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.
User avatar
Mr. The Plague
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby Mr. The Plague » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:29 pm

Hey, just wondering if you had any luck in the summer job hunt? Have many students you know found law related work for their 1L summers? I was reading the student blogs on USD's website and one of the authors wrote about clerking in Las Vegas. Is it common for students to travel that far for work? If they clerk in another state for the summer, where do they live? Thanks for taking questions.

upintheair
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:55 pm

Yes, I actually did. I am working for a small firm here in San Diego and taking a summer school class at the same time. Most everyone I know has found some sort of legal work this summer. The majority is unpaid, but the work is anywhere from small and large firms to non profits to in house counsel for companies. In addition, some people are working at the legal clinics that offer free legal services through USD for those who can't afford it. The few people who have not taken those positions ended up doing research for USD law professors over the summer. So, overall, legal work is definitely in nearly all student's summers.

Regarding the Vegas student, I would say that is not normal. Most people are either in San Diego or got work back where they are from. In addition people are working in Orange county, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara. All of these are by choice. A few students got work in D.C. as well. But as I said before, San Diego and southern California are definitely the most common locations.

People who do travel usually end up subletting in one way or the other or staying with friends/family in the areas they have gone to.

User avatar
Mr. The Plague
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby Mr. The Plague » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:03 am

That's really encouraging to hear as I'll be attending this fall. What sort of firm are you interning at and are you enjoying the work so far? What sort of hours can an unpaid intern expect? Did career services help much or did you do most of the leg work yourself? Thanks again, it's good to find someone that can actually answer some of the stuff I've been wondering about.

upintheair
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:39 am

Its a very small firm...only one attorney haha. But it is an estate planning firm. It is interesting stuff and have only been working a few weeks so haven't been too involved yet but am beginning to draw up documents and such. The hours vary from place to place. I am working 25 hours per week with class for 2 hrs per day 4 days a week. I know people who are working 40 hours a week unpaid and others that are working 10. So it really varies. Depending on where you work sometimes you can get class credit so at least you get something out of your time and effort if you aren't being paid. Most people I know did the leg work themselves, including me, but the career services was helpful through their job board and advice regarding resumes, cover letters, and interviewing.

Welcome to the USD family! Let me know if you have any other questions, I'm more than happy to help.

User avatar
Mr. The Plague
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby Mr. The Plague » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:40 pm

Thanks for the welcome and congrats on the job. Do u know anyone that did federal work study as a 1L? I'm gonna have to have some sort of income and I was wondering how easy it is to get around 20 hours in the LRC.

WWAD
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby WWAD » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:08 pm

Don't know if you are still checking this out, but did you know anyone who did the FLEX program? What did they think?

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby General Tso » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:42 pm

any news on USD OCI?

socal person
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:11 pm

recent graduate here

Postby socal person » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:57 pm

Just to chime in, because I found this site relatively late in the game...

USD is a pretty decent place to pursue a legal education. It's only downside is cost, and not being a top 10 law school. That being said, the brass water fountains get polished weekly! Also, it doesn't seem like it really affects anyone, as the parking lot is full of Mercedes, Porsches, BMW's (and those aren't just the prof's cars). When the McDonald's heiress passed away and donated a few pennies to the school, they built the most spectacular academic building I have ever seen in her honor (granted, all my prior schools were public before USD).

The administration treats the students very well. As I mentioned before, I came from a public undergrad university which was just a diploma factory. At USD, there is a universal recognition amongs the administration that students are the #1 priority. This is a refreshing feeling, and it will not be forgotten when I choose to which schools I will contribute alumni donations.

The student body in the law school is composed of mostly graduates of UCSD, UCLA, UC Irvine, and a sprinkling of UC Berkeley and San Diego State University students. Famous grads include the current Dept. of Homeland Security Head (Janet Nepalitino), the GM for the Red Sox (Theo Epstein), and some NFL football player (whose name I forgot).

The campus itself is beautiful and safe. The outside community is less so. But it's an easy drive to suburbia or mid-city, depending on your pref's and affordability.

The prof's are a mix of conservative/liberal, I think. I could barely tell most of the time, as the curriculum in the classes I took (Torts, Contracts, etc.) just didn't allow for it. Being a private Catholic university, it has both a "Peace and Justice" building, and some "moral stewardship" theme going on. So pick your poison as you may.

The current ranking is about #50 or so. It tanked a few years ago because they had a lame career services, but the Dean nuked that group and hired all new staff who are competent, caring, and effective (they will kick your butt in gear to do the things necessary to be employable). The school is likely to increase it's USNWR rankings in the near future, due to some changes in the curriculum and the available programs. I believe last year's incoming class (check me if I'm wrong) is LSAT: 164, GPA: 3.54. The bar passage rate is 87+% (with most of the failing coming from the LLM program, which is composed of mostly international students who don't get to take the full 12 subjects on the bar exam).

