California Western School of Law

(Where, When and What Did You Think)
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Great Satchmo
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California Western School of Law

Postby Great Satchmo » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:03 pm

I'll toss my impressions out there for others to browse. There is a heavy representation for the same list of higher ranked schools out there, and I think some input on the lower tier schools is still important.

The facilities:
- The main building houses the classrooms and moot court room, and I believe faculty offices and maybe some assorted offices and resources (student clubs, etc). The main building is a nationally registered historic landmark, and in some parts of the building you will certainly be reminded of this with the aesthetic. The moot court room is beautiful and large, with Spanish style design. The classrooms and other assorted areas are decent, but little details like the carpet being stained/worn, and lackluster details are noticeable. Clearly the look of a school is not the primary reason to go, but I don't think Cal Western really goes either way, for the good or bad, with this.
- The library is a lot newer and very clean and modern. It's a few floors and seems to have adequate study space and a lot of windows. On a Saturday morning there were a handful of students in there studying and they all seemed to have the space and comfort needed.
- There is a more modern looking administration building with a food court/area, but I didn't get to go inside. It seems to be more like the library: modern and clean.

Location:
- The school is in downtown San Diego, immediately off of the 5 freeway and a handful of blocks from the 163 (these are both major freeways). Parking, as explained to us, is difficult, so the use of public transit is probably a good idea (or living nearby).
- Downtown San Diego isn't a very dense, populated area in the traditional "downtown" for bigger cities. San Diego County has a lot of people, but it's spread out through a lot of sprawling suburbs. Walking around downtown on a Saturday evening still seemed fairly empty, except for a few blocks in the gaslamp (a nightlight/shopping area).
- The city is pretty clean and with the addition of Petco Park a few years ago, more and more is being economically developed (that area used to be rundown).
- There are a wide array of areas to live and still have a reasonable commute to San Diego, including more quiet suburbs or younger, beach-bum style towns.

Other thoughts:
- After visiting a few other schools (generally T2's), I was actually impressed with the accepted students day. The students that were there, as well as faculty and staff, all seemed very accessible and fairly open (more so the students in that regard). They held an alumni panel with some successful alumni and I felt that it was done very well and gave a lot of insight into careers that can be sought and the path they took.
- Everyone seemed upbeat and pretty happy to be there. I spoke with students who came for scholarship, and generally their response for attending the T4 school over possible T1/T2's was to be in San Diego, and then the money. They didn't feel entirely constrained by the school's rank and they seemed to have moderated goals (big law was not uttered).

Overall:
- With my skepticism for T3/T4's, I felt that Cal Western was fairly impressive and a legitimate option for school. The reputation of the school within San Diego is not a poor one. Although, a student would be remiss not to investigate the grading curve (academic attrition in 1L is high), those that make it through end up earning the school an impressive bar passage rate.
- They focus on professional training rather than academic training. I don't mean this in the "academic theory vs. practical skill" as much as the manner in which they view the students and their goal of being there.
- If you are looking to go to school and work in San Diego, it would be a mistake to overlook Cal Western for at least a preliminary consideration, with other options like USD.

WWAD
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: California Western School of Law

Postby WWAD » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:25 pm

Thanks for doing this and I agree about not having enough feedback on T3/T4 schools here, even if it is Top Law Schools.

BattlingBarrister
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby BattlingBarrister » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:00 pm

I just finished my 1L here and kept a blog the whole way through if anyone is interested. It's a good school. I liked the experience despite the insane attrition rate.

http://californiawestern1l.blogspot.com/

WWAD
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: California Western School of Law

Postby WWAD » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:28 am

BattlingBarrister wrote:I just finished my 1L here and kept a blog the whole way through if anyone is interested. It's a good school. I liked the experience despite the insane attrition rate.

http://californiawestern1l.blogspot.com/


I was going to post that I was surprised that I missed this, because I thought your post was old, then I saw the date. I will read this tomorrow, thanks.

BattlingBarrister
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby BattlingBarrister » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:12 pm

Its good to know someone is reading it.

