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.
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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:17 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote: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.


That's precisely what I'm going to do. I'm going to visit Vandy in a month, but they aren't giving me a very good scholarship so they're probably out (I've heard they don't negotiate). I'll be visiting Austin and L.A. this summer. I know classes will be out, but I'll still get some of the feel for the campus.

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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:21 am

New question. When it comes to matching, should I emphasize that if it costs the same I'll go to USC, or should I play it cool and act like they have to steal me from Texas?

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:12 am

lisjjen wrote:New question. When it comes to matching, should I emphasize that if it costs the same I'll go to USC, or should I play it cool and act like they have to steal me from Texas?


I chose the former...my general feeling is you are more likely to endear an AdCom by showing interest than playing "hard to get." AdComs review a lot of qualified candidates--why would they spend energy trying to woo someone who, by their own admission, is not that interested in coming?

But I used that strategy because I meant it. If you are not going to come without them doing better than matching, then you should ask for more. My other advice is to be patient - they have not yet started extending their merit scholarships yet (at least from what I hear), and it won't do you any good to negotiate before you/they know what their initial offer will be.

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lisjjen
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:58 am

Arelikefoxes wrote:
lisjjen wrote:New question. When it comes to matching, should I emphasize that if it costs the same I'll go to USC, or should I play it cool and act like they have to steal me from Texas?


I chose the former...my general feeling is you are more likely to endear an AdCom by showing interest than playing "hard to get." AdComs review a lot of qualified candidates--why would they spend energy trying to woo someone who, by their own admission, is not that interested in coming?

But I used that strategy because I meant it. If you are not going to come without them doing better than matching, then you should ask for more. My other advice is to be patient - they have not yet started extending their merit scholarships yet (at least from what I hear), and it won't do you any good to negotiate before you/they know what their initial offer will be.


Did it work? I mean, even if it costs 20k more, I'd go to USC. I just don't want to be stuck with an offer like Vandy's (their offer would put me in 40k more debt than UT and 40k less debt than UMich. So balancing quality with cost would mean Austin and going balls to the wall for prestige would mean Ann Arbor.)

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:01 pm

lisjjen wrote:
Arelikefoxes wrote:
lisjjen wrote:New question. When it comes to matching, should I emphasize that if it costs the same I'll go to USC, or should I play it cool and act like they have to steal me from Texas?


I chose the former...my general feeling is you are more likely to endear an AdCom by showing interest than playing "hard to get." AdComs review a lot of qualified candidates--why would they spend energy trying to woo someone who, by their own admission, is not that interested in coming?

But I used that strategy because I meant it. If you are not going to come without them doing better than matching, then you should ask for more. My other advice is to be patient - they have not yet started extending their merit scholarships yet (at least from what I hear), and it won't do you any good to negotiate before you/they know what their initial offer will be.


Did it work? I mean, even if it costs 20k more, I'd go to USC. I just don't want to be stuck with an offer like Vandy's (their offer would put me in 40k more debt than UT and 40k less debt than UMich. So balancing quality with cost would mean Austin and going balls to the wall for prestige would mean Ann Arbor.)


It did. I got them to go $15K over my offer at UCLA (which was over a half ride.) As I mentioned elsewhere, it seemed to me like USC is pretty transparent about their merit scholarship strategy. You can go on last year's LSN, and the size of their offers tended to always be in $15K increments , and matched "bands" of percentiles of applicants (75+/75+ percentile = $60-90K, 50+/75+=$30-60, etc....) My bet is that they probably will not negotiate with you much beyond your corresponding "band," but it is worth trying and might give you a slight boost.

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BushyPotter
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby BushyPotter » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:03 am

USC is a top choice, great school in CA blah blah blah, I just hate LA or the idea of living in LA. Someone tell me I'm stupid or am I justified for feeling this way? Did you struggle with this when you were deciding on what schools to go to? if so, what made you decide to get over it?

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:51 pm

BushyPotter wrote:USC is a top choice, great school in CA blah blah blah, I just hate LA or the idea of living in LA. Someone tell me I'm stupid or am I justified for feeling this way? Did you struggle with this when you were deciding on what schools to go to? if so, what made you decide to get over it?


