Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

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SandyC877
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Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SandyC877 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:29 pm

I wanted to share my experience here in LA to give you a better perspective of the life here. I am very familiar with Southwestern/Loyola/USC/UCLA in particular because I actually took classes there and grew up around the area. I'll touch on commute and neighborhood quality/safety for now. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer.

1) Commute: Los Angeles is very unlike New York City - everything is spread out just enough to warrant a drive. In my opinion, you need a car. Yes, you can take the bus or live close enough to walk, but I'll talk more on this in the "Neighborhood and Safety" section below.
USC/Loyola/Southwestern are all close to each other (separated from each other by 2-4 miles). Southwestern is about 2-3 miles away from the 110s harbor freeway, Wilshire Blvd exit. Size of the campus is about 2 small city blocks. It is located in the heart of Korea-town, and it's also the preferred LSAT venue for most L.A. applicants. Loyola is exactly 1 more exit off the 110s, but it's located only a block away from the freeway exit. Campus itself is very small, taking up about a block. 2 exits more off the 110s, you will see USC. USC is literally right next to the 110 freeway and you can actually see the roof of the campus building from the freeway ramp. The campus is big, and it's the closest to Downtown L.A. All 3 schools share the 110 Harbor Freeway, right next to Downtown L.A. Air and noise pollution is very bad. Public transportation system is pretty bad in downtown. It's dirty and not as safe as I'd like it to be. I wouldn't let my kids ride it if I had kids. You're better off with a cab. I personally don't have any friends who ride the bus. There's also no sign of green pasture. Everything in and near downtown is concrete bricks and asphalt.

Traffic in downtown L.A. is horrible during the rush hour (7am-10am, 3pm - 7pm). I would NOT be anywhere near the 110 during the rush hour. It takes roughly 10 minutes to move 2-3 miles. If you think that taking local streets would be better, think again. Local streets take longer with traffic signals. However, after 7:30PM, traffic magically disappears. Saturdays aren't as bad, but for some reason, the 110n is always congested, but 110s isn't. Sundays - no traffic both ways.

UCLA, although it's the University of California, "Los Angeles," it's really in Westwood. It's located in the right smack middle surrounded by Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. However, don't let the upscale suburb names fool you. 405 is the UCLA freeway, and it is just as bad. UCLA is about 25 miles away from downtown LA and the other 3 schools. However, public transportation system in Westwood is much better funded, faster, safer, and more convenient. I'd let my kids get on the bus at UCLA. Air quality is better and you actually see green pastures, parks, and cemeteries nearby. UCLA is also the closest to the Santa Monica beach, only a 5 minute drive, as opposed to 30 minutes for rest of the 3 schools.

2. Neighborhood quality and Safety

Southwestern - because it's located on Wilshire, one of the biggest and busiest streets of L.A., I'd say it's pretty safe. Again, LA is not like NYC in that people walk everywhere. Not that many people walk down even Wilshire blvd. However, I don't believe it's for safety reasons. Shops in LA are simply more spread apart so everyone drives. It's also a small campus, so there isn't much to worry about. If you want to get a room near Southwestern, chances are you will be living in a really worn down, old apartments in L.A. There have been some major apartment constructions throughout Koreatown, but be prepared to pay crazy $$$. My friend lives in a new, small STUDIO that was built 2 years ago, located directly across from Southwestern, and he's paying 1400.

Loyola - Not a cozy neighborhood. It has a weird half-industrial complex feel although it's located only minutes away from Koreatown and Downtown. UPS freight station is located directly adjacent to it. Loyola is next to the freeway bridge, and you don't see too many people. It's really just a school next to the freeway with nothing else. It's moderately safe as there's really nobody around. But I wouldn't walk around the campus other than to my car. It's dark and quiet. As for apartments, you're on the same boat with Southwestern students.

USC - Inside the campus is absolutely safe. Buses operate within campus, and I see quite a bit of student patrols. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that they had to "up" security around campus though. During the day, the outskirts of campus is fine. I walk around all the time and students are out eating lunch at a local Wendy's. In fact, I took my night LSAT prep course at USC and I did not experience nor witnessed anything shady. However, neighborhoods around the campus compounds aren't as safe. You need to realize that USC is located behind and "outside" Downtown, where there are heavy gang activities. Homelessness is also clearly an issue. I'm never taking the MTA buses around USC and neither will I let my kids. I wouldn't live nearby either if I had the choice. Also, there absolutely nothing to do near campus unless you drive into Downtown or Koreatown. So I think you really need a car at USC.

