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.
ku1185
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:43 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:I am very good at budgeting. I always pack lunches in my apt here on the east coast (but mostly for fitness reasons as it's impossible to order a salad when i can get buffalo wings or pizza), but 2k a month is a lot. i live off of that minus a little bit in a very expensive part of manhattan.

the trick is don't take cabs, don't eat out all of the time and take women on well thought out creative dates.

also, this might sound really dumb, but i know cars are a huge status symbol in LA, and although i'm a student, i don't want to be seen as a poor loser. being that a cool car is substantially more expensive, would a motorcycle be dumb? i figure a motorcycle really complements my personality, and i love the free feeling of being one with the road. of course, i'm concerned about my safety.

as a former cab driver, i have licenses for everything (was thinking about doing truck driving at one point), and i've never been in an accident, but i know one bike crash and you're cake.


As I understand it, a car is a necessity in LA. You can't do anything without a car. This is both from experience of having frequently visited LA before I was old enough to drive and from what I've been told by people who moved out there from the east. Bikes might be a good idea though (it's much better for LA traffic due to lax motorcycle laws; carpool lane ftw).

Financial planning for law school would be made much, much easier if I could just sell my car. But I am told that it is not an option if I plan to live in LA.

On an unrelated note, I am thinking about living around Hawthorne or Gardena. Any thoughts on commuting from that area(I drove to USC from Torrance during rush hour and didn't find it too bad, but I'm afraid I may have just gotten lucky with the traffic)?

hwops23
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby hwops23 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:06 am

Does anyone know if the roommate matching provided by USC is only for Terrace Housing, or can you use it to find a roommate and live off-campus?

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:34 am

hwops23 wrote:Does anyone know if the roommate matching provided by USC is only for Terrace Housing, or can you use it to find a roommate and live off-campus?


From what I heard from a student ambassador, the roommate matching program is for students looking to live off-campus. The Terrace program is separate from the roommate matching program. This is copied directly from an email I received from a student ambassador:

"Once our deposits are collected (after May 1), we start a roommate list through the on-line portal. Admitted students who deposit will be able to post their profile and only people who complete the profile form will have access to the other names and information. We will ask a series of questions about preferences. It will be up to the admitted students to contact each other and talk. If the students decided they are compatible and decide to look for an apartment together, they can remove their profile."

Hope this helps.

gcmorrison
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby gcmorrison » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:17 am

what percentage of the 1L class have cars? And are there ways to get around LA without a car?

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:54 pm

gcmorrison wrote:what percentage of the 1L class have cars? And are there ways to get around LA without a car?


I can't answer your first question b/c I am not a USC 1L, but as a USC undergrad, I can say that a good portion of students do not have cars and manage to get around. Having a car is a huge advantage in LA and if you have the option of getting a car, you should, but if getting a car would impose a huge financial burden, I think you'll be fine without a car. USC has a zipcar program and also an Enterprise branch right on campus, so if you live near campus, you could always just walk over to Enterprise or a zipcar and rent a car if need be. USC also has a shuttle running from Union Station to the campus, so if you live near one of the subway or light rail lines, you could get that to Union Station and then take the free campus shuttle. That being said, LA's public transportation system is not great, and oftentimes, people have to take multiple buses to get to where they want to go. Just be sure to check on the LA Metro website for public transportation options before settling on a neighborhood to live in.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:32 pm

Puttanesca wrote:
gcmorrison wrote:what percentage of the 1L class have cars? And are there ways to get around LA without a car?


I can't answer your first question b/c I am not a USC 1L, but as a USC undergrad, I can say that a good portion of students do not have cars and manage to get around. Having a car is a huge advantage in LA and if you have the option of getting a car, you should, but if getting a car would impose a huge financial burden, I think you'll be fine without a car. USC has a zipcar program and also an Enterprise branch right on campus, so if you live near campus, you could always just walk over to Enterprise or a zipcar and rent a car if need be. USC also has a shuttle running from Union Station to the campus, so if you live near one of the subway or light rail lines, you could get that to Union Station and then take the free campus shuttle. That being said, LA's public transportation system is not great, and oftentimes, people have to take multiple buses to get to where they want to go. Just be sure to check on the LA Metro website for public transportation options before settling on a neighborhood to live in.


