Why/Why Not UCI?

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superhopefulwoo
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Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby superhopefulwoo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:42 am

I sense that UCI is not considered a good law school option by many on this forum so - what are the main reasons not to attend?

And if there are any advocates for the school, I'd love to know what makes it a good choice - possibly over a T-14/20.

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eav1277
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby eav1277 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:47 am

Tag...want to see what happens.

Also, OP were you offered $$$?

I'd say it'd be pretty hard to turn down any T-14 offer unless you get $$$/know you want to do PI or aren't set on big law. However even then, T-14 would be difficult to pass up.

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dproduct
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby dproduct » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:31 am

superhopefulwoo wrote:I sense that UCI is not considered a good law school option by many on this forum so - what are the main reasons not to attend?

And if there are any advocates for the school, I'd love to know what makes it a good choice - possibly over a T-14/20.


In a state with too many law schools. The two major markets, LA and SF are coveted not just by the California schools, but nationally as well. You're essentially going to be on par with LMU/Pepperdine/USD minus the almuni. So that's below Furd - Berkeley - UCLA/USC - Hastings/Davis... and so forth. (And that's just state competition, don't forget the rest of the kids from the t-14 from California who want to return home.)

I think the first class had a tremendous opportunity and was smart. They got a free ride from a school that was going to do everything in it's power to see that they succeeded. Now? Very risky.

Moreover, the fact that their tuition is on par with Boalt and UCLA is baffling to me.

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dingbat
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:36 am

The big problem with UCI is that it's a new law school in a crowded market. In northern California, the top schools are Stanford and Berkeley, while in southern California, the top schools are USC and UCLA. That's 4 of the top 20 law schools in the country competing for jobs in California and no new school is suddenly going to compete with them.

If UCI wants to set itself up as a strong regional school, there's San Diego, Loyola and Pepperdine to compete with, all of which have a good reputation down there.

UCI has no alumni network, and while the dean and other staff were able to get their rather small inaugural class jobs by calling in favors and appealing for the novelty factor, they'll probably run out of goodwill soon. During their first year, they could claim to have very selective admissions standards, but that's been dropping steadily (this cycle, there are people being offered scholarships at UCI, but rejected at UCLA and USC)
Maybe we're all wrong, and the school will have phenomenal employment statistics, but do you want to bet your career on it?

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2014
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:17 am

dingbat wrote:The big problem with UCI is that it's a new law school in a crowded market. In northern California, the top schools are Stanford and Berkeley, while in southern California, the top schools are USC and UCLA. That's 4 of the top 20 law schools in the country competing for jobs in California and no new school is suddenly going to compete with them.

If UCI wants to set itself up as a strong regional school, there's San Diego, Loyola and Pepperdine to compete with, all of which have a good reputation down there.

UCI has no alumni network, and while the dean and other staff were able to get their rather small inaugural class jobs by calling in favors and appealing for the novelty factor, they'll probably run out of goodwill soon. During their first year, they could claim to have very selective admissions standards, but that's been dropping steadily (this cycle, there are people being offered scholarships at UCI, but rejected at UCLA and USC)
Maybe we're all wrong, and the school will have phenomenal employment statistics, but do you want to bet your career on it?

I think UCI would like to believe it is competing at the very least with Hasting and Davis, not USD, Loyola, and Pepperdine.

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dingbat
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:48 pm

2014 wrote:
dingbat wrote:The big problem with UCI is that it's a new law school in a crowded market. In northern California, the top schools are Stanford and Berkeley, while in southern California, the top schools are USC and UCLA. That's 4 of the top 20 law schools in the country competing for jobs in California and no new school is suddenly going to compete with them.

If UCI wants to set itself up as a strong regional school, there's San Diego, Loyola and Pepperdine to compete with, all of which have a good reputation down there.

UCI has no alumni network, and while the dean and other staff were able to get their rather small inaugural class jobs by calling in favors and appealing for the novelty factor, they'll probably run out of goodwill soon. During their first year, they could claim to have very selective admissions standards, but that's been dropping steadily (this cycle, there are people being offered scholarships at UCI, but rejected at UCLA and USC)
Maybe we're all wrong, and the school will have phenomenal employment statistics, but do you want to bet your career on it?