UCLA - Safe in and around campus. You can walk down Westwood strips and shop at night, go out for yogurt, bars, markets etc. They're all walking distance from the apartments. However, apartments nearby are very pricey and it's extremely crowded. You see cars double parked, triple parked in every apartment. A lot of UCLA students find apartments in Santa Monica, Culver city, and other neighboring cities (bar Bel Air and Beverly Hills, because they only have mansions and those rich folks would never put up with an apartment right next to their estate). As for public transportation, MTA buses are very well funded and clean. However, some buses have limited operating hours.

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existenz
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby existenz » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:26 pm

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Last edited by existenz on Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lt0826
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby lt0826 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:42 pm

Thanks for all the info.

I think you are on the UCI board as well. Any idea about commuting to Irvine and the areas around Irvine? I am visiting the LA area now staying near Long Beach and I love the little neighborhood I am staying in. It looks to be about 1/2 hour from UCI but no idea what traffic conditions would be like commuting to Irvine. I've found traffic commuting to LA on the 605/5 to be better than traffic I've experienced from Santa Monica, Hollywood or Burbank, but not sure of Orange County traffic patterns at all.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby GATORTIM » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:47 pm

lt0826 wrote:Thanks for all the info.

I think you are on the UCI board as well. Any idea about commuting to Irvine and the areas around Irvine? I am visiting the LA area now staying near Long Beach and I love the little neighborhood I am staying in. It looks to be about 1/2 hour from UCI but no idea what traffic conditions would be like commuting to Irvine. I've found traffic commuting to LA on the 605/5 to be better than traffic I've experienced from Santa Monica, Hollywood or Burbank, but not sure of Orange County traffic patterns at all.


I live in Irvine (about 3 mins from UCI) and used to work in Long Beach. The 405 is hit and miss, but I would expect the commute to be 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Irvine is a great place to live in SoCal and I have enjoyed living here much more than in Long Beach. Irvine is pretty much equidistant from San Diego and LA, but definitely lacks the city-vibe of either.

yeff
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby yeff » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:27 am

FWIW, UCLA is more like 12-15 miles from downtown LA, depending on your route, not 25 miles.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:25 am

I currently live in South Central Los Angeles. A few weeks ago as I was coming home from work, there was a drive-by in front of my house.

I used to live in Koreatown a few minutes from Southwestern Law School. A homeless man was burned alive a few blocks from my APT, and my car was constantly vandalized because my APT had no parking, and I parked on the street. Koreatown and the Southwestern Law area is dominated/shared by two major and rival gangs -- 18th Street and Mara-Salvatrucha or MS13. These two gangs are vicious and brutal. Walking to my APT in Koreatown at night was a stupid mistake that almost cost me my life. I was surrounded and harassed by stupid thugs because I was walking to my apt which was next to their building and I was walking on their sidewalk. I was not beat-up or mugged, but they harassed the shit out of me and blocked my path for 5 minutes or more.

USC is in a gang infested neighborhood as well, but the gangs are African-American. Only an idiot would walk around at night in USC's neighborhood. Avoid public transportation in Downtown LA and take a damn car. You will be grateful. In a car, avoid major streets and learn to navigate side streets or use less congested routes to get to your destination. I can drive from South Central Los Angeles to West Hollywood in 35 to 45 minutes during the hours of 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. LA traffic is bad if you follow the herd and don't learn to economize behind the wheel.
All of Los Angeles sucks and the air quality sucks even more. Downtown LA is often hit with major rain while surrounding cities do not get bombarded as bad. In LA, you will face homeless people that stink, are high, are dangerous, or just plain mentally disturbed. You will face gangs, crime, and a large Hispanic population that does not give a rat's ass about you and your legal ambitions.

UCLA is in paradise. End of story. Whatever happens in the UCLA area that may be bad, is not that bad when compared to stank-ass Los Angeles.

The OP is right on the button. Los Angeles sucks and if you see otherwise, you have not experienced the shitty side of LA. Gangs are everywhere in Los Angeles. My experience is unique, but just throwing my two-cents.

SandyC877
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SandyC877 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:44 am

existenz wrote:I attended college in LA for undergrad, and I lived a few blocks from Southwestern for a few years after graduation. In fact I've lived in LA for over 15 years. So as someone who knows the city, I really disagree with a lot of the criticisms that this poster makes.


