Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

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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arhmcpo
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Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:51 pm

Happy to help answer questions whatever since TLS was a lot of help to me last year :)

jms1987
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:57 am

How are the facilities there? I've heard they aren't the greatest as of now...

How are the professors? Do political leanings shine through at all in class?

Gapper538
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby Gapper538 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:04 pm

Is pepperdine ultimately a regional school?

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:05 pm

jms1987 wrote:How are the facilities there? I've heard they aren't the greatest as of now...

How are the professors? Do political leanings shine through at all in class?


Depends on who you talk to and what your preference'a are- are they clean, well maintained? Yes
But the big concern for some people is the classrooms here don't have windows leading to the negative opinion of some that it feels like a bunker. There is large atrium with skylights and windows, the normal things you would expect, but people have an issue w/ windowless classrooms. Though to be fair I don't hear students here complaining of that, mostly people who visit the school or decide not to go here (maybe its a bigger issue to them). Many classrooms prevent phone reception as well preventing texting (not necessarily a bad thing). Wireless throughout the building, Library is 3 stories-outlets throughout most of the building though there are some tables that lack access.

So Law School is 3 story building separate from UG or other majors/graduate programs. The style of the building definitely feels like it was built in the 70's. Though the outside will look the same in the future regardless of interior overhauls because the spanish style is made out of material which fire-proofs all the buildings at Pepperdine (in case of a wild fire the fire department is actually based out of the campus because its so fortified against a possible wildfire). I think in like 2 years there's supposed to be a huge overhaul of the facilities (inside, don't know about outside).

To some, facilities will be a con (how big depends on you), and either way they are unlikely to be a big "plus" to anyone cuz they lack a "wow" factor. But the school's serious about breaking into the 30's and 40's and they know state-of-the-art facilities are a definite requirement, so future law students will benefit -unlike me :( We do get to exit the building and look out at the Pacific or rolling hills so outside of the "bunkers" pretty unbeatable lol.

Gapper538 wrote:Is pepperdine ultimately a regional school?


Definitely, I would say almost 100% of non-T14 schools lack national strength. Especially when your dealing w/ a CA school and most people never want to leave the state. A lot of out-of-state students are starting to come here though, by I assume most will practice in CA anyways. If you want BIGLAW you need to be in the top 10% (in the current economy) to be able to compete w/ USC and UCLA. Non-Big law careers the school is probably just as strong as other regional schools since probably 95%+ alumni are in CA, especially southern CA. They are a lot of international law opportunities here though if your thinking beyond National.

Carlisle
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby Carlisle » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:11 pm

how is housing? is there affordable student housing off campus? How far are you from downtown LA? Do you happen to know how the school places in san diego or santa barbara?

savesthedayajb
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby savesthedayajb » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:14 pm

Are you religious? What did you write for their special statement on religion?

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anothernancydrew
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby anothernancydrew » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:19 pm

Thanks for taking questions.

I am interested in Pepperdine, but concerned about the religious and political leanings of the school becoming all-encompassing. I don't have to go to a school where everyone has the same political views as I do, but I also don't want to attend class and feel like I'm at a conservative campaign rally. Thoughts on this? Do you know liberal students who attend and feel welcome? How much of the Christian mission statement really translates into the classroom?

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General Tso
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby General Tso » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:20 pm

have they announced tuition for 2010-2011? Will they match the UC jumps of 20%?

Oban
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby Oban » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:30 pm

Does Malibu stink? :roll:

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:23 pm

For the really specific questions especially about job prospects, all 1L's meet w/ the CDO office next week and I will find out the answers to your questions by next week or sooner when I get to meet w/ them going over my resume etc.

swheat wrote:have they announced tuition for 2010-2011? Will they match the UC jumps of 20%?


