Golden Gate University School of Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
itforthat
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby itforthat » Mon May 17, 2010 12:47 am

What do you like about it?

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vlsorbust
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby vlsorbust » Mon May 17, 2010 2:23 am

I just received a letter of acceptance from GGU today, along with what seems to be a half-tuition scholarship. I was also accepted to California Western (no scholarship) and part-time at New England Law in Boston (again, no scholarship). I'm still on waitlists for two top-100 schools and a T3.

Something seems a little off here, though. GGU is the second to last school to get back to me (still waiting on Chapman), and they gave me a scholarship even though my GPA is in the low 2.X range due to a pretty big roller coaster kind of life as an undergrad over a decade ago (which is the only reason I didn't apply to that many higher-ranked schools - my LSAT was decent but not quite on par with some other extreme splitters).

Is GGU really just being altruistic and recognizing some other aspect of my application (work experience, activities, personal statement, etc.) or are did they have so many students withdraw/decline admission offers so that GGU now has to worry about filling the class? I applied to GGU mostly as a safety, and would have attended when I thought about practicing immigration/public interest law in California. I'm not easily deterred or scared off by people who rip on T3/T4 schools in general. However, I am concerned about alleged practices that seem to set students up to fail.

As a hypothetical (and ideal) situation, let's say I'm at the top of my class at the end of 1L for any of these three schools. Which of the three would be the most worthwhile to attend (especially if I am also looking at transferring up, at least to a T2 and (hopefully) with a scholarship)? I know that sounds naieve but that's also why I said hypothetical/ideal - I don't expect it to happen, but I'm hopeful.

Please, if you are going to bother to reply to this, at least try to be objective and intelligent about it. Thanks in advance.

itforthat
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby itforthat » Fri May 21, 2010 9:31 pm

I also applied to GGU and got my acceptance letter with a generous scholarship plus acceptance to their Honors Lawyering Program.

I read some horrible things about that school... So I don't know...

Good luck!

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vlsorbust
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby vlsorbust » Fri May 21, 2010 10:52 pm

Ultimately I decided to attend the school in Boston. It's in the area of the country where I'd prefer to practice. Plus, there are so many good schools out there, I hope to do extremely well and possibly transfer up.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue May 25, 2010 11:11 am

she missed ten weeks of a six week semester.


she must've had to work pretty hard to do that.

barkathemoon
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby barkathemoon » Sat May 29, 2010 11:23 pm

I just finished my 1L year at GGU and I must say that I've had a great experience so far. Sooo many things I want to comment on after reading a lot of the posts on here. I'll begin with what I've found to be the most impressive thing about the school, the professors. They are outstanding. The majority of them, at least. I went to a 'big name' undergrad, and the number of great professors I've had at GGU has already surpassed that number from my undergrad. If you come here and you're fortunate to have Zamparini, Sylvester, Chang or Stanley your first year, then your tuition money will already be going to good use. Each of them is an incredible professor. I've heard from students in the others sections, too, that they've had excellent prof's. I can't say enough about them. (on a related note, the TAs I've had have also been outstanding).

Secondly, the student body is equally impressive. My class is full of interesting, motivated and smart students. I've read on here that in years past, the administration's policy was to fail out the bottom third of the 1L class. If this was true, it is not the case currently. Although grades still have to come back for the spring semester and some may be getting the boot soon, I can only think of one student from the fall semester who didn't come back on their own volition. GGU has a litigation team that travels around the country and competes against the many of the top law schools in the country. This year our team consistently made the semi-finals at these competitions. The team was mostly 2Ls, too. Having gone to an undergrad that was/is considered one of the best in the country, where the majority of students had SAT scores in the 1500s, I can say from confidently that many GGU students are equally bright and, for the most part, a hell of a lot more interesting.