I think UCI would like to believe it is competing at the very least with Hasting and Davis, not USD, Loyola, and Pepperdine.

UCI would like to believe it's competing with UCLA/USC (top 20). Doesn't make it any more true. Snarkiness aside, neither Davis nor Hastings place into southern California, and realistically, UCI won't be competing in the north of the state

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby superhopefulwoo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:45 pm

Well for the sake of insight, I'm curious about this topic because - yes, I got $$$.

My cycle is a bit overwhelming because I put a pretty large net over the entire T1, targeting schools in areas I've lived in and really liked (I moved a lot). I also targeted most of T-14 to 20 as well. However, I have no problem with going regional to almost any school I applied to since I like living in most of the areas. Minus Cali because I've never stepped foot in Cali yet.

Of course, my $$$ only covers most - not full tuition so I'm left with a good 30-35k a year of debt if I consider COL, but compared to sticker at 60-70k/yr for COA and COL and the fact that I'm far from set on "biglaw" makes it a hard choice.

If I get out of law school with 70/80k salary (with minimal debt in this case) I would be happy/okay with that. I'd actually enjoy doing PI as well. With that said, I haven't crossed off biglaw as an option.

Funny side note: A T-14 interviewer actually advocated for UCI saying at least until it gets ranked (which it will only be officially ranked the year I graduate) the school will most likely do anything in its power to make their students succeed in the legal market/PI market and that her friend who was accepted to a T-14 really enjoyed choosing UCI. Maybe the interviewer wanted to steer me away from her school since I'm not T-14 material... or maybe she meant it. Who knows?

Also it sounds like if I want to break into the San Diego market most of you would support full tuition at USD (well, minus 3k, but pretty much) over $$$ at UCI making UCI not a viable option in most circumstances?

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eav1277
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby eav1277 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:31 pm

Op. I have a thread titled uci full tuition and fees with more info on this topic in the URm section. Also there may be others but i think i am one of the ppl dingbat is talking about (Didnt get into UCLA and ambstill in review at usc but got $$$ at irvine). However I got a public interest scholly not the normal merit funds.

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stillwater
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby stillwater » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:32 pm

In favor of UCI: you can get your Chemerinsky treatise signed by the man himself.

akasabian
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby akasabian » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:37 pm

Honestly the only reason I see this being a credible option for attending is if you got significant scholarship at UCI and didn't get in to USC/UCLA or any other school that places well in SoCal. The risk you have with attending UCI will exist for a few years until there is a well-established reputation with UCI. And honestly, with it being a new school, the fact that its rank is going to be constantly moving up and down is a factor as well. About a year, year and a half ago, it was thought that UCI would come in around mid-20s rank, and now the general thought is it will be lower than that. This downward trend is dangerous, because you don't know where it'll stop and you don't know what the effect of a lower ranked new school will be in an oversaturated market.

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dingbat
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:15 pm

akasabian wrote:Honestly the only reason I see this being a credible option for attending is if you got significant scholarship at UCI and didn't get in to USC/UCLA or any other school that places well in SoCal. The risk you have with attending UCI will exist for a few years until there is a well-established reputation with UCI. And honestly, with it being a new school, the fact that its rank is going to be constantly moving up and down is a factor as well. About a year, year and a half ago, it was thought that UCI would come in around mid-20s rank, and now the general thought is it will be lower than that. This downward trend is dangerous, because you don't know where it'll stop and you don't know what the effect of a lower ranked new school will be in an oversaturated market.

Who cares about the school's rank? the only thing that matters is its employment prospects.

That being said, only an idiot could believe that it would debut around 20-ish and stay there. it wasn't realistic then, it isn't realistic now

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:09 pm

superhopefulwoo wrote:If I get out of law school with 70/80k salary (with minimal debt in this case) I would be happy/okay with that. I'd actually enjoy doing PI as well. With that said, I haven't crossed off biglaw as an option.


