California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

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wizardofoz

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California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:50 pm

Okay, so I apologize if this post originally seems redundant. The schools I have been accepted to have been talked about on these threads, but there is not very much recent information. I have been having a really hard time making a decision. Additionally, I think my situation is fairly unique, and I appreciate any advice you all have to offer.

Here are my options:
USD Law: (COA next to nothing. Max 15,000 in debt)
Loyola Law: (COA around 30,000 in debt)
UC Hastings: Scholarship info is confidential due to their terms. However, tuition payments will be very low. Conditional on 2.20/good academic standing (COA around 35,000 in debt)


Here is some of my background:
Test Numbers/GPA – 160 3.7

I would prefer to stay in California because of my current connections to the area. I love Orange County and San Diego, and San Francisco seems amazing but expensive. I really disdain LA, but I am still considering Loyola despite the area.

I appreciate any advice you guys have to offer. Thanks!
Last edited by wizardofoz on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

Rigo

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:16 pm

Well it's a good thing you have such a STANCE against biglaw, because you're probably not going to have that as an option out of these schools.
I'd do either Loyola or USD here just because you're SoCal focused. There is no reason you should be going to law school in Texas, Virginia, or Arizona.
Negotiate hard up to a full ride.

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UVA2B

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby UVA2B » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:19 pm

Rigo wrote:Well it's a good thing you have such a STANCE against biglaw, because you're probably not going to have that as an option out of these schools.
I'd do either Loyola or USD here just because you're SoCal focused. There is no reason you should be going to law school in Texas, Virginia, or Arizona.
Negotiate hard up to a full ride.


Those stipulations are worse than the amounts. Negotiate for good standing first.

ETA: assuming they meant stipulation, not stipend

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby Rigo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:20 pm

Yeah get rid of stips too.

cavalier1138

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:11 am

Yeah, just pick the school in the state/county you want to practice in, but eliminate any stipulations for the scholarship.

You should not, under any circumstances, be considering the strength of the moot court team (which isn't related to trial work anyway), the supposed emphasis on "trial advocacy", or any other factors you appear to place importance on. All law schools offer the same amount of substantive preparation for trial work, which is slightly above nothing. Your trial experience will all come on the job. Although you should be warned that no matter how much trial work you want to do, most of your experience in and out of the courtroom will not be at trials. Most cases end in settlement or plea bargain (depending on which system you're in).

I'm also slightly confused about your proposed career track. It sounds like you already have a connection to a good civil lit firm, and that seems like your ultimate goal. I don't know why you're interested in working as an ADA, since criminal law is a very different system, and you don't need the ADA credentials to get hired at a small or mid-sized firm for litigation. If anything, you'd want to target the firm first, because a lot of DA's offices won't let you work in a paid position until you've passed the bar.

Overall, it seems like you understand how to "hustle", but I'm not convinced that you've done your due diligence in understanding what a legal career looks like after school. And as a side note, unless any of your job offers have been in writing, I wouldn't count on them. This isn't to discount your networking skills, but you shouldn't be dismissing a school's employment statistics due to your own self-confidence.

wizardofoz

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:37 pm

Rigo wrote:Well it's a good thing you have such a STANCE against biglaw, because you're probably not going to have that as an option out of these schools.


Thank you for the response! It's not so much a STANCE, but more of a realization based on my personal disposition and credentials. I do not see myself thriving in that environment in the off chance that I actually get a shot at it.

Do you think that the recent decline of UC Hastings in the rankings has placed it on even footing with "lower-tiered" schools such as LLS and USD?

Thank you for the input!

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:52 pm

wizardofoz wrote:Do you think that the recent decline of UC Hastings in the rankings has placed it on even footing with "lower-tiered" schools such as LLS and USD?

Thank you for the input!

Hastings still has the edge on the most desirable outcomes (which biglaw+fed clerk is a good proxy for). I simply recommended the SoCal schools because you want to practice in SoCal. Hastings is a comparable option. It just takes you out of your desired market and the jobs you want are ones where externing during the school year and year round networking will be very beneficial.

