UC Hastings Students 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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ilovesf
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UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:08 pm

Feel free to ask any questions you may have about Hastings here. Please read through the thread to see if any of them have already been answered, and to learn more about what it's like to be a student here. I am currently a 3L, and other classmates that are 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls often join in.
Last edited by ilovesf on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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soitgoes9
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby soitgoes9 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:32 pm

Thanks for taking questions! I hope you are not wasting too much time :)

I'm form the east coast I would love to be in the bay area but I'm not sure if Hastings is worth the money out of state. Do you have any idea how OCI went this year? How is your experience in general, its it as competitive as the reputation?

Thanks for your insight.

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:54 pm

soitgoes9 wrote:Thanks for taking questions! I hope you are not wasting too much time :)

I'm form the east coast I would love to be in the bay area but I'm not sure if Hastings is worth the money out of state. Do you have any idea how OCI went this year? How is your experience in general, its it as competitive as the reputation?

Thanks for your insight.


Hey, I have no idea how OCI went this year, sorry. I don't really know about that number wise and I only have a couple of 2L friends. My experience here has been great so far, I really like it here and I'm super happy with my decision to attend. I don't feel like Hastings is any more competitive than your average law school. After my first semester, I honestly have no idea how those rumors were even started. Of course there are gunners, but that's everywhere. People here generally try really hard - a lot of people in my section seem to go to office hours all of the time. That being said, people in my section are also really nice and helpful. In our FB group if someone posts a question about the material, lots of people respond trying to help them better understand things, etc. People are really friendly and help other people when they're having problems, etc. I wasn't expecting that at all. People here though are really involved and volunteer a lot. People are trying to be as competitive as possible in the job market by volunteering with homeless legal services and things like that during the semester. Since we're right in the middle of the city, there are tons of opportunities to do things like that. I'm not volunteering right now, but next semester I'll be volunteering 5 hours a week with an organization that helps refugees get asylum in the US.

I'm not really sure if it's worth the money out of state. Most people on this site would say absolutely no. It really depends on your own financial situation, how debt adverse you are, what kind of scholarship you get, and what your other options are. I don't have any scholarships, but I'm in-state and I'm living at home, so I have almost no living expenses. Also, I think you can apply for in-state tuition if you become a resident after your first year here. I don't know where you're from on the east cost, but SF is also really expensive. If you live in NYC I guess you're used to it, but it could also be a consideration for you. That being said, I love SF, and I do think it's the best city in the US :) I hope that helped!

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soitgoes9
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby soitgoes9 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:02 pm

Thanks for your help!

If i was in state i would apply; b/c i'm out of state i'm still undecided. I think i may sit on my hands a little longer, especially when i expect to have solid options for less money. But San Francisco is the best city in the US.

mieri
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby mieri » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:15 pm

What are, in your opinion, the top-5 best and top-5 worst things about Hastings?

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:11 pm

mieri wrote:What are, in your opinion, the top-5 best and top-5 worst things about Hastings?

Sorry it took me so long to answer - I've been enjoying my time off of school :) This is a tough question to answer, probably because I've only been there one semester and I haven't secured a summer job yet, so my experiences at UCH are somewhat limited. I decided to stop at 3, but I'll add more if I can think of some. A lot of my feelings are generally good - for example I liked my teachers a lot, but I can't say that they are one of the best things because 4 isn't exactly a representative sample.

The Bad
1. The location: in some ways, it's a really bad neighborhood. If you're not from a big city, it could be hard to adjust living there. Some people really don't like the tenderloin. There are a lot of homeless people, etc.
2. The facilities: they aren't that great. The classrooms are nice, but in general, I feel like it is one of the drawbacks. The big auditorium where a lot of the speeches are is pretty ugly. There is kind of a 70's feel to a lot of the areas.
3. The food: there is one cafe in one building, and a very small cafe in the other. The food kind of sucks, and the coffee is not good at either of those places. There are other coffee places nearby, but out of laziness I usually end up drinking bad coffee.

The Good
1. The location: yeah, it is also one of the best parts of Hastings as well. For my LWR class we went to sit in at the CA Court of Appeal. All of the courts are literally 1-2 blocks away. This is super convenient and so many people end up externing with the courts because of the proximity. Because it's a sketchy area, there are also tons of non-profits nearby, and a ton of people volunteer at nearby organizations. Also, there is tons of super cheap delicious food around. Although the neighborhood is sketchy, I also really love it in a way.
2. School culture: I feel like everyone at Hastings gets along pretty well generally. I really like a lot of my classmates. Not all of them of course (every school has gunners), but in general people are really friendly. Hastings has Beer on the Beach (BOB) every to every other Thursday outside on the area called the beach, where the school gives out free beer. I think it's a pretty fun place to go to school (however fun law school can be).
3. Programming: this might sound stupid, but I think our school brings in pretty good people. Maybe this year was abnormal, but we had both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer come to speak this semester. The CA Supreme Court also held court in our moot court room, so we got to observe that as well.

mieri
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby mieri » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:38 pm

Thanks for your honesty! I had the good fortune to visit UCH earlier this year, so I wanted to see the impressions of someone who's had the benefit of some time there. :)

If you don't mind, I have a couple follow-up questions regarding location...Have you ever had any trouble in the tenderloin? And, if you don't mind me asking, are you living in the Tower or off-campus?

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:26 pm

mieri wrote:Thanks for your honesty! I had the good fortune to visit UCH earlier this year, so I wanted to see the impressions of someone who's had the benefit of some time there. :)

If you don't mind, I have a couple follow-up questions regarding location...Have you ever had any trouble in the tenderloin? And, if you don't mind me asking, are you living in the Tower or off-campus?

I've personally never had any trouble whatsoever. I don't find it that dangerous, and I've had some pretty funny conversations with the homeless people nearby. I know one person who had his cellphone stolen. He was walking 3 blocks away in the bad direction (towards the tenderloin), but that's the only story I've heard of so far about it. Hastings has a shuttle service from 5pm-11pm weeknights that drive you within 1 mile of campus, and I take that home often.. so I don't walk alone at night and I feel perfectly safe. They also have security guards who will walk you to the bus stop or walk you building to building.
I don't live in the tower, I actually live at home around a mile away. I have some friends that live there, people seem to either love it or hate it. People like it because its sooo convenient and nearby. People hate it because they feel like their whole lives revolve around a 3 block radius in the TL. I wouldn't really recommend people live there. I'm a little jealous that people there seem to have more school friends because they hang out more often, but living in a better neighbor outweighs that in my opinion. There are tons of convenient options within a mile at the same price, I would definitely come to SF a bit earlier if its possible to check them out.
And you can ask as many questions as you'd like - that's what I'm here for!

mieri
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby mieri » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:12 am

Thanks for all your insights! Hastings is my first choice, and I figure that I'll do my best to live close to campus, but maybe not at the Tower itself. But, we'll see! First, I've gotta get in. :D

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:28 am

if ilovesf doesn't mind, i can also take questions regarding hastings.

i have much the same general feeling about hastings, and i really, really liked all my professors. i also live in the tower, so if anyone has questions about that, i can answer them.

as for the tenderloin, i gotta say, it's not so bad so long as you avoid certain areas. i often joke that at least 40% of the people i encounter on the street is talking to themselves, but i haven't had anyone bother me in the least, besides maybe asking for change as i pass. it can get a bit dreary though, and i know people who hate the area, but i guess it depends if you're used to urban surroundings. also, i love the location since you're basically right on market st...few minutes away from westfield and the like, union square / chinatown are walk-able, and of course you have bart (1 minute away) and muni all around. you're never really out of short reach of the best that sf has to offer, though it may not always feel like it.

as for the people, i don't know how it is at other law schools, but everyone is seriously nice and friendly. even the hardcore gunners (there are a lot of them, though i imagine that's true for all law schools) are nice to talk to and i've never encountered any truly disingenuous people.

what do i not like about hastings? no undergrad institution means less expansive communal areas, the gym/weight room is small and has a hardcore no bs feel to it (which i would like if only it were bigger with more/newer benches and equipment), and besides the classrooms (which are pretty nice, actually), a lot of the rooms could use some renovations. an outlier to the mostly outdated buildings is the library, which is functional, clean, and nice to study at. does get hectic during finals, though.

