Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
rward2007
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Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:09 am

Hello all,

Just finished my first semester at UCLA. I remember these forums helping me a lot last year, and I wanted to do my part to answer any questions that prospective 1Ls might have.

Feel free to PM me, or just post in this forum.

LSATahhhh
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby LSATahhhh » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:25 am

rward2007 wrote:Hello all,

Just finished my first semester at UCLA. I remember these forums helping me a lot last year, and I wanted to do my part to answer any questions that prospective 1Ls might have.

Feel free to PM me, or just post in this forum.



Welcome to TLS, thanks for the time to share your thoughts with us.

Can you share about your experiences with the classes and the UCLA atmosphere? How are their facilities and the Westwood area?

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dlm2100
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby dlm2100 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:31 am

Thanks for the opportunity to ask some questions. Do most students live in Westwood? If so, eastside or westside (Weyburn)? Is a parking pass ridiculously difficult to get? Who was your favorite prof. 1st semester and why...thx again.

rward2007
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:52 am

Classes have been great. I had two classes with my "big section" (75 students), one "small section" (30 students), and the legal writing class (we call it Lawyering Skills) with about 20. Even the big section classes feel pretty small, and the atmosphere is not competitive at all.

The facilities are hit or miss. The big lecture halls (two of them) are horribly outdated and too large. The smaller classrooms are better, but still not perfect. My biggest complaint about the school would be the building, which often reminds me of a high school. That said, the law library is incredible, and as a student that's where you're going to spend most of your time anyway.

The Westwood area is probably the only walkable mini-city in LA. Within a 7-block radius you can get just about anything you want (food, Best Buy, Gap, etc.). After a few months I needed some change, so I started forcing myself to travel outside of Westwood to study as often as possible. That said, I know tons of people who love having everything they need within walking distance, and Westwood is wonderful for that.

Most students live in the Westwood area. Most students who don't live in Weyburn live off of Wilshire (south Westwood). I live in Weyburn, which is fantastic. For what I'm paying (1k/month, everything included - except parking), it's a great deal. If you're referring to parking passes for the campus garages, I believe they assign those based on how far you live from the bus routes. Most of my friends managed to get them. If you live near Weyburn, though, there's absolutely no need. The bus system is clean and works perfectly.

All of my professors have been ridiculously accomplished. By far the sweetest professor I've ever had was Prof. Grady (Torts). His teaching method is dramatically different from others (we read excerpts from 750 cases), but everyone loved his humor and sincerity. My favorite professor was probably Prof. French (Property), who wrote our Property book (not the most popular book - which our dean wrote - but probably the second-most assigned). She never flaunted her intelligence or belittled a student, and her breadth of knowledge on every aspect of property was incredible. She even managed to make a horrible topic like the Rule Against Perpetuities clear and understandable (having helped redefine the way it was taught to students through a law review article in the early 1980s).

palmstar
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby palmstar » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:31 pm

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Last edited by palmstar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applepie
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby applepie » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:43 pm

In your opinion, what would sway you about UCLA over similarly ranked school like Texas and Vanderbilt?

rward2007
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:18 pm

palmstar -

Exams were fine. I'm sure you can find lots of advice on Top Law Schools, but the most important thing is to prepare for your professor's test. Do all of the practice answers, and practice writing in the same style as the samples they provide. As a 1L I don't know a whole lot about the class placement for firm jobs, although I have heard the same thing (top 50%). I don't think top 50% is difficult to accomplish at all. The fact that you're on this forum says something about your level of dedication, and I am sure you will have absolutely no problem ending up in the top half of your class.

Bar reviews are fun, but 1Ls tend to stop going towards the second half of the semester (but 3Ls do go, so that's a great networking opportunity). The SBA chooses local bars (mostly in Hollywood), and my only real complaint is that they tend to choose "it" bars over places that might offer the best deals. As someone who could give a shit about trendy bars, this bugged me a few times.

None of my professors used Socratic last semester, but all of them do it this semester. As I'm sure other students have told you, it is not a big deal AT ALL. If you get the answer wrong, the professor doesn't harass you but simply gives the correct answer and continues to ask questions. No one judges you for not knowing (because most of them don't know, either). None of my professors use the Socratic method to torture students, so don't worry.

applepie -

I actually went to Texas undergrad, so I have a lot of positive things to say about that school. Two reasons I didn't go to Texas: (1) the 1L class is much larger (400 students total, 100 per section), and the 65% rule (in which Texas residents must make up 65% of the entering class, by law) has a noticeable effect on the class. Most students come from Texas, and many represent sub par schools that have zero placement at other top law schools. That rubbed me the wrong way at the admissions day, but may not be a big deal to you. (2) it's very hard to get a job in Austin, and I basically consider that the only Texas town worth living in. Although it's possible to go to NY and CA, you must be at the top of your class. All three of these schools are regional-national schools...it's possible to go elsewhere, but their real appeal comes if you want to practice in their region.

I also went to visit Vanderbilt and had a wonderful time. The nightlife there is great (but has nothing on Austin, if you ask me!), and the student body is much smaller (~200). However, I knew I wanted to practice in LA (or NY), and UCLA was a much better fit. A Vanderbilt JD will have trouble finding a job in LA, where he has to compete with both UCLA and USC grads who have connections in the legal community. Further, if you want to go to DC or NY, Vanderbilt grads have just as much difficulty as UCLA, because those regions are chock full of higher ranked schools who monopolize placement. With that in mind (and my strong preference for Cali), I thought UCLA had the edge. I'm also more of a city boy, and LA trumps Nashville is just about every respect.

