Hastings 2L taking questions for a bit since I'm bored at work.
I'll bite. How is your experience so far at Hastings? Workload, lifestyle, etc
And the obligatory one: how do you feel about employement chances af Hastings and what is your experience in general on that topic? Also, how was the 2l internship process?
I really enjoy Hastings so far. I won't whitewash it and say it is perfect, but overall it is a good experience so far. If you want to live/work in the Bay area (and can't get Berkeley) I think this is the best choice of school.
Workload: this depends on your perspective. Compared to most if not all undergrads, workload is substantially heavier. Compared to some careers prior to law school (my case) it is pretty light. More importantly, the nature of the work is different. The readings are often dense, time consuming and require a high degree of memorization. Also, be wary of your LWR and Moot Court classes; they can become huge time sucks but it is important that you do well in them.
Lifestyle: San Francisco is a fun city. People at the school are generally friendly and you will find a good group no matter your personality. I go to the beach, parks, restaurants, bars, and occassionally camping/hiking outside the city. I also hit up a few museums (First Thursdays at the Academy of Sciences is cool; you can drink at the museum at night). It is probably easier and definitely cheaper to not have a car here. For some people, this is a big change. I haven't had a car for almost a decade, so it wasn't really an issue for me. SF has pretty much anything you could be interested in.
Employment Chances: If you are in the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the class, you have a reasonable shot at securing good employment (not necessarily $160K biglaw, but a decent gig doing something that is within the locus of your interests). Bottom half, it will definitely be a struggle I think. Hastings has excellent placement as far as the SF market goes. However, the SF market is VERY small. If you are willing to branch out to other markets (Sacramento, Silicon Valley, LA, OC, San Diego) then you definitely increase your chances of landing a firm job. If you are interested in Public Interest work, Hastings has a fantastic LRAP program. The school also places well with DAs and PDs throughout California. If you are interested in work outside CA, it gets more difficult the farther East you travel. Southwest/Northwest, placement is respectable. East Coast = difficult.
2L Internship Process: Everyone I know got a job. Most actually enjoy it. Definitely start applying on 12/1 to judges if that interests you. However, don't get discouraged; it can take a while to find a job. People found jobs ranging from December through May, with most getting one around March. A lot of classmates are working for judges (Northern District, CA state courts, Bankruptcy court, and even 9th circuit). Many are at federal govt agencies. Some are at firms (though mostly smaller firms for 1L summer). And a few are even working in house. As for getting paid, dont expect it as very few people are paid.