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kerflux
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby kerflux » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:38 pm

Do you think Hastings is worth it at in-state sticker? FWIW, my goal is to get in at the DA's office.

edit: minimal undergrad debt (9k), lived in the Bay my whole life and I'm not really looking to relocate but I could see myself living happily as far away as SoCal

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:37 pm

kerflux wrote:Do you think Hastings is worth it at in-state sticker? FWIW, my goal is to get in at the DA's office.

edit: minimal undergrad debt (9k), lived in the Bay my whole life and I'm not really looking to relocate but I could see myself living happily as far away as SoCal

I think I spoke to the cost above in my first response. It really depends on your own financial situation and what you think you can handle debt wise and such. To me, it is worth it, but others will disagree. I also don't want biglaw, and I probably want PI or gov. The difference between us is that I definitely would not be happy in socal. I would wait to see what scholarships you get and then weigh the different offers. Where else did you apply? Maybe Lasers has a different opinion on the cost of Hastings, it's totally just about the financial situation of each person though. I love Hastings, and I don't regret attending at sticker (yet :P ).

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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby apollo2015 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:23 am

How different are the Efficiency type and Studio type apartments in the Tower? Are there any photos of the efficiency type anywhere?

I am excited to be attending Hastings next year!

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:09 am

apollo2015 wrote:How different are the Efficiency type and Studio type apartments in the Tower? Are there any photos of the efficiency type anywhere?

I am excited to be attending Hastings next year!

i actually have not seen an efficiency type, but i believe it is only very slightly smaller. the difference is negligible. i applied for an efficiency but ended up getting a studio for practically the same price (was roughly about 30 bucks more per month). as for pics online, i don't believe there are.

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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby mieri » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:17 am

Lasers, thanks for your insights too! When I visited Hastings, I was really impressed by how kind and enthusiastic the students seemed, so I'm glad to hear it wasn't just a show for a prospective student. :)

Do you like living in the tower? Are you a 1L as well? Do you plan on staying in the Tower for all three years or just the first or...?

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:05 am

mieri wrote:Lasers, thanks for your insights too! When I visited Hastings, I was really impressed by how kind and enthusiastic the students seemed, so I'm glad to hear it wasn't just a show for a prospective student. :)

Do you like living in the tower? Are you a 1L as well? Do you plan on staying in the Tower for all three years or just the first or...?

yep, i am indeed a 1L.

there are certainly pros and cons to living in the tower. the main thing i absolutely, unequivocally love is seriously waking up like 30 minutes before class and not having a commute. i've never been late for class because i'm so close. especially next semester, with 8:30am classes, having no commute will REALLY be a huge benefit. also, while the tower isn't glamorous, it's really functional. the tower admins/workers are super friendly and if you have any problems, they'll do all they can to solve it. even the seemingly grumpy security guys at the front desk are cool.

there are definitely cons though. first of all, there are only 2 working elevators, which is infuriating (this likely won't affect you since the third elevator should be fixed at some point soon...maybe). the wait for an elevator to get to the lobby or back to your room before/after classes and just generally between 11-3 is disgusting. i often take the stairs down (never up, mind you) even though i live pretty high up. secondly, while the prices are pretty reasonable, the rooms/building is old and dated. lastly, it's a crazy world out there, and this can effect people living in the tower. there are sirens throughout the night. there are like random concerts/events/protests/fights, etc. i sleep really late, so i really don't care what's going on out there, and i don't know anyone who lives at the tower that hasn't adjusted to it, but i can certainly imagine the noises of the city being problematic for some people.

i'm not sure what i'm going to be doing for housing next year, but i haven't ruled for or against the tower. my advice is to try it out for a year, unless you have a friend/significant other you can live with elsewhere. as a first year, it's nice to be so close and i don't regret living at the tower.

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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:09 am

kerflux wrote:Do you think Hastings is worth it at in-state sticker? FWIW, my goal is to get in at the DA's office.

edit: minimal undergrad debt (9k), lived in the Bay my whole life and I'm not really looking to relocate but I could see myself living happily as far away as SoCal


This greatly depends on what you want to do. If you plan on going into public interest Hastings has an excellent program called PICAP. PICAP, in conjunction with IBR, will pay for all of your student loans if you work for a public interest organization for 10 years.

PICAP: --LinkRemoved--

A DA's office counts as public interest. However, you may change your mind once you get into law school (or may have trouble finding a job!)

