UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:37 am

So I recently got a full tuition scholarship at UCLA. I also am in at NYU, Penn, and U Chicago. I want to work in SF/SV, but national mobility is also important to me. Long term I would like to transition into venture capitalism work, so I definitely want to study business law. Penn law has a new partnership with Wharton outside of the JD/MBA program, which I would love to do if I went there. I have 0 savings (and 0 debt). I also hate the cold and love being near the ocean (I feel like my level of happiness has a huge impact on my academic performance). Because of these factors, UCLA is a really attractive option to me. At the same time, I really dislike my undergrad and I don't want to have to "qualify" my law school choice when I tell employers where I went to school. With UCLA's recent poor performance in the rankings, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot career-wise by passing up on some great T10s with excellent reputations.

My question is, am I stupid if I choose UCLA over my other options given the employment stats listed below? Also, which school would likely give me the best chance to do biglaw in the Bay Area after graduation? What would you guys do if you were in my position? What is the culture like at each of these schools (examples: rich kids, gunners, competitive, laid-back, rigorous, heavily academic)?

2014 USNWR:

4- U Chicago: 90.6% (160k)
6- NYU: 93.1% (160k)
7- Penn: 83.6% (160k)
17- UCLA: 45.9% (145k)

The 2013 "Go-To Law Schools" Biglaw ranking:

1- Penn: 60.3%
2- U Chicago: 55.09%
4- NYU: 52.93%
15- UCLA: 29.13%

Thanks!
Last edited by JohnMarshall17 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
stuckinthemiddle
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:24 am

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:00 am

Obviously NYU, Chicago, and Penn will be infinitely better for BigLaw.

At UCLA, if you land outside of the top third, things won't look good in terms of ending up in a large firm. You'll also have a higher chance of being unemployed out of UCLA than out of the three other schools. Also, UCLA will not give you the mobility you want.

That being said, UCLA is a good school and the money is very tempting. Are you sure Biglaw is all you want? If you're okay with other legal career paths that don't have sky high future prospects, UCLA could be the best choice for you.

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:12 am

stuckinthemiddle wrote:Obviously NYU, Chicago, and Penn will be infinitely better for BigLaw.

At UCLA, if you land outside of the top third, things won't look good in terms of ending up in a large firm. You'll also have a higher chance of being unemployed out of UCLA than out of the three other schools. Also, UCLA will not give you the mobility you want.

That being said, UCLA is a good school and the money is very tempting. Are you sure Biglaw is all you want? If you're okay with other legal career paths that don't have sky high future prospects, UCLA could be the best choice for you.


Actually, biglaw is only crucial for me if I take on the debt of a t14 at sticker. I would have no issue entering business instead of law if I went to UCLA, but that's because I wouldn't have mountains of debt staring at me.

Don't get me wrong, I would definitely like to do biglaw, but if it doesn't happen at UCLA, I wouldn't be worried.

User avatar
stuckinthemiddle
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:24 am

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:17 am

Then for the love of God, go to UCLA. If you're not interested in the better legal job prospects a T14 gives you, there's no reason to turn down a full ride for it.

Why a J.D. if you're passionate about business? Why not an MBA?

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:25 am

stuckinthemiddle wrote:Then for the love of God, go to UCLA. If you're not interested in the better legal job prospects a T14 gives you, there's no reason to turn down a full ride for it.

Why a J.D. if you're passionate about business? Why not an MBA?


I believe I will actually really enjoy studying law. As a current undergrad, my career prospects are horribly limited given my majors and my undergraduate school. Thus, getting the job experience necessary to get into a top MBA program would not be easy for me. I may get an MBA if it makes sense when I'm around 29, but as a 21 year-old who would be more than happy to practice traditional litigation or corporate law, the law schools that I've been accepted to would be a wise investment for my career. Furthermore, I'm way more interested in business related legal issues than business in general. Hence the JD.

User avatar
stuckinthemiddle
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:24 am

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:58 am

Then be aware that a J.D. will not open up any doors for you in "business" if you strike out in the legal field. Conventional knowledge on TLS seems to suggest that a J.D. will be more of a hindrance than a help for most non-legal jobs. You might become less marketable because you'll be seen as a flight risk.

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:08 pm

stuckinthemiddle wrote:Then be aware that a J.D. will not open up any doors for you in "business" if you strike out in the legal field. Conventional knowledge on TLS seems to suggest that a J.D. will be more of a hindrance than a help for most non-legal jobs. You might become less marketable because you'll be seen as a flight risk.


I am aware of that. At the same time, I don't think I will "strike out" of all legal jobs available to students. I understand my current numbers are not a reliable indicator to judge future performance in law school, but my work ethic is. Regardless of where I go, I'll do my best to perform, and if that happens, I can't imagine that I'll end up unemployed. If anything, I may just end up in some legal job other than biglaw, such as a small/mid-size firm or public interest.

Going back to the original question, which school would be best for placing me in the Bay Area/giving me national mobility? This is ultimately the most important thing for me. I appreciate all of your other advice though!

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:11 pm

Don't go to law school.

