countmein wrote:bananasplit19 wrote:Scholarship info came via snail mail accept letter over the weekend, $20K per year, renewable.
you think you'll accept?
If I get shut out of T14, it becomes a legit consideration. I'd also be hoping to negotiate a stronger financial package, though. I have strong CA ties, and I've been doing a fair amount of research: UCI certainly isn't the death sentence that many here on TLS love to insist on.
As espoused ad nauseum, the main issues raised are lack of alumni base and an oversaturated LA market, both of which are very real concerns. However, I do believe that UCI is still in a honeymoon period (still breaking in new whiteboards, just produced its first graduating class) in which the dean and faculty are still extremely zealous in using every connection they may have to get good placements for the students, oversaturated market and all. After all, they have as much a stake in the school succeeding as the students. I believe the initial clerkship numbers from the first graduating class are evidence of this. Now, the more jaded amongst us would grumble that as class sizes grow and financial aid packages shrink, the passion of the faculty will shrink as well, leaving Irvine to plummet to the depths of the TT masses. This may be the case, but by that point, whenever it may be, one would hope that the foundations of a stable alumni base would be starting to take root (in the LA area, at the very least). In fact, graduates of the Class of 2016 should be instrumental in being that stable alumni base. And what better market than the second-largest metro area in the country? A big risk for a prospective 0L? Yes, but every other school, even the upper T14s, presents an objectively unacceptable risk given the tuition money involved, and yet here we all are, queuing up like lambs to the slaughter.
But that's further down the road for UCI. For the short term, meanwhile, I believe that the personalized attention from the faculty and efforts to help navigate the job market are significant in offsetting the lack of alumni base, at least enough to make Irvine a viable option. Not a fantastic, oh-my-god option, but a viable one. And that's all one can ask for if you're not knocking on HYS' doors.
In conclusion, UCI may not be ranked as a top-20 school in 2014 when fully accredited, or even further on down the road. But for the Class of 2016, I believe it still may represent a more intriguing (chalk it up to my entrepreneurial leanings) and potentially safer pick (chalk it up to a motivated and connected faculty and dean) than many of the more established schools that currently sit in the 14-25 range. As always, for me it will depend on the $.