I do not know, I will try to find out soon and I will post it. To my current knowledge, tuition will remain unchanged next year, aka no increase. As a private school we are unaffected by how poorly the CA state is run (screwing over the UC's). Tuition is a flat 39k, most students get a scholarship, you can look up the exact figures on the pepp website or some stats on the TLS profile though they are old. Many students get large amounts of $$$ including full-rides. However, if your scholarship is merit based you need to be in the top 1/3rd of the class to keep it after 1L. but for example, If your LSAT is good (165 or higher) and you have a high gpa you have a good shot at getting offered a full ride assuming your essays are solid. This is called Faculty scholars given to 10 incoming students- but even if you don't get it they can still elect to give you a full ride if your a strong candidate, just not in the top 10 which happened to a friend of mine here (the LSAT score and gpa continue to rise as the medians improve keep in mind). You get the feeling that the law school and Pepperdine in general is very wealthy and not afraid to throw it around this equals high paid teachers, lots of schollys, and big time speakers- 4 supreme court justices visited and spoke (and Alito Taught a course) last year.


anothernancydrew wrote:Thanks for taking questions.

I am interested in Pepperdine, but concerned about the religious and political leanings of the school becoming all-encompassing. I don't have to go to a school where everyone has the same political views as I do, but I also don't want to attend class and feel like I'm at a conservative campaign rally. Thoughts on this? Do you know liberal students who attend and feel welcome? How much of the Christian mission statement really translates into the classroom?

Excellent Question. I am not particularly religious or conservative so I had concerns as well. There is a law club for conservatives and liberals, the one for conservatives is larger numbers-wise. They put on debates fairly regularly, recently they put on a health care debate and forum. Politics and Religion are very active here but not in the classroom unless its pertinent to a law topic, there's no in-class brainwashing. I can tell that in my section there are small contingent's of outspoken conservative and liberal students, which is what most people are used to from undergrad. Liberals are affected in the sense they "know" they are attending a conservative school, but they have faculty advisors etc, and having attended pretty much every student orgs mtg at least once, they know that in CA they are the majority though on campus they are not.

I generally assume my professors are conservative but they do not state their political views or talk about politics. Most of my professors seem like they are religious but again do not mention religion, unless they plan on attending a bible study or forum on religion aka something open to both students and faculty. While Pepp is referred to as a Christian school the role that plays is valuing all religions, and having lots of avenues for those who are religious to express that w/ others who feel the same, AND about talking about the law as a higher purpose. I like the fact that 99% of the people believe in some kind of higher power even though I'm not really religious, because people talk about the law in a very purposeful way, serving the greater good, etc and not so much about getting rich. Right now there is a cool Glazer Forum trying to unite Christians, Jews, and Muslims (decrease prejudice, promote peace etc) which seems cool but again its not even taking place in law school facilities (its on the undergrad campus). The most important thing to remember is that political and religious discussions are always optional and do not occur in class time, the only way you participate is to go out of your way to do so; personally after 8 weeks I have not gone to anything religious or political or political/conservative (but I'm not against that kinda stuff and will go in the future I'm sure)... That said if you are a hardcore atheist or someone who hates conservative people you probably should not attend Pepp.


Oban wrote:Does Malibu stink? :roll:


No! don't know where this idea came from. I drive up and down the 101 5 days a week and go to school in malibu 5 days a week; its probably one of the most beautiful (non-bad smelling) drives in the world, and Malibu, though small, is incredibly scenic.

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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby 1ferret! » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:21 pm

Carlisle wrote:how is housing? is there affordable student housing off campus? How far are you from downtown LA? Do you happen to know how the school places in san diego or santa barbara?


Housing is decent; it is north of LA, so if you want to be very close you'll have to pay more of a premium than those that commute from hollywood, santa monica, or brentwood. Lots of people commute from these areas.

The rest of us either live on or around campus in malibu, or drive about 9 miles from Calabasas. My place is in Calabasas, about a 13 minute drive through a beautiful canyon in the mornings. Rent in my area is as low as 1150/month for a one bedroom apartment. Obviously if you share a bigger place you can reduce your rent. I pay around 1600 for my place, but you really don't have to spend that much and still get a place in this area with a safe neighborhood, pools, and parking etc.