Let me also take a minute to discuss the evening program. It's ranked #7 in the nation. It's the reason I choose the school (over the UC's, which don't have an evening program, and are about as equally pricey despite being a public university). Many of the evening students come with advanced degrees (I counted 9 Ph.D.'s in my class, including CalTech, Berkeley, Stanford, UCSD, and Univ. Arizona), and are in the IP program. San Diego is a region with (1) lots of rich people (so the tax program is popular), and (2) lots of high-tech companies (so the IP program is also popular). While the core classes (Torts, CivPro, etc.) are about 60+ students, there is an awesome opportunity to be in a class of 12 with a practicing attorney going over some more niche areas of law. Those prof/attorneys continue the relationship with students long after the semester is over, and also make for great mentors/advisors/recommendors for pursuing a legal career. The reason one will only find this in an evening program is that most attorneys work during the day and so they won't teach in a "day-time" program. Thus, this is a bit of a unique element that USD offers. Also, the evening classes are open to day-time students as well, so the entire school can participate in this if they so choose (and desire to be in a 7-9pm class).

User avatar
lalalawya
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:34 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby lalalawya » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:26 pm

Does USD offer scholarships to current students? (i.e students in top 10% receive 4,500 a year or something of the sort)

Thank you!

upintheair
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:33 pm

The top 10-15 students (dependent on the endowment in any given year) of the 1L class are given full scholarships (for tuition) which comes out to about $40k or so.

The school also has a number of private scholarships that it offers. Students apply for them in the fall of their 2L year and they are awarded in the spring of that year. They vary in amounts from $2k to about $10k. Some are general and others are specific (i.e. Minority students, students interested in IP law)

Hope this helps!

User avatar
lalalawya
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:34 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby lalalawya » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:01 pm

it does! thank you.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby FlanAl » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:25 pm

Any word on OCI? Are local big firms like Luce and Procopio (ones whose roster is essentially all USD grads) still hiring? Any info would be much appreciated. I also want to thank those who've already taken the time to talk about USD. It is really great to see non-t14 schools get some love on these boards.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby AP-375 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:52 pm

Bump. Latest word on USD career services or anything else?

upintheair
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:11 am

I don't have a ton of information because people are fairly quiet about offers and such at this point. But, my understanding is that yes, they are hiring. The number they are hiring is much smaller than in the past, which makes it that much more competitive. The interviewing period in August, September, October on campus was very busy with interviews with big firms all the way down to non profits. Sorry I don't have more at this point.

AP-375
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby AP-375 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:27 am

What do class rank breakdowns look like in OCI? What percentage do you need to be to get a reasonable shot at San Diego BigLaw or other good jobs in San Diego, however you may define that?
Accepted at USD and considering it--many thanks for the info.

upintheair
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby upintheair » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:51 am

San Diego is a small legal market. So if your hope is to get "biglaw" in San Diego you realistically have to be top 10 (not percent, students) and have law review, moot court, other activities as they then choose from T14 schools in CA and across the country. But if you are top 10% you will get interviews with almost anyone you want and have lots of interviews. Top 20% will get a decent amount of interviews, but beyond the top 20% the way of the world is networking and mid sized or small firms (which if you ask me isn't such a bad thing).

wonderfilled
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:54 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby wonderfilled » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:58 am

muffinberry wrote:What is your impression (if any) of on-campus housing? A little research on the USD site shows the Presidio Terrace & Manchester Village apts--are these good places to live? Would you recommend on-campus living? I take it you live off-campus.


I know this is late, but for anyone who is reading this now, I can give you a little more information than what's been posted on the Manchester Village apartments at least. Manchester is NOT just grad students, contrary to what some others have said. I'm a current undergrad at USD, and many of my friends have lived there. They're nice apartments for sure, but you will be sharing a building with sophomores, juniors, and seniors. On campus housing is also known for being really expensive. I live in a house in Mission Beach, 20 steps away from the beach, with my own room and bathroom, and I pay less than what I was paying to live on campus. Pacific Beach, which seems to be more popular with non-undergrads, is even less expensive. If you really want to live on campus and are willing to pay the price, the housing is nice, but personally I'd stay off campus.

richalvarez
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:53 pm

Re: USD 1L taking questions

Postby richalvarez » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:27 pm

I have USD as my #1 option, assuming I get in, and wanted to get some insight form you guys. I have heard that the Tax program, specifically the LL.M., is ranked in the top 10 and would like to know how it compares to USC and UCLA. I have a B.S in Accountancy (3.4 GPA) and I've been working as self-employed tax preparer for the last two years, eventually, my goal is to get an LL.M. in Taxation and practice tax law at a mid to large firm in SD or LA. Would USD be the best route for me, or is there another option I should consider?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests