UCI vs. UW

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khaleesi_k

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UCI vs. UW

Postby khaleesi_k » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:16 pm

Both have offered me roughly the same scholarship.
I am struggling so hard to decide. I know I want to work at a large private firm in California and so UCI's geographic location seems to make more sense, but I was very thrown off by their ASW.
I feel like the spent the vast majority of the weekend talking about public interest and while I really want public interest to be a large part of my time at law school and I hope to work in public interest pro bono after becoming a lawyer, my career goal is to (be able to pay off how expensive law school is!) go private. I'm also nervous about chem leaving and that UCI's ranking may fall, I don't want that to negatively impact my career.
Washington is farther away and it may be harder for me to get a job in California, but their ranking is cemented and they seem like a more traditional type of law school. I am definitely very concerned about my prospects of landing a large firm job in California, though, as that is my ultimate goal after law school.
I'm so conflicted. I was strongly leaning towards Irvine but ASW left me with more questions than I had going in.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:20 pm

If your goal is to work in California, particularly in SoCal, UCI is the right choice. Public interest is a big part of the school, but this won't impact your ability to get a biglaw job. Also, Dean C leaving won't affect that either.

What will affect your chances to get a biglaw job is your ability to place in the top 50% of the class. But that will also be a concern if you go to UW.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby BobBoblaw » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:20 pm

They have similar placement on biglaw, but if you look at biglaw+fed clerkships UCI wins hands down. Iirc, UW only places about 7% of grads in Cali...

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:58 pm

What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby tinyvessels » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:56 am

Honestly, if you want SoCal, this is pretty open and shut. UCI should be your choice. UW doesn't exactly place well in CA as others have mentioned. Full disclosure, I do think UCI's ranking will drop (people really don't get how much their Dean gamed the system to get UCI the ranking they have now), but I don't think that potential drop will have a significant impact in your job prospects and it sure as hell is not a good enough reason to go to UW when you expressly stated you want SoCal.

Also, rankings don't really matter outside of the top 14, and maaaybe the top 20 schools. After that, it's pretty much region and money that should play the biggest role in your decision.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:40 am

abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:03 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:10 am

zot1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.


Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap. If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby tinyvessels » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:09 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap.
If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


You do realize that the OP of the comment wasn't referring to having 'moxie' and some 'can-do' attitude when she said 'that dream job is up to you'? The implication, within the context of her actual comment, was that the 'dream job' being 'up to' the applicant meant that it would depend on the student in terms of how hard they worked on their academics/exams, what grades they got, getting law review, etc. in order to maximize Big Law placement at schools in which big law is actually feasible.

I agree about the 'virtually every law school places in BL' comment being delusional at worst, and an exaggeration at best. But we're talking about UCI were BL can and does work out for certain (top) students, so the OTT outrage over a generally harmless comment is hilarious right now.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:16 am

tinyvessels wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap.
If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


You do realize that the OP of the comment wasn't referring to having 'moxie' and some 'can-do' attitude when she said 'that dream job is up to you'? The implication, within the context of her actual comment, was that the 'dream job' being 'up to' the applicant meant that it would depend on the student in terms of how hard they worked on their academics/exams, what grades they got, getting law review, etc. in order to maximize Big Law placement at schools in which big law is actually feasible.

I agree about the 'virtually every law school places in BL' comment being delusional at worst, and an exaggeration at best. But we're talking about UCI were BL can and does work out for certain (top) students, so the OTT outrage over a generally harmless comment is hilarious right now.


I love that everyone wants to ascribe some brilliant subtext to that post. It was pure nonsense from start to finish. Why defend it?

If the poster wanted to make those points, they should have articulated them.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:09 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.


Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap. If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


I'm sorry, but you're incorrect about the top 1/3 part, actually, it is too 50% as I indicated earlier. You do have a better chance if you're in the top third. Finally, and just as a point of clarity, there's no gpa cutoff to participate in OCI.

That said, we can agree to disagree. Within the context of OP's original concern, it was clear to me that poster was referring to the fact that you can go to UCI and still pursue biglaw as a career option.

But yes, biglaw is not achievable unless you make top 50% of the class.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:23 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.


Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap. If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


Thanks for your opinion! Please allow me to clarify, although I must say this thread is getting off topic and it might be better to do so via PM instead. After all, this is about helping OP make a decision about law school.

"Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law":
Even Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with a median LSAT/GPA of 143/2.89 placed 3 students into firms with over 100 lawyers, and 3 more into state and federal clerkships. Now I didn't check every single law school's employment statistics, but I think you get my point here. If there are students at lower tier school getting BL and clerkships, then I am sure OP can go to a top tier school (even if they heavily emphasize PI) and still end up in BL.

"Landing that dream job is up to you":
What I meant was virtually every person (at lease that I know) who successfully landed their dream job earned it. In the context of law school and grad school in general, hard work is generally reflected by good grades, and good grades lead to better opportunities. Granted, it will also take a bright mind, good communication skills, and a little luck. But as you said, being in the top 30% is necessary to land BL. How else does that happen other than by having, as you call it, moxie?

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:29 am

Sigh. No, not everyone who wants biglaw gets it because they've earned it. Many people put in the work and it won't matter shit. Class ranking is highly volatile because it depends on a lot of factors you have no control on.

To get back on track, OP, you're debating between two schools, want biglaw, in California. Among your options, UCI gives you the best odds to get your desired outcome. Like I said earlier, you have a good chance of biglaw as long as you place in the top 50% of your class in your first year. The fact that UCI is PI-minded, in itself, will not in any way affect your odds compared to UW (or any other school, really).

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:37 am

abcdefg1234567 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.


Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap. If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


Thanks for your opinion! Please allow me to clarify, although I must say this thread is getting off topic and it might be better to do so via PM instead. After all, this is about helping OP make a decision about law school.

"Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law":
Even Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with a median LSAT/GPA of 143/2.89 placed 3 students into firms with over 100 lawyers, and 3 more into state and federal clerkships. Now I didn't check every single law school's employment statistics, but I think you get my point here. If there are students at lower tier school getting BL and clerkships, then I am sure OP can go to a top tier school (even if they heavily emphasize PI) and still end up in BL.

"Landing that dream job is up to you":
What I meant was virtually every person (at lease that I know) who successfully landed their dream job earned it. In the context of law school and grad school in general, hard work is generally reflected by good grades, and good grades lead to better opportunities. Granted, it will also take a bright mind, good communication skills, and a little luck. But as you said, being in the top 30% is necessary to land BL. How else does that happen other than by having, as you call it, moxie?


Respectfully, this is a distorted way of approaching law school without quibbling over whether it's top 30% or top 50% or top 3 students getting Biglaw. Do you understand law school grading? So much goes into it that has nothing to do with how hard you work or how smart you think you are. Grading isn't arbitrary, but it is dependent on more than a go-getter attitude. You may understand the law to the best of your ability and end up in the huddled masses of median, or you could even be below median because you're being directly compared to people with similar levels of intelligence and drive. You control how well you understand the material; you do nothing to control how well your classmates understand it and articulate it, and they very possibly will be better than you at that. So while it's nice to say that hard work and the right drive will get you to your goal, it's insufficient in the context of law school. The safer assumption is that you'll be incredibly average at the school you're considering, will end up somewhere around median, and then consider what type of job those graduates are likely to get. Even assuming a place like UCI gives you ~50% of going into biglaw means you have at best a flip of a coin shot of that goal, and it has surprisingly little to do with how hard you work or how smart you are (think necessary, not sufficient).

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:42 am

abcdefg1234567 wrote:Thanks for your opinion! Please allow me to clarify, although I must say this thread is getting off topic and it might be better to do so via PM instead. After all, this is about helping OP make a decision about law school.

"Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law":
Even Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with a median LSAT/GPA of 143/2.89 placed 3 students into firms with over 100 lawyers, and 3 more into state and federal clerkships. Now I didn't check every single law school's employment statistics, but I think you get my point here. If there are students at lower tier school getting BL and clerkships, then I am sure OP can go to a top tier school (even if they heavily emphasize PI) and still end up in BL.

"Landing that dream job is up to you":
What I meant was virtually every person (at lease that I know) who successfully landed their dream job earned it. In the context of law school and grad school in general, hard work is generally reflected by good grades, and good grades lead to better opportunities. Granted, it will also take a bright mind, good communication skills, and a little luck. But as you said, being in the top 30% is necessary to land BL. How else does that happen other than by having, as you call it, moxie?


