USC 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Arelikefoxes
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USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:41 pm

I haven't seen any fellow Trojans sharing their knowledge/thoughts this year, so I figured I would start one up now that spring semester is under way. Any other TLS Trojans are welcome to chime in if I am stumped or they have differing opinions. TLSers -- fire away!



P.S. - Random cool fact: SC Justice Kennedy is coming in to teach my Con Law class this week! :shock:

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Knock
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Knock » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:45 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:I haven't seen any fellow Trojans sharing their knowledge/thoughts this year, so I figured I would start one up now that spring semester is under way. Any other TLS Trojans are welcome to chime in if I am stumped or they have differing opinions. TLSers -- fire away!



P.S. - Random cool fact: SC Justice Kennedy is coming in to teach my Con Law class this week! :shock:


Hey there. Any $ from USC? What schools did you choose USC over? How do you like USC's location?

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:37 am

Thanks for answering!
Are you a (so)cal native? If not, how did you find adjusting to the area/do you hang out with other OOS-ers or does everyone mix up pretty well even though there are a lot of LA natives?

Do you study at the library a lot? (I visited and it wasn't too pretty lol that whole law school building is subpar compared to others on campus...)

This is more for 2L/3Ls:
Did you/anyone you know receive a summer grant from the Office of Public Service/ PILF?
Heard they are given to 25 students every summer. $5000 for 1L summer. $6500 for 2L summer?
Are these impossible to get?
(1Ls can respond but didn't know if they would be knowledgeable about these.)

THANKS!

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:40 am

Knock wrote: Hey there. Any $ from USC? What schools did you choose USC over?


I did -- a bit more than a half-ride. I actually chose USC over UCLA (with a identical offer) and a few T10s.

JJDancer wrote:Are you a (so)cal native? If not, how did you find adjusting to the area/do you hang out with other OOS-ers or does everyone mix up pretty well even though there are a lot of LA natives?


They say it takes 10 years to "naturalize" to SoCal (though only 4 years to be unable to leave the due to the weather :D ), so at this point I'm just about there. I am originally from Northern California, but I came down here for undergrad. LA definitely has a lot of the benefits of a major city -- tons of activities, business, varied lifestyles, etc -- though in some ways, it's kind of like living on the internet: there is so much to do, but you have to know what you are looking for. The weather is amazing, and at least the legal community seems very warm and friendly. You probably want a car to get around (LA is a city built around cars). Oh and I don't know where you live, but LA is a pretty expensive place to live.

As far as the school itself, USC is not in the best of areas (pretty ghetto in some directions from campus), but it is close to downtown and the area immediately surrounding the campus (and the campus itself) is very beautiful. The people at the school are fantastic. There is very little competitiveness or cliques -- so long as you make an effort to be social, you will find that everyone is warm and friendly. We also have weekly bar reviews

JJDancer wrote:Do you study at the library a lot? (I visited and it wasn't too pretty lol that whole law school building is subpar compared to others on campus...)


Yes, it's a pretty ugly building. But actually, the inside is pretty nice, and the library is pretty pleasant to work in (lots of light, lots of spaces to work, etc.) I tend to avoid working too much in the library -- I feel I should take advantage of the excellent weather and study outside (especially in January :D ).

JJDancer wrote:This is more for 2L/3Ls:
Did you/anyone you know receive a summer grant from the Office of Public Service/ PILF?
Heard they are given to 25 students every summer. $5000 for 1L summer. $6500 for 2L summer?
Are these impossible to get?

From what I've heard, they are not impossible, but they are definitely competitive. I think the total number available varies year to year (20-30). I am not going that route for the summer, so I couldn't tell you very much about it, though if I were to guess, probably a fairly large chunk of the 1L class (maybe 30%) are interested in them.

Keep 'em coming!

renegade811
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby renegade811 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:37 pm

How many people at USC are looking to go into entertainment law of some sort?

jwmalone87
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby jwmalone87 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Thanks for doing this!

I noticed on USC's website, they have a roommate matching program for law students - did you (or anyone you know) take advantage of this? If not, where are you living and where do most of your classmates live?

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mr_toad
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby mr_toad » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:16 pm

What were your reasons for picking USC? Did you pick it over any more highly ranked schools and if so why? I'm drawn there by the idea of weather and with my numbers would have good odds at 75/90k, but with LA COL, ... well, you know.

Edit: just saw you did pick it over some higher-ranked schools. Why? Location? Money?

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:00 pm

renegade811 wrote:How many people at USC are looking to go into entertainment law of some sort?