Loyola:
75% graduates employed in full-time long term positions.
13% biglaw+fed clerk

USD:
63% graduates employed FT LT
13% biglaw+fed clerk

Hastings:
69% graduates employed FT LT
22% biglaw+fed clerk

wizardofoz

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:25 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Yeah, just pick the school in the state/county you want to practice in, but eliminate any stipulations for the scholarship.

You should not, under any circumstances, be considering the strength of the moot court team (which isn't related to trial work anyway), the supposed emphasis on "trial advocacy", or any other factors you appear to place importance on. All law schools offer the same amount of substantive preparation for trial work, which is slightly above nothing. Your trial experience will all come on the job. Although you should be warned that no matter how much trial work you want to do, most of your experience in and out of the courtroom will not be at trials. Most cases end in settlement or plea bargain (depending on which system you're in).

I'm also slightly confused about your proposed career track. It sounds like you already have a connection to a good civil lit firm, and that seems like your ultimate goal. I don't know why you're interested in working as an ADA, since criminal law is a very different system, and you don't need the ADA credentials to get hired at a small or mid-sized firm for litigation. If anything, you'd want to target the firm first, because a lot of DA's offices won't let you work in a paid position until you've passed the bar.

Overall, it seems like you understand how to "hustle", but I'm not convinced that you've done your due diligence in understanding what a legal career looks like after school. And as a side note, unless any of your job offers have been in writing, I wouldn't count on them. This isn't to discount your networking skills, but you shouldn't be dismissing a school's employment statistics due to your own self-confidence.


Thank you for the detailed post! I appreciate the advice.

It's helpful to know that all law school are equally subpar on preparing student for trial work.

I do realize that most of trial work is not in the actual courtroom. The vast majority of cases end in settlement or plea bargain in both civil and criminal law respectively. I may have portrayed more naiveté than I intended. However, the firm I worked at was very heavily involved in actual trial. Out of the 30 attorneys, at least 2 of them would be out of office everyday in the courtroom. Granted, that is out of hundreds of cases. But yes, you are absolutely correct in that 99% of my hours will be for trial preparation, i.e., depositions, interrogatories, discovery review, and miscellaneous document review. And most of these efforts will ultimately end in settlement. I just wanted to portray that I picture myself enjoying the litigation process more so than what I have heard about the transactional processes. But I do not have any experience in a transactional setting, so I cannot speak to that personally. I am going to try and intern in a corporate environment just to test things out, but, from what I know about myself, I think I found my niche. Going to trial and actually practicing oral advocacy just seems very appealing to me, or at least having the opportunity no matter how rare.

To clarify my proposed track, the reason I want to start as an ADA is to gain more substantive trial experience. Even if most proceedings end in plea bargain, proportionally I will be handling more cases and gaining more trial experience quicker than in a civil litigation firm. Further, the firm that I currently work at has a very slow (possibly nonexistent) partner track. Some associates who started right after law school have yet to see the inside of a courtroom or take the lead on any cases, and they have been there from 7 years to a decade. Only a few have actually argued motions in court or even taken a deposition. But those who started as ADA's and are hired on to the firm later on, progress much more quickly than those who do not. I asked a few of the partners their advice on the quickest way to partnership in the firm, and they unanimously recommended starting out in the DA's office. Those who start out in the DA's office have a much better shot at gaining partnership than associates with more firm experience but less trial experience. Perhaps that is indicative of my firm's heightened focus on trial. Of course, my experience could be quite atypical. Just anecdotally, the most successful attorneys in my office all spent some time as an ADA.

Also, I could be mistaken, but I thought that experience in the DA's office would have significant carry over to civil litigation, or even corporate litigation. If not, please let me know. If there is no carry over, I may consider just going straight to work for my current firm. Starting salary is not quite biglaw numbers, but it is around 70-80k with added performance bonuses. With bonuses, most younger attorneys there make around 110 depending on the year. But again, anecdotally speaking, the attorneys in their early thirties who are already millionaires almost with exception worked for the DA.

And in response to not doing my "due diligence", that could very well be the case. But, I have clerked/interned (I basically did paralegal work) at a firm for 4 years now, and I have been immersed in research, and I constantly asked working professionals about the legal field. Consequently, I have performed some modicum of "diligence"; however, my experience may be atypical. My sample size of respondents has merely been from predominantly trial lawyers, and I may have inherited a skewed perspective of the legal field as a whole. I personally performed much of the footwork with attorneys doing actual litigation work, so I think I am reasonably aware of the responsibilities of a legal career after school.