I have seen the assertion that someone would be totally fine with a 70-80K/year job a lot on these boards recently. You guys are very misinformed. 70-80K/year jobs are rare and would be an excellent outcome from UCI or any other lower T1 school. Most entry-level law jobs are 40-50K/year or 100K+/year (google: legal bimodal salary distribution). The 100K+ jobs are out of reach for most lower T1 students. This leaves the 40-50K/year jobs or, worse, the common outcome of 0K/year. At a lot of these schools, you are more likely to have no job than to make more than 70K/year. Don't delude yourself into taking UCI because you would be 'like, totally, fine with 70K/year in PI.'

Also, PI jobs don't pay 70-80K/year, so it is nice that you would enjoy PI, but recognize that 70K is unrealistic for PI. Also recognize that a lot of PI is just as prestige-whore-y as big law, so HYS grads get first dibs at most of the good stuff.

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby superhopefulwoo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:01 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
superhopefulwoo wrote:If I get out of law school with 70/80k salary (with minimal debt in this case) I would be happy/okay with that. I'd actually enjoy doing PI as well. With that said, I haven't crossed off biglaw as an option.


I have seen the assertion that someone would be totally fine with a 70-80K/year job a lot on these boards recently. You guys are very misinformed. 70-80K/year jobs are rare and would be an excellent outcome from UCI or any other lower T1 school. Most entry-level law jobs are 40-50K/year or 100K+/year (google: legal bimodal salary distribution). The 100K+ jobs are out of reach for most lower T1 students. This leaves the 40-50K/year jobs or, worse, the common outcome of 0K/year. At a lot of these schools, you are more likely to have no job than to make more than 70K/year. Don't delude yourself into taking UCI because you would be 'like, totally, fine with 70K/year in PI.'

Also, PI jobs don't pay 70-80K/year, so it is nice that you would enjoy PI, but recognize that 70K is unrealistic for PI. Also recognize that a lot of PI is just as prestige-whore-y as big law, so HYS grads get first dibs at most of the good stuff.


Hopefully, I will never find myself saying I'd be "like, totally, fine" with any amount of pay...

Thanks for the heads up though - I definitely don't expect PI to pay 70k, but I would be okay with a small-mid size firm OR PI even with the minimal pay if I had little to no debt because I think I'd prefer it over the self-loathing no-time-with-what-family hours that people seem to put into BigLaw. Of course, everyone has a different story so I'm sure some people are rocking their 6 figure salary with good hours and a family to come home to, and I obviously wouldn't mind that either.

I wish there were figures on what percentage of UCI grads went to what kind of law/work because that would make deciding a little easier. I'm not brilliant, but with hard work, I'm hoping I can be top 50%... of course I know you can't assume since everyone else at law school is smart or tries hard too.


Anyway, the point was just that BigLaw is not a NECESSARY outcome for me. With that in mind, are you saying I have to go to a top 14 or pretty much expect a dismal career/salary in my future?

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:19 am

Personally, I want CA above all else and I am worried about paying 10Kish a year to attend UCLA/USC. Even at that price you're looking at 100K in debt and three years of opportunity costs to go to a school that places only 60ish percent of its class into lawyer jobs of any kind. Only 30-40% gets biglaw, which you basically need to pay off 100k of debt in a timely fashion.

Considering how much worse UCI is than these schools, I can't fathom possibly attending there unless tuition was totally free and I did not have to pay anything for COL. Way too risky. As someone who really wants to live and work in CA I empathize with you. But any CA school ranked below Berkeley is just a big time risk in this economy/legal market and I would not take my chances at UCI.

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:47 am

BigZuck wrote:Personally, I want CA above all else and I am worried about paying 10Kish a year to attend UCLA/USC. Even at that price you're looking at 100K in debt and three years of opportunity costs to go to a school that places only 60ish percent of its class into lawyer jobs of any kind. Only 30-40% gets biglaw, which you basically need to pay off 100k of debt in a timely fashion.

Considering how much worse UCI is than these schools, I can't fathom possibly attending there unless tuition was totally free and I did not have to pay anything for COL. Way too risky. As someone who really wants to live and work in CA I empathize with you. But any CA school ranked below Berkeley is just a big time risk in this economy/legal market and I would not take my chances at UCI.



I see where you're coming from BigZuck - I am interested to see how many people UCI places into PI jobs since they just set up a nice new LRAP for PI graduates. Other than my current full tuition at USD, it's starting to feel like Cali just might not be the best market. Any good resources that give estimates on what legal-related job prospects look like in each state (in terms of availability)? I've already found law transparency helpful, but I am curious about the overall market in each region. I'm looking into coastal schools, but I'm rethinking ASU and UT now...