0L here, but what makes you hate the idea of living in LA? It's rather the opposite for me =P.

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby mr_toad » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:53 pm

ku1185 wrote:
BushyPotter wrote:USC is a top choice, great school in CA blah blah blah, I just hate LA or the idea of living in LA. Someone tell me I'm stupid or am I justified for feeling this way? Did you struggle with this when you were deciding on what schools to go to? if so, what made you decide to get over it?


0L here, but what makes you hate the idea of living in LA? It's rather the opposite for me =P.


And why would you apply there if you can't stand the thought of living there?

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:44 pm

I have a couple of questions:

1) What % of people get money depending on their stats? I have their median LSAT and 75th+ GPA, and I've read that people in this range will tend to receive $30-$60k, but do most people in that range money? (I also realize that percentiles depend on entering class). Also, how generous are they for need-based aid? USC would easily be my top choice with a little money and will likely remain as my top choice even if I get into some higher ranked schools.

2) Could anyone comment on how far one would have to live to get relatively cheap rent? I would like to keep rent to a minimum but don't want to have a terribly long commute (15-20 minute drive would be ideal). Also, are "earthquake proof" buildings considerably pricier than older, non-earthquake proof buildings (never experienced an earthquake, and now I'm pissing my pants in light of the disaster in Japan).

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby lisjjen » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:45 pm

BushyPotter wrote:USC is a top choice, great school in CA blah blah blah, I just hate LA or the idea of living in LA. Someone tell me I'm stupid or am I justified for feeling this way? Did you struggle with this when you were deciding on what schools to go to? if so, what made you decide to get over it?


Why? It's like NY, but with miles of sandy beaches that stay warm year round.

And if you get tired of those sandy beaches, Mexico is a couple of hours away. And if you get tired of sandy beaches in general, just drive into the mountains and go snowboarding.

Oh dang. I think I've made my mind up on where I'm going.

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:55 pm

BushyPotter wrote:USC is a top choice, great school in CA blah blah blah, I just hate LA or the idea of living in LA. Someone tell me I'm stupid or am I justified for feeling this way? Did you struggle with this when you were deciding on what schools to go to? if so, what made you decide to get over it?


I have a few thoughts on this:

(1) In choosing a school, you should really research where grads end up working. As I mentioned before, most USC law grads end up working in Southern California. If you hate living in Southern California, or can't see yourself working there after you graduate, I would say that USC probably does not make sense for you.

(2) I actually moved to Southern California for undergrad (UCLA), which was at this point a fair number of years ago, but I had the same initial hesitations. However, I ended up finding Southern California to be a better match for me than I anticipated. You need to do better research than just having an preconceived "idea" about a place be your sole driver for decision-making. You should take the time to visit a place (and not just the school), talk to people from there, and try your best to get a feel for the actual pros and cons associated with it. Obviously, easier said than done, but here are my observations since I came down to SoCal (bearing in mind they are highly subjective):

-LA is a busy city, much like any big economic hub. However, unlike cities like New York, it does have the "California" influences that make it seem a little softer and more welcoming. I have always found there is something to do, no matter your interests.
-You are not as removed from nature as you would think (which was always important to me)...you just have to make it a point to go there. There is a surprising amount of camping, hiking and outdoor activities within 45 minutes to an hour from downtown.
-LA is a massive sprawl of a city. You really need to have a car here, and traffic can be terrible. There are a lot of places that are beautiful and fun, and places that are not very nice. As with any city, you take the good with the bad.
-LA does not have a very distinct sense of "community" in a "know your neighbors" sort of way. You really end up forging your own community through your interactions all across town.
-If your concern is more long-term (IE I don't want to live/raise a family in LA forever), SoCal offers a lot of variety. There are three major BigLaw markets that USC places well in (LA, OC, and SD), and all three offer very unique lifestyles. You should check them out too to see if they are more what you were looking for.
-Real Estate in SoCal is very expensive (still) -- good food, however, is not. ;)
-The weather really is as great as they claim it is, and for the most part, I have found SoCal people to be generally very happy.
-Much of how "good" a place is to live depends on the attitude you take to it, and how hard you are willing to work to make a happy life for yourself.

lisjjen wrote:Why? It's like NY, but with miles of sandy beaches that stay warm year round.

