UCLA Epstein Public Interest Program

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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:13 pm

UCLA Epstein Public Interest Program

Postby lalaw1229 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:35 pm

Does anyone have experience applying to the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law at UCLA? I have heard it is pretty competitive and that it is reviewed separately from the main UCLA Law application. I was having trouble finding the merits and drawbacks of applying to this program in addition to my UCLA application, so I thought I'd ask.

For reference, I am slightly below the 25th percentile for GPA and at the median for LSAT. Given this and how UCLA is a reach given my numbers, I was wondering if it is going to hurt my chances of getting into UCLA if I also apply to the Public Interest program. I want to pursue PI after graduation and the program seems like a great opportunity, however I do not want to hurt my overall chances of being accepted into UCLA Law.


Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:58 am

Re: UCLA Epstein Public Interest Program

Postby playersball » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:25 pm

I am an applicant this cycle and have been admitted to UCLA as well as the Epstein program. They are separate processes as you mention, and I believe it is a faculty committee that decides on the Epstein admittances. In terms of competitiveness, I was told that 25 students are selected and that is out of ~400 applications iirc.

I don't think applying to Epstein would harm your overall chances of getting into UCLA, because: 1) they are separate processes and 2) just because you get into UCLA does not mean they have to accept you into Epstein. I also think that once you are accepted to the school, the Epstein review is more focused on your public interest essay and background as it relates to public interest (so less on your numbers). If you are going to law school to seek a public interest career, I would definitely encourage you to apply for Epstein!

As far as merits and drawbacks, I would suggest you look at older UCLA forums and also search terms like "ucla epstein" to get more information on the program. I did the same thing and haven't found any real drawbacks for my personal goals. Good luck!!


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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:55 pm

Re: UCLA Epstein Public Interest Program

Postby katalina1 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:25 am

Current Epstein (we call it "PILP") 1L here, happy to answer questions if you guys have them. I was in a similar position as OP when I applied- 165 LSAT and a GPA below median. I was admitted to PILP and told that if I did not accept my admission into the program I could not accept my UCLA admission--I take this to mean that you can use PILP admission as sort of a back door/alternate route to admission to the school. That said, I had a lot (5 years) of specifically public-interest experience, so I'm not sure that I would have been admitted without that as well.

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