Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

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legallybrunette94
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Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby legallybrunette94 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:38 pm

Hi all. :) I'm really struggling to make a decision between these three schools. My stats are 3.2 GPA / 159 LSAT. I also worked 18-27 hours/week at a criminal defense firm during all 4 years of my undergrad. Here are the offers from the schools:

Pepperdine - $75k ($25k/year) - Must maintain 2.8 GPA
Loyola - $102k ($34k/year) - Must maintain 2.8 GPA
USD - $84k ($28k/year) - Must maintain 2.8 GPA

I'm looking to go into either criminal defense or entertainment law. I'm basically going to have to take out loans to cover the rest of my tuition costs and costs of living, unless I get need based grants.

Right now, I'm leaning towards Loyola because the offer is great. But I'd love to hear arguments for the other schools too. Any suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!
Last edited by legallybrunette94 on Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:21 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Mullens
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby Mullens » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:43 pm

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Last edited by Mullens on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mullens
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby Mullens » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:27 pm

In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT

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dannyswo
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby dannyswo » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:42 am

I went to undergrad at Loyola and grad school at USD. My opinion is less knowledgable from a law school perspective, but as a southern Californian, I don't want to be in traffic all day, I wouldn't want to live downtown LA, and I can't afford Malibu. Basically, I see it as you're getting paid $10K a year to live in LA instead of San Diego, and LA is probably a better place for Entertainment Law.

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cron1834
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby cron1834 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:45 am

dannyswo wrote:I went to undergrad at Loyola and grad school at USD. My opinion is less knowledgable from a law school perspective, but as a southern Californian, I don't want to be in traffic all day, I wouldn't want to live downtown LA, and I can't afford Malibu. Basically, I see it as you're getting paid $10K a year to live in LA instead of San Diego, and LA is probably a better place for Entertainment Law.

Okay dude, the poster is specifically asking for law school advice, so if you don't know what you're talking about, don't potentially harm someone with an uninformed perspective.

OP, you need to get a higher LSAT score for law school to make sense, given your GPA. These 3 schools give you roughly a coin flip's chance of getting a lawyer job within 9 months of graduating, and about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a high paying job. So, you just can't take out six-figures in debt for them. With a better LSAT score you'll get better deals and/or admission at better schools. Right now it doesn't make sense for you to go.

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legallybrunette94
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby legallybrunette94 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:21 pm

cron1834 wrote:
dannyswo wrote:I went to undergrad at Loyola and grad school at USD. My opinion is less knowledgable from a law school perspective, but as a southern Californian, I don't want to be in traffic all day, I wouldn't want to live downtown LA, and I can't afford Malibu. Basically, I see it as you're getting paid $10K a year to live in LA instead of San Diego, and LA is probably a better place for Entertainment Law.

Okay dude, the poster is specifically asking for law school advice, so if you don't know what you're talking about, don't potentially harm someone with an uninformed perspective.

OP, you need to get a higher LSAT score for law school to make sense, given your GPA. These 3 schools give you roughly a coin flip's chance of getting a lawyer job within 9 months of graduating, and about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a high paying job. So, you just can't take out six-figures in debt for them. With a better LSAT score you'll get better deals and/or admission at better schools. Right now it doesn't make sense for you to go.


Thanks for the advice! I've taken the LSAT twice, both times with prep courses. At this point, I'm not sure if taking the LSAT a third time will be beneficial for me, especially because my score went down the second time. Also, if I can't find a job directly after graduation, I'm guaranteed a job at the current defense firm that I work for. I'm not too worried about finding a job, especially because I think it has more to do with the person, and less with their education. But I definitely appreciate your feedback, its definitely something to consider.

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twenty
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby twenty » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:46 pm

Go to school wherever the criminal defense firm you were working for is. Continue to work part time at that firm (yes, even during 1L). Pepperdine is out period with those stips. Loyola's median is 3.0 if I remember correctly, so there is a decent chance you will lose your scholarship. If you do lose your scholarship, you must drop out. Spend your summers with an LA PD's office. Gun for PD with the firm you're at as a backup.

^There are a lot of problems with this plan. Even if you do everything right, you're still going to have substantial student debt. The private firm will not qualify for PSLF, so you'll be paying probably close to a third of your salary on making loan payments if you're on a reasonable repayment schedule. The PD's office would qualify, but you're banking a lot on getting the PD's office to begin with. And that's if everything goes right; there is a strong possibility that you lose your scholarship and have to drop out, that you don't get hired by the PD's office, etc.

The better plan is to sit out these options and retake. At the very least, get rid of Loyola's stips.

eagle2a
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby eagle2a » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:27 am

These are all pretty bad options. The LSAT is a very learnable test. Go to the LSAT prep section of this forum and figure out what you can do to improve your score. Retake, do better, get better scholarships/into better schools, and then come back. You'll thank yourself later. Even if you're guaranteed a job after graduation you're risking going into a shit ton of debt that you could easily avoid by getting just a couple points higher on the LSAT

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dannyswo
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby dannyswo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:57 am

cron1834 wrote:
dannyswo wrote:I went to undergrad at Loyola and grad school at USD. My opinion is less knowledgable from a law school perspective, but as a southern Californian, I don't want to be in traffic all day, I wouldn't want to live downtown LA, and I can't afford Malibu. Basically, I see it as you're getting paid $10K a year to live in LA instead of San Diego, and LA is probably a better place for Entertainment Law.

Okay dude, the poster is specifically asking for law school advice, so if you don't know what you're talking about, don't potentially harm someone with an uninformed perspective.