That's fine and understandable. But as I mentioned above, Southwestern is in a much better location than USC, despite them being less than a few miles apart. My suspicion is that you probably lived in Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena suburbs and never really lived "IN" LA.

existenz wrote: Air pollution is not that bad in LA. Today is a beautiful day with clear blue skies and fresh air. You might have a few smoggy days during the summer, but CA has done a lot to reduce pollution over the last twenty years.


What is "not that bad" and "reduced pollution"? In comparison to what?

"Los Angeles Air still among the worst in the nation" - 2009 Studies and articles
http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/cap/county.tcl?fips_county_code=06037#air_rankings
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_websmog.10c3ea9.html
http://www.citymayors.com/environment/polluted_uscities.html
http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_12247707

existenz wrote: Noise pollution -- Maybe if you have an apartment right on a busy street or highway, you will have noise pollution. But if you have a regular apartment near USC or Southwestern or UCLA, it will not be any noisier than any neighborhood in any other medium or large city. USC is more likely to have police helicopters flying over at night, but that's a distant hum that you barely notice.


USC campus is about 50 feet away from the 110 Freeway, the busiest freeway in L.A. 2 helicopters a night per week is not a lot of noise? that's an average of 2 more than UCLA.

existenz wrote: Crime -- I never had any problems in the USC area with gangs or any of that nonsense. USC is actually north of South Central and very few gangbangers hang out in the USC area. There are literally thousands of students living around USC, roving security patrols, and so it's a very safe area. The poster is correct that there is less to do near USC as far as movie theatres or shopping, but this is LA and you can drive to any of that stuff.


First of all, everyone anywhere can "drive" to that stuff. But if we're to be fair, we should note the attractions that are part of the school's perimeter. It would be ridiculous to say "UC Davis is just as good as UC Hastings in terms of night life since if Davis students have a car, they can drive a few hours to San Fran.".

Second, just because you never had problems with the gang doesn't mean LA/Downtown doesn't have one.
http://www.lapdonline.org/gang_injunctions According to LAPD website, most of the gang activity in LA is closest to USC.

Image

I forgot to add in the Bloods and Crips in the map.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:58 am

SandyC877 wrote:
existenz wrote:I attended college in LA for undergrad, and I lived a few blocks from Southwestern for a few years after graduation. In fact I've lived in LA for over 15 years. So as someone who knows the city, I really disagree with a lot of the criticisms that this poster makes.


That's fine and understandable. But as I mentioned above, Southwestern is in a much better location than USC, despite them being less than a few miles apart. My suspicion is that you probably lived in Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena suburbs and never really lived "IN" LA.

existenz wrote: Air pollution is not that bad in LA. Today is a beautiful day with clear blue skies and fresh air. You might have a few smoggy days during the summer, but CA has done a lot to reduce pollution over the last twenty years.


What is "not that bad" and "reduced pollution"? In comparison to what?

"Los Angeles Air still among the worst in the nation" - 2009 Studies and articles
http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/cap/county.tcl?fips_county_code=06037#air_rankings
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_websmog.10c3ea9.html
http://www.citymayors.com/environment/polluted_uscities.html
http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_12247707

existenz wrote: Noise pollution -- Maybe if you have an apartment right on a busy street or highway, you will have noise pollution. But if you have a regular apartment near USC or Southwestern or UCLA, it will not be any noisier than any neighborhood in any other medium or large city. USC is more likely to have police helicopters flying over at night, but that's a distant hum that you barely notice.


USC campus is about 50 feet away from the 110 Freeway, the busiest freeway in L.A. 2 helicopters a night per week is not a lot of noise? that's an average of 2 more than UCLA.

existenz wrote: Crime -- I never had any problems in the USC area with gangs or any of that nonsense. USC is actually north of South Central and very few gangbangers hang out in the USC area. There are literally thousands of students living around USC, roving security patrols, and so it's a very safe area. The poster is correct that there is less to do near USC as far as movie theatres or shopping, but this is LA and you can drive to any of that stuff.


First of all, everyone anywhere can "drive" to that stuff. But if we're to be fair, we should note the attractions that are part of the school's perimeter. It would be ridiculous to say "UC Davis is just as good as UC Hastings in terms of night life since if Davis students have a car, they can drive a few hours to San Fran.".

Second, just because you never had problems with the gang doesn't mean LA/Downtown doesn't have one.
http://www.lapdonline.org/gang_injunctions According to LAPD website, most of the gang activity in LA is closest to USC.

