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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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:18 pm

I think Davis is far and away the most expensive at present, isn't it?

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:17 pm

No clue. I wasn't considering Davis.

Looked - nope

$49,564

(http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/current/fina ... dance.html)

Someone else has to do the math. I suck at it.

sfhaze
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby sfhaze » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:52 am

If I'm looking at this right, it seems Hastings' tuition is decreasing next year?

"Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year is estimated to be $39,500* with no distinction made between in-state and out-of-state residents. In addition, all students are required to pay fees (approximately $608* for administrative fees and $2,481** for the health insurance fee). Please visit Fiscal Services to view a breakdown of the tuition and fee schedule.

* Subject to legislative, gubernatorial and UC Hastings Board of Directors action. Tuition and fees may change without notice.

** May be waived with proof of insurance. If waived in the fall semester, waiver for the spring is automatic. Contact Student Health Services, 415.565.4612, for more information."
http://www.uchastings.edu/academics/gra ... /index.php


The comparable tuition figure for '12-'13 seems to be $43,486, plus the additional fees, and non-resident tuition if applicable. http://www.uchastings.edu/about/admin-o ... 2_2013.pdf

Can this be true? Is this even allowed for an "ABA-accredited" law school?

Is Hastings then also planning to refund the higher tuition charged to recent grads/current students, while rank and employment prospects were dropping? :P

onionskin
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby onionskin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:47 am

Isn't Davis something ridiq like $58k for OOS?

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alawstudentsometime
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby alawstudentsometime » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:51 am

sfhaze wrote:If I'm looking at this right, it seems Hastings' tuition is decreasing next year?

"Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year is estimated to be $39,500* with no distinction made between in-state and out-of-state residents. In addition, all students are required to pay fees (approximately $608* for administrative fees and $2,481** for the health insurance fee). Please visit Fiscal Services to view a breakdown of the tuition and fee schedule.

* Subject to legislative, gubernatorial and UC Hastings Board of Directors action. Tuition and fees may change without notice.

** May be waived with proof of insurance. If waived in the fall semester, waiver for the spring is automatic. Contact Student Health Services, 415.565.4612, for more information."
http://www.uchastings.edu/academics/gra ... /index.php


The comparable tuition figure for '12-'13 seems to be $43,486, plus the additional fees, and non-resident tuition if applicable. http://www.uchastings.edu/about/admin-o ... 2_2013.pdf

Can this be true? Is this even allowed for an "ABA-accredited" law school?

Is Hastings then also planning to refund the higher tuition charged to recent grads/current students, while rank and employment prospects were dropping? :P



This is for the LLM. It had me fooled at first, too.

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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:33 am

onionskin wrote:Isn't Davis something ridiq like $58k for OOS?


People are out of their minds to be paying that kind of money. I was mad because my first year at Hastings was 32k, up from I think 28k the year before.

sfhaze
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby sfhaze » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:42 am

alawstudentsometime wrote:This is for the LLM. It had me fooled at first, too.

Whoops. Thanks for the correction. Should have known a JD tuition decrease was highly unlikely.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:51 pm

Mick Haller wrote:I was top 15% at UCH, I would have been fine at USD.

My outcome (70k, insurance defense) likely could be had from top 20% USD. Except with no debt.

But given what I know now, I prob wouldn't have gone to law school at all.


The assumption of "I likely would have been top X% at school Y" has been argued against MANY times. Everyone who has EVER gone to USD thinks they will be in the top X% of the class. Telling 0Ls to gamble on that sort of an outcome is a great way to waste years of your life and not get to be a lawyer at the end of it.

Part of landing in insurance defense includes the fact that your degree came out of Hastings. There is no reason to believe that comparably ranked students at USD and Hastings will have comparable outcomes. Indeed, there is reason to believe that comparably ranked students at Hastings do BETTER as Hastings has twice the biglaw placement of USD.

If you guys want to tell people not to go to law school at all, I think that's great. Where I think you cross the line into misleading 0Ls is when you begin holding up TTTs as somehow "guaranteeing" better outcomes simply because you won't have debt (which isn't even true, you'd probably still have some debt related to living expenses).

I don't know about you, but for me, wasting 3 years of my life to have essentially no shot at being a real attorney ever is still a bad outcome, even if my debt load is $30k instead of $130k.

