University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
OrcinusOrcas
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:58 pm

University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby OrcinusOrcas » Wed May 11, 2011 2:55 am

Lived in SD for most of my life; ask away.

weilchild2
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:44 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby weilchild2 » Sat May 28, 2011 9:53 pm

I know USD does Tax well, but what other areas does it excel in? What do people there usually study? And, out of curiosity, what are you studying?

Also, how were finals and such? Harder than you thought? As hard? Easier? And how cutthroat are the students at USD?

Thanks for taking questions.

OrcinusOrcas
Posts: 97
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Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby OrcinusOrcas » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:32 am

weilchild2 wrote:I know USD does Tax well, but what other areas does it excel in? What do people there usually study? And, out of curiosity, what are you studying?

Also, how were finals and such? Harder than you thought? As hard? Easier? And how cutthroat are the students at USD?

Thanks for taking questions.


Sorry for taking so long to respond; I have not been on TLS in a couple of weeks since moving to a different city for my SA summer internship has taken up a lot of time. (A good number of 1Ls here end up going to other parts of CA/Western states for their first internship since San Diego is such a small and competitive market).

As far as areas of specialization, Tax is indeed a strongly ranked program (the LLM in Tax is popular). There isn't really another specifically "ranked" program I can point to, but the school offers excellent clinical opportunities and allows you to chart a very practical training experience for yourself in the upper years. The Public Interest and Policy clinics offer opportunities to monitor state agencies, which is unique to the school and allows students to publish their findings on the agency in a journal and possibly participate in crafting legislative language in regards to the agencies. There are also Civil Lit and Criminal Lit clinics, IP clinics, etc (the rest are listed on the school's site).

People really do study all kinds of things here. As a T2 school, we have a lot of people training to do small-mid size firm work in all kinds of subject areas, as well as a lot of students preparing to work for the government in either agencies or criminal courts. It's pretty common to see interested students (2 and 3Ls, no 1Ls so far) getting involved with federal agency work in DC over the summer. This is probably the same kind of variety you would find at most t2 schools. There are some USD students (very top of the class) who go on to do BigLaw, but this isn't really the kind of place people typically go for that, so I don't see hardly any interest in it among my classmates.

I'm looking to work with the DA or do Civil Litigation at a small to mid firm locally. I'm still on the fence about it (Criminal and Civil career paths require very different courses and clinics in 2L and 3L), but I do enjoy being in the court room, so I'm planning to do some clinics and probably moot court or mock trial.

My favorite part of USD so far has been how NOT cutt-throat my classmates are. I felt more like the people in my section were on the same team rather than competing against each other. We formed study groups and helped each other a lot with exchanging outlines, notes, supplements, etc. I made a lot of good friends from my 1L class, and I was always in awe of how much others were willing to help me. People would just offer up help or resources quite often. Of course, not everyone is like this, but I never met any super-competitive types.

As far as finals go, I think they were really not as hard as I expected as a 0L. It's really just a large mass of information you have to read, understand and remember, which is not that different from undergrad. I did the same amount of reading and discussion in my undergrad ConLaw class as I did in law school (50-70 pages of a casebook per week, 2 classes per week). The only real difference was the testing methodology and the curve; your grade is much more about preparing to take one particular professor's exam, so you have to figure out for each class how that will look. The hardest part of any law school class is getting into the prof's head and figuring out exactly how they want a question answered, and that's really where you spend brainpower. The courses I got A's in were always the classes that I felt like I knew my professor's thinking the most. To this day, for those subjects, in real-life situations with those issues I'll still think to myself about how that prof would approach the issue.

I was one of the people who raised my GPA by .17 between fall and spring this year, which had a lot to do with just having more confidence during the spring exams because I invested more time into outlining and practice exams this spring. I was pretty nervous during the Fall exams last year and royally messed up a huge issue in one class.

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TheFlyingChuck
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Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby TheFlyingChuck » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:42 am

thoughts on employment prospects? I know ur a 1L, but any word on how OCI went?

OrcinusOrcas
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:58 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby OrcinusOrcas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:56 pm

TheFlyingChuck wrote:thoughts on employment prospects? I know ur a 1L, but any word on how OCI went?


Don't really know about this last round of OCI statistics-wise, but people who went through it said it was "slightly better" than the year before, but none were very enthusiastic. Career Services told us they saw more firms there last time around. I've been trying to just think of the current job market as the "new normal" and prepare myself for the worst, resume-wise and grade-wise. I'll be pleasantly surprised if my trip through Fall Recruiting is better than it was for last year's class, but I'm not banking on that; I could easily see why hiring might slow right now since the economic recovery is stalling. I'll be able to give more specifics after my class and I have gone through it, though.

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lalalawya
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Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby lalalawya » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:16 am

Out of curiosity, what is the social scene like here? I have heard about a few undergrads transferring out because it was too much of a party school...does the same hold true for the law school?

steveosiris
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby steveosiris » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:49 pm

lalalawya wrote:Out of curiosity, what is the social scene like here? I haveDel Mar Hotelsheard about a few undergrads transferring out because it was too much of a party schoolDowntown San Diegodoes the same hold true for the law school?

The scene is pretty mellow on campus, however there is a bar scene if that is what you are in to in San Diego, at places like Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. If you are in to surfing and going to the beach, there are plenty of great beaches with excellent surf breaks. I do not think the law school is too much of a party scene, and most law students do not live on campus.

mertle
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby mertle » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:02 pm

Do any grads pursue and find work in the Bay Area upon graduating? If I leave the bay area, I will probably return at some point so I'd like to go to a school that allows me to work anywhere in CA.

jlr29
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:24 am

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby jlr29 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:10 pm

Just got accepted to USD law! Good to have it among my list of potential choices, despite my concern over the misgivings many seem to have about the SD legal market.

lalalawya wrote:Out of curiosity, what is the social scene like here? I have heard about a few undergrads transferring out because it was too much of a party school...does the same hold true for the law school?


I can't say I'm an expert on the undergrad party scene (or lack thereof) at U of San Diego, but I can tell you as a SoCal resident that San Diego State generally has much more of a "party school" reputation than USD does.

mkat27
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:11 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby mkat27 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi!
I would like to know more about living in SD... Is it hard to find roommates (I know students get a list-type of thing in July)? Also, which area is the best to live for someone who wants to use public transportation to school? Or is it better to just drive?

Also, what do students do usually during the summer after 1L at USD? Lastly, are you happy with the quality of profs?
Thank you!!

darkatillam2
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby darkatillam2 » Tue May 01, 2012 5:56 pm

I'm also wondering about where is a good area to live near USD. I will be getting a 1BR with my long time girlfriend, and the prices seem absurdly high. Any recommendations?

onionskin
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: University of San Diego 1L Taking Questions

Postby onionskin » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:55 am

mertle wrote:Do any grads pursue and find work in the Bay Area upon graduating? If I leave the bay area, I will probably return at some point so I'd like to go to a school that allows me to work anywhere in CA.


+1

What are your other options? Torn on whether to pay the seat deposit or lose my scholly.




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