Über-Prestigious Pepperdine 2L Taking Questions

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Gatriel
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Über-Prestigious Pepperdine 2L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:22 pm

All I can do is promise to shoot it to you accurately. I love Pepperdine, but will not spin my answers. Fire away.
Last edited by Gatriel on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TexasLaw
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby TexasLaw » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:29 pm

I'm definitely looking into Pepperdine..what made u decide on Pepperdine? I know ur a 1L but any idea on how employment prospects are looking/how did people fare at OCI?

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:48 pm

I decided on Pepperdine for a few reasons:

1) Its ranking. I know many people here will tell you all day long that USNWR is a corrupt institution and their rankings are worthless. As that may be, employers still care about the rankings. Currently, we are 52, King of Tier 2, with the penetration into Tier 1 next year or the following. I know many here on TLS are like "Lawl HLS or don't go lol" but that is asinine. Find a place you are comfortable with. Pepperdine's ranking brings in huge firms to OCI, albeit they typically only give interviews to the top 15% or the class or so. Lots of medium sized firms come here and hire out to all parts of the nation.

2) Its atmosphere. Pepperdine is NOT a diploma mill. One of the Deans had literally (<-- focus on that word) every 1L's name down by the end of the first week. All my professors know me by first name. They all have open door policies, and I can visit them with questions at most times of the typical business day. School has an active bar review, and we do lots of fun stuff, dodgeball, Barristers Ball (Law school prom), Casino Night, etc.

3) For me, the Christian connection. I was surprised though, coming from a small conservative Christian school I assumed Pepperdine would be predominately Christian-conservatives. I could honestly say that 1/3 of the class are Christians, and the other 2/3'rds are other or n/a.

4) Starting Salary - When you look at Pepperdine's starting salary it looks lower than it's peers (as it is less than $100k per year) . . . however when you take those out of the equation who for some reason want to waste a perfectly good JD on public interest and just consider Government and Private sector attorneys its right around $110k per year. The other good thing, is Pepperdine's job placement numbers are accurate. They do not game the numbers, and hire back graduates who couldn't find jobs.

Employment prospects - - -

The job market blows right now, especially in LA. There are great law schools in the LA metropolitan area. UCLA, USC, Loyola, Pepperdine, and now UCI, so there is lots of competition, however Pepperdine does very well and places most students fairly quickly. The CDO is very active here, and is very competent. I will tell you, it does get discouraging how much PI the CDO tries to push on you your first year. We have 3-4 CDO panels, meet and greets, etc. per week since the first week of school, and all but 4 of them at this point have been public interest or government based.

I'm not EXACTLY sure why PI is such a focus here, after talking with others from other law schools in California it isn't nearly as as much as a focus there as it is here. I think it has to do with the faith base of the institution and we should be a catalyst for good and not just denaro. I don't know about you, but I'll have a mountain of student loans to pay off when I get done, and honestly it feels a little like a slap in the face "Here you worked hard in law school and in undergrad, go work PI at $40k a year and have fun".

I will argue devil's advocate and say it is BETTER to have opportunities come to campus than not have them come to campus all together. Admittedly, it is better to make $40k a year than make $0 per year and have to move back in with mom and dad.

I definitely say consider Pepperdine.

EDIT:

OCI applicants did fairly well. Everyone with a personality that went into OCI came out with something. The only area I know people are struggling in are people who want to do family law, and I know a few of those who haven't found anything yet. If you do ADR or the B-Law based stuff you'll be totally fine.

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TexasLaw
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby TexasLaw » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:29 pm

Thanks! Appreciate it..I'll throw a couple more at you...Whats the student atmosphere like? competitive/friendly? How is the class split up as far as sections? And from left field, how's the on-campus gym?

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:40 pm

Student atmosphere is very very friendly. We help each other out as much as possible, I cannot think of one instance where I witnessed people were being malicious to each other. I have heard about fighting over seats the first few days, but that was not in my section.

The way they split up sections is pretty easy. They take your GPA and LSAT, plug it into a formula and get a raw score. They rank the raw score A, B, C, A, B, C, A, B, C over and over again resulting in the appropriate sections. There is no conspiracy as to section formulation, and the deans are very open about how this happens. It isn't the shady UVA put everyone with scholarships in one section gig. haha

The on campus gym is blah at best . . . however we get a new one this summer, so I imagine it will be fantastic. It shouldn't be that big of a deal as most apartments around here and in Santa Monica have pretty legit gyms already.
Last edited by Gatriel on Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

mlee85
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby mlee85 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:10 pm

Any insight as to my chances with a 3.35, took LSAT in October. No URM.

