Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

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SFSpartan
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Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby SFSpartan » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:25 pm

I've been following TLS on and off since my junior year of undergrad. Now making a law school decision and thought this would be an excellent time for my first post.

I've managed to narrow my decision down to two schools- UC Hastings and USF. Hastings has offered $14,500 in need-based grants, plus a $5,000 merit scholarship, for a total aid package of $19,500 per year. The GPA stip is 2.2. USF has offered a $33,000 renewable scholarship, with a 3.2 GPA stip for renewal. I have some investments that I'm cashing out on, which give me ~30k for school, and I plan on living at home and commuting so I don't have to pay SF's atrocious COA. COA @ Hastings (given current fees, books, etc, AND taking into account the cash I have) is ~45k. At USF, I would graduate without debt.

Now, for a bit about me. I grew up in the Bay Area, went to college in the Midwest, and have worked in legislative offices and on political campaigns. I don't have Biglaw aspirations, and would like to practice in soft IP or do patent litigation. Public service and public policy are also very important to me, and I would like to run for elected office at some point.

Not leaning towards either school at this point, but thought I'd turn to TLS as a resource. Given everything here, should I choose Hastings or USF

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Mick Haller
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby Mick Haller » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:49 pm

You have technical degree and want to do patents? If yes, then Hastings at 45k is a good bet. USF avoid at all costs.

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CalAlumni
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby CalAlumni » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Mick Haller wrote:You have technical degree and want to do patents? If yes, then Hastings at 45k is a good bet. USF avoid at all costs.


This.

SFSpartan
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby SFSpartan » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:06 pm

I don't have a technical degree. I could (emphasis on could) do patent litigation without a technical degree.

Also, should have mentioned this earlier- have established contacts with a number of attorneys in the SF Bay Area. Because of these connections, finding a job may be easier for me than your average USF or Hastings grad

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patrickd139
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 pm

Even without the tech degree, I'd avoid USF at all costs.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school= ... show=chars

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patrickd139
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby patrickd139 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:08 pm

SFSpartan wrote:Also, should have mentioned this earlier- have established contacts with a number of attorneys in the SF Bay Area. Because of these connections, finding a job may be easier for me than your average USF or Hastings grad

I doubt it.

timbs4339
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:46 pm

SFSpartan wrote:I don't have a technical degree. I could (emphasis on could) do patent litigation without a technical degree.

Also, should have mentioned this earlier- have established contacts with a number of attorneys in the SF Bay Area. Because of these connections, finding a job may be easier for me than your average USF or Hastings grad


Soft IP or patent litigation basically requires biglaw, which is a long shot from Hastings. But 45K isn't terrible.

WhiskeynCoke
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:06 pm

Honestly, neither. Hastings is the lesser of two evils though. read this:
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 0310215309.

- USF was placed at #2 on NLJ's list of Top 20 Law schools with the highest unemployment rates (30.3%)
- Hastings was placed #14 on the same list (21.4% unemployment)

In addition, if you've seen the latest employment stats for the class of 2012, it gets uglier....

- USF is now ranked 144 (DEAD LAST) in the US News rankings as a result of their atrocious employment rates.
- Only 21.3% of USF's C/O 2012 are employed as attorneys. Ouch, thats near the worst it gets. 1 in 5 chance of being a lawyer? No thanks.
- At Hastings, 46.3% of the c/o 2012 has a lawyer job. Thats well over 2x USF's, but still not as good as a coin flip's chance. Ouch again.

To make matters even worse, USF's scholarship stipulations are borderline unethical. 3.2 is top 28%. You have a 72% chance of not making this cut. Even if you DO keep your scholarship, you'll have to live with the thought that you spent over $30,000 of your own money on a worthless piece of paper. It's a tough thing to brood over as you're folding clothes for $10.55/hr at Macy's.

Hastings is way better than USF, but it still sucks. I live in SF and have several friends who attend/attended Hastings. Most of them hate/hated it and only one of them has a real lawyer job now.

I say retake. But you've been on TLS for a long time now. You should've seen that coming.

SFSpartan
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:18 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:Honestly, neither. Hastings is the lesser of two evils though. read this:
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 0310215309.

- USF was placed at #2 on NLJ's list of Top 20 Law schools with the highest unemployment rates (30.3%)
- Hastings was placed #14 on the same list (21.4% unemployment)

In addition, if you've seen the latest employment stats for the class of 2012, it gets uglier....

- USF is now ranked 144 (DEAD LAST) in the US News rankings as a result of their atrocious employment rates.
- Only 21.3% of USF's C/O 2012 are employed as attorneys. Ouch, thats near the worst it gets. 1 in 5 chance of being a lawyer? No thanks.
- At Hastings, 46.3% of the c/o 2012 has a lawyer job. Thats well over 2x USF's, but still not as good as a coin flip's chance. Ouch again.

To make matters even worse, USF's scholarship stipulations are borderline unethical. 3.2 is top 28%. You have a 72% chance of not making this cut. Even if you DO keep your scholarship, you'll have to live with the thought that you spent over $30,000 of your own money on a worthless piece of paper. It's a tough thing to brood over as you're folding clothes for $10.55/hr at Macy's.

Hastings is way better than USF, but it still sucks. I live in SF and have several friends who attend/attended Hastings. Most of them hate/hated it and only one of them has a real lawyer job now.

I say retake. But you've been on TLS for a long time now. You should've seen that coming.


Definitely appreciate this advice, and all the advice given here. I did retake already- after the election I went on vacation for a couple weeks and hit the books HARD post Thanksgiving. Went through all the PowerScore books, leaned on TLS heavily as a resource, and did every practice test that LSAC has released. I may not have done as well on the LSAT as my PT average suggested, but, honestly my 3.47 undergrad GPA makes me an unlikely candidate for Boalt Hall or SLS.

Again, I can't stress enough how much I appreciate the advice. This thread confirmed the validity of the concerns I've been having since I got USF's offer, in addition to giving me some useful advice regarding potential pitfalls @ Hastings.

redmessengerbag
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby redmessengerbag » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:24 pm

Sounds like you have decided already, but let me beat the dead horse anyway, go to Hastings. The $45k is a fairly small amount to go in debt on if you have to take out loans. USF is terrible, with that crazy stipulation, I wouldn't necessarily bank on renewing that money.

Despite the terrible numbers, Hastings still, imho, have a good reputation in the legal profession. It's not what it was in it's hay day, but those people that graduated during it's hay day are probably in positions to hire.

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patrickd139
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:22 am

OP: since this has not been said explicitly, I'd like to throw it out there

Both of those schools at those prices are a terrible idea. DO NOT GO.

You have savings that you are throwing away for (at best, if you overpay for Hastings) a 2/5 chance of practicing law at all. Think about that for a minute. Get a job and keep your savings. Retake the LSAT (yes, again) after studying and don't go to law school until you get your scores up. This has the potential to really fuck up your life.

If that doesn't happen, find another career. It's not a constitutional right to go to law school, nor is it even a good idea for the VAST majority of the population.

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Hastings ($$) or USF ($$$)

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:32 am

patrickd139 wrote:OP: since this has not been said explicitly, I'd like to throw it out there

Both of those schools at those prices are a terrible idea. DO NOT GO.

You have savings that you are throwing away for (at best, if you overpay for Hastings) a 2/5 chance of practicing law at all. Think about that for a minute. Get a job and keep your savings. Retake the LSAT (yes, again) after studying and don't go to law school until you get your scores up. This has the potential to really fuck up your life.

If that doesn't happen, find another career. It's not a constitutional right to go to law school, nor is it even a good idea for the VAST majority of the population.




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