Whittier Law School

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
jt18deue
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:00 pm

Whittier Law School

Postby jt18deue » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:08 pm

I recently finished my first year at Whittier in the top 20%. While many students elect to transfer out if they are in the top 20/30%, I have enjoyed my experience at Whittier. For having such a strict curve, the people are very friendly and there is not an overwhelming sense of competition. Prior to coming to Whittier I went on visits to UC Hastings, Santa Clara, and San Diego, where I could feel the cutthroat nature of the students. I instead decided to take a scholarship to go to Whittier even though it is a Tier 4 school. I believe that for the most part, the professors are as good as almost any other school. Three out of my six professors this year graduated from Harvard or NYU law school and were extremely good professors.

One knock on the school that many people bring to the table is that it is harder to find a job/a high paying job coming from Whittier. I believe this is true, but not to the extent that many believe. This summer I am working part time for a judge and part time for a family law firm that equals up to 40 hours per week. I realize that a summer job is very different than a full-time job after law school, but I know that many firms come to Whittier to interview candidates for full time positions once done with law school. The good news is that there are not a ton of law schools in Orange County. The two main competitors are Chapman, which did just break into the top 100 and Irvine, which is a new school, but likely to rise up the ranks quickly. There are no law schools to my knowledge south of Irvine, until you hit San Diego. This makes it feasible to look for jobs in the Newport/Laguna Beach area where there are tons of lawyers. More importantly, after growing up in NY and visiting much of the country, there is not doubt Orange County is the best location in the U.S. in terms of weather, and fun social events.

The other concern many people have is the 50% attrition rate. While this may seem frightening, it is important to remember that while 30% flunk out, the other 20% transfers. Even though 30% seems like a ton of people to flunk out, almost all of the people that flunk out are clearly not meant to be lawyers. Whittier's admissions standards are lower than many other schools but they make up for it by flunking out the bottom 30%. By January, 20 students out of the 80 student section had dropped out voluntarily. This goes into the "flunked out" portion of the attrition rate. Out of my ten closest friends, only one will not be coming back next year based on poor grades. If you are a hard worker, and truly dedicated to becoming a lawyer, you will not have to worry about being in that bottom 30%.

If you have any other questions about the school feel free to send me a message and I would be more than happy to chat.

User avatar
billyez
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby billyez » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:18 pm

30% is still a heck of a lot of people who flunk out. You can't mitigate that by simply saying "those folks were clearly not meant to be lawyers" and call it a day. It's easy for someone at the top 20% to say, "work hard, study well, and you'll do just fine." But if everyone is doing just that then there's going to be some folks who flunk out who took law school just as seriously as you.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:56 pm

What schools have they transferred to after 1L at Whittier?

BUbobby24
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:24 am

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby BUbobby24 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:11 pm

I am transferring out of Whittier to Emory. I was ranked in the top 9% of my class after 2 years as a PT student. Whittier is a great school with great professors, it just lacks the prestige and job opportunities of the big name schools.

I also got into Loyola Chicago, Depaul, and Georgia State. Got rejected by University of Georgia and Northwestern.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:26 pm

billyez wrote:30% is still a heck of a lot of people who flunk out. You can't mitigate that by simply saying "those folks were clearly not meant to be lawyers" and call it a day. It's easy for someone at the top 20% to say, "work hard, study well, and you'll do just fine." But if everyone is doing just that then there's going to be some folks who flunk out who took law school just as seriously as you.

+1. And 30 people "voluntarily dropped out" and OP thinks that's a good thing? My class was 274 to start the year, and 270 at the end. No one flunked out (to my knowledge), a few will transfer, and very few decided to drop out. A 50% attrition rate, no matter how it is spun, is atrocious.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:41 pm

It's really hard to make a decision on whether to attend Whittier or Western State when I've heard horrible stories about both. At Whittier the students at the mixers appear so happy and satisfied, but Western State is so welcoming (such friendly, friendly admissions staff).

It also seems harder to maintain scholarships at Whittier.
Whittier- Top 20% to renew vs. Western State 2.6 or 2.8 gpa

Also Whittier offers top 5% full-tuition, and Western State at 3.0 you're automatically qualified for a full-ride.

