USF School of Law

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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Ken
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University of San Francisco Law School Profile

Postby Ken » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:33 pm

University of San Francisco Law School

A private law school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the University of San Francisco Law School is a great choice for those applicants looking for a small school in a big city. Boasting the name of the one of the largest cities on the West Coast, USF Law School has many elements that make it a great choice for applicants looking at northern California for law school.


USF Law School Admissions and Tuition

Ranked amongst the top 100 law schools in the nation, USF Law is slowly building its way up the charts. Its popularity as a law school is evidenced by the fact that approximately 3,700 applicants apply to law school at USF each year, with only 1,000 or so of those applicants being accepted. While it may be less competitive than top law schools, it still only accepts 27% of applicants. In fact, the selectivity of USF Law School is increasing with each year and as a result it is becoming more difficult to gain entrance.

Admitted students of USF Law generally have LSAT scores ranging from 157 to 161, for the 25th and 75th percentiles respectively, and the average LSAT score is 159. Admitted students also have a GPA score ranging from 3.1 to 3.6, for the 25th and 75th percentiles respectively, with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3. USF Law School selects students mainly on these numbers. Students with LSAT scores above this range are likely to garner substantial financial support from the school.

The admissions process is customary and requires an essay. There is not an interview process. In addition, while there is an application deadline, the earlier applicants apply, the more scholarship funds there are available.

Because USF Law is private, tuition is significantly more expensive than at a public law school. The annual tuition is over $30,000 with books and supplies adding on another $1,000 or so. In addition, because the school is located in San Francisco, one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, housing can add on another $10,000 plus for those students choosing to live on-campus and $15,000 for those students choosing to live off-campus.

Because of the high tuition prices, the majority of USF Law School’s students receive aid of some sort. This includes those students who receive merit-based aid, which roughly 20% of students do, and those that receive scholarships, which is approximately 30% of students.




USF Law School Curriculum and Academics

Because USF Law School is amongst the top 100 law schools in the nation, the academic standards are high and the school is competitive and demanding. The school has a tough workload and a harsh grading curve. On average, the law school maintains a C average, due in part to both the workload and tough curve, and it is these low GPAs that make for the extreme competition in classes, with each student vying for the high grades. Because all GPAs are relatively lower than other law schools, most students at the school use their class percentages as a mark of ranking, as this lends for a better determination as to where they are in comparison to the rest of their class. The school works well with students who have a GPA of 2.0 or lower, after their first year by placing them in a program that provides tutoring assistance.

The classes are much smaller than at most law schools, with some being as small as 10 students. This can be both good and bad, as students get more personal interaction with professors during class, but have increased competition between students due to the grading curve. There are legal writing, legal research and moot court requirements for all students. The legal writing course consists of an intense year-long curriculum based on the training of research, legal writing and analysis skills. The popular classes are harder to get into, of course, but most students usually get into them from the wait list.

Professors at USF Law come from a variety of schools including many Ivy Leagues. The faculty consists of around 90 professors, with the majority of these working part-time.

Clinical programs, though not required, are strongly encouraged. Some can be harder to get into than others and many students do not get the opportunity to participate in any of them when the competition is too high. The three biggest clinics are criminal law, civil rights law and intellectual property law, with criminal and civil rights being the hardest to get into. The school also offers clinics in mediation and international human rights. In addition, USF Law School offers judicial externships to its students.


USF Law School Quality of Life

The USF Law School campus is beautiful with much foliage, pretty buildings with classic architecture, the law school with its modern look, and a new high-tech library with internet access for every seat. The new library is extremely popular among professors, students and alumni. Directly across the street from the law school is a Roman Catholic Church, hearkening back to the school’s Jesuit foundation, along with numerous undergraduate facilities.

The location of the law school is central to San Francisco, near to both the civic center and the downtown area. USF Law School’s neighborhood is safe in comparison to many of the city’s neighborhoods although parking, like most places in the city, is not always available. Also as a result of location the school leans politically left.


USF Law School Social Life

The social life at USF Law is primarily a product of San Francisco city life. While the school does host bar nights every week, it is San Francisco that offers the restaurants, clubs and bars that are popular with students. In addition, Golden Gate Park and the Haight District of the city are short distances by foot from the school. For a large metropolis, San Francisco offers a wide array of outdoor activities for students as well.


USF Law School Employment Prospects

The employments prospects for USF Law students are average, with a 92% job placement rate 9 months after graduation, and an average starting salary of approximately $85,000. The reason that the career prospects are reasonable is partially due to the fact that USF Law is highly respected in the Bay Area and finding jobs and internships is fairly easy to achieve. However graduates of USF Law School often find themselves competing with students of Hastings, Stanford and Berkeley.

