UCLA v. GULC

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

Which would be best for me to attend?

GULC
15
94%
UCLA
1
6%
 
Total votes: 16

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Instrumental

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UCLA v. GULC

Postby Instrumental » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:36 am

Right now I'm trying to weigh the decision and I have to make a choice by Friday since UCLA's seat deposit is at that time (GULC's is May 1st). I just got back from UCLA's ASW and was thoroughly impressed. I enjoyed speaking with both the faculty and students. It seems like they have resources that will lead their students to success so long as they put the work in. At the end of the weekend, I felt like I would be happy studying at UCLA. I was not able to go to GULC's ASW, so it being more unknown to me makes me feel a bit reluctant.

I'm interested in international law and both schools seem to have excellent programs, however GULC's international law program is apparently only second to NYU according to USNWR. My career goals right now involve working with foreign policy in some capacity, possibly with the State Department. I'm also open to other areas of law so I'm also trying to take into consideration my options if I change my mind in regards to my goals in law school and after. GULC has a notably extensive selection of courses which is appealing if not a bit overwhelming.

In regards to location, I love LA and the west coast in general, from Vancouver to San Diego. I've lived on the east coast and been to DC a few times. It's no LA, but I enjoy the area well enough. Receiving the best education and opportunities to succeed in the future takes priority though. That being said, I would like to settle in the PNW some day (Seattle or Portland area), so, if there is any insight as to which school might best line me up for that, it'd be much appreciated. Seems like being in DC might provide a network and connections that UCLA might not be able to provide, especially with regards to international law. Anyone have any insight into that?

Don't have to worry about tuition, so cost of living is really the only thing I'll have to cover.

I'm still waiting on responses from Stanford and NYU. (GULC's later seat deposit deadline could mean me saving some bucks). I'm trying not to get my hopes up, not only because of my stats (see below) but because I'm already on waitlists at Chicago, Columbia, Penn, Michigan, UVA, and Duke and have been turned down at H,Y, and UCB.

LSAT (2)/GPA: 169/3.02 (URM)

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Last edited by Instrumental on Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:58 am

You're considering the wrong factors. Specialty rankings are useless, and course offerings have no impact on your career. Job placement and cost of attendance should be your primary concerns. But a few questions:

When you say you won't have to worry about tuition, what does that mean? Have you been offered full scholarships? How are you covering your costs?

And "international law" is an extremely broad field. You mention wanting to be involved in foreign policy, which is very rarely what the legal advisors at State do (they're more involved in assessing the legality of a certain policy decision or defending it after the fact, and any influence they have on the policy itself is indirect). Policy work in general does not require a JD, and you'd be better off getting an MPP if that's your real goal. But that aside, your geographical preferences are completely out of sync with your stated career interests. If you want to work in the areas of government where there's more international work, DC is almost required. The PNW has very few opportunities for any kind of international work, and I'd imagine that most of what would be offered would involve large firms working with Chinese business interests (in Seattle, not Portland). Even to the extent that's available, I think that's going to be found more in California.

So I guess the important question here is what you mean by "international law". If you really just mean setting policy for the US, then don't go to law school.

ponderingmeerkat

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:07 am

I'm going to hold off giving a recommendation because of the lack of financial info included in the OP. "Money isn't a factor" is always a bullshit line on these forums. If you're spending your savings or your parents retirement (your inheritance) to go sticker to GULC/UCLA, then money very much matters and trying to hand wave away that concern isn't going to fly around here.

Will edit this post when more info is forthcoming.
Last edited by ponderingmeerkat on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rigo

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:05 am

Instrumental wrote:Don't have to worry about tuition, so cost of living is really the only thing I'll have to cover.

As in full scholarships?

PNW probably isn't going to happen. Friends born and raised in the PNW who went to T10 schools were shit out of luck. It just seems like the most incredibly insular market from countless anecdotes. Not sure either school will help you there.

