UCI vs. UW

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
BigZuck

Diamond
Posts: 11731
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:28 pm

Everyone is special in their own way, etc. that's fine but the fact of the matter is that the average person will, on average, be average.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:31 pm

BigZuck wrote:Everyone is special in their own way, etc. that's fine but the fact of the matter is that the average person will, on average, be average.


We are so fucking average. Except to our moms.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:47 pm

I was gonna wait until later, but I think it's time I address this "coin flip" theory before it gets out of control (although it's generally a valid theory!).

I was asked the following question over PM (I'm paraphrasing): if you have a chance at biglaw if you're in the top 50% of the class, why does UCI only place top 1/3 in biglaw and clerkships?

OCI at UCI works more or less like this: anyone can bid. This is irregardless of your grades. However, firms do state a preference for certain students (top x%). A good amount of firms want top 50%, but because of math, your odds of getting a callback/offer dramatically increase if you are in the top 30% of the class.

Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

But here's the other thing people don't get about UCI. Unlike most people going to say Cornell, most people going to UCI do not want biglaw. In fact, I've said over and over again that the class employment rates, specially as of the last few years, show the perfect distribution of the classic UCI class: 1/3 of the class goes to biglaw, 1/3 of the class goes to public interest, and the last 1/3 goes to government. So a biglaw person going to UCI, in theory, does not compete against the entire group of people in the top 50% of the class because a good chunk of those folks are chasing skadden, bigfed, etc. (this also goes to the coin flip theory). Admittedly, there will be some variation among classes, but as long as admissions maintains the UCI culture, this distribution should remain the same.

Still ABC, what I'm saying here doesn't support your arguments (and I want to make that clear ahead of time) because you could still end up in the bottom of the class, you might be the worst interviewer ever, etc. etc.

abcdefg1234567

Bronze
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:40 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:01 pm

UVA2B wrote:
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.


Well you have your opinions and I have mine!

But statistically speaking, and back to OP question, UW placed 48/191 graduates in large firms and clerkships or about 25%, UCI placed 35/118 or about 30%. 7.3% of UW graduates practice in California. 69.1% of UCI grads practice in California. Given the choice between the two, it looks like statistically UCI is your best bet.

Now get out there and go get it!!!!!!!!!!!

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:31 pm

abcdefg1234567 wrote:Well you have your opinions and I have mine!

But statistically speaking, and back to OP question, UW placed 48/191 graduates in large firms and clerkships or about 25%, UCI placed 35/118 or about 30%. 7.3% of UW graduates practice in California. 69.1% of UCI grads practice in California. Given the choice between the two, it looks like statistically UCI is your best bet.

Now get out there and go get it!!!!!!!!!!!


Please stop.

User avatar
TakeItToTrial

Bronze
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:13 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby TakeItToTrial » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:39 pm

zot1 wrote:I was gonna wait until later, but I think it's time I address this "coin flip" theory before it gets out of control (although it's generally a valid theory!).

I was asked the following question over PM (I'm paraphrasing): if you have a chance at biglaw if you're in the top 50% of the class, why does UCI only place top 1/3 in biglaw and clerkships?

OCI at UCI works more or less like this: anyone can bid. This is irregardless of your grades. However, firms do state a preference for certain students (top x%). A good amount of firms want top 50%, but because of math, your odds of getting a callback/offer dramatically increase if you are in the top 30% of the class.

Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

But here's the other thing people don't get about UCI. Unlike most people going to say Cornell, most people going to UCI do not want biglaw. In fact, I've said over and over again that the class employment rates, specially as of the last few years, show the perfect distribution of the classic UCI class: 1/3 of the class goes to biglaw, 1/3 of the class goes to public interest, and the last 1/3 goes to government. So a biglaw person going to UCI, in theory, does not compete against the entire group of people in the top 50% of the class because a good chunk of those folks are chasing skadden, bigfed, etc. (this also goes to the coin flip theory). Admittedly, there will be some variation among classes, but as long as admissions maintains the UCI culture, this distribution should remain the same.

Still ABC, what I'm saying here doesn't support your arguments (and I want to make that clear ahead of time) because you could still end up in the bottom of the class, you might be the worst interviewer ever, etc. etc.


How do firms have a preference for UCI students in the top 30% if they don't know their class rank? Wouldn't that make everyone's odds of scoring biglaw essentially equal?

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3421
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby UVA2B » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:43 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
abcdefg1234567 wrote:Well you have your opinions and I have mine!

But statistically speaking, and back to OP question, UW placed 48/191 graduates in large firms and clerkships or about 25%, UCI placed 35/118 or about 30%. 7.3% of UW graduates practice in California. 69.1% of UCI grads practice in California. Given the choice between the two, it looks like statistically UCI is your best bet.

Now get out there and go get it!!!!!!!!!!!


Please stop.