+1. Sound advice. We have a few non-car commuters, but I only know of 10 or so, and most of them live either downtown, or right near campus. LA is a very car-centric city, so even if you do not need one to get to and from school, you will definitely want one just to get around.

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iknownothing
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby iknownothing » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:27 pm

East coaster here, settling on USC as a final choice. :)

But I've been on this side of the country for my entire life, and I just can't wrap my mind around "one season." Does this really mean I can burn my winter clothes? What's the typical low in LA? Is it swelteringly hot in the summer?

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:13 pm

iknownothing wrote:East coaster here, settling on USC as a final choice. :)

But I've been on this side of the country for my entire life, and I just can't wrap my mind around "one season." Does this really mean I can burn my winter clothes? What's the typical low in LA? Is it swelteringly hot in the summer?

No it's not sweltering. I think NYC/DC are probably hotter in the summer. I don't live in LA but have visited - it gets cool at night but if you are used to feet of snow then 45 might not seem cool.

It barely rains but can get very windy.

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iknownothing
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby iknownothing » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:46 pm

JJDancer wrote:No it's not sweltering. I think NYC/DC are probably hotter in the summer. I don't live in LA but have visited - it gets cool at night but if you are used to feet of snow then 45 might not seem cool.

It barely rains but can get very windy.


Wow, okay. Thanks! :) Will start the winter coat fire now. I just hope I won't be blinding anyone around me with my pasty, sun-deprived skin.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:02 pm

JJDancer wrote:
iknownothing wrote:East coaster here, settling on USC as a final choice. :)

But I've been on this side of the country for my entire life, and I just can't wrap my mind around "one season." Does this really mean I can burn my winter clothes? What's the typical low in LA? Is it swelteringly hot in the summer?

No it's not sweltering. I think NYC/DC are probably hotter in the summer. I don't live in LA but have visited - it gets cool at night but if you are used to feet of snow then 45 might not seem cool.

It barely rains but can get very windy.


Ya it tends to be pretty constant, and there is pretty much no need for winter coats. I will also add we do generally have a couple truly "hot" days (95+)...but SoCal heat is a very dry heat, so it's much less terrible than it could be.

BTW...just had last day of classes for our 1L year!

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:28 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:BTW...just had last day of classes for our 1L year!

Congrats! Good luck for finals!

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:21 am

JJDancer wrote:
Arelikefoxes wrote:BTW...just had last day of classes for our 1L year!

Congrats! Good luck for finals!


Thanks! It's amazing how quickly Spring semester flew by...

SkinnyWhiteGuy
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby SkinnyWhiteGuy » Thu May 12, 2011 11:48 am

ku1185 wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:

On an unrelated note, I am thinking about living around Hawthorne or Gardena. Any thoughts on commuting from that area(I drove to USC from Torrance during rush hour and didn't find it too bad, but I'm afraid I may have just gotten lucky with the traffic)?



I am a 0L living in el segundo right now (which is right next to Hawthorne). My morning commuter bus (which you could probably get to from Hawthorne, depending where you live) gets to USC in about 25-30 min (8am-830am). A car drive is about 30-35 min from my same spot.

There are myriad bus systems in LA; they are semi-reliable. The trains are timely, however the blue line rail breaks down seemingly 2-3 times/month; additionally, the Pico stop (closest to USC) is over a mile from USC campus. Look up the Metro Silver Line bus, it runs straight to USC and goes down just east of Hawthorne, as I can recall.

As far as living in the South Bay goes, generally the closer to the water, the safer it is, and the more expensive it is. Hope that helps.

I do have a question for the 1+Ls: what is availability of scholarships like? As a 0L I have found I am ineligible for many scholarships due to the fact I am not in school (or, its because I'm a skinny white guy, ie. not a URM!). The whole 150K thing is a little unsettling and I intend to do something about that while I am in school... Is this reasonable?

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Thu May 12, 2011 6:08 pm

To current students:

Do you have any favorite/worst professors for 1L classes? (I know it probably depends on the section but still..)

porgie
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby porgie » Thu May 12, 2011 9:41 pm

SkinnyWhiteGuy wrote:I do have a question for the 1+Ls: what is availability of scholarships like? As a 0L I have found I am ineligible for many scholarships due to the fact I am not in school (or, its because I'm a skinny white guy, ie. not a URM!). The whole 150K thing is a little unsettling and I intend to do something about that while I am in school... Is this reasonable?