And if you get tired of those sandy beaches, Mexico is a couple of hours away. And if you get tired of sandy beaches in general, just drive into the mountains and go snowboarding.

Oh dang. I think I've made my mind up on where I'm going.


Lol.

ku1185 wrote:I have a couple of questions:

1) What % of people get money depending on their stats? I have their median LSAT and 75th+ GPA, and I've read that people in this range will tend to receive $30-$60k, but do most people in that range money? (I also realize that percentiles depend on entering class). Also, how generous are they for need-based aid? USC would easily be my top choice with a little money and will likely remain as my top choice even if I get into some higher ranked schools.

2) Could anyone comment on how far one would have to live to get relatively cheap rent? I would like to keep rent to a minimum but don't want to have a terribly long commute (15-20 minute drive would be ideal). Also, are "earthquake proof" buildings considerably pricier than older, non-earthquake proof buildings (never experienced an earthquake, and now I'm pissing my pants in light of the disaster in Japan).


1) It is very hard to answer whether most people in your situation receive money or not, as very few people discuss/advertise this. LSN can also be misleading. I know it's a stressful time right now (IE before the offers come out), but I would probably just advise you to hold on for the next few weeks and wait to hear from them. As I mentioned before, it is unclear how much need-based aid they give as they do not separate it out, but the majority seems to be merit-based (or some combination thereof.)

2) Depends what "relatively cheap" means. LA is a pretty expensive city for rent, but there are places available that can accomodate most price ranges. However, you get what you pay for, and there are lot of factors that can affect a property's price (IE location, age, amenities, etc.) Also , it's not really a question of "how far" -- there are several LA "hotspots" throughout the county that will demand a higher price the closer to them you get (IE the entire West Side, Old Town Pasadena, SilverLake, WeHo., etc. -- each of which is a different desirable "market.") My advice for people looking for a place is to do some driving to teh various neighborhoods to see where they would be willing to live, and try to find good deals on Craigslist (which has a fairly active community in LA.)

Nearly all apartments in SoCal are retrofitted for earthquakes (earthquakes have been a part of our history since the city was founded), and I can't recall ever seeing a place that marketed itself as "earthquake-retrofitted." But if you genuinely concerned about earthquakes, sure, ask your landlords and avoid super-old buildings that were not retrofitted. But being afraid of Earthquakes is kind of like being afraid of less-frequent tornadoes/hurricanes/blizzards/erosion/general precipitation that "threaten" everywhere else in the US.
Last edited by Arelikefoxes on Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ku1185
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:56 am

You're awesome foxes =D. Very helpful.

I had another question that I'm having trouble finding out more information about. I plan on speaking with someone at USC to discuss this, but perhaps you can help me in the meantime.

How would one go about joining a clinic? Specifically, I'm very interested in the Intellectual Property and Technology clinic (that kind of work is what I'm going to law school for). Do you know anybody who joined a clinic at USC? Can you say anything about what they thought about the whole experience?

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:09 pm

ku1185 wrote:You're awesome foxes =D. Very helpful.

I had another question that I'm having trouble finding out more information about. I plan on speaking with someone at USC to discuss this, but perhaps you can help me in the meantime.

How would one go about joining a clinic? Specifically, I'm very interested in the Intellectual Property and Technology clinic (that kind of work is what I'm going to law school for). Do you know anybody who joined a clinic at USC? Can you say anything about what they thought about the whole experience?


Glad to help. :D

We are actually in the process of hiring for clinics for the summer right now. Here's the general breakdown of how they work (to the extent that I know):

(1) You can't do a clinic during your 1L -- like most law schools, you are not allowed to work during your first year (nor would I really recommend it.)

