USC Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

Can you have a life and do well during your 1L year?

Yes, I enjoyed life during 1L and felt successful.
9
43%
No, I enjoyed life and failed school.
2
10%
No, I hated life but did amazing.
3
14%
No, I failed life and did terribly at school in the process. I wish I had taken more time for myself.
3
14%
Maybe, but I have not figured out how!
4
19%
 
Total votes: 21

westcoastlover
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 6:26 pm

USC Law

Postby westcoastlover » Mon May 03, 2010 6:31 pm

I am attending USC (Southern California) in the fall and am wondering if people feel like they can live balanced lives there? I got the impression students didn't spend 16 hours a day doing work.... but is it true? Can you have a life outside USC, for example taking time to workout or go to the beach, and still be successful? Especially during your 1L year!

Examples of schedules would be greatly appreciated!

Danteshek
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 3:31 am

If you study smart, you don't have to work nearly as hard to do well. This means doing concise outlines early, going to office hours a lot with prepared questions, and doing tons of timed practice exams. However, working hard should feel like normal. If you love law school you won't feel too burdened.

westcoastlover
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby westcoastlover » Tue May 04, 2010 1:43 pm

Danteshek wrote:If you study smart, you don't have to work nearly as hard to do well. This means doing concise outlines early, going to office hours a lot with prepared questions, and doing tons of timed practice exams. However, working hard should feel like normal. If you love law school you won't feel too burdened.


Thanks for the reply. How do you recommend learning to do outlines? Is that something they will teach us in class? Does USC offer 2L and 3L mentors to 1Ls? I got the impression that because it is a small school - there are ample resources and there is a supportive spirit? I think I will love law school - but am slightly intimidated nonetheless.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 5:18 pm

An outline is very personal. It should be a document that you find useful to study from. My rule of thumb is that any class can be organized in 20 or fewer pages, landscaped. The outline for contracts should only contain rules, organized into doctrines under each of the four questions the class answers. A Crim outline ignores cases in much the same way as contracts. All you care about are the elements of each crime. For criminal procedure, it's the opposite - case holdings (and the facts) rule. Torts is kind of a blend of the two. Property is tons of fairly unrelated, discrete doctrines than can be broken up sections full of rules. And so on.

I don't know much about USC. I'm a student at Southwestern.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Tue May 04, 2010 5:31 pm

Here's the truth. USC is in a piece of shit area surrounded by gangs, especially at night, and its a shit load of traffic getting from USC to the beach or even to beverly hills, let alone westwood. So I would say, if you go to USC, get ready to do either:

1) Drive to school everyday in fucking traffic and curse and get in accidents and cry and get the finger by every road raged infused L.A. driver (I wish was exaggerating).

2) Live by USC and do the same driving shit except you will do it everytime you want to go out and have fun. Oh, and you will be mugged and robbed all the time (two friends of mine, living in the USC dorms, got their laptops stolen INSIDE their dorm rooms by random thieves...that is how unsafe it is).

Good luck and enjoy USC!!!!!

newyorklaw23
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:52 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby newyorklaw23 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:36 pm

GermX wrote:Here's the truth. USC is in a piece of shit area surrounded by gangs, especially at night, and its a shit load of traffic getting from USC to the beach or even to beverly hills, let alone westwood. So I would say, if you go to USC, get ready to do either:

1) Drive to school everyday in fucking traffic and curse and get in accidents and cry and get the finger by every road raged infused L.A. driver (I wish was exaggerating).

2) Live by USC and do the same driving shit except you will do it everytime you want to go out and have fun. Oh, and you will be mugged and robbed all the time (two friends of mine, living in the USC dorms, got their laptops stolen INSIDE their dorm rooms by random thieves...that is how unsafe it is).

Good luck and enjoy USC!!!!!


I'm seriously considering USC, is it really that bad? I visited recently, and while I didn't think it was in the best neighborhood, it certainly didn't look that bad. And as for the traffic, everyone in LA seems sort of used to it, and stresed that if you know how to naviagate the local roads, the traffic isn't that bad.