The career services department is not very helpful, and many students have to work hard to find job prospects for themselves. For the most part, career services concentrates itself on those students in the top 5 to 10 percent who are looking for careers with big firms or non-profits.

Overall, if one wants to learn and practice law in San Francisco, the University of San Francisco Law School offers an excellent option for those seeking a Northern California regional school.

Contact Information

University of San Francisco School of Law
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422 – 6586
lawadmissions@usfca.edu

Application Deadline: February 2
Application Fee: $60

Financial Aid Application Deadline: February 15

GeoffreyFRose
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I'm thinking of applying...

Postby GeoffreyFRose » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:21 pm

But worried about high attrition rates. Any thoughts?

Also, is Santa Clara's reputable stronger or relatively comparable to USF?

Thanks.

sflaw77
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Go to the best law school you can get into...

Postby sflaw77 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:59 pm

USF is a good school, but job prospects are not that great. Take it from me: I possess multiple CALI awards, rank in the top 5% of my class, have been on the dean's list for two years, and take part in all the so-called prestigious law school organizations. However, the school garners very little attention from Big Law firms.

The following is a breakdown of California law schools represented in large firms (with the school with the most representation being on top):

San Francisco/Bay Area
    Standford, Boalt, Hastings, UCLA, USC, Davis, Loyola, USD, Santa Clara


While USF is a good school, I believe it is marketed poorly, perceived as being a second rate school. It does not help that the career services is mainly apathetic when it comes to career development.

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valrp
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Postby valrp » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:00 pm

as this is a school i am seriously considering, booo hoo!

Any other USF students?
I know some very succesful USF grads, but they graduated years ago..

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snowboarder2713
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Postby snowboarder2713 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:52 pm

USF Law is highly respected in the Bay Area and finding jobs and internships is fairly easy to achieve.


USF is a good school, but job prospects are not that great. Take it from me: I possess multiple CALI awards, rank in the top 5% of my class, have been on the dean's list for two years, and take part in all the so-called prestigious law school organizations. However, the school garners very little attention from Big Law firms.


These two comments seem to contradict each other. If this guy really did do all of this, do you think its more likely than this guy has no personal skills whatsoever and that Ken is more correct?

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snowboarder2713
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby snowboarder2713 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:26 pm

bump. comments on the above post?

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lishi
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby lishi » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:13 pm

I know twins, one that just graduated and one that is a 2L who both have good job opportunities ahead of them. Also talking to some of the students, they made it sound that as long as you do well, you will get a great job. I don't know if that helps answer your question tho.

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snowboarder2713
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby snowboarder2713 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:48 pm

All I know for sure is that after me and you lishi finish this application cycle, we can probably teach the admissions offices of these NorCal schools a thing or two with how much research we're doing on them.

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lishi
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby lishi » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:54 pm

hahaha prolly. I'm constantly looking for new employment information like anything is going to change overnight lol

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snowboarder2713
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby snowboarder2713 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:06 am

Ha me too. I have all employment information on all the schools from nalp.org. Right now though I'm looking at apartments, and more importantly their prices, around USF. I was thinking of renting a 2 bedroom apartment and renting the other part out, but it may be easier to either rent a room in a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment or join up with someone to rent one. Amazing, I've found decently priced stuff (under $1,000) around the USF area.

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lishi
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby lishi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:31 am

Yeah, it's bad but sometimes you can find a good deal. Do you have a car?? Are you set on living super close to campus??

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snowboarder2713
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby snowboarder2713 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:39 am

lishi wrote:Yeah, it's bad but sometimes you can find a good deal. Do you have a car?? Are you set on living super close to campus??


I don't have a car, so I want to live close to campus. The problem with USF being located on top of a hill, is that, well, it's located on top of hill making biking to the school a hell that I may not want to go through each day. If I live off the immediate campus area, I want to be near the bus/rail system. SFSU I think (or another college with similar initials) is nearby and I hear Western Addition has good and fairly cheap housing options. So even if I didn't live right next door to campus, I probably wouldn't have to go too far.

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lishi
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby lishi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:46 am

SF State isn't that far away, but you will definitely have to take public transporation. It isn't walking distance at all. If you could find some SF State housing that is cheap then it would be good, but it might be a little more expensive for your own apartment because it is the Sunset district. Also I know in this area that you can find a room in a house for cheap in this area. If you are interested.

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lishi
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby lishi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:47 am

Oh and don't bother looking in the Pacific Heights area or North Beach. That's where all the huge houses are, where Robin Williams and Danielle Steel live.

