How to make UCLA worthwhile

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

NU or UCLA

NU
5
63%
UCLA
2
25%
Somewhere else
1
13%
 
Total votes: 8

Nuhopeful2017

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Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:30 pm

How to make UCLA worthwhile

Postby Nuhopeful2017 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:15 am

Hello,

LSAT:172
GPA: 3.42
Softs: 5 yrs work/volunteer experience but only 1 yr professional work experience (teaching), a couple of ug legal internships (I know...), intermural boxing club second year of college (graduated 2 yrs early)


I hope my formatting wasn't too terrible. Anyways, I just got an e-mail from UCLA asking me to apply. I would love to attend UCLA but debt funding at sticker would be a terrible idea. I'm not super tied down to where I'd like to practice at this point but I would love to live/study/work in SoCal given the chance. My original plan was to try to ED Northwestern and failing that carpet the t-14 (barring HYS) and a few other strong regional schools. UCLA was already on my radar but the e-mail has really piqued my interest (they're offering to waive my application fee and said that I might be eligible for the dean's scholarship) and I would love to look a little more into the possibility of becoming a Bruin. What's holding me back is the high cost of attendance and the weak(er) job placement rates relative to schools like Northwestern/Cornell (which aren't locks but definite possibilities at this point).

I guess what I'm asking is what kind of price break can I expect/hope to negotiate. Also, general feedback. I'm originally from the PNW and have no plans of working in my homemarket. I like the national reach and flexibility of a NU degree (and could see myself going for a SoCal firm if the chance presents itself although I would be happy in Chicago/NYC etc.). I know UCLA also has something of a national reputation and places a few people in NYC/DC but that ultimately it is a fairly regional school.

If it matters one of my LoR is from a UCLA PhD (tenured prof. I had a few classes with who's done some really cool religious/civil liberty research) and another is from an NU alumnus (practicing attorney). My third LoR is a Stanford PhD which I assume would be pretty neutral regardless.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: How to make UCLA worthwhile

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:35 am

You should get good money at UCLA with those numbers (your softs don't matter). I think you'll probably get in at Northwestern, but I don't know how much money they'll give you if you don't ED (and I think that ED would be a good choice for you based on the limited information you've given). Northwestern is an objectively better school than UCLA for pretty much anything.

That said, what are your career goals?

Nuhopeful2017

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Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:30 pm

Re: How to make UCLA worthwhile

Postby Nuhopeful2017 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:56 am

cavalier1138 wrote:You should get good money at UCLA with those numbers (your softs don't matter). I think you'll probably get in at Northwestern, but I don't know how much money they'll give you if you don't ED (and I think that ED would be a good choice for you based on the limited information you've given). Northwestern is an objectively better school than UCLA for pretty much anything.

That said, what are your career goals?


Dream career would be something like clerk for a federal judge (1-2 yrs), 1-3 yrs biglaw then lateral into the DOJ although tbh I would be pretty happy working as an assistant DA. I know the first plan is a bit of a reach. What interests me more than anything else is criminal law and ideally long term I would be working for the government (getting rich would be nice but its not really a huge goal of mine and firm life doesn't sound too fun over the long haul).

The biglaw bit is because I've heard that a lot of plump, interesting government positions hire biglaw refugees. Also, it would be nice to pay down whatever loans I have/maybe stash away a little extra if I can get the scholarship money right.

I guess I would say my number one field of interest right now is criminal (although that could change), I'd rather work for the government than a firm (but I am flexible on that count) and I'm looking to minimize debt (but not if it unreasonably cuts off future opportunities- i.e. I would much rather go 100k into debt at NU than go to Thomas Jefferson (or hell, even Seattle U) with a full scholly and living stipend).

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Mullens

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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: How to make UCLA worthwhile

Postby Mullens » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:14 am

Who would have thought those law school mass emails could be so effective?! For real though, you're gonna get a lot of emails like that from a lot of schools, don't let them sway you one way or another. You're right to worry about cost/job placement above all else. Most schools will waive your application fees once the cycle starts and if they don't, you can email them and ask.



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