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.
hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:58 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
hiima3L wrote:For maybe the first time in its history, UCH's bar passage rate was below the state's average. I remember looking at UCH back in 2008 and its bar pass rates were in the upper 80s. Unbelievable how fast it has tanked, and it's only going to get worse, perhaps dramatically.

http://abovethelaw.com/2015/12/californ ... july-2015/

The school is reaching embarrassingly low stats.


I just don't understand how this keeps happening. By any reasonable measure, UC Davis should not have any advantages over UCH (I.e. It's not like Davis has access to some secret jobs market to keep stats up...), but their performance on the bar suggests that they are doing something right which UCH is getting wrong.

I have suspicions, but would love to see the school give us an honest breakdown of who's passing and who's failing (not names, but stats, e.g. "People we let in despite a 152 LSAT!") so that we could be sure pressure was being applied in the right way. As it stands it's frustrating as fuck to be an alum and watch the school tank like this.

PS - did anyone else read the email Faigman sent out to alums this morning? It was typically light on substance, but I would love to know if he's serious about it.


It's happening because the average UCH student has much worse LSATs/GPAs than before. As Faigman's email said, the top half at UCH has historically had a 90%+ pass rate. But the only thing that has changed (which, of course, his email failed to mention) is the dramatic decline in admission standards.

I consider that to be the exclusive reason why UCH's bar pass rates have plummeted because there is an abundance of data proving a very, very strong correlation between bar passage rates and entrance statistics. It's not rocket science to figure out why--generally, people with higher LSATs/GPAs are smarter and do better on law school exams and the bar. Bottom of the barrel schools are like 3-year bar prep classes whereas Ivy League schools often focus on useless scholarship, theory, electives, etc. But Ivy Leagues have dramatically better pass rates for the obvious reason that the average Harvard student is dramatically smarter and more equipped to pass the bar than the average UCH student.

As for Davis, I have my suspicions that their employment stats are seriously gamed, but their relatively tiny class size and dominating/focusing on the Sacto market, which wasn't really hit by the recession, probably explains why their employment stats are better. Not sure about their bar pass rates cuz I haven't looked at their admissions standards.

Anyway, the school has now officially reached an embarrassing level. It was teetering above it before, but now that it has bar pass rate below the state average, it's clear to me just how bad it's gotten in only about 5 years. When I was looking at UCH in 08, the bar pass rates were in the high 80s, the school was decently competitive to get into, and it had a good statewide reputation. I emphatically tell people not to go to UCH now.


I mean, I generally agree with this--but Davis cannot possibly be gaming it's bar pass rates (my understanding is that it's impossible to game those). According to LST, Davis' admission stats tanked until 2014, when they began to rebound. But to me, that's the real kicker--the people who are failing the bar at UCH now have *arguably* the same stats as their peers at Davis (because we're talking about 2012 admits), but the Davis kids do substantially better on the bar. So there must be something else going on.

I've personally always suspected it's Hastings penchant for giving "opportunities" to people with truly horrific stats (Hastings reported accepting someone with a 145 LSAT back in 2012...then stopped reporting the true LSAT range altogether) and depending on the rest of the class to average this out, but I can't prove it.

Regardless, it's obnoxious that Davis was able to--and continues to--turn the situation around while Hastings continues to tank. That's a total failure on the part of Hastings' administration. Far more heads should have rolled than just Frank Wu's.


Totally agree Davis isn't gaming bar pass rates, but, again, donno what their entrance stats are. I'll look into it...someday.

But, as Faigman's recent email said, the overall class at UCH is doing historically poorly. Accordingly to him:

"Particularly worthy of note, we found that, over the preceding decade, the top 50% of the class had over a 95% pass rate and, indeed, the top 75% of the class had over a 90% pass rate . . . . shockingly, only about 88% of the top half of the 2015 class passed this minimum competency exam and only 77% of the top 75% of the class passed."

This directly correlates with the drop in entrance stats. These are also roughly the same as other schools in the pass who had (or have) the same entrance stats that UCH has now. People can argue causation/correlation, but god the data is so large and so consistent that I find it borderline disingenuous to say lower bar pass rates are not directly correlated with lower LSATs/GPAs.