(2) Hiring for the clinics for the 1L summer starts in early March. Because these are paying jobs, they are actually pretty competitive, and there are few spots for 1Ls, primarily because you don't really know enough to be really valuable to the programs yet. You commit for a full year (Summer - Spring.) They are supposed to be AMAZING experiences -- a lot of really good hands-on exp (I would have gone for one had I not been SA-ing....if that can be verb.) From the initial pool of applicants, I think they interview 10-20 for each, depending on the number of 1L spots available, which varies year-to-year. I have friends who are currently interviewing for the Small biz clinic and the IP clinic.

(3) After that, I believe the next hiring cycle takes place just before your 2nd semester of 2L. This commitment starts in Spring, and is another year-long commitment, but only during the school year (I think you can elect to stay for the summer, but most don't due to SA commitments. There are more spots at this point than in your 1L.

(4) EVERYONE I have talked to who has been a part of a clinic has said it was one of their favorite things they did during their time in LS. ;) My one piece of advice that I can think of to help you potentially get an edge is to figure out who the managing faculty is for that clinic (each is run by a different professor), and go talk and make yourself known to them during your 1L.

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:59 pm

I know all you 0Ls are waiting anxiously for the merit scholarship offers to come in, but we are starting to get busy in spring semester, so I figured I would preempt a number of questions that you will probably want to ask (and can’t be easily found out elsewhere) that are specific to USC. I’ll start this one off with more general/academically-focused questions that I wanted to ask during my 0L. I'll try to think of more as time goes on, but feel free to throw anything else out there. Other 1Ls feel free to chime in/add anything you want. Off the top of my head:

(1) What is it like being a 1L at USC?

It’s hard to generalize, but I have honestly really enjoyed myself. USC can be a lot of work and stressful at times (like all law schools), but the environment we have is honestly very friendly and low-key. The school really does a good job of hand-holding during the first few weeks to make for an easy transition, and programs like our orientation (which was week-long) and the ASIST tutors really help familiarize you with the school and advise you on the “law school process” early on (though, as TLSers, you will have heard a lot of it before.) I have also been blown away at how many opportunities to engage the legal community outside of the classroom USC provides to its students. Whether it’s lectures from big name attorneys (or SC justices ;)), student organizations, or clinics/outreach programs, it seemed like every week there was something worth going to. That said, you have to be pretty judicious with what you go to in your 1L (as your free time is limited), but there a lot of great things to keep you busy during your lunch hour. Our school also has a lot of social events for the law school at large (Bar Review is on Thursdays, and always good fun), or other local schools.

(2) What is the general curriculum your first year?

Like most schools, USC has a fixed curriculum for your 1L. At orientation, you will be randomly placed into one of 13 or so “sections”. I think they try to get a good cross-section of the GPA/LSAT makeup of the class as a whole in each section. Basically, the approx. 15-20 people in your section will be in all of your classes with you. This will also be your only classmates in your legal writing and research class. These sections are then generally blocked into “super-sections” of 4 sections, which will be your core of classmates for your substantive law classes throughout 1L. One class (LLV) combines only two sections from the supersection. What this effectively means is that there are three different “super-sections” in which all the students share the same schedules and many of their classes together. Although this means you become somewhat isolated from a large part of the 1L class during that first year, sharing most of your classes with the same people means you get to be really close with all of them. This is probably not unique to USC.

Your 1st semester here you take 5 classes (6 if you count LW and research separately) – Contracts, Torts, CivPro, LLV and LRW. Not surprisingly, the class schedules were pretty heavy when you are in there, but the admin tries to give most sections a 4-day week (at least for one semester), which is REALLY nice. Most classes (outside of LRW) will be taught in the Socratic method, but how rigid/painful that really is depends greatly on your professor. All my professors have been great so far.

Second semester you’ll continue LRW, and take Con Law, Crim, Legal Profession, and Property. For some reason, 2nd semester is much more relaxed in terms of class participation – which is a double-edged sword if you are prone to not do the readings. The first half of second semester is particularly relaxed – I think it’s because they are sensitive to the whole job search/interview process that goes on that time.

(3) What the heck is LLV?

LLV (or “Law, Language and Values”) is a mandatory course your first semester that is unique to USC. The class basically covers statutory interpretation and adjudication theory: basically, how to go about piecing together an answer to “hard” legal questions (eg. Does selling a gun to buy drugs constitute violation of a statute attaching greater penalties is a drug dealer “uses” a gun during a drug transaction?)