Keep 'em coming!

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LolaSmile
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby LolaSmile » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:35 pm

What was your LSAT/GPA?

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dlm2100
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby dlm2100 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:40 pm

thanks again for taking questions.

Are other students helpful/kind in respect to sharing notes and forming study groups? Can you give me an idea of your typical day? What is your class schedule like? And to add a reminder - basketball vs. SC tonight.

rward2007
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:59 pm

166/3.97

I was accepted off of the wait list at UCLA. I found that LSAT >>> GPA during the admissions process.

Students are extremely helpful, and many formed study groups early in the semester. I didn't do specific groups, but had 2-3 people I would go to with questions throughout the semester. Before finals I studied almost exclusively with these people (but not in an organized group, just near them so we could bounce questions off one another), and went over all of my outlines with one of them. That seemed to work out well.

Typical day is waking up between 6 and 7, getting to school around 8. I'll read in the library, or brief the day's cases, and then class until 4ish. We have random breaks, and I take 30 min to eat, and then the rest of the time either reading or just relaxing with classmates. After class I try to stay at the library for 2-3 hours to get most of my reading done, and then head home for dinner and finish up my last subject by 10ish. After that, I'll either go back and fill in notes, or read supplements until I go to bed (between 12 and 1). I'm not the model law student, as I spend a fair amount of time dicking around, but I somehow make it work. Last semester I didn't start working on my outlines until November. The LSC method of outlining after every class didn't work for me. I needed to take some time away from the material and then go back and teach it to myself all over again. That allowed me to focus on the big picture, which was more helpful for my exams.

For most of the semester I also spent at least half of the weekend relaxing. I watched most of UT's football games, and went out one of the nights. It all depends on how well you study, and how much time you're willing to put in. Just know that you can have a life and do well in law school. You don't have to be a machine.

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smack4ud
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby smack4ud » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:12 pm

rward2007 wrote:166/3.97



They waitlist 166, 3.97?

Eek, im toast.

rward2007
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:22 pm

Last year was a weird cycle. Not sure how it's been this year. A huge number of students were waitlisted. I think they were trying to keep their acceptance/attendance numbers low, because as soon as I told them I would attend they took me off.

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Formerbruin
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby Formerbruin » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:47 pm

UCLA: Great school, or greatest school?

rward2007
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby rward2007 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:14 pm

bump

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It'saPeaceLily
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby It'saPeaceLily » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:15 pm

What have you heard from other students about externships and summer jobs? Does the administration give good support with those?

Actually, how is the administrative support in general? Do they lose aid checks? Are they responsive? I had the same financial aid officer lose my aid check 3 times in a row at Catholic University.

AndrewK
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby AndrewK » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:59 pm

hey thanks for helping out...i am currently a junior at UT austin and have about a 3.6 and just got a 166 on the dec LSAT. hopefully my GPA will go up over the next two semesters. UCLA is my top choice and i know its a bit of a reach. any advice that might help me out when i start the application process?

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sidgey
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby sidgey » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:54 pm

Hi rward!

Do you know anyone in the David J. Epstein Program? If so, could you talk about it a bit? I just got accepted and am as excited as can be!

Sidge

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UandIaresplittsville
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby UandIaresplittsville » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:44 pm

How early on did you know you were going, and when did you apply for housing, aid, etc? UCLA is my best option so far and I am excited to go, but I'm still waiting on a few schools that I'd also consider. I just want to make sure I'm not falling behind.

I wish I had a more interesting question but that's what I really wanna know at the moment!

Thanks!!

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UandIaresplittsville
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby UandIaresplittsville » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:46 pm

OMG I'm a dumbass, with the old thread and the not noticing. Oh well.

thruruby
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby thruruby » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:14 am

I would really like to revive this thread as well. Any UCLA 1L's wanna step in?


My question: What's up with this UCLA 0L summer program? Has anyone here taken this "8-day intensive" course? Do people think it's worth the time?

Thanks!

ecclaw07
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby ecclaw07 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:13 pm

Trying to bump again...I have a lot of questions about UCLA. :)

palmstar
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby palmstar » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:00 am

The summer program mostly has minorities in it, from what I heard.

They teach you how to brief a case and other basic things.

Also, they give you a writing assignment and then critique it.

Overall, it seems like a decent way to make some friends, but don't count on it giving you an edge for the upcoming year.
Most people I know who did it thought it was ok, but nothing spectacular

palmstar
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby palmstar » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:12 am

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Last edited by palmstar on Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

palmstar
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby palmstar » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:17 am

As far as housing goes:

LIVE IN WEYBURN. Trust me. It is the center of social life for 1L's and you will be so left out if you don't live there.

People all pre-game for bar reviews there, people have parties there and then leave for the football games together, people do happy hour at westwood places that are walking distance from Weyburn etc. etc. Basically, if you don't live there it will be a pain in the ass for you, because you will always have to drive over there to do anything (which then of course makes it difficult if you want to drink because people all take taxi's to go places from Weyburn)

If you weren't offered housing call Dean Scharz and tell him you absolutely must have housing and you will magically get it.
Obviously, apply for housing as soon as you can
Last edited by palmstar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris_cpb
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Re: Any questions for a UCLA 1L?

Postby Chris_cpb » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:20 am

What's your opinion of LA in terms of social networking?




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