I think UCH kinda dug itself into an enormous hole decades in the making by growing to such an enormous class size. They relied on the assumption that 300-400 seats would be easy to fill. That changed dramatically and now either the class size shrinks or the entrance stats plummet. I see no other solution.

GunnerBingo
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby GunnerBingo » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:37 pm

How do you all feel about the UC Hastings employment numbers given the low bar passage rate?

If the presumption as a law student is that you need to pass the bar in order to work full-time as a lawyer, why should students who have not gained legal employment due to bar failure factor into our understanding of an institution's ability to employ students? Shouldn't we be looking at employment statistics in terms of number of students working full-time as lawyers vs. number of students who were eligible for said jobs through bar passage? While not a perfect representation (as I get into below), this seems to yield a more realistic representation of UCH's actual employment rates.

Based on the employment numbers for the class of 2014, it looks like 50-55% of the class was able to secure full-time salaried legal employment. This is disturbingly low. However, only 68% of the class of 2014 passed the bar (also shockingly low). So, how can we look at UCH's employment numbers given the low bar passage rate?

Although there are positions (e.g. big law, mid-law, etc.) that will give new hires more than one try to pass the bar, the students who are most at risk of failing the bar (low GPAs/bottom half of the class) are more likely to be in positions like small gov. or small firms where first-time bar passage would be a true requirement for employment. My educated guess (please tell me if I'm way wrong on this), is that only about 5% of students who failed to pass the bar would be able to maintain full-time bar passage required employment.

Taking this all into consideration, I'd guess that maybe only 70-75% of the class of 2014 was really eligible for bar-passage-required full-time employment based on where UCH places its students and how few students actually passed the bar first-try. So looking at things in this way, one could argue that UCH really provides students--who pass the bar--with about a 65-75% of full-time legal employment.

There are definitely issues with this view of course. First, in order to consider the 75% employment figure when choosing UCH, the incoming student must presume she will pass the bar. This presumption may be risky considering UCH's increasingly lower admissions standards.

The second issue is whether UCH's employment statistics are actually being limited by the low bar passage numbers. In other words, if UCH had 100% bar passage, based on my model, would we expect to see a 75% employment rate? Or can UCH only support a 50%-60% employment rate in the current market, and poor bar passage numbers are simply shrinking the pool of students eligible to take those jobs?

The third issue, can a law school meaningfully help students increase their likelihood of success on the bar? As stated, that 75% employment number looks nice, but students need to pass the bar to make it apply to them. Thus, maybe students shouldn't be cautioned by UCH's low overall employment figures (about 50%), but rather by the low bar passage rate. This outlook really depends on whether you believe that your choice of law school independently effects your likelihood of success on the bar.

TL;DR: UCH will never post high employment numbers if bar passage remains low. The numbers suggest that students who pass the bar at UCH actually have a decent chance at full-time legal employment. The real question is whether UCH employment numbers would scale accordingly if a higher % of students passed the bar first try.

I know this was long, but I'm really curious to hear what people have to say about some of these issues.

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:54 pm

I'll have to look at the post more carefully when I get home, but I think Hastings is simply too complacent about its bar passage rate. With the new dean, I'm hopeful that things will turn around. I want to bring up Thomas Jefferson School of Law because I think it's a great case study. I know some things about that school by virtue of being in San Diego, dating a 1L there, and having a coworker who graduated from there. TJSL's bar passage rates improved dramatically after a new dean came on board and shifted the class model such that bar prep begins as a 1L. So yes, Hastings definitely can meaningfully change its bar passage rate, given how it was much higher in the past + TJSL nearly doubled its pass rate. This will, in turn, improve the likelihood of employment in a fierce competition with higher ranked schools.

Hastings might be too stubborn to change its traditional ways, but there are professors on the inside who have at least a little sway who care about things like this. It feels like Hastings just assumes that its students are smart enough to figure it out on their own, which allows its faculty and staff to relax and just take on a more platitudinous and passive mindset. It needs people who have heart. (This isn't to say the students should just leave the responsibility all to the school; they must also put in their best effort. However, right now graduates feel like they got a job despite Hastings, not thanks to Hastings. Our CO is the worst CO I've ever seen.)

Hastings is like a funnel where people who "get" it survive, and the rest are sacrificed. It needs the high enrollment number to support wages and scholarships. In other words, the failures (for lack of a better word) support the success stories because they will not get a job or pass the bar.