And does Whittier consider itself to be above Western State in terms of quality?
Western State always tried to go above Whittier's scholarship offer, but Whittier would only bring it at equal value of Western State's and nothing more. Could this mean something?

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby random5483 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:48 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:It's really hard to make a decision on whether to attend Whittier or Western State when I've heard horrible stories about both. At Whittier the students at the mixers appear so happy and satisfied, but Western State is so welcoming (such friendly, friendly admissions staff).

It also seems harder to maintain scholarships at Whittier.
Whittier- Top 20% to renew vs. Western State 2.6 or 2.8 gpa

Also Whittier offers top 5% full-tuition, and Western State at 3.0 you're automatically qualified for a full-ride.

And does Whittier consider itself to be above Western State in terms of quality?
Western State always tried to go above Whittier's scholarship offer, but Whittier would only bring it at equal value of Western State's and nothing more. Could this mean something?



Please think very carefully before attending Whittier or Western State. They might be awesome schools (though 20-30 students dropping out of a section of 80 after 1 semester is CRAZY even for a T4), but you will have a miniscule shot of getting a good job.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:08 pm

Thank you for your feedback.

In January of this year I finally made up my mind to follow through with applying to law school. I took the February LSAT and applied to all the schools in California which were still accepting applications, mainly the ones with April 1 and rolling deadlines. I rushed through the whole process, determined that I really wanted to be in law school badly. I hear job prospects aren't very good coming from these schools and not to ever attend counting on transferring, but I can't see myself waiting another year. I really want this. I'm just looking to make the best decision among either Whittier or Western State.

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby random5483 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:44 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thank you for your feedback.

In January of this year I finally made up my mind to follow through with applying to law school. I took the February LSAT and applied to all the schools in California which were still accepting applications, mainly the ones with April 1 and rolling deadlines. I rushed through the whole process, determined that I really wanted to be in law school badly. I hear job prospects aren't very good coming from these schools and not to ever attend counting on transferring, but I can't see myself waiting another year. I really want this. I'm just looking to make the best decision among either Whittier or Western State.



The choice is yours. All I can tell you is that your job prospects are bleak (50k jobs = median private sector pay for both schools). The 75th percentile private sector in both schools earn under 75k which means less than 25% of the class (since some are unemployed or go public sector or something else) earn 75k. Earning a six figure salary from either school is extremely unlikely. Is it worth three years of debt?

In the end, only you can make the decision. Good luck either way.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:49 am

GueritaPeloChino wrote:I rushed through the whole process, determined that I really wanted to be in law school badly.

This is a sentiment I can understand, and it sounds like if you really want to go to law school, you should do it. However, if law school is important to you and it is something you really feel passionately about, then you need to wait a year. By your own admission, you rushed through the whole process. Is that really the best way to approach a huge investment like law school? Can you honestly say that you gave this thing the hard work and serious consideration it deserves?

You are about to spend tenshundreds of thousands of dollars on a decision that will set the course for your future career. This is a very, very important decision. Do not rush in because you can't wait one year. I know people at WUSTL (a T20, not a TTT) who wish they had waited another year and retaken the LSAT, if only to get more money and minimized the risk. One year is really not that much time, and you will almost certainly regret your decision to "rush in" when you are staring down your massive student loans and unemployment.

Do everything you can to optimize your chances of financial stability and career success. That means take a year off, re-take the LSAT, and apply to schools early. Good luck.

User avatar
SilverE2
Posts: 931
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby SilverE2 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:18 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thank you for your feedback.

In January of this year I finally made up my mind to follow through with applying to law school. I took the February LSAT and applied to all the schools in California which were still accepting applications, mainly the ones with April 1 and rolling deadlines. I rushed through the whole process, determined that I really wanted to be in law school badly. I hear job prospects aren't very good coming from these schools and not to ever attend counting on transferring, but I can't see myself waiting another year. I really want this. I'm just looking to make the best decision among either Whittier or Western State.