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:10 am

Well...for this economy, Texas (Specifically Dallas and Houston especially) have a pretty robust legal market. Although I'm not sure in the grand scheme of things that UT is a lot better law school than UCLA/USC other than maybe a bit more national prominence.

But we need to take a step back. Where are your ties (meaning what states/regions did you grow up/go to college/work in) and where do you ultimately want to live and work?

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby jkpolk » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:48 am

superhopefulwoo wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:
superhopefulwoo wrote:If I get out of law school with 70/80k salary (with minimal debt in this case) I would be happy/okay with that. I'd actually enjoy doing PI as well. With that said, I haven't crossed off biglaw as an option.


I have seen the assertion that someone would be totally fine with a 70-80K/year job a lot on these boards recently. You guys are very misinformed. 70-80K/year jobs are rare and would be an excellent outcome from UCI or any other lower T1 school. Most entry-level law jobs are 40-50K/year or 100K+/year (google: legal bimodal salary distribution). The 100K+ jobs are out of reach for most lower T1 students. This leaves the 40-50K/year jobs or, worse, the common outcome of 0K/year. At a lot of these schools, you are more likely to have no job than to make more than 70K/year. Don't delude yourself into taking UCI because you would be 'like, totally, fine with 70K/year in PI.'

Also, PI jobs don't pay 70-80K/year, so it is nice that you would enjoy PI, but recognize that 70K is unrealistic for PI. Also recognize that a lot of PI is just as prestige-whore-y as big law, so HYS grads get first dibs at most of the good stuff.


Hopefully, I will never find myself saying I'd be "like, totally, fine" with any amount of pay... I would be like, totally, fine with 40k with a small-mid size firmif I had little to no debt because I think I'd prefer it over the self-loathing no-time-with-what-family hours that people seem to put into BigLaw. Of course, everyone has a different story so I'm sure some people are rocking their 6 figure salary with good hours and a family to come home to, and I obviously wouldn't mind that either.

I wish there were figures on what percentage of UCI grads went to what kind of law/work because that would make deciding a little easier. I'm not brilliant, but with hard work, I'm hoping I can be top 50%... of course I know you can't assume since everyone else at law school is smart or tries hard too.


Anyway, the point was just that BigLaw is not a NECESSARY outcome for me. With that in mind, are you saying I have to go to a top 14 or pretty much expect a dismal career/salary in my future?

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Postby Myself » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:49 am

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:00 am

ajax adonis wrote:If you're interested: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... rvine.html

That's actually a craptastic article that doesn't explain why UCI is a bad idea.

The legal market is already over saturated, the California market even more so. Starting a new law school in an area where there are already two market leading schools (UCLA & USC) and a number of established smaller schools (San Diego, Loyola, Pepperdine) is a bad idea, which wouldn't even be attempted in most industries; to say the school will be top whatever just smacks of hubris.

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:00 pm

superhopefulwoo wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:
superhopefulwoo wrote:If I get out of law school with 70/80k salary (with minimal debt in this case) I would be happy/okay with that. I'd actually enjoy doing PI as well. With that said, I haven't crossed off biglaw as an option.


I have seen the assertion that someone would be totally fine with a 70-80K/year job a lot on these boards recently. You guys are very misinformed. 70-80K/year jobs are rare and would be an excellent outcome from UCI or any other lower T1 school. Most entry-level law jobs are 40-50K/year or 100K+/year (google: legal bimodal salary distribution). The 100K+ jobs are out of reach for most lower T1 students. This leaves the 40-50K/year jobs or, worse, the common outcome of 0K/year. At a lot of these schools, you are more likely to have no job than to make more than 70K/year. Don't delude yourself into taking UCI because you would be 'like, totally, fine with 70K/year in PI.'

Also, PI jobs don't pay 70-80K/year, so it is nice that you would enjoy PI, but recognize that 70K is unrealistic for PI. Also recognize that a lot of PI is just as prestige-whore-y as big law, so HYS grads get first dibs at most of the good stuff.


