UCLA v. U Arizona ($) for general LLM

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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:51 pm

UCLA v. U Arizona ($) for general LLM

Postby LLMguy » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:09 pm

Hey all,

Have a question that I have been going over in my mind for some time--now I need to make a decision in the next couple weeks.

Stats: average GPA from T20 (Yes, I'm from the US) graduating in May; not URM; editor for non-LR journal; two publications in specialty law journals; monthly column for a state-wide newsletter; lots of extracurriculars and law school activities.

I have applied to a few LLM programs to focus more on antitrust, my area of interest, and because I plan to teach eventually. I have only heard back from a few so far, but the two schools I'm focusing on right now are UCLA and the University of Arizona. I've received pretty substantial scholarships from the U of A (above the $20K mark) while UCLA, as of now, hasn't offered me any financial aid. Both schools have a lot to offer and I plan to practice law in Phoenix (about two hours from Tucson and about six hours from Los Angeles).

Other factors:
- I did my UG in southern California, so I know the LA/Orange County area well.
- Cost of living is much higher in LA than Tucson, even though both universities use about the same amount for estimated COA.
- My family lives in Phoenix, so I would see them more often.
- AZ program has about 10 people where the UCLA program will have about 75.
- AZ program focused on international trade, while I'd get to choose all of my own courses at UCLA.
- Finances are an issue since I have over $100K in loans from UG and LS combined--price tags for the programs based on est COA: AZ - $57K (minus the $20K+ scholarships); UCLA - $65K (no scholarships).

Any thoughts?

** And while I appreciate it, I'd rather not get responses from 0Ls. I know you mean well, but I know that my understanding of law school vastly improved once I enrolled there and lived in that realm for three years. I'd really like to hear from 2Ls, 3Ls, and other LLMs or LLM applicants, especially if they are from the US. (I don't have anything wrong with foreign LLM students but both of these programs are highly composed of foreign students, so a US JD going through the same situation would be more helpful.) Also, comments are appreciated from law students or grads looking to go into teaching and have done their homework.

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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: UCLA v. U Arizona ($) for general LLM

Postby rando » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:14 pm

Coming from a top 20 with avg. grades puts you at a serious disadvantage to go into academia. The publications certainly help, and you would absolutely need to publish something else while you are getting your LLM. But from my understanding talking to prof's about going into academia, grades from LS matter A LOT. Publications matter A LOT. And school prestige matters THE MOST. You have one of those going for you. Best of luck to you.
I really can't answer which LLM program to go to but if you want to practice in AZ, going to an AZ school can't hurt.

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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: UCLA v. U Arizona ($) for general LLM

Postby LLMguy » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:41 pm

I appreciate your response. Yeah, I know my grades aren't terrific and I know that an LLM doesn't just whitewash a less-than-stellar GPA in LS, but the main goal of my LLM is to give me a more thorough understanding of antitrust and IP-related issues, which my T20 didn't really have. (In their defense, I didn't know I'd be so interested in the area when I started law school.) I plan to start with teaching more basic courses, e.g. LRW and maybe some community college or university courses, before trying to really break into teaching doctrinal courses. I'm also looking at some grad econ programs.

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