Ok, just walked back to my apartment from the ASD...didn't stay for the whole tours portion because I'm already an undergrad here, and I have been through the law school many times. Without further ado:Weather:
- As with all law schools in Southern California, Gould made a concerted effort to emphasize the beautiful weather that graces the campus year round.
- Today was just like any other day: 80 degrees and Sunny
- At the student life discussion panel, a current 2L stated how honestly upset he gets when the weather becomes higher than 85 or lower than 65 - thought that was pretty funny Speakers:
- Dean Rasmussen - He seemed like a very nice man with a relaxed attitude. He emphasized the importance of USC's alumni network, of which I can attest to being the strongest and most loyal in California (the top 5 across the nation).
- Professor Thomas Lyon - A very capable and eloquent public speaker who made everyone laugh with his anecdotes about his experiences at Harvard Law School and the dream journal he kept during his 1L. Spoke at great length about USC's interdisciplinary approach to law and cited a 2006 report that ranked USC #1 in the nation (factors included: quality of education, professors, etc.). Gave numerous reasons as to why one should attend USC: alumni, jobs, weather, dedicated faculty, and virtually competition-free environment.Mock Class:
- I attended the Criminal Law class taught by Jody Armour. Started off great and seemed very interesting until the Sandman came to visit me (nothing to do with Prof. Armour: a wonderful orator and quite engaging. It's just that I spent the night/morning before showing friends who flew in for ASW the wonders of USC night life, and ASD was at 8 am...
- I personally spoke with one 1L and two 2Ls. All stated that they made the right decision in USC as it has already started paying dividends. All raved about the mentor program (USC pairs you up with an alumni), alumni base, weather, relaxed environment, personable professors, and intelligent classmates.Campus
- I have spent 4 years on USC's campus, so I can attest to its beauty. The campus is compact with all the graduate schools merged into the undergrad campus (except for Keck school of medicine which is 8 miles away). It's always busy with student gatherings, musical performances, events, and construction. The law school is located in the Southeast corner of campus, which is a two minute walk from the nearest eateries (commons) and a 20 minute walk from the Terrace apts. The law library is located in the same building.Pros:
- Very strong alumni base (blows everyone else away)
- Friendly professors
- Relaxed, less competitive environment (could be Con for some)
- Beautiful weather
- Moderately priced housing
- USC's constant pampering of its students (The ASD luncheon was first-class: held at Town and Gown [beautiful building inside and out that serves as USC's premier welcoming, recruiting, and reception hall], the food was great [salad, chicken with potatoes, cake], the presentation was marvelous [fully catered and served - my iced tea never got lower than half full hah], etc.).
- Grants a lot of financial aid and scholarships.Cons
- Law building is not aesthetically pleasing and in need of updates(built in the 70s; USC is considering remodeling, but I don't know if anyone here will get to experience that).
- The neighborhood is urban and not the nicest (Just don't walk around the streets alone at 2am, and you'll be fine. The campus is actually statistically safer than that of UCLA).
- Only 46 spots available for on-campus 1L housing with priority going to 1Ls coming out-of-state
... (however, there are plenty of apartments very close to campus that just take a little effort on your part to find)
- Quite pricey if you didn't get that aid package you needed
All in all, I believe that the only reason one should choose USC over UCLA or vice versa is the environment: how well do you see yourself fitting in? USC is a great choice for anyone seeking a top tier law school in CA with amazing job prospects in Los Angeles. The reason why USC/UCLA do not have the national prestige like many other top law schools is that once students get here from their East Coast ugrads, they don't want to go back home; thus, both schools lack the diversified alumni base of many of the other top tier schools (although UCLA does have higher national prestige). However, if you want to practice in LA, it's either UCLA or USC - no doubt.
Oh and btw...I got a cool tote bag/backpack...finally some SWAG!!