It would've saved me so much time if they had said from the outset that they weren't willing to listen to voices of experience and was going to childishly fall back on "well you have your opinion and I have mine." Your opinion is worth considerably less than that of an actual law student/graduate, but whatever. I tried.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:49 pm

TakeItToTrial wrote:How do firms have a preference for UCI students in the top 30% if they don't know their class rank? Wouldn't that make everyone's odds of scoring biglaw essentially equal?


In two ways: (1) based on the median, it's very easy to assume where you are given your gpa (even though this will almost always favor students who are slightly below top 50%), and (2) some employers give an actual gpa cutoff (3.3... which is the median, or 3.5, etc.). Technically everyone has a chance to impress because you can get yourself into the screener. Some firms are strict though, you either meet their academic standards or you don't. Some have wiggle room and will dip for someone who doesn't meet their cutoff (this is the exception not the rule).

I should also mention that UCI students get invited to events by firms prior to OCI. These events are also an opportunity to make an impression. I know of at least two instances for my class were specific firms were so impressed by students they met at one of these events they came to OCI with a decision already to offer those individuals. I will disclose though that both individuals were at least top 30% anyway.

estateplanning

New
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:34 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby estateplanning » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:03 pm

zot1 wrote:I was gonna wait until later, but I think it's time I address this "coin flip" theory before it gets out of control (although it's generally a valid theory!).

I was asked the following question over PM (I'm paraphrasing): if you have a chance at biglaw if you're in the top 50% of the class, why does UCI only place top 1/3 in biglaw and clerkships?

OCI at UCI works more or less like this: anyone can bid. This is irregardless of your grades. However, firms do state a preference for certain students (top x%). A good amount of firms want top 50%, but because of math, your odds of getting a callback/offer dramatically increase if you are in the top 30% of the class.

Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

But here's the other thing people don't get about UCI. Unlike most people going to say Cornell, most people going to UCI do not want biglaw. In fact, I've said over and over again that the class employment rates, specially as of the last few years, show the perfect distribution of the classic UCI class: 1/3 of the class goes to biglaw, 1/3 of the class goes to public interest, and the last 1/3 goes to government. So a biglaw person going to UCI, in theory, does not compete against the entire group of people in the top 50% of the class because a good chunk of those folks are chasing skadden, bigfed, etc. (this also goes to the coin flip theory). Admittedly, there will be some variation among classes, but as long as admissions maintains the UCI culture, this distribution should remain the same.

Still ABC, what I'm saying here doesn't support your arguments (and I want to make that clear ahead of time) because you could still end up in the bottom of the class, you might be the worst interviewer ever, etc. etc.


Thanks Zot1!

And to OP, I recommend UCI, especially if you want to be in CA. I was at UCI ASW and I definitely felt the Public Interest vibe. However, I didn't get the sense UCI pushes people toward Public Service careers - I felt that they were pushing for students to have and cultivate public service values, regardless of where they want to work afterwards. That's the distinction I had.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:05 pm

zot1 wrote:Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

Lots of schools do this. Big law firms that care about grades still estimate your rank even if the school doesn't provide one on the transcript; it's not hard.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:15 pm

rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

Lots of schools do this. Big law firms that care about grades still estimate your rank even if the school doesn't provide one on the transcript; it's not hard.


Oh I'm not saying other schools don't do this, I'm saying this is done at UCI---many people don't know because they assume the school has no leverage because it's "new." But this has been the school policy since its establishment and firms have dealt with it. I still think it's a practice that tends to favor those lower than top 30%.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:26 pm

zot1 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

Lots of schools do this. Big law firms that care about grades still estimate your rank even if the school doesn't provide one on the transcript; it's not hard.


Oh I'm not saying other schools don't do this, I'm saying this is done at UCI---many people don't know because they assume the school has no leverage because it's "new." But this has been the school policy since its establishment and firms have dealt with it. I still think it's a practice that tends to favor those lower than top 30%.

I don't agree with you. The "median" is mushy everywhere--that isn't a special feature of UCI.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:30 pm

rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:Here's the thing about UCI that some don't know though. UCI doesn't publish its class rank. It only provides class rank to judges. So technically, even a student below top 50% could score an offer (this goes to the coin flip theory). In fact, this has happened at UCI and I have no doubt this was a strategic move by the school. And hey, it works.

Lots of schools do this. Big law firms that care about grades still estimate your rank even if the school doesn't provide one on the transcript; it's not hard.


Oh I'm not saying other schools don't do this, I'm saying this is done at UCI---many people don't know because they assume the school has no leverage because it's "new." But this has been the school policy since its establishment and firms have dealt with it. I still think it's a practice that tends to favor those lower than top 30%.

I don't agree with you. The "median" is mushy everywhere--that isn't a special feature of UCI.


Okay, let's go back a second. I was asked about specific practices at UCI. I provided an answer in that context and in the context of the coin flip theory as it relates to UCI.

Whether this applies to other schools or not doesn't really matter to me or for the information I was providing as I'm not providing it in the "what school is better?" context but how it applies to UCI on its own.