And I do not think I need to get a written statement of guaranteed employment from the firm. I am not fully committed to working their right out of law school, and that might be an awkward conversation at the dinner table (my father is the managing partner there). It's not so much overconfidence in my networking abilities, I just got lucky. I didn't add that part in my original discussion, because it may make me look like a overprivileged twat, but this is the internet, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Anyway, I appreciate your advice! It actually is quite helpful. If you do not mind, what is your opinion on UC Hastings? I mentioned it in an earlier response. But its recent decline in the rankings and abysmal bar passage concerns me. I am not sure if you are in the legal field or currently in school, but what do you think about the school's reputation?

wizardofoz

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:33 pm

Rigo wrote:
wizardofoz wrote:Do you think that the recent decline of UC Hastings in the rankings has placed it on even footing with "lower-tiered" schools such as LLS and USD?

Thank you for the input!

Hastings still has the edge on the most desirable outcomes (which biglaw+fed clerk is a good proxy for). I simply recommended the SoCal schools because you want to practice in SoCal. Hastings is a comparable option. It just takes you out of your desired market and the jobs you want are ones where externing during the school year and year round networking will be very beneficial.

Loyola:
75% graduates employed in full-time long term positions.
13% biglaw+fed clerk

USD:
63% graduates employed FT LT
13% biglaw+fed clerk

Hastings:
69% graduates employed FT LT
22% biglaw+fed clerk


Okay, that was my original inclination. Hastings does seem to have marginally better prestigious placement numbers. Location of networking is very important thing to consider as well. Thank you for your advice again! This is all good stuff to weigh out the options. I am going to mull it over for awhile, but thank you again.

I think the only thing I am still wondering is if the benefits of gaining more connections in SF would benefit me more than further expanding my network in Southern California? As of now, I do have a substantial network already in Southern California, but I there is always more work to be done.

Anyway, thank you for the recommendations! I am just trying to get a bunch of opinions before I make a big decision.

Kindest Regards

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby Rigo » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:42 pm

wizardofoz wrote:

Negotiate in the meantime. The COA's aren't set in stone. Try to get Loyola, Hastings, and USD down. Play the offers off of each other. Use the Baylor full-ride as leverage to start off with all three. I bet you can save at least another $30k if you're persistent.

Good luck!

wizardofoz

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:45 pm

Rigo wrote:
wizardofoz wrote:

Negotiate in the meantime. The COA's aren't set in stone. Try to get Loyola, Hastings, and USD down. Play the offers off of each other. I bet you can save at least another $30k if you're persistent.

Good luck!


Absolutely! I will get to work on negotiating. Hastings only requires good academic standing, and I think I will use their terms to see if USD and Loyola will budge.

Thank you!!!

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:05 pm

wizardofoz wrote:Thank you for the detailed post! I appreciate the advice.

It's helpful to know that all law school are equally subpar on preparing student for trial work.

I do realize that most of trial work is not in the actual courtroom. The vast majority of cases end in settlement or plea bargain in both civil and criminal law respectively. I may have portrayed more naiveté than I intended. However, the firm I worked at was very heavily involved in actual trial. Out of the 30 attorneys, at least 2 of them would be out of office everyday in the courtroom. Granted, that is out of hundreds of cases. But yes, you are absolutely correct in that 99% of my hours will be for trial preparation, i.e., depositions, interrogatories, discovery review, and miscellaneous document review. And most of these efforts will ultimately end in settlement. I just wanted to portray that I picture myself enjoying the litigation process more so than what I have heard about the transactional processes. But I do not have any experience in a transactional setting, so I cannot speak to that personally. I am going to try and intern in a corporate environment just to test things out, but, from what I know about myself, I think I found my niche. Going to trial and actually practicing oral advocacy just seems very appealing to me, or at least having the opportunity no matter how rare.