Any where in LA is far from everything else during rush hour. It would probably take me anywhere between 25 mins to an hour to hit "downtown" depending on the time of day and traffic. Obviously less for those living down in the city.

On your last point not gonna be sure. I know we have a sizable alumni presence in San Diego, hopefully one day I'll get to practice there, but give the school a call and talk to the alumi coordinator. I know we have people in the SD office of the AG and always close with the Ventura Cnty. DA's office.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:03 pm

http://law.pepperdine.edu/news-events/f ... legacy.htm
^ Link to news on recent supreme court-justices visits to the campus

savesthedayajb wrote:Are you religious? What did you write for their special statement on religion?


I think people tend to freak out on the mission statement unnecessarily, students see the word Christian and they freak, what do they want or mean?! Take the religious concept out of their and its simply asking you to talk about what kind of lawyer you want to be, it asks you to talk about the principles in the mission statement mean to you and how you apply them in your life. Personally I had an easier time writing the mission statement then my own personal statement because the former gives you guidance on what they want you to talk about versus the wide open personal statement options.

I broke the mission statement up into elements it was asking for and basically just wrote a paragraph addressing each element in a way that it applied to me, super simple format but my content was great. I did mention that I was confirmed in a protestant church in my concluding paragraph and I would encourage you to say if you belong to a religious organization since I don't think that would hurt (but that made up the smallest part of my paper). I recall talking about working for my family growing up and the values it taught me, relating to the mission statement, and especially important I think is talking about giving back and pro bono work. They don't want people who will just be successful, they want people who will be successful and finds way to help those less fortunate then themselves. So I talked about my hometown having a lot of poverty and how I wanted to work with legal aid or just privately pro bono help represent people there to poor to afford representation.

They want you to express your heartfelt ethical and moral values, probably because so much of all religions focuses on principles and how to live a purposeful life etc. That is the extent of the "Christian" involvement in that statement, don't get distracted by "religious stuff", just write a really good, heartfelt paper. I am convinced that the strength of my mission statement is why I got offered more scholly money from any other school I applied to including those lower ranked then Pepp like Loyola LA.

Carlisle wrote:how is housing? is there affordable student housing off campus? How far are you from downtown LA? Do you happen to know how the school places in san diego or santa barbara?


Student Housing is very expensive and its on campus. You live across the street from the law school which is very important to some people. I believe they are $1700 a month for a 3 or 4 bedroom apt, I will try to confirm that to make sure I'm not wrong. Its a dry campus as well so if you can't openly drink there either. I think some ppl really like it because it makes them work harder being next door to school and the library w/ fewer distractions. If you don't want to live on campus there are really nice apartments in Calabasas that are relatively cheap cuz that city isn't too built up (only 15mins from campus), Santa Monica/LA will be expensive but I would expect that if you can find roomates, you can definitely find a deal better than $1700 (20-40 min commute). You can also talk to the law school and they'll provide you a list of malibu residents who have guest houses they only rent to Pepp students. We're not very far from downtown LA distance-wise, but it all depends on traffic (just google map it). We have bar review every Thursday usually in Santa Monica, sometimes in LA, Venice, or Hollywood if your wondering for social purposes. Students are encouraged to join the LA and Beverly Hill student BAR Associations.

I will have to ask the CDO how we place in SB and SD, A fair amount of students went to UCSB for undergrad if thats any indication but I'm not optimistic about SD (BIGLAW-wise) as I have heard the legal market is not very good there at all, and that USD even has trouble finding placements for its students . We had an alum U.S. attorney speak last week who said any Pepperdine applicants were basically guaranteed a spot at the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego so I suppose it depends what you want to do. I will talk to the CDO though.

Ythunder
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby Ythunder » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:05 pm

anothernancydrew wrote:Thanks for taking questions.

