Southwestern Law

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Danteshek
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Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:41 am

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:45 am

I'm not aiming for Southwestern, but I do find the 2 yr program interesting. How insane is that program? Also, what are the job prospects for PI/Govt there.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:09 pm

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:23 pm

Danteshek wrote:
ejjones wrote:I'm not aiming for Southwestern, but I do find the 2 yr program interesting. How insane is that program? Also, what are the job prospects for PI/Govt there.


I almost did SCALE. I decided against it at the last moment so I could fully engage with all aspects of my education.

Southwestern dominates the extern hiring at the LA County DA's office: http://www.swlaw.edu/news/overview/newsr.7gV.WB.lkM . That is indicative of SW's strength in govt hiring. Plenty of students go work for Cal. Attorney General and other state and federal placements.

Re: public interest, SW has a very strong program. The Street Law clinic and General Relief Advocacy project (GRAP) with Public Counsel are two examples. Yesterday I went to an open house at Public Counsel's offices less than a mile away from SW. They gave presentations of all the projects and gave us the opportunity to apply for internship positions. I will probably work in the Federal Pro Se Clinic downtown that is part of Public Counsel's appellate law project. I am also going to be involved in GRAP.

SW has exceeded my expectations in every way. My property (fagundes) and contracts (hart) professors are amazing.


So are you telling me that SW beats out Loyola, UCLA, and USC for those jobs? Everyone on here claims that, due to the decrease in firm OCI, that students who once would not even consider govt, pi, etc, are going to go for these jobs, thus pushing out regional T2/3s that might have otherwise done relatively well. Is this not the case in LA/SW?

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:03 pm

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:12 pm

I wasn't asking you to speculate about other schools, sorry if I wasn't clear. The consensus on TLS, granted there's reality and there's TLS, is that with the decrease in firm hiring JD's from higher ranked schools would naturally seek employment elsewhere, such as the govt/pi sector because they aren't having any luck in the private sector. That's all. Are people at SW not freaking out about this, because it seems like everyone is, regardless of rank or tier?

I'm concerned about the externship component. I think that's great experience, but I wonder how it ultimately translates into job prospects. Does the PD/DA office have OCI, do the people that get jobs do so through the externship program. At the DA's office I worked at, a lot of the young attorney's that got jobs were externs/interns, no OCI at all. How recent was the data from the IRLG by the way? Any recent data for employment upon graduation for SW 2009 class yet?

A quick glance at the LA DA's on the CA Bar Attorney Search showed 10 out of the 72 went to SW about the same as USD. Seemed like Loyola and Pepperdine showed up the most. It's kinda interesting to see where the various govt agencies hire from: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_home.jsp.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:02 pm

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:40 pm

Danteshek wrote:I honestly think hiring at places like the DA and PD depends much more on the person than the school. SW does well probably because there are so many students here interested in criminal law. Those students generally take advanced classes like Death Penalty Seminar and Advanced Criminal Procedure and do relevant externships. Generally these students have an advantage over students who didn't take these classes and didn't do those externships, regardless of school. DA as far as I know is on hiring freeze right now. So basically the kids that know the deputies through their externships are first in line once the freeze is over. I'm pretty sure DA and PD from LA and other counties interview at SW fairly regularly, but I don't think they necessarily come every year. Several of the highest ranking deputies are SW alums.

SW is not only about PI and Govt work. SW also has great connections with the entertainment field. Further, if you finish near the top of the class you will have the opportunity to interview with OMM and the like (which is the way it should be... top firms should not, imo, take average students from the top schools).

To answer your questions: I have no idea how old the data is. You could probably find that out for yourself. Top deputies at the DA make about 140k with 90 % pension after 10 or so years. And no, we are not freaking out

FYI that's a small sample size. I think there are about 1000 attorneys at LA DA. I think something like 150-200 are SW alums (very rough guesstimate). Public information about attorneys in public practice is very sparse. They are not included in the main databases (martindale hubble etc).


I agree that the school or rank, don't matter quite as much in the govt sector, based on what I've experienced in N. CA. The T3 in this area has a pretty good stronghold on the region. However, their employment upon graduation was 35% this year, down 25% from a few years ago that's why I was curious about the data. This T3 mainly competing with one other school for the most part. That's why I was wondering how SW was doing considering all the competition in the LA area. I am considering SW as a safetyish school though so thanks for the information.