Since Hastings is more like a business, I'm not sure how willing it is to cut down enrollment to, say, 150. This will lower the student/faculty ratio, and the current business model doesn't seem to be capable of supporting that. Barring professors taking on a more charitable role because they love the teaching, or their taking job search more seriously, or their taking bar prep more seriously, or their improving their donation fundraising efforts, I wonder how Hastings will improve its ranking that's like a falling knife at this point.

Incidentally, I can help them with the latter three. I used an unconventional method to get my current job at above its normal entry salary (which gave people various reactions, including anger, admiration and amusement). I've reworked resumes and cover letters and did mock interviews to get my friends interviews and jobs. I run a quickly growing bar blog (a TJSL professor signed up for my email list). There are so many aspects of their emails and letters that could be reworked to encourage more donations. I contacted Dean Wu (right before he resigned) about helping with fundraising efforts, but he or his assistant didn't respond despite opening my email multiple times.

In short, they need to accept that they need help instead of being stubborn about how great it is being the first law school in the West. It seems like they are heading in the right direction with increased scholarships (IIRC it's more than the max of $10k when I first entered) and a fresh dean just a year after Dean Wu's term was unanimously renewed.

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General_Tso
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby General_Tso » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:52 pm

"Legal employment" is only half the equation. Hastings' median FT/LT law firm position salary is $75k. This does not include lower paying government and public interest jobs which also count as "legal employment."

Of that number who secure "legal employment," probably only 1 in 3 are actually earning enough money to get by easily and pay their student loans. Which means Hastings provides you with approximately a 20-25% chance of earning enough to justify its $200k cost of attendance.

There's little reason to slice and dice the data to try to put a positive spin on Hastings employment outcomes. These are poor and should serve as a warning to prospective enrollees and a call to action by Hastings administration.

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Yeah I make less than 75k. Sucks to not be making that much yet working till like 1 AM and on weekends.

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:45 pm

Someone just called me requesting a donation, ugggh

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:28 pm

ilovesf wrote:Someone just called me requesting a donation, ugggh

I love when this happens. It's like they're giving me the gift, wish they'd do it to me more often, but I don't get them anymore

Bender7
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby Bender7 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:45 am

This school is definitely on the decline. They need to sell the school to compete.They will have a tough time persuading students to enroll. You can only offer so much $. Year after year after year of abysmal job stats and bar passage rates.

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General_Tso
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby General_Tso » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:51 pm

Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:54 pm

General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:

Your avatar looks so delicious

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:46 pm

Got a call today from a fundraising firm asking for donations on behalf of "CA Hastings" for the Investing in Opportunities campaign. I recorded it in case I could slam it in them for trying to use emotional connection back to favorite professors and whatnot to reel me in like last time. However, this lady was quite nice and understanding of my time and patience, so I shall keep it private as there's nothing interesting in the call.

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General_Tso
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby General_Tso » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:53 pm

a male human wrote:Got a call today from a fundraising firm asking for donations on behalf of "CA Hastings" for the Investing in Opportunities campaign. I recorded it in case I could slam it in them for trying to use emotional connection back to favorite professors and whatnot to reel me in like last time. However, this lady was quite nice and understanding of my time and patience, so I shall keep it private as there's nothing interesting in the call.


Be careful recording phone calls, potential violation of state and federal wiretap acts

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:58 pm

General_Tso wrote:
a male human wrote:Got a call today from a fundraising firm asking for donations on behalf of "CA Hastings" for the Investing in Opportunities campaign. I recorded it in case I could slam it in them for trying to use emotional connection back to favorite professors and whatnot to reel me in like last time. However, this lady was quite nice and understanding of my time and patience, so I shall keep it private as there's nothing interesting in the call.


Be careful recording phone calls, potential violation of state and federal wiretap acts

True, next time I'll tell them I'm doing so. She told me she was as well.

hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:48 am

General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.

hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:54 am

ilovesf wrote:Someone just called me requesting a donation, ugggh


Did you tell them angrily to stop calling?

It took me YEARS to get them to stop calling. They haven't since the summer, so I think they finally got the message.

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General_Tso
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby General_Tso » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:00 pm

hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.


Money would be better spent paying a portion of grads' salaries at reputable firms

hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:27 pm

General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.