I am interested in Pepperdine, but concerned about the religious and political leanings of the school becoming all-encompassing. I don't have to go to a school where everyone has the same political views as I do, but I also don't want to attend class and feel like I'm at a conservative campaign rally. Thoughts on this? Do you know liberal students who attend and feel welcome? How much of the Christian mission statement really translates into the classroom?


I feel like I'm at a conservative campaign rally. Perhaps I am more sensitive to it than you will be. One thing I'm really sick of is hearing about "whatever faith you are" -apparently they haven't got the memo that some people have no faith. The conservatism comes out in class room discussions a lot. I definitely feel like there's an us v them dynamic and I'm a them. A lot of the liberals in my section have told me that they don't bother voicing their opinion because they know it will be so ill received -they seem happy enough. It's not a place where differences are talked about. They boast about having students from all over the country but really it's about a 50/50 ratio of Californians and members of the Church of Christ from middle america. The overwhelming majority of students are caucasian and very privileged. I may just have the first year blues. If you do come, the profs are top notch and there's always flavor in Venice.

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Gatriel
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby Gatriel » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:20 pm

How much in scholarships did you receive?

How is the on campus student housing?

How is student housing around the area?

I was out there summer before last, found a few nice apts in Calabasas and Agoura Hills but something closer would be ideal. :)

Thanks!

--Garrett

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TWoodWil
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby TWoodWil » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:06 am

I'm not a Pepperdine Law student, but I did attend Pepperdine's School of Public Policy and lived on campus.

The Malibu Stink is, in fact, real but heavily localized. It's pretty much confined to Civic Center Way which is a small side street that leads to campus (if you're driving north on PCH). It's a sulfur smell, and its the result of untreated sewage. There's currently plans for the city of Malibu to mandate a comprehensive sewage system in Malibu, so eventually the smell will go away. The point to take away is simple - Yes, there's a stink but: 1) It's limited to a single street, 2) It's not terribly offensive, 3) Its occurrence is rather infrequent, and 4) It's in an area that you're only ever going to drive through for a few seconds at a time.

But after a rain storm, avoid Malibu's beaches like the plague...otherwise you might get the plague. (Seriously though, after rain the beaches are dangerously toxic)

As for living on campus, here are a few issues -
1) You can personally survive without a car, but you'll be bumming rides off of people constantly. Or you'll be renting the Hertz cars on campus for an hour to two to go to the supermarket or any other errands.
2) If you're on campus you're centrally located - It'll take twenty minutes to go anywhere you want. Aside from the Ralphs on PCH and Pavillions a few miles further north, you're a twenty minute drive from the rest of the LA area. Bars? 20 minutes. Shopping (Target, department stores, etc)? 20 minutes. Haircut? 20 minutes.

The campus is great. The convenience of on-campus housing is great, but you're fairly isolated out in Malibu. I loved living there and the isolation became just another part of life, but from the law students I knew while there very quickly after 1L you'll be looking to live in Calabasas or Santa Monica. SM being, IMO, the far better place to live and if you look around you can get a solid place in a good location with roommates for under $1000 per person.

As for the politics in the law school, I took two courses from law professors. One was a professor who now serves as President Obama's Ambassador to Malta, and the other is a socially liberal Democrat. Those two aren't par for the course, but even though it's a conservative school you'll have other view points.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:06 pm

Gatriel wrote:How much in scholarships did you receive?

How is the on campus student housing?

How is student housing around the area?

I was out there summer before last, found a few nice apts in Calabasas and Agoura Hills but something closer would be ideal. :)

Thanks!

--Garrett


To respond in order-
If your above median both on your LSAT and GPA you can expect basically a full scholarship. The school is very wealthy and very concerned with raising its ranking/prestige/whatever. They have the Faculty Scholars Program given to 10 students (full ride plus stipend), but the Dean's Merit Scholarships can be for any amount including up to full. And if you have good numbers/softs/essays you can expect BIG money. I received a Dean's Scholly for full tuition. Beware though that you must stay in the top 1/3rd of the law school class to get a merit scholarship renewed annually. Either way though, at least your guaranteed a good deal for 1L if you do earn a scholly but end up losing it.

