UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

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gello5765
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UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:32 pm

Which would you choose? I realize UCLA is a few spots higher than USC, but was wondering what ppl think about these schools' ability to get a job in the bay area after graduation, possibly in the IP area. Are there better prospects coming out of either one?

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ari20dal7
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby ari20dal7 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:57 pm

Search the choosing a law school forum - this forum is primarily for students who've already decided. There was a long UCLA v. USC thread, complete with ridiculous smack talk......

But here's the scoop from my perspective: if you want SoCal, either school is an outstanding option. They both place the hell out of LA/SoCal in general, and they've both got an excellent reputation. So you're in good shape either way.

If you want to go elsewhere, UCLA is generally believed to have a small but significant edge. I'm attending UCLA over a few T14s precisely because I believe the degree does have some national mobility - less than Michigan, but more than USC. UCLA is also slightly cheaper, particularly if you're a resident. Depends on your specific scholarship situation, but same city+cheaper+slightly better school tends to equal UCLA in this decision.

USC's neighborhood is cheaper, but less nice. Lots of UCLA and USC students live in places like Culver City and bus/drive in, so that's done at both schools. I applied to USC, but their scholarship wasn't enough to get me to consider them over UCLA, and I certainly would not have chosen USC over a T14, although I did choose UCLA. Placement-wise, the median student at either school does very well for themselves, and I'd think your personal preferences, money, and your desire for mobility should make this decision.

ml1987
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby ml1987 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:44 pm

I recently posed this question to my pre-law advisor at my undergrad university and she came back with some pretty definitive advice--"After doing research, I know that if I had to send my child to either USC or UCLA, I would pick UCLA." In SoCal, both place extremely well--the Trojan/Bruin networks in Los Angeles are impeccable. With respect to big law firms, I would imagine that it is not particularly difficult to land a top notch job if you do well at either school.

With that said, UCLA is cheaper, in the MUCH nicer area, ranked higher, and is the more national of the two schools. Even within LA, and California in general, UCLA is more respected and considered the academically superior institution. The faculty is A-list (comparable to many in the top 14) and I would argue that UCLA is more likely to rise in the rankings. Vault recently put out its first law school ranking based on surveys of hiring partners at the country's top law firms. UCLA cracked the top 20, whereas USC did not make the list.

Ultimately, both are great schools and thousands of applicants would be more than ecstatic to attend either. However, UCLA beats USC--especially if you are not 100% committed to practicing in Southern California.

gello5765
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:59 am

very good point. but you would say that this is just in comparison btwn the two, right? this isn't to say that usc has no chance in the bay area?

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Splitt3r
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby Splitt3r » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:01 am

ml1987 wrote:I recently posed this question to my pre-law advisor at my undergrad university and she came back with some pretty definitive advice--"After doing research, I know that if I had to send my child to either USC or UCLA, I would pick UCLA."


Who is "sending their child" to a law school? You're a grown ass man/woman when you're going to be app'ing.

miked
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby miked » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:54 pm

Have you ever heard of Judge Halverson?

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/ma ... ouse-saga/

This is what USC will get you.

Go to UCLA.

philo-sophia
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby philo-sophia » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:09 pm

If you look around these boards you'll see a trend forming.

People have traditionally said "The only schools which are truly nationally recognized are the T14."

We seem to be seeing a trend towards "The only schools which are truly nationally recognized are the T14...oh, and the other three."

The other three are Texas, Vandy and UCLA. USC generally doesn't get tossed in there.

high4ever2008
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby high4ever2008 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:11 pm

Even if you ignore the cost difference, UCLA has better career prospects than USC. I'd go with UCLA if I had to choose between the two...even if USC matched UCLA's cost with a scholarship.

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20160810
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby 20160810 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:13 pm

UCLA makes it easier to live on the beach. So.... QED

USCtrojan86
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby USCtrojan86 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:49 pm

I just graduated from USC, and I loved my four years as an undergrad there. Fight On!

....And yet I would definitely go to UCLA Law over USC Law with all else being equal, and unless you are 100% committed to practicing in SoCal and have a significant reason for choosing USC over UCLA I advise you to do just that.

gello5765
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:57 pm

thanks for the input. i realize that everyone thinks that ucla is better than usc by a lot, but is usc a bad school (say, if we're not comparing the two schools?)

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thedogship
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby thedogship » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:27 pm

USC is absolutely not a bad school. It is a great school.

gello5765
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:34 pm

haha, well i seemed to lose sight of that after reading all of the previous replies. i guess in comparison to ucla, usc seems to suck

philo-sophia
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby philo-sophia » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:42 pm

gello5765 wrote:haha, well i seemed to lose sight of that after reading all of the previous replies. i guess in comparison to ucla, usc seems to suck


Just because UCLA is definitively better, doesn't mean USC sucks by any stretch. Anyone who goes to any law school other than Yale must face the fact that there is a definitively "better" law school than the one they're attending.

gello5765
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:50 pm

ok, so would anyone say there is anything better at usc than at ucla? (any aspect?)

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thedogship
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby thedogship » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:20 am

The Song Girls of USC are pretty strong.

In all seriousness, UCLA and USC are very similar in terms of job prospects, regional respect, general recognition.

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Supernova
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby Supernova » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:43 am

I would probably go with UCLA, but I guess it really depends on what you want to do with your degree. FWIW according to the NLJ a little over 25% of UCLA grads go into NLJ 250 law firms versus a little less than 20% of USC grads.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904900045

USCtrojan86
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby USCtrojan86 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:44 am

In re: to what's good/better about USC...