Scholarships are guaranteed throughout your 3 years at USC and I don't think they give out any new ones to current students, so if you don't have a scholarship coming into USC, I don't think you're going to somehow get one during your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd years. As for 0L scholarship consideration, the fact you're not currently in school shouldn't matter for scholarship consideration and they don't strictly go to URM students, either (I'm not a URM student and got a good-sized scholarship). I think like everything else in law school admissions, scholarships are mostly based on numbers (namely the LSAT).

What exactly do you mean that you "intend to do something about that while [you're] in school?"

If you're nervous about the cost of school, the best you can do is try to find paid jobs during your summers and during your 2nd and 3rd years, and try to minimize your COL expenditures. Hopefully, you'll do well enough to get a good SA position during your 2L year, though if you're being pragmatic, you shouldn't count on it since the odds are still against you in getting one. I dunno what else to tell you. Good luck, man.

JJDancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby JJDancer » Fri May 13, 2011 1:28 am

porgie wrote:
SkinnyWhiteGuy wrote:I do have a question for the 1+Ls: what is availability of scholarships like? As a 0L I have found I am ineligible for many scholarships due to the fact I am not in school (or, its because I'm a skinny white guy, ie. not a URM!). The whole 150K thing is a little unsettling and I intend to do something about that while I am in school... Is this reasonable?

Scholarships are guaranteed throughout your 3 years at USC and I don't think they give out any new ones to current students, so if you don't have a scholarship coming into USC, I don't think you're going to somehow get one during your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd years. As for 0L scholarship consideration, the fact you're not currently in school shouldn't matter for scholarship consideration and they don't strictly go to URM students, either (I'm not a URM student and got a good-sized scholarship). I think like everything else in law school admissions, scholarships are mostly based on numbers (namely the LSAT).
What exactly do you mean that you "intend to do something about that while [you're] in school?"

If you're nervous about the cost of school, the best you can do is try to find paid jobs during your summers and during your 2nd and 3rd years, and try to minimize your COL expenditures. Hopefully, you'll do well enough to get a good SA position during your 2L year, though if you're being pragmatic, you shouldn't count on it since the odds are still against you in getting one. I dunno what else to tell you. Good luck, man.


I thought this person was referring to outside schollies (not given by the school) ... but if he meant merit awards then yes, most are based on pure #s or some combo of #s, urm status, and potentially some INSANELY great soft.

*edited because my post got embedded in the quote. sorry.
Last edited by JJDancer on Fri May 13, 2011 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RedItalus10
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby RedItalus10 » Fri May 13, 2011 3:40 am

In your opinion, is commuting a viable option? I'm from Granada Hills. Probably would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours one way in traffic. 1/2 hour without traffic.

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Fri May 13, 2011 12:54 pm

RedItalus10 wrote:In your opinion, is commuting a viable option? I'm from Granada Hills. Probably would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours one way in traffic. 1/2 hour without traffic.


60-90 minutes each way is a pretty long commute, and if you have the option of moving closer, that would be a lot easier on you. I think especially since you will be driving, it will be difficult because you waste all that time. Those who take public transportation might be able to read or get some work done during their commute, but you would not be able to. I was originally planning on attending UCLA (but changed my mind at the last minute to USC) and would have faced a 45 minute each way commute had I gone to UCLA. I created a thread on commuting: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=154497 Maybe you can get some insight into long commutes from that thread. It seems like people have done long commutes and were still very successful in school, but if you can avoid it, that would be better.

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Stupendous_Man
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Stupendous_Man » Fri May 13, 2011 1:04 pm

JJDancer wrote:To current students:

Do you have any favorite/worst professors for 1L classes? (I know it probably depends on the section but still..)


