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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265489164158
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby 265489164158 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:55 pm

"Lastly, don't get burned out, it's a marathon not a sprint. It's extremely possible to do really well and still be able to enjoy yourself at night. I had an hour + commute, and was still able to get all of my stuff done by about 4/5pm and hang out with friends/SO most nights. For reference, I had a sub 2.5 uGPA and ended up with above 4.0 for my 1L year."

Wow, I am impressed, but I think this is pretty rare. I am also a rising 2L at Hastings and commuted only 30-45 minutes each way. I put in 10-12 hours a day (not done by 4 or 5) and was just shy of a 4.0. Other than that, all the advice was spot on. I just think it does people a disservice to make them think they can succeed / excel in law school by working it as an 8-5 job.

aj1221
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby aj1221 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:03 am

That's totally fair, and my experience is anecdotal. I think if I include the commute I probably get closer to the lower end of the 10 hours you were at (caltrain studying was actually quite decent for most stuff).

But I think you're right, 8hr/day is probably on the lower end of the bell curve for studying. Definitely good to have several perspectives on this forum.

conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:47 pm

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:11 pm

conker wrote:
I feel like if I got into a t13 and Hastings, I would have to choose between my dream career (practicing law, making at least 70k–you know, decent money) and where I really, really see myself living for most or the rest of my life.


It's three years. Only three years. If you get into a t-13 your chances of getting to the Bay Area after law school (hopefully your career spans more than three years) with a job that can support rent here is definitely better. If you want to live out here for several years and get massively in debt, there are easier (and far more amusing) ways to do that.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:26 am

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aj1221
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby aj1221 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:50 am

Maybe I missed the transition, but you were just saying you didn't want big law in the posts above? What kind of PI are you looking for (free speech/enviro/immigration/prison reform/etc.)? PI can get very competitive (in some niche areas even more so than big law) so higher ranked schools help there.

Anecdotally, as someone who just finished 1L @ Hastings, I loved like 90% of the professors and felt the school provided support to the extent they could with their alumni base. The people there are generally fantastic and it doesn't deserve its cutthroat reputation.

I'm not going to tell you to go to Hastings, or not go. There's a lot of personal variables that go into making that decision. Generally speaking, if you can get into t14 go there.

But if you're set on bay area w/e it's big law or PI I think Hastings is probably your best bet (unless you have super strong ties to SF already and go to say UCLA/UCD/USC). But (and this is just my personal opinion) it's important to figure out why your uGPA was low and w/e you think this is something that's been fixed with WE or not. YMMV

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:01 am

conker wrote:I cannot get living in sf out of my head, even though it doesn’t make sense career wise. I feel like I would be wasting part of my life by not moving there soon.

Hastings’ employment numbers are pretty terrible. What do the 50% or so of people who do not get real lawyer jobs do with themselves? It sounds very depressing.

What are the salaries like for the Hastings grads who get lawyer jobs in non-biglaw firms? Do you feel any social pressure or judgment in these jobs, considering all the Berkeley and Stanford grads nearby with fancier jobs?

I feel like if I got into a t13 and Hastings, I would have to choose between my dream career (practicing law, making at least 70k–you know, decent money) and where I really, really see myself living for most or the rest of my life.

I’m more concerned with practicing law in general than reaching the upper middle class socioeconomic sphere, but I worry that I would get a lower middle class (50 k income) or not even practice law by coming from Hastings. There is a huge chance of that, right?

If you're choosing between a t14 and Hastings, go to the t14. Definitely. The only thing that would maybe make me hesitate is money.

I know some people my year who aren't practicing now by that isn't necessarily by choice. Some went into consulting, where a jd helps, or tax related stuff which is also jd preferred. Most of my friends have law jobs, even though some of them aren't what they wanted to do (i.e. Work for a solo or work in asbestos). In terms of salary... it really depends. It is impossible to tell you an average because non big law jobs really vary, esp between midlaw and PI.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:42 pm

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conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:48 pm

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aj1221
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby aj1221 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:22 pm

My (limited) understanding of mid-law is that it's kind of a myth at least for recent graduates. The good midlaw firms will hire laterals from big law because they don't have to spend resources training new graduates. I don't have a good sense of salary ranges for those firms, but you could try looking at vault/nalp to try to get a sense of starting salaries.

If you go to northwestern I think you are not precluded from getting big law in SF. Hastings I think places somewhere between 10-20% into biglaw, I would assume (this is pure speculation) that being in top 10-20% at northwestern will likely give you at least similar job prospects in SF. Anecdotally someone I know went to Northwestern and was SA at SF big law firm and is returning there post graduation.

Looking at rankings from Northwestern down and only analyzing Bay Area job prospects (and not any other region), I would say the other CA schools ranked between 12-50 (potentially) give you similar prospects compared to Hastings. I don't think any of other schools out side of CA will give you the same chances.