Image

I forgot to add in the Bloods and Crips in the map.


This is not meant to scare people, but only to highlight that Los Angeles and surrounding areas are dangerous and shitty.
My mom and dad were assaulted in East Los Angeles. My mom was pregnant with my older sister when this happened. As my mom was going to be attacked, she ran cause that's what my dad said to do. He remained and fought off the gang members and ended up getting stabbed and needing stitches. This happened in one of the luscious and clean parks that are in the damn city.

Trust me when I say this, LA sucks.

SandyC877
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SandyC877 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:03 am

Image

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:20 am

SandyC877 wrote:Image


100% accurate!

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existenz
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby existenz » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:24 am

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existenz
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby existenz » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:29 am

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beef wellington
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby beef wellington » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:25 am

I gotta say, between this thread and watching that episode of Six Feet Under earlier tonight where David gets carjacked (*shudder*), I'm a bit spooked about LA right now.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:56 pm

existenz wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:I currently live in South Central Los Angeles. A few weeks ago as I was coming home from work, there was a drive-by in front of my house.

I used to live in Koreatown a few minutes from Southwestern Law School. A homeless man was burned alive a few blocks from my APT, and my car was constantly vandalized because my APT had no parking, and I parked on the street. Koreatown and the Southwestern Law area is dominated/shared by two major and rival gangs -- 18th Street and Mara-Salvatrucha or MS13. These two gangs are vicious and brutal. Walking to my APT in Koreatown at night was a stupid mistake that almost cost me my life. I was surrounded and harassed by stupid thugs because I was walking to my apt which was next to their building and I was walking on their sidewalk. I was not beat-up or mugged, but they harassed the shit out of me and blocked my path for 5 minutes or more.

USC is in a gang infested neighborhood as well, but the gangs are African-American. Only an idiot would walk around at night in USC's neighborhood. Avoid public transportation in Downtown LA and take a damn car. You will be grateful. In a car, avoid major streets and learn to navigate side streets or use less congested routes to get to your destination. I can drive from South Central Los Angeles to West Hollywood in 35 to 45 minutes during the hours of 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. LA traffic is bad if you follow the herd and don't learn to economize behind the wheel.
All of Los Angeles sucks and the air quality sucks even more. Downtown LA is often hit with major rain while surrounding cities do not get bombarded as bad. In LA, you will face homeless people that stink, are high, are dangerous, or just plain mentally disturbed. You will face gangs, crime, and a large Hispanic population that does not give a rat's ass about you and your legal ambitions.

UCLA is in paradise. End of story. Whatever happens in the UCLA area that may be bad, is not that bad when compared to stank-ass Los Angeles.

The OP is right on the button. Los Angeles sucks and if you see otherwise, you have not experienced the shitty side of LA. Gangs are everywhere in Los Angeles. My experience is unique, but just throwing my two-cents.

You obviously have a grudge against Los Angeles, and your comments about African-American gangs and the "Hispanic population" are racist. I have lived here for 15 years and trust me, gangs are not "everywhere" and the pollution is not bad at all.

I also find it funny that you compare UCLA to Los Angeles when UCLA is IN Los Angeles.


UCLA is in Westwood, buddy. UCLA may be in Los Angeles County, but I'm referring to Los Angeles the city. My comments are not racist, they are a perspective. I stated before that my experience may not be typical because I live in the not-so-rich area of Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so there is no grudge. So I am a racists because I point out that the gangs around USC are African-American and that Los Angeles the city has a large Hispanic population? Dude, no! Pointing out ethnicity or cultural heritage is not racists. The city of Los Angeles is a cultural melting-pot with different ethnic groups making up different parts of the city.

You are right, gangs are not everywhere in Los Angeles. When you get to the La Brea and Fairfax area that neighbors West Hollywood, then you may be in an area of Los Angeles that is gang free. I should not have said gangs are everywhere. Instead, I should have stated that gangs are all over Los Angeles.

UCLA is in Westwood. I guess you can debate whether it is Westwood or Los Angeles. Secondly, if UCLA is in Los Angeles, then it is in the rich and fancy part of Los Angeles.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:58 pm

beef wellington wrote:I gotta say, between this thread and watching that episode of Six Feet Under earlier tonight where David gets carjacked (*shudder*), I'm a bit spooked about LA right now.