From someone who waited a year: PLEASE wait a year. With the way the admissions cycle is scheduled, time flies. It really does. If you sign up for a retake in October, you have time to study. Before you know it October will roll around and it will be LSAT time. Then you will be super busy getting all your apps in nice and early giving you the best shot at schools. Then you have the excitement of hearing back from schools you REALLY want to go to, not a desperate hail mary application to any school that will accept you, just because you're too impatient to wait another year.

I know a year seems like a long time but trust me, from someone who went through it this year, the admissions cycle is so fast paced that waiting a year really is no big deal.

Remember, the school you go to will follow you FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Forever, on your firm bio (assuming you become an attorney), your school will be listed. The decision you make now, you will have to live with forever. One year could change everything.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:22 pm

Thanks. I'm going over the possibility of waiting another year. You're right, time will fly by and before I know it the LSAT will roll around again. I'm afraid though, what if i retake and I can't go past my initial 155? I took a practice LSAT at USC the week prior to testing day and I scored a 160, but as I hear many times practice tests, even if timed and delivered as an actual LSAT, aren't determinant of actual scores. I don't know if 1 month of preparation was enough for the LSAT or if another 2 months might make a difference.

Only 5 more days left till tuition is due and I must make my final decision. :?

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby random5483 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:48 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks. I'm going over the possibility of waiting another year. You're right, time will fly by and before I know it the LSAT will roll around again. I'm afraid though, what if i retake and I can't go past my initial 155? I took a practice LSAT at USC the week prior to testing day and I scored a 160, but as I hear many times practice tests, even if timed and delivered as an actual LSAT, aren't determinant of actual scores. I don't know if 1 month of preparation was enough for the LSAT or if another 2 months might make a difference.

Only 5 more days left till tuition is due and I must make my final decision. :?



Anyone can get a 160. The LSAT is not so much an intelligence test as a learn to take it test. With practice, a mid-160 or better is attainable by most people. Posters here have claimed to have gone from 150s pre-study to 170s post study. 170+ might not be attainable for everyone, but a 160+ is definitely reachable.

User avatar
SilverE2
Posts: 931
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby SilverE2 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:55 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks. I'm going over the possibility of waiting another year. You're right, time will fly by and before I know it the LSAT will roll around again. I'm afraid though, what if i retake and I can't go past my initial 155? I took a practice LSAT at USC the week prior to testing day and I scored a 160, but as I hear many times practice tests, even if timed and delivered as an actual LSAT, aren't determinant of actual scores. I don't know if 1 month of preparation was enough for the LSAT or if another 2 months might make a difference.

Only 5 more days left till tuition is due and I must make my final decision. :?


Practice tests are absolutely predictive of actual scores. If you only prepared for a month, another 2 months would make a HUGE difference, especially considering that you scored a 160 on a practice test with seemingly little practice. You seem to have a ton of potential. Have you gone through the logic games and logical reasoning bibles? Pithypike's guide in the LSAT forum is pretty great.

Look, here's how I look at it: If you really know in your heart that you've done your best, that you can't possibly do any better on the LSAT. If you've exhausted all of your LSAT takes, and still decide you want to go to law school, whichever the best law school you get into happens to be. If you are absolutely familiar with the possible consequences (debt, not getting a job, etc.) and still decide you want to give it a shot, then go for it.

If not, then come on. This is the rest of your life we're talking about man. Do you really want to risk that you will be sitting with your degree three years from now, with no job, really knowing you could have done better on the LSAT and gone to a better school, had you only given it your all? It's one thing being in that situation, knowing you did your best, and knowing it was a possibility. There's nothing you would be able to say at that point other than "Oh well, I tried as hard as I could and it didn't work out." It's going to feel pretty bad. But imagine instead if you know you could have done better. Imagine how awful that's going to feel, if you know, you just KNOW that waiting another year would have changed things, and instead you took the easy, lazy way out.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:19 pm

+1 to everyone else. I think a 160+, even a 165+, is very attainable for you. The difference between a 155 and a 165 can be truly career and life-altering. You are talking about vast difference in job prospects, and potentially a ton of scholarship money. Please take another year to practice, and get those applications out early in the fall.

I know many people who regret not waiting an extra year. Yet I have never met anyone, or even heard of anyone on TLS, who has regretted taking a year off.