The class itself has a fair number of (ungraded) papers, and a lot of reading, most of which is very esoteric. The general feeling about this class is very mixed – some people really dislike it, but others find it valuable. I personally thought the class was a good addition to your core 1L curriculum. I honestly was not very good about reading, but I think the class does a solid job of introducing you to “general legal theory,” and teaching you a solid framework for raising legal arguments (which becomes valuable especially during finals.) My professor also really impressed me – it is really hard to corral a socratic discussion when the concepts are so broad, but he managed to get the point across.

My advice in this class is to not sweat the readings, follow your professor’s recommendations for organizing for your papers (it really does help), and listen to the comments you get back – it will pay off come finals time. It’s also the only class where all professors use the same final. As a side note, the general consensus was that the multiple choice part of the final was INSANELY hard (citing obtuse references) – but worth very little of your overall grade, so don’t sweat it.

(4) How are grades awarded? How tight is the curve?

So, all your 1L classes at USC are curved to a 3.3 (a B+). USC does not rank its students (other than letting people know that they are in the top 10%.) You can look up the fixed variance somewhere on their website, but it won’t do you much good in estimating what a GPA translates to in terms of ranking (nor will USC let you approximate it for your resume.) Grades are awarded in increments of 1/10ths of grade points, which is how they get their variation, but the actual letter grades are fairly generous (A- = 3.5). The curve itself is pretty stressful as a measurement tool, but that's pretty universal to all LSs. While a lot of people complain about not being ranked, but I don’t think it really matters; almost all employers (particularly those in OCI) are aware of the curve, deal with many USC grads, and will be able to place you. l

(5) Does it suck that Legal Writing is graded?

A lot of people complain about this, mostly because it is fairly subjective and it requires you to put a lot of effort into the papers that don’t have the same requirements elsewhere (or if they got a bad grade in it, and it is worth 5 total units over the year.) However, having the class graded means you put more effort into it, and subsequently, makes you a better legal writer/researcher. USC grads are very well-respected as legal writers out in practice, and really, it is the most practical class (and in my opinion the most valuable skillset) you will learn in your first year. Also, anecdotally, it seems that there is a pretty high correlation between success in LW and success in other classes, so I don’t think that it generally “drags down” anyone’s GPA too significantly.

(6) What advice do you have about the 1L summer job search at USC? What is everyone doing?

There is a lot of good material on TLS for advice on finding 1L jobs, so I will defer to them on the broad strokes. USC has a number of events to help put you in contact with employers, include spring OCI, IP career day, or Small- and Mid-sized firm career day, and a number of more informal hiring events. We also get bi-weekly emails for other hiring opportunities. 1L summer hiring is far from over this year, but so far there a few general categories that have emerge:

-judicial externships – there are a lot of 1Ls going this route, ranging from 9th Cir. spots to specialty courts. In general, these people started early (before the end of 1st semester), and the more prestigious the court, the better their 1st semester grades were. Most of these jobs involve taking the initiative yourself and submitting to judges cold. If you are worried about your competitiveness in the LA market, consider applying to Orange County and (if you are willing) Riverside courts.

-small-mid law- these make up a large portion of our class, and range widely from BigLaw-esque SAs (at market rates) to single-person shops that are unpaid. Obviously, the latter is more common, but these jobs tend to be found either through the more formal hiring events or through person connections.

-in-house work - a lot of in-house opportunities have started to crop up at USC through every hiring venue, and a lot seem to be in entertainment or technology.

-Clinics / RA – as I mentioned above, these jobs can be pretty competitive (the clinics I think more than the RA positions), but they represent an interesting paid summer position through the school, and will lead to good letters of rec.

-BigLaw SAs – Like anywhere, these are extremely rare. We had a few hires out of OCI and a few from other sources, but I can’t imagine that there are more than 10 or so in our class so far.

(7) What does everyone do for fun (IE when not studying)? Any recommendations?

