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Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:19 pm
by AlexanderJordan
These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:27 pm
by BoyJord
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!


Chicago is a wayyy better choice. Ignore debt and move to the Windy City.

Signed,
Candidate on the UCLA WL

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:44 pm
by usn26
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!


No, as between UCLA and Chicago. Maybe, as between UCLA and the universe of possibilities (depends on what your total debt would be, your comfort level with missing out on biglaw, and your retake options, among other things).

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:22 pm
by AlexanderJordan
usn26 wrote:
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!


No, as between UCLA and Chicago. Maybe, as between UCLA and the universe of possibilities (depends on what your total debt would be, your comfort level with missing out on biglaw, and your retake options, among other things).

So you are saying if I'm set on biglaw then go Chicago?

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:43 pm
by PDX4343
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!


Just curious, did you get a scholarship offer from UCLA already? I didn't know they were making offers yet.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:53 pm
by goldenbear2020
Chicago probably gives you a 90% chance of landing big law vs a coin flip at UCLA. I'd take Chicago.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:53 pm
by goldenbear2020
Chicago probably gives you a 90% chance of landing big law vs a coin flip at UCLA. I'd take Chicago.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:26 pm
by Rigo
PDX4343 wrote:
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Just curious, did you get a scholarship offer from UCLA already? I didn't know they were making offers yet.

They haven't but some people have been unofficially finding out. They are given ranges though, not specific numbers I don't think.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:42 pm
by acr
Chicago at sticker is a bad idea. Yes, you will likely land big law in your target market, but is $300K in debt really worth it? Not to mention that Chicago is a pretty expensive city. If you're comfortable with that much debt, then go to Chicago. But I recommend playing around with a repayment calculator before taking this on -- it's a huge burden.

On the other hand, you might not get big law from UCLA, but you'll still have significant debt ($150K?), although less than you would from Chicago. I'm not a huge fan of that option either because it's risky. Getting big law from UCLA is doable, but you should start networking as soon as possible and (obviously) get the highest 1L GPA possible. No money from USC? I would take a full ride there.

Unfortunately, I don't like either of these options and recommend retaking the LSAT.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:07 pm
by PDX4343
Rigo wrote:
PDX4343 wrote:
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Just curious, did you get a scholarship offer from UCLA already? I didn't know they were making offers yet.

They haven't but some people have been unofficially finding out. They are given ranges though, not specific numbers I don't think.


Ah, got it. Any ideas on how someone would go about unofficially finding out?

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:13 pm
by rwe13
Would definitely not recommend Chi at sticker; provided you want southern cal, UCLA will give you a fair shot at biglaw

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:14 pm
by Colonel_funkadunk
PDX4343 wrote:
Rigo wrote:
PDX4343 wrote:
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Just curious, did you get a scholarship offer from UCLA already? I didn't know they were making offers yet.

They haven't but some people have been unofficially finding out. They are given ranges though, not specific numbers I don't think.


Ah, got it. Any ideas on how someone would go about unofficially finding out?


call the dean and ask

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:32 pm
by curry1
acr wrote:Chicago at sticker is a bad idea. Yes, you will likely land big law in your target market, but is $300K in debt really worth it? Not to mention that Chicago is a pretty expensive city. If you're comfortable with that much debt, then go to Chicago. But I recommend playing around with a repayment calculator before taking this on -- it's a huge burden.

On the other hand, you might not get big law from UCLA, but you'll still have significant debt ($150K?), although less than you would from Chicago. I'm not a huge fan of that option either because it's risky. Getting big law from UCLA is doable, but you should start networking as soon as possible and (obviously) get the highest 1L GPA possible. No money from USC? I would take a full ride there.

Unfortunately, I don't like either of these options and recommend retaking the LSAT.


lower t14 with decent scholarship is a good option which he/she should have if he/she got into chicago

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:04 pm
by dm1683
curry1 wrote:
acr wrote:Chicago at sticker is a bad idea. Yes, you will likely land big law in your target market, but is $300K in debt really worth it? Not to mention that Chicago is a pretty expensive city. If you're comfortable with that much debt, then go to Chicago. But I recommend playing around with a repayment calculator before taking this on -- it's a huge burden.

On the other hand, you might not get big law from UCLA, but you'll still have significant debt ($150K?), although less than you would from Chicago. I'm not a huge fan of that option either because it's risky. Getting big law from UCLA is doable, but you should start networking as soon as possible and (obviously) get the highest 1L GPA possible. No money from USC? I would take a full ride there.