Third, the fact that the school's ranked in the 4th tier is ridiculous. Don't buy into it. We had a sh*tty reputation a few years ago because of the low bar passage rate. Recently, including this year, GGU's CA bar passage rate is ABOVE the state average. That is, above the state average in the state known to have the most difficult bar. Furthermore, GGU students pass other state bar exams with flying colors. Job placement rate? I don't know the recent stats on it, but think about the fact that GGU students are competing for the same jobs that STANFORD, BOALT, and HASTINGS students are. Those are excellent, very highly ranked law schools, and GGU is smack in the middle of them. And we still hold our own. Rankings are principally based upon what the deans from other schools say and what judges say about their experiences with GGU students and graduates. The judges ratings of our students are significantly higher than the ratings from the deans of other law schools. Picture the little kid in the school yard getting picked on. You know what though, as frustrating as it is that the rankings don't recognize GGU as being a very good school, I'm very much okay with it because it will afford me (and my classmates) more of an opportunity to impress employers. GGU currently has a strong reputation in the SF community as training its students in practical lawyering skills. I can't speak for other schools, but in your first year at GGU you will get a lot of experience with writing briefs and memos.

I'm no Einstein. GGU was my safety school, and when it was the only school I got into the first thing I did was look into what I needed to do in order to transfer. Now, transferring is out of the question (no, not bc I didn't do well enough). Bottom line is, I thought that in going to a 4th tier school, I was going to be surrounded by idiots and learning mostly out of my text books. Sure, there are a few students in my class that probably should not be in law school period. But they are few and far between. I have had nothing but great experiences with the career services offices- which I've read negative things about on here in earlier posts.

If you're on here bc you're considering whether to go to GGU, the bottom line is this: DON'T LET THE SMACK TALKERS SCARE YOU AWAY. I'm curious what the motivation is for someone to get on here and call the school a toilet bowl school... Bc they're just so concerned that someone they don't, and never will, know go there? Most likely they were in that bottom third that got booted. Anyhow, it is a good school and the rankings are unfortunate reality that shouldn't be enough to dissuade you from coming here. One last thing: San Francisco is an effing awesome city to live in. Good luck.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:31 pm

^
how did you end up going to such a good UG school and then going to GGU?

barkathemoon
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby barkathemoon » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:08 pm

3.1 undergrad GPA. Law school admissions apparently only saw the number and didn't seem to care where it came from. I read somewhere that if you know when you're in high school that you want to do law school later, go to an easy undergrad and get the highest GPA you can. I'm sure that's taking it a little too far, but there is an element of truth to it, unfortunately.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:11 pm

^^^^^

I don't think anyone here is saying that you won't get a good legal education at GGU.

The unfortunate reality is in a tough legal market, when employers can pick and choose who they want to let into the interview pool, they can shut the door before your foot gets in with the GGU credential while having Hastings students galore to pick and choose from. Are those students necessarily better? Not necessarily, but the chances are the employer can use the school as a first step in culling the herd of applicants.

barkathemoon
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby barkathemoon » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:52 pm

I don't dispute that. It's an unfortunate reality for getting a job right out of school, for sure. I can't speak from experience, but I have heard many times that the school's rep is important for finding your first job only. Of course, it could potentially take years to find that job. I would also argue that the inferiority complex that a lot of GGU students have from being in the shadow of Hastings, Boalt and Stanford can work to our advantage bc while they (HB&S students) might be inclined to rest on their laurels, we know that we have to prove ourselves. And, for the most part, we can back it up. One other thing to think about: San Francisco retains a lot of GGU students (for obvious reasons), while given the demand for T1 grads draws a significant portion of them to other parts of the country. The competition for jobs in SF, while fierce, is not as closed off to us as you might think. A very high number of Northern CA 'Super Lawyers' are GGU alumni, and that's a great network to work with.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:36 pm

barkathemoon wrote:I don't dispute that. It's an unfortunate reality for getting a job right out of school, for sure. I can't speak from experience, but I have heard many times that the school's rep is important for finding your first job only. Of course, it could potentially take years to find that job. I would also argue that the inferiority complex that a lot of GGU students have from being in the shadow of Hastings, Boalt and Stanford can work to our advantage bc while they (HB&S students) might be inclined to rest on their laurels, we know that we have to prove ourselves. And, for the most part, we can back it up. One other thing to think about: San Francisco retains a lot of GGU students (for obvious reasons), while given the demand for T1 grads draws a significant portion of them to other parts of the country. The competition for jobs in SF, while fierce, is not as closed off to us as you might think. A very high number of Northern CA 'Super Lawyers' are GGU alumni, and that's a great network to work with.


Feeding into SF from the local region: Stanford, Berkeley, Davis, Hastings, SCU, USF, McGeorge, and GGU plus any other graduate from elsewhere (not just T14) that want to work in San Francisco.