Like I mentioned before, LA is a big city with a lot to do. 1L is pretty hectic, but most people here still make time to explore the city a bit, go to clubs/bars, hike, bike or surf. My recommendations:

-Make use of the good weather. Whether you are just studying outside on campus, or escaping to the beach, the sunlight can do wonders to lower your stress level. I make it a point to study outside at least 1-2 hours a day.

-The food/bar scene in Los Angeles is amazing. I am not a big clubber (though I head there are good clubs too), but the sheer variety and quality of food and drink in this city is fantastic. It would be a disservice to yourself if you stuck only to chain restaurants and bars.

-Get to Malibu/Topanga Canyon. The first time I took the 30 minute drive up the coast there, and then went hiking up in TC, I was blown away at just how beautiful this area can be. Zuma beach on a weekday can definitely make you think long and hard about giving up law and just surfing every day.

-Take a pilgrimage to Las Vegas if you have not been. I am not a fan myself, but I think most people have spent at least one weekend in Sin City.

-Don’t be afraid to get out of the city. If you are getting stressed, take a weekend off and go see some of the sights that SoCal has to offer. Some of my recommendations include Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Palm Springs, Julian, or San Onofre. Or hop on to a SW flight for $40 and check out the Bay Area. At the risk of sounding like one of those cheesy California tourism ads, I really do love CA, and there is a lot it has to offer.


*Sorry for any typos, etc....and let me know if you have any questions. -Foxes

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:09 pm

ku1185 wrote: Specifically, I'm very interested in the Intellectual Property and Technology clinic (that kind of work is what I'm going to law school for).


Incidentally, as a fellow non-engineering student who had considered IP law prior to attending, I wanted to let you know that I found an interesting loop-hole that would let you take the patent bar without a science background. Basically, the patent bar requires either (1) an engineering/science degree from their approved "list", or (2) passage of the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) test. The FE exam tests basic engineering understanding, but has some really good test prep books out there. However, the catch is that nearly all states require either the equivalent of a BS in engineering in terms of classes, or 3-7 years experience working in an engineering capacity. The one state that doesn't is Michigan, which has NO prerequisites to sit on the FE exam. If you pass, though, there is reciprocity with all states, so you are then considered qualified to take the patent bar in state. So, if you have a desire to take that test, are good at standardized tests (which I presume you are) and think you can learn engineering from a book, it will cost you a flight to Michigan.

Now, I ultimately decided against it, both because (1) I ended up being more interested in corporate transaction law, and (2) I was skeptical that people would take me seriously without a "serious" science background even if I passed the patent bar (I had a very soft major in UG.) But food for thought.

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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby ku1185 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:31 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:
ku1185 wrote: Specifically, I'm very interested in the Intellectual Property and Technology clinic (that kind of work is what I'm going to law school for).


Incidentally, as a fellow non-engineering student who had considered IP law prior to attending, I wanted to let you know that I found an interesting loop-hole that would let you take the patent bar without a science background. Basically, the patent bar requires either (1) an engineering/science degree from their approved "list", or (2) passage of the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) test. The FE exam tests basic engineering understanding, but has some really good test prep books out there. However, the catch is that nearly all states require either the equivalent of a BS in engineering in terms of classes, or 3-7 years experience working in an engineering capacity. The one state that doesn't is Michigan, which has NO prerequisites to sit on the FE exam. If you pass, though, there is reciprocity with all states, so you are then considered qualified to take the patent bar in state. So, if you have a desire to take that test, are good at standardized tests (which I presume you are) and think you can learn engineering from a book, it will cost you a flight to Michigan.

Now, I ultimately decided against it, both because (1) I ended up being more interested in corporate transaction law, and (2) I was skeptical that people would take me seriously without a "serious" science background even if I passed the patent bar (I had a very soft major in UG.) But food for thought.


Hmm. I was leaning more toward soft IP since I'm mainly interested in the internet and the various issues associated with it (copyrights and licenses, privacy, etc.). I care about patent issues as well but I understand that it would be very difficult to get into for someone in my position. But it's good to know that there are option. =D

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Zabini
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Zabini » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:05 am

Hey, just got into USC today! I've got a couple questions, if you would.