Most people go to law school in order to be a lawyer. Looking at placements out of Hastings and USD (or God help you, GGU as was suggested 3 pages back), it's clear that someone coming out of Hastings has a better shot at being a lawyer.

Debt is a real concern, and maybe reason not to go to law school at all. But saying that a school which in essence does not create lawyers AT ALL is somehow "worth it" because you'll have "no debt" seems completely backwards. You should choose your law school based upon whether or not it can get you a job as a lawyer, NOT based upon how much debt you'll have when you get out.



For my own part, I just want to explain where I'm coming from. I have a good friend right now who is thinking of turning down GW law school for Pace law school. Her rationale is that Pace is giving her a large check, and she has spoken with numerous disenchanted GW grads. While people might quibble over the difference between Hastings and SCU (or even USD according to this thread), the difference between GW and Pace is really stark. Yet the numerous voices of GW grads saying "You'll never make it, base your decision just upon debt load," seems to be driving my friend to make a terrible choice. I'm all for "informed consumers" but when you base your entire decision upon debt, it seems likely that you'll miss the bigger picture - will you even get to be a lawyer coming out of a place like Pace?

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:15 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
Mick Haller wrote:I was top 15% at UCH, I would have been fine at USD.

My outcome (70k, insurance defense) likely could be had from top 20% USD. Except with no debt.

But given what I know now, I prob wouldn't have gone to law school at all.


Debt is a real concern...


Is having approximately 4-5% better shot at biglaw (i.e., going to UCH vs. some other TTs with $$$) worth incurring $100k+ extra in debt? Is a 10% shot (plus a year of wasted time) anything but a huge, huge, huge gamble? It isn't to me, but I guess people could think otherwise.

If you miss the biglaw boat as ~90% of UCH grads do, the odds of landing a job are already obscene, and the odds of landing a job that would make $100-150k+ debt manageable are even less likely, especially given you are almost certainly going to have to be in CA. (By manageable, I mean having a decent shot at a financially stable life, which I assume everyone going to law school expects.)

The difference between $50k and $150k is staggering just based off of incurred interest. There is this guy UCH hires every year to come in and talk to 3Ls about debt repayment. I think they need to start hiring him to talk to 1Ls at the first week of school because it's unbelievable how few people have any idea about finances.

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:33 pm

hiima3L wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
Mick Haller wrote:I was top 15% at UCH, I would have been fine at USD.

My outcome (70k, insurance defense) likely could be had from top 20% USD. Except with no debt.

But given what I know now, I prob wouldn't have gone to law school at all.


Debt is a real concern...


Is having approximately 4-5% better shot at biglaw (i.e., going to UCH vs. some other TTs with $$$) worth incurring $100k+ extra in debt? Is a 10% shot (plus a year of wasted time) anything but a huge, huge, huge gamble? It isn't to me, but I guess people could think otherwise.

If you miss the biglaw boat as ~90% of UCH grads do, the odds of landing a job are already obscene, and the odds of landing a job that would make $100-150k+ debt manageable are even less likely, especially given you are almost certainly going to have to be in CA. (By manageable, I mean having a decent shot at a financially stable life, which I assume everyone going to law school expects.)

The difference between $50k and $150k is staggering just based off of incurred interest. There is this guy UCH hires every year to come in and talk to 3Ls about debt repayment. I think they need to start hiring him to talk to 1Ls at the first week of school because it's unbelievable how few people have any idea about finances.

exactly. the whole point is that you're paying a ton more money for a marginal increase in biglaw placement, which won't change the outcome for almost anyone besides a handful of students. if you think you'll hit that lottery, more power to you. it's just a huge, huge risk that probably isn't worth it.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby missitaliansoda » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:30 pm

Mick Haller wrote:
onionskin wrote:Isn't Davis something ridiq like $58k for OOS?


People are out of their minds to be paying that kind of money. I was mad because my first year at Hastings was 32k, up from I think 28k the year before.



I'm an accepted student at UCH and I'm trying to decide whether to accept. I plan to take out loans for law school - UCH gave me a $15,000 renewable grant and they estimate I can cover the rest with a federal subsidized loan, a PLUS loan and a Perkins loan.

