Santa Clara 1L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
scu_2013
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 pm

Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby scu_2013 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:55 pm

Created a new user name for purposes of this thread.

Classes start on Monday, and I have absolutely zero motivation to start my readings, so figured I'd give back to all you curious 0Ls since I was in your shoes a year ago.

Shoot away.

uwgbluedevil
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:02 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby uwgbluedevil » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:10 am

How is the weather?

scu_2013
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby scu_2013 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:31 am

Weather is great. Between the time orientation started (early August), and Halloween, there were probably a total 5 cloudy days, 2-3 of which had rain. Now that it's more winter time, it's cloudy about 25-30% of the time, and rains every so often, but for the last 4-5 days it's been sunny blue skies and about 60 degrees, been driving around with my window down actually. But once in awhile overnight lows will hit around freezing, and highs will be in the high 40s.

During August/September average daily temps were in the mid 70s, every so often we'd get a couple days of 80s/90s, but then dropped back down to mid 70s.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby MrAnon » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:39 am

Got a job for next summer?

scu_2013
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby scu_2013 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:18 am

I'm honestly kind of slacking on the summer job front haha, grades just started to be posted this week, so I got the motivation to put together a couple cover letters and applied to about 10 places the past couple days. I'm planning to carpet bomb a ton of judges in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties early next week for potential externships, and also hit up the Prosecuting Attorney's offices for externship possibilities.

Also gonna spend most of the weekend putting together an excel spreadsheet of non-profits and local firms that are of interest to me, and make contacts on Monday.

toastpbj
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby toastpbj » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:40 am

Thinking about transferring here from another tier 2. Is it worth the tuition? How's the teaching quality? Is the atmosphere competitive? How is the career services dept? Do you like your classmates?

scu_2013
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby scu_2013 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:35 pm

Teaching quality for the most part is good. There are a couple profs here that I really look forward to continuing to take classes with, and there is one guy who I didn't get as my 1L con law prof, but I've talked to him a couple times at functions, and really look forward to taking him in my upper level elective courses. What I like about these profs, is that they are very young professors, in their first couple years of teaching. Their passion for teaching is still peaking.

These two professors alone, and the chance to really connect/learn from them, might keep me from applying to transfer up to Cal if my grades improve a bit in Spring and put me in a position to do so.

With that said, there are some heavy tenured professors who are obviously on the down-slide of their careers, and you can tell that the passion is kind of gone, and the classes are pretty boring and require a bit more work outside of class to really understand the material. However all the teachers are very open to office hours and going over materials outside the class-room, so that's been a bonus.


I wouldn't say the atmosphere is competitive at all, I was actually a little shocked at how social the students are. You obviously have your group of kids who take it way too seriously and make it super competitive, but for the most part there are tons of student initiated hang outs, bar nights, house parties, in-n-out runs, etc...

One knock against the school, the SBA doesn't really do much to initiate a social atmosphere, so it's kind of on the students to do it themselves. We only had like 2 bar reviews all Fall, I was expecting 1-2 a month, but maybe that's common at all schools, I dunno.


Career services seems ok, unless you are coming in on a full scholarship, they aren't going to bust their ass to find you a job. However, when I met with them last semester they did have knowledge of little known non-profits and firms in the area that I was unaware of that I think I would like to work for/volunteer at. So while they might not be a key to getting a job, they seem to be a great resource in being able to find job opportunities, if that makes sense.


Personally I like my classmates. I am not interested in IP law/big time private practice at all, so i'm a little bit of an outsider here, however most students are pretty social and outgoing. And if they are more the hardcore study type, they are still for the most part very social, friendly, etc... You will always have your little clique of kids who still have the college frat boy mindset, and the "i'm too good for this school/cant wait to transfer to cal/stanford" students, however these are very few. If you're open minded and make an effort you can make a lot of friends here.


I'm not really sure what you mean by "worth the tuition"? Compared to most law schools in the state, even with private tuition, I think you are getting a bargain here. In-state at Cal/Hastings/Davis I think is about as much, if not more than what you pay here, and I think out-of-state is around the 50K mark. I was lucky to get a decent scholarship, even though I'm not a URM, so I'm ok with it. I want to be an attorney, I really like the Bay Area, and I didn't get into Hastings, Davis, or Cal, so it was this, USF, or McGeorge; and I felt this was the best option considering scholarship, school, campus location, job competitiveness, etc...

It's also nice because all the other schools are at least an hour north of here, so Santa Clara has a nice little niche in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Finding jobs gets a little more competitive once you move north into San Mateo, San Francisco, etc... counties, but still very much possible.

toastpbj
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: Santa Clara 1L taking questions

Postby toastpbj » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:48 pm

Thanks for all the good information. By "worth the money" I mean currently I'm paying 15,000 for tuition, so santa clara would be significantly higher and I'm not sure how scholarships would work as a transfer. Since I would be transferring down in the rankings, I really want to make sure that the extra tuition is going to be worth the price. In some ways I know it will be as job prospects are going to be much better graduating from Santa Clara, but it's also important to me that the school has good professors and a good student atmosphere.

My school right now does a lot of fun events and the students have active lives outside of school, but with the school being made up of quite a few people who know each other from high school it can make for a bit of a cliquey environment. Plus, I do miss living in the bay area which is a huge factor.

Like you I need to see how my grades are next sem and take it from there. Thanks for all the great info! Very helpful.




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