Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: nhutchin on February 22, 2008, 01:13:55 AM

Title: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on February 22, 2008, 01:13:55 AM
If anyone has any questions about Pepperdine let me know! ;D
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: tankbrain on February 22, 2008, 05:33:46 AM
If anyone has any questions about Pepperdine let me know! ;D

What is the weather like this month?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: CLS2009Student on February 22, 2008, 06:47:43 AM
It is my understanding that Pepperdine gives out a very large number of generous scholarship offers, but a number of people "lose" them by not being near the top of the class after the first year.

Is this true?  Were you persuaded by a scholarship?  Did you find it difficult to keep it?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on February 22, 2008, 01:25:38 PM
The weather right now is pretty good.  It can get relatively cold at night time and by that I mean like 60.  Usually the winter it is usually about 70 during the day.  It does rain very occasionally.  The weather is great because it does not get quite as hot in the summer as the valley does because of the sea breeze.

As far as the scholarship thing goes they do give generous scholarships and it is also true that if you are not in the top 3rd of your class at the end of the year you will lose it (you have a whole year, you will not lose it if you are not in the top 3rd in the first semester).  That said if you can't get one to begin with if you do well you can get one after the first year.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: KitsonKate on March 06, 2008, 11:52:24 AM
How are the on campus graduate law student housing facilities there? Do most law students start out living there and do they like it?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: ladivina on March 06, 2008, 01:54:48 PM
Thanks for taking questions!  I just received my acceptance this week, so I have a lot!

1. I am an older student (will be 28) and have no interest in living on campus.  Can you tell me about off-campus housing.  Is it ridiculously expensive in Malibu?  Any areas that are cheaper, but commutable?

2. I like that Pepperdine is Christian is some ways, but I don't want feel bombarded by religion. Is it pervasive? I am also a liberal democrat and was wondering if there is a liberal voice on the campus or if it is pretty conservative?

3. I am interested in international law.  Can you tell me any specifics about special programs Pepperdine may have?  What about the London program...do people do it often?

I think that's all for now...I'll post more if I think of them.  Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 07, 2008, 12:47:51 AM
First off the on-campus housing is pretty nice.  They are typically four bedroom apartments, so you get your own room and then they have a bathroom, kitchen and living room that you share with the other three people.  There is only one bathroom but it is relatively large.  The bedrooms themselves are pretty small, but the beds raise up so that you can put stuff under them if you have a lot of stuff.  Also the desks are pretty large so that you can fit all of yourself.  A large number of first years do live on campus because it is directly across the street from the law school.  Because there are a lot of first years there is a good social atmosphere within the on campus housing. On thing I will note though is that you are not allowed to have any alcohol on campus since it is a dry campus so if you want to be able to drink in your apartment I would suggest not living on campus because they are relatively strict about this.  I am actually from the area so I live at home, but my friends that live on campus really like it.  The only downside is that you are always on campus then and sometimes people just want to get away from campus after they have been studying for a long time.

Now with off-campus housing you have a pretty wide selection of where you can live.  Malibu housing can get very expensive, that being said there are some cheaper options in Malibu and not to far away.  I know that Colleen in the admissions office (whose number you should have gotten with your acceptance letter) has a list of cheap listings in Malibu with people that specifically want a law student as a tenant.  Some of these are guest houses or might even be a room in someone's house, but there are also some apartments.  There are some that can be very cheap for Malibu (around $500 per month), but then there is also housing that can be a lot more expensive.  Another alternative I like to suggest is living in Calabasas.  This is a very popular town for people to live in off campus.  It is cheaper than Malibu, but it is still a really nice area to live in and is only 15 mins from campus.  Calabasas is a relatively quiet city and thus I think it makes a good place to live without too many distractions from lawschool.  I would look at the Archstone Apartments in Calabasas because I know some students that live there and really like it.  Also if you want a little bit cheaper than that, but also a little farther away you can try Westlake or Agoura.  In a slightly different direction you have Santa Monica which is also a popular place to live.  I am not exactly sure about the prices there but this is a better place to live if you want to be somewhere that is a little bit more exciting and has a lot going on.

Now for the religion question.  Pepperdine is Christian, but they do not try and push their religion on you.  If you want to participate in religious activities or take upperdivision classes that are centered more on religion you can.  That being said I would say that our first year classes are probably also very much like any law school where we are learning the law and not being indoctrinated.  I think the biggest aspect of their Christian faith that comes out is the fact that they are very service orientated and offer a lot of community service opportunities.

As far as the political aspect goes, I am not going to lie it is more conservative then most places.  That being said I happen to be a very liberal democrat and I am not the only one.  The law school is a lot less conservative than the undergrad.  There is a liberal voice on campus I actually happen to be the treasurer of the democratic law society which is our version of College Democrats.  We also have some liberal speakers come, as opposed to just the conservative speakers.  I know that Ruth Bader Ginsburg came and spoke a few years ago and Alan Dershowitz came to speak this year.  As far as the faculty goes, they are actually about 50/50 democrat and republican.  In fact all of my first year teachers except maybe one are democrats.  So you will not be alone that is for sure and there will probably be a couple of times when you want to pull out your hair with some of the things that people say, but it is definitely not as bad as people say it is.

Lastly, as far as international law goes there are a couple of things that I can tell you about some of the things that Pepperdine does.  They actually had a special panel this year of International Lawyers who talked with students about what they did and so that students had a chance to network with them.  As far as study abroad programs go we actually have a few different ones.  There are straight exhange programs with a University in Copenhagen and then one in Ausburg, Germany.  We also have these study tour programs that are two week intensive courses that you get two units for that are done through the Straus Institute, our Dispute Resolution Program.  They have one that goes to London and Geneva and one that goes to Hong Kong and Bejing.  Our London program is by far our most popular and extensive program.  Pepperdine has been running the program for 25 years and they have their own house that it is run out.  It is just south of Hyde Park if you are familiar with London.  We have both a six week summer program and a program for the full fall semester.  We usually have 50 students go to each session of the London program since it is so popular.  They teach core classes there so that you will not get behind as well as specialized international law classes.  The core classes are taught by Pepperdine Professors and then the other courses are taught by experts in the field.  A couple examples of courses that they teach that are international law related are European Union Law and International Commercial Arbitration.  The good thing about the fall program is that they will help you set up an internship while you are there so that you can actually get experience working in a foreign country (unfortunately due to a change in UK visa laws this year this option is no longer available during the summer).  Also the fall program goes on trips to visit the Hague and the students get to watch the war crimes tribunals.  While you are there you also get to interact with barristers from a couple of the Inns of Court and we even have moot court competitions against them.  The classes are generally scheduled on Tues-Thurs so that students can have the weekend to travel.

I tried to answer your questions as fully as possible, but if I missed something out let me know and I will try to answer it.  Also if you have any other questions feel free to ask away.  I am also sorry if there are a lot of typos, but I am a little tired from working on my Appellate Brief assignment.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 07, 2008, 04:46:34 AM
Hey, first of all let me say THANK YOU for taking time to answer questions for us about Pepperdine. I'm kind of surprised nobody from the admissions office or the school has made an offer to talk to me about the school, especially since I got in almost a month ago (by comparison, most of the other schools I've gotten into have made such offers repeatedly).

Anyways, ladivina echoed most of my questions, and you've been really helpful in answering my questions regarding big law firms hiring from Pepperdine, I guess I've got maybe one or two more questions:

1. What's the campus environment like? Are most students pretty friendly and outgoing, or is it more of a "everybody keep to themselves", super-competitive environment? Do you think it will be really difficult to maintain a position in the top third of the class? Also, are professors generally friendly and helpful to students outside of class? How many students (if any) get summer internships after their first year? When do students usually do the London study abroad program (i.e. fall/summer of 2nd year?) How is Malibu as a city? I'm not sure how far it is from LA, but is there plenty of stuff to do in Malibu itself?

I know this sounds like a lot of stuff, and most of it seems trivial, but as I am in Australia right now it's impossible for me to visit the campus like I should, so I'm really counting on word of mouth from people to make my decision. Thanks again for your help!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: ladivina on March 07, 2008, 09:05:19 AM
Thank you so much for the info! It is so nice of you to take your time to help out confused 0Ls! I think that Pepperdine's interational opportunities sound great, and I am not too concerned about the Christian thing (since I am one), but I don't want to be surrounded by neo-cons either.  It sounds relatively moderate, which is good. 