Money would be better spent paying a portion of grads' salaries at reputable firms


Or on scholarships, debt relief, bar prep programs, pro bono programs/stipends, extracurricular programs...the list goes on.

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General_Tso
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby General_Tso » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:45 pm

hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.


Money would be better spent paying a portion of grads' salaries at reputable firms


Or on scholarships, debt relief, bar prep programs, pro bono programs/stipends, extracurricular programs...the list goes on.

http://www.uchastings.edu/career-office ... /index.php

They actually are already doing the thing I suggested. It's amazing that they suddenly have all this money at their disposal that they just couldn't manage to come up with back when enrollment was ~450 1Ls and scholarships were nil.

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:58 pm

General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.


Money would be better spent paying a portion of grads' salaries at reputable firms


Or on scholarships, debt relief, bar prep programs, pro bono programs/stipends, extracurricular programs...the list goes on.

http://www.uchastings.edu/career-office ... /index.php

They actually are already doing the thing I suggested. It's amazing that they suddenly have all this money at their disposal that they just couldn't manage to come up with back when enrollment was ~450 1Ls and scholarships were nil.

We had it last year - they maybe had 5 spots or something? I applied to all 5 and only heard back from 1. My friend is doing one and she really hated it. While she obviously liked being employed, she made like half of what everyone else in her position w/ the same responsibilities was making and that gets kind of depressing after a while

hiima3L
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby hiima3L » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:46 pm

General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:
hiima3L wrote:
General_Tso wrote:Anyone donating to the Hastings skybridge fund? :lol:


God that email from Dean Faigman pissed me off so much. I can't believe the school is throwing $40mil of taxpayer money at new buildings. It's the god damn Tenderloin and the school is imploding. No amount of shiny buildings is going to right the boat.


Money would be better spent paying a portion of grads' salaries at reputable firms


Or on scholarships, debt relief, bar prep programs, pro bono programs/stipends, extracurricular programs...the list goes on.

http://www.uchastings.edu/career-office ... /index.php

They actually are already doing the thing I suggested. It's amazing that they suddenly have all this money at their disposal that they just couldn't manage to come up with back when enrollment was ~450 1Ls and scholarships were nil.


I recall seeing a posting for one of those positions on HCO that was ~$35k. That is poverty-level in SF. And it was just some 5-person plaintiff's firm, so who knows what that means. Sure, better than nothing, but also way better than a god damn sky bridge.

middleawkward123
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby middleawkward123 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:46 pm

How hard is it to keep 2.5-2.8 GPA? THanks!

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ilovesf
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby ilovesf » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:49 pm

middleawkward123 wrote:How hard is it to keep 2.5-2.8 GPA? THanks!

I'm sure most of us posters here managed it but obviously every year some people don't (I have a friend who had a sub 3.0 GPA). How big is your scholly?

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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:50 pm

middleawkward123 wrote:How hard is it to keep 2.5-2.8 GPA? THanks!

That's around a C+ to B- average (bottom 10%-ish), so it's rather doable

mrclean17
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby mrclean17 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:14 pm

I just read the entire thread these past two days, and I want to thank all the posters who have kept this thread alive for the past few years. So much helpful information, especially seeing the transition from posts in 2009 to current posts.

My question: I have a tuition fee waiver, and I'm deciding on UC Irvine or UCH. I think based on LSAT/GPA that I would be towards the top quarter of my class at UCH, but toward the bottom half of the class at UCI. Would graduating from UCH with a better class ranking set me up better than a lower rank at UCI? I don't care what type of law/where I practice as long as it's in CA and I make at least 70k when I graduate, as I'll have about 30k debt from cost of living and undergrad.

I'll admit I'm afraid that UCH's numbers will continue to decline and I'll be fucked in 2019 when I graduate, but the new buildings/dean gives me hope that there will be some change for the better.

Also, anyone have tips on getting the best grades during 1L? I was interested in the ADR team as I currently clerk for a WC Defense firm and that area of the law interests me but I don't want my GPA to suffer from the additional work

WheninLaw
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Re: UC Hastings Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:36 pm

mrclean17 wrote:My question: I have a tuition fee waiver, and I'm deciding on UC Irvine or UCH. I think based on LSAT/GPA that I would be towards the top quarter of my class at UCH, but toward the bottom half of the class at UCI.


Don't want to shit up this thread, but yikes.




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