Also, I don't know what exactly what type of information you're referring to regarding public service attorney's, but I'm pretty sure all attorney's have their info available to the public on the CA State Bar website, if they didn't they could lie about their credentials. Judges are the exception, they don't show where they went to UG/LS. I haven't had any trouble looking up govt attorney's on there. Also, you can actually look up CA State govt attorney's salaries and place of work here: http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries or --LinkRemoved--. It's all pretty much out in the open.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:51 pm

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:59 pm

Danteshek wrote:SW's at graduation employment rate has held pretty steady at 85%, which I think is pretty good. I don't think it's changed significantly because of recession. SW in general is less affected than the schools that rely more on big firm hiring..

In general, SW does a better job than most schools at preparing you for practice. This tends to be true of lower ranked schools in general but is especially true at SW. SW is basically a skills school. There is much more emphasis here on getting real world experience and learning practical skills. This is the real difference between SW and some of the higher ranked schools.


Where did you find that number?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby GATORTIM » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:59 pm

Is Jerry O'Connell a "gunner"

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:10 pm

ejjones wrote:
Danteshek wrote:SW's at graduation employment rate has held pretty steady at 85%, which I think is pretty good. I don't think it's changed significantly because of recession. SW in general is less affected than the schools that rely more on big firm hiring..

In general, SW does a better job than most schools at preparing you for practice. This tends to be true of lower ranked schools in general but is especially true at SW. SW is basically a skills school. There is much more emphasis here on getting real world experience and learning practical skills. This is the real difference between SW and some of the higher ranked schools.


Where did you find that number?


US News and World. Also confirmed by the dean. Our dip to T4 two years ago was attributable to that number falling by a fraction of a % point.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:12 pm

GATORTIM wrote:Is Jerry O'Connell a "gunner"


I haven't met him yet. He's in the evening program.

articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:25 pm

Did you check out the govt salaries? What did you mean by public information for govt attorney's was sparse?

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:57 pm

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articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:03 am

Danteshek wrote:
ejjones wrote:Did you check out the govt salaries? What did you mean by public information for govt attorney's was sparse?


Starting at DA is about 60k. A senior deputy with 10 years exp. told me she was making 140k and had 90% pension after 20 years. There is no database to my knowledge that lists all the deputies.


For county salaries you can look up the pay scales for all county jobs in the county resolution(as it's called here.) I wasn't really referring to salaries originally, rather schools various attorney's went to, which can be looked up on the CA State Bar(by name, firm, school, etc) and salary/employer for state and city attorney's can be looked up using those links. We pay their salaries and all that information is public. Here's the pay info for LA http://cao.lacounty.gov/PDF/alpha.pdf pg 18. A database that lists all the DDA's in every county by name and salary might not exist to my knowledge, but all state attorney salaries and occupations can be found, all attorney's school's can be looked up and the county's attorney pay scale is public.

So there's quite a bit of public information out there on these publicly employed attorney's. I was just trying to let you know that there's a lot of info out there if you wan to get an idea about the various jobs and salaries in the public sector.

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:44 pm

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starky259
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby starky259 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:17 am

Jerry O'Connell held the door for me the other day. Very polite, and well-dressed too!

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:58 pm

starky259 wrote:Jerry O'Connell held the door for me the other day. Very polite, and well-dressed too!


His legal writing paper has been hanging on a faculty door on the 5th floor of Westmoreland for the past week

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faceman9000
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby faceman9000 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:15 pm

Can you scan it and post it on TLS??

Don't mess with Sliders

Image

articulably suspect
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby articulably suspect » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:14 am

Danteshek wrote:
starky259 wrote:Jerry O'Connell held the door for me the other day. Very polite, and well-dressed too!


His legal writing paper has been hanging on a faculty door on the 5th floor of Westmoreland for the past week


Why?

vvoc
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby vvoc » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:05 pm

so the job market for SW grads isn't too bad? What does it depend on specifically, need to be in the top 10%? Need to build good connections? How is the competition in the job market with other LA schools (specifically Tier 2/3/4 schools)?

So the general route most SW grads take is working for the DA? How difficult is it to obtain a job with the DA? and what is the typical average starting salary (im trying to search on google for this but can't seem to find anything)? thanks

Pearalegal
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Pearalegal » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:07 pm

ejjones wrote:
Danteshek wrote:
starky259 wrote:Jerry O'Connell held the door for me the other day. Very polite, and well-dressed too!


His legal writing paper has been hanging on a faculty door on the 5th floor of Westmoreland for the past week


Why?


+1

Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:40 pm

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Danteshek
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Re: Southwestern Law

Postby Danteshek » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:56 pm

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