EVERYONE has an inferiority complex when it comes to Stanford and I doubt this truly has any bearing on the motivation of students to perform well. Considering the $100,000+ debt load of most law students, I think there is motivation enough despite being below other schools.

Having talked to GGU students and alumni, many had extremely positive things to say about their experiences. However, on the other hand, I've talked to almost top 10% students who seemed like they couldn't get their foot in the door for even unpaid internships. Does that mean they aren't just as motivated or hard working? No, it simply means there is a lot of competition.

Your GPA and LSAT take work, discipline and, arguably, some intelligence. If it takes higher credentials to get into Hastings than GGU, as an employer that is inundated with applications for internships from hard-working students, using the school which requires higher entrance requirements as a culling tool makes sense. Because within that pool there will still be better and worse applicants, but it's a first step to starting with hundreds and getting down to dozens.

There are plenty of GGU alumni doing well, and what people say doesn't mean a GGU student is screwed. But the reality is that GGU students likely face a much steeper hill to climb to a career, at least initially, because of the competition and through no lack of effort or intelligence of their own.

It's reality.

bahari2010
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby bahari2010 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:27 pm

I'm a GGU alum (Class of 2010) and just recently sat for the California Bar Exam (results are released mid-November.) I really enjoyed my time at GGU, but what you get out of any school is what you put into it. While I had other oppertunities, I'm glad I chose GGU because, among other reasons I would not have met the woman who will soon be my wife:). If you see yourself in a large corporate firm, don't come here. Most GGU grads, like most lawyers' nationally, practice as solos or in small firms. Of course, if you can go to a Boalt (UC Berkeley), Stanford etc, you have no reason to consider GGU. I would note however, that we all learn from the same casebooks and in the end sit for the same exam.

Some thoughts:

Students: The people who study at GGU are generally smart, and well-rounded. Among the day students while I was there most had not come directly from undergrad, and several were second career people which made for interesting points of view. I didn't find my classmates to be hypercompetitive during 1L or at any other time.

Attrition Rate: The ABA-reported attrition rate (which is for the 2007-08 year) is a little misleading due to the discontinuation of Mid-Year Admissions, so I'll report what I saw in my section (most law schools divide the class into three or four sections, with whom you take all your first year classes.) GGU does a lot better job than in years past of admitting people who can't make it. At least in my 1L section, more than half of the disqualified students had poor study habits, but were not unintelligent about the law, as noted by their in-class comments. I think the 2009 reintroduction of "+" grades (last used in 1987) will also help the attrition rate.

1L Section Size 59
Dropped Out first semester (before exams) 5
Academically Disqualified 11 (3 of these were re-admitted after petitioning)
Transferred Out 8 (mostly to Hastings & Santa Clara)

Job Prospects: I would argue that a GGU diploma is not any more a hinderence to employment than say USF, Santa Clara (outside the south bay, of course) or UC Davis (which despite being a UC doesn't have much in the way of an alumni network etc.). By the way, unless you want to work for a judge, the government, or a large firm you are unlikely to be asked about your law school grades.

Curriculum: Every ABA-accredited law school has the same basic curriculum. In addition to the standard first (and some second) year courses GGU also requires you to take Wills & Trusts, and Business Associations (formerly called Corporations), both Cal bar subjects which at many schools' are elective (I know I wouldn't have taken BA if not required to:) There is also a required class which is designed to help with the Performance Test portion of the bar exam, which I found more useful than not. Curiously, we require Appellate Advocacy, but Trial Ad is an elective.

Note however, that at pretty much any law school if you want to learn about the actual practice of law, internships and the clinical courses (e.g. pre-trial Civil Litigation) are a must. Law School basically teaches you how to pass a test, and somewhat how to think. (though I take issue with that.)

The location: GGU got very lucky when they moved to SOMA (South of Market) from the YMCA building in the Tenderloin 45 years ago. At that time the area was totally industrial. Today, (at least during the day) the area is clean and modern; buzzing with workers of all kinds, there are everything from upscale restaurants and yuppie bars to little shops that cater to the lunch crowd. Several skyscrapers have been built (though obviously not full due to the economy) as well as million-dollar condos.

The facilities: like many urban law schools, GGU is just a building (actually two) The main structure is about 1/3 a warehouse structure from the 20's and 2/3 a modernest concept from the 70's. The law school occupies the second and third floors, while the law library takes up part of the first floor and two floors below that. My only real complaint about the building is that there is not a centrally located stairway, forcing nearly everyone to use the relatively slow elevators.

The Staff: All the professors are extremely well-versed in what they teach, and most are happy to answer your questions outside class. Of the 30-something professors I had, there was probably one or two that I would never take a class from again.

Tuition: When I started at GGU tuition was higher than Davis and Hastings, however due to the state budget crisis, tuition at the UC Schools is marginally more than at GGU. I did not have to pay full sticker price at GGU (which would have been $104,640) but even if I had I feel that for me personally it was a good investment, as it will greatly enhance my earning power from what it was. I don't want to be making $150,000 a year and have no life, all I want is to have a job I love and time for a family.

I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

yo!
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby yo! » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:56 pm

bahari2010 wrote:I'm a GGU alum (Class of 2010) and just recently sat for the California Bar Exam (results are released mid-November.) I really enjoyed my time at GGU, but what you get out of any school is what you put into it. While I had other oppertunities, I'm glad I chose GGU because, among other reasons I would not have met the woman who will soon be my wife:). If you see yourself in a large corporate firm, don't come here. Most GGU grads, like most lawyers' nationally, practice as solos or in small firms. Of course, if you can go to a Boalt (UC Berkeley), Stanford etc, you have no reason to consider GGU. I would note however, that we all learn from the same casebooks and in the end sit for the same exam.

Some thoughts:

Students: The people who study at GGU are generally smart, and well-rounded. Among the day students while I was there most had not come directly from undergrad, and several were second career people which made for interesting points of view. I didn't find my classmates to be hypercompetitive during 1L or at any other time.

Attrition Rate: The ABA-reported attrition rate (which is for the 2007-08 year) is a little misleading due to the discontinuation of Mid-Year Admissions, so I'll report what I saw in my section (most law schools divide the class into three or four sections, with whom you take all your first year classes.) GGU does a lot better job than in years past of admitting people who can't make it. At least in my 1L section, more than half of the disqualified students had poor study habits, but were not unintelligent about the law, as noted by their in-class comments. I think the 2009 reintroduction of "+" grades (last used in 1987) will also help the attrition rate.

1L Section Size 59
Dropped Out first semester (before exams) 5
Academically Disqualified 11 (3 of these were re-admitted after petitioning)
Transferred Out 8 (mostly to Hastings & Santa Clara)

Job Prospects: I would argue that a GGU diploma is not any more a hinderence to employment than say USF, Santa Clara (outside the south bay, of course) or UC Davis (which despite being a UC doesn't have much in the way of an alumni network etc.). By the way, unless you want to work for a judge, the government, or a large firm you are unlikely to be asked about your law school grades.

Curriculum: Every ABA-accredited law school has the same basic curriculum. In addition to the standard first (and some second) year courses GGU also requires you to take Wills & Trusts, and Business Associations (formerly called Corporations), both Cal bar subjects which at many schools' are elective (I know I wouldn't have taken BA if not required to:) There is also a required class which is designed to help with the Performance Test portion of the bar exam, which I found more useful than not. Curiously, we require Appellate Advocacy, but Trial Ad is an elective.

Note however, that at pretty much any law school if you want to learn about the actual practice of law, internships and the clinical courses (e.g. pre-trial Civil Litigation) are a must. Law School basically teaches you how to pass a test, and somewhat how to think. (though I take issue with that.)

The location: GGU got very lucky when they moved to SOMA (South of Market) from the YMCA building in the Tenderloin 45 years ago. At that time the area was totally industrial. Today, (at least during the day) the area is clean and modern; buzzing with workers of all kinds, there are everything from upscale restaurants and yuppie bars to little shops that cater to the lunch crowd. Several skyscrapers have been built (though obviously not full due to the economy) as well as million-dollar condos.

The facilities: like many urban law schools, GGU is just a building (actually two) The main structure is about 1/3 a warehouse structure from the 20's and 2/3 a modernest concept from the 70's. The law school occupies the second and third floors, while the law library takes up part of the first floor and two floors below that. My only real complaint about the building is that there is not a centrally located stairway, forcing nearly everyone to use the relatively slow elevators.

The Staff: All the professors are extremely well-versed in what they teach, and most are happy to answer your questions outside class. Of the 30-something professors I had, there was probably one or two that I would never take a class from again.