1. We all know that USC is v. strong in So. Cal, but how does placement look in the Bay Area? Obviously that's a competitive market to begin with but I'm curious how far the Trojan Family extends.

1a. On a related note, do you have any sense of how USC stacks up against UCLA in the Bay Area? What about in both CA markets vs. mid-low t14 schools (specifically MVP, Duke and GULC)?

2. Does anyone have any sense of what sort of $ i may be looking at as a 3.4/170 URM? There is an unfortunate dearth of numbers twins for me to compare with on LSN.

Thanks so much!

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:06 pm

Zabini wrote:1. We all know that USC is v. strong in So. Cal, but how does placement look in the Bay Area? Obviously that's a competitive market to begin with but I'm curious how far the Trojan Family extends.

1a. On a related note, do you have any sense of how USC stacks up against UCLA in the Bay Area? What about in both CA markets vs. mid-low t14 schools (specifically MVP, Duke and GULC)?

2. Does anyone have any sense of what sort of $ i may be looking at as a 3.4/170 URM? There is an unfortunate dearth of numbers twins for me to compare with on LSN.

Thanks so much!


Congrats!

1/1a. I don't have much hard data on any of this, but here are the my intuitions. As I said before, the strong sense is that the home-field advantage goes to Berk/Stanford in the BA. That said, I know that there are a number of Trojans who are working in the Bay Area, so it's not like it's impossible. My bet is that UCLA (which is less regional) places a little better USC in the BA, and that USC (as a respected CA school) places better than some of the lower t14 schools by way of geographic desirability. USC has the best placement of any school in LA area, hence it's reputation as a "hyper-regional". I am sure you can do more research as to the specific comparisons you are interested in...but bear in mind that finding out which is "best" is somewhat hard to get quantifiable answers, since there are self-selection biases, mitigating factors in individual candidates, etc. I know that the majority of USC OCI's presence is from SoCal offices, but most BigLaw firms will also consider you for other offices if they have them...but I imagine that it is less likely that you will be meeting/interviewing with the decision-makers in those offices. In smaller firms / public interest, there is probably less of a presence (though this would all also be true of UCLA.)

2. I have no clue. Strong LSAT, low GPA, URM status...taking a wild guess, I would probably say in the 30K-60K range, but it will largely depend on the make-up of the applicants this year. Aren't the offers coming out in the next few days? You'll get your answer then.

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predent/prelaw
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby predent/prelaw » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:02 pm

How are the entertainment law prospects out of USC really? Like do you just work in big law and prey you get in that division or do people ever go LS-> in house for networks?

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:16 pm

predent/prelaw wrote:How are the entertainment law prospects out of USC really? Like do you just work in big law and prey you get in that division or do people ever go LS-> in house for networks?


No, BigLaw is only one way to get into entertainment law. There are a large number of mid- to small- firms that specialize in entertainment. In fact, a majority of biglaw firms do not have an "entertainment" department, and tend to represent their entertainment-style work as it pertains to straight corporate/IP/lit work. It is my understanding that most representation-based entertainment law is not dealt with by BigLaw.

As a 1L, I can't give what the job prospects are "really" like, but I can say that it seems like USC has the largest number of grads, programs, classes and speakers in Entertainment law (at least, in LA-based entertainment..)

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predent/prelaw
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby predent/prelaw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:14 pm

Ok all of my friends out there live in weho so could I live closer to there like in park la brea first year or do you want to be closer also do you purchase a parking pass?

aliasdancer
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby aliasdancer » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:22 am

can you speak at all to how good the alumni network is in San Diego?

mohuohu
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby mohuohu » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:12 am

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

Can you talk about the sense of community at USC? This is an important consideration for me...one of the things I really liked about IU:B is the close-knit student body. That situation is largely due, I'd guess, to the proximity of the housing to the school itself.

Since USC is definitely a commuter school, how close are the relationships between the students generally? Do people tend to hang out a lot or do they leave school and not see one another outside of the law environment? Are bar reviews the only group activities or does everyone genuinely seem to like each other?

I ask partly because I'm not at all from California, so it's important to me to have a built-in social group.

