UCLA 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Kaizen428
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UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:55 am

1L at UCLA. Happy to answer questions!! I'll have some friends answer questions too so we can get some different perspectives.

HellfirePeninsula
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby HellfirePeninsula » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:24 am

1. How is the cost of living?

2. How does UCLA negotiate merit scholarships, if at all?

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adelllla
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby adelllla » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:33 pm

What has your experience been with the grading curve?

How big are the classes, and do you find that size to be an issue when trying to reach professors?
Last edited by adelllla on Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lucyfur
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lucyfur » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:33 pm

Also curious on negotiating merit (or even need-based) scholarships. Currently my best chip is my Vandy offer; do you think UCLA would budge? I also plan on riding out the USC WL, but unsure if UCLA would even negotiate further down the road, say in May or June.

87mm
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby 87mm » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:41 am

How is the atmosphere among the students during 1L? Does the school have more gunners or less gunners than the typical T14?

What is the curve like? I hear law school curves are brutal, however, UCLA seems to be reasonable relaxed compared to the atmospheres of other schools.

Is it cheaper to split rent out in town or do you think Weyburn is the best deal? Also, is graduate housing reasonably quiet?

Also curious if UCLA looks down on negotiating a second round of merit aid.

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Lucyfur
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lucyfur » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:24 pm

Kaizen428 wrote:1L at UCLA. Happy to answer questions!! I'll have some friends answer questions too so we can get some different perspectives.

Quoting so you get the notification, in case you didn't see these questions (:

StarFish346
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby StarFish346 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:26 pm

Lucyfur wrote:Also curious on negotiating merit (or even need-based) scholarships. Currently my best chip is my Vandy offer; do you think UCLA would budge? I also plan on riding out the USC WL, but unsure if UCLA would even negotiate further down the road, say in May or June.


Not to hijack but I have a bit of experience here. 2013 cycle I had good scholarships from schools around UCLA's rank and they wouldn't budge. They started at 20k/year.

That said, using higher ranked schools they moved fast/hard. I used a 25k/year from Michigan to get them to move up to a full ride.

Holodigm
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Holodigm » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:36 am

Kaizen428 wrote:1L at UCLA. Happy to answer questions!! I'll have some friends answer questions too so we can get some different perspectives.


Hopefully you're able to take time out of your schedule, what with finals approaching, so any advice would definitely be appreciated.

What's the overall environment like at UCLA? A few of us on here have gotten the impression from visits that students don't seem to be that happy, but you're on the inside and would know better. What say you?

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:12 pm

HellfirePeninsula wrote:1. How is the cost of living?

2. How does UCLA negotiate merit scholarships, if at all?



Sorry guys. Got busy with the memo and then Spring Break and I lost track of this thread.

Cost of living is high. You are in Los Angeles, so it's definitely not cheap. I think a lot of 1L's live in Weyburn first year, unless you go the roommate route which is always a gamble. Sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you get a crazy person. I do recommend Weyburn your first year unless you have a significant other who is out here with you, and then 1 bedrooms become pretty affordable.

Dean Schwartz deals with all the merit scholarships. UCLA will negotiated and they seem to be pretty fair. I know some people who asked for more and got it and others who didn't. I think those that got it though were typically splitters.

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:20 pm

adelllla wrote:What has your experience been with the grading curve?

How big are the classes, and do you find that size to be an issue when trying to reach professors?


Grading curve is brutal. Though it partially depends on your section. For example, most law skills professors teach 2 sections (each with 20-23 kids) and each section is individually curved (only graded against those in your section, not against the students in the professors other section). And this year our professor told us that between her two sections our section had REALLY strong writers and her other section didn't. Which she said is super unfair because people in our section who would be getting A's in her other section are getting B+'s or even B's in our section. We are just super top heavy. I found, and I know a lot of my peers found, that when we went to talk to professors after first semester exams a lot of professors basically apologized for the curve because they knew students were doing A level work, but because of the curve were getting B+'s. And as teachers, who really want to see students succeed, I think it really bothers them. But they isn't any other way, so you just have to deal with it.