I'm excited to see how you feel about this after actually sitting for a law school exam.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:44 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:Thanks for your opinion! Please allow me to clarify, although I must say this thread is getting off topic and it might be better to do so via PM instead. After all, this is about helping OP make a decision about law school.

"Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law":
Even Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with a median LSAT/GPA of 143/2.89 placed 3 students into firms with over 100 lawyers, and 3 more into state and federal clerkships. Now I didn't check every single law school's employment statistics, but I think you get my point here. If there are students at lower tier school getting BL and clerkships, then I am sure OP can go to a top tier school (even if they heavily emphasize PI) and still end up in BL.

"Landing that dream job is up to you":
What I meant was virtually every person (at lease that I know) who successfully landed their dream job earned it. In the context of law school and grad school in general, hard work is generally reflected by good grades, and good grades lead to better opportunities. Granted, it will also take a bright mind, good communication skills, and a little luck. But as you said, being in the top 30% is necessary to land BL. How else does that happen other than by having, as you call it, moxie?


I'm excited to see how you feel about this after actually sitting for a law school exam.


Me too! Thanks!

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby AdieuCali » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:53 am

Rankings aren't relevant to your decision. UW, like ASU or UC Boulder, is a fine school that serves a relatively small and insular market. None of those schools have much reach outside of their regions.

Even if UCI's fed clerkship rate drops by half, it will still give you a much better opportunity for biglaw in SoCal. Enjoy OC!

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:54 am

UVA2B wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
zot1 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:What I took away from ASW is a good part of UCI grads go get public interest jobs not because that's their only choice, but because they are REALLY passionate it. I talked to a lot of people at ASW and every single one was bright, articulate and PASSIONATE! If you want big law, go get it! Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you. Now, what region you get that dream job in does have a lot to do with which school you go to. I think that UCI would be a better choice than UW if you want SOCAL. A majority of grads stay in LA and OC with growing numbers in San Diego and The Bay.


This is, bar none, the worst advice I have ever seen regarding how to get biglaw.

Landing the "dream job" isn't up to you when that dream job has a strict GPA cutoff at your school.


Cav, poster wasn't saying that. S/he was saying that going to a self-touted public interest school won't prevent a student from pursuing their dream job which isn't public interest.


Actually, poster said "Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law. Landing that dream job is up to you."

And since landing biglaw out of "every school in the nation" depends far more on your grades than it does on your moxie, that is completely, unambiguously, 100% crap. If that poster intended to say that PI interest doesn't necessarily mean a school won't place you in biglaw, they should have said that, instead of the Chicken-Soup-for-the-Uninformed-Soul nonsense they did post.

UCI is the clearly the better choice for the OP, but even accounting for their high federal clerk numbers, you still need to place in the top third of the class (or thereabouts) to have a decent shot at biglaw. If biglaw is the OP's goal, a T13 or UCLA would give them a much better shot.


Thanks for your opinion! Please allow me to clarify, although I must say this thread is getting off topic and it might be better to do so via PM instead. After all, this is about helping OP make a decision about law school.

"Virtually every school in the nation places at least some grads into big law":
Even Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with a median LSAT/GPA of 143/2.89 placed 3 students into firms with over 100 lawyers, and 3 more into state and federal clerkships. Now I didn't check every single law school's employment statistics, but I think you get my point here. If there are students at lower tier school getting BL and clerkships, then I am sure OP can go to a top tier school (even if they heavily emphasize PI) and still end up in BL.

"Landing that dream job is up to you":
What I meant was virtually every person (at lease that I know) who successfully landed their dream job earned it. In the context of law school and grad school in general, hard work is generally reflected by good grades, and good grades lead to better opportunities. Granted, it will also take a bright mind, good communication skills, and a little luck. But as you said, being in the top 30% is necessary to land BL. How else does that happen other than by having, as you call it, moxie?