There are a lot of students interested in entertainment law that come here, particularly since John Shulman (ex-GC of Warner Bros.) came on board to head the entertainment law program. We have a lot of classes aimed at the IP / entertainment fields (one of the deepest programs for that), and we even have a certification program in it (which basically is a core curriculum you can complete and get a "concentration" to put on your transcript.) USC also provides a lot of big-name speakers throughout the year that will come and talk to you about that career path, which is really helpful.

jwmalone87 wrote:I noticed on USC's website, they have a roommate matching program for law students - did you (or anyone you know) take advantage of this? If not, where are you living and where do most of your classmates live?


I did not take advantage of this program (most people who lived in LA previously did not), but I have some friends that did, and seem to be very happy with it. The process is somewhat similar to that matching in undergrad -- they will try to match you up by interests, lifestyle preferences, section, etc.

As far as places to live, there is a "law school" dorm, which seems seems to be very social and fun, but only open to around 50 1Ls. Most of the people I know avoided this route anyways because they wanted a more independent lifestyle and, as we learned in LSC, it's sometimes nicer to be able to get away from the law school environment, particularly around finals time. There are lots of apartments right around campus that are more of a mix of students, but are also very fun. Or you can go downtown, which some people do, which is a bit more metropolitan. Or, if you have a car and don't mind the commute, you can live near the beach in Santa Monica. However, the farther you are from campus, the less of the law school community you'll find there, and 1st years more of less have class five days a week, so living too far away can get pretty old fast. After your first year, you'll get a better feel for the city, and you'll learn what lifestyle will work best for you.

mr_toad wrote:What were your reasons for picking USC? Did you pick it over any more highly ranked schools and if so why? I'm drawn there by the idea of weather and with my numbers would have good odds at 75/90k, but with LA COL, ... well, you know.

Edit: just saw you did pick it over some higher-ranked schools. Why? Location? Money?


It was partly location, partly money, but also it was the school itself. I knew that I wanted to practice in SoCal, and in that sense, USC is sort of like a hyper-regional; it has probably a weaker national reputation than UCLA, but the Trojan Network of alums is really kind of amazing. I went to UCLA as undergrad, but had a lot friends at USC, and USC just fosters a different level of school pride and sense of community in all of their programs, which can be very valuable. USC has solid placement in all the major firms that have offices in SoCal, our school is not afraid to leverage off their alums to try to benefit their students. USC also tends to have a more professional-school feel than other highly-ranked schools that I visited, which at tended to have a more academic feel, which I liked.

Yes, LA is an expensive city, but so are many big cities...but I find it worth it. The weather is great, the city has a little bit of everything, and being at a top school within a big legal community is very valuable. Also, when I finally ran the numbers between the COL of USC vs. other cities/schools, the differences weren't nearly as significant as I instinctively thought, particularly when offset against the relative costs of the education. Besides, there is a reason why the COL is so high here...SoCal is pretty awesome ;).

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mr_toad
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby mr_toad » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:08 pm

Thanks! Similar things are tempting me too, or better said, will tempt me if they offer a lot of money...

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santoinettea
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby santoinettea » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:56 pm

Thank you for doing this! USC is my top choice.

I am still waiting to hear back from USC, but I have my fingers crossed. (I was invited to apply for the Rothman Scholarship, which was a little reassuring). Could you let me know when you heard back from USC? Also, were you offered a scholarship when they notified you of your acceptance?

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:31 pm

santoinettea wrote: I am still waiting to hear back from USC, but I have my fingers crossed. (I was invited to apply for the Rothman Scholarship, which was a little reassuring). Could you let me know when you heard back from USC? Also, were you offered a scholarship when they notified you of your acceptance?


First off, congrats -- you are in! I have been told that they only offer Rothman invites to people who are admitted (see last year's USC admission thread).

I am not very representative of the typical admit process. I actually heard back from the school in April (I applied at the very end of the cycle because I took the LSAT in February), and was only offered money later after negotiating between schools, since most of their scholarship fund was tied up that late in the cycle. Many of my friends received their scholarships with their admission, and some shortly after.

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santoinettea
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby santoinettea » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:57 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:
santoinettea wrote: I am still waiting to hear back from USC, but I have my fingers crossed. (I was invited to apply for the Rothman Scholarship, which was a little reassuring). Could you let me know when you heard back from USC? Also, were you offered a scholarship when they notified you of your acceptance?


First off, congrats -- you are in! I have been told that they only offer Rothman invites to people who are admitted (see last year's USC admission thread).

I am not very representative of the typical admit process. I actually heard back from the school in April (I applied at the very end of the cycle because I took the LSAT in February), and was only offered money later after negotiating between schools, since most of their scholarship fund was tied up that late in the cycle. Many of my friends received their scholarships with their admission, and some shortly after.


Thank you! Big sigh of relief haha. Also, thanks on providing this information! It's great to hear that your friends generally heard about scholarships early on. Congratulations to you and good luck!