JoyceL1986
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 3:28 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby JoyceL1986 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:22 am

Why is this a USC Law issue? 1L at any legitimate schools is hard.

Aias
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:17 am

Re: USC Law

Postby Aias » Wed May 05, 2010 3:37 am

newyorklaw23 wrote:
GermX wrote:Here's the truth. USC is in a piece of shit area surrounded by gangs, especially at night, and its a shit load of traffic getting from USC to the beach or even to beverly hills, let alone westwood. So I would say, if you go to USC, get ready to do either:

1) Drive to school everyday in fucking traffic and curse and get in accidents and cry and get the finger by every road raged infused L.A. driver (I wish was exaggerating).

2) Live by USC and do the same driving shit except you will do it everytime you want to go out and have fun. Oh, and you will be mugged and robbed all the time (two friends of mine, living in the USC dorms, got their laptops stolen INSIDE their dorm rooms by random thieves...that is how unsafe it is).

Good luck and enjoy USC!!!!!


I'm seriously considering USC, is it really that bad? I visited recently, and while I didn't think it was in the best neighborhood, it certainly didn't look that bad. And as for the traffic, everyone in LA seems sort of used to it, and stresed that if you know how to naviagate the local roads, the traffic isn't that bad.



It's not that bad. I went to USC for undergrad and I nor anyone I know have ever had any issues with crime. I personally prefer downtown over westwood, better nightlife & food scene. If you want to live on the westside it's still doable. I drove from beverly hills and it took me no more than 20-30min.

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pany1985
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:08 am

Re: USC Law

Postby pany1985 » Wed May 05, 2010 3:43 am

I've only ever driven through the USC area a few times... but compared to the UCLA campus, it seems like the kind of place where you'll get killed for your cell phone.

papercranes
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:06 am

Re: USC Law

Postby papercranes » Wed May 05, 2010 3:47 am

GermX wrote:Here's the truth. USC is in a piece of shit area surrounded by gangs, especially at night, and its a shit load of traffic getting from USC to the beach or even to beverly hills, let alone westwood. So I would say, if you go to USC, get ready to do either:

1) Drive to school everyday in fucking traffic and curse and get in accidents and cry and get the finger by every road raged infused L.A. driver (I wish was exaggerating).

2) Live by USC and do the same driving shit except you will do it everytime you want to go out and have fun. Oh, and you will be mugged and robbed all the time (two friends of mine, living in the USC dorms, got their laptops stolen INSIDE their dorm rooms by random thieves...that is how unsafe it is).

Good luck and enjoy USC!!!!!



oy. This is so obviously ridiculous.

OP I'm a 2L at USC. Frankly, the people who spout this nonsense are either trolls or have grown up in a neighborhood so isolated and homogenous that an Olive Garden is frightening and "ethnic".

Each small section gets two peer mentors. I know some of the ones for next year and they're awesome people. We're a very social, close knit school.

PM me if you have any questions.

papercranes
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:06 am

Re: USC Law

Postby papercranes » Wed May 05, 2010 3:51 am

also, if you're not going to the gym, beach etc. during 1L year, you're doing it wrong.

Sure, during finals your life comes to a bit of a grinding halt. You eat a lot of take out and DVR your favorite TV shows to watch next month. You begin to think of parts of the library as your own living room. But that's law school.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 1:50 pm

It's not ridiculous to say that a lot of people get mugged/robbed/beaten/die around the USC campus, and that the area, with the exception of the L.A. live area (which, btw, costs $15 to park there, roflmao, you might as well take a cab to century city which is miles ahead of this shit hole), is generally decrepit and downright scary. Try walking alone at night around the USC campus. You will be mugged. Guaranteed.

Seriously, mr. 2L at USC, try looking out the library window every once in a while and check out the huge purple vans driving by. They're not delivering ice cream. They're filled with primarily thugs and gangsters all armed to the teeth. Welcome to downtown Los Angeles.

