Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

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

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:46 pm

bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.

Ti Malice
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:13 pm

As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.

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

Postby zman » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:52 pm

Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:05 pm

zman wrote:
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.


I appreciate the insight, even if the truth may not be I what I "wanted" to hear :)

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

Postby Lasers » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:07 pm

BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.

this.

i had this decision last year and chose usc. i always liked ucla more, to be honest, but after looking at the stats and visiting the campuses, i went with usc and i am definitely not regretting it. usc has done a better job of insulating its students from the shitfest that is the current economy; the smaller class size and alumni network have resulted in big law placement numbers that have outstripped ucla and other higher ranked schools on us news.

westwood IS definitely nicer, though. but i'll have plenty of time to spend around there when i start working in the area.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:13 pm

Lasers wrote: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+?


At this point, I would like to pursue private practice at a firm, and have very, very little interest in government work. With that said, the big, midsize, and smaller firms all have some distinctive appeal, respectively. Thank you for the great web links on placement statistics.. they will definitely play a major role my decision!

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:23 pm

Dmini7 wrote:
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.


Thanks for the good points, Dmini. And yes, if I do go with USC, I think that the scholarship offer would probably be beneficial to my own sense of self-worth, too. The alumni base is a very appealing factor, especially as I have seen it firsthand. Boalt could be great for that, too; I simply don't know as many of them...

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:15 pm

bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Thank you for the painfully honest advice, and point taken as to the extra-regional opportunities presented by Boalt. With that said (whether my opinion is right or wrong) I personally do consider UCLA and USC to be peer schools.

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

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:16 pm

zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ok, your turn. Evidence that UVA and Duke are more conservative than any top law schools?

As for the OP, considering the richness and generosity of your benefactors I can't see why you would pick USC over Boalt. Boalt is objectively better and on another level.

Edited for: mistyped.
Last edited by BigZuck on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:27 pm

zman wrote:
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.


As per my recent posts.. only USC has offered any funds thus far. I will say that the California state control over the UC's (as manifested by the funding transfers you mention) does scare me a little bit. I know that both UCLA Law and Berkeley Law are almost autonomous and under talented leadership, but the fact that the "less-than-efficient" state gov't can do that kind of thing isn't exactly comforting, IMHO. Of course, my fears could be baseless, as they often are...

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:30 pm

BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.



Good points. I have a lot of respect for both UCLA and USC, but the overall claims of superiority from both sides don't seem to pan out, at least statistically.

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

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:33 pm

jrfreed wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.



Good points. I have a lot of respect for both UCLA and USC, but the overall claims of superiority from both sides don't seem to pan out, at least statistically.


How is USC not superior, statistically speaking?

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:34 pm

Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.



Point taken, and I am trying to remove the oft-anecdotal associations from my criteria.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:40 pm

zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ironically, I actually left LA to attend an elite Southern school for undergrad, and found very little difference in the way of political mindset (of course, that could just be my university, which is very popular among Northeasterners)

rad lulz
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:43 pm

jrfreed wrote:
zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ironically, I actually left LA to attend an elite Southern school for undergrad, and found very little difference in the way of political mindset (of course, that could just be my university, which is very popular among Northeasterners)

Emory?

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:45 pm

BigZuck wrote:
zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ok, your turn. Evidence that UVA and Duke are more conservative than any top law schools?

As for the OP, considering the richness and generosity of your benefactors I can't see why you would pick Boalt over USC. Boalt is objectively better and on another level.


I'm a bit confused by your wording here. Just to clarify, which are you in favor of?

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

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 pm

Sorry, I meant USC over Boalt. I would probably take USC if you had to pay for it, Boalt if your parents are. Boalt is objectively better.

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

Postby zman » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:23 pm

BigZuck wrote:
zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ok, your turn. Evidence that UVA and Duke are more conservative than any top law schools?

As for the OP, considering the richness and generosity of your benefactors I can't see why you would pick USC over Boalt. Boalt is objectively better and on another level.

Edited for: mistyped.


I should have been more clear when I said the south I mean lower ranked schools where their grads only work in the south(for the most part). UVA and duke are national schools.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:41 pm

BigZuck wrote:
jrfreed wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.



Good points. I have a lot of respect for both UCLA and USC, but the overall claims of superiority from both sides don't seem to pan out, at least statistically.


How is USC not superior, statistically speaking?


Quite frankly, I am not intimately familiar with all the stats, and I am sure that a legitimate claim could be made for both. I'm just basing that on what I have read/ heard, with the winner often switching back and forth ping-pong style. I suppose I should have said that there isn't a giant gulf between two great schools.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Advice wanted- UCLA vs. USC vs. Boalt

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:47 pm

BigZuck wrote:
jrfreed wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.



Good points. I have a lot of respect for both UCLA and USC, but the overall claims of superiority from both sides don't seem to pan out, at least statistically.


How is USC not superior, statistically speaking?

UCLA placed a higher percentage into NLJ 250 firms in 2005 and 2010, and it's not like they were routed in the other years.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:51 pm

Lasers wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
bruinfan10 wrote: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.


Besides the fact that you're a fan, evidence that UCLA is better than USC? Last year USC was better at getting their grads desirable jobs and lawyer jobs in general, more students reported a salary, it is cheaper, and it seems like their students are happier (although that is anecdotal obviously). UCLA is located in Westwood though, so that's cool.

this.

i had this decision last year and chose usc. i always liked ucla more, to be honest, but after looking at the stats and visiting the campuses, i went with usc and i am definitely not regretting it. usc has done a better job of insulating its students from the shitfest that is the current economy; the smaller class size and alumni network have resulted in big law placement numbers that have outstripped ucla and other higher ranked schools on us news.

westwood IS definitely nicer, though. but i'll have plenty of time to spend around there when i start working in the area.


Thanks for the guidance... it is really helpful to hear from someone who faced the same decision!

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:52 pm

BigZuck wrote:Sorry, I meant USC over Boalt. I would probably take USC if you had to pay for it, Boalt if your parents are. Boalt is objectively better.


Got it- thanks for the clarification, and point taken.

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

Postby zman » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:55 pm

Equal money go UCLA over USC(For the most part) but big law firms don't appear to have nearly as much respect for UCLA as they do for those ranked in the top 14 even though UCLA has better GPA's then quite a few of them. last year UCLA had a horrible year. only 23% got big law.

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

Postby jrfreed » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:58 pm

rad lulz wrote:
jrfreed wrote:
zman wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:As others have said, do not let the politics of the student body enter into your decision-making. The student body at any law school worth attending is going to be somewhere between predominantly liberal to almost entirely liberal.


except maybe in the South but of course he wouldn't care about that.


Ironically, I actually left LA to attend an elite Southern school for undergrad, and found very little difference in the way of political mindset (of course, that could just be my university, which is very popular among Northeasterners)

Emory?


Bingo. I was trying to follow the anonymity-focused approach that a lot of folks on here seem to take, but I figure I that I haven't said anything inflammatory/ regrettable...

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

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:02 pm

zman wrote:Equal money go UCLA over USC(For the most part) but big law firms don't appear to have nearly as much respect for UCLA as they do for those ranked in the top 14 even though UCLA has better GPA's then quite a few of them. last year UCLA had a horrible year. only 23% got big law.


Why? If USC has better employment stats (and they do) then why is UCLA a clear cut choice at equal price? Prettier campus?




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