I guess I just can't decide if I can handle to cost of living in Cali.  I'm in Denver now and I can buy a place out here, where I couldn't for a long time out west.  Anyway, thanks again...lots to think about!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: biggame on March 07, 2008, 03:35:04 PM
I will be going down next week to visit campus and I am excited for that. I have actually been there before but never as a tour of the entire campus nor the law school. The major question I have is about employment summers/upon graduating. Where have some of your classmates worked? About how many students get OCI's? Do you know of any students who have gone on to work in northern california? How has the career services offices helped you to find employment? Thanks for answering.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 07, 2008, 09:00:18 PM
Don’t worry about your questions being trivial, they are very good questions.  The campus environment is definitely very friendly.  More so than I would say any of the other law schools I visited or where I have some friends from undergrad.  I am sorry you won’t be able to visit because that is definitely the best way to see what the environment is like.  The students are extremely friendly with each other.  We are not super-competitive environment.  For the most part we are pretty laid back.  If you have a problem with your computer and lose all of your notes by the end of the day at least half of your section will be offering to give you their notes.  Also if you miss class they are more than willing to give you your notes.  Obviously there is a level of competitiveness because of the grading scale but it does not factor into the way that students treat or interact with each other.  People are very outgoing.  You will know everyone in your section and then some in the other sections.  People also hangout socially with other students both at school events or on their own.
Personally I don’t think it is that difficult to be in the top third of the class (I might be a little bias on that matter since I am in the top 10%, but if you work hard then you should not have a problem).  A lot of it is about hard work.
The professors are extremely helpful and friendly out of class.  Besides the fact that Pepperdine was ranked as the school with the most accessibililty to professors by the Princeton Review, I can give you a lot of personal stories about how helpful they are.  A lot of the professors took jobs at Pepperdine because they are encouraged at Pepperdine to interact with students.  The professors have office hours, but they are usually there far beyond their scheduled hours.  All of them give you their home phone numbers if you need to talk to them and most of them also give you their cell phone numbers.  Pepperdine has a completely open door policy so you can go in and visit with your professor whenever.  You do not have to have a question you can just go and talk to them about anything.  I have one professor that I have weekly chats with and I will just go in and spend 30 minutes talking to him about what is going on in my life.  You are also given a faculty mentor when you get to Pepperdine who is one of your first year professors.  The mentor program is wonderful.  My mentor invited everyone over to her house for dinner so that we could get to know her better.  She also helped to develop a study plan for us before finals and told us what has worked for other students in the past and what has not worked.  She also did a workshop on different way you can spend your summer.  Another professor that I had baked cookies to encourage us to come and visit him in his office.  My favorite story though is probably with my contracts professor who is the director of the London program.  He was away in London for a week doing some business for the program and he wrote every single person in my first year section a postcard (That is 76 students) and he also did it for his upper division classes as well.  I really cannot reiterate enough how welcoming and helpful the professors are!!!
I would say that pretty much everyone gets some sort of internship over the summer.  I don’t think I know anyone who is planning on not having one this summer and have already got offers.  People work in a variety of fields over the summer we have a lot of people working for judges.  We also have a lot of people working for small and medium size firms (since there are very few positions for 1Ls at large firms there may be a few but it is not that common).  We also have a lot of people working in public interest as well.  We do have some students who are getting paid this summer as 1Ls.
With the London program most people go either the summer after their first year or the fall of their second year because those are the best times to go since after that it gets a little more difficult because people are trying to secure jobs for when they graduate.
Malibu is a nice city.  There is not a whole lot to do in Malibu itself.  That being said it is really close to a lot of areas that have a lot of stuff going on because it still is in Los Angeles County.  Santa Monica is really close and there is a lot of fun stuff to do there.  If there is something particular you are interested in doing let me know because then I could tell you if we have it near by and how long it would take you to get there.
I am not sure what the exact numbers are for how many people get OCIs, but I do know that a lot of students participate in them.  It is at least 20% (I would say it is a lot more than that but I am giving you a more conservative answer because I do not want to say more than it actually is).  I was trying to look for a list I have of all of the places where students worked last summer and where students have gotten jobs but I can’t find it right now.  Your tour guide should give you a list when you are by the career development office and if they don’t feel free to ask your tour guide or Colleen in the admissions office.  I do know that we do have students that work in Northern California and we definitely have alumni in that area so I am sure that it would not be a problem for you to get a job up there.
As far as the Career Development Office helping you to get a job they are extremely active at trying to help people.  They hold all types of job fairs for different types of law as well as different panels and networking events so that students can meet potential employers.  They are also really good at hooking people up with alumni who work in the field that they want to work in.  They will help you in any way that you need from helping with resumes and cover letters to helping you prepare for interviews.  They had a really good mock interview program earlier this year where they had Alumni come in and interview you and then give you feedback.  It was helpful not only to get interviewing experience, but also to meet some possible employers.
I am glad that you are coming to visit.  I happen to volunteer for the admissions office and give tours and take accepted students for lunch.  I should be helping out a couple of days next week so depending on when you come I may actually be your tour guide.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 08, 2008, 12:28:44 AM
Thanks again for all your help, nhutchin. You've been awesome in helping relieve some of my worries about Pepperdine. I think barring any kind of ridiculously good offers from Hastings, Pepperdine is gonna be my top choice for this fall! I'll let you know if there's any other questions I have. Thanks again!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 08, 2008, 05:15:03 PM
What about getting internships in LA? I know you said you know a lot of students who are doing summer internships, but I'm concerned about how I will get from Malibu into the city without a car, and if that's going to be a barrier.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: roxybear on March 08, 2008, 08:07:34 PM
It will be extremely difficult to get from Malibu into downtown LA without a car.  You might be able to take the bus (not sure if it even runs from Malibu to downtown) but even that is going to be tough because public transportation in LA sucks.  It is pretty much imperative that you have a car if you live in or anywhere near LA so you definitely should take that into consideration.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: wiimote on March 08, 2008, 08:20:49 PM
Care to take the Pepperdine challenge?

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,99398.0.html
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 09, 2008, 11:15:19 AM
You simply cannot live in Los Angeles without a car.  If you want to get a job anywhere in Los Angles you need to have a car or someone who is going to give you a ride everyday.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 09, 2008, 06:32:32 PM
Hm, that's what I was fearing. But getting a car is easier said than done w/no job and no money saved up. =\
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 09, 2008, 06:54:55 PM
You could get away with it during the school year if you lived on campus because things like a supermarket are not that far away.  You could walk to them and I would be willing to bet that least one of your roomates would have a car.  It would make internships difficult if you decide to stay in Los Angeles for the summer.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: credo on March 11, 2008, 03:34:06 AM
Thanks again for all your help, nhutchin. You've been awesome in helping relieve some of my worries about Pepperdine. I think barring any kind of ridiculously good offers from Hastings, Pepperdine is gonna be my top choice for this fall! I'll let you know if there's any other questions I have. Thanks again!

Go to Hastings over Pepperdine hands down. 

Its cheaper, better rated, offers more classes, they dont care if you drink/have guests over in the campus housing and you dont need a car in SF.  There are four different court houses within a half mile of campus (all of whom take Hastings clerks), not to mention City Hall, the federal buildings, and umpteen big law offices, along with innumerable smaller firms, government, and public interest organizations.

Heck there are dozens more churches and faith based organizations within a few blocks of UC Hastings than there are within five miles of Pepperdine.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 11, 2008, 09:28:42 PM
Haha I love the Hastings-Pepperdine rivalry we've got going here. I'm going to have to wait until I get Hastings' offer, but what it might end up coming down to is how easy it's going to be to get an internship (Hastings is beating Pepperdine at that since I have no car and likely won't have one any time soon) and whether or not living in "The Tenderloin" over Malibu for the next three years is worth the extra hundred or so big law opportunities Hastings affords me.

This is shaping up to be a LOT tougher than I thought....=\
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: credo on March 12, 2008, 02:45:57 PM
Haha I love the Hastings-Pepperdine rivalry we've got going here. I'm going to have to wait until I get Hastings' offer, but what it might end up coming down to is how easy it's going to be to get an internship (Hastings is beating Pepperdine at that since I have no car and likely won't have one any time soon) and whether or not living in "The Tenderloin" over Malibu for the next three years is worth the extra hundred or so big law opportunities Hastings affords me.

This is shaping up to be a LOT tougher than I thought....=\

You dont have to live in the Tenderloin either. SF has great public transportation so its a snap getting to/from school if you live in one of the cleaner neighborhoods.

