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.
Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:16 am

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:37 am

Back in 2010, 10k was the most they offered for merit scholarship. Not too great.

Not sure if I can make a comparison, but I thought the need grants weren't too bad (Don't those just depend on your individual situation?). A couple times they bumped it up in the middle of the semester because they had money left over or something.

Hastings has a bunch of scholarship programs for 2Ls and 3Ls, but they are based on merit, community service, where you're from, things like that. "Free" money is most likely primarily going to come from the need-based grant (or any merit scholarships).

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:06 am

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:15 am

Moonlight wrote:
a male human wrote:Back in 2010, 10k was the most they offered for merit scholarship. Not too great.

Not sure if I can make a comparison, but I thought the need grants weren't too bad (Don't those just depend on your individual situation?). A couple times they bumped it up in the middle of the semester because they had money left over or something.

Hastings has a bunch of scholarship programs for 2Ls and 3Ls, but they are based on merit, community service, where you're from, things like that. "Free" money is most likely primarily going to come from the need-based grant (or any merit scholarships).


How much need grants were usually given out do you know? Because need grants are guaranteed almost because we just have to have need, which I'm sure we all do.

Do a lot of people get the 2L and 3L scholarship programs?

What do you think of your professors? Easy to get a hold of? I come from a small college so I'm used to being able to easily reach my professor and get a response within a day or a appointment within 2 days.

So I was dumb and spent 2 years before law school saving up to pay for tuition. Ended up getting 0 in need grants as a 1L because I had 20k saved up in the bank. Did get a 10k scholly though. The years after that, I think I got about 5-6k a semester + a bump of about few hundred.

I didn't apply for scholarships, and it seems like most people don't either because there are just too many to look through, and there are specific requirements. However if you rank real high in your section, you might get an automatic scholarship. Not too sure, sorry.

How much a professor is available depends on the professor. But everyone has office hours, and they will agree to meet or talk to you on the phone by appointment.

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:42 am

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:25 am

Moonlight wrote:Are you super concerned about the post-graduation employment rate?

Are scholarships hard to retain?

And did you have to apply or do anything to get the scholarships for your first year? Or did they give it to you automatically after you turned in Need Access and Fafsa?

And any advice you have for me, would be appreciated :)

Any suggested activities to pursue leading up to 1L and in 1L?

Disclaimer: I graduated below median, and you should also get the perspective of someone who made it to the top.

I am not too concerned about the overall employment rate but NOT because Hastings finds its students jobs. Hastings CSO will provide general useless advice like "go on Martindale," "network," and "check job listings." Hastings students get jobs because they're hardworking (they are Boalt rejects). They end up meeting a lot of attorneys and/or gathering experience like crazy. Most of my friends have or had some sort of law-related employment after graduation. I'm not personally close with anyone in biglaw (not sure what the current rate of getting a biglaw summer associate position is nowadays). Pretty sure Hastings employment figures are better than SCU's.

I don't remember having to do anything to get my merit scholarship. And my scholarship was not renewable. They are not hard to find, as I mentioned, but they may be just a huge hassle.

In your 1L year, pick an area of law you are interested in, and start working toward building credentials and experience to show your value in that area. For example, if you're interested in IP or privacy law, you should join the Hastings Science & Technology Journal and Hastings IP Association. If you want to do litigation, get on a moot court team. I think having an unfocused resume spells doom. Most people I knew had some sort of specialty. If you ask if I know anyone who might know about X law, I can say "oh yeah I know just the person to talk to" because he's a PD or a she's the public-interest person. There are a lot of students at Hastings, so I'm sure you can find people interested in the same topic as you.

Join a social club if you want to meet people. Join a professional club if you want to learn more about an area of law. Both often come with free food at meetings.

Also when you study, don't get bogged down by little nuances. You can satisfy your curiosity about the rule against perpetuities over winter break, not during the semester. Getting bogged down trying to get down every little detail was a bad move. Focus on big ideas and well-established nuances that your prof emphasizes.

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:53 am

Moonlight wrote:And did you have to apply or do anything to get the scholarships for your first year? Or did they give it to you automatically after you turned in Need Access and Fafsa?