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby observationalist » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:01 pm

random5483 wrote:
GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thank you for your feedback.

In January of this year I finally made up my mind to follow through with applying to law school. I took the February LSAT and applied to all the schools in California which were still accepting applications, mainly the ones with April 1 and rolling deadlines. I rushed through the whole process, determined that I really wanted to be in law school badly. I hear job prospects aren't very good coming from these schools and not to ever attend counting on transferring, but I can't see myself waiting another year. I really want this. I'm just looking to make the best decision among either Whittier or Western State.



The choice is yours. All I can tell you is that your job prospects are bleak (50k jobs = median private sector pay for both schools). The 75th percentile private sector in both schools earn under 75k which means less than 25% of the class (since some are unemployed or go public sector or something else) earn 75k. Earning a six figure salary from either school is extremely unlikely. Is it worth three years of debt?

In the end, only you can make the decision. Good luck either way.


By point of explaining the salary information, it is actually significantly worse at these schools than random's post makes it seem. 25% of the class making 75k would actually be a really strong performance for either school, and it's not likely something either will see for quite awhile. For Whittier, less than 20% of Class of 2009 grads reported making $60K or more. In the private sector only 35% of the graduates reported any salary whatsoever, a fact that seems to be linked to both the ability to report salaries (e.g. someone in a part-time and/or temporary job can't realistically estimate their annual salary in advance) and satisfaction with the degree program. In other words, when only a third of graduates are reporting salaries it means two thirds are most likely not doing well enough to estimate a salary or they're so upset with their law school that they refuse to report.

For Western, just 24% reported making $43K or more, while roughly the same number of graduates were still unemployed nine months after graduating. This was for the Class of 2009, one of the best placement years on record; data for the Classes of 2010 and 2011 likely saw significantly fewer grads in legal employment. Generally we might suggest halving the earning statistics to account for the huge dropoff between '09 and '10 employment outcomes unless the school in question has come forth with actual data on 2010. A risk-averse applicant might therefore look at Whittier and assume only 10% are making at least $60K, while at Western maybe 12% are earning 43K or more. Starting salaries certainly aren't the only way to tell whether the outcomes are desirable, but the alternative (disclosing a list of all the employers who hired grads from a particular year and describing what the jobs entailed) is something that very few law schools are willing to do.

See here:
--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--

Both schools are on the very low end in terms of being transparent about their job prospects, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that the reality is unfavorable. The primary reason why many law schools are able to fill up their classes is that applicants do not actually know what the job prospects look like. Schools are not required to explain salary data in the way I did above... if they did we wouldn't see so many applicants willing to give up three years of lost earnings to pursue a law degree at full tuition. Anyone who is considering these schools needs to contact the career services office and demand to see accurate data on 2010 employment, keeping in mind that this is a big investment and you have a right to access that information. G'luck.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:16 am

I sure wish I would have sought advice before turning in those seat deposits or even taking the LSAT without adequate preparation. I guess I didn't think I could do any better in terms of acceptances when I saw LSAC recalculate my gpa to a mere 2.74.

Considering my gpa, do you guys still think that scoring higher on the LSAT with help my chances at better schools? I see a lot of posts on TLS about advantages to being a urm. Really?

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby random5483 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:12 am

My LSAC GPA was less than yours. It is discouraging. I studied for the LSAT while managing a full-time job and managed to raise it enough to get admission to some T1 schools (not the ones wanted). I chose a T2 school with a decent scholarship. I also happened to be lucky enough to manage a transfer to T14 school after my first year, but in general you can't count on it.


If you raise your LSAT to 165+, T1 schools become a possibility. Even with a 170+ T14 schools will be unlikely, however. T2 schools with scholarship though are reachable if you get to 165 (or without scholarships if you break 160). Your softs and the period of time since your undergraduate grades might also have some impact.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:58 am

If you are a URM, you can get into T1s with a 160-165, and T2s with big scholarships. A 165+ brings the splitter-friendly T20s into play with money, and I'd say high 160s makes the splitter-friendly T14s a possibility. Being a URM does help a lot (although it seems as though certain URM boosts are bigger than others). A few extra LSAT points would really help you a lot. I know a guy who retook the LSAT and scored only 1 point better, and that 1 point netted him tens of thousands of dollars at the school he wound up attending. It can make a very big difference.

hurldes
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby hurldes » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:36 am

The advice in this thread is fantastic. Everyone who is preparing for the LSAT should read this thread. So many people rush to take the LSAT, snag a tier 4, and jump into law school without considering the risks. A friend of mine was in this exact situation. I practically begged him to wait a year instead of going to Whittier. He was going to spend four weeks preparing for the june LSAT and send an application to Whittier in July to attend LS this fall. Luckily, he changed his mind and is now taking the LSAT in October. If it wasn't for threads like these on TLS, he probably would've made one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:06 pm

Thanks to TLS, waiting another year has finally dawned as a possibility for me. I see a lot of you are telling me to take the October LSAT, but I'm not sure if 7 weeks will be enough to raise my score into the mid 160s. I have to be realistic, will this be enough time? And how big a disadvantage will I be at if I wait until the December LSAT to reapply?

User avatar
SilverE2
Posts: 931
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby SilverE2 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:14 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks to TLS, waiting another year has finally dawned as a possibility for me. I see a lot of you are telling me to take the October LSAT, but I'm not sure if 7 weeks will be enough to raise my score into the mid 160s. I have to be realistic, will this be enough time? And how big a disadvantage will I be at if I wait until the December LSAT to reapply?


Sign up for October if you think you will score decently. If you need one more retake, once your apps are in, you can sign up for a December LSAT. It will neither put you at an advantage nor a disadvantage.

Also, welcome to TLS. Let this website guide you through the law school admissions process, familiarize yourself with the search function, and you will be pleased with your result next summer.

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby random5483 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:02 pm

GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks to TLS, waiting another year has finally dawned as a possibility for me. I see a lot of you are telling me to take the October LSAT, but I'm not sure if 7 weeks will be enough to raise my score into the mid 160s. I have to be realistic, will this be enough time? And how big a disadvantage will I be at if I wait until the December LSAT to reapply?



Nearly two months of studying should significantly boost your score (more than I did). However, if you feel unprepared you can always sign up for the December LSAT and not do the October one (wasted money but small change compared to law school costs). Get your applications in early, as in mid-December at the latest.

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:36 pm

random5483 wrote:
GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks to TLS, waiting another year has finally dawned as a possibility for me. I see a lot of you are telling me to take the October LSAT, but I'm not sure if 7 weeks will be enough to raise my score into the mid 160s. I have to be realistic, will this be enough time? And how big a disadvantage will I be at if I wait until the December LSAT to reapply?



Nearly two months of studying should significantly boost your score (more than I did). However, if you feel unprepared you can always sign up for the December LSAT and not do the October one (wasted money but small change compared to law school costs). Get your applications in early, as in mid-December at the latest.


So if mid-December is the latest I can turn in the applications, then I HAVE to take it in October, since December scores aren't released till early January. I have no time to lose then if I want to make the October LSAT. I was feeling very hopeful about having the extra two months to study. I hope my studying doesn't feel like cramming again. :?

GueritaPeloChino
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Re: Whittier Law School

Postby GueritaPeloChino » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:44 pm

SilverE2 wrote:
GueritaPeloChino wrote:Thanks to TLS, waiting another year has finally dawned as a possibility for me. I see a lot of you are telling me to take the October LSAT, but I'm not sure if 7 weeks will be enough to raise my score into the mid 160s. I have to be realistic, will this be enough time? And how big a disadvantage will I be at if I wait until the December LSAT to reapply?


Sign up for October if you think you will score decently. If you need one more retake, once your apps are in, you can sign up for a December LSAT. It will neither put you at an advantage nor a disadvantage.

Also, welcome to TLS. Let this website guide you through the law school admissions process, familiarize yourself with the search function, and you will be pleased with your result next summer.


Big Thank You. I know, I wish I would have found TLS before I even began my journey.

About retaking the LSAT- Saying I do follow through with the October LSAT and contemplate retaking, it won't look bad taking it for a third time 2 months later?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Skyline55 and 2 guests