Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

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bk1
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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby bk1 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:25 pm

SoCal or bust is an untenable position from any school not in SoCal (exceptions to HYS/B).

Going to a T14 at anywhere near sticker and not being open to NYC is extremely foolish.

Redfactor
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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby Redfactor » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:21 pm

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y2zipper
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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby y2zipper » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:22 pm

The issue with SoCal is that it's the worst job market in the country and the schools there that might be worth it typical aren't splitter-friendly. Heck, 30% of UCLA grads go unemployed and that's one of the good schools in the region.

If you want a be a lawyer I could see why you'd apply and see, given the declines and all.

But anything below UCLA is a suicide mission. Less than half a chance at becoming a lawyer isn't worth the three years. (exactly why I'm retaking the LSAT)

OP's after a simpler life. As a borderline Olympic athlete, get some certification as a personal trainer, move to the OC and work at a health club or something. You don't need law school.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:50 pm

Redfactor wrote:
bk1 wrote:SoCal or bust is an untenable position from any school not in SoCal (exceptions to HYS/B).

Going to a T14 at anywhere near sticker and not being open to NYC is extremely foolish.



+1

And I am confused why people are giving this advice. He makes no claim to desire biglaw; he just desires to practice in California. Going to GULC or Duke or UVA and trying to hustle to get back to Cali is going to be difficult.

People on these forums are so prestige and biglaw focused. I am not trying to imply that it's wrong to think that way, I just get the sense that this forum fails to fully take into account other options. I guess this can be expected though as the site is called Top Law Schools.

My advice is you should figure out if that lifestyle (which you will be forced to take with T-14 at sticker) is really what you're after. If you desire that type of career track (and that's perfectly okay), then for sure consider T-14 at sticker.

Your general career goals
Moderate material comfort, with the remainder of my happiness afforded by proximity to family, friends, and the beach


You can achieve this by other schools, too. Moderate material comfort can be achieved by a salary much less than 160k if your student loans are reasonable.

I would look at certain Cali schools that will give you huge scholarships. Going to USD or LLS or Pepperdine for free isn't a bad option, especially if you can mitigate COL by family / friends.

WUSTL may be your best option though. Going there for free is a pretty solid choice. COL is low and the overall debt vs. value of the degree should prove to be solid.

And I don't subscribe that you are automatically out for USC / UCLA. Schools are continuing to adapt to new application realities. A change in philosophy about splitters will help them retain medians, so it's not outlandish that they could become more splitter friendly. Keep in mind though, if they continue with the path they've taken thus far, you're almost certainly a ding.

Best of luck in whatever you decide!


There's a few things wrong with this post, I'll just point to two:

1. Ignoring the bimodal distribution of salaries for lawyers
2. Saying it would be hard to hustle back to CA from a school like Duke and then suggesting WUSTL as a potential best option

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:52 pm

y2zipper wrote:The issue with SoCal is that it's the worst job market in the country and the schools there that might be worth it typical aren't splitter-friendly. Heck, 30% of UCLA grads go unemployed and that's one of the good schools in the region.

If you want a be a lawyer I could see why you'd apply and see, given the declines and all.

But anything below UCLA is a suicide mission. Less than half a chance at becoming a lawyer isn't worth the three years. (exactly why I'm retaking the LSAT)

OP's after a simpler life. As a borderline Olympic athlete, get some certification as a personal trainer, move to the OC and work at a health club or something. You don't need law school.


Is this deliberate or accidental anti-USC trolling?

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby dsn32 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:14 am

Not sure if this has been said, but everyone on LSN (as of a check a month or two back) with a 170+ got into NU, regardless of WE. Not sure on scholly $, but you can go to a good school with your numbers and give yourself a chance at getting back to Cali with good grades.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby Redfactor » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:30 am

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twenty
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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby twenty » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:53 am

Redfactor wrote:1) I didn't ignore pay distribution. "Moderate material comfort can be achieved by a salary much less than 160k if your student loans are reasonable."

If you take a school like USD or WUSTL for free, you can come out with <75k debt. While I wouldn't count on it, that price can be greatly reduced with an SA.
Regardless, it is possible to pay back 75k debt on 60k salary fairly decently. Sure, you're not models and bottles, but it's not bad. 80k and things start to get even easier.

2) In all likelihood Duke would be at sticker or very close to for OP. At 250-280k of debt, you basically have to get biglaw or utilize their LRAP. Hustling back to Cali from Duke is different than the hustle that would occur from WUSTL. WIth Duke, you're competing against USC, UCLA, and a portion of every T-14. That's a lot of competition for not a huge number of associate slots.