Tuition: When I started at GGU tuition was higher than Davis and Hastings, however due to the state budget crisis, tuition at the UC Schools is marginally more than at GGU. I did not have to pay full sticker price at GGU (which would have been $104,640) but even if I had I feel that for me personally it was a good investment, as it will greatly enhance my earning power from what it was. I don't want to be making $150,000 a year and have no life, all I want is to have a job I love and time for a family.

I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.


tldr, but do you actually have a job lined up?

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NayBoer
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby NayBoer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:16 pm

I'd also be interested to hear if you have a job, since you're sharing.

bahari2010 wrote:Job Prospects: I would argue that a GGU diploma is not any more a hinderence to employment than say USF, Santa Clara (outside the south bay, of course) or UC Davis (which despite being a UC doesn't have much in the way of an alumni network etc.). By the way, unless you want to work for a judge, the government, or a large firm you are unlikely to be asked about your law school grades.
You didn't really give any argument for why you believe GGU has equivalent prospects to USF, SCU and UCD. You can't just make an assertion and expect it to be credible, especially since we'd all expect a GGU grad to be biased.

I believe it was on the verge of losing ABA accreditation a few years ago. Having worked in a small boutique firm in SF for a few years, I don't think it gets the same level of respect as the other schools in the area.

crossingforHYS
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby crossingforHYS » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:40 pm

same job prospects as UCD? I would like to hear more about this....since UCD is a top 30 school...it makes me concerned.

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NayBoer
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby NayBoer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:52 pm

crossingforHYS wrote:same job prospects as UCD? I would like to hear more about this....since UCD is a top 30 school...it makes me concerned.
"UCD will definitely get a job for anybody in the top 80%."

There, I gave you just as much evidence to be confident as he gave you to be worried. An unsourced blanket assertion.

Don't get hung up on it being #28. It could easily go back to mid-40s next year. It's the same school either way.

bahari2010
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby bahari2010 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:56 pm

I'll revise my comments in the following way: I would say that, absent outstanding academic performance (and law school is hard); wether you go to UCD or GGU you will have the same difficult time finding your first job. I do accept that in a more "normal" economic climate, the whole name-game does matter; once you get beyond Boalt or Hastings, marquee name alone won't get you anywhere. I don't have a job yet, but that said nor do many people I know who are recent grads of other schools.

As to an earlier post referencing GGU's time when it was on probation with the ABA, that ended on December 1, 2007. We were never in any real danger of loosing accreditation (they have never recinded a school's accreditation), but rather it seems that the ABA wanted to give the school a "wake up" call. They changed the format of first-year exams to require a multiple choice component (because MCQ's end up being over 1/3 of the bar) and hired someone whose job is to help students pass the bar. GGU's pass rate is now above (or near) the California ABA-accredited average, after hovering in the 40-50% range for almost 15 years.

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Barbie
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Re: Golden Gate University Law School

Postby Barbie » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:23 pm

NewHere wrote:I don't understand how that rule can work. If I understand it correctly, it works like this:

1. The bar passage rate for the state is calculated every year.
2. The school is either above or below the state passage rate
3. If the school is below the state rate for three years out of any five consecutive years, it is in danger of losing its accreditation.

Hypothetical 1: all schools are equally good. Bar passage rates fluctuate a bit, so every school has an equal chance of being above the average as it has of being below the average. It will be below the average in (on average) 2.5 out of every five years. If 2.5 out of 5 is the average, and assuming that schools have equal numbers of students taking the bar, half of the schools will be below average for 3 or more out of 5 consecutive years, and risk losing its accreditation, the other half will be below average for 2 or fewer years out of 5. In any range of five years, half the schools will lose their accreditation.

Hypothetical 2: a small number of schools are significantly worse than the rest. These schools will have significantly worse bar passage rates than the others, below average in most years. They will lose their accreditation. The next year, only the schools left over after this elimination round will send their students to take the bar. Presumably, this raises the state passage rate, because the weakest test takers have been eliminated. As the average is raised, new schools score below the average, and risk elimination from the pool. As this scenario continues, fewer and fewer schools are left over, and the situation becomes more and more similar to hypothetical 1: few schools that have very similar passage rates, and every five years 50% of them is out.

