Lawdog5 wrote:Hi Jeebs,
This is a lot but there were too many hands up at Campus Visit Day to get these answered. Would you mind expanding on the following?
1) Your own experience with career prospects and your impression of your classmates' career prospects as well
2) Thoughts on USD alumni involvement with hiring/mentoring/internships from 1L to 3L
3) Thoughts on the quality of internships/externships available during the school year as a 2L/3L
4) Types of summer Opportunities available as a 1L and also as a 2L
5) Thoughts on the overall non-legal social life of USD (such as intramurals, Thursday night bar reviews, etc.)
1) I have found career prospects to be great. I secured a post-bar position last spring in a very prestigious position. Additionally, I was made a competing offer in private practice quite recently. As far as classmates prospects, it seems that it is hit and miss. Some classmates of mine have jobs lined up while others are active searching. The majority of the people that worked in big law their 2L summer were made post-bar offers as well. I believe that career prospects, much like many things in law school, are much about academic performance and how much effort the individual puts into the search.
2) Alumni involvement is strong. I say that with the caveat that I am referring to the San Diego area. One thing that needs to be understood is that USD Law is very much a regional school. With that in mind, USD Law is the king of the hill in a big city. Alumni participate in mock interview courses, return for networking events, judge events such as mock trial and/or moot court, etc. Additionally, alumni will actively seek USD Law students over the other two schools in the area for jobs both during and post law school.
3) Internship/externship quality with government organizations is great. Again, I say this with San Diego in mind. The beauty of USD Law is that you are in a big city that has a very large federal district court, state trial and appellate court systems and all of the support systems for both (think US Attorney's Office, DA's Office, Federal Defenders, etc.) yet you only compete against two very low quality schools for positions at each of these. Contrast that to the Los Angeles area where they have a federal district court and state court system as well but you are competing with USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, Loyola, Southwestern, and UC Irvine. In San Diego you are a big fish in a little pond.
4) Summer becomes more difficult for finding government internship/externships. This is due in large part to the fact that people want to spend a summer in San Diego. So the same positions I mentioned above will get applications from top law schools around the nation. That isn't to say it is impossible or even difficult, just not quite as easy as it is during the academic year. Summer jobs, whether it be 1L or 2L summers, are easy to find, frankly put. I know people that have worked in just about every type of office from big law down to working for a solo practitioner. It is all personal preference and there is no shortage of work.
5) Social life is what you make of it. San Diego is a very vibrant city and offers an unlimited number of things for a young adult to do. The problem is time. Don't forget that this is law school and free time is not abundant. As far as law school events go, you will not be bored. I can tell you now that if you attend USD Law you will be on a softball team. Intramural softball is huge at this school. It offers a great escape from studying and allows you to connect with fellow students in a non-academic setting from the start. Bar reviews happen almost weekly and are at various clubs and bars all over town. They are well attended.
If you or anyone else has any other questions, feel free to ask.