Unless you're a surfer, or they give you a full ride, theres no reason to take Pepperdine over Hastings
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 12, 2008, 05:49:51 PM

[/quote]

You dont have to live in the Tenderloin either. SF has great public transportation so its a snap getting to/from school if you live in one of the cleaner neighborhoods.

Unless you're a surfer, or they give you a full ride, theres no reason to take Pepperdine over Hastings
[/quote]

How about the professor's actually care who you are as a person?  I personally think that is a pretty good reason!  You won't get that at Hastings!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: credo on March 12, 2008, 06:40:20 PM


You dont have to live in the Tenderloin either. SF has great public transportation so its a snap getting to/from school if you live in one of the cleaner neighborhoods.

Unless you're a surfer, or they give you a full ride, theres no reason to take Pepperdine over Hastings
[/quote]

How about the professor's actually care who you are as a person?  I personally think that is a pretty good reason!  You won't get that at Hastings!
[/quote]

Thats certainly not true.  A bunch of my professors know me by name.  Ive had dinner at a couple of their houses.  Im having lunch with one next week.  They all have regular office hours and most everyone of them is willing to arrange other meeting times if you cant make it to office hours or will answer questions by email.

The school and students orgs put on a ton of events here that the faculty attend.  One of the more popular ones is a karaoke night at a local bar that always features several professors signing.  Ive also sat in the lounge of the apartment building here and watched basketball with one of the more high profile profs.

The faculty are very accommodating when it comes to advising on notes and sponsoring independent study projects. They will also help with clerkships. 

There are tons of small seminar classes, Ive got one this semester with 6 students in it.  Also the wide array of clinical and practical skills courses give you tons of face time with adjunct professors who are currently practicing attorneys and judges. 

So to say you miss out on faculty interaction at Hastings is simply untrue.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 12, 2008, 09:26:56 PM
Ah yes, the spirit of competition. I honestly think both schools are great, and I doubt that professor-student interaction would be a concern at either.

Anyhow, back to Pepperdine; I'll ask you the same question I asked Mr. Credo and the Hastings gang:

What are the actual classrooms like? Is everything pretty modern or is it all ancient? Is there wifi everywhere, modern library, new computers, etc.? What about libraray resources?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: credo on March 13, 2008, 02:48:08 AM
Ah yes, the spirit of competition. I honestly think both schools are great, and I doubt that professor-student interaction would be a concern at either.

Anyhow, back to Pepperdine; I'll ask you the same question I asked Mr. Credo and the Hastings gang:

What are the actual classrooms like? Is everything pretty modern or is it all ancient? Is there wifi everywhere, modern library, new computers, etc.? What about libraray resources?

Tell you what: I'll put you in touch with a current Michigan St.'06/Hastings 2L if that'll help you make the decision. 

Thats how much we want you.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 14, 2008, 09:44:20 AM
I am glad to hear that there is contact with the Professors at Hastings because I have to admit none of my friends that have gone there have felt that way and that was certainly not my impression when I visited the school.  The type of interation that was being talked about as far as Hastings goes was not quite what I was talking about when I said getting to know your professors.  I was referring to more that your standard professor office hours and meeting with professors when you request an appointment.  I know all of my professors personally.  They are in their offices for hours more than their actual scheduled office hours.  I can go up to their offices anytime I want and chat with at least one of my professors about anything not just class or law school.  I also have their home phone numbers and most of their cell phone numbers.  One of my professors was out of town and he sent a postcard to each person in my first year section (all 76 of us).  They make it very clear that they are here for us and that we are their number one priority.  Going out to lunch with them or doing to their house for dinner is not a rare occasion.  In fact there are several teachers that have students over to their house once a week.  This goes beyond just out professors, but also to the administration.  The Deans also have students to their houses for dinner (including Dean Starr who has students over several times a semester).  The Deans know the student's names.  Our dean of student affairs, learnt every single person in the first years names, where they were from, where they went to undergrad, and one other thing about them.  Our professors and deans participate in intermural sports with our students.  They also play in the annual dodgeball tournament.  So I wasn't talking about normal professor interaction, I was talking about above average professor interaction, where your Professors actually become friends with you and you keep in close contact with them after graduation.


Now to respond to biggame's post.
The actual classrooms are fine.  Unfortuntely they do not have windows so you cannot stare out the window at the ocean during class, but they are nice.  There is wifi everywhere including the patio outside the cafeteria so you can sit outside and use the interenet.  The classrooms are also very well equiped with outlets to plug in your laptop.  There is an outlet about every two seats and so everyone can plug in their laptops at the same time.  All of our class rooms are equipped for teachers to be able to use powerpoint presentations.  There are plans to actually revamp the classrooms even more, but I am not sure exactly when the school is planning on doing that.  The building is only thirty years old so it is not ancient by any means.  The library pretty modern.  The tables have outlets built into them so that you can plug in your laptop.  There are plenty of windows with great ocean views in the library.  There are also several new comfy chairs to sit in if you do not want to sit at a table.  We also have a new flat screen tv in the library that is mainly used for announcements and what not (these are scattered around the law school).  The computers in the library are pretty new, but they are not really used that much since most people use their laptops since you can print straight to the school computers from your laptop.  I know that we have 375,000 volumes in our library and in addition you of course have access to both Lexis and Westlaw as well as countless other online databases.  They did some work on our library last summer actually and installed those new shelves that are on electronic tracks so that they could fit additional volumes in.  Our library was also donated the largest collection of sources on Arbitration by the American Arbitration Association this year, and it is the largest collection of its kind.  Our library is three floors and there are tons of study rooms throughout the library that students can reserve to work in or to meet in study groups. From a non-academic point of view our library also has a substantial dvd collection.  That's all I can think of to tell you about our library at the moment, but if you can think of anything in particular that I did not mention feel free to ask!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 14, 2008, 08:42:51 PM
Thanks for all the great info, nhutchin. It sounds like Pepperdine's campus is as modern as it is beautiful, and I really like that its small and intimate enough that you actually get to know your professors. My main concern now is going to be balancing that with possible career opportunities at Hastings. Looking at the NALP data, it seems like there's nearly three times as many big firms doing OCIs at Hastings as there are at Pepperdine, which is also really important to me. Also, the lack of a car is a big deal to me, esp. considering Malibu's remoteness. But man...Malibu.