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:16 pm

It depends. What were you prepping at consistently? Was your performance on the LSAT consistent with your practice exams? Are you CoC?

The lowest incoming GPA I have heard of for my class is a 2.97 so if you get a 163 + or so on the LSAT I'd say you'd be pretty safe.

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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby mlee85 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:18 pm

I felt as though I destroyed the LSAT but in practice I was all over the place. (Low to high 160's) I always do better on the actual exam than in practice though so I hope that my score will be in the high 160's.

Don't know what CoC is so I am assuming no.

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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby AP-375 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:23 pm

Any sense on job prospects in Orange County or San Diego? Tougher market to find good work in than LA?

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General Tso
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby General Tso » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:26 pm

everybody who did OCI got something?

shit firm in central valley that I got canned at said a Boalt student they hired had 28 screeners, 1 callback and just that 1 offer.

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:31 pm

Yeah, most people I talk to got something. Many many got out of state offers. Lots of OCI via web-conferance.

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1ferret!
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby 1ferret! » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:38 am

Gatriel wrote:Yeah, most people I talk to got something. Many many got out of state offers. Lots of OCI via web-conferance.


Not ...entirely accurate.....

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General Tso
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby General Tso » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:05 am

1ferret! wrote:
Gatriel wrote:Yeah, most people I talk to got something. Many many got out of state offers. Lots of OCI via web-conferance.


Not ...entirely accurate.....


Yeah I agree.. I didn't really want to say something about this in a Pepperdine Q&A thread, but I think readers should be skeptical of some of the things Gatriel is saying. "Most" implies 50%+. At schools like Hastings and Davis, OCI in the best of times only placed 33% of the class. Now that number is more like 10-15%. My understanding is that most SoCal T2s placed around 15% through OCI in good times, and around 5% today.

I've heard some wild claims about Pepperdine..that their OCI attendance was 100+ firms (Hastings was only around 90 this year), and now that "most students got OCI offers" and "many many out of state offers". I am not really looking to pick a fight here. I'll believe it if someone offers some more credible evidence, but for now, I am skeptical.

I think we can all agree that it's great when current students like Gatriel come on TLS and offer to take questions...I would just ask that he be more precise in the language he uses.

harp0056
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby harp0056 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:18 am

any idea on what chances a URM would have?? I have a 3.2 gpa and scored a 158 on the oct test, currently debating taking the dec test....Pepperdine is one of my top choices and I'm very interested in learning more about it and how likely it would be for me to be admitted.

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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby GoldenIL » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:04 am

Pepperdine sounds awesome, it was on the periphery of my radar until now. What are my chances with a 3.46 GPA and a 161 LSAT score? I know my LSAT might be a bit on the low end, but do you think I'd still stand a chance?

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:49 am

Let me qualify what I am saying:

From the limited contact I have had with 2L's and 3L's who have gone through OCI, most (more than 50%) of those whom I have talked to had something coming out. Out of all I have talked with I can only think of a handful that are still searching.

harp0056 as a URM with those states I'd say with certainty you'd be on the WL, with a good shot of getting in around June to mid July. Apply early.

Golden - That could be a stretch, again, like with harp I'd expect to get on the WL. Write a killer personal statement, and response to the University's mission. Also, if you do get WL'ed fly out here and meet with the deans. I know it helped a few people come off the WL this past cycle. Again, apply early.

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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:57 am

It isn't the shady UVA put everyone with scholarships in one section gig.


Where did you hear this

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:07 am

I remembered seeing in here on TLS a while back, however searching proved futile. My apologies. I retract that statement until I can cite my source.

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Re:

Postby shastaca » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:33 am

. .
Last edited by shastaca on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:10 pm

There have been a few things that are aggravating, and one thing I don't like.

I find it aggravating-

That *most* of my law professors are completely unable to get out of class on time. To be fair, I have heard this is a general law school thing, with most law school classes lasting 5-7 minutes over. Its not unforgivable, but when you need another cup of coffee and only 10 minutes until your last class it can get aggravating.