To clarify my proposed track, the reason I want to start as an ADA is to gain more substantive trial experience. Even if most proceedings end in plea bargain, proportionally I will be handling more cases and gaining more trial experience quicker than in a civil litigation firm. Further, the firm that I currently work at has a very slow (possibly nonexistent) partner track. Some associates who started right after law school have yet to see the inside of a courtroom or take the lead on any cases, and they have been there from 7 years to a decade. Only a few have actually argued motions in court or even taken a deposition. But those who started as ADA's and are hired on to the firm later on, progress much more quickly than those who do not. I asked a few of the partners their advice on the quickest way to partnership in the firm, and they unanimously recommended starting out in the DA's office. Those who start out in the DA's office have a much better shot at gaining partnership than associates with more firm experience but less trial experience. Perhaps that is indicative of my firm's heightened focus on trial. Of course, my experience could be quite atypical. Just anecdotally, the most successful attorneys in my office all spent some time as an ADA.

Also, I could be mistaken, but I thought that experience in the DA's office would have significant carry over to civil litigation, or even corporate litigation. If not, please let me know. If there is no carry over, I may consider just going straight to work for my current firm. Starting salary is not quite biglaw numbers, but it is around 70-80k with added performance bonuses. With bonuses, most younger attorneys there make around 110 depending on the year. But again, anecdotally speaking, the attorneys in their early thirties who are already millionaires almost with exception worked for the DA.

And in response to not doing my "due diligence", that could very well be the case. But, I have clerked/interned (I basically did paralegal work) at a firm for 4 years now, and I have been immersed in research, and I constantly asked working professionals about the legal field. Consequently, I have performed some modicum of "diligence"; however, my experience may be atypical. My sample size of respondents has merely been from predominantly trial lawyers, and I may have inherited a skewed perspective of the legal field as a whole. I personally performed much of the footwork with attorneys doing actual litigation work, so I think I am reasonably aware of the responsibilities of a legal career after school.

And I do not think I need to get a written statement of guaranteed employment from the firm. I am not fully committed to working their right out of law school, and that might be an awkward conversation at the dinner table (my father is the managing partner there). It's not so much overconfidence in my networking abilities, I just got lucky. I didn't add that part in my original discussion, because it may make me look like a overprivileged twat, but this is the internet, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Anyway, I appreciate your advice! It actually is quite helpful. If you do not mind, what is your opinion on UC Hastings? I mentioned it in an earlier response. But its recent decline in the rankings and abysmal bar passage concerns me. I am not sure if you are in the legal field or currently in school, but what do you think about the school's reputation?


Working as an ADA will give you great courtroom experience. But it will all be criminal experience, not civil. If attorneys at the specific firm you work at have a different track, or if that particular region seems to have a lot of mobility between the DA's office and civil/corporate lit, then being an ADA might be the right choice for you. But that sounds like an unusual system, because of the aforementioned concentration on criminal work in the DA's office. It's not that the skills aren't transferable. It's just that the civil and criminal systems don't always have a lot of overlap.

I don't know much specifically about Hastings, but again, I'd be wary of planning on getting the "prestige" jobs out of the gate through networking. Most federal clerkships, for example, have strict grade cutoffs, and your school name matters quite a bit to some judges. You can be the most personable, lucky guy in the world, but if your goal is a shot at some kind of prestigious work (and from your last posts, it sounds like it is), then you have to know that the school you go to has a huge impact on your ability to do that kind of thing. Median at Hastings might give you a shot at being an ADA in a smaller country. Median at UCLA or USC will probably give you a shot at working as an ADA in LA. And you can't plan on being above the median.

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:26 pm

Understood. I am more than content with being an ADA in a smaller county. If the median will get me an interview at a smaller DA's office, I would be more than happy with it.

A federal clerkship or a positions in the LA DA's office would be amazing, but I am not going to plan around either of those prospects. I will only pursue them if my performance is up to snuff, which has yet to be determined. I won't plan on being anywhere above the median, but I will work my ass off to make sure I am. This is everyone's mindset upon entrance though, so I realize the difficulty.

As of right now, I am going to continue negotiating terms at these lower-tiered options and see what unfolds. It seems that career prospects out of these schools, although less nationally prestigious, would suite my goals.