Picking a T4 school is a hard decision to make. I know TLS gets read by students looking for information from the top to the bottom of the law school ranking spectrum looking for help deciding where to go. Hopefully it helps at least someone get a feel for the school and decide what they want to do.

goletasb
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: California Western School of Law

Postby goletasb » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:09 pm

My brother just finished 1L there and absolutely loves it. Also, you might be graduating from a UC school in the very near future: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010 ... aw-school/

WWAD
Posts: 186
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby WWAD » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:05 pm

BattlingBarrister wrote:Its good to know someone is reading it.

Picking a T4 school is a hard decision to make. I know TLS gets read by students looking for information from the top to the bottom of the law school ranking spectrum looking for help deciding where to go. Hopefully it helps at least someone get a feel for the school and decide what they want to do.


Yeah, it's great. I am all paranoid about getting H1N1 now, but it is real informative. I hope I can put as much into it as you are. I am about half way through, thanks for doing it. I am about 75% sure I am going there. If you don't mind, what were your #s? Thanks for putting all that work in and posting it here.

JValdez
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby JValdez » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:50 pm

Just received my acceptance letter! An estimate of the "insane attrition rate"?

WWAD
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby WWAD » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:47 pm

Congrats. It's about 12% academic. The grading curve, or I mean guidelines, are tough the first year. You can find info on their web site and the ABA site. I kind of understand where they are coming from, but it is a tough way to go about it. It is always a hot topic when talking about CWSL.

BattlingBarrister
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby BattlingBarrister » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:56 pm

LSN says its around 23% which includes transfers and people leaving for things other than grades. From personal experience about 8 people left out of my section of 87 from the first semester and another 8 stayed on and gambled they'd be able to pull up their 73.5. The school gives special small group tutoring both first semester and second semester if they think you have any kind of gap from your undergrad or you're on the brink of failing out in the Spring.
Last edited by BattlingBarrister on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

BattlingBarrister
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby BattlingBarrister » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:59 pm

WWAD wrote:Congrats. It's about 12% academic. The grading curve, or I mean guidelines, are tough the first year. You can find info on their web site and the ABA site. I kind of understand where they are coming from, but it is a tough way to go about it. It is always a hot topic when talking about CWSL.



That sounds about right.

And congrats to anyone who is in and coming to Cal Western. :D

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eupelia
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby eupelia » Mon May 17, 2010 7:22 pm

I just visited for Preview weekend and loved the people (staff and faculty). Big hearts, hard workers, enthusiastic about the power of law to better our communities.

If you are similarly inclined, apply for sure.

TexasDemocrat
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Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:30 am

Re: California Western School of Law

Postby TexasDemocrat » Mon May 24, 2010 10:10 pm

Other Thoughts:

A friend of mine (very smart, went there on a full ride) graduated last May and doesn't have a job yet.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:16 pm

TexasDemocrat wrote:Other Thoughts:

A friend of mine (very smart, went there on a full ride) graduated last May and doesn't have a job yet.


Welcome to non-top 14 schools, and many students outside of the top 50% of the class at most schools.

I don't think anyone is mistaken that Cal Western is a T4 in a generally tough legal market right now.

e_mac7
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby e_mac7 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:32 pm

BattlingBarrister wrote:LSN says its around 23% which includes transfers and people leaving for things other than grades. From personal experience about 8 people left out of my section of 87 from the first semester and another 8 stayed on and gambled they'd be able to pull up their 73.5. The school gives special small group tutoring both first semester and second semester if they think you have any kind of gap from your undergrad or you're on the brink of failing out in the Spring.


When does the tutoring usually start for 1Ls?

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crestor
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby crestor » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:15 am

e_mac7 wrote:
BattlingBarrister wrote:LSN says its around 23% which includes transfers and people leaving for things other than grades. From personal experience about 8 people left out of my section of 87 from the first semester and another 8 stayed on and gambled they'd be able to pull up their 73.5. The school gives special small group tutoring both first semester and second semester if they think you have any kind of gap from your undergrad or you're on the brink of failing out in the Spring.


When does the tutoring usually start for 1Ls?


that post is 3 years old...

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shepdawg
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Re: California Western School of Law

Postby shepdawg » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:04 pm

This was listed on the CWSL Career Service Office's Simplicity page. This is what you have to look forward to after you pay $120k.
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