And Credo, if you could put me in touch with that MSU alum, that'd be great. I'd love to hear their thoughts on the issue as well.

Thanks to both of you guys!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: biggame on March 15, 2008, 09:27:21 AM
I talked to a career service person at "unnamed" school who has a nephew going to Hastings right now. He is a 1L. For the past months he has been calling her asking for help in finding a summer job because he can't walk in to the career service office at Hastings and he had to set an appointment for weeks out. They have a class of like 400 from  what I understand so it just makes it incredibly difficult to get any personalized help. He even sent her his resume so she could help him out.

The Bay Area is just so saturated that even though there are so many places one could find summer employment it is very difficult for many reasons. Plus depending on where you are going to live while going to Hastings the commute on bart would be no fun either.

I leave for pepperdine tomorrow so I will let you know what I think about them later in the week. Tough decision though.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 15, 2008, 04:18:06 PM
I can tell you that that would never happen with the career people at Pepperdine.  In fact it is quite the opposite, you cannot avoid the Career Development people.  If you ask any first year most of them will tell you that sometimes we see more of them than we would like (even though it really is for our own good).
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: thebiggdawg55 on March 16, 2008, 02:22:09 AM
I know the bay area must be pretty saturated with law students (especially considering Stanford and Boalt are Hastings' main competition - yikes), I can't imagine SoCal being any better, especially with UCLA, USC, and Loyola (not to mention USD) all competing with Pepperdine students for those coveted jobs as well.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: waves on March 18, 2008, 11:34:31 AM
I just caught up on all your q & a and appreciate your insight. I have a question regarding commuting - I live in Hollywood and am considering commuting. It's taken me from between 35 minutes with no traffic on the weekend, to an hour in the early morning on a weekday. Do you think it's a doable commute? How many all-night study sessions in the library can I expect as a first year, or is it reasonable to be able to study at home? I live in a very nice, inexpensive apartment that I'd rather not give up. I'm also an older student and think I would enjoy having more space and privacy than on campus living would afford.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 18, 2008, 12:33:07 PM
It is definitely possible.  That being said it can be disadvantage for you if you have to spend a lot of your time sitting in traffic (If you do, do it I would suggest either re-listening to lectures in the car or listen to supplement CDS just so that you are using your time effectively).  I know some people that do it but you have to be disciplined in how you spend your time and not waste the study time you have.  I do know some people that have lived as far or in some cases a lot further and their grades suffered.  There are others where it did not.  For the most part you will be done with class no later than 2:30 or 3:00 so if you leave then the traffic should not be too bad.  I do not live on campus, and I usually do most of my studying at home.  For the most part I leave right when class is done because after spending all day in class I like to have a change in environment.  I tend to get more work done at home.  It depends on whether you can actually get work done at home.  If you have a lot of distractions then it might not be such a good idea to leave.  You could also stay later and the traffic could be better.  It really depends if you will mind spending all day at the law school or if you need to get home earlier.  So basically it is possible, but you do have to think about your commute cutting into your study time which could affect your grades.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: waves on March 18, 2008, 03:51:33 PM
It's good to know that classes are finished so early in case I want to commute home earlier. The tape recorder / listening to lectures in the car is a great idea too! Otherwise I'm really disciplined, and wouldn't mind staying later - 8 pm or so - and studying at the school. Another reason I want to keep my apartment is that it's in an extremely quiet neighborhood and I have a great roommate, so it would be a pretty distraction free environment. Do you know about what time classes start for 1Ls? Is it around 8 am or 9 am?
You've covered a lot of my other questions through earlier posts which I really appreciate  :)
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 18, 2008, 10:50:35 PM
Every first year section has at least one class that is at 8 in the morning.  So two or three days a week you will have a class at 8.  Otherwise you will probably have classes at the 9:10 slot.  You may have one day though where you do not start class until a little later.