Class sizes are good. I know UCLA makes sure that your first semester here you have 2 classes with super sections (two full sections in one class (70-80 students) and then one class with just your section (35-40). Professors are SUPER easy to get ahold of if its just your section, but i've found that professors are just about equally as available to the super sections. I've honestly never heard anyone complain about not being able to reach a professor. Also, each professor gets a budget to take groups of students to lunch at the faculty lounge. Take advantage! First of all, it's good food, and second you get to meet with your professor in a group of 3-4 and hear about them and they get to know you. I think UCLA works really hard to find 1L professors who really care about first year students. It almost has a mothering feel to it sometimes.

87mm
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby 87mm » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:19 pm

Kaizen428 wrote:
adelllla wrote:What has your experience been with the grading curve?

How big are the classes, and do you find that size to be an issue when trying to reach professors?


Grading curve is brutal. Though it partially depends on your section. For example, most law skills professors teach 2 sections (each with 20-23 kids) and each section is individually curved (only graded against those in your section, not against the students in the professors other section). And this year our professor told us that between her two sections our section had REALLY strong writers and her other section didn't. Which she said is super unfair because people in our section who would be getting A's in her other section are getting B+'s or even B's in our section. We are just super top heavy. I found, and I know a lot of my peers found, that when we went to talk to professors after first semester exams a lot of professors basically apologized for the curve because they knew students were doing A level work, but because of the curve were getting B+'s. And as teachers, who really want to see students succeed, I think it really bothers them. But they isn't any other way, so you just have to deal with it.

Class sizes are good. I know UCLA makes sure that your first semester here you have 2 classes with super sections (two full sections in one class (70-80 students) and then one class with just your section (35-40). Professors are SUPER easy to get ahold of if its just your section, but i've found that professors are just about equally as available to the super sections. I've honestly never heard anyone complain about not being able to reach a professor. Also, each professor gets a budget to take groups of students to lunch at the faculty lounge. Take advantage! First of all, it's good food, and second you get to meet with your professor in a group of 3-4 and hear about them and they get to know you. I think UCLA works really hard to find 1L professors who really care about first year students. It almost has a mothering feel to it sometimes.



Man that curve... any thoughts if this is a common occurrence? At least professors acknowledge it :\

Kinda making me worry haha.

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:54 pm

87mm wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:
adelllla wrote:What has your experience been with the grading curve?

How big are the classes, and do you find that size to be an issue when trying to reach professors?


Grading curve is brutal. Though it partially depends on your section. For example, most law skills professors teach 2 sections (each with 20-23 kids) and each section is individually curved (only graded against those in your section, not against the students in the professors other section). And this year our professor told us that between her two sections our section had REALLY strong writers and her other section didn't. Which she said is super unfair because people in our section who would be getting A's in her other section are getting B+'s or even B's in our section. We are just super top heavy. I found, and I know a lot of my peers found, that when we went to talk to professors after first semester exams a lot of professors basically apologized for the curve because they knew students were doing A level work, but because of the curve were getting B+'s. And as teachers, who really want to see students succeed, I think it really bothers them. But they isn't any other way, so you just have to deal with it.

Class sizes are good. I know UCLA makes sure that your first semester here you have 2 classes with super sections (two full sections in one class (70-80 students) and then one class with just your section (35-40). Professors are SUPER easy to get ahold of if its just your section, but i've found that professors are just about equally as available to the super sections. I've honestly never heard anyone complain about not being able to reach a professor. Also, each professor gets a budget to take groups of students to lunch at the faculty lounge. Take advantage! First of all, it's good food, and second you get to meet with your professor in a group of 3-4 and hear about them and they get to know you. I think UCLA works really hard to find 1L professors who really care about first year students. It almost has a mothering feel to it sometimes.



Man that curve... any thoughts if this is a common occurrence? At least professors acknowledge it :\

Kinda making me worry haha.


