...

Thanks!

If money is truly not an issue, the answer is still Berkeley. Don't go to a school because you like its programs--go there because you'll be able to get a job afterwards. Congrats on that scholarship though.

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Lasers
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Lasers » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:35 pm

I would say boalt without a question, if at equal price , or even anything less than half scholly at usc.

However, seeing usc is now almost free, I would go usc, especially since you want LA. Usc's placement in biglaw has been better than ucla in recent years and I think placed slightly better than a few t14's. While big law is no guarantee, usc at almost no cost is a pretty ideal option for Socal.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:54 pm

If it's actually Berkeley at sticker, USC seems like the right choice.

Few schools place better in LA. The alumni network and preftige SC holds in the city and it's suburbs is intense. And not having almost a quarter million bucks in debt is always credited.

But this is all if you're dead set on LA and SoCal. If not, it's a much tougher choice. SC has some national prominence but moreso for undergrad (and some graduate programs) and I know for a fact Boalt opens more doors than Gould outside SoCal.

So the choice is pretty heavily dependent on where you're set on, I think.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby francesfarmer » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:13 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:If it's actually Berkeley at sticker, USC seems like the right choice.

Few schools place better in LA. The alumni network and preftige SC holds in the city and it's suburbs is intense. And not having almost a quarter million bucks in debt is always credited.

But this is all if you're dead set on LA and SoCal. If not, it's a much tougher choice. SC has some national prominence but moreso for undergrad (and some graduate programs) and I know for a fact Boalt opens more doors than Gould outside SoCal.

So the choice is pretty heavily dependent on where you're set on, I think.

This is the right answer but OP says money is no object--I'm assuming that means someone else is footing the bill. If OP is taking out loans, USC is the best option.

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt -with an update

Postby jrfreed » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:47 pm

francesfarmer wrote:
jrfreed wrote:Hi all-


As a number of you said to check back if scholarship offers are on the table, I was hoping to ask for your advice again. USC just made a really, really generous offer (105k; 35k/yr. with no strings attached). Since I'm from LA, want to work there, and like many of USC's programs, the offer is really enticing. At this point, I'm struggling to decide between Berkeley at sticker and USC at, well, nearly free. With that said, both are financially acceptable given my current situation. In terms of programs that interest me, they are just about equal. Any and all advice will be highly appreciated! Berkeley's grading system still seems like a major bonus...

Thanks!

If money is truly not an issue, the answer is still Berkeley. Don't go to a school because you like its programs--go there because you'll be able to get a job afterwards. Congrats on that scholarship though.


Thank you, and point taken!

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby jrfreed » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:50 pm

Lasers wrote:I would say boalt without a question, if at equal price , or even anything less than half scholly at usc.

However, seeing usc is now almost free, I would go usc, especially since you want LA. Usc's placement in biglaw has been better than ucla in recent years and I think placed slightly better than a few t14's. While big law is no guarantee, usc at almost no cost is a pretty ideal option for Socal.




Thank you for the advice.... really good points. I have seen the "Trojan Network" work well, but it definitely does seem to be a regional factor.

jrfreed
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby jrfreed » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:55 pm

John_rizzy_rawls wrote:If it's actually Berkeley at sticker, USC seems like the right choice.

Few schools place better in LA. The alumni network and preftige SC holds in the city and it's suburbs is intense. And not having almost a quarter million bucks in debt is always credited.

But this is all if you're dead set on LA and SoCal. If not, it's a much tougher choice. SC has some national prominence but moreso for undergrad (and some graduate programs) and I know for a fact Boalt opens more doors than Gould outside SoCal.

So the choice is pretty heavily dependent on where you're set on, I think.


Thanks for the advice and great points regarding local placement. At this point, I feel pretty confident that I will settle in LA. Of course, we never really know where life will take us, and so I can see how the regional aspects could either be a great asset or a potential handicap.

zman
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby zman » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:41 pm

jrfreed wrote:Hi all-

I'm a newbie to the TLS forums, but I have seen a lot of valuable feedback here and would like to ask for some advice. I am originally from CA (LA), and would really love to move back (and eventually practice there). I have been really lucky this admissions cycle, and now have Boalt, UCLA, and USC as my CA options. I'm also in at Duke, Georgetown, and Cornell, all of which I really like and am honored to have been accepted to. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few others. I'm just not sure if it would be worth it to give up the ability to make CA connections and "settle down" a bit, though? Thankfully, cost of school will not be an issue in my decision, and as of now I have not received any scholarship offers anyways.

I have a few specific questions..

1. Competition: I have heard that competition at UCLA is really tough, and slightly lessened at USC. Given Boalt's grading system, is it really less competitive as compared to the other two?

2. I lean towards the libertarian right on the political spectrum. In your experience, just how liberal are Boalt and UCLA? Would I feel really out of place? This wouldn't be a deal killer, but it would be nice if I didn't feel as though people would like to burn me at the stake :)
To its credit, USC seems to be more moderate (and, from what I have seen, benefits from both a really effective private administration and enthusiastic alumni base). If it weren't for the USNWR rankings, that would be an easier decision. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

3. How do the three CA schools fare in placement in the LA market?

Thanks so much in advance for your guidance!



"USC seems to be more moderate" sorry but no. most of the faculty are all pro-democrat party Berkeley types. the student body at USC law school is about the same. but that's not a bad thing.

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Lasers
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Lasers » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:10 pm

OP, what are your career goals?

if it's big law, like i said before, i think usc is the choice here. while berkeley provides more opportunities and better placement in big law, that advantage, when compared to the massive additional cost, is not proportionate.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/06/20/law-blogs-best-big-law-feeder-schools/
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202543436520&THE_GOTO_LAW_SCHOOLS&slreturn=20130102195743

as you'll see in the links above, usc does a lot better than it's us news rankings would indicate. i think this is largely due to two reasons: it's smaller class size (LA big law firms for example have typically taken an almost equal amount of usc and ucla students, but since usc has 100 students fewer in its class, the comparative advantage goes to usc) and it's very strong alumni network. note, it is still important to consider that students at schools like berkeley (and up) self-select into careers outside of big law, so the stats above don't tell the entire story.

with that said, the key question here: is the better big law placement worth $100,000+?

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CalAlumni
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby CalAlumni » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:17 pm

Since money is not a question, Boalt no doubt!

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Dmini7
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Dmini7 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:32 pm

CalAlumni wrote:Since money is not a question, Boalt no doubt!


I know he said money is not an issue, but I feel like whoevers money you are using, would really appreciate it if you considered the benefits of going to a school and having 105k less debt(or in this case 105k more in your pocket). USC places extremely well in big law, especially in the LA market, and their alumni base is amazing. I would personally choose USC. Even if money is not an option, I think USC's offer and placement mean you have more flexibility. Also, maybe USC's offer could convince Boalt to give you some money.

zman
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby zman » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:40 pm

CalAlumni wrote:Since money is not a question, Boalt no doubt!


We don't know yet. IF he was good enough to be accepted to Boalt he should be able to get money from USC and UCLA. He/she should wait on that. Boalt doesn't give much if anything I hear, they use their law school revenue to fund their cheaper in-state tuition to undergrads.

But you're right, Boalt is the clear answer at equal money.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby bruinfan10 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:11 am

don't take U$C. UCLA's a better school and even they're struggling to place kids in decent jobs. I went with one of Boalt's peer schools because Boalt wouldn't match any of my scholarships, and there are days I still regret it. If you can afford it, you're minimizing your risk of unemployment tremendously, and if you figure out eventually that you want to ditch the LA scene, you'll be glad you went to Cal.




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