Well, car-jackings haven't happened since the 80s. Don't be spooked, just accept it. =-) Then, LA is alright.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:01 pm

existenz wrote:Forget it. This thread is full of racist idiots with serious mental problems. The "maps" provided by SwollenMonkey and the "facts" provided by Sandy are so much garbage.

From reading you crap you'd think LA was a mix between Beirut and Mexico City. What junk.

/thread


I did not provide any maps. I provided comments and real life changing events that happened to my family and while living in the crappy parts of Los Angeles.

Dude, I stipulated that my experience in Los Angeles may be unique cause of where I live and have lived.
Last edited by SwollenMonkey on Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

littlepiggie818
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby littlepiggie818 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:13 pm

Westwood is actually not a city. UCLA is in fact in the city of Los Angeles. Look up their address!

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RadMobile
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby RadMobile » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:16 pm

How about Los Feliz/Silver Lake area?

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:17 pm

existenz wrote:
Crime -- I never had any problems in the USC area with gangs or any of that nonsense. USC is actually north of South Central and very few gangbangers hang out in the USC area.


I have had problems with gangs in and around Los Angeles. So because my experience disagrees with yours, it is crap?

existenz wrote: Very few gangsters hang out in the USC area.

"Very few gangsters" --- at least you acknowledge that gangs exists in the USC area.
Gangsters do not hang out in an area. They occupy it and use it to their advantage at the expense of the people that live in the area.

Lastly, the title of this thread is Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles. This is self-explanatory. Is it necessary to make accusations about people when their perspectives disagree with yours? No it is not.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:19 pm

littlepiggie818 wrote:Westwood is actually not a city. UCLA is in fact in the city of Los Angeles. Look up their address!


I know their address says Los Angeles, but it is not the version of Los Angeles that is known for crime and gangs.

Westwood is not officially a city, but it is in the very nice part of Los Angeles.

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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby littlepiggie818 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:23 pm

I have lived in Los Angeles for over 15 years now and I have never had any problem with gang or crime. I think a lot of things that are represented in the media is untrue. But of course no matter where you live, you need to consider the location. Since Los Angeles is such a widespread city, there are areas that are much more run down and a lot of areas that are beautiful and great to live in. Of course, it all comes with a price tag. You get what you paid for.

I live in the Westwood area now and I love it. I can walk around at night and I don't have any concern.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby SwollenMonkey » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:25 pm

littlepiggie818 wrote:I have lived in Los Angeles for over 15 years now and I have never had any problem with gang or crime. I think a lot of things that are represented in the media is untrue. But of course no matter where you live, you need to consider the location. Since Los Angeles is such a widespread city, there are areas that are much more run down and a lot of areas that are beautiful and great to live in. Of course, it all comes with a price tag. You get what you paid for.

I live in the Westwood area now and I love it. I can walk around at night and I don't have any concern.


In my part of Los Angeles, you cannot walk around at night and the people usually are inside by 8 o'clock pm.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:36 pm

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:38 pm

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Fark-o-vision
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Re: Some info while considering law schools in Los Angeles

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:46 pm

I've never lived within the actual city, so I can't speculate. I can say that, being from SoCal, many of my friends went to USC and I've spent a lot of time in and around the campus. Anyone who tries to claim that it's in anything like a decent neighborhood is full of crap. I think USC would probably admit that the area surrounding the campus is unsafe. That's why they promote how safe their campus actually is (and it is, no doubt).

As for UCLA being in LA, well, I guess. However, for those not from here, LA isn't NYC. Most people don't try and claim it, or fudge their address to live in it. If they have a neighborhood, they claim it. People in Westwood say they live in Westwood, no Los Angeles. Just like most people in Hollywood will tell you they live in Hollywood, not Los Angeles (especially, for whatever reason, West Hollywood).

Also, those suggesting that pointing out "African American" gangs, or Hispanics, is a racist move, I'd have to disagree. The culture in Los Angeles is fairly unique for a large city. While I would hope that the intent of the original author wasn't to condemn all African American's or Hispanics, you do have to understand that neighborhoods often suffer severe racial divides and that cooperation with police is often minimal, especially when doing so would be going against your race. The fact that people rarely walk anywhere and almost never stop in neighborhoods that aren't a destination for them means that these communities are able to even further isolate themselves. This means that gang activity can become particularly audacious.

As far as the air quality goes, I left the Los Angeles metro for a few years and, yeah, the air is terrible.

All of that said, LA is awesome if you know how to navigate around.




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