1. Berkeley (this should be your #1 choice, but I know they're gpa sensitive and not splitter friendly)
2. UCLA
3. USC
4. UCI
5. Davis

Looking at 2-5:
I think the crux here is:
top 10% - arguably being at Hastings is better because of alum network and it's a strong regional school
top 10-20% range is a gray area, I don't really know whether Hastings or other schools win here in terms of big law prospects (on the margins I suspect intangibles related to networking might give Hastings the edge, but not sure here)
top 20% - 50% - here I think the other schools likely win out (maybe with the exception of UCI who just lost their best asset - but that's pure speculation on my part)

Thus I think being the top student at Hastings will beat out being top student at the other schools, but being median student at other schools is likely marginally better (though your big law chances will be low regardless where you are with median grades below t14). Statistically you're more likely to be median than top 10/20% (this is just based on averages, I have no personal facts about you that would make me change the initial assumption) I think in terms of minimizing job-risk long term on the margins you're probably better off at other schools.

But this is just based on #s and some assumptions (doesn't take into account "fit"/class size/preferences/and other intangibles), hopefully other people will chime in to correct me or add their own perspective.

Edit: Here's latest NALP survey http://www.nalp.org/uploads/Research/As ... elease.pdf You're going to have to do your own research to dig deeper and get a sense beyond this survey as to what the SF market looks like (I suspect it's probably marginally higher due to CoL than the medians in the survey).
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conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:27 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:29 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:42 pm

I know a lot of people working in mid law from my year, 2014. I am old now so I don't know if anything has changed. I also know a lot of people from northwestern that live here. They have ended up with gov jobs, mid/small firms, and big law. I don't know their grades so that is unhelpful.

As far as PI goes, if you are interested in working for the gov, I can say that at my state gov job everyone is from a local school. Most people are from UCH/Stanford/Santa Clara, for whatever reason. It isn't a very prestigious job but it is pretty chill and I make almost 80k, which isn't bad for set hours and good benefits. A lot of my friends make more, but they also work 10x more so it does not bother me.

conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:50 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:26 am

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:29 am

You should be worried! Which is why I recommend choosing northwestern over uch.

aj1221
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby aj1221 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:36 am

Yup - was not trying to imply you don't. You had just asked for what the midlaw market looks like salary wise, and I provided some general salary context (not sure the Hastings report you linked gives you that specific data).

You're totally right there's definitely a steep cliff if you're not within a certain top % at Hastings. That's why common wisdom is to try to get into the best school you can so your job prospects are still good outside of that top %.

conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:40 am

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aj1221
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby aj1221 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:42 am

Great reading comprehension on my part. I attribute it to being too early on Friday morning. Great - glad I could be helpful then!

conker
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby conker » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:44 pm

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CALaw717
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby CALaw717 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:04 pm

aj1221 wrote:Also a rising 2L who did really well. Happy to chat via PM if you have questions.

Here was my road map of sorts:

Don't worry about doing anything during this summer, just enjoy yourself.
Fall - reach out to the ASP people and go in and make friends with the people there in the first few weeks (e.g. I was able to get a ton of M/C for contracts from them and a copy of a past Crim Law exam from my professor who had no answers posted online). They will be able to get you finals from past students that Aced the exam of the professor you have.

The best advice I can give you is to use the supplements once you're midway through the classes to start getting your outline down, then use your class notes to tweak based on how your professor is teaching. Some professors use specific terms, or teach doctrine a little differently and want it their way.
As soon as you have some of the basic concepts down (usually about a month into the course) start trying out the past exams the professor has online (I usually saved the most recent one for the very end). Take the answers you have written out to your professor's office hours and ask him what s/he thinks, is this a good answer, why/why not. Usually they'll suggest some language tweaks. Remember those! (they will give you an idea of their idiosyncrasies).

Use your LWR professor, go to their office hours as much as you can and keep giving them drafts of your writing, don't be afraid to e-mail them snippets as well with "here's what I'm trying to do, does this work?"

Also, try to find 1-2 ppl that you mesh well studying wise and who have slightly different strengths than you. You will help each other, but don't do the "one person will each do an outline of a class and we'll swap." The best value from outlines is actually doing the work yourself (but it doesn't mean you can't start with someone elses and tweak to how it works for you).

Lastly, don't get burned out, it's a marathon not a sprint. It's extremely possible to do really well and still be able to enjoy yourself at night. I had an hour + commute, and was still able to get all of my stuff done by about 4/5pm and hang out with friends/SO most nights. For reference, I had a sub 2.5 uGPA and ended up with above 4.0 for my 1L year.


Thanks for this. Who are ASP people? I don't know what that stands for.