I think that USC objectively has a significantly stronger alumni association and networking community in SoCal itself. If you know for a fact that you want to do private, corporate work *in* SoCal, this can and should be a serious factor for consideration, because honestly just like in the business world who you know and how you know them can often make a big difference in the corporate legal world.

I also think that USC, as a private college with stronger film/arts/music schools, might have a slight edge in Entertainment Law, although I will be the first to admit that this is based mostly on my own opinion and conjecture.

USC Law is an objectively amazing law school. Hell, it's "better" than hundreds of law schools out there, and only "worse" than 20 or so. Saying that USC sucks in comparison to UCLA is like saying that Columbia sucks in comparison to Harvard; it might be true on some level, but it's certainly a highly misleading statement that doesn't tell the whole story.

jonny1031
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby jonny1031 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:53 am

Supernova wrote:I would probably go with UCLA, but I guess it really depends on what you want to do with your degree. FWIW according to the NLJ a little over 25% of UCLA grads go into NLJ 250 law firms versus a little less than 20% of USC grads.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904900045


I hate to be a USC troll, but that data is from 2005. More recent data from 2007 shows USC with the slight edge over UCLA. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889529

I agree with Trojan. There are indeed differences between the two schools, but they end up being pretty negligible in the end. I would attend whichever school suits your personal needs the best.

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Supernova
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby Supernova » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:02 am

jonny1031 wrote:
Supernova wrote:I would probably go with UCLA, but I guess it really depends on what you want to do with your degree. FWIW according to the NLJ a little over 25% of UCLA grads go into NLJ 250 law firms versus a little less than 20% of USC grads.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904900045


I hate to be a USC troll, but that data is from 2005. More recent data from 2007 shows USC with the slight edge over UCLA. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889529

I agree with Trojan. There are indeed differences between the two schools, but they end up being pretty negligible in the end. I would attend whichever school suits your personal needs the best.


Duly noted...I didn't realize the data was that old. I am surprised however to see that close to 40% of GW grads where hired by NLJ250 firms compared to slightly less than 25% in 2005. I wonder if this is a trend for GW or whether they just had a surprisingly high number of grads hired in 2007.

gello5765
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby gello5765 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:03 am

i think most ppl would say at this point paying sticker at usc would not be too appealing :)

tx2102
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby tx2102 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:42 am

USC is a great school and if you want to live in Southern California, paying sticker price wouldn't be a stupid thing by any means.

In general though, I agree with everyone else. If you like UCLA as much or close to as much as USC I personally would go there.

USCtrojan86
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby USCtrojan86 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:09 pm

i think most ppl would say at this point paying sticker at usc would not be too appealing


If the choice is USC at sticker vs. any other school in SoCal *except for UCLA* even with a significant scholarship, I would pick USC without hesitation. I think most people would in that situation - it really is a great school, and being #2 with great connections and tons of school loyalty/spirit in one of the most desirable major legal markets in America is hardly TTT.

I would also absolutely consider paying sticker at USC rather than pay sticker at UCLA if I got into both and I was ABSOLUTELY SURE I wanted to practice BigLaw in SoCal as my first choice career option.

Then again, I am also a Trojan from UG, and I would certainly be counting on the alumni organization/connections in my case to make up for the fact that UCLA is an objectively slightly better law school with lower tuition. For my situation, I think that would be enough to even things out...for most people, maybe not.

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worldtraveler
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:40 am

One other thing to consider is the difference in academic programs each school offers. USC has a joint JD/MA in international affairs that can be completed in 3 years. UCLA has tons of great joint programs but none that can be done in 3. If those types of things are a factor, there is no clear winner here but it is something to consider.
Also, from what I've heard from former students, USC students definitely have ample opportunity to interact with professors and have smaller class sizes. If that is something that you think would help you excel, then I'd pick USC.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: UCLA School of Law vs. USC Gould School of Law

Postby BradyToMoss » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:22 pm

Supernova wrote:
jonny1031 wrote:
Supernova wrote:I would probably go with UCLA, but I guess it really depends on what you want to do with your degree. FWIW according to the NLJ a little over 25% of UCLA grads go into NLJ 250 law firms versus a little less than 20% of USC grads.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904900045


I hate to be a USC troll, but that data is from 2005. More recent data from 2007 shows USC with the slight edge over UCLA. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904889529

I agree with Trojan. There are indeed differences between the two schools, but they end up being pretty negligible in the end. I would attend whichever school suits your personal needs the best.


Duly noted...I didn't realize the data was that old. I am surprised however to see that close to 40% of GW grads where hired by NLJ250 firms compared to slightly less than 25% in 2005. I wonder if this is a trend for GW or whether they just had a surprisingly high number of grads hired in 2007.


2007 was a great year for hiring after firms posted record profits. GW, USC, UCLA and a host of other schools all enjoyed big jumps in % of students employed at NLJ 250. Let's hope that trend keeps up for next 4 years, but I suspect the numbers for the 10-20 schools may fall down a bit after enjoying big jumps.

USCtrojan86 wrote:
i think most ppl would say at this point paying sticker at usc would not be too appealing


If the choice is USC at sticker vs. any other school in SoCal *except for UCLA* even with a significant scholarship, I would pick USC without hesitation. I think most people would in that situation - it really is a great school, and being #2 with great connections and tons of school loyalty/spirit in one of the most desirable major legal markets in America is hardly TTT.


Data and anecdotal evidence certainly don't show USC as being #2 behind UCLA in the LA market. Maybe if you wanted to leave SoCal, but USC puts you at no disadvantage to UCLA for BigLaw in LA, #s suggest a slight advantage for SC at this point, and I'd sure love to have the Trojan Network rather than Bruin alums if I were a borderline hire at a big firm.




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