Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

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Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Santa Clara
1
5%
USC
18
86%
UC Davis
2
10%
 
Total votes: 21

thistevetran

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Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:31 pm

Hi everyone: First time poster who will attend law school in August. Really would appreciate any input provided on this matter:

At the moment, I have been fortunate to receive three offers:
1. Santa Clara: $35,000 per year scholarship with stipulation of 3.0 GPA.
2. USC: $45,000 per year scholarship, good academic standing.
3. UC Davis: $40,000 per year scholarship, good academic standing.

My current situation:
1. I was born and raised in the Bay Area. Have lived there all my life.
2. I recently completed my undergraduate Business degree on December 2017. 3.8 GPA, Latin Honors, student government, you name it...
3. I am the oldest of three children in the family.
4. Interested in Corporate Law and Intellectual Property.

Big sticking point right now: the neighborhood/surrounding area of each campus.

Thanks again for taking some time to help with this decision.

Wubbles

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby Wubbles » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:12 pm

USC, easy decision. If you have a high GPA and lower LSAT, a retake and going to Berk could help a lot for winding up in the bay

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Gitaroo_Dude

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:57 pm

Santa Clara shouldn't even be in the picture here. Especially with stipulations on the scholarship, lol. Throw that out the window.

I'd go USC, with the following caveats. If you're eligible to take the patent bar, UC Davis might be worth attending just because you have close to a free ride and would graduate with minimal debt and would still likely land a firm job doing IP work. If you don't have a STEM background and are simply looking to do soft-IP then USC all the way. Just know that your debt load coming out of USC will be high and if you're in the majority of the class who don't land biglaw, your future holds lots of income-based repayment drudgery.

thistevetran

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:16 am

Wubbles wrote:USC, easy decision. If you have a high GPA and lower LSAT, a retake and going to Berk could help a lot for winding up in the bay


Thanks for offering your perspective. I applied to Berkeley this previous cycle, but no offer was made. If evaluated through the lens of Berkeley's previous class, my LSAT would have placed me in the 50th percentile...

thistevetran

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:32 am

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:Santa Clara shouldn't even be in the picture here. Especially with stipulations on the scholarship, lol. Throw that out the window.

I'd go USC, with the following caveats. If you're eligible to take the patent bar, UC Davis might be worth attending just because you have close to a free ride and would graduate with minimal debt and would still likely land a firm job doing IP work. If you don't have a STEM background and are simply looking to do soft-IP then USC all the way. Just know that your debt load coming out of USC will be high and if you're in the majority of the class who don't land biglaw, your future holds lots of income-based repayment drudgery.


Thanks for providing your thoughts. When you were personally deciding on where to attend, what key factors were you heavily weighting? And was proximity to home ever something that you considered?

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby mrlawguy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:18 am

If sitting out a cycle and retaking is completely off the table (which my personal view is that there is rarely a circumstance where it should be completely off the table), USC by a country mile.

I don't know what UC Davis and Santa Clara's big law placement numbers look like, but I presume it's pretty low. If you can get top 1/4 at USC you're very likely to get an LA firm (you still have a shot anywhere above median).

Again, I want to reemphasize the retaking part just because, notwithstanding the fact that you've got some OK money from these school, if you were to raise your LSAT score to 170+ you could (1) either go to Berkley/some other T-13 or (2) go to USC on a full/near full ride (highly recommended).

Assuming you don't have family down in So Cal, you are going to have to account for cost of living. If you don't have savings or rich parents, you'll end up on the wrong side of compound interest (in addition to the money you spend on tuition that also going to compound in interest).

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Gitaroo_Dude

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:22 am

thistevetran wrote:
Gitaroo_Dude wrote:Santa Clara shouldn't even be in the picture here. Especially with stipulations on the scholarship, lol. Throw that out the window.

I'd go USC, with the following caveats. If you're eligible to take the patent bar, UC Davis might be worth attending just because you have close to a free ride and would graduate with minimal debt and would still likely land a firm job doing IP work. If you don't have a STEM background and are simply looking to do soft-IP then USC all the way. Just know that your debt load coming out of USC will be high and if you're in the majority of the class who don't land biglaw, your future holds lots of income-based repayment drudgery.


Thanks for providing your thoughts. When you were personally deciding on where to attend, what key factors were you heavily weighting? And was proximity to home ever something that you considered?


Four main factors drove my decision:

1. Professional goals (which were working in CA after graduation either as a DA or possibly in biglaw should grades be good/it interest me).
2. Cost of attendance
3. Close to home (I'm from the Bay Area, wanted to be close to my GF in the Bay, etc).
4. Emotional affinity/"fit" with the school.

Basically UCLA aligned well with my professional goals and was in my tolerable range for tuition. Personally it meant I was still relatively close to my (now ex) GF and I really liked the school.