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valrp
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby valrp » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:44 am

I actually think that the Sunset is cheaper than the area around USF. I have rented in the Sunset and it was the cheapest place I ever had. It wouldn't be a bad bike ride to USF from the Sunset. It's not like a steep hill all the way (such as Lombard or more places further downtown). If you are worried about money, Sunset and the USF area are your best bets for being close to USF. But, the transportation system in SF is great - you can take a bus anywhere 24hrs a day.

Snowboarder, if you go to USF, I bet they will have resources so you can find roommates who are also law students & room with them.

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brizz9
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby brizz9 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:06 am

snowboarder2713 wrote: SFSU I think (or another college with similar initials) is nearby and I hear Western Addition has good and fairly cheap housing options. So even if I didn't live right next door to campus, I probably wouldn't have to go too far.


I've lived in San Francisco for five years, if there's anything you want to know, just ask. SFSU is pretty far from USF, about as far away as anywhere could be in San Francisco anyway. And like many neighborhoods in the city, the Western Addition has very different parts, some are decent, and some lead the city in homicides. A lot of drug turf in the Western Addition. (And I'm not someone that's overly worried about crime, I've lived in major cities most of my life).

It depends on your personality/likes, dislikes, I like places with good, cheap restaurants, galleries, music venues, stores, people on the streets. The neighborhoods I would live in are The Mission, Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, maybe Noe Valley, but that can be expensive. Over by USF is pretty mellow, quiet, but there's a lot of college kids living there obviously.

If you want something more upscale: the Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights. For more residential, families: The Inner Sunset & The Richmond. The downside of the Sunset is that it stays super foggy and cold when other parts of the city get sunny.

If you're looking to live in a 3-4 bedroom with roommates, expect to pay at least $700+ each. I've paid less, but it's hard to find and the situations can be less than ideal.
Last edited by brizz9 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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valrp
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby valrp » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:56 pm

brizz9 wrote:SFSU is pretty far from USF, about as far away as anywhere could be in San Francisco anyway


I've lived in sf for the past 5 years, too.

And it isn't as far away as it seems - I've biked to and fro in about 40 minutes. I don't consider that far. But i see where you are getting at, it isn't walkable - that's for sure!

Public trans is the way to go.

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pachydermavenger
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby pachydermavenger » Sun May 04, 2008 8:10 pm

anyone still considering USF?

ambednarczyk
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USF School of Law

Postby ambednarczyk » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:35 am

As a J.D. student at USF, I can't express how impressed I am by this program. The professors are excellent and incredibly motivated to teach. I have friends that go to schools nearby that flaunt a lot of prestige but there is no doubt that our professors are just as good if not better. One of our current professors has won over eight teaching awards at various universities she has taught at and I can't name a single friend of mine from some of the other "bigger name" schools that can boast the same. We also have a ridiculously high bar passage rate, which should tell you something about the quality of our program. (around 80%).

Also, I've read some misleading comments on this and various other forums warning applicants about applying to slightly less glitzy-name schools for fear of problems getting jobs; and this is simply not true. While the current economy isn't great anywhere, there are plenty of jobs out there just waiting to be filled with the right applicant. If you can show the passion, interest and dedication employers are looking for, I have no doubt that they will give you a chance. USF in particular has one of the best legal research and writing programs in the country - which goes a long way for employers looking to hire.

Just wanted to set the record straight here in case anyone is thinking about USF School of Law.

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santdani
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby santdani » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:49 am

how s USF scholarship's program?

How does it compare to McGeorge??

ambednarczyk
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby ambednarczyk » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:06 am

Hi there,

There a quite a number of scholarships USF offers, here's a link to a healthy-sized list: --LinkRemoved--

I don't know too much about what McGeorge offers, but they list a few on their website here: http://www.mcgeorge.edu/x2499.xml

Hope that helps,

Ania

Calikat
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby Calikat » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:09 pm

Welcome USF adminstrator. I hope your stay is pleasant.

:roll:

braun223
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby braun223 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:14 pm

Does anyone have any information on job prospects out of USF? Also, what kind of numbers do you need for a substantial scholarship? I believe I have the numbers to get into Hastings but have heard terrible things about the area and the competitiveness of the students. Any info appreciated.

LSATahhhh
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby LSATahhhh » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:15 pm

their bar passage rate is impressive. Almost as good as Davis.

--LinkRemoved--

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A'nold
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Re: USF School of Law

Postby A'nold » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:18 pm

Calikat wrote:Welcome USF adminstrator. I hope your stay is pleasant.

:roll:


Beat me to it!

Admin: How big of a scholly could I get with a 160, 3.2 ish GPA? I would love to attend if I could get it under 20k a year.




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