Hopefully, I will never find myself saying I'd be "like, totally, fine" with any amount of pay...

Thanks for the heads up though - I definitely don't expect PI to pay 70k, but I would be okay with a small-mid size firm OR PI even with the minimal pay if I had little to no debt because I think I'd prefer it over the self-loathing no-time-with-what-family hours that people seem to put into BigLaw. Of course, everyone has a different story so I'm sure some people are rocking their 6 figure salary with good hours and a family to come home to, and I obviously wouldn't mind that either.

I wish there were figures on what percentage of UCI grads went to what kind of law/work because that would make deciding a little easier. I'm not brilliant, but with hard work, I'm hoping I can be top 50%... of course I know you can't assume since everyone else at law school is smart or tries hard too.


Anyway, the point was just that BigLaw is not a NECESSARY outcome for me. With that in mind, are you saying I have to go to a top 14 or pretty much expect a dismal career/salary in my future?


What I am reacting to is the idea most prospective students seem to have that a 60-80K/year job is the worst case scenario. I am sorry that you bore the brunt of my wrath, but I keep seeing this, and it is super frustrating when 60-80K is actually an unusually good outcome for the schools they are discussing. I actually think we should describe it as a trimodal salary distribution....many at 0K, many at 40K-50K, the rest at 100K+, with very few in between those ranges. If you can say to yourself that you are okay with 40K/year with little debt and also with a not insignificant risk of never getting a legal job at all, then it is okay to attend these schools. It is normal to feel like you have a good shot at being in the top half, but realistically everyone feels that way and clearly half will be disappointed. It's inevitable. Everyone is clustered tightly in intelligence, scoring within a couple points on the LSAT (ie, the margin of error), and you don't have any idea of whether you will be adept at law school exams than your equally-intelligent peers.

I wouldn't rely on the evidence that UCI will release this year about the c/o 2012. Unfortunately that class' results will not translate because it was only 60 people and it was comprised of more highly-credentialed people than the classes entering UCI in 2014 and after....so what you have now is a bigger class of less highly-credentialed people, and the professors/deans there have already used a lot of favors for their c/o 2012 students. I think you can safely assume that UCI will place about the same as Davis and Hastings. I will say that from what I have heard, UCI is a very friendly warm environment, which not all law schools are, so there's that. But you shouldn't choose on that basis....in the end of the day, you need a job, and no matter how nice they are, you are in competitions with your classmates. I go to CLS, a school that is supposedly known as being unfriendly and competitive, but that hasn't been my experience, and I am happy there, so I am not sure how much you need to worry about the environment.

ETA: no I am not saying it is T14 or you will have a dismal career (I would say don't bother with much of the T14 without money, but putting that aside...), but I am saying that you are taking a pretty big risk going to most non-T14s that you will end up in a non-big-law, non-clerk, non-prestigious PI 40-50K/year job. There will be non-T14 grads, even T4 grads, who go on to have amazing careers, but it is about the probabilities, not the possibilities. I am not saying don't go to UCI, but I am saying be realistic about the likely outcomes instead of thinking 70K/year is the worst case outcome.

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Re: Why/Why Not UCI?

Postby Paul Campos » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:13 pm

dingbat wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:If you're interested: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... rvine.html

That's actually a craptastic article that doesn't explain why UCI is a bad idea.

The legal market is already over saturated, the California market even more so. Starting a new law school in an area where there are already two market leading schools (UCLA & USC) and a number of established smaller schools (San Diego, Loyola, Pepperdine) is a bad idea, which wouldn't even be attempted in most industries; to say the school will be top whatever just smacks of hubris.


From the linked post:

The problem is that, going forward very few of UCI's graduates are going to get jobs that even begin to justify UCI's cost. Even making the extraordinarily optimistic assumption that UCI ends up placing its grads down the line as well as UCLA and USC do, this means that perhaps one third will get six-figure jobs, and maybe half of those people will hold on to them long enough to have a reasonable shot at getting their educational debt down to manageable levels. And that, needless to say, is the optimistic projection.

The more realistic projection is that UCI ends up placing people in high paying legal jobs about as well as Hastings does. And that outcome doesn't come within a light year of justifying either school's cost.




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