That the schedule per my class assignments hasn't been as advertised since the 2nd week of school. My classmates make is a joke of sorts, like part of the law school game is to find out where our classes are and when. Its not horrible, but can get frustrating, as communication between faculty and students in regards to this area is poor. For example, we'll receive an email saying "Class is cancelled today, check TWEN for the details" instead of what it should say "Class is cancelled for today. The makeup will be at this date at this time in this room".

I do not like the on campus housing. It is completely unforgivable. It is shady the way they do it, as they do NOT let you preview the apartment at all before signing a lease. You must sign a lease before you can look at a unit. On the tour you'll take coming to Pepperdine, they tell you how most first year students live on campus, which is true (<--edited and not entirely accurate), they tell you how convenient it is, which it is. What they don't tell you is how much it is, nor about the rules associated with living on there, nor about the stuff you'll be missing.

$1,700 per month per person, 4 people to an apartment. $6,800 a month for a 4 bedroom apartment. Ok, so for Malibu, if you spend time on apartmenthunters.com, etc. you realize that isn't a bad deal. However, what you find on apartment hunters can be basic to very nice for similar money to what you pay on campus. Something with more than 1 bathroom, and a more adequate kitchen. The campus apartments (George Page) are old, which is fine if they are updated and maintained, they however have not been. Repainting the units, doors, ceilings, appears to be optional, as I have a decade of stick-em on the ceiling and the door has remnants of moving notices stuck on it from 1999. The carpet is a 1970's dark blue color, which appears to be original industrial carpet, with zero padding underneath it. You have industrial carpet on concrete. There is also no dish-washer, which up to this point in my life I thought was standard equipment built into every kitchen built since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The included furniture is worthless. The couch is so uncomfortable it is literally useless. Most people use it for storage, one guy went out and bought his own couch, which isn't a bad idea. There is no A/C. So in the heat wave last month, it'd be 9 O'Clock at night and be 93 degrees in your bedroom.

The most unforgivable thing about living on campus is the rules and application thereof. Pepperdine is a dry campus, fine. There are 1,200 under grads living on campus I understand them not having booze on campus, however most law students living on campus are 23+. Again, I understand the rules, as it is a Christian school and benefactors require the whole campus to be dry. What I find egregious is that if you are caught to be in violation of this rule, the dean suite will report you to the bar as being morally unfit to serve as you are unable to follow university rules, a threat contained in an email received from an RA 3 weeks ago. The school will not tell the bar you brought beer on campus, or you had a member of the opposite sex after hours, but only you violated school rules, akin to an academic violation. I find this patently unfair as reporting you to the bar as morally unfit up to 3 years after an infraction sounds more like retaliation & vengeance rather than an objective opinion as to someone moral character.

All that aside, if you don't live on campus Pepperdine is a fantastic law school with a fantastic future, with great people. I encourage you to come to campus and take a visit.
Last edited by Gatriel on Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yoitsmebenny
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby yoitsmebenny » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:35 pm

Gatriel wrote:The school will not tell the bar you brought beer on campus, or you had a member of the opposite sex after hours, but only you violated school rules, akin to an academic violation.


Wait, can you really not have members of the opposite sex over "after-hours"?

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:45 pm

yoitsmebenny wrote:
Gatriel wrote:The school will not tell the bar you brought beer on campus, or you had a member of the opposite sex after hours, but only you violated school rules, akin to an academic violation.


Wait, can you really not have members of the opposite sex over "after-hours"?


Yes, correct.

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yoitsmebenny
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby yoitsmebenny » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:57 pm

Gatriel wrote:
yoitsmebenny wrote:
Gatriel wrote:The school will not tell the bar you brought beer on campus, or you had a member of the opposite sex after hours, but only you violated school rules, akin to an academic violation.


Wait, can you really not have members of the opposite sex over "after-hours"?


Yes, correct.

Man, Pepperdine is really killing itself for me...I think I would have a good shot at $$ there, and the location is amazing, but all this religiosity and crazy rules is really scaring me away.

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:36 pm

Don't let them. If you live off campus there are no crazy rules you are forced to abide by. There is no religiosity here, if you don't want it. Never has a class began or concluded with prayer, nor has any member of the faculty actively tried to convert people. There is more reference to Judaism than Christianity in class. If you want religion, its here for you, if you don't, then no biggie.