OP, you need to get a higher LSAT score for law school to make sense, given your GPA. These 3 schools give you roughly a coin flip's chance of getting a lawyer job within 9 months of graduating, and about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a high paying job. So, you just can't take out six-figures in debt for them. With a better LSAT score you'll get better deals and/or admission at better schools. Right now it doesn't make sense for you to go.

There are more things to consider than the stats you see on the law school websites. If you're losing two or more hours a day to traffic, there is a time cost involved that will hurt your performance in school. If you're spending a lot of money to live in downtown LA, you're negating your scholarship money. I think it's worth a perspective different than that of every other poster here. My perspective is informed and it's broader than the narrow one you're taking.

Tls2016
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby Tls2016 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:45 am

dannyswo wrote:
cron1834 wrote:
dannyswo wrote:I went to undergrad at Loyola and grad school at USD. My opinion is less knowledgable from a law school perspective, but as a southern Californian, I don't want to be in traffic all day, I wouldn't want to live downtown LA, and I can't afford Malibu. Basically, I see it as you're getting paid $10K a year to live in LA instead of San Diego, and LA is probably a better place for Entertainment Law.

Okay dude, the poster is specifically asking for law school advice, so if you don't know what you're talking about, don't potentially harm someone with an uninformed perspective.

OP, you need to get a higher LSAT score for law school to make sense, given your GPA. These 3 schools give you roughly a coin flip's chance of getting a lawyer job within 9 months of graduating, and about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a high paying job. So, you just can't take out six-figures in debt for them. With a better LSAT score you'll get better deals and/or admission at better schools. Right now it doesn't make sense for you to go.

There are more things to consider than the stats you see on the law school websites. If you're losing two or more hours a day to traffic, there is a time cost involved that will hurt your performance in school. If you're spending a lot of money to live in downtown LA, you're negating your scholarship money. I think it's worth a perspective different than that of every other poster here. My perspective is informed and it's broader than the narrow one you're taking.


What are you even talking about? Employment statistics don't matter?

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dannyswo
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby dannyswo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:38 am

Tls2016 wrote:What are you even talking about? Employment statistics don't matter?

I'm talking about the intangibles. Cost of living and time commuting are big influence on your life. I know everywhere in Los Angeles is supposed to be 20 minutes away from everything else, but it doesn't really work out that way. Two hours in the car every day is going to take away time from school, and a higher rent is going to negate the scholarships. Something to consider, may not be a factor for most people.

Tls2016
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby Tls2016 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:44 am

dannyswo wrote:
Tls2016 wrote:What are you even talking about? Employment statistics don't matter?

I'm talking about the intangibles. Cost of living and time commuting are big influence on your life. I know everywhere in Los Angeles is supposed to be 20 minutes away from everything else, but it doesn't really work out that way. Two hours in the car every day is going to take away time from school, and a higher rent is going to negate the scholarships. Something to consider, may not be a factor for most people.

Intangibles are a luxury compared to the basics of getting a job you spend 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain.

pppp
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby pppp » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:07 am

Tls2016 wrote:
dannyswo wrote:
Tls2016 wrote:What are you even talking about? Employment statistics don't matter?

I'm talking about the intangibles. Cost of living and time commuting are big influence on your life. I know everywhere in Los Angeles is supposed to be 20 minutes away from everything else, but it doesn't really work out that way. Two hours in the car every day is going to take away time from school, and a higher rent is going to negate the scholarships. Something to consider, may not be a factor for most people.

Intangibles are a luxury compared to the basics of getting a job you spend 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain.

He never said these were the most important considerations. Just gave some helpful insider advice as someone who has actually gone to those schools. You're the one derailing this thread.

If you're dead set on law school and are for sure going, the most important thing here is $ as these 3 schools are comparable in reputation. NEGOTIATE. Talk to all three admissions offices and try to get them to adjust their offers and their stipulations, start with Pepperdine as it is the lowest. Also just as important is do some real research to see what % a 2.8 is at both schools you got that stip. if it's top 80% at one but top 60% at the other that's a huge deal.

totesTheGoat
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Re: Loyola vs. Pepperdine vs. USD

Postby totesTheGoat » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:39 pm

legallybrunette94 wrote:Pepperdine - $60k ($20k/year) - Must be in top 55% of class
Loyola - $102k ($34k/year) - Must maintain 2.8 GPA
USD - $72k ($24k/year) - Must maintain 2.8 GPA


If you're set on Loyola (which it sounds like you may be), use your Pepperdine and USD offers to get that stipulation removed or reduced. A stipulation of a 2.5 would be much better than a 2.8, which is getting dangerously close to median. Plan your law school and law career around graduating at median, because you don't know where you'll end up. If you end up top 10%, great! However, you need to plan for being around the 50% range.

I'm looking to go into either criminal defense or entertainment law. I'm basically going to have to take out loans to cover the rest of my tuition costs and costs of living, unless I get need based grants.


I hate to tell you, but you can pretty much forget about entertainment law. While you have a better chance than most because of where you are, entertainment law is generally considered "unicorn" law, because you're more likely to meet a unicorn than find an opening in entertainment law. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep looking for the unicorn, but it does mean that you need to plan for not doing entertainment law.

Right now, I'm leaning towards Loyola because the offer is great. But I'd love to hear arguments for the other schools too. Any suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!


I highly recommend finding a new way to study for the LSAT (use TLS as a start) and retaking. You're right on the border of "probably shouldn't go to law school" territory, but if you get into the 160s law school will financially start making more sense.




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