Is this common or do most law students have someone bankrolling them? Debt scares me, but I want to get my JD and I've already taken a year out from my undergrad. I'm a good student and I'm willing to work hard to do well. That being said, its a bad economy for someone who wants to dig themselves out of debt. I just want to know how most law students manage the price tag - what's possible and what isn't

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Lasers wrote:exactly. the whole point is that you're paying a ton more money for a marginal increase in biglaw placement, which won't change the outcome for almost anyone besides a handful of students. if you think you'll hit that lottery, more power to you. it's just a huge, huge risk that probably isn't worth it.


This reasoning doesn't make sense.

If you get biglaw, then you can service the debt. If you don't get biglaw, you can go into IBR and your debt payments are capped at reasonable levels depending upon your salary.

Someone who owes $50k in student loans will have to make payments of $575/mo. Assuming a salary of $70k/yr (what Mick Haller listed upthread), IBR payments would be capped at $583/mo.

Given comparable monthly payments upon graduation regardless of whether you borrowed $50k or $150k, shouldn't you be more focused on what your odds of working as a lawyer are? Graduating from USD with "only" $50k in debt (which, let's be clear, assumes paying zero tuition and also receiving ~$6k in living expenses per year from the school) will still leave you paying $575/mo. The difference is that at Hastings you are more likely to end up working for biglaw (or a comparably desirable job). Indeed, despite the repeated characterization of "marginal increase" you are literally twice as likely to be working for biglaw out of Hastings than out of USD.

$50k in debt is nothing to sneeze at, and yet it is exactly what you should expect upon receiving "$$$" from a school like USD. If you're going to have to make the monthly payments no matter what, shouldn't you go to the school with the better placement?

Put differently, how is graduating with $50k in debt but little to no chance of doing real legal work a "good" outcome?

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:37 pm

hiima3L wrote:The difference between $50k and $150k is staggering just based off of incurred interest. There is this guy UCH hires every year to come in and talk to 3Ls about debt repayment. I think they need to start hiring him to talk to 1Ls at the first week of school because it's unbelievable how few people have any idea about finances.


I really like that guy. I went to one of his presentations during the second semester of 1L. It's one of the little things that Hastings does right.

However, no matter how good the guy is, it doesn't change their employment-relative-to-debt outcome :|

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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:38 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:Someone who owes $50k in student loans will have to make payments of $575/mo. Assuming a salary of $70k/yr (what Mick Haller listed upthread), IBR payments would be capped at $583/mo.


I don't think a 75k, JD required job like mine is easily had at present. Doesn't LST show like 25% reporting salaries with a median of around 83k?

My guess is a third or fewer of the class of 2012 is earning as much or more than me.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby sfhaze » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:24 pm

Mick Haller wrote:I don't think a 75k, JD required job like mine is easily had at present. Doesn't LST show like 25% reporting salaries with a median of around 83k?

My guess is a third or fewer of the class of 2012 is earning as much or more than me.

One question that I honestly don't know the answer to is how much better is Hastings for jobs like yours, or even for any substantial legal job irrespective of salary (relying on IRB, for better or worse), compared to the alternatives discussed here, like USD, SCU, etc...?

I think hard to tell because employment stats are so misleading and untrustworthy across the board.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby sfhaze » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:56 pm

missitaliansoda wrote:I'm an accepted student at UCH and I'm trying to decide whether to accept. I plan to take out loans for law school - UCH gave me a $15,000 renewable grant and they estimate I can cover the rest with a federal subsidized loan, a PLUS loan and a Perkins loan.

Is this common or do most law students have someone bankrolling them? Debt scares me, but I want to get my JD and I've already taken a year out from my undergrad. I'm a good student and I'm willing to work hard to do well. That being said, its a bad economy for someone who wants to dig themselves out of debt. I just want to know how most law students manage the price tag - what's possible and what isn't

Yes, absolutely, most law students borrow a large portion of COA. Particularly at schools like Hastings that don't tend to give substantial scholarships or need-based aid -- also, no full rides with harsh stips. Ironically, in this regard Hastings is following the top school model, where students are expected to borrow and the overall strategy seems to be to try to roughly equalize graduates' debt in the end with limited aid in the form of grants thrown in throughout the course of study. This is what all CA law schools ranked above Hastings do.