WUSTL on the other hand, would be for a different type of law job. A normal law job. There are many more of this type and the out of state competition isn't as fierce. With Duke or WUSTL, OP shouldn't bank on OCI to give him a job in Cali, so much of the legwork would have to be done for either biglaw or smalllaw.

There is no doubt Duke and WUSTL are two distinct paths. Taking the fork toward WUSTL is the good right choice, imo


I think you may be underestimating just how god-awful the California market is. If a third of UCLA's grads aren't able to "hustle" up something law-related in California, why would you expect a run of the mill WUSTL kid to?

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby Redfactor » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:09 am

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Last edited by Redfactor on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby slowboat » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:56 am

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in, very helpful.

Trying to get a handle on everyone's input, does this seem a fair approximation of where things stand:

1) T14 acceptance is possible, though not probable.
1a) In the event of such acceptance, sticker is all but inevitable. Sticker for a T14 in a vacuum is not necessarily an insane decision, but limiting myself to SoCal with that debt load is decidedly more so.

2) Full ride to WUSTL is possible, though not probable.
2a) A full ride at WUSTL still leaves me ~70k in the hole, which while lessening the need for Big Law, also would leave me as a WUSTL grad with pretty slim odds at getting back to SoCal for ANY job (I'm not sure I'm buying this idea that there are "normal" law jobs open to a hypothetical WUSTL grad that the unemployed from USC/UCLA/UCI/USD/Pepperdine/LMU/...holy-f*ck-there-are-a-lot-of-CA-law-schools are turning their noses up at in favor of unemployment). Also, spend three years in Missouri.

3) Acceptance to SoCal regional is probable, money enough to justify attendance less so.
3a) See 2a, replace WUSTL with UCI/USD/Pepperdine, Missouri with Newport/La Jolla/Malibu

4) Don't go.
4a) Enter the work force at 25/26/27 and build from scratch.

Assuming the above is more or less fair, two questions:

1) Is option 4 as clear a winner as it appears?

2) Does studying for a retake in the hopes of 173+ afford enough of an improvement to options 1,2, or 3 or introduce any further options to justify the effort? If so, I should probably start studying yesterday.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby slowboat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:57 am

Anyone with thoughts on this:
slowboat wrote:Assuming the above is more or less fair, two questions:

1) Is option 4 as clear a winner as it appears?

2) Does studying for a retake in the hopes of 173+ afford enough of an improvement to options 1,2, or 3 or introduce any further options to justify the effort? If so, I should probably start studying yesterday.
Sorry to be a bugger, but if retake is the answer here, time is at a bit of a premium.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:35 pm

slowboat wrote:Anyone with thoughts on this:
slowboat wrote:Assuming the above is more or less fair, two questions:

1) Is option 4 as clear a winner as it appears?

2) Does studying for a retake in the hopes of 173+ afford enough of an improvement to options 1,2, or 3 or introduce any further options to justify the effort? If so, I should probably start studying yesterday.
Sorry to be a bugger, but if retake is the answer here, time is at a bit of a premium.


I wouldn't retake unless you want to ED UVA, in which case 171 or 172 will be an asset. Doesnt change the calculus of the CA market decision though.

NU is in play with the 170 anyway

y2zipper
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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby y2zipper » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:12 pm

BigZuck wrote:
y2zipper wrote:The issue with SoCal is that it's the worst job market in the country and the schools there that might be worth it typical aren't splitter-friendly. Heck, 30% of UCLA grads go unemployed and that's one of the good schools in the region.

If you want a be a lawyer I could see why you'd apply and see, given the declines and all.

But anything below UCLA is a suicide mission. Less than half a chance at becoming a lawyer isn't worth the three years. (exactly why I'm retaking the LSAT)

OP's after a simpler life. As a borderline Olympic athlete, get some certification as a personal trainer, move to the OC and work at a health club or something. You don't need law school.


Is this deliberate or accidental anti-USC trolling?


Accidental. For the purposes of law school discussion, USC and UCLA are the same school. I can see why it reads that way, though. My larger point is that Irvine/Chapman/Pepperdine everything below the 2 LA schools is crap.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby y2zipper » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:21 pm

slowboat wrote:Thanks to everyone who has chimed in, very helpful.