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PhillyFan09
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Re: USC Law

Postby PhillyFan09 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:11 pm

GermX wrote:It's not ridiculous to say that a lot of people get mugged/robbed/beaten/die around the USC campus, and that the area, with the exception of the L.A. live area (which, btw, costs $15 to park there, roflmao, you might as well take a cab to century city which is miles ahead of this shit hole), is generally decrepit and downright scary. Try walking alone at night around the USC campus. You will be mugged. Guaranteed.

Seriously, mr. 2L at USC, try looking out the library window every once in a while and check out the huge purple vans driving by. They're not delivering ice cream. They're filled with primarily thugs and gangsters all armed to the teeth. Welcome to downtown Los Angeles.


Huge purple vans filled with thugs and gangsters armed to the teeth?

:roll:

musicfor18
Posts: 692
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:15 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby musicfor18 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:20 pm

Can someone other than GermX please reply in regards to the safety issues at and around USC? This is important to me, and I need to hear an impression from someone else. Thank you.

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scgoaliface32
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:51 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby scgoaliface32 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:33 pm

Geez, I'm sorry but it's just not like that. Yes, the area is kind of poor around USC. South of the Law building (past Exposition) you probably don't want to stroll around at midnight with your phone out, headphones on and laptop in hand. Yes things do get stolen and people get mugged. And yes people have been killed here. But of the two most recent student murders I know of, one definitely involved copious amounts of alcohol and an altercation, and both occurred while the kids were walking around around or past midnight so unfortunately there was increased risk. But I've lived in the USC area for the past 6 years (graduated 2 years ago) and haven't ever had a problem, despite my fair share of stupid moves in undergrad. I walk to and from campus all the time, and biked at all hours.

There is certainly no "guarantee" that you'll get mugged or killed or shanked or otherwise assaulted, though taking stupid chances increases that risk. I went for a walk late last night by myself and no one bothered me. Department of Public Safety officers drive and segway around all night and there are community service officer people at many street corners in areas where students live. I honestly feel pretty safe in the area, but I don't take it for granted and put myself unnecessarily at risk. North of campus I'd say the neighborhood is almost 50/50 students and locals.

But previous posters are right about needing a car if you want to do anything fun off campus.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 3:05 pm

^ Wow, your post was basically this, "jeez, it really is unsafe and people die, but it isn't really like that." You contradicted yourself with this:

Geez, I'm sorry but it's just not like that. Yes, the area is kind of poor around USC. South of the Law building (past Exposition) you probably don't want to stroll around at midnight with your phone out, headphones on and laptop in hand. Yes things do get stolen and people get mugged. And yes people have been killed here.


Look, the bottom-line is that UCLA=the safer school. USC is a great school and will get you good jobs in L.A. etc.. etc.. but the fact remains-- it is in a piece of shit area and you are better off living on the west-side and busting your ass in traffic than living in that dunghole. Because I promise you, you will NEVER feel safe there. Never.

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scgoaliface32
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Re: USC Law

Postby scgoaliface32 » Wed May 05, 2010 3:16 pm

Have you lived here, GermX? If someone wants to commute from West LA or Silverlake or even South Bay it's definitely doable, but it's not a death wish to live around campus. Some students choose not to, some do. USC is not the only school with crime, whether it be assaults or murders or burglaries. If you don't feel comfortable living in the area then don't; no one is forcing you. But don't mislead 0Ls who are making a very important and expensive decision by painting a picture of USC as a campus in the 90s LA ghetto. It's not as nice as Westwood but there are homeless people and crime there too and to think otherwise is foolish.

But hey, I guess hearing conflicting opinions is best because that way people deciding can make a more informed decision. So good on you for your input even if it is exaggerated, in my opinion.

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 3:21 pm

Lived in Los Angeles all my life. I live in Westwood/Century city, and I have lots of friends over at USC undergrad, and nearly all of them have had something stolen, been mugged, etc...