It sounds like you have a good setup and that you should be fine with commuting.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: craigy72 on March 20, 2008, 10:16:17 AM
Hi,
Do any of you know about Pepperdine's projected US News Ranking for 2009? They are scheduled to be released at the end of this month, and there is some speculation on these blogs that Pepperdine is going to drop significantly this year. One post o n"Top-law-schools" purports that Pepperdine's drop in 2009 will be the largest in US News' History. This seems counterintuitive since Pepperdine has been increasing steadily and making improvements to its faculty. Pepperdine is my #1 choice, so this is making me a little nervous. Can anyone shed light on this?
Brian
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: biggame on March 20, 2008, 12:02:49 PM
I would be incredibly surprised if they dropped that much. With the rankings they could drop a couple or go up a couple no one knows. I just got back from visiting the campus and meeting with all the deans. They said for the last 3 years every incoming class has had higher numbers than the last class and like you said they are getting better faculty. I would tend to think that they would go up a couple spots not drop, and definitely not drop a whole bunch, but really who knows.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: LAWANDORDER on March 20, 2008, 12:58:36 PM
I posted another thread but got no response. Thought I might try it here...
Would you guys take Pepperdine ( no money) over Southewestern PT (with half scholarship)???
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 20, 2008, 11:55:11 PM
Pepperdine.  I think the environment is completely different and it is a lot more friendly and laid back at pepperdine.  I also think you will be in a much better place to get a job after graduating from Pepperdine.  Southwestern has entertainment law connections (which Pepperdine also has) but that is pretty much it.  I also think there is a definite advantage to being part of a undergraduate institution.  I don't usually look at law schools based on rankings, but I think you would be better off going to a school that is in the top 100.  I would say if possible go and visit the two schools because they have a very different atomospheres and I think that after looking at the two you will see all that Pepperdine has to offer.  I know several people that went to visit Southwestern and did not like it.  I also know it is has a very competitive atmosphere, whereas at Pepperdine, while it is competitive in terms of grades overall the competitive nature of law school is not reflected in our daily interations with one another.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: LAWANDORDER on March 21, 2008, 03:43:02 PM
Pepperdine.  I think the environment is completely different and it is a lot more friendly and laid back at pepperdine.  I also think you will be in a much better place to get a job after graduating from Pepperdine.  Southwestern has entertainment law connections (which Pepperdine also has) but that is pretty much it.  I also think there is a definite advantage to being part of a undergraduate institution.  I don't usually look at law schools based on rankings, but I think you would be better off going to a school that is in the top 100.  I would say if possible go and visit the two schools because they have a very different atomospheres and I think that after looking at the two you will see all that Pepperdine has to offer.  I know several people that went to visit Southwestern and did not like it.  I also know it is has a very competitive atmosphere, whereas at Pepperdine, while it is competitive in terms of grades overall the competitive nature of law school is not reflected in our daily interations with one another.

Got it. Thanks so much!! But, what about Pepperdine VS. Cardozo?? I know Cardozo's in NY school , but it is constantly getting more and competitive from what I hear. I think it's 52 in the rankings....
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: tfrunnerxc on March 24, 2008, 04:52:12 PM
Hey, I was just wondering where you recommend living out there thats not too pricy (relatively, of course.)  12,000 for just a room on campus for 9 months seems pretty steep, even for out there.  Also, how easy is it to find a place in any of these areas?  My current roommate is moving out to LA next year also and is probably going to be working in the Beverly Hills area and we were talking about living together out there, so somewhere in the middle would be ideal.  Any help you can give is appreciated!  Thanks!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: waves on March 24, 2008, 05:06:42 PM
you might consider Brentwood or Santa Monica. The further east you live, typically the less the rent. Unfortunately, Santa Monica, the Palisades, Brentwood, etc are all pretty expensive, so it depends how far you'd be willing to commute. West Hollywood is less, as is Westwood (by a little). Silverlake, Los Feliz, & the Valley are much cheaper areas, but a lot further.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 25, 2008, 11:39:56 PM
I would say that if you want somewhere in the middle Santa Monica would probably be best. Tf you want something cheaper I would say Calabasas, Woodland Hills, or Agoura Hills, but the only problem is those places are really close for you, but would not close to Beverly Hills (in fact the commute from any of those places to Beverly Hills is terrible).  If you are planning on going to Pepperdine I would also check with Colleen in admissions because she has some really cheap housing options around campus and the surrounding areas.  She gets a lot of landlords requesting Pepperdine Law students and she usually has some really good deals.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 25, 2008, 11:47:00 PM
Hi,
Do any of you know about Pepperdine's projected US News Ranking for 2009? They are scheduled to be released at the end of this month, and there is some speculation on these blogs that Pepperdine is going to drop significantly this year. One post o n"Top-law-schools" purports that Pepperdine's drop in 2009 will be the largest in US News' History. This seems counterintuitive since Pepperdine has been increasing steadily and making improvements to its faculty. Pepperdine is my #1 choice, so this is making me a little nervous. Can anyone shed light on this?
Brian

Somehow I missed responding to this post earlier but I can tell you that there is no way that Pepperdine is going to drop.  Whether or not you believe these "leaked" rankings that just came out, I am sure that Pepperdine will go up because the school is underrated.  I also have a professor who is helped write the report to USNWR who says that the rankings should be going up again.  So Brian do not be worried at all!!!  You are going to a school that is on the rise.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: craigy72 on March 26, 2008, 08:35:39 AM
Thank you! It only makes sense that Pepperdine will be going up again this year (Friday!!!). They have been pulling faculty from top schools in California, selecting a more competitive student body, and will be shrinking the law school to accomodate smaller class sizes. I think all of these factors working together should make for improved USNWR rankings. I'll just have to wait for notification for a while longer since I applied on the Feb. 1 deadline.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: craigy72 on March 26, 2008, 04:15:35 PM
2009 US News Rankings are out: Pepperdine is ranked 59th, up 7 spots from 2008!!! Go Pepperdine!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 26, 2008, 09:52:12 PM
We actually got confirmation from a professor today that the school had been told that we had moved up to 59 so that ranking is actually legitimate in case anyone was wondering if the "leaked" rankings were correct!  Yay Pepperdine!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: waves on March 28, 2008, 01:25:56 PM
Is there an environmental law organization on campus? If so, do you know what types of activities/speakers they sponsor, or do you have contact info of someone involved?
Does Pepperdine offer grants for students interested in doing public interest summer internships (including local or international human rights type work)?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 28, 2008, 02:13:41 PM
I know that we have one, but I honestly do not know of any events that they have sponsored or who is in charge of it.  There are also some environmental law classes.  There is regular environmental law, dispute resolution in environmental law, and if you go on the London Program you can take international environmental law.