If costs truly equal for the most part, I'd probably go GULC since you'd probably benefit from being in DC given your goals. I could see you going the fedgov route, and if you change your mind and want biglaw, the schools are pretty peer with GULC having the edge imo due to some degree of self-selection out of Biglaw.

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Instrumental

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Instrumental » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:57 am

More like ornerymeerkat. :lol:
My tuition and fees will be covered fully at both institutions via the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon program. The only difference between UCLA and GULC in that regard is that UCLA only has ten slots for their YR program and GULC is unlimited. However, I asked both the financial aid office and Dean Schwartz at UCLA and they've told me they never have filled up all ten slots.

Thank you for the insightful post cavalier. To answer what I mean by international law, a primary example of what interests me is here. It seems that the work those attorneys do goes beyond just analysis and defense of foreign policy, but that interests me as well. I figured being in DC would be required for any kind of related work, but thought it best to ask about the PNW just in case there are such opportunities there in that field of work however limited. I also wanted to ask about placement up there outside of that line of work. I would think UCLA, being on the other end of the west coast, might have better reach into that region, but I'm not sure. I know course offerings don't have an impact on career, however just purely from an academic standpoint and giving me a more well rounded education (whichever specialty I decide on), it is an aspect interests me.

Rigo wrote:PNW probably isn't going to happen. Friends born and raised in the PNW who went to T10 schools were shit out of luck. It just seems like the most incredibly insular market from countless anecdotes. Not sure either school will help you there.

If costs truly equal for the most part, I'd probably go GULC since you'd probably benefit from being in DC given your goals. I could see you going the fedgov route, and if you change your mind and want biglaw, the schools are pretty peer with GULC having the edge imo due to some degree of self-selection out of Biglaw.


See above on the tuition costs. Very disappointing to hear about the PNW's closed market. :? Thanks for noting it though, I'll have to look into it more closely.

Rigo

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:18 am

I'm skeptical that UCLA > Georgetown for non-SoCal placement west coast placement, but I'll let others chime in on that since I can't definitively say.

Rigo

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:23 am

Make a poll. I'd do Georgetown deposit (can you do a last minute visit?) then probably take whoever let's you off the waitlist (if it happens) if their yellow ribbon benefits are also full tuition.

West coast seems like just a preference and not a priority for you. Correct me if I'm wrong. Georgetown won't lock you out of any region, whereas UCLA could very well lock you into a region.

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Instrumental

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Instrumental » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:47 am

Yeah, you are right that the west coast is not a priority. GULC having better options in regards to placement is a big factor. Looking at UCLA's employment statistics, a vast majority work in CA. I have heard that has more to do with preference of the students than being limited, but I'm not sure about that.

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:51 am

You might want to see if you can talk to a legal adviser at State to get a better idea of what that job description means. I can see how you'd read policy work into it, but the attorneys are rarely making any significant decisions in that area. Most of what the attorneys do there is execute the policies that have already been articulated by the White House and/or advise the Secretary of State on the legal ramifications of certain policy moves.

Don't get me wrong, working for State is fantastic. But if your goal is to make policy, the legal adviser's office probably isn't the best route.

Rigo

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:56 pm

Not that you're after biglaw, but UCLA biglaw+fedclerk is 42.7% this year. GULC 50.5%

ponderingmeerkat

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:07 pm

Instrumental wrote:More like ornerymeerkat. :lol:


Shit...just reread, you're right. Sorry dude. :D (In my defense, I had surgery yesterday afternoon and I'm riding the Percocet wave pretty good...still no excuse.)

I'd probably go with GULC honestly. With the exception of 0L's-3L's who track this shit, most people still consider GULC a "national school" with national placement prospects. UCLA will probably always (at least as far as our hiring prospects will be concerned) be viewed as a super-regional. So, if you were SoCal or bust, I think that'd make sense. But, since you aren't, I think tie goes to GULC here.
Last edited by ponderingmeerkat on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Instrumental

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Re: UCLA v. GULC

Postby Instrumental » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:48 pm

It's all good man. Thanks for the input.



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