If you must, take the money at UCLA.
Last edited by dixiecupdrinking on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:11 pm

JohnMarshall17 wrote:
stuckinthemiddle wrote:Then be aware that a J.D. will not open up any doors for you in "business" if you strike out in the legal field. Conventional knowledge on TLS seems to suggest that a J.D. will be more of a hindrance than a help for most non-legal jobs. You might become less marketable because you'll be seen as a flight risk.


I am aware of that. At the same time, I don't think I will "strike out" of all legal jobs available to students. I understand my current numbers are not a reliable indicator to judge future performance in law school, but my work ethic is. Regardless of where I go, I'll do my best to perform, and if that happens, I can't imagine that I'll end up unemployed. If anything, I may just end up in some legal job other than biglaw, such as a small/mid-size firm or public interest.

Going back to the original question, which school would be best for placing me in the Bay Area/giving me national mobility? This is ultimately the most important thing for me. I appreciate all of your other advice though!


Why are these your only options?

With a 3.9/168 you should be getting SOME money from lower T-14's.

Show UCLA's offer to the other schools. They won't match it and some may laugh it off, but they'll probably give you something

Bandz'll make em dance, bandz'll make em dance

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:20 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
JohnMarshall17 wrote:
stuckinthemiddle wrote:Then be aware that a J.D. will not open up any doors for you in "business" if you strike out in the legal field. Conventional knowledge on TLS seems to suggest that a J.D. will be more of a hindrance than a help for most non-legal jobs. You might become less marketable because you'll be seen as a flight risk.


I am aware of that. At the same time, I don't think I will "strike out" of all legal jobs available to students. I understand my current numbers are not a reliable indicator to judge future performance in law school, but my work ethic is. Regardless of where I go, I'll do my best to perform, and if that happens, I can't imagine that I'll end up unemployed. If anything, I may just end up in some legal job other than biglaw, such as a small/mid-size firm or public interest.

Going back to the original question, which school would be best for placing me in the Bay Area/giving me national mobility? This is ultimately the most important thing for me. I appreciate all of your other advice though!


Why are these your only options?

With a 3.9/168 you should be getting SOME money from lower T-14's.

Show UCLA's offer to the other schools. They won't match it and some may laugh it off, but they'll probably give you something

Bandz'll make em dance, bandz'll make em dance


haha actually I've had a really weird cycle.

Out of all of my responses, I've gotten into the 4 highest ranked schools I've applied to (U Chicago, NYU, Penn, UVA). I am also waitlisted at Berkeley (I'd choose at sticker if they take me off the waitlist because of its prominence in the bay), Michigan, Duke, and Georgetown. The only other one is Cornell, who has all of my offers, but has yet to offer me anything. Also, NYU and Penn already gave me my aid package with 0 need based (was expected) and 0 merit based aid (also not surprising).

I'm waiting to hear from Cornell before I talk to my higher ranked options. What are your thoughts on this?

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:26 pm

JohnMarshall17 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:
JohnMarshall17 wrote:
stuckinthemiddle wrote:Then be aware that a J.D. will not open up any doors for you in "business" if you strike out in the legal field. Conventional knowledge on TLS seems to suggest that a J.D. will be more of a hindrance than a help for most non-legal jobs. You might become less marketable because you'll be seen as a flight risk.


I am aware of that. At the same time, I don't think I will "strike out" of all legal jobs available to students. I understand my current numbers are not a reliable indicator to judge future performance in law school, but my work ethic is. Regardless of where I go, I'll do my best to perform, and if that happens, I can't imagine that I'll end up unemployed. If anything, I may just end up in some legal job other than biglaw, such as a small/mid-size firm or public interest.

Going back to the original question, which school would be best for placing me in the Bay Area/giving me national mobility? This is ultimately the most important thing for me. I appreciate all of your other advice though!


Why are these your only options?

With a 3.9/168 you should be getting SOME money from lower T-14's.

Show UCLA's offer to the other schools. They won't match it and some may laugh it off, but they'll probably give you something

Bandz'll make em dance, bandz'll make em dance


haha actually I've had a really weird cycle.

Out of all of my responses, I've gotten into the 4 highest ranked schools I've applied to (U Chicago, NYU, Penn, UVA). I am also waitlisted at Berkeley (I'd choose at sticker if they take me off the waitlist because of its prominence in the bay), Michigan, Duke, and Georgetown. The only other one is Cornell, who has all of my offers, but has yet to offer me anything. Also, NYU and Penn already gave me my aid package with 0 need based (was expected) and 0 merit based aid (also not surprising).

I'm waiting to hear from Cornell before I talk to my higher ranked options. What are your thoughts on this?


Is there any possibility of retaking the LSAT? You can take it in June and see if you can snag a few more points. Just 3 more points drastically changes the scholarship situation - might be worth it since you claim to be debt averse.

Stanford is also not out of the question with a 3.9 either.

User avatar
TaipeiMort
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:51 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby TaipeiMort » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Penn with great work experience (and argue for scholarship money)

NYU if married to New York and no other ties, or desire to do PI.

Chicago for any other reason.

