UCLA vs. GULC vs UCB (maybe) for SoCal Big Law?

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UCLA vs. GULC vs UCB (maybe) for SoCal Big Law?

Postby Questions123 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:48 pm


I am a 1L who is transferring. I have gotten into UCLA and GULC so far and anticipate probably getting into UCB as well (not entirely sure but figure I may as well sort this out beforehand because I'm sure I'll have to decide quickly if I want to get in for OCI)

UCLA has always been my dream. I love LA and am fairly certain I want to do Big Law there. I have never been to DC; I am from SF and have lived there all of my life.

My intuition I think is saying UCLA because I can't imagine that Georgetown's +2 ranking on UCLA will outweigh being in the geo region I want to work in. However, I want to make sure I consider all of my options as fully as possible. I'm a little nervous because maybe I would love GULC and I just don't know because I've never been to DC. I think GULC has better Big Law placement in general... however, I finished my 1L year in the top 15% of a well-regarded T1 in CA so I think that makes my employment prospects analysis a little different than a normal incoming 1L. I'm assuming that since I already have great grades I don't have to worry as much about job placement for Big Law? I thought Big Law placement %s spoke to how deep Big Law firms go into the 2L class rankings... and since I already have a good GPA I should be somewhere with the top of the class at either school as far as those interviews are concerned. is that right or no? I actually have no idea how this works for transfers and the career offices haven't really helped lol. UCLA told me that their transfers generally do as well if not better than the rest of the class because they have competitive stats.

Also going to throw in UCB into the analysis now just to get through with it. IF I get into UCB, would it make sense to go there > UCLA even though my goal is big law in SoCal? I do NOT want to end up back in NorCal.

Any help would be appreciated, thank you! :)


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Re: UCLA vs. GULC vs UCB (maybe) for SoCal Big Law?

Postby Bananabatman » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:27 am

Congrats on your acceptances! Both UCLA and GULC are great law schools, and it goes without saying that Boalt is as well. If your goal is to end up in LA, I highly recommend that you choose UCLA.

Given that you've lived in Norcal so long, transferring to Boalt would undermine your interest in leaving the Bay Area. You'd establish strong ties for Bay Area employers, but it'd be difficult to convince LA employers that you're not going to run back to the Bay Area within a few years.

Regarding GULC, I had friends who went to GULC, did 1L summer positions in LA, and were significantly above median but they were unable to even get callbacks for LA employers. Keep in mind that GULC is huge. Your competition will be stiff, and GULC does not have a strong track record for placing students in LA. For reference, according to GULC's 2017 509, they only placed just over 6% of their students in CA, and it's unclear what the breakdown of that 6% is (e.g. San Diego, SF, Palo Alto, LA, etc.).

In contrast, UCLA law sets students up well for LA. Law firms in LA have plenty of partners that are UCLA or USC alum, and they make an active effort to recruit from their school's. UCLA placed over 2/3 of their class in CA law year, and although we don't know the exact breakdown, it's a fair assumption that most of that contingent stayed in LA.

All of that being said, all three institutions are excellent. There's an argument to be made that going to Boalt or GULC could give you a more marketable degree in the long run, but that argument is flimsy at best, and your performance at work will largely overcome other factors. There's no doubt that Boalt and GULC do place students in LA every year, but it's an uphill battle, and there's no reason to make your goal any harder. Feel free to PM if you have any other questions!

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