Your 1L professors are chosen for you, and no one can really offer a good comparison since all they know is their own professor, and even then only for that specific subject. When you get your assigned professors though, it's really helpful to ask upperclassmen that had those professors how to do well in their class specifically. Feel free to send me your professors when you find out and I'll let you know if I had any of them (open invitation to anyone). You're also assigned two 2L mentors for your section of 18, and they try to make it so that your mentors had your professors, so they can send you their outlines and give you advice.

porgie wrote:Scholarships are guaranteed throughout your 3 years at USC and I don't think they give out any new ones to current students, so if you don't have a scholarship coming into USC, I don't think you're going to somehow get one during your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd years. As for 0L scholarship consideration, the fact you're not currently in school shouldn't matter for scholarship consideration and they don't strictly go to URM students, either (I'm not a URM student and got a good-sized scholarship). I think like everything else in law school admissions, scholarships are mostly based on numbers (namely the LSAT).

If you're nervous about the cost of school, the best you can do is try to find paid jobs during your summers and during your 2nd and 3rd years, and try to minimize your COL expenditures. Hopefully, you'll do well enough to get a good SA position during your 2L year, though if you're being pragmatic, you shouldn't count on it since the odds are still against you in getting one. I dunno what else to tell you. Good luck, man.


This is great advice. I do know a rising 3L who had no scholarship, then got one after he crushed his 1L year, but it's probably not something you can aim for, and it's not something USC advertises so I couldn't tell you the circumstances there.

RedItalus10 wrote:In your opinion, is commuting a viable option? I'm from Granada Hills. Probably would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours one way in traffic. 1/2 hour without traffic.


People do commute, some from pretty far away (40 minutes or so is the max I know about, from beach towns). It's doable, but there are some things to consider: You're going to be at school every day, M-F. That means if you have an hour commute each way, that's 10 less hours of sleeping/studying a week, and it's a sizable gas expense. Your finals will be at 9 am, and you'll have to be checked in and ready to go at 8:30 am (if you care about where you sit, you'll want to get there even earlier). You may have class at 9 am every day.

Weigh those negatives against the positives of living where you are now, like if you don't have to pay rent or you have a productive nurturing environment at home, and you can also alleviate some of the issues above by staying at a friend's, timing your commute well, etc. For me personally, I found that living near campus, at least my 1L year, was valuable.

aliasdancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliasdancer » Fri May 13, 2011 2:54 pm

what are the normal class hours for a 1L? Do they vary a lot by section?

Puttanesca
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Puttanesca » Fri May 13, 2011 3:42 pm

aliasdancer wrote:what are the normal class hours for a 1L? Do they vary a lot by section?


Found this on the USC Law website: http://lawweb.usc.edu/who/students/schedules/ It has the schedules of all the sections.

aliasdancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliasdancer » Fri May 13, 2011 6:24 pm

Puttanesca wrote:
aliasdancer wrote:what are the normal class hours for a 1L? Do they vary a lot by section?


Found this on the USC Law website: http://lawweb.usc.edu/who/students/schedules/ It has the schedules of all the sections.



Awesome, thank you!

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sat May 14, 2011 4:19 am

1L complete! I guess this thread has officially become a misnomer... :D

Congrats to all the other USC 1l lurkers!

RedItalus10 wrote:In your opinion, is commuting a viable option? I'm from Granada Hills. Probably would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours one way in traffic. 1/2 hour without traffic.


+1 on all the comments on this. Incidentally, I commute approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes each way (my wife and I live in Southern Orange County), and I know a few others who make similarly long commutes in our class. It's not unheard of, and it does not necessarily prevent you from doing well in school (but most of us take the train, which is much less difficult than travel by car since you can study on it).

aliasdancer wrote:what are the normal class hours for a 1L? Do they vary a lot by section?


Ya Puttanesca's resource will give you a sense of the class schedules in terms of hours. Scheduling-wise, basically, you be on one of three "tracks" with your supersection, which will either generally hold classes early, middle or later in the day. They tend to then shuffle this around the second semester in the spirit of fairness. If they can, they try to give everyone Fridays off (though some sections will be stuck coming in for research on those days for part of the semester.)

SkinnyWhiteGuy
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby SkinnyWhiteGuy » Sun May 15, 2011 3:48 pm

I was talkin bout outside scholarships. How many ppl that you know utilize these opportunities? There do not seem to be a lot out there, but they are substantial amounts. How competitive are they?

tothePAIN
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby tothePAIN » Sun May 15, 2011 4:00 pm

Checking in here. See everyone next year. Commuting about 16 miles.




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