I think it's common. One of the things you'll realize coming to law school is that the range of "intelligence" is much smaller, in the sense that most everyone there is really smart. In undergrad you likely had a much bigger range. It sucks, but it's just the way it goes. Part of law school. Don't let it stress you out too much. Work hard and work smart and you should be fine.

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:56 pm

Lucyfur wrote:Also curious on negotiating merit (or even need-based) scholarships. Currently my best chip is my Vandy offer; do you think UCLA would budge? I also plan on riding out the USC WL, but unsure if UCLA would even negotiate further down the road, say in May or June.


I think Vandy is a good chip to play if it's significantly higher than UCLA. And i'm not sure on the likelihood of successful negotiation in May or June, but I have to imagine there was some movement as waitlists started moving and that money was coming back into the pot.

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Lucyfur
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Lucyfur » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:59 pm

Kaizen428 wrote:
Lucyfur wrote:Also curious on negotiating merit (or even need-based) scholarships. Currently my best chip is my Vandy offer; do you think UCLA would budge? I also plan on riding out the USC WL, but unsure if UCLA would even negotiate further down the road, say in May or June.


I think Vandy is a good chip to play if it's significantly higher than UCLA. And i'm not sure on the likelihood of successful negotiation in May or June, but I have to imagine there was some movement as waitlists started moving and that money was coming back into the pot.

Thanks - I actually negotiated a few weeks ago and was successful! Pretty sure I will be attending UCLA :D

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:01 pm

87mm wrote:How is the atmosphere among the students during 1L? Does the school have more gunners or less gunners than the typical T14?

What is the curve like? I hear law school curves are brutal, however, UCLA seems to be reasonable relaxed compared to the atmospheres of other schools.

Is it cheaper to split rent out in town or do you think Weyburn is the best deal? Also, is graduate housing reasonably quiet?

Also curious if UCLA looks down on negotiating a second round of merit aid.


I'm lead to believe that UCLA is significantly LESS gunnerish than the typical T14. Everyone is super friendly and willing to help. The only time I know people ever have problems sharing notes is if someone is constantly sleeping in or missing class because they just didn't feel like coming to class or are drinking too much. People are even pretty open and friendly during graded memo time. Also, in class I've noticed that at least in my section we don't really have gunners, we just have people that like to raise their hands and sometimes go on weird off-topic monologues/lectures that are completely unnecessary. But nothing aggressive.

As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:04 pm

Lucyfur wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:
Lucyfur wrote:Also curious on negotiating merit (or even need-based) scholarships. Currently my best chip is my Vandy offer; do you think UCLA would budge? I also plan on riding out the USC WL, but unsure if UCLA would even negotiate further down the road, say in May or June.


I think Vandy is a good chip to play if it's significantly higher than UCLA. And i'm not sure on the likelihood of successful negotiation in May or June, but I have to imagine there was some movement as waitlists started moving and that money was coming back into the pot.

Thanks - I actually negotiated a few weeks ago and was successful! Pretty sure I will be attending UCLA :D


Awesome!! You won't regret it. If you have any more questions feel free to PM me!

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adelllla
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby adelllla » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:44 pm

Kaizen428 wrote:
adelllla wrote:What has your experience been with the grading curve?

How big are the classes, and do you find that size to be an issue when trying to reach professors?


Grading curve is brutal. Though it partially depends on your section. For example, most law skills professors teach 2 sections (each with 20-23 kids) and each section is individually curved (only graded against those in your section, not against the students in the professors other section). And this year our professor told us that between her two sections our section had REALLY strong writers and her other section didn't. Which she said is super unfair because people in our section who would be getting A's in her other section are getting B+'s or even B's in our section. We are just super top heavy. I found, and I know a lot of my peers found, that when we went to talk to professors after first semester exams a lot of professors basically apologized for the curve because they knew students were doing A level work, but because of the curve were getting B+'s. And as teachers, who really want to see students succeed, I think it really bothers them. But they isn't any other way, so you just have to deal with it.