Respectfully, this is a distorted way of approaching law school without quibbling over whether it's top 30% or top 50% or top 3 students getting Biglaw. Do you understand law school grading? So much goes into it that has nothing to do with how hard you work or how smart you think you are. Grading isn't arbitrary, but it is dependent on more than a go-getter attitude. You may understand the law to the best of your ability and end up in the huddled masses of median, or you could even be below median because you're being directly compared to people with similar levels of intelligence and drive. You control how well you understand the material; you do nothing to control how well your classmates understand it and articulate it, and they very possibly will be better than you at that. So while it's nice to say that hard work and the right drive will get you to your goal, it's insufficient in the context of law school. The safer assumption is that you'll be incredibly average at the school you're considering, will end up somewhere around median, and then consider what type of job those graduates are likely to get. Even assuming a place like UCI gives you ~50% of going into biglaw means you have at best a flip of a coin shot of that goal, and it has surprisingly little to do with how hard you work or how smart you are (think necessary, not sufficient).


I understand that grades are dependent on one exam and that most of the time it is graded anonymously and that IQ is of little help when faced with a form full of clever boys (and girls!). But now I am curious, if not drive, what is it that sets top students apart from others?

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UVA2B

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:10 pm

It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:21 pm

Yikes

Can confirm that gumption alone ain't gonna get you to the top of the class. You've gotta disabuse yourself of that notion.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:00 pm

UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


Got it. That's very helpful! But now I have another question! How does someone get better at identifying and discussing issues? Is that something you can practice? Have you gotten better at it than when you first started law school?

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:05 pm

abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


Got it. That's very helpful! But now I have another question! How does someone get better at identifying and discussing issues? Is that something you can practice? Have you gotten better at it than when you first started law school?


You can/will get better at it by studying for classes, reading, outlining when the time comes, and taking practice exams that the professor provides, but so will everyone else. Nothing you do beyond figuring out what works best for you in studying will put you ahead of your classmates. You may luck out and be really good at law school, or you might lag behind because it's a whole new skill set and a whole new way of thinking, but until you get there and you're doing it, you'll have no idea whether you'll be good at it. So just assume you'll be median, because that's statistically your most likely outcome.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:16 pm

UVA2B wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


Got it. That's very helpful! But now I have another question! How does someone get better at identifying and discussing issues? Is that something you can practice? Have you gotten better at it than when you first started law school?


You can/will get better at it by studying for classes, reading, outlining when the time comes, and taking practice exams that the professor provides, but so will everyone else. Nothing you do beyond figuring out what works best for you in studying will put you ahead of your classmates. You may luck out and be really good at law school, or you might lag behind because it's a whole new skill set and a whole new way of thinking, but until you get there and you're doing it, you'll have no idea whether you'll be good at it. So just assume you'll be median, because that's statistically your most likely outcome.


So let me get this straight. You're saying that getting top grades, which can lead to BL, requires being able to identify and discuss issues better than your classmates. Getting better than your classmates at identifying and discussing issues can be achieved by studying, reading, outlining and taking practice tests.

That sounds a lot like hard work!

So again I say to the OP, if you want big law, go get it! Work hard, develop the right skills and habits, make connections, and stay focused. Don't let statistics dictate your life. Don't let anyone tell you you're average. You aren't.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:24 pm

abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


Got it. That's very helpful! But now I have another question! How does someone get better at identifying and discussing issues? Is that something you can practice? Have you gotten better at it than when you first started law school?


You can/will get better at it by studying for classes, reading, outlining when the time comes, and taking practice exams that the professor provides, but so will everyone else. Nothing you do beyond figuring out what works best for you in studying will put you ahead of your classmates. You may luck out and be really good at law school, or you might lag behind because it's a whole new skill set and a whole new way of thinking, but until you get there and you're doing it, you'll have no idea whether you'll be good at it. So just assume you'll be median, because that's statistically your most likely outcome.


So let me get this straight. You're saying that getting top grades, which can lead to BL, requires being able to identify and discuss issues better than your classmates. Getting better than your classmates at identifying and discussing issues can be achieved by studying, reading, outlining and taking practice tests.

That sounds a lot like hard work!

So again I say to the OP, if you want big law, go get it! Work hard, develop the right skills and habits, make connections, and stay focused. Don't let statistics dictate your life. Don't let anyone tell you you're average. You aren't.


A lot of hard work every single person around you is putting in. Plus other factors such as you might be sick, you might misread a fact, a close relative might die the night before.

You might make a minor mistake that brings you down to a B in law school because of the curve.

Please stop telling others they can overcome this. You can't control the effort your classmates will put in. You can only assume they will be busting their ass too. And they do. Imagine the top 5% of your undergrad? Now take the top 5% of the other elite undergrads and now they're all your classmates. They all want top jobs.