Student Housing is expensive, but extremely convenient (literally across the street).
Alternatives include Calabasas which is pretty nice and cheap by CA standards. Down side of Calabasas is that you are north of the school and farther away from the social life in Santa Monica/LA. About 10-15 minutes from school.

The other main alternative is the Santa Monica area/LA County. Farther away from campus, how much depends on what specific area you choose, more expensive too. But you'd be living in an awesome area for going out and probably be closer to internships located around LA.

Most 1L's choose campus or Calabasas, though I myself went for the Santa Monica area.

taytay
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby taytay » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:55 pm

are there many internationals or canadians at pepperdine?

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1ferret!
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby 1ferret! » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:06 pm

Many international students. The dispute resolution LLM is a large international draw. We do have Allen Linden, a Canadian Torts scholar as a professor, so canadians should feel right at home...

pauldoeslaw
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby pauldoeslaw » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:34 pm

What's the feel of the student community? I often hear about the cutthroat nature of some schools, but also hear that other schools are more laid back, for whatever reason. I'm a fairly relaxed person myself, and wouldn't want to see fellow students hiding from each other come test times.

taytay
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby taytay » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:01 pm

how far is it to get to the beach? is it public access? I was looking at google earth and it appeared like you would need a car to get down there. also what kind of jobs does the average law student at pepperdine get during their summers? would you happen to know if the internationals were able to get jobs there for the summer or did they have to go back home?

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1ferret!
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby 1ferret! » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:53 pm

The school in general is fairly competitive; I suppose that most law schools will be. However this doesn't translate into any tangible animosity come test time. The biggest concern seems to be that those who received big scholarships are nervous about losing them through poor grades; students need to stay in the top third to keep most scholarships. However the nervousness tends to have a bonding affect rather than compelling people to stab others in the back.

The beach isn't too far, it depends on what you want to do there. Zuma is the closest really wide-lots of parking- general use beach, which would require an automobile, but you can always catch a ride from someone. Most of the beaches that are closest to the school are private; the Malibu Colony is right down the way and all the big expensive houses have "private" beaches, which translates as "you can go play in the water and wet sand but have to stay below the mean high tide line." Those beaches tend to be narrower anyway, so if you're looking to hang out and play vollyball or frisbee you would want to head either north or south a bit.

jms1987
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:57 am

Do Pepperdine grads have any shot a BigLaw jobs ITE?

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arhmcpo
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby arhmcpo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:48 pm

Like a majority of non T-14's, you need to be around the top 15-10% in your class to compete in the LA market against median kids from UCLA and USC. I don't know outside of the LA market though, and as a 1L I have pretty limited experience. I know there are links floating around this cite where you can check BigLaw placement, historically I know it hasn't been a focus/strength of the school, but on the other hand the school is rising in prestige and our whole new CDO office is made up of former BigLaw hirers.

I would suggest talking to the school/cdo/alumni/older students for more accurate detailed info

taytay
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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby taytay » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:24 pm

I am very interested in entertainment law. it is also the primary reason I chose to apply to pepperdine and loyola, both apparently strong in the field. I realize this is can be a strange field to work in and that it is often connections that are most important.

does pepperdine have a strong alumni base in the entertainment field? in some of my research I also noticed that a pepperdine alumni is the head of uva and it listed as being strong in the field on its tls profile. also do you think going to pepperdine gives a big advantage in making connections in the field while in school there or are you pretty much on your own?

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Re: Pepperdine 1L's Taking Questions

Postby rorystewart » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:41 pm

If someone from my same DR date already received his wavenet invite, and I didn't, does that mean I didn't get in?




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