Class sizes are good. I know UCLA makes sure that your first semester here you have 2 classes with super sections (two full sections in one class (70-80 students) and then one class with just your section (35-40). Professors are SUPER easy to get ahold of if its just your section, but i've found that professors are just about equally as available to the super sections. I've honestly never heard anyone complain about not being able to reach a professor. Also, each professor gets a budget to take groups of students to lunch at the faculty lounge. Take advantage! First of all, it's good food, and second you get to meet with your professor in a group of 3-4 and hear about them and they get to know you. I think UCLA works really hard to find 1L professors who really care about first year students. It almost has a mothering feel to it sometimes.


Thank you for the detailed reply! I'm glad class sizes are not that big, but the curve does scare me a bit. I'm planning on attending UCLA (also negotiated successfully against SLS) and cannot wait to meet all the professors and the people. I've heard nothing but great things!

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wellitsover
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby wellitsover » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:05 pm

Kaizen428 wrote:As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Thanks so much Kaizen for answering questions!

I am currently stuck between bringing my car and not. While not needing a car during 1L makes sense, how do people fare without a car during 2L and 3L, especially with externships, summer internships, volunteering, etc.? I'm currently leaning towards getting a place off campus in order to save money and be able to afford having a car, but since I'm out of state apartment searching is proving somewhat difficult... but to live in grad housing AND bring my car would be pretty financially straining.

In short, how do people generally manage without cars 2L and 3L?

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zot1
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby zot1 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:04 pm

Are we ever getting rid of SAlford?

Kaizen428
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby Kaizen428 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:08 am

wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Thanks so much Kaizen for answering questions!

I am currently stuck between bringing my car and not. While not needing a car during 1L makes sense, how do people fare without a car during 2L and 3L, especially with externships, summer internships, volunteering, etc.? I'm currently leaning towards getting a place off campus in order to save money and be able to afford having a car, but since I'm out of state apartment searching is proving somewhat difficult... but to live in grad housing AND bring my car would be pretty financially straining.

In short, how do people generally manage without cars 2L and 3L?



Oh man. I'm not sure I can answer this question very well. I can definitely tell you a car during 1L year isn't necessary, but that gets tricky for 1L summer and 2L and 3L. Los Angeles is a BIG city with pretty terrible public transportation. I would think you are really limiting yourself if you don't have a car after 1L year. I can't speak from experience though. I just know people have jobs and externships all over the place and not having a car would be really difficult.

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wellitsover
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby wellitsover » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:43 am

Kaizen428 wrote:
wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Thanks so much Kaizen for answering questions!

I am currently stuck between bringing my car and not. While not needing a car during 1L makes sense, how do people fare without a car during 2L and 3L, especially with externships, summer internships, volunteering, etc.? I'm currently leaning towards getting a place off campus in order to save money and be able to afford having a car, but since I'm out of state apartment searching is proving somewhat difficult... but to live in grad housing AND bring my car would be pretty financially straining.

In short, how do people generally manage without cars 2L and 3L?



Oh man. I'm not sure I can answer this question very well. I can definitely tell you a car during 1L year isn't necessary, but that gets tricky for 1L summer and 2L and 3L. Los Angeles is a BIG city with pretty terrible public transportation. I would think you are really limiting yourself if you don't have a car after 1L year. I can't speak from experience though. I just know people have jobs and externships all over the place and not having a car would be really difficult.

Thanks for the reply. That's been the impression I've been getting, and I'm leaning towards getting a hold of a car starting 1L summer (or 2L at the latest), and getting by living in grad housing or near campus for 1L.

Good luck with finals!

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zot1
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby zot1 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:55 am

wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:
wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Thanks so much Kaizen for answering questions!

I am currently stuck between bringing my car and not. While not needing a car during 1L makes sense, how do people fare without a car during 2L and 3L, especially with externships, summer internships, volunteering, etc.? I'm currently leaning towards getting a place off campus in order to save money and be able to afford having a car, but since I'm out of state apartment searching is proving somewhat difficult... but to live in grad housing AND bring my car would be pretty financially straining.

In short, how do people generally manage without cars 2L and 3L?