Trying to get a handle on everyone's input, does this seem a fair approximation of where things stand:

1) T14 acceptance is possible, though not probable.
1a) In the event of such acceptance, sticker is all but inevitable. Sticker for a T14 in a vacuum is not necessarily an insane decision, but limiting myself to SoCal with that debt load is decidedly more so.

2) Full ride to WUSTL is possible, though not probable.
2a) A full ride at WUSTL still leaves me ~70k in the hole, which while lessening the need for Big Law, also would leave me as a WUSTL grad with pretty slim odds at getting back to SoCal for ANY job (I'm not sure I'm buying this idea that there are "normal" law jobs open to a hypothetical WUSTL grad that the unemployed from USC/UCLA/UCI/USD/Pepperdine/LMU/...holy-f*ck-there-are-a-lot-of-CA-law-schools are turning their noses up at in favor of unemployment). Also, spend three years in Missouri.

3) Acceptance to SoCal regional is probable, money enough to justify attendance less so.
3a) See 2a, replace WUSTL with UCI/USD/Pepperdine, Missouri with Newport/La Jolla/Malibu

4) Don't go.
4a) Enter the work force at 25/26/27 and build from scratch.

Assuming the above is more or less fair, two questions:

1) Is option 4 as clear a winner as it appears?

2) Does studying for a retake in the hopes of 173+ afford enough of an improvement to options 1,2, or 3 or introduce any further options to justify the effort? If so, I should probably start studying yesterday.


It depends what you're open to. Not going is the clear winner here if you want to stay in SoCal and aren't open to other geographical regions. Top 14 at sticker is scary, but it's not insane and your chances to get back to CA are small if that t-14 isn't HYS or Berkley.

Personally, I wouldn't retake the 170. Re-taking won't hurt if you take the October test, but I'd focus on putting out a stellar app with that 170 and seeing what I get.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby slowboat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:36 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I wouldn't retake unless you want to ED UVA, in which case 171 or 172 will be an asset. Doesnt change the calculus of the CA market decision though.

NU is in play with the 170 anyway
Got it. Thanks for the feedback.
y2zipper wrote:It depends what you're open to. Not going is the clear winner here if you want to stay in SoCal and aren't open to other geographical regions. Top 14 at sticker is scary, but it's not insane and your chances to get back to CA are small if that t-14 isn't HYS or Berkley.
At this point I'm pretty set on ending up in SoCal. Maybe I'll convince myself differently if I have a t14 acceptance in hand a year from now, but I don't know.
y2zipper wrote:Personally, I wouldn't retake the 170. Re-taking won't hurt if you take the October test, but I'd focus on putting out a stellar app with that 170 and seeing what I get.
Sort of what I was thinking. I think I'll blanket the lower t14 on Sept 1, putting most effort into NU/UVA/GULC, along with WUSTL and UCI and just ride it out.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby zman » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:26 pm

IF you look lawschoolnumbers.com UCLA took someone with 2.49 GPA 170 LSAT. It could be false numbers to hide identity but you never know.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby gaucholaw » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:52 am

bk1 wrote:SoCal or bust is an untenable position from any school not in SoCal (exceptions to HYS/B).

Going to a T14 at anywhere near sticker and not being open to NYC is extremely foolish.


I'm a bit confused as to why TLS consistently takes bk1's position while simultaneously saying how important ties are. For instance, I know that at least some SoCal firms come to OCI at my lower t-14, and additionally my school has a student association for people who want to get back there. I understand that SoCal is an over saturated market, but if I were an employer I would like the idea of hiring an MVP kid who's a local from SoCal - he/she gets the culture and isn't a flight risk, plus the east coast degree could add some good cross-fertilization.

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Re: Is SoCal-or-bust a non-starter for a splitter (2.9/170)?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:25 am

gaucholaw wrote:
bk1 wrote:SoCal or bust is an untenable position from any school not in SoCal (exceptions to HYS/B).

Going to a T14 at anywhere near sticker and not being open to NYC is extremely foolish.


I'm a bit confused as to why TLS consistently takes bk1's position while simultaneously saying how important ties are. For instance, I know that at least some SoCal firms come to OCI at my lower t-14, and additionally my school has a student association for people who want to get back there. I understand that SoCal is an over saturated market, but if I were an employer I would like the idea of hiring an MVP kid who's a local from SoCal - he/she gets the culture and isn't a flight risk, plus the east coast degree could add some good cross-fertilization.


Hes not saying its impossible to get back w/ties. Hes just saying NYC is easier and far more common, near sticker debt makes large firm practice almost a necessity, and if you aren't willing to work in new york you're taking a substantial risk




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