As to your second question about how the large debt-loads can be or are in fact managed, this varies but generally the security blanked these days is IBR. Look it up but there's concern it might go away one day since it's a gov benefit and that it will lead to a large tax bill anyway when the debt is written off after 25 yrs, etc. Next gov program then will be IBR for that tax bill. :P

If you're only a year out of undergrad, why rush into law school? If you have any doubts, whether caused by the financial commitment or otherwise, try to get a job at a law firm or working with lawyers generally so you know what you're getting into. Also, try to absolutely maximize your LSAT score, whatever it takes chances are you could improve it substantially since you mention to be a hard worker. This is tired advice on TLS, but it's credited for most recent undergrads, especially those who probably could use some time to experience lawyers' work.

Bottom line, you should not feel compelled to start law school because you just don't know what else to do now -- only even consider law school if you know you want to practice law. This to me applies to all law schools including the vaunted YHS, but especially to any lower ranked school.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:09 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
Lasers wrote:exactly. the whole point is that you're paying a ton more money for a marginal increase in biglaw placement, which won't change the outcome for almost anyone besides a handful of students. if you think you'll hit that lottery, more power to you. it's just a huge, huge risk that probably isn't worth it.


This reasoning doesn't make sense.

If you get biglaw, then you can service the debt. If you don't get biglaw, you can go into IBR and your debt payments are capped at reasonable levels depending upon your salary.

Someone who owes $50k in student loans will have to make payments of $575/mo. Assuming a salary of $70k/yr (what Mick Haller listed upthread), IBR payments would be capped at $583/mo.

Given comparable monthly payments upon graduation regardless of whether you borrowed $50k or $150k, shouldn't you be more focused on what your odds of working as a lawyer are? Graduating from USD with "only" $50k in debt (which, let's be clear, assumes paying zero tuition and also receiving ~$6k in living expenses per year from the school) will still leave you paying $575/mo. The difference is that at Hastings you are more likely to end up working for biglaw (or a comparably desirable job). Indeed, despite the repeated characterization of "marginal increase" you are literally twice as likely to be working for biglaw out of Hastings than out of USD.

$50k in debt is nothing to sneeze at, and yet it is exactly what you should expect upon receiving "$$$" from a school like USD. If you're going to have to make the monthly payments no matter what, shouldn't you go to the school with the better placement?

Put differently, how is graduating with $50k in debt but little to no chance of doing real legal work a "good" outcome?

you're making all kinds of assumptions.

1. jobs paying $70k are not the norm for recent grads and definitely not the outcome for the majority of students. see:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... utput=html

2. monthly payments may be the same, but your total debt hasn't changed. you have to consider how many years it will take for the vast majority of grads to pay off what they owe. law school debt sucks, do you really want be paying it off for 10-20 years? debt can fuck up your life, making it hard to buy a home, property, etc.

3. "Put differently, how is graduating with $50k in debt but little to no chance of doing real legal work a "good" outcome?" look at the stats, bro. outside of biglaw, which as stated before, isn't' a likely outcome at either school, usd has actually placed as well, if not better, than hastings in smaller firms. and yes, they have had less unemployed students at graduation than hastings. so no, your chances of real legal work out of a school like usd are not really any worse than they are coming out of hastings. lastly, no one said this was a "good" outcome.

hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:07 am

Lasers wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
Lasers wrote:exactly. the whole point is that you're paying a ton more money for a marginal increase in biglaw placement, which won't change the outcome for almost anyone besides a handful of students. if you think you'll hit that lottery, more power to you. it's just a huge, huge risk that probably isn't worth it.


This reasoning doesn't make sense.

If you get biglaw, then you can service the debt. If you don't get biglaw, you can go into IBR and your debt payments are capped at reasonable levels depending upon your salary.

Someone who owes $50k in student loans will have to make payments of $575/mo. Assuming a salary of $70k/yr (what Mick Haller listed upthread), IBR payments would be capped at $583/mo.

Given comparable monthly payments upon graduation regardless of whether you borrowed $50k or $150k, shouldn't you be more focused on what your odds of working as a lawyer are? Graduating from USD with "only" $50k in debt (which, let's be clear, assumes paying zero tuition and also receiving ~$6k in living expenses per year from the school) will still leave you paying $575/mo. The difference is that at Hastings you are more likely to end up working for biglaw (or a comparably desirable job). Indeed, despite the repeated characterization of "marginal increase" you are literally twice as likely to be working for biglaw out of Hastings than out of USD.