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:33 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:Is there any possibility of retaking the LSAT? You can take it in June and see if you can snag a few more points. Just 3 more points drastically changes the scholarship situation - might be worth it since you claim to be debt averse.

Stanford is also not out of the question with a 3.9 either.


Wouldn't that mean I have to take a year off? Also, I scored in my upper range on the LSAT. I would be really worried that I would accidentally botch the test or something and my score would be like a 166 or 167 on a retake. I am pretty happy with a 168. I've only scored a 171 once in my life and I doubt I could consistently PT at that score so that I could reasonably get it on the LSAT.

I may have overstated how debt-averse I am. For any of the schools in this discussion (aside from UCLA and Cornell), I would go at sticker. In a perfect world, I would like no debt, but I'm prepared to take on the debt if that means I can get to the Bay Area after graduation.

JohnMarshall17
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:52 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby JohnMarshall17 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:34 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:Penn with great work experience (and argue for scholarship money)

NYU if married to New York and no other ties, or desire to do PI.

Chicago for any other reason.


I have very limited work experience. Will this hurt me if I choose Penn?

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:36 pm

JohnMarshall17 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:Is there any possibility of retaking the LSAT? You can take it in June and see if you can snag a few more points. Just 3 more points drastically changes the scholarship situation - might be worth it since you claim to be debt averse.

Stanford is also not out of the question with a 3.9 either.


Wouldn't that mean I have to take a year off? Also, I scored in my upper range on the LSAT. I would be really worried that I would accidentally botch the test or something and my score would be like a 166 or 167 on a retake. I am pretty happy with a 168. I've only scored a 171 once in my life and I doubt I could consistently PT at that score so that I could reasonably get it on the LSAT.

I may have overstated how debt-averse I am. For any of the schools in this discussion (aside from UCLA and Cornell), I would go at sticker. In a perfect world, I would like no debt, but I'm prepared to take on the debt if that means I can get to the Bay Area after graduation.


Ok, fair enough. If you really think that you can't do better and already studied your ass off you don't need to retake.

But there is no penalty for getting a lower score. You don't have anything to lose by studying for June and seeing if you can get a couple more points. If you do the same, no big deal. If you do better, you can re-evaluate at that point, show schools your new score, and consider re-applying.

The reason I recommend that is because you're right on the borderline with a 168. At that level even 2-3 points changes things DRAMATICALLY because of the medians at T14's.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

User avatar
twinkletoes16
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:14 pm

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby twinkletoes16 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:55 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
JohnMarshall17 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:Is there any possibility of retaking the LSAT? You can take it in June and see if you can snag a few more points. Just 3 more points drastically changes the scholarship situation - might be worth it since you claim to be debt averse.

Stanford is also not out of the question with a 3.9 either.


Wouldn't that mean I have to take a year off? Also, I scored in my upper range on the LSAT. I would be really worried that I would accidentally botch the test or something and my score would be like a 166 or 167 on a retake. I am pretty happy with a 168. I've only scored a 171 once in my life and I doubt I could consistently PT at that score so that I could reasonably get it on the LSAT.

I may have overstated how debt-averse I am. For any of the schools in this discussion (aside from UCLA and Cornell), I would go at sticker. In a perfect world, I would like no debt, but I'm prepared to take on the debt if that means I can get to the Bay Area after graduation.


Ok, fair enough. If you really think that you can't do better and already studied your ass off you don't need to retake.

But there is no penalty for getting a lower score. You don't have anything to lose by studying for June and seeing if you can get a couple more points. If you do the same, no big deal. If you do better, you can re-evaluate at that point, show schools your new score, and consider re-applying.

The reason I recommend that is because you're right on the borderline with a 168. At that level even 2-3 points changes things DRAMATICALLY because of the medians at T14's.

Good luck with whatever you decide!



This. Ride the waitlists if needed and retake in June. Also, taking a year off is not gonna kill you, especially if you're only 21 and going into law school. If you're more interested in business, why not take a few years off, get some legit WE, and go for a JD/MBA? If you really want both (and keep in mind, the combo tends to shut doors, from the research/talk i've seen here), it makes SO much more sense to get them both at once and save you time and $.

User avatar
J-e-L-L-o
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: UCLA (150k), NYU/Penn/U Chicago (All Sticker)

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:21 pm

JohnMarshall17 wrote: Long term I would like to transition into venture capitalism work


You are going to law school to fullfil a specific goal, so you must attend a school that will get you there. If you just want to be a lawyer, take the money at UCLA. If you want to get into VC, it's extremely hard even with grads from top schools.

UCLA gives you national reach outside of the T14, but its a stretch. If you don't make good enough grades...you are screwed. Other top schools you can approach median and be in the running for big law. So that is what you are betting: that you will get good grades at UCLA.

Do a search of Bay firms that you would like to work for and search for UCLA alumni. I bet there are enough to let you know UCLA can get you there....if you have the grades.

You would be better off studying hard on your own or pay a grand or 2 for an LSAT class and retake. I wouldn't waste a 3.9 to go to UCLA to try to get into NorCal. A few more points and you are looking at substantial more scholarship offers from better schools. Especially Berk and Stanford.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: studyingeveryday, Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests