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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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:23 am

Moonlight wrote:How do employers even look at the Honors, Pass, and Fail thing at Berkeley and Stanford? It seems like thats an unfair advantage but at the same time, I would be so confused as to what a Pass entails because that seems like it could range from C- to A- right?

In terms of "unfair advantage," it doesn't really work that way. In general, firms have grade "cutoffs" that you either qualify for, or you don't. If you qualify, then you are competitive, but if you don't, then you're not. So it's not like a firm is saying "A 3.68 at Hastings is equivalent to 2 Hs at Stanford, but beaten by 3 Hs."

Instead, it's more like "You need either top 15% at Hastings, or at least 2 Hs at Stanford in order to be considered, but that just gets you in the door, after that it's on you to wow us." Grades are all-important because they get you in the door, but there usually isn't a benefit from your grades beyond getting in the door.

Now, sometimes firms can give false hope by interviewing outside their cutoff range, which gives the illusion that they consider grades beyond a cutoff. As an example, I know of a firm that came to Hastings OCI in 2012, and offered screener interviews to people in the top 20%, even though it turned out later that the firm had an internal cutoff of top 10% at Hastings. This gave the impression that grades mattered post-screener, as the candidates that advanced had generally higher grades. But, the grades didn't really matter because it was always a top 10% cutoff, it just seemed that way because the firm had agreed to interview candidates who never really had a shot.

It's also important to note that this isn't necessarily the firm being cruel either; the career office often pressures firms to give out more interviews, and also requires them to accept some randomly assigned interviews. This is misguided, but he career office is convinced it helps.

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:30 am

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
Moonlight wrote:How do employers even look at the Honors, Pass, and Fail thing at Berkeley and Stanford? It seems like thats an unfair advantage but at the same time, I would be so confused as to what a Pass entails because that seems like it could range from C- to A- right?

In terms of "unfair advantage," it doesn't really work that way. In general, firms have grade "cutoffs" that you either qualify for, or you don't. If you qualify, then you are competitive, but if you don't, then you're not. So it's not like a firm is saying "A 3.68 at Hastings is equivalent to 2 Hs at Stanford, but beaten by 3 Hs."

Instead, it's more like "You need either top 15% at Hastings, or at least 2 Hs at Stanford in order to be considered, but that just gets you in the door, after that it's on you to wow us." Grades are all-important because they get you in the door, but there usually isn't a benefit from your grades beyond getting in the door.

Now, sometimes firms can give false hope by interviewing outside their cutoff range, which gives the illusion that they consider grades beyond a cutoff. As an example, I know of a firm that came to Hastings OCI in 2012, and offered screener interviews to people in the top 20%, even though it turned out later that the firm had an internal cutoff of top 10% at Hastings. This gave the impression that grades mattered post-screener, as the candidates that advanced had generally higher grades. But, the grades didn't really matter because it was always a top 10% cutoff, it just seemed that way because the firm had agreed to interview candidates who never really had a shot.

It's also important to note that this isn't necessarily the firm being cruel either; the career office often pressures firms to give out more interviews, and also requires them to accept some randomly assigned interviews. This is misguided, but he career office is convinced it helps.


Interesting. Thanks for the insight!

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eliztudorr
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby eliztudorr » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:52 am

Moonlight wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for the insight!


+1

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shazi
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby shazi » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:21 am

Moonlight wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:I think this must be in reference to Stanford/Berkeley. Both of those schools use a Pass/Honors grading system, so there's no real "curve" at those places. Employers might "count Hs" but no one is ever ranked in the dreaded "bottom 10%" because there's no real ranking in a P/H system.

By contrast, Hastings is like the other 99% of law schools and has a forced curve. The academic regulations state that no more than 25% of any class can get As, while 12% of every class is required to receive a grade below B-. This isn't unusual for law schools generally, but it is different than Berkeley/Stanford.

As for jobs, the actual letters you get never really matter because outside of HYS employers look at class rank instead of actual grades. Realistically, at Hastings you need to be in the top 15% to have a shot at biglaw (maybe top 30% if you have something else going for you, e.g. you're an URM, or you have an advanced degree + want to do patent law). But exactly which grades get you "top 15%" will vary with your class year, the curve in any one class doesn't matter as much as the actual distribution across classes.

That and Berkeley/Stanford are way more competitive anyway, so it's silly to say that Hastings' grading system is somehow responsible for employment outcomes, as opposed to Berkeley/Stanford just having a generally more prestigious student body (hence why they can get away with P/H grading in the first place).


How do employers even look at the Honors, Pass, and Fail thing at Berkeley and Stanford? It seems like thats an unfair advantage but at the same time, I would be so confused as to what a Pass entails because that seems like it could range from C- to A- right?



They explain how employers are to interpret Berkley's grading system here: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1050.htm

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DildaMan
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby DildaMan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:49 am

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:Now, sometimes firms can give false hope by interviewing outside their cutoff range, which gives the illusion that they consider grades beyond a cutoff. As an example, I know of a firm that came to Hastings OCI in 2012, and offered screener interviews to people in the top 20%, even though it turned out later that the firm had an internal cutoff of top 10% at Hastings. This gave the impression that grades mattered post-screener, as the candidates that advanced had generally higher grades. But, the grades didn't really matter because it was always a top 10% cutoff, it just seemed that way because the firm had agreed to interview candidates who never really had a shot.

It's also important to note that this isn't necessarily the firm being cruel either; the career office often pressures firms to give out more interviews, and also requires them to accept some randomly assigned interviews. This is misguided, but he career office is convinced it helps.


Bid well (conservatively unless you killed it) for OCI bros. I have friends who struck out in the top 15%.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:01 pm

DildaMan wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:Now, sometimes firms can give false hope by interviewing outside their cutoff range, which gives the illusion that they consider grades beyond a cutoff. As an example, I know of a firm that came to Hastings OCI in 2012, and offered screener interviews to people in the top 20%, even though it turned out later that the firm had an internal cutoff of top 10% at Hastings. This gave the impression that grades mattered post-screener, as the candidates that advanced had generally higher grades. But, the grades didn't really matter because it was always a top 10% cutoff, it just seemed that way because the firm had agreed to interview candidates who never really had a shot.

It's also important to note that this isn't necessarily the firm being cruel either; the career office often pressures firms to give out more interviews, and also requires them to accept some randomly assigned interviews. This is misguided, but he career office is convinced it helps.


Bid well (conservatively unless you killed it) for OCI bros. I have friends who struck out in the top 15%.


I do not understand at all why UCH makes randomly assigned interviews a thing. It's a complete waste of time for everyone involved.

3 friends and I interviewed with the same firm. 3 of us all had the same experience: the guy could not have seemed less interested. He completely stopped an interview after exactly 3 minutes when my friend mentioned he was interested in the firm's office outside of SF. I'd bet money that at least one of us (if not all 3) got random interviews.

The 4th friend, however, was probably top 5%, maybe higher, and said he essentially got an offer on the spot, the interviewer was very friendly and engaging, and so on.

Yet another way in which OCS seems completely clueless.

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:14 pm

Hey all!

I heard this thread started up again...going to add my 2c on the stuff I remember, then probably get overwhelmed and disappear again :).

Disclaimer: I am also a 3L who started at UCH and transferred. I wouldn't take those of us here on TLS as a barometer for how many transfer. There are a ton of us who happen to be semi active but also happened to transfer during the c/o 2011 cycle.

As people have said previously, DO NOT EXPECT TO TRANSFER. I think I made one of the biggest transfer moves of UCH, and I have no clue how I did it. I was ranked #5, which was part of it, but after you hit top 10, at least for SLS, it's a total black box. Also, hitting top 10 is 50% work, 40% luck, 10% fairy dust...I worked hard, don't get me wrong, but on any given exam, the difference between an A- and an A is guessing what a prof has in his/her head. I did read professors writing before exams to get an idea of their style so I could imitate it, but heaven only knows if that's what worked or if it was the fairy dust.

My approach to law school: I was biglaw or bust. I went in knowing that with the help of my sugar daddy (read husband) we could have less than $20K in debt from UCH after year one. If I didn't get a 2L SA during OCI, I was going to drop out and work at the church of st. arbucks or something similar until I figured out what I was doing with my life. Because I had a supportive spouse, this was an option for me. Many people finish 1L not in the top, with $60K of debt which is hard to pay off, and having lost 1year in opportunity costs (plus the time it takes to pay back the loans to get to square 1). That is why some are depressed. I also had a firm 2 C drop out line - b/c heck, one C could bar me from a firm, two would certainly do so. Weigh the cost with your expected gain, and know that it's hard to hit the 160 number if you don't get the 2L SA. Think of what you could do with your current degree, and if the risk is worth it to you, jump away.

My experience with schollys: I had a decent chunk of change sitting in the bank about a year before I was going to go to law school. I looked into the numbers, and equity in a home was at the time not something factored into financial aid. SO, we bought a house, with a firm deadline of closing by Dec. 30. I then reported almost $0 in my bank acct, and got a $10K need based grant. [plus timing was lucky so we now have a nice piece of real estate, though my commute is for $h!t]. This worked well until I was in the top of the class. You get $5k for being top in your section, and another $5k if you are top 10 overall (to even out grading styles I guess?). Because this was $10K, I lost my "need based aid" so it was a wash, no additional $$ even for being #5, and bupkiss when I had my exit interview to transfer out (other than a nice story about small fish and big ponds which I mostly ignored...).

My experience with grading: seems to me like something has to be stacked. After first quarter, I'm pretty sure my LRW section of 10ish (12?) people had four peeps with 4.0s, maybe five. That could have been chance...but...

My experience with Levine/Lefstin/FIT: I actually really liked Lefstin, and found Levine's theatrics amusing. Lefstin is hard, no joke, but he's smart as a tack and willing to talk to you in office hours. Actually overall I found profs were very accessible and very interested in teaching as a profession, which was cool. FIT was awesome, but sounds like it isn't a choice anymore. I was a gunner (section award: gunner and proud of it) We did flock to that class, and had fun with it. Field is an awesome teacher. If she doesn't do stat classes anymore, take time to take something from her. She is super organized and knows her subject backwards and forwards.

edit: My experience with job hunts: not really relevant bc I did it elsewhere. I can say straight P's at SLS still lands biglaw, but you need to have a good personality (read: not an ass), and you aren't going to one of the big NY offices, or to SF (unless you really are persuasive, which some are). I visited people at UCH my first year out, but I do so less now, because my class seems depressed. Those who have jobs are afraid to chat about it too much because they don't want to rub it in for those who don't. Those who don't are scared about the future, depressed, and scrambling, and don't want to talk to that weirdo who left but doesn't seem to go away. It isn't a pleasant feeling, but that's an outsider perspective.

My experience with clubs: running club FTW. Awesome people, getting in shape, and stress relief. Go legal eagles. I've started the SLS auxiliary.

...open to questions, but sometimes I forget to check back here. Now that I've remembered this exists, I'll prolly be around for a bit, but if you PM me and I ignore you know it's probably because I realized that the Bar is coming up fast and had to go nervous-barf.

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Cal Trask
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Cal Trask » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:00 pm

Would any current students/graduates be able to speak on PI support at Hastings? I'm particularly interested in knowing what percentage of those that apply to the the PICAP program actually receive repayment assistance. 70-80% of IBR payments seems like a pretty sweet deal, especially when it doesn't require a legal position, but it seems that funds are fairly limited and not everyone who applies will actually receive assistance.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:03 pm

And can anyone speak to the tax law program? Whether its worth it and what not and what you think of the other concentrations. Also any recommended Journals to pursue?

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a male human
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:22 pm

I can only speak to journals since I was involved in one. Go for HLJ if you can. Otherwise, it depends on your preferred area of law. If you don't have one and don't care which area you read and write about, go to the highest ranked secondary journal. If you have a particular interest, pick the one matching it, regardless of the journal's ranking. For example, if IP's your thing, accept the offer, if any, from Science and Tech Journal. Based on what I heard most employers won't know or care about non-flagship journals or what their rank was, but they will like that you engaged yourself in an area you're supposedly interested in.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby deebanger » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:58 pm

Hastings just took a big hit in the rankings! and now is officially a tier two law school!. Thats shocking, but it was expected right, considering Davis' better overall employed numbers, and Davis has moved up two spots. So, now for nor cal it looks like it is Stanford/Berkeley/Davis and then Hastings.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:30 pm

deebanger wrote:Hastings just took a big hit in the rankings! and now is officially a tier two law school!. Thats shocking, but it was expected right, considering Davis' better overall employed numbers, and Davis has moved up two spots. So, now for nor cal it looks like it is Stanford/Berkeley/Davis and then Hastings.


Which law school are you attending again?

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:35 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
deebanger wrote:Hastings just took a big hit in the rankings! and now is officially a tier two law school!. Thats shocking, but it was expected right, considering Davis' better overall employed numbers, and Davis has moved up two spots. So, now for nor cal it looks like it is Stanford/Berkeley/Davis and then Hastings.


Which law school are you attending again?


lol

So what do you think of the new rank? And also what do you think of the reported 30% employed at graduation? I'm seriously considering Hastings, although I think USC may take me so would love your thoughts on that as well. Thanks

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:35 pm

Dean Wu's comment on the rank slip...

http://uchastings.edu/about/leadership/chancellor-dean/letters/2014-3-11.php

What do I think? Be very careful if you choose to go. Know what you're in for, and when (if ever) you will cut and run. Remember opportunity costs, and remember that Davis/LA are both lovely places. If I were you I'd go to USC.
Last edited by lisavj on Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:41 pm

It's a drop of 4 places, which isn't a huge deal by itself, but it's now below #50, so I guess that's like a separate unofficial "tier" in a sense. Dean Wu has a point about smaller classes being able to bring up employment numbers (Is it really 30%? Where did you get that?). I hope to see it make a comeback.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:52 pm

a male human wrote:It's a drop of 4 places, which isn't a huge deal by itself, but it's now below #50, so I guess that's like a separate unofficial "tier" in a sense. Dean Wu has a point about smaller classes being able to bring up employment numbers (Is it really 30%? Where did you get that?). I hope to see it make a comeback.


I read it on the USNews. Like when you click on the school's name in the rank list you'll see it says employment stats. Davis has 44% I think?

USC has 56% I think.

Do you think USC has same pull as Hastings in Nor Cal? I want to be here in Nor Cal ultimately.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:06 pm

Moonlight wrote:
a male human wrote:It's a drop of 4 places, which isn't a huge deal by itself, but it's now below #50, so I guess that's like a separate unofficial "tier" in a sense. Dean Wu has a point about smaller classes being able to bring up employment numbers (Is it really 30%? Where did you get that?). I hope to see it make a comeback.


I read it on the USNews. Like when you click on the school's name in the rank list you'll see it says employment stats. Davis has 44% I think?

USC has 56% I think.

Do you think USC has same pull as Hastings in Nor Cal? I want to be here in Nor Cal ultimately.

USC likely does since it's top 20 or so IIRC. But I see mostly a lot of regional schools (Stanford, Boalt, Hastings, SCU, GGU) in firm profiles. I do see some UCLA but not much USC actually.

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kapital98
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby kapital98 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:07 pm

If USC calls you pick up the phone.

Otherwise, nothing has changed. Just bragging rights about attending a "T1" that will only matter to the soulless TLS lurkers.

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:14 pm

What do you mean by norcal? SLS kids strike out in SF. So do Berkeley kids.

Do you want biglaw or something else? because UCH doesn't place well at large firms.

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:20 pm

kapital98 wrote:If USC calls you pick up the phone.

Otherwise, nothing has changed. Just bragging rights about attending a "T1" that will only matter to the soulless TLS lurkers.


What do you mean? Are you saying go to USC?

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:20 pm

lisavj wrote:What do you mean by norcal? SLS kids strike out in SF. So do Berkeley kids.

Do you want biglaw or something else? because UCH doesn't place well at large firms.


SLS and Berkeley Strike out? Who's left to get in then? I'd like Big Law but medium is great too

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:25 pm

Moonlight wrote:
lisavj wrote:What do you mean by norcal? SLS kids strike out in SF. So do Berkeley kids.

Do you want biglaw or something else? because UCH doesn't place well at large firms.


SLS and Berkeley Strike out? Who's left to get in then? I'd like Big Law but medium is great too



Some don't get SF firm jobs. Some do. SF is a small market, so they take a few SLS a few Berkeley, and a UCH or two (max, seriously, I know two people from UCH going to biglaw in SF next year) and then they are full. If you're OK with Palo Alto, then you are better off, but still you have to be top 20%.

SF cares a lot about ties because EVERYONE wants SF. Seriously. I know transfers, people with 2-3H's, etc. that struck out at SF. Generally, the two hardest to get were SF and DC.

Moonlight
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Moonlight » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:31 pm

lisavj wrote:
Moonlight wrote:
lisavj wrote:What do you mean by norcal? SLS kids strike out in SF. So do Berkeley kids.

Do you want biglaw or something else? because UCH doesn't place well at large firms.


SLS and Berkeley Strike out? Who's left to get in then? I'd like Big Law but medium is great too



Some don't get SF firm jobs. Some do. SF is a small market, so they take a few SLS a few Berkeley, and a UCH or two (max, seriously, I know two people from UCH going to biglaw in SF next year) and then they are full. If you're OK with Palo Alto, then you are better off, but still you have to be top 20%.

SF cares a lot about ties because EVERYONE wants SF. Seriously. I know transfers, people with 2-3H's, etc. that struck out at SF. Generally, the two hardest to get were SF and DC.


Wow that's crazy. Well I mean Bay Area in general. I don't care if its Silicon Valley or Walnut Creek or Palo Alto. I'm not a huge fan of San Francisco as a city to be honest.

deebanger
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby deebanger » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:33 pm

kapital98 wrote:If USC calls you pick up the phone.

Otherwise, nothing has changed. Just bragging rights about attending a "T1" that will only matter to the soulless TLS lurkers.


didnt you transfer out of Hastings? Why did you transfer? if nothing changed, oh wait you realised that hastings had poor employment prospects and got the fuck out of there when you had the chance to.

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lisavj
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby lisavj » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:36 pm

Are you set on biglaw? (full disclosure, I live in Walnut Creek. I think we have a satellite office for one "big" firm, that's it.) Several smaller firms though.




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