Since a lot of people have been posting about Hastings' cost I thought I would aggregate what I have found out so far, as I plan to attend next year.
Based on this memo: --LinkRemoved--, tuition/fees/medical is slated to rise to $50,310 for next year for out of state students and $39,085 for instate.
Based on ABA data http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchResults/SchoolPage_PDFs/ABA_LawSchoolData/ABA4342.pdf
, ~3/4ths of students receive grants with the median value being $6,000. However, according to the memo from the school, 1/3rd of the increase in tuition is going to need based financial aid, so that at least partially offsets the rise in tuition.
Several people have stated that Hastings does not provide merit scholarships. This is untrue as I received one. That being said, based on my research into the school I believe most of their aid is indeed need based.
It seems that based on residency requirements for the UC system, it is relatively easy to achieve resident status after the first year. This would obviously reduce the all-in cost substantially. Further speculation on my part: the economy is not going to melt down further and will in fact recover this year. This would lead to a much better budget situation in California, blunting the need for future insane year over year tuition increases.
Also, Hastings is in San Francisco which, at least to my tastes, is the best city on Earth. Is it expensive there? Yes. Is it awesome? Yes.