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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:28 pm

Hey, thanks for taking ?s. My biggest one is what does hiring look like from USC right now? I know it says median income is 160k, but I also know a lot of schools have been blamed for being opaque in their reporting. I've been having this convo with some 1Ls and 2Ls from Vandy and UT. What is the general feel on the market? Do 3Ls have a lot of confidence? From what you've seen, does that 160k look legit.

Southern California is the Garden of Eden. No place I'd rather work. But I'm just worried about getting a job afterwards. Thanks.

renegade811
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby renegade811 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:57 pm

How is the cost of living? I'm sure it's relatively high, but is it possible to do things on a reasonable budget (housing, entertainment, etc.)?

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:12 am

renegade811 wrote:How is the cost of living? I'm sure it's relatively high, but is it possible to do things on a reasonable budget (housing, entertainment, etc.)?


I'm a USC undergrad (also admitted to the law school), so I thought I would jump in on this thread to answer this question. Cost of living is relatively high, but there are parts of LA that have reasonably priced housing (reasonable in LA terms). The Culver City/Palms area has decently priced housing - a friend of a friend got a 2 bedroom for $1400 (I don't know how common this is, though). Most non-USC owned apartments near USC are ridiculously priced (up to over $3000 for a 2 bedroom) or in terrible condition, so I wouldn't recommend living near the school. Downtown LA is also pretty expensive - around $1600-1800 at the lower end for a 1 bedroom and $2200+ for a 2 bedroom. If you look in areas around Culver City/Palms, you should be able to find something that is decently priced. I'm not sure what kind of entertainment options you had in mind, but for things like movies and amusement parks, the USC Ticket Office offers discounted tickets. So yes, it is possible to do things on a reasonable budget in LA.

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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:50 pm

And not that this matters, but how do tickets to sporting events work for students?

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:54 am

lisjjen wrote:And not that this matters, but how do tickets to sporting events work for students?


Well, undergrads use their USC ID for most sporting events (but I am not sure if it is the same for law students). I think most sporting events are free except for football.

thegrassisgreener
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby thegrassisgreener » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:12 am

jwmalone87 wrote:Thanks for doing this!

I noticed on USC's website, they have a roommate matching program for law students - did you (or anyone you know) take advantage of this? If not, where are you living and where do most of your classmates live?


from another USC 1L: I actually did use the roommate searching program and it worked out really well. While my roommate and I are not in the same small section its nice to have someone who understands that most of the time you aren't mad/ or anti social/ or depressed, you just have a lot of work to do and are just too busy to make small talk (the way only another law student could understand). I think that if you have the opportunity to meet with them for lunch or coffee before you move in together you will probably be fine.

A lot of students live downtown, I live mid-Wilshire (we have a 2 bed, 2 bath apt with a view for less than 2k/month), some 1Ls live in Terrace (I personally don't think its worth the price), and even a fair number of people living as far santa monica (though I wouldn't recommend going that far unless you are familiar with the LA area because of the long commute). Commuting is doable as a 1L, most people avoid afternoon traffic in the library or take the train, but you would have to be a morning person because you will have to leave early to get to class.

thegrassisgreener
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby thegrassisgreener » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:28 am

Puttanesca wrote:
lisjjen wrote:And not that this matters, but how do tickets to sporting events work for students?


Well, undergrads use their USC ID for most sporting events (but I am not sure if it is the same for law students). I think most sporting events are free except for football.


it is the same for law students, the only difference is that we have a cool sticker on the front of our ID that says "law"

I believe you have to buy basketball tickets as well, if my memory serves me correctly the season tickets for last year's football season were around $145, not sure how much individual games cost, but i do know you can buy tickets for individual games. Also you have the ability to "transfer" tickets from ID to ID, lets say if you want to give your friend your ticket, but i think there are restrictions on the number of transfers you are allowed (maybe even only 1/semester)

happygolucky
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby happygolucky » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:21 am

fellow USC 1L here, in regards to housing, a lot of my peers chose to live in Koreatown or in areas bordering Beverly Hills [to the Southeast] and managed to find comfortable housing for $600-900. Yes, the cost of living can be steep, but you can't go wrong with a city that caters to the busy law school lifestyle by having great 24 hour food options and an amazing nightlife [if you're into that kind of thing]. For the record, I am loving my first year experience at USC Law and cannot imagine a more collegiate atmosphere at any other law school. I believe that the small class sizes really make a difference because of the accessibility of professors and other academic/career services. IMO, USC Law is a great place to study law and does an amazing job of balancing the challenge of the first year curriculum with the excitement/enjoyment of starting down a new career path. To sum it up, I am very satisfied with my choice to attend USC Law.

mohuohu
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby mohuohu » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:55 pm

Hey guys...my decision letter from USC is in the mail right now, so I'm trying to learn more about the school so I know how excited/upset I should be when it arrives.

1: Do you know anyone doing a joint JD/MA degree? I was looking at the MA in International Relations as a possibility, but I'm not sure if it's realistic. The website says both can be done in three years, but I wonder if this is really feasible given the workload required for each degree.