So no, I'm not claiming UCI is special in that regard because I'm not comparing UCI to other schools. Simply explaining this happens at UCI.

So we are not disagreeing on anything because we are not talking about the same thing.

abcdefg1234567

Bronze
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:40 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby abcdefg1234567 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:38 pm

UVA2B wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Please stop.


It would've saved me so much time if they had said from the outset that they weren't willing to listen to voices of experience and was going to childishly fall back on "well you have your opinion and I have mine." Your opinion is worth considerably less than that of an actual law student/graduate, but whatever. I tried.


I greatly value everyone's opinion, especially those that come from experience. But as a college professor and touring concert pianist, I know first-hand the power of hard work, dedication, and persistence. Of course there is something to be said about statistical analytics. You don't really think that I would completely ignore that, do you? After all, I live in the real world. All I am saying is that's not the whole picture.

Thank you all for a wonderful discussion. For better or worse, I learned quite a bit in this exchange. Best of luck to you and OP! And of course, keep up the hard work!

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:41 pm

zot1 wrote:
Okay, let's go back a second. I was asked about specific practices at UCI. I provided an answer in that context and in the context of the coin flip theory as it relates to UCI.

Whether this applies to other schools or not doesn't really matter to me or for the information I was providing as I'm not providing it in the "what school is better?" context but how it applies to UCI on its own.

So no, I'm not claiming UCI is special in that regard because I'm not comparing UCI to other schools. Simply explaining this happens at UCI.

This is a thread about choosing between law schools. The point is to compare. In light of the context of the thread, and in light of the way you framed your discussion of UCI, I think it was more than reasonable to assume that you were promoting UCI's class-rank policy as a special attribute of the school.

But if your point is that you're just explaining how UCI is like other schools, ok then. I suppose we do agree.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:14 pm

abcdefg1234567 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Please stop.


It would've saved me so much time if they had said from the outset that they weren't willing to listen to voices of experience and was going to childishly fall back on "well you have your opinion and I have mine." Your opinion is worth considerably less than that of an actual law student/graduate, but whatever. I tried.


I greatly value everyone's opinion, especially those that come from experience. But as a college professor and touring concert pianist, I know first-hand the power of hard work, dedication, and persistence. Of course there is something to be said about statistical analytics. You don't really think that I would completely ignore that, do you? After all, I live in the real world. All I am saying is that's not the whole picture.

Thank you all for a wonderful discussion. For better or worse, I learned quite a bit in this exchange. Best of luck to you and OP! And of course, keep up the hard work!


As a law student and someone who has actually had to take exams in that setting, I know first-hand that even the most well-meaning adjunct faculty members and pre-law advisors know fuck-all about the grading process in law school.

You are giving flat-out dangerous advice when you tell someone that they can rely on hard work and dedication to get good grades in law school. Following that instinct can lead to serious amounts of debt and no career to show for it. Feel free to check out the Vale of Tears in the Legal Employment forum if you think I'm exaggerating.

mcmand

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby mcmand » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:17 pm

...
Last edited by mcmand on Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby zot1 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:18 pm

rpupkin wrote:
zot1 wrote:
Okay, let's go back a second. I was asked about specific practices at UCI. I provided an answer in that context and in the context of the coin flip theory as it relates to UCI.

Whether this applies to other schools or not doesn't really matter to me or for the information I was providing as I'm not providing it in the "what school is better?" context but how it applies to UCI on its own.

So no, I'm not claiming UCI is special in that regard because I'm not comparing UCI to other schools. Simply explaining this happens at UCI.

This is a thread about choosing between law schools. The point is to compare. In light of the context of the thread, and in light of the way you framed your discussion of UCI, I think it was more than reasonable to assume that you were promoting UCI's class-rank policy as a special attribute of the school.

But if your point is that you're just explaining how UCI is like other schools, ok then. I suppose we do agree.


If you had bothered to read the first two sentences of my entire post instead of just looking at one paragraph then you never would have had had to assume anything.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: UCI vs. UW

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:36 pm

zot1 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:This is a thread about choosing between law schools. The point is to compare. In light of the context of the thread, and in light of the way you framed your discussion of UCI, I think it was more than reasonable to assume that you were promoting UCI's class-rank policy as a special attribute of the school.

But if your point is that you're just explaining how UCI is like other schools, ok then. I suppose we do agree.

If you had bothered to read the first two sentences of my entire post instead of just looking at one paragraph then you never would have had had to assume anything.

I did read the first two sentences of your post. I don't see their relevance to this little debate, but whatever . . . now that I understand that you were just explaining how UCI is like other schools, we're not disagreeing about anything.

OP, here's my advice: UW and UCI are both regional schools. Given that you want to practice in California, you should definitely go to UCI. Before you commit, however, note that your goal of big law in California is not likely to materialize. It's certainly possible, but there's likely a greater than 50% chance it won't happen for you coming our of UCI. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go to UCI, but I think it does mean that you should have an alternate career path in mind that would be acceptable to you.

Good luck!



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 9 guests