In general goals and CoA should be the main drivers of your decision, then softs like proximity to home and "fit" come in.

thistevetran

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:31 am

mrlawguy wrote:If sitting out a cycle and retaking is completely off the table (which my personal view is that there is rarely a circumstance where it should be completely off the table), USC by a country mile.

I don't know what UC Davis and Santa Clara's big law placement numbers look like, but I presume it's pretty low. If you can get top 1/4 at USC you're very likely to get an LA firm (you still have a shot anywhere above median).

Again, I want to reemphasize the retaking part just because, notwithstanding the fact that you've got some OK money from these school, if you were to raise your LSAT score to 170+ you could (1) either go to Berkley/some other T-13 or (2) go to USC on a full/near full ride (highly recommended).

Assuming you don't have family down in So Cal, you are going to have to account for cost of living. If you don't have savings or rich parents, you'll end up on the wrong side of compound interest (in addition to the money you spend on tuition that also going to compound in interest).


I appreciate your perspective. If only I were more confident about improving my LSAT score... Hesitant to retake for fear of scoring lower... With the practice LSATs, I averaged around 163. My December exam scored 165.

As for costs, I "should be" good on that end. Worked my way towards saving for roughly one and half years of law school. Still amazed at how all that turned out.

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:43 am

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:
thistevetran wrote:
Gitaroo_Dude wrote:Santa Clara shouldn't even be in the picture here. Especially with stipulations on the scholarship, lol. Throw that out the window.

I'd go USC, with the following caveats. If you're eligible to take the patent bar, UC Davis might be worth attending just because you have close to a free ride and would graduate with minimal debt and would still likely land a firm job doing IP work. If you don't have a STEM background and are simply looking to do soft-IP then USC all the way. Just know that your debt load coming out of USC will be high and if you're in the majority of the class who don't land biglaw, your future holds lots of income-based repayment drudgery.


Thanks for providing your thoughts. When you were personally deciding on where to attend, what key factors were you heavily weighting? And was proximity to home ever something that you considered?


Four main factors drove my decision:

1. Professional goals (which were working in CA after graduation either as a DA or possibly in biglaw should grades be good/it interest me).
2. Cost of attendance
3. Close to home (I'm from the Bay Area, wanted to be close to my GF in the Bay, etc).
4. Emotional affinity/"fit" with the school.

Basically UCLA aligned well with my professional goals and was in my tolerable range for tuition. Personally it meant I was still relatively close to my (now ex) GF and I really liked the school.

In general goals and CoA should be the main drivers of your decision, then softs like proximity to home and "fit" come in.

Ah, okay. Those are the exact four main factors that I am currently using as metrics. That said, I am placing a slightly heavier emphasis on "close to home" and "emotional affinity/school fit." Is that a wrong approach to take?

And may I ask how difficult of a transition moving down to UCLA was? At the end of the day, I believe the transition is primarily motivating my hesitance to fully commit towards USC. This would explain why Santa Clara -- for me, anyways -- seems to come back into the selection picture...

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Gitaroo_Dude

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:32 am

thistevetran wrote:Ah, okay. Those are the exact four main factors that I am currently using as metrics. That said, I am placing a slightly heavier emphasis on "close to home" and "emotional affinity/school fit." Is that a wrong approach to take?

And may I ask how difficult of a transition moving down to UCLA was? At the end of the day, I believe the transition is primarily motivating my hesitance to fully commit towards USC. This would explain why Santa Clara -- for me, anyways -- seems to come back into the selection picture...


I don't think it's necessarily the wrong approach to take, but imo while they might weigh equally to cost of attendance they should never overtake the importance of goals. The reason I single out Santa Clara is that less than half of their students will end up working as a lawyer essentially. We're not even talking well-paying jobs, but being a lawyer at all. Just not worth attending given those poor odds. If you want to stay in the Bay you shouldn't settle for anything less than Hastings (and I'd be wary of that too). Davis might be worth it given that it's only an hour away and is at least a respectable school. Since PMs have been disabled, do you mind sharing why you're putting so much weight on closeness to home?

Transition to UCLA was really easy; I ended up loving LA. A long distance relationship was definitely difficult, but everything else was fine. I imagine USC will be similarly easy; the schools will put a lot of resources into helping students adjust before school begins and getting settled in.

thistevetran

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:52 pm

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:
thistevetran wrote:Ah, okay. Those are the exact four main factors that I am currently using as metrics. That said, I am placing a slightly heavier emphasis on "close to home" and "emotional affinity/school fit." Is that a wrong approach to take?

And may I ask how difficult of a transition moving down to UCLA was? At the end of the day, I believe the transition is primarily motivating my hesitance to fully commit towards USC. This would explain why Santa Clara -- for me, anyways -- seems to come back into the selection picture...


I don't think it's necessarily the wrong approach to take, but imo while they might weigh equally to cost of attendance they should never overtake the importance of goals. The reason I single out Santa Clara is that less than half of their students will end up working as a lawyer essentially. We're not even talking well-paying jobs, but being a lawyer at all. Just not worth attending given those poor odds. If you want to stay in the Bay you shouldn't settle for anything less than Hastings (and I'd be wary of that too). Davis might be worth it given that it's only an hour away and is at least a respectable school. Since PMs have been disabled, do you mind sharing why you're putting so much weight on closeness to home?

Transition to UCLA was really easy; I ended up loving LA. A long distance relationship was definitely difficult, but everything else was fine. I imagine USC will be similarly easy; the schools will put a lot of resources into helping students adjust before school begins and getting settled in.

“Closeness to home” really comes down to two things...

1. Given how challenging law school will be, it would seem as though having fewer “distractions” or tasks to worry about — by living near home — can be beneficial towards maximizing my ability to perform well and understand the material.

2. I grew up in a household that very much was about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Sure, the school’s name is nice and all. But it really falls down to what you make of it.” After three and a half years at San Jose State going above and beyond, I can definitely see where my parents are coming from.

What do you think? Again, wrong way to go?

sumtingwonghia

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby sumtingwonghia » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:08 pm

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:
thistevetran wrote:Ah, okay. Those are the exact four main factors that I am currently using as metrics. That said, I am placing a slightly heavier emphasis on "close to home" and "emotional affinity/school fit." Is that a wrong approach to take?

And may I ask how difficult of a transition moving down to UCLA was? At the end of the day, I believe the transition is primarily motivating my hesitance to fully commit towards USC. This would explain why Santa Clara -- for me, anyways -- seems to come back into the selection picture...


I don't think it's necessarily the wrong approach to take, but imo while they might weigh equally to cost of attendance they should never overtake the importance of goals. The reason I single out Santa Clara is that less than half of their students will end up working as a lawyer essentially. We're not even talking well-paying jobs, but being a lawyer at all. Just not worth attending given those poor odds. If you want to stay in the Bay you shouldn't settle for anything less than Hastings (and I'd be wary of that too). Davis might be worth it given that it's only an hour away and is at least a respectable school. Since PMs have been disabled, do you mind sharing why you're putting so much weight on closeness to home?

Transition to UCLA was really easy; I ended up loving LA. A long distance relationship was definitely difficult, but everything else was fine. I imagine USC will be similarly easy; the schools will put a lot of resources into helping students adjust before school begins and getting settled in.


Hey Gitaroo_Dude - sorry I'm new to TLS forums so I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to PMing other users. Prospective student looking to apply to UCLA next cycle - do you mind if we can get in touch so I can ask you a few questions? Thanks!

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:44 pm

thistevetran wrote:“Closeness to home” really comes down to two things...

1. Given how challenging law school will be, it would seem as though having fewer “distractions” or tasks to worry about — by living near home — can be beneficial towards maximizing my ability to perform well and understand the material.

2. I grew up in a household that very much was about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Sure, the school’s name is nice and all. But it really falls down to what you make of it.” After three and a half years at San Jose State going above and beyond, I can definitely see where my parents are coming from.

What do you think? Again, wrong way to go?


On the first point, I think it can be a double edged sword. Being closer to home might mean more distractions because you have family and friends who will want to keep in contact, which can be more distracting than were you to move away and have that natural barrier.

On the second point, law school is definitely what you make of it in many ways. But Santa Clara is just a bad school. It's hard to appreciate how difficult it will be to overcome the school's poor employment outcomes; the kind of hustle required to get a job there, on top of the normal load of course work you're doing, will be exhausting and likely miserable. UC Davis at least is a respectable school with respectable employment outcomes. Santa Clara is incredibly expensive and leaves you more likely to be doing a non-law job than actually being a lawyer at graduation. And those numbers are even worse than they seem because tech companies send employees to Santa Clara to get a JD then return in-house. I just can't see any reason to attend that school unless you already have a firm or company with a guaranteed promise of employment upon getting any old JD.

sumtingwonghia wrote:Hey Gitaroo_Dude - sorry I'm new to TLS forums so I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to PMing other users. Prospective student looking to apply to UCLA next cycle - do you mind if we can get in touch so I can ask you a few questions? Thanks!


Hey there. Unfortunately, the private message feature was disabled. I would post an e-mail address or something of mine, but the edit feature was disabled too so I can't remove it. If you have some way dummy e-mail address or something you'd be comfortable posting here I can message you, otherwise you can ask me here too on the normal message board.

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby sumtingwonghia » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:25 am

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:
thistevetran wrote:“Closeness to home” really comes down to two things...

1. Given how challenging law school will be, it would seem as though having fewer “distractions” or tasks to worry about — by living near home — can be beneficial towards maximizing my ability to perform well and understand the material.

2. I grew up in a household that very much was about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Sure, the school’s name is nice and all. But it really falls down to what you make of it.” After three and a half years at San Jose State going above and beyond, I can definitely see where my parents are coming from.

What do you think? Again, wrong way to go?


On the first point, I think it can be a double edged sword. Being closer to home might mean more distractions because you have family and friends who will want to keep in contact, which can be more distracting than were you to move away and have that natural barrier.

On the second point, law school is definitely what you make of it in many ways. But Santa Clara is just a bad school. It's hard to appreciate how difficult it will be to overcome the school's poor employment outcomes; the kind of hustle required to get a job there, on top of the normal load of course work you're doing, will be exhausting and likely miserable. UC Davis at least is a respectable school with respectable employment outcomes. Santa Clara is incredibly expensive and leaves you more likely to be doing a non-law job than actually being a lawyer at graduation. And those numbers are even worse than they seem because tech companies send employees to Santa Clara to get a JD then return in-house. I just can't see any reason to attend that school unless you already have a firm or company with a guaranteed promise of employment upon getting any old JD.

sumtingwonghia wrote:Hey Gitaroo_Dude - sorry I'm new to TLS forums so I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to PMing other users. Prospective student looking to apply to UCLA next cycle - do you mind if we can get in touch so I can ask you a few questions? Thanks!


Hey there. Unfortunately, the private message feature was disabled. I would post an e-mail address or something of mine, but the edit feature was disabled too so I can't remove it. If you have some way dummy e-mail address or something you'd be comfortable posting here I can message you, otherwise you can ask me here too on the normal message board.


Hey man, sorry for the late response. Just wanted to ask, I've been looking heavily into UCLA/USC because they have a very strong Entertainment Law program and are located in LA, the center of entertainment. Is looking to move into this field a realistic or strong enough option to relocate from the East Coast? I really want to go into the industry as I've been involved in music and entertainment almost my entire life and I know that those two schools give me a great shot as they have highly regarded programs, but I see a lot of posts about how the entertainment law field is a pipe dream.

As I am moving from the East coast, how generous (in your experience) are schools with negotiating scholarships? I will be coming in with a 3.6 GPA and 165 LSAT for reference. I'm looking more into how much debt I will be facing upon graduation, hoping to alleviate some of the costs with hopefully a merit based scholarship.

thistevetran

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Re: Santa Clara vs. USC vs. UC Davis

Postby thistevetran » Thu May 24, 2018 2:49 pm

Gitaroo_Dude wrote:
thistevetran wrote:“Closeness to home” really comes down to two things...

1. Given how challenging law school will be, it would seem as though having fewer “distractions” or tasks to worry about — by living near home — can be beneficial towards maximizing my ability to perform well and understand the material.

2. I grew up in a household that very much was about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Sure, the school’s name is nice and all. But it really falls down to what you make of it.” After three and a half years at San Jose State going above and beyond, I can definitely see where my parents are coming from.

What do you think? Again, wrong way to go?


On the first point, I think it can be a double edged sword. Being closer to home might mean more distractions because you have family and friends who will want to keep in contact, which can be more distracting than were you to move away and have that natural barrier.

On the second point, law school is definitely what you make of it in many ways. But Santa Clara is just a bad school. It's hard to appreciate how difficult it will be to overcome the school's poor employment outcomes; the kind of hustle required to get a job there, on top of the normal load of course work you're doing, will be exhausting and likely miserable. UC Davis at least is a respectable school with respectable employment outcomes. Santa Clara is incredibly expensive and leaves you more likely to be doing a non-law job than actually being a lawyer at graduation. And those numbers are even worse than they seem because tech companies send employees to Santa Clara to get a JD then return in-house. I just can't see any reason to attend that school unless you already have a firm or company with a guaranteed promise of employment upon getting any old JD.

sumtingwonghia wrote:Hey Gitaroo_Dude - sorry I'm new to TLS forums so I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to PMing other users. Prospective student looking to apply to UCLA next cycle - do you mind if we can get in touch so I can ask you a few questions? Thanks!


Hey there. Unfortunately, the private message feature was disabled. I would post an e-mail address or something of mine, but the edit feature was disabled too so I can't remove it. If you have some way dummy e-mail address or something you'd be comfortable posting here I can message you, otherwise you can ask me here too on the normal message board.


Apologies for the delayed reply. I can definitely see your perspective on my two points. Thanks again for taking the time to answer all my questions.



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