2: How about deferring admission? I'm a finalist for a Fulbright, so it's possible I'll be out of the country next year. I'd like to have all the law school stuff settled so I can get straight to work without reapplying next year, though. Do you know anyone who has experience with this?

Thanks in advance.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:03 am

mohuohu wrote:Hey guys...my decision letter from USC is in the mail right now, so I'm trying to learn more about the school so I know how excited/upset I should be when it arrives.

1: Do you know anyone doing a joint JD/MA degree? I was looking at the MA in International Relations as a possibility, but I'm not sure if it's realistic. The website says both can be done in three years, but I wonder if this is really feasible given the workload required for each degree.

2: How about deferring admission? I'm a finalist for a Fulbright, so it's possible I'll be out of the country next year. I'd like to have all the law school stuff settled so I can get straight to work without reapplying next year, though. Do you know anyone who has experience with this?

Thanks in advance.


1. I don't have any experience with joint degrees here, but the AdComs seem to indicate that USC has good support for those programs. I have a couple friends taking the GMAT now trying to get their MBA, but I think the USC website has more info on it than I do.

2. I did not personally look into deferrals, nor do I know their formal policy. I did have a buddy who discussed deferrals when he was debating on whether to attend this year or not (he chose to attend), but they seemed to be willing to do so, and would offer him the same fin aid package. That said, he was a 75/75 percentile applicant...which may have made them more willing to entertain his deferral. That is something probably best discussed with Dean Reid.

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:19 pm

santoinettea wrote:Thank you for doing this! USC is my top choice.

I am still waiting to hear back from USC, but I have my fingers crossed. (I was invited to apply for the Rothman Scholarship, which was a little reassuring). Could you let me know when you heard back from USC? Also, were you offered a scholarship when they notified you of your acceptance?


Like foxes said, I've never heard of someone who got invited to apply for the Rothman and didn't get in, so I'd say you're pretty safe. I received my scholarship offer in a separate letter shortly after my acceptance. I don't remember when I heard back, but it was probably 2 weeks or so after I got the Rothman invite.

lisjjen wrote:Hey, thanks for taking ?s. My biggest one is what does hiring look like from USC right now? I know it says median income is 160k, but I also know a lot of schools have been blamed for being opaque in their reporting. I've been having this convo with some 1Ls and 2Ls from Vandy and UT. What is the general feel on the market? Do 3Ls have a lot of confidence? From what you've seen, does that 160k look legit.

Southern California is the Garden of Eden. No place I'd rather work. But I'm just worried about getting a job afterwards. Thanks.


As a 1L I have no idea what the market is like for 3Ls, but most 3Ls I've met seem to have gotten their offers from their 2L summers. I can tell you that if anyone is struggling for a job, it's not because they went to USC. Our career services office has been amazing; they host all kinds of meet-lawyers events, they hold your hand through the application process and make sure that you are always on track and looking good. Many 1Ls have jobs already, and most if not all at least have leads so far. I've yet to meet a 2L who did not have a 1L job, and our reputation/the trojan network is solid, so I'm not really worried.

Regarding housing, I would recommend visiting any potential neighborhoods. Test out the commute and ask yourself if it's something you'd be willing to deal with twice a day every day. Also ask yourself whether your neighborhood is somewhere you'd want to go home to, and if you can find someone else who's lived there, ask them questions. Downtown is nice because it's so convenient to get to school, which is where you're going most of the time, and half our bar reviews are down here. It's not as nice as some farther away places like Culver, Atwater, Silver Lake etc. but that's the balance you have to figure out for yourself. A friend of mine lives in Hermosa, and her place is amazing but you have to be down for that kind of commute.

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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:42 am

I have to say to OP, right now you're kind of my designated troll for USC. It's you v Rad Law (Vandy) v JazzOne (UT).

Or I guess it's Venice Beach (USC) v Jack White (Vandy) v barbecue brisket and hot wings (UT). Or perhaps Trojans v Longhorns v Commodores. I don't know.

That is all to say, this is a very tight decision and I am very appreciative of the input.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:12 pm

lisjjen wrote:I have to say to OP, right now you're kind of my designated troll for USC. It's you v Rad Law (Vandy) v JazzOne (UT).

Or I guess it's Venice Beach (USC) v Jack White (Vandy) v barbecue brisket and hot wings (UT). Or perhaps Trojans v Longhorns v Commodores. I don't know.

That is all to say, this is a very tight decision and I am very appreciative of the input.



Haha I'm happy to try to proselytize you. Though to be fair, If you are going to give us Venice Beach, you also have to give us Malibu, Sunset, and endless summers.... :wink:

Honestly, though, you should make the rounds and see which school feels right. I found that figuring out which "vibe" fit your personality was incredibly valuable to the decision-making process.




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