$50k in debt is nothing to sneeze at, and yet it is exactly what you should expect upon receiving "$$$" from a school like USD. If you're going to have to make the monthly payments no matter what, shouldn't you go to the school with the better placement?

Put differently, how is graduating with $50k in debt but little to no chance of doing real legal work a "good" outcome?

you're making all kinds of assumptions.

1. jobs paying $70k are not the norm for recent grads and definitely not the outcome for the majority of students. see:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... utput=html

2. monthly payments may be the same, but your total debt hasn't changed. you have to consider how many years it will take for the vast majority of grads to pay off what they owe. law school debt sucks, do you really want be paying it off for 10-20 years? debt can fuck up your life, making it hard to buy a home, property, etc.

3. "Put differently, how is graduating with $50k in debt but little to no chance of doing real legal work a "good" outcome?" look at the stats, bro. outside of biglaw, which as stated before, isn't' a likely outcome at either school, usd has actually placed as well, if not better, than hastings in smaller firms. and yes, they have had less unemployed students at graduation than hastings. so no, your chances of real legal work out of a school like usd are not really any worse than they are coming out of hastings. lastly, no one said this was a "good" outcome.


These are good points.

Of course, we are making assumptions here. One is that, the overwhelming majority of law students go to LS to make money and have a successful career. We can also assume that we almost all want to get the highest paying job they can. From these assumptions, I think it's fair to say most prospective law students should seriously look into biglaw employment stats when considering schools. And when you do so, you realize the difference w/r/t biglaw employment between UCH and other much lower ranked schools, it's not that significant. Non-biglaw stats are a little trickier because there are more variables and caveats, but very few pay six figures. Let's just assume that firms of similar size will pay similarly.

And even a quick glance at some figures in the chart Lasers posted makes it abundantly clear that the difference between UCH and, say, USD is just not that significant. They happen to be only a couple slots away from each other.

~50% employment, <10% at biglaw firms, 10/15% at small firms, 8 federal clerkships each...and so on.

So, given these figures, how does paying 3-4x more at UCH compared to USD make good financial sense?

ceekay
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ceekay » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:26 am

did anyone go to the student OCI panel today? was wondering if there was any good advice from there.

thanks!

apollo2015
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby apollo2015 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:40 pm

onionskin wrote:I know UCH on the whole is a relatively large school, how does that bode in terms of the social experience? Is it easy to get lost/missed out/overlooked in the crowd by your peers and do you lose the intimacy of some smaller schools?

Or conversely does a larger class size help insulate you from the petty high school politics I keep reading about normally associated with some schools?


Your social life at any school will mostly involve your interactions with people within your section. Except at really small schools, you are not going to know that many of the people from outside of your section.

But, since the bubble of your life is basically just your section, it feels like its a very small school. Whenever I walk around campus outside of class it feels as if I know half of the people I see.

If you make an effort to talk to the people who you sit around in class, you should be fine.

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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:03 pm

Since Hastings released its official c/o 2012 data yesterday, here are some hard numbers for our UCH vs USD debate.

Hastings: 186 of 443 reporting salaries at full time, JD required jobs with a median of $80,000. This means we know that 93 of 443 (20.9%) are working as lawyers and earning 80k or more.

San Diego: 116 of 327 reporting salaries at full time, JD required jobs with a median of $65,000. So we know that 58 of 327 (17.7%) are working as lawyers and earning 65k or more.

Pretty dismal numbers at both. I think the correct response is "neither," unless total debt is under 60-70k.

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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:07 pm

A 15-20% chance at getting a decent job in no way justifies 3 years and 200k cost of attendance.

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:30 pm

Mick Haller wrote:A 15-20% chance at getting a decent job in no way justifies 3 years and 200k cost of attendance.

onionskin
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby onionskin » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:15 am

I looked it up the other day and Humboldt County DA's office is hiring ADAs at all levels. Looks like going rural is the only way forward.

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Mick Haller
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Mick Haller » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:02 am

onionskin wrote:I looked it up the other day and Humboldt County DA's office is hiring ADAs at all levels. Looks like going rural is the only way forward.


Layoffs when pot becomes legal?




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