I am going to take the LSAT again in June just for my own satisfaction. If I score markedly better than my first go around, I will definitely consider delaying until next cycle. Considering you comments, if my numbers will realistically get me into USC or UCLA, I would definitely consider taking a year off and working post-graduation.

Thank you for your perspective, and I wish you best of luck.

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:29 pm

[quote="cavalier1138"][quote="wizardofoz"]

Understood. I am more than content with being an ADA in a smaller county. If the median will get me an interview at a smaller DA's office, I would be more than happy with it.

A federal clerkship or a positions in the LA DA's office would be amazing, but I am not going to plan around either of those prospects. I will only pursue them if my performance is up to snuff, which has yet to be determined. I won't plan on being anywhere above the median, but I will work my ass off to make sure I am. This is everyone's mindset upon entrance though, so I realize the difficulty.

As of right now, I am going to continue negotiating terms at these lower-tiered options and see what unfolds. It seems that career prospects out of these schools, although less nationally prestigious, would suite my goals.

I am going to take the LSAT again in June just for my own satisfaction. If I score markedly better than my first go around, I will definitely consider delaying until next cycle. Considering you comments, if my numbers will realistically get me into USC or UCLA, I would definitely consider taking a year off and working post-graduation.

Thank you for your perspective, and I wish you best of luck.

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:58 pm

OP: I gather the "civil" firm you are working at is PI or other kinds of torts, correct? I know plenty of people who have made the switch. With younger lawyers it usually seems to be from civil to criminal, not the other way around, but many PI or tort lawyers got their start in the DA office.

It sounds like you have "special" connection at a firm that is not likely to have an anti-nepotism policy, which is good since it seems you really are guaranteed a job. I'd emphasize that you go to a school with no to low debt and that you focus on schools in locations where you can intern at the DA or another small firm and get experience (much better to do that than "trial advocacy" class and interning at the DA can be a prerequisite to working there post-graduation).

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:31 am

timbs4339 wrote:OP: I gather the "civil" firm you are working at is PI or other kinds of torts, correct? I know plenty of people who have made the switch. With younger lawyers it usually seems to be from civil to criminal, not the other way around, but many PI or tort lawyers got their start in the DA office.

It sounds like you have "special" connection at a firm that is not likely to have an anti-nepotism policy, which is good since it seems you really are guaranteed a job. I'd emphasize that you go to a school with no to low debt and that you focus on schools in locations where you can intern at the DA or another small firm and get experience (much better to do that than "trial advocacy" class and interning at the DA can be a prerequisite to working there post-graduation).


You are correct. The firm does PI, products liability, mass torts, complex litigation, etc.

That is a very good point. In the LA area, I would be pretty much guaranteed quality internships, while in SD or SF, I would have to hustle pretty hard with uncertain results. Apparently both SD and SF have smaller legal markets than LA, and employment prospects are less numerous. I also just started an internship for an in-house legal department (IP) at a large tech company in the greater LA area for the summer. It is probably smarter to capitalize on my network here rather than trying to break into an unfamiliar region.

Thank you for the advice. I will continue focussing on internship experience, and perhaps intern for the DA's office my 2l year. I think Loyola will provide the best opportunities for me considering all the variables.

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby TakeItToTrial » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:43 am

wizardofoz wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:OP: I gather the "civil" firm you are working at is PI or other kinds of torts, correct? I know plenty of people who have made the switch. With younger lawyers it usually seems to be from civil to criminal, not the other way around, but many PI or tort lawyers got their start in the DA office.

It sounds like you have "special" connection at a firm that is not likely to have an anti-nepotism policy, which is good since it seems you really are guaranteed a job. I'd emphasize that you go to a school with no to low debt and that you focus on schools in locations where you can intern at the DA or another small firm and get experience (much better to do that than "trial advocacy" class and interning at the DA can be a prerequisite to working there post-graduation).


You are correct. The firm does PI, products liability, mass torts, complex litigation, etc.

That is a very good point. In the LA area, I would be pretty much guaranteed quality internships, while in SD or SF, I would have to hustle pretty hard with uncertain results. Apparently both SD and SF have smaller legal markets than LA, and employment prospects are less numerous. I also just started an internship for an in-house legal department (IP) at a large tech company in the greater LA area for the summer. It is probably smarter to capitalize on my network here rather than trying to break into an unfamiliar region.