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265489164158
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby 265489164158 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:21 am

ASP=academic support. They do workshops and hold office hours. Some of your classes will have TAs or discussion group leaders who are also a good source. I used them more than ASP and supplements not really at all. In retrospect, I should have used supplements and started doing past exams sooner (I tended to wait until my outlines were done, then used past exams to identify weaknesses in my outline). My view on supplements was to try to only receive the material from my professor, so that I would give it back in their own words. This worked fairly well for me, but had I used supplements, I would have had the big picture view of the material sooner.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby pixy22 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:19 am

Hello. I was previously committed to UC hastings but got admitted of the waitlist to T20 (WUSTL/Vandy/Notre Dame). I was admitted to the T20 with the same amount of scholarship money as Hastings. I'm not sure what to do. Hastings will not give me more aid. I have free housing in SF if I live with my family, not an ideal situation. Also cost of living in the T20 city is very low. I would ideally like to practice in SF, DC or NY. No interest in practicing in south or midwest.

Hastings employment prospects are very dismal. However, it seems like a high number of the top 10% transfer to Berkeley or UCLA. Based on my lsat/gpa, I am in the top quarter at Hastings. However, it seems like being median at a T20 is better than median at hastings. And there is no guarantee that I will be top 10% at hastings. It is not possible for me to retake the LSAT (took it several times, studied for months, and took a course).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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a male human
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:53 am

pixy22 wrote:Hello. I was previously committed to UC hastings but got admitted of the waitlist to T20 (WUSTL/Vandy/Notre Dame). I was admitted to the T20 with the same amount of scholarship money as Hastings. I'm not sure what to do. Hastings will not give me more aid. I have free housing in SF if I live with my family, not an ideal situation. Also cost of living in the T20 city is very low. I would ideally like to practice in SF, DC or NY. No interest in practicing in south or midwest.

Hastings employment prospects are very dismal. However, it seems like a high number of the top 10% transfer to Berkeley or UCLA. Based on my lsat/gpa, I am in the top quarter at Hastings. However, it seems like being median at a T20 is better than median at hastings. And there is no guarantee that I will be top 10% at hastings. It is not possible for me to retake the LSAT (took it several times, studied for months, and took a course).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not sure what the procedures are for transferring... Is it too late? Could you "drop out" essentially?

As for the top 10%, you'll have to assume everyone in your class is at least as smart and hardworking as you are. I was also in the top quartile in terms of LSAT (164), and I graduated bottom 11%. Someone in top 10% also retook the bar with me. It's difficult to predict the outcome (ranking, bar, employment, salary) based on admission criteria or grades alone.

If a T20 is offering you the same money, I would personally do all I can to find a way to get out. A T20 would be more portable (most likely across the country in major cities you mentioned) than a Hastings degree (mostly within CA).

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:25 pm

pixy22 wrote:Hello. I was previously committed to UC hastings but got admitted of the waitlist to T20 (WUSTL/Vandy/Notre Dame). I was admitted to the T20 with the same amount of scholarship money as Hastings. I'm not sure what to do. Hastings will not give me more aid. I have free housing in SF if I live with my family, not an ideal situation. Also cost of living in the T20 city is very low. I would ideally like to practice in SF, DC or NY. No interest in practicing in south or midwest.

Hastings employment prospects are very dismal. However, it seems like a high number of the top 10% transfer to Berkeley or UCLA. Based on my lsat/gpa, I am in the top quarter at Hastings. However, it seems like being median at a T20 is better than median at hastings. And there is no guarantee that I will be top 10% at hastings. It is not possible for me to retake the LSAT (took it several times, studied for months, and took a course).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I sucked at the LSAT. I would have done better on logic games (yes, the one section you can learn) if I had filled in "c" and taken a nap. So I did what you propose (gambled on Hastings, of course I didn't apply to anywhere other than there and Berkeley bc my husband, who was acting as my sugar daddy, didn't want to move). I'm not sure it was smart - but it was my choice, made with full knowledge of the costs. What I considered in taking the gamble:

- I was going to be out of pocket about $40k in living expenses and tuition payments (from Hubby's salary, but still we could have bought a car or something).
- I was going to have $20k in debt after year one. Which means I'd need (in *my* situation) to spend one year working at starbucks and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life if law school didn't work out to pay off the debt.
- I was going to transfer, get a job, or drop out after year 1 OCI. I also had hard line that I'd drop out if I got more than one C.

Ultimately, $60,000, two years of my life (so really $80,000 assuming I can make $20k/year somehow, plus no stress of law school), for a gamble. Because I had other safety nets in place, I was comfortable with those costs, and comfortable that it might end in me working at starbucks with no real life plan. You have to decide what you are comfortable with given your life goals, situation, etc. What is your worst case scenario here, and what are you comfortable with? (For example, I knew if I didn't get a big law job I was out - it was why I wanted to go to law school, and 200k+ of cost for a degree without much option to pay it off long term was NOT something I was OK with, hence the drop out plan).




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