Pepperdine is a great school, with lots of excellent professors and excessively smart people. From what you say I assume you have visited the campus. If you are matriculated and you want to avoid the religion, don't live on campus, don't go CLS, and skip the 1 hour lecture during orientation on Pepperdine's religious history.

StyrofoamWar
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Re: Pepperdine 1L Taking Questions

Postby StyrofoamWar » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:03 pm

Fellow Pepperdine 1L here. Since there is some interest getting generated here by Gatriel's answers, I thought I'd chime in and offer another person's experiences with these and other parts of Pepperdine. I'm a somewhat older student who lives off campus in Santa Monica.

As far as on campus housing goes, I looked at it extensively before deciding it wasn't for me personally. However, the price is FULLY disclosed up front. To say that you are asked to sign a lease with no idea how much it will be costing is simply inaccurate. While I'm sure this was Gatriel's unfortunate experience, the information is available on the school's website for anyone to look at:

http://law.pepperdine.edu/admissions/housing/

Again, I did not end up living on campus because I thought it would be a good idea to have some distance between law school and my personal life. I really enjoy the 20 minute drive up the coast from Santa Monica to school every day, great chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.

As far as utilities, quality of buildings, etc go, Santa Monica tends to be on the older side. There are definitely some newer luxury high-rise style apartment complexes, but for the most part you have smaller complexes. A LOT of southern california near the ocean does NOT have A/C, since we're living in 70ish degree weather all year round. This is not unique to Malibu or Santa Monica. It was absolutely cooking (hottest temperatures ever recorded, 117 in downtown LA) earlier this semester. The library had AC blasting, which was nice, but it was steamy in my apartment for sure. I recommend buying a fan and hoping we don't break any more temperature records. On the whole, though, you'd be hard pressed to find better weather than Malibu (San Diego'd be a good place to look).

As far as the school regulations go, they are almost identical, if not exactly identical, to the rules associated with the undergraduate institution, which is similarly a dry campus. While this is more understandable for an undergrad institution in which the majority of students are underage, it also holds true at the law school. These regulations are likewise readily available on the Pepperdine website:

http://law.pepperdine.edu/academics/stu ... ntlife.htm

If you go to a mixer or social event on campus, they will not be serving booze. Like most people, I enjoy myself a good adult soda after a long day. Absent a desire to be drinking whilst studying, however, this rule is an absolute non-event and has had no effect on my day to day experience.

For the socially-inclined amongst us, our student bar association arranges weekly Bar Reviews at various bars throughout LA where they negotiate for open bars or good deals, etc so people can get out and have a good time on a budget after a long week at school. These usually get very good turnouts, particularly early in the semester. For a couple of the bigger events, they even provide shuttles to and from campus since the events tend to be in Santa Monica or Hollywood. Again, the school administration isn't paying for this, student associations take care of it. If you want to have a vibrant social life, the possibility is there. Around a month and a half before finals, this tends to die down as people get focused.

I have definitely noticed some shuffling of schedules across all three of the 1L sections (the class is split into 3 equally sized and randomly determined groups of students who share an almost identical schedule throughout the year). However, from what I can tell, at least a decent part of it has been due to professors going out of town to give talks or presentations about Pepperdine Law. The faculty have been very active in trying to continue spreading information about Pepperdine around the country to help with the peer review portion of the USNWR rankings. Is it a bit annoying to have to check your email a few times a week to see if you have a rescheduled class? Yes. Is it worth it if it ends up helping our ranking (and thus employment prospects) improve? In my personal opinion, without a doubt.

As far as getting out on time goes, some professors are very much guilty as charged. However, in my personal experience, all of my professors have been very understanding if you need to get up and step out of class or are a couple minutes late; they've all been there and held a class late and understand that sometimes making a particular teaching point doesn't end on a sixty minute schedule. This isn't high school where you need a hall pass to step out, it's professional school; if you need a cup of coffee or to take or make an important phone call, you step out and take care of it.

The entire day's schedule is also planned around a lunch period in the middle of the day (from 12:30-1:40PM) where there are NO classes, so you can always take care of any errands you have to run then as well. Personally, I like to just sit out on the patio behind the cafeteria and catch some sun and hang out with classmates, but know people who go grocery shopping, dr appointments, etc as necessary.

Anyways, I just wanted to get another person's experience out there with school and in particular with living off campus. If you have any questions, I'm happy to do what I can.




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