Arelikefoxes
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Arelikefoxes » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:42 pm

predent/prelaw wrote:Ok all of my friends out there live in weho so could I live closer to there like in park la brea first year or do you want to be closer also do you purchase a parking pass?


Sure, you can live in Park Brea your first year. There are pros and cons in living away from campus (harder to get to campus, less "in" the law community vs. being in a nicer apt, having a "refuge" away from the stress, etc.) It's really a judgment call. As a (hyper)commuter myself, I can say it does not necessarily hurt you to live away from campus so long as you stay focused on school. If you are not a good public transportation line to and from campus (Brea is not), definitely get a parking pass.

aliasdancer wrote:can you speak at all to how good the alumni network is in San Diego?


Speaking anecdotally, quite good. From what data I have read, USC has the best placement in the Southern California market, which include LA, OC and SD.

mohuohu wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

Can you talk about the sense of community at USC? This is an important consideration for me...one of the things I really liked about IU:B is the close-knit student body. That situation is largely due, I'd guess, to the proximity of the housing to the school itself.

Since USC is definitely a commuter school, how close are the relationships between the students generally? Do people tend to hang out a lot or do they leave school and not see one another outside of the law environment? Are bar reviews the only group activities or does everyone genuinely seem to like each other?

I ask partly because I'm not at all from California, so it's important to me to have a built-in social group.


One of the reasons I came to USC was the small class size, which fosters a more close-knit (and less caustic) community than larger schools. As I mentioned before, I have been amazed at how nice and friendly everyone has been...though bar reviews are nice, they are definitely not the main form of interaction with other law students. Not only are the students great, but I am on a first-name basis with all my professors and most of the staff. That said, your community is always what you make of it, and it isn't like you will be partying every night -- law school is pretty busy, after all :wink: .

I also wouldn't say USC is "definitely" a commuter school -- a large portion of people live near campus, particularly in their first year. The people who do not are generally people who have already been living in the area, and have an independent social scene that they are also a part of. L.A. is a big city, but the law school community is very solid.



As a cool side note, The CA Court of Appeals is conducting their docket at our school today so we can sit in and watch!

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Zabini
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Re: USC 1L Taking Questions

Postby Zabini » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:13 pm

Arelikefoxes wrote:
Zabini wrote:1. We all know that USC is v. strong in So. Cal, but how does placement look in the Bay Area? Obviously that's a competitive market to begin with but I'm curious how far the Trojan Family extends.

1a. On a related note, do you have any sense of how USC stacks up against UCLA in the Bay Area? What about in both CA markets vs. mid-low t14 schools (specifically MVP, Duke and GULC)?

2. Does anyone have any sense of what sort of $ i may be looking at as a 3.4/170 URM? There is an unfortunate dearth of numbers twins for me to compare with on LSN.

Thanks so much!


Congrats!

1/1a. I don't have much hard data on any of this, but here are the my intuitions. As I said before, the strong sense is that the home-field advantage goes to Berk/Stanford in the BA. That said, I know that there are a number of Trojans who are working in the Bay Area, so it's not like it's impossible. My bet is that UCLA (which is less regional) places a little better USC in the BA, and that USC (as a respected CA school) places better than some of the lower t14 schools by way of geographic desirability. USC has the best placement of any school in LA area, hence it's reputation as a "hyper-regional". I am sure you can do more research as to the specific comparisons you are interested in...but bear in mind that finding out which is "best" is somewhat hard to get quantifiable answers, since there are self-selection biases, mitigating factors in individual candidates, etc. I know that the majority of USC OCI's presence is from SoCal offices, but most BigLaw firms will also consider you for other offices if they have them...but I imagine that it is less likely that you will be meeting/interviewing with the decision-makers in those offices. In smaller firms / public interest, there is probably less of a presence (though this would all also be true of UCLA.)

2. I have no clue. Strong LSAT, low GPA, URM status...taking a wild guess, I would probably say in the 30K-60K range, but it will largely depend on the make-up of the applicants this year. Aren't the offers coming out in the next few days? You'll get your answer then.


Thanks a lot for this. I actually wound up getting 90k so USC is very strongly on my radar now. Tagging this thread fasho.




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