Oh man. I'm not sure I can answer this question very well. I can definitely tell you a car during 1L year isn't necessary, but that gets tricky for 1L summer and 2L and 3L. Los Angeles is a BIG city with pretty terrible public transportation. I would think you are really limiting yourself if you don't have a car after 1L year. I can't speak from experience though. I just know people have jobs and externships all over the place and not having a car would be really difficult.

Thanks for the reply. That's been the impression I've been getting, and I'm leaning towards getting a hold of a car starting 1L summer (or 2L at the latest), and getting by living in grad housing or near campus for 1L.

Good luck with finals!


You most definitely want a car. Although LA has some public transportation, it's not as efficient as that of other cities. And Westwood is hilly AF. So walking up hills with your groceries won't be fun. But also, if you want to get out of campus and go somewhere, you will want a car. Specially because you will have classmates living off campus--if you need to go see them for some reason, you'll need a car. Also, you will need to interview for jobs prior to 1L summer and guess what? You will need a car. I don't think I'm making this clear, but your life will be a lot easier with a car.

87mm
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby 87mm » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:38 pm

zot1 wrote:
wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:
wellitsover wrote:
Kaizen428 wrote:As far as housing I think Weyburn is the best deal. And I haven't heard anyone complain about noise in Weyburn, and I have 4-5 friends living in different places in there.

Thanks so much Kaizen for answering questions!

I am currently stuck between bringing my car and not. While not needing a car during 1L makes sense, how do people fare without a car during 2L and 3L, especially with externships, summer internships, volunteering, etc.? I'm currently leaning towards getting a place off campus in order to save money and be able to afford having a car, but since I'm out of state apartment searching is proving somewhat difficult... but to live in grad housing AND bring my car would be pretty financially straining.

In short, how do people generally manage without cars 2L and 3L?



Oh man. I'm not sure I can answer this question very well. I can definitely tell you a car during 1L year isn't necessary, but that gets tricky for 1L summer and 2L and 3L. Los Angeles is a BIG city with pretty terrible public transportation. I would think you are really limiting yourself if you don't have a car after 1L year. I can't speak from experience though. I just know people have jobs and externships all over the place and not having a car would be really difficult.

Thanks for the reply. That's been the impression I've been getting, and I'm leaning towards getting a hold of a car starting 1L summer (or 2L at the latest), and getting by living in grad housing or near campus for 1L.

Good luck with finals!


You most definitely want a car. Although LA has some public transportation, it's not as efficient as that of other cities. And Westwood is hilly AF. So walking up hills with your groceries won't be fun. But also, if you want to get out of campus and go somewhere, you will want a car. Specially because you will have classmates living off campus--if you need to go see them for some reason, you'll need a car. Also, you will need to interview for jobs prior to 1L summer and guess what? You will need a car. I don't think I'm making this clear, but your life will be a lot easier with a car.


Posted in another thread but... what are your thoughts on motorcycles around campus and the area (assuming you have a car as well). Is parking pretty easy for motorcycles near the law school and the graduate housing?

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zot1
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby zot1 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:58 pm

87mm wrote:
Posted in another thread but... what are your thoughts on motorcycles around campus and the area (assuming you have a car as well). Is parking pretty easy for motorcycles near the law school and the graduate housing?


Lots of vespas around. I don't know specific to graduate housing but I believe bikes park for free on campus on designated spaces. There's parking to the side of the law school where you can likely land your bike.

87mm
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Re: UCLA 1L Taking Questions

Postby 87mm » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:01 pm

zot1 wrote:
87mm wrote:
Posted in another thread but... what are your thoughts on motorcycles around campus and the area (assuming you have a car as well). Is parking pretty easy for motorcycles near the law school and the graduate housing?


Lots of vespas around. I don't know specific to graduate housing but I believe bikes park for free on campus on designated spaces. There's parking to the side of the law school where you can likely land your bike.


Thanks. Are they typically crowded? My bike is a bit bigger than a vespa. Also, how is the campus gym/graduate gym?




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