No matter how you look at it, if this scheme is used consistently, by the very fact that an average means that half of the population scores lower, all schools but one will be eliminated if we wait long enough.

Am I missing something?



LOL at states that have only 2 schools. KY?

bahari2010
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby bahari2010 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:50 pm

The proposal quoted above was never adopted.....

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Barbie
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby Barbie » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:54 pm

bahari2010 wrote:The proposal quoted above was never adopted.....


it really had nothing to do with it, just pressed quote instead of post reply.....

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NayBoer
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby NayBoer » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:06 pm

bahari2010 wrote:I'll revise my comments in the following way: I would say that, absent outstanding academic performance (and law school is hard); wether you go to UCD or GGU you will have the same difficult time finding your first job. I do accept that in a more "normal" economic climate, the whole name-game does matter; once you get beyond Boalt or Hastings, marquee name alone won't get you anywhere. I don't have a job yet, but that said nor do many people I know who are recent grads of other schools.

As to an earlier post referencing GGU's time when it was on probation with the ABA, that ended on December 1, 2007. We were never in any real danger of loosing accreditation (they have never recinded a school's accreditation), but rather it seems that the ABA wanted to give the school a "wake up" call. They changed the format of first-year exams to require a multiple choice component (because MCQ's end up being over 1/3 of the bar) and hired someone whose job is to help students pass the bar. GGU's pass rate is now above (or near) the California ABA-accredited average, after hovering in the 40-50% range for almost 15 years.
That's still just an assertion without evidence.

The fact that a school needed to be warned surely suggests some difference in quality and prestige/perception. Other Bay Area schools didn't need to be warned. It's not like US News rankings are wholly made up. They do partially reflect reality in terms of industry opinion, job prospects, and of course entering student credentials.

Attrition is also far worse at GGU than other schools in the Bay Area. Generally the worst schools have aggressive attrition to weed out those students who would likely have failed the bar. Attrition is a good metric to separate the worst ABA schools from the merely mediocre ones.

yo!
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby yo! » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:31 am

bahari2010 wrote:I'll revise my comments in the following way: I would say that, absent outstanding academic performance (and law school is hard); wether you go to UCD or GGU you will have the same difficult time finding your first job. I do accept that in a more "normal" economic climate, the whole name-game does matter; once you get beyond Boalt or Hastings, marquee name alone won't get you anywhere. I don't have a job yet, but that said nor do many people I know who are recent grads of other schools.

As to an earlier post referencing GGU's time when it was on probation with the ABA, that ended on December 1, 2007. We were never in any real danger of loosing accreditation (they have never recinded a school's accreditation), but rather it seems that the ABA wanted to give the school a "wake up" call. They changed the format of first-year exams to require a multiple choice component (because MCQ's end up being over 1/3 of the bar) and hired someone whose job is to help students pass the bar. GGU's pass rate is now above (or near) the California ABA-accredited average, after hovering in the 40-50% range for almost 15 years.


Honestly, I feel like 0Ls shouldn't normally do this to people who have already been through law school. However, in this situation, I'm calling bullshit. Maybe I'm biased, but you simply won't convince me that GGU prospects = UCD prospects in any ecomomy, or on any planet that I've heard of. Where are you getting this info from? Speculation among GGU students who haven't the slightest clue about where/how UCD students are finding jobs?

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nealric
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby nealric » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:42 am

Curriculum: Every ABA-accredited law school has the same basic curriculum


Often said, but not really true. Talking to people who went to different schools, I have often been quite surprised at the variations between curriculum. It's true that everyone takes the same basic 1L courses, but after that, all bets are off. Even the way the 1L courses are taught can vary drastically.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:04 pm

Bark at the moon:

You are blaming your school choice on 3.1 gpa. I got into a t1 with a 3.06. I dont think the gpa is the problem.

You talk about all the great professors. PRO TIP: Every law school is absolutely stacked with Harvard/Yale grads. It means nothing.