I admire your positive outlook in life, that's great. But it is a mistake to tell people not to consider statistics. They should be aware of what their odds are. The advice to presume you will be median doesn't mean you'll be median or higher or lower, rather it means that's your safest bet. There's nothing wrong with informing consumers about the product they're buying. You need to be aware too even if you're going into public interest.

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Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:27 pm

abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It's not that it's all based on one exam exactly, it's that you're working on a forced curve. So while drive, work ethic, and intelligence are necessary, they aren't sufficient to guarantee you end up on the right side of that median. Imagine you're given a fact pattern that has 16 different legal issues that should be discussed. You identify 13 of them, and discuss them to 60% of what the professor was looking for. Objectively you may have done pretty well on that exam. But then it so happens that this was a pretty easy exam and 60% of your classmates identified 14 issues and discussed them to 75% of what the professor was looking for. You know what just happened? You very possibly ended up below median on that exam. It wasn't because you underprepared, and it wasn't because you aren't smart enough. The reality is too many of your classmates either identified issues you missed in the fact pattern or articulated the legal issues slightly better than you did, but as a result your grade drops to a B (or whatever grade is considered below median at that school).

And just because you sound very optimistic and might think to yourself, "well why am I not identifying all 16 issues and why am I not able to discuss 100% of what the professor wanted to see?" I'll just answer that question now. Few to no students will ever accomplish this. One of my 1L professors said 70% on an exam is fantastic, 60% is really good, 50% is still doing well, 40% meh, 30% you're starting to get in trouble. Separately he mentioned that the best raw grade he's ever given was an 85%, and he felt like the student was sitting on his shoulder when he wrote the exam.

ETA: The numbers in the first paragraph are entirely illustrative and grading will be significantly more nuanced than that, but it paints the picture of what grading will look like in law school


Got it. That's very helpful! But now I have another question! How does someone get better at identifying and discussing issues? Is that something you can practice? Have you gotten better at it than when you first started law school?


You can/will get better at it by studying for classes, reading, outlining when the time comes, and taking practice exams that the professor provides, but so will everyone else. Nothing you do beyond figuring out what works best for you in studying will put you ahead of your classmates. You may luck out and be really good at law school, or you might lag behind because it's a whole new skill set and a whole new way of thinking, but until you get there and you're doing it, you'll have no idea whether you'll be good at it. So just assume you'll be median, because that's statistically your most likely outcome.


So let me get this straight. You're saying that getting top grades, which can lead to BL, requires being able to identify and discuss issues better than your classmates. Getting better than your classmates at identifying and discussing issues can be achieved by studying, reading, outlining and taking practice tests.

That sounds a lot like hard work!

So again I say to the OP, if you want big law, go get it! Work hard, develop the right skills and habits, make connections, and stay focused. Don't let statistics dictate your life. Don't let anyone tell you you're average. You aren't.


Wow, not sure how or why you twisted that around like that. Go do hard work, and you might get exactly what you want. Or you could be sorely out of luck for all of the aforementioned reasons. And it's not up to you which way that goes.

If you were really encouraging the OP work hard and get their dreams, you'd recommend doing what it takes to go to a school that places more than 50% of their classes into that outcome, because that's the only realistic way to give yourself really good chances of achieving your goal. If OP truly wants biglaw in CA, UCI is a coin flip of getting it at best (again, not interested at all in quibbling on this fact). If you're comfortable with flipping a coin with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line for that outcome, that's on you. But to encourage someone to go work hard and achieve their dream when they have so little control over the outcome is comically optimistic and illogical advice. As a 0L, and I say this with as much respect as I can, you should not be telling people to just go to school and get to work. Until you've experienced law school, absent reading my discussion above about law school grading and reading it without confirmation bias in your head, you are not qualified to speak about what it takes to achieve a desired outcome like biglaw in law school.

So while I agree with your basic premise that the OP will need to work hard to achieve their goal, it's insufficient advice and, if applied liberally like you seem to want to, is dangerous and has a 50% chance of leading to personal and professional disappointment if the OP fails to achieve the goal while "working hard." Be realistic about this, and realize that paying that much money for a flip of the coin is not financially sound.



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