Unfortunately, I don't like either of these options and recommend retaking the LSAT.


lower t14 with decent scholarship is a good option which he/she should have if he/she got into chicago


Yeah I was wondering about Berkeley with $$. That would be a good move with in-state tuition.

UChicago is a phenomenal school but not worth 300k non-dischargeable debt. 200k? Maybe. 150k? Probably. But not 300k.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:04 am
by AlexanderJordan
PDX4343 wrote:
AlexanderJordan wrote:These are my final two options. I am curious as to which school you all think is the better option for Los Angeles/San Fran biglaw. I know Chicago is a better school and has connections to any major legal market, but am I crazy for leaning UCLA? Any advice would be much appreciated!


Just curious, did you get a scholarship offer from UCLA already? I didn't know they were making offers yet.

I spoke with the dean of admissions after I took a tour and he gave me a ballpark number. The official package has yet to arrive.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:15 am
by AlexanderJordan
Thank you all for the insight. Retaking the LSAT isnt really an option because I am not going to sit out a cycle. USC only gave me 75k.... weird right? I'm sure I could get them to match, but I toured the campus and wasn't exactly blown away. I will let you all know of my decision hopefully within a month or so!

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:16 am
by KMart
acr wrote:Chicago is a pretty expensive city.

Chicago is cheaper than SoCal, for the record.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:19 am
by KMart
OP it's really up to you to determine if a 90% chance at biglaw is worth $200k more than a 50% chance at big law.

is that extra $82k starting salary worth it to you for $200k?

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:20 pm
by jbagelboy
Do you intend to practice in southern California? If so, UCLA is the better choice. If you have your heart set on another market, Chicago is the better choice (although I can't in good conscience advocate for attending and borrowing sticker).

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:15 pm
by Rigo
KMart wrote:is that extra $82k starting salary worth it to you for $200k?

Where are you getting this $82k?
Isn't it way more because of bimodal salary distribution?

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:04 pm
by KMart
Rigo wrote:
KMart wrote:is that extra $82k starting salary worth it to you for $200k?

Where are you getting this $82k?
Isn't it way more because of bimodal salary distribution?

90% chance at $180k versus 50% chance of $180k

just expected values. i should've been more clear, my fault.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:10 pm
by CR7
KMart wrote:
Rigo wrote:
KMart wrote:is that extra $82k starting salary worth it to you for $200k?

Where are you getting this $82k?
Isn't it way more because of bimodal salary distribution?

90% chance at $180k versus 50% chance of $180k

just expected values. i should've been more clear, my fault.


Where is the 90% chance at big law coming from?

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:14 pm
by curry1
CR7 wrote:
KMart wrote:
Rigo wrote:
KMart wrote:is that extra $82k starting salary worth it to you for $200k?

Where are you getting this $82k?
Isn't it way more because of bimodal salary distribution?

90% chance at $180k versus 50% chance of $180k

just expected values. i should've been more clear, my fault.


Where is the 90% chance at big law coming from?


Chicago places~75/80% into biglaw + fedclerk. Presumably a good number of the remaining 20-25% could have had biglaw but opted for government, elite public interest, business positions etc.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:38 pm
by dabigchina
IMHO it would be tough to get SoCal biglaw from median at either school. If working in CA is a must I would go with UCLA. If you don't care and definitely want biglaw, it's a tossup.

Re: Chicago (sticker) vs UCLA (115k)

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:45 pm
by GFox345
Chicago at sticker leads to $330k debt. You're looking at $3800 a month for a 10-year payment plan or $2300 a month for 25. That's an absurd amount of debt. No school is worth that much debt.

UCLA on a 115k scholarship leads to $143k debt or $1600 for 10 years and $950 for 25 years. That's very manageable.

The people who don't get Big Law at UCLA get midlaw, PI/Gov gigs, and other stuff. At Midlaw, you'll likely end up still making a six-figure salary. It's true that Chicago gives a substantially better chance at Big law, and it is second only to Yale for clerkships, but from a practical point of view, I think UCLA is the clear choice here. The only consideration is where you want to eventually work. If you want to work in Chicago, I suggest that you sit this year out and apply more broadly in that area next year. Don't destroy your life with $330k debt. That makes even Big Law salary feel like poverty.

EDIT: Just read your original post in its entirety. You want to work in CA? UCLA is the obvious choice here in my opinion. Make sure you exhaust your negotiation options, but coming out of UCLA with $140k debt is not a bad outcome at all. Coming out of UChicago with $330k debt definitely is.