And most of all, out of all the things you said, the only one that is relevant is this:
Job placement rate? I don't know the recent stats on it, but think about the fact that GGU students are competing for the same jobs that STANFORD, BOALT, and HASTINGS students are. Those are excellent, very highly ranked law schools, and GGU is smack in the middle of them


The teachers can be awesome and it can be a lot of fun and very challenging and make you a better human being etc etc. BUT, if you cant get a job because the school is poorly thought of and in your words "smack in the middle" of a bunch of elite schools... well at the end of the day (or rather at the end of 3 years and 100k+ debt) your royally screwed.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Golden Gate University School of Law

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:16 pm

I've gone ahead and put a strike through all the irrelevant things in your post.
I've bolded the things that really matter
bahari2010 wrote:I'm a GGU alum (Class of 2010) and just recently sat for the California Bar Exam (results are released mid-November.) I really enjoyed my time at GGU, but what you get out of any school is what you put into it. While I had other oppertunities, I'm glad I chose GGU because, among other reasons I would not have met the woman who will soon be my wife:). If you see yourself in a large corporate firm, don't come here. Most GGU grads, like most lawyers' nationally, practice as solos or in small firms. Of course, if you can go to a Boalt (UC Berkeley), Stanford etc, you have no reason to consider GGU. I would note however, that we all learn from the same casebooks and in the end sit for the same exam.

Some thoughts:

Students: The people who study at GGU are generally smart, and well-rounded. Among the day students while I was there most had not come directly from undergrad, and several were second career people which made for interesting points of view. I didn't find my classmates to be hypercompetitive during 1L or at any other time.
Attrition Rate: The ABA-reported attrition rate (which is for the 2007-08 year) is a little misleading due to the discontinuation of Mid-Year Admissions, so I'll report what I saw in my section (most law schools divide the class into three or four sections, with whom you take all your first year classes.) GGU does a lot better job than in years past of admitting people who can't make it. At least in my 1L section, more than half of the disqualified students had poor study habits, but were not unintelligent about the law, as noted by their in-class comments. I think the 2009 reintroduction of "+" grades (last used in 1987) will also help the attrition rate.

1L Section Size 59
Dropped Out first semester (before exams) 5
Academically Disqualified 11 (3 of these were re-admitted after petitioning)
Transferred Out 8 (mostly to Hastings & Santa Clara)

Job Prospects: I would argue that a GGU diploma is not any more a hinderence to employment than say USF, Santa Clara (outside the south bay, of course) or UC Davis (which despite being a UC doesn't have much in the way of an alumni network etc.). By the way, unless you want to work for a judge, the government, or a large firm you are unlikely to be asked about your law school grades.

Curriculum: Every ABA-accredited law school has the same basic curriculum. In addition to the standard first (and some second) year courses GGU also requires you to take Wills & Trusts, and Business Associations (formerly called Corporations), both Cal bar subjects which at many schools' are elective (I know I wouldn't have taken BA if not required to:) There is also a required class which is designed to help with the Performance Test portion of the bar exam, which I found more useful than not. Curiously, we require Appellate Advocacy, but Trial Ad is an elective.
Note however, that at pretty much any law school if you want to learn about the actual practice of law, internships and the clinical courses (e.g. pre-trial Civil Litigation) are a must. Law School basically teaches you how to pass a test, and somewhat how to think. (though I take issue with that.)
The location: GGU got very lucky when they moved to SOMA (South of Market) from the YMCA building in the Tenderloin 45 years ago. At that time the area was totally industrial. Today, (at least during the day) the area is clean and modern; buzzing with workers of all kinds, there are everything from upscale restaurants and yuppie bars to little shops that cater to the lunch crowd. Several skyscrapers have been built (though obviously not full due to the economy) as well as million-dollar condos.The facilities: like many urban law schools, GGU is just a building (actually two) The main structure is about 1/3 a warehouse structure from the 20's and 2/3 a modernest concept from the 70's. The law school occupies the second and third floors, while the law library takes up part of the first floor and two floors below that. My only real complaint about the building is that there is not a centrally located stairway, forcing nearly everyone to use the relatively slow elevators.
The Staff: All the professors are extremely well-versed in what they teach, and most are happy to answer your questions outside class. Of the 30-something professors I had, there was probably one or two that I would never take a class from again.
Tuition: When I started at GGU tuition was higher than Davis and Hastings, however due to the state budget crisis, tuition at the UC Schools is marginally more than at GGU. I did not have to pay full sticker price at GGU (which would have been $104,640) but even if I had I feel that for me personally it was a good investment, as it will greatly enhance my earning power from what it was. I don't want to be making $150,000 a year and have no life, all I want is to have a job I love and time for a family.

I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.


Btw: Am I a snarky asshole? Yes.




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