USD 1L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
muffinberry
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby muffinberry » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:37 pm

How is parking at the school? Is it tough to find spots/are permits expensive?

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:43 pm

The annual parking pass is somewhere between $200 and $250 (I can't remember exactly). There is a lot that is considered the law school lot right between the law building and the law library (althought its not exclusive, undergrads can park there if they want). If you arrive at or before 8am, you can park there very easily, but arriving after 8 and before about 1 or so you have to park in the parking structure on the east end of campus. The east parking lot is still only a 5 min walk to the law school, so not bad.

sundaynightdelite
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby sundaynightdelite » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:40 am

Of course there are ways to get around buying a parking pass. You may park south of campus on the streets and walk up the stairs or you can park on the streets on the east side of campus and catch the tram that will drop you off right in front of Warren Hall. So there are possibilities for you penny-pinchers.

muffinberry
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby muffinberry » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:38 pm

I'm not trying to pinch pennies, I'm just concerned about the ease of finding parking.

tdaly01
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby tdaly01 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:46 pm

How are the job prospects for USD graduates who want to work for the government? Does USD place well in the DA's office in San Diego?

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:06 pm

Parking is really not an issue. At bad times you may have to park in a further parking lot but they do have shuttles that run constantly to the law building, so definitely not a problem.

In regards to government jobs, as I said earlier I'm not 100% certain but I do know that all of the local govt agencies and jobs recruit heavily on campus. Therefore I would assume that USD does well (or else they wouldnt keep coming back!).

jms1987
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby jms1987 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:37 pm

Do you guys face much competition from USC or UCLA grads for San Diego work?

OrcinusOrcas
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby OrcinusOrcas » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:54 pm

muffinberry wrote:How is parking at the school? Is it tough to find spots/are permits expensive?


As a Berkeley grad, I must point out:

UC Berkeley undergrad parking permit, one semester: $327.00 (or $115 for a less-than-stellar "car pool" permit)

USD Law parking permit, one semester (full time): $140-145.00

I know I'll be saving some money, relatively speaking :D

BruinsFan
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby BruinsFan » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:00 pm

I'm sitting in on a class today! I'm excited to see what it's like!

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Great Satchmo
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:03 pm

BruinsFan wrote:I'm sitting in on a class today! I'm excited to see what it's like!


Hey, shoot me a PM or post up your impressions of campus, students, faculty, etc, etc, etc.

Thanks!

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:14 pm

Yes, there is some competition from USC/UCLA, but it isn't huge. You must realize that most UCLA/USC end up working in LA, and USD in San Diego, so the little crossover would see competition, but it is a minority.

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StoneontaState
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby StoneontaState » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:21 pm

You mentioned there being a market for USD grads in Arizona. I lived there for a year and loved it and eventually want to end up living there again (but would rather go to USD than Arizona State). Do you know how strong the opportunities are in Arizona? Do I have to be like top 10% or anything? Thanks.

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:24 pm

I think there is, but it is definitely a small one. Obviously top 10% and you can go a lot of places, including AZ. You could probably get there with less than that but you would have to do more of the legwork on your own.

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StoneontaState
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby StoneontaState » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:21 am

upintheair wrote:I think there is, but it is definitely a small one. Obviously top 10% and you can go a lot of places, including AZ. You could probably get there with less than that but you would have to do more of the legwork on your own.


Thanks for the answer man, I appreciate it.

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StoneontaState
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby StoneontaState » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:08 pm

I posted this question in the Fall 2010 thread but I figured I'd get the perspective of someone who goes there. What does the on campus housing look like for law students? I'd rather live on campus than off because I've had bad experiences with landlords. Maybe it's just because I go to undergrad in a college town.

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:20 pm

I personally live off campus, but know a couple of people who live on. In general, they have graduate student housing but it is very limited and very expensive (I believe it comes out to somewhere between 1000 and 1500 per month depending on where you live). There are two main places:

Manchester Village- this is more like a dorm, but from the people who live there they seem to like it. It is on campus somewhat near all the other dorms as well on the East side of campus. Probably a 5-10 min walk to the law building.

Presidio Terrace- more like a one bedroom apartment (living room, kitchen, bedroom). It is on campus but it is on the edge of campus and is basically a separate apartment building owned by the university down the hill from campus. Also probably a 5-10 min walk to the law building.

Realistically though you can save a significant amount of money living off campus, but obviously it is a matter or personal preference as well.

SoCalLover
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby SoCalLover » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:15 pm

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amadomarie85
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby amadomarie85 » Tue May 25, 2010 2:32 pm

I am curious about the grading system at USD. I am trying to decide between USD and Seattle University right now and spoke with a 1L at Seattle U a few weeks ago. She said that everything is graded on a curve and the only grade for every class is the final, so it was somewhat scary to hear that. I am wondering if USD is similar? How are grades calculated? Does it vary from class to class/professor to professor, etc? Any info on grading would be very helpful, I am having a really hard time making a decision.