And any advice you have for me, would be appreciated :)

Any suggested activities to pursue leading up to 1L and in 1L?


I know a lot of people who did well and were awarded additional merit aid. The amazing/terrible thing though was that the merit aid was really small. I knew a person in the top 5% of the class and she was only given an extra $5k per year of merit aid. This was directly after 1L year.

I did decent (top 30%) and transferred. I was on the fence about transferring and asked the financial aid department if I could get more money to stay (I wanted to stay). First, they asked me my grades. Then, without hesitation, they told me "no" and that my new school was "a great school". :|

Unless something has significantly changed in the last 3 years, don't expect much merit aid. Both when you start school and after your first year.

My advice for 1L regarding organizations: Feel free to join them but don't feel obligated to attend all the meetings. Organizations are a great way to meet people but can become incredible time sinks. Save all the time you can for studying and relaxation. It's a cliche but true: Law school is a marathon. You have to keep a steady pace, avoid burning out, and then make a sprint during finals.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:46 am

Moonlight wrote:Are you super concerned about the post-graduation employment rate?

Are scholarships hard to retain?

And did you have to apply or do anything to get the scholarships for your first year? Or did they give it to you automatically after you turned in Need Access and Fafsa?

And any advice you have for me, would be appreciated :)

Any suggested activities to pursue leading up to 1L and in 1L?


I'm a c/o 2012 grad and the TLS's resident doom-and-gloom Hastings alum. I strongly urge you not to go to Hastings. If you want to know why, read through my posts or PM me. You are making a life-changing decision and you need to make sure you have all the info about it you can get.

I don't know anything about scholarships except, like kapital said below, you're almost certainly not going to get much more after 1L.

Don't do anything law-related before 1L. Enjoy your life. It's about to drastically change, so enjoy it while you can. In 1L, I strongly urge you to do nothing but study. There is no benefit to joining organizations, volunteering, etc. except to make friends. As a 1L, your one and only goal in life should be to get good grades. Your 1L grades will by and large dictate the rest of your professional life.

I also 2nd the advice below about focusing your resume. Make it as focused as possible. Coming from Hastings, you've got maybe a 10% shot at landing a biglaw job at OCI. If you don't land a biglaw job at OCI, you're in the same boat as every other law student out there. You're going to have to network like crazy and convince someone that they should hire you. You may be one of the lucky few who gets a job through a job posting elsewhere, but DO NOT bank on that. A tailored resume that screams "I want to practice X" is absolutely critical to getting a job, in my opinion.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:03 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:45 pm

Davis is no better than Hastings but I think, today, I would rather go there.

I had the same choice 3 years ago and chose hastings. Since then, not much has changed in terms of job prospects between the two, but I would prefer the smaller class size at Davis. Also, Hastings just seems less stable nowadays.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:52 pm

Lasers wrote:Davis is no better than Hastings but I think, today, I would rather go there.

I had the same choice 3 years ago and chose hastings. Since then, not much has changed in terms of job prospects between the two, but I would prefer the smaller class size at Davis. Also, Hastings just seems less stable nowadays.

Same. I did not get a scholly at Davis, so I didn't go. Too bad Hastings and Davis started moving apart in rankings since then...

What do you mean Hastings seems less stable? It's been cutting the class size, so that's a step in the right direction.

And yes, Hastings seems to be better for job prospects than SCU & USF. Some employers won't even consider SCU students.

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:13 pm

Moonlight wrote:Kaptial - where did you transfer to? Is it easy to transfer to an more prestigious school?

I realize Hastings is a tough battle for big law but I figure its better than SCU and USF, right?


First, don't go into law school thinking that you will transfer. Typically, only the top 10-15% even have a shot at transferring. And, if that's the case, then you already have a decent shot at biglaw through OCI and don't need to transfer.

Second, I think I was admitted for non-GPA reasons (special snowflake, i know :) ) I was top 30%. I applied to (IIRC) 8 different T14 schools. I applied to so many because I come from a poor background and had free applications. The only application that cost money was from Cornell ($85, the bastards).

It turns out, Cornell was the only one to accept me. This was great because it's my target area. I grew up a 30 minute drive away from Cornell's campus and plan on working in upstate NY.

Cornell is a great school. They are strong where it counts: employment. They have excellent biglaw placement (one of the best in the country) and all around great employment --- roughly double of Hastings. The Career Services office and Public Interest office are both amazing. They know all the local employers and justices. I externed with a justice during 2L summer that was friends with my career services adviser. Cornell also does an amazing job with public interest sudents (my field). They have their own 2-year fellowship, give $4k grants to summer PI interns, having an amazing loan forgiveness program, and even give a monthly $1k grant for people who have graduated but are still looking for a job --- up to 15 months after graduation. None of this is offered at Hastings or similar schools.

(Berkeley is on par with Cornell when it comes to most things PI)

---

The choice between Hastings and other schools all comes down to employment versus cost of attendance. A decent scholarship from Santa Clara is hard to pass up. When it comes to SFU or Golden Gate then the scholarship better be amazing and without hard stipulations.

The Hastings career services office tries to do their best. They give out the standard resume builders, how to look for jobs, and all that. However, that doesn't mean much. EVERY career service office is giving the same advice. The prepare you the best they can and then release you to the wolves. :|
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:18 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:30 pm

Moonlight wrote:
Hastings is my top option out of the cards I have in hand right now.

And yea I'm interested in hearing more about what you guys mean by Hastings being less stable.

Do you guys think Davis's reputation or rank will soar? I was looking back and I think 5 years ago, Davis wasn't even top 50?


Hastings is facing severe budget cuts coming from the state. They either have to cut staff (hard to do) or raise tuition. Raising tuition is essentially capital flight. Less of the top students will want to join. They've tried to cut incoming class size to maintain standards. It's prevented them from dropping significantly in the rankings. It's a toss up whether this type of system will work (you can only cut so many incoming students, maintain standards, and have less incoming state money).

Davis is pretty stable. They've been top 50 for as long as I can tell (maybe back in the early 90's Hastings was above them for a couple years?). Davis has gone down to low 20's but tend to gravitate back around the high 20's/low 30's.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:45 am

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:43 am

There is a good thread somewhere on TLS breaking down the rankings year by year (graph format). Davis has almost always been ahead of Hastings except for a couple years a decade or two ago. With that said, Hastings has fallen probably 10 spots over the last couple years alone. Sorry, I couldn't find the thread or I would have posted it.

Also, I found this jem when searching: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=221896

You got to love those T14-or-bust elitists. Basically, if you can't get a 167/3.5+, you shouldn't go to law school! I hate this advice. There is some truth to it. T14 schools are amazing. However, almost all of the attorneys I've ever worked with (very successful regional lawyers) all went to TTT's. Going to a T1/T2 isn't easy but can be done.

I've interacted with Hastings students and T14 students. They are basically the exact same people, except one group scored higher on a standardized test :roll:

My favorite suggestion of all: RETAKE! No matter what your score is, RETAKE. If you have a 160, you need to retake to get T14. If you have a 167, you need to retake to get more money. If you have a 170, you need to retake because... well, HSY is knocking on the door, amiright?

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:23 pm

Moonlight wrote:
a male human wrote:
Lasers wrote:Davis is no better than Hastings but I think, today, I would rather go there.

I had the same choice 3 years ago and chose hastings. Since then, not much has changed in terms of job prospects between the two, but I would prefer the smaller class size at Davis. Also, Hastings just seems less stable nowadays.

Same. I did not get a scholly at Davis, so I didn't go. Too bad Hastings and Davis started moving apart in rankings since then...

What do you mean Hastings seems less stable? It's been cutting the class size, so that's a step in the right direction.

And yes, Hastings seems to be better for job prospects than SCU & USF. Some employers won't even consider SCU students.


Hastings is my top option out of the cards I have in hand right now.

And yea I'm interested in hearing more about what you guys mean by Hastings being less stable.

Do you guys think Davis's reputation or rank will soar? I was looking back and I think 5 years ago, Davis wasn't even top 50?


All law schools are in seriously precarious situations right now. You should exploit that to its fullest.

The reputations and rankings don't really matter. It's not a top school, but it's not a bottom feeder like GGU. The in-between w/r/t rankings and such is effectively meaningless.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:28 pm

Moonlight wrote:Thanks for all the feedback guys!!

I'm going to lump my response to all 3 together.

Kaptial - where did you transfer to? Is it easy to transfer to an more prestigious school?

I realize Hastings is a tough battle for big law but I figure its better than SCU and USF, right?

I'm holding onto a slim hope of getting into Berkeley but not sure if they'll find me unique enough to accept.

The aid sounds like it will be small from Hastings, which is dissapointing. However do you guys think its worth it to take SCU or USF over Hastings though? I'm negotiating for more at both but one is offering 20K and the other 30K+

And anyone want to comment on Davis vs Hastings? I imagine I'll get into Davis. Naturally I'd take Berkeley over Hastings if I'm lucky enough to be anointed lol.


IMO, USF is not even worth going to with a free ride.

SCU and UCH are more or less equals now in terms of employment. That is, both have horribly low employment outcomes. So I'd absolutely take SCU with money. If you have to go to any of these schools, take the one with the most money. Your likelihood of getting a job that can pay back any sizable debt is very, very low.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:24 pm

kapital98 wrote:
Moonlight wrote:
Hastings is my top option out of the cards I have in hand right now.

And yea I'm interested in hearing more about what you guys mean by Hastings being less stable.

Do you guys think Davis's reputation or rank will soar? I was looking back and I think 5 years ago, Davis wasn't even top 50?


Hastings is facing severe budget cuts coming from the state. They either have to cut staff (hard to do) or raise tuition. Raising tuition is essentially capital flight. Less of the top students will want to join. They've tried to cut incoming class size to maintain standards. It's prevented them from dropping significantly in the rankings. It's a toss up whether this type of system will work (you can only cut so many incoming students, maintain standards, and have less incoming state money).

Davis is pretty stable. They've been top 50 for as long as I can tell (maybe back in the early 90's Hastings was above them for a couple years?). Davis has gone down to low 20's but tend to gravitate back around the high 20's/low 30's.

yep. the cost cutting is scary. they even shut down the book store. even though i didn't use it much, shutting down something like a bookstore is just a red flag. the rankings and medians have noticeably dropped in just the past 3-4 years. hate to say it, but hastings is definitely less stable.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:36 pm

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Lasers
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Lasers » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:43 pm

Moonlight wrote:Less stable than SCU?

So what do you guys think of the fact that SCU has a 3.0 stip that over half of its recipients lose it by the 2nd year? I was thinking that since SCU only offered 20K and that Hastings offers a 13,500 grant, that unless SCU increases my aid a lot then I should go Hastings financially speaking?

Plus I was thinking that its odd that SCU gave some people no stips but others stips.

if you don't meet the 3.0 stip, what happens? 0 aid? is the $20k from scu including need based grant?

i generally don't like stips. that's a pretty close call.

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:11 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby shazi » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:40 pm

Moonlight wrote:
Lasers wrote:
Moonlight wrote:Less stable than SCU?

So what do you guys think of the fact that SCU has a 3.0 stip that over half of its recipients lose it by the 2nd year? I was thinking that since SCU only offered 20K and that Hastings offers a 13,500 grant, that unless SCU increases my aid a lot then I should go Hastings financially speaking?

Plus I was thinking that its odd that SCU gave some people no stips but others stips.

if you don't meet the 3.0 stip, what happens? 0 aid? is the $20k from scu including need based grant?

i generally don't like stips. that's a pretty close call.


I think if I don't meet the 3.0 stip then zero aid because its merit aid and not need based aid...

Do schools send a final financial aid letter or are the individual notifications of scholarships all that there is?



Hey Moonlight,

I was in a very similar situation. I was offered 20k in merit aid from SCU with a 3.2 GPA stip.
I held out! I submitted my first deposit to SCU but never sent them a second deposit.

SCU automatically bumped up its offer to 30k with a 3.0 GPA stip without me even asking them!

However, I ended up going to Hastings for about 10k in need-based aid instead.
I do not regret my decision at all!

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:08 pm

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:28 pm

I thought all 1L activities were stupid. I didn't join any clubs and don't regret it at all. The only clubs worthwhile are ones that actually do something concrete like Hastings to Haiti (I really regret not applying for that). 1L is about getting good grades.




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