Just 2 weeks ago, 2 girls I know had their dorm's door broken down and laptops and other items were stolen. This just doesn't happen at UCLA. I'm not saying NOTHING happens in Westwood. For example, if I recall one guy was shot at Habibi Cafe here like 3-4 years ago. But its so random here while in the USC area, if you just open your newspaper and checkout the crimes section, within a 3-mile radius of USC there is A LOT of crime.

Driving from Westwood/Beverly Hills=30 minutes. Farther than that, and honestly you're fucked, especially if you have a 9 am class, you will need to be up by at least 6:30 if you plan on showering/breakfast etc...

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scgoaliface32
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Re: USC Law

Postby scgoaliface32 » Wed May 05, 2010 3:39 pm

Sure, you're right that the UCLA area is safer than around USC. But to say that you're guaranteed to be a victim of a crime if you live in the area, or that you'll never feel safe is going too far. As someone who has lived the the community and discussed the safety thing with friends and classmates and the administration the vibe is it's sketchy but we feel pretty safe overall. I mean, we continue to live here don't we? Beyond that, how safe someone else would feel in the area I don't know and I don't presume to say. And though it can be done I wouldn't recommend commuting to USC more than 30 minutes because rush hour traffic is both aggravating and a waste of time. So if the question is "can I attend USC Law and commute?", I suppose, but hopefully someone who's actually doing it can answer that better. But if the question is "am I asking to be victimized if I live by USC?", I definitely say no.

GermX
Posts: 562
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Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 6:38 pm

Ok fine, you're not guaranteed to be a victim of a crime, but chances are you will be. I can walk at 2 am on Westwood blvd and go bar hopping and have a blast. Can you say the same about downtown L.A.?

NerdmoD
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby NerdmoD » Wed May 05, 2010 6:49 pm

I was robbed at gunpoint in Westwood (on Midvale) as a junior at UCLA. My wife, on the other hand, was an UG at USC, and never had any problems.

The simple fact is that LA is a big city, and as with any big city, there can be crime where ever you are. USC definitely feels grittier, but Westwood Village has its own problems; like the mentally ill patients who are dropped off at UCLA Medical Center but can't be held against their will, and the growing homeless population.

And there are great bars in Downtown...

GermX
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Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 6:55 pm

lol, almost nobody gets robbed at Westwood. Its as safe as safe gets.

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scgoaliface32
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Re: USC Law

Postby scgoaliface32 » Wed May 05, 2010 6:59 pm

I wouldn't go to the one bar within walking distance of SC anyway (sorry 9-0 lol). Oh, well there's the Lab, which is pretty cool. Like I said, you'd probably want a car for recreation/social/sanity considerations if you went to SC. Don't get me wrong, I never said Westwood wasn't awesome and having O'Hara's or whatever it's called and BrewCo and all that within drunk-stumbling distance is a plus. But in all honesty bar hopping downtown is not bad at all if you're with some buddies, especially in the downtown business area (Figueroa to Grand, west to east, and from LA live north to maybe 5th). There are a bunch of walkable bars within that area like 7Grand, the Gopher, Broadway Bar, Caseys, Riordan's, the Standard, etc. + LA Live. It's just getting there and back to campus that you'll need a DD or a taxi. But yea, GermX, impromptu bar crawling in Westwood is probably more enjoyable because it's easy and walkable.

NerdmoD
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby NerdmoD » Wed May 05, 2010 7:44 pm

GermX wrote:lol, almost nobody gets robbed at Westwood. Its as safe as safe gets.


Lol. I might be a rare case, but it can/does happen. Besides, the booby-grabber is still at large!

GermX
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: USC Law

Postby GermX » Wed May 05, 2010 10:42 pm

No human in L.A. can survive without a car. Even if you weren't at SC, I would say you need a car. Thank us later. Btw, best bar hopping spots are on Hollywood blvd, Cauengha blvd, and on Sunset blvd., followed by Main St. in Santa Monica. After that, guess you can go to Westwood. If you want.




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