If you plan on attending at sticker and going into a small/midsize private firm you may have problems paying off that debt. On the flipside, you could do well and land biglaw -- it's tough and unlikely but it is possible.

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sundance95
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:09 am

Is it true that Hastings students' grades and rankings are publicly posted in the school?

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:21 am

sundance95 wrote:Is it true that Hastings students' grades and rankings are publicly posted in the school?

lol no, I've never even heard of that before.

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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:46 am

ilovesf wrote:
sundance95 wrote:Is it true that Hastings students' grades and rankings are publicly posted in the school?

lol no, I've never even heard of that before.

Thx, a friend's gf who went to Hastings told me that once. I was pretty sure she was full of shit, but it's nice to know for sure. However, she did seem to believe that she knew exactly who was ahead of her in the class, but that could be b/c her and that person discussed grades? Who knows.

FWIW, she really sucks, so don't think I take her to be representative of Hastings in general.

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:18 pm

sundance95 wrote:
ilovesf wrote:
sundance95 wrote:Is it true that Hastings students' grades and rankings are publicly posted in the school?

lol no, I've never even heard of that before.

Thx, a friend's gf who went to Hastings told me that once. I was pretty sure she was full of shit, but it's nice to know for sure. However, she did seem to believe that she knew exactly who was ahead of her in the class, but that could be b/c her and that person discussed grades? Who knows.

FWIW, she really sucks, so don't think I take her to be representative of Hastings in general.

i've never heard that before, either. it's possible they did this over 10 years ago, but i certainly doubt it has happened recently.

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Lasers wrote:i've never heard that before, either. it's possible they did this over 10 years ago, but i certainly doubt it has happened recently.


That sounds like something they would have done before the internet had become the norm (a la, The Paper Chase.) Even back then your identity was still hidden through random ID's.

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DildaMan
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby DildaMan » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:02 pm

kapital98 wrote:
Lasers wrote:i've never heard that before, either. it's possible they did this over 10 years ago, but i certainly doubt it has happened recently.


That sounds like something they would have done before the internet had become the norm (a la, The Paper Chase.) Even back then your identity was still hidden through random ID's.


I've heard the same thing; grades were posted but the names were replaced by randomly assigned ID's. This was during the 80's though.

mbkc03
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby mbkc03 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:49 am

I'm set to start at UC Hastings in August and have very little knowledge about loans and financial aid. I'm planning to submit my FAFSA in as soon as I get my W2 forms but it's unlikely that I'll get any money from the grants that comes with that. Realistically, I'll be taking out GRADplus Loans/Private loans. I was wondering WHEN is a good is time to actually apply for loans so that it'll fall perfectly with the date tuition is due (which i believe is in July). Also, do most 1L's take out a whole yr's worth of tuition all out at once, or do they take out loans for each semester when tuition is due (roughly 20k per semester). Any input would be much appreciated.

Also, I was wondering on whether or not it's a good idea to drive to school. Otherwise, I'm going to be stuck with parking on Taraval and taking the "L" everyday.

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings 1L Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:58 am

mbkc03 wrote:I'm set to start at UC Hastings in August and have very little knowledge about loans and financial aid. I'm planning to submit my FAFSA in as soon as I get my W2 forms but it's unlikely that I'll get any money from the grants that comes with that. Realistically, I'll be taking out GRADplus Loans/Private loans. I was wondering WHEN is a good is time to actually apply for loans so that it'll fall perfectly with the date tuition is due (which i believe is in July). Also, do most 1L's take out a whole yr's worth of tuition all out at once, or do they take out loans for each semester when tuition is due (roughly 20k per semester). Any input would be much appreciated.

Also, I was wondering on whether or not it's a good idea to drive to school. Otherwise, I'm going to be stuck with parking on Taraval and taking the "L" everyday.

I can't answer your question about financial aid, but I can speak to the parking situation. Hastings has a garage that costs $8 per day for Hastings students and is one block away from the school. I really don't recommend driving unless cost isn't an issue for you, as it is twice as expensive as taking muni. Street parking is all metered nearby, or if you don't mind walking, you need a neighborhood resident parking permit, otherwise you can only park for two hours. It sounds like you already have a place to live? Do you already live in SF?




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