Thank you for the advice. I will continue focussing on internship experience, and perhaps intern for the DA's office my 2l year. I think Loyola will provide the best opportunities for me considering all the variables.


Think about taking a prep course before June rolls around. I had very similar numbers to you after my first LSAT (slightly lower GPA). Taking the prep course really boosted my confidence before the second attempt.

A five point jump would put you in play at USC!

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby wizardofoz » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:06 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:
wizardofoz wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:OP: I gather the "civil" firm you are working at is PI or other kinds of torts, correct? I know plenty of people who have made the switch. With younger lawyers it usually seems to be from civil to criminal, not the other way around, but many PI or tort lawyers got their start in the DA office.

It sounds like you have "special" connection at a firm that is not likely to have an anti-nepotism policy, which is good since it seems you really are guaranteed a job. I'd emphasize that you go to a school with no to low debt and that you focus on schools in locations where you can intern at the DA or another small firm and get experience (much better to do that than "trial advocacy" class and interning at the DA can be a prerequisite to working there post-graduation).


You are correct. The firm does PI, products liability, mass torts, complex litigation, etc.

That is a very good point. In the LA area, I would be pretty much guaranteed quality internships, while in SD or SF, I would have to hustle pretty hard with uncertain results. Apparently both SD and SF have smaller legal markets than LA, and employment prospects are less numerous. I also just started an internship for an in-house legal department (IP) at a large tech company in the greater LA area for the summer. It is probably smarter to capitalize on my network here rather than trying to break into an unfamiliar region.

Thank you for the advice. I will continue focussing on internship experience, and perhaps intern for the DA's office my 2l year. I think Loyola will provide the best opportunities for me considering all the variables.


Think about taking a prep course before June rolls around. I had very similar numbers to you after my first LSAT (slightly lower GPA). Taking the prep course really boosted my confidence before the second attempt.

A five point jump would put you in play at USC!


I am considering it. Last round I was working full time and taking some practice tests after hours. Right now, I am taking a formal logic course at my university. It may help a little bit as well. I am still working full-time, so i'll look into courses offered later in the day after I graduate. It's always shitty trying to focus after a full day at work and school, but the payout may be substantial. Also, with the test in June, already having some offers on the table will reduce some of the associated anxiety.

If my score increases by 5 points or more, I will most likely take your advice and go for USC or UCLA.

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Re: California Lower T1/T2 Schools Inquiry

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:35 pm

wizardofoz wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:OP: I gather the "civil" firm you are working at is PI or other kinds of torts, correct? I know plenty of people who have made the switch. With younger lawyers it usually seems to be from civil to criminal, not the other way around, but many PI or tort lawyers got their start in the DA office.

It sounds like you have "special" connection at a firm that is not likely to have an anti-nepotism policy, which is good since it seems you really are guaranteed a job. I'd emphasize that you go to a school with no to low debt and that you focus on schools in locations where you can intern at the DA or another small firm and get experience (much better to do that than "trial advocacy" class and interning at the DA can be a prerequisite to working there post-graduation).


You are correct. The firm does PI, products liability, mass torts, complex litigation, etc.

That is a very good point. In the LA area, I would be pretty much guaranteed quality internships, while in SD or SF, I would have to hustle pretty hard with uncertain results. Apparently both SD and SF have smaller legal markets than LA, and employment prospects are less numerous. I also just started an internship for an in-house legal department (IP) at a large tech company in the greater LA area for the summer. It is probably smarter to capitalize on my network here rather than trying to break into an unfamiliar region.

Thank you for the advice. I will continue focussing on internship experience, and perhaps intern for the DA's office my 2l year. I think Loyola will provide the best opportunities for me considering all the variables.


I would also strongly recommend interning for the DA office during the semester as well as the summers. Competition from USC/UCLA and T14 schools is going to be much higher during the summer. However, working during the school year allows you to get more experience, a better relationship with the prosecutors. Committing to work at a place during the school year when you could justifiably be focusing on school (or drinking/being lazy) definitely demonstrates going above and beyond the typical law student. An LA based school would be perfect for this since the LA DA office probably has a program that allows you to intern during the school year.



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