hoocran1 wrote:I am currently facing the choice between USC (with $75k scholarship) or Penn at full price. It is quite likely (though not guaranteed) that I will start practicing in Los Angeles upon graduation.
If my goal is Big Law, which school offers better career prospects? Would a degree from Penn outweigh the savings made from going to USC or does the vaunt Trojan network in southern California trump the promises of an Ivy League diploma?
How do the issues of networking, maintaining contacts, and securing a great job in California compare when considering Penn over USC?
Any other thoughts or considerations to help make my decision would be appreciated. Thank you.
Interesting note of the rising 2L class. The most represented undergrads, in order:
2.) Penn State
4/5.): UCLA/Berkeley (can't remember the order).
There are lots of Cali kids here who made the same choice you did, and chose Penn. They are very confident (for good reason) that they can get back to CA immediately after graduation, and Penn does have a good regional interviewing program for CA.
Even if you "have" to take BigLaw in NYC/etc. instead of LA/SF to start, it's only a couple years out of your life before you can find a way to get back to CA.
With the legal market the way it is now, you want a biglaw job first, location second. A good chunk of USC grads are not making biglaw, period
, let alone in LA. Penn has done quite well recently in biglaw placement. Penn self-selects into NYC a lot of the time, but it definitely is a national school insofar that it doesn't have a market it's essentially designated for (think UChicago for Chicago).
USC isn't giving you a lot of money. Join us at Penn if you want biglaw and you can feel confident that you can get back to LA immediately; if this does not work out, you have a strong chance of getting biglaw in NYC/etc. That is a better outcome than most students have right now, i.e. not getting a biglaw job at all.