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Tue May 25, 2010 4:06 pm

Just as a heads up, that is how nearly every law school works. And trust me, in most situations, that is good. For example, in one of my classes part of the final consisted of 70 multiple choice questions. If you answered half correct you were in the top quarter of the class! Therefore curves are a god thing. In terms of finals and midterms, in the fall we had 3 substantive classes and of those 2 had midterms which accounted for 15-25% of the grade and a final made up the rest (of course the third class was all final). Spring semester we had 4 substantive classes and all were based completely on a final, no midterms. Therefore although it may worry you I don't think it should, as everyone is in the same boat. In addition, that is the way law school works at every law school in the nation to my knowledge.

Hope this helps!

Captain Muscles
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby Captain Muscles » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:45 am

Hi, I got question for you.

1. How pretentious is the community of San Diego? I grew up in the South Bay and one thing I do not like is the superficiality of the area. The place seems like it is a magnet for Alpha Douches.

Is San Diego a good fit for someone who is not overly concerned with "image"?

2. How easy is to get a scholarship if you do well your first year?

upintheair
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:13 am

I would say San Diego is not pretentious. One of the things that both I believe and others have told me is that San Diego is great because it is so laid back. But, I could be biased as a native San Diegan. My best recommendation is to visit if you haven't already. Of course San Diego is a decent size city so you do have small pockets of that, but overall I would not say San Diego is pretentious at all.

For scholarships I know that the school this year will be awarding the top 17 students (not percent, students) with a full tuition scholarship. There are also 20-40 other scholarships that are available through the school through alumni and such but 2L's don't apply for those until the fall so I do not know exactly how they work. In addition there are whatever other outside private scholarships you can find or if you had a renewable scholarship during your first year it may continue for your second and third years.

choochoo
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby choochoo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:57 pm

Thanks for all the answers so far!

I have a couple of questions for you...

1) How many hours a day/days a week would you say that the top students at USD study?

2) What is your social life like? I know it won't be like undergrad going out 3-5 times a week, but what do most people do on weekends? Do a lot of people go out downtown, or are small gatherings at peoples' apartments more popular? Does San Diego have a good taxi service? Or are people more likely to just go out closer to home?

3) Is there anything you wish you had done the summer before 1L to prepare? I'm reading Law School Confidential at the moment, not sure if it would help to start reading some E&Es or anything...

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:23 pm

1) Top students is a tough thing to gauge for a number of reasons. First off, because everyone puts in a lot of time. Second, everyone is different, therefore top students work completely different amounts of time. I have one friend who did well but not spectacularly but put in a ridiculous number of hours (like 10 hour days at least 6 out of 7 days a week for the entire year). Personally I fell I did pretty well and I spent about 6-8 hours a day 5-6 days a week. Basically it was like a full time job. That includes class time. As the year goes on you will learn through experience and will become more efficient so the time may be skewed at the beginning of the year (don't worry, its that way for EVERYONE!).

2) I had a great social life. I was able to relax most weekends and went out usually twice a week (sometimes once if I had a paper due or something). That was crucial for me. Balance is the key to success in my mind. Work hard. Play hard. Exercise. Get outside. It will make you that much happier and do that much better when it comes down to it. People go out everywhere. PB, OB, Downtown, Mission Valley, house parties, bars, clubs, you name it. In general people go out close to home, and there is taxi's like any big city but a cab from near the school to downtown is probably $20-25.

3) The summer before I was in the same shoes as you. I read law school confidential (which was helpful, but not life saving). Other than that relax. Hang out with family and friends. Once you get to school your life will be consumed with law school. This is a good thing. In addition you will hang out with other law school people and it is tougher to see the others who you can see and spend time with now. Do not read any E&E's or anything like that. It won't make sense and will not help you. Each professor teaches each class in a very different way, therefore you could be only hurting yourself. For example, Civil Procedure (which you take all year long) is a rule based class. E&E was very helpful for certain portions with my professor. But, a friend of mine had a professor who taught mainly on theory, which E&E does not discuss in detail. So jsut relax, enjoy your summer, and have fun. Law school is great and you will have fun here too but it will be completely different!

choochoo
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby choochoo » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:06 am

Alrighty, thanks a bunch!

Also, do you know many people doing the JD/MBA at USD? I'm conflicted as to whether or not I want to do it, but I'm thinking about taking the GMAT in early August just so I have it as an option. But since I'm coming from undergrad, do you think I even have a shot at getting accepted without work experience? I know they say that if you are in the law school some schools will overlook the lack of work experience, I just don't know if USD is the same way. If I want to do business law in SD/OC/LA, do you think it's really even advantageous? I'm thinking big law mergers & acquisitions and similar stuff, or possibly even tax. I know that some people get their JD/MBA with the intention of going in house, so I guess it would always give me that option (possibly more conducive to raising a family in the future-- yes, I'm a female haha).

upintheair
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Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:09 pm

For the JD/MBA I unfortunately do not know a ton. I know one person who is doing it and my understanding is that you apply at the end/following your 1L year. The person I know in the program is just like you and went straight to law school from undergrad so I do not think lack of work experience is an issue.

Because of my lack of knowledge of the program I also do not know its impact on job opportunities. I know that doing business law or working as in house counsel is very achievable without the JD/MBA. I would assume it helps but I have not heard anyone say that they recommended doing it for that purpose.

Hope that helps...




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