Pepperdine definitely offers grants to do public interest summer interships for both local and internation type work.  They are actually very generous in this respect and really encourage this type of work.  They have also helped students to start programs internationally such as a program in Thailand and one in Uganda, and both of these have school funding.  Pepperdine is very willing to help out with Public Interest because they stress community involvment and it ties into their mission.  They also have a good clinical program to allow you to do different public interest jobs for credit.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: steph73013 on March 29, 2008, 09:48:53 PM
Thanks for taking questions!! I hope Pepperdine is giving you a commission. :)

I got accepted to Pepperdine and I am VERY excited about it and going to the open house in two weeks. I know that it is a Christian university and I am not Christian. Would I be shunned for that? I have a friend who went to Pepperdine for undergrad and had a negative view on politics and religion being forced down their throats. Is that the case in the law school?

Also, do you/have you ever lived in on campus housing? Are the rules about no alcohol/members of the opposite sex enforced. I'm not an alcoholic whore or anything, but I'm 22, can I really not have alcohol in my apartment? Living across from campus would be quite nice though. Do you recommend on campus housing?

Last question, how many hours a week do you REALLY spend studying/preparing for class?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on March 31, 2008, 11:52:16 AM
First off you will not be shunned if you are not a Christian.  I was particularly worried about this when I was looking at Pepperdine because while I am technically a Christian I do not actively participate in a church or anything like this.  I also have the unique experience of getting to go to Pepperdine for a semester in undergrad as a visiting student since I went to Tulane for undergrad and Tulane was closed after Hurricane Katrina.  I can say from personal experience that the two are extremely different!!!  The undergrad is very conservative and really do push Christian beliefs on the students.  The law school is NOT like that at all.  While there are professors who are religious a lot of them are not.  Religion does not come up in class (at least not in 1L classes, it does come up in some of the special elective classes that are supposed to be focused on religion, which you never have to take if you do not want to).  They will not force you to have any certain beliefs, but of course you want to participate in those activities they are available, but there is no pressure to join them.  I would also like to add if this will ease your mind, they are very accepting of people of other religions and if you need to take a day off to observe a religious holiday that is fine and teachers will often record class on that day (if they don't already) so that students do not miss out.  The faculty are also not all Christian.  My criminal law professor is actually a rabbi and he is actually the advisor for a relatively large Jewish law society.  The law school does a good job of separating law school and religion where it is appropriate.  They realize that to be a good law school they cannot be indoctrinating us, they need to be teaching us the law.

As far as the dorm situation goes, I know they are very strict about the alcohol thing.  It actually is not something the school has a choice about because when the land was deeded to the school it was done on the condition that Pepperdine would be a dry campus.  Basically the people that live on campus will go elsewhere to drink besides campus, and it is not something you really want to be caught with on campus because I believe the punishments are relatively severe.  I think they are pretty strict about the person of the opposite sex rule, but I've actually never heard of someone getting in trouble for that so I am not sure how strictly it is enforced.

As far as recommending the housing goes, it is nice (although your actual room is small) and it is really nice to be able to walk across the street and go home in between classes.  It is very popular among 1Ls to live on campus especially if they are not from the area simply because it is so convenient.  There is also a good community atmosphere on campus and it is a good way to meet people outside of your section.  While you will still have a lot of friends if you do not live on campus, it is harder to meet people in the other sections.  A lot of 2Ls do move off campus mostly likely because of the drinking rules.  There are plenty of places that are nearby that you can live off campus, where your commute will be relatively short.  Let me know if you need some recommendations of where to live.

The time that you spend studying sort of varies depending on the week.  When looking at the amount of time you spend actually reading and preparing for class it is on average between an hour to an hour and a half per time that each class meets.  That being said some classes are more and some are less.  Therefore I usually have about 3 to 4 hours of reading and preparing for class a night.  Next you have to look at outlining, which I would say is probably another 4 to 6 hours a week on average, but some weeks you will not really be doing outlining because you just don’t have enough material to outline.  During the weeks when you have a Legal Research and Writing Assignment you tend to get a lot more busy and you will be spending a couple hours a night doing that plus several hours on the weekend.  If you have midterms and depending on whether or not they count you will usually spend an extra 4-10 hours.  Then during finals time you are pretty much study all day which some breaks to keep yourself sane and then whatever time you need to sleep.  So while this may sound like a lot, it is definitely manageable and for the most part the extra stuff is not going on every week and not at the same time (our professors make sure that we are not studying for a midterm at the same time as doing a LRW paper).  You will definitely have time to have a life and if you want to go out, you can.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: ForMartha on March 31, 2008, 01:31:05 PM
Hi, I recently was admitted to Pepperdine law, and while it is one of my top choices, i am yet undecided, and perhaps hesitant to choose Pepperdine.  You see, I am a minority student and was shocked to discover how *white* Pepperdine was compared to SW or Loyola, when i visited.  I mean even though diversity shouldn't matter much, it does to me personally, especially coming from UCLA.  I also noticed that US NEWS has a diversity rankings, and every Los Angeles school is in that ranking system, including Loyola, SW, UCLA, USC except for Pepperdine.  Does Pepperdine not care about diversity?  This really worries me.  I'd really like to hear your perspective on this, thanks!

Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: ForMartha on March 31, 2008, 01:33:49 PM
Hi, I recently was admitted to Pepperdine law, and while it is one of my top choices, i am yet undecided, and perhaps hesitant to choose Pepperdine.  You see, I am a minority student and was shocked to discover how *white* Pepperdine was compared to SW or Loyola, when i visited.  I mean even though diversity shouldn't matter much, it does to me personally, especially coming from UCLA.  I also noticed that US NEWS has a diversity rankings, and every Los Angeles school is in that ranking system, including Loyola, SW, UCLA, USC except for Pepperdine.  Does Pepperdine not care about diversity?  This really worries me.  I'd really like to hear your perspective on this, thanks!
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: tfrunnerxc on April 02, 2008, 07:22:16 AM
What do you know about entertainment law at Pepperdine?  Do they have good connections with the industry?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: waves on April 02, 2008, 01:01:30 PM
I believe the entrepreneurship program has events dealing with entertainment law such as this one:

The Pepperdine University School of Law and the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship present Legal Representatives in Television: Entertainment Lawyers and Agents.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on April 07, 2008, 12:43:12 AM
First off I would like to apologize for taking so long to respond to your questions.  Last week was a particularly busy week for me.  As far is diversity goes Pepperdine is actually above the national average for law schools the national average is 15% and Pepperdine is 17%.  I will admit this is a shamefully small percentage of students, but this is something that Pepperdine has actively been trying to change over the past few years.  Pepperdine has been trying to recruit minority students and has setup many programs to talk to both high schools and colleges with high minority populations in order to increase these students’ interests in Pepperdine.  They also offer a large amount of diversity scholarship money to try and encourage these students to come to Pepperdine and make sure that money is not the reason that they are not coming to Pepperdine.  They actually have a staff member, Burton Rojas, an alum who works to recruit and talk with students from diverse backgrounds that are interested in Pepperdine.  If I were you I would not be at all worried about Pepperdine as far as the diversity aspect goes.  We do have students of diverse backgrounds and Pepperdine is such a welcoming community that you really have nothing to worry about.  We also have several different student organizations for minority students that have strong support groups and if you would like I will try and put you in touch with whichever group you would like to be in contact with.  We also have professors from various different backgrounds as well.

As far as entertainment law goes Pepperdine does have good connections and opportunities for those wishing to go into the industry.  We have some classes dealing with entertainment law such as Media and the Law (which is actually taught by Roger Cusack (I think that is how you spell his name) who is the person who gives all of the legal commentary for ESPN when there is a legal sports issue).  The career development office also knows several people and alumni who they can put you in contact with if you wish to go into the industry.  Career Development helped to put on an Entertainment Law Career day with the other schools in the LA area and they also put on their own panel that was a great networking opportunity and where someone who worked on Lost and someone who worked on 4400 spoke.  The career development office also helped to place students last summer in jobs at Miramax, universal, and Warner Brothers (just to name a few).  We also have a Sport and Entertainment Law Society that puts on different events throughout the year, with speakers to network with and information about how to get jobs in the industry.  Pepperdine is definitely a good place to go to school if you are interested in the entertainment industry.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: craigy72 on April 07, 2008, 11:41:02 AM
Has anyone heard of some sort of gentlemen's code of honor between law schools in the same area/city that inhibits students from transferring to a higher ranked school (i.e. From Pepperdine to USC/UCLA)? I recently spoke with a Pepperdine Alum who told me of this when I mentioned that I was hoping to transfer after my first year...Apparently it is very very difficult to "transfer up" in the same region. My hope is to do well enough at Pepperdine to be able to transfer to UCLA and save $$$ on the in-state tuition. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on April 07, 2008, 01:46:50 PM
I have never heard of this.  I know some people that have transferred, but if you get to be in a place where you are high enough to transfer you will most likely (almost definitely) get a scholarship because Pepperdine rewards students that do well.  Also I think there a lot of people that plan on transferring when they come to Pepperdine because they have aspirations of going to a higher ranked school, but when it comes down to it they really enjoy Pepperdine and decide they do not want to transfer.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: sjg22 on June 16, 2008, 02:29:47 PM
Slightly different scenario for me: I am entering 3L at another school (actually, a Canadian school). I am looking at attending Pepperdine as a visiting student for the second semester of 3L as I used to live in Laguna and love SoCal. From what I can see, the school and campus sound great and I like Malibu.

However, I have a couple of questions/concerns:

1. While I am a Christian, I still enjoy having a few beers on Friday night. Is there a good social atmosphere at Pepperdine Law? In other words, are there Student Association sponsored pub or bar nights? If I threw out to a bunch of students the idea of grabbing a beer at a local bar on a Thursday night, would I be looked at like some sort of alcoholic leper? At my school, there is a weekly bar night that is well attended and there is a good crew of people that show up (ie. people that have more to talk about than law). Does this kind of thing happen at Pepperdine?

2. Academically, how challenging is 3L in the U.S.? I go to a very respected school in Canada (I have heard people say that it would probably lie in the 30s in the U.S. News Rankings) and, to be honest, I don't do a heck of a lot of work and I do just fine. The last thing I want to do is to attend as a visiting student and have to absolutely kill myself to get B's and B+'s (I have a BigLaw job lined up, so frankly grades aren't a big deal, as long as they're not bad).

In other words, I'm looking at this is a semi-vacation (although I know that I'll have to put the time in; it is law school) and so I don't want to arrive and find that it is incredibly rigourous and unsocial.

Thanks for answering these questions by the way; very helpful and nice of you.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: nhutchin on June 17, 2008, 09:49:05 AM
1. The short answer is that there is a very good social atmosphere at Pepperdine.  In general, while law school is of course competitive, Pepperdine students are pretty laid back and like to have a good time.  You will have plenty of people to go out and have a beer with.  While our student bar association does not officially sponsor bar nights, magically every week flyers show up in the law school advertising which bar everyone will be going to for what we call bar review at Pepperdine.  There is usually a good turnout.  Also if you want to go out on other nights of the week plenty of students will be more than willing to go out.  While Pepperdine has a no alcohol on campus policy, it by no means stops students from going out and having a drink.  Another popular thing to do is to go to a place called Duke's for Taco Tuesday during happy hour.  There are also a number of other events that are going on that you will hear about or things that groups of people plan.  The student bar association also holds the I survived the first week of law school party (which most people go to, not just 1Ls which is usually in a club somewhere in Hollywood) as well as the Barrister's Ball (which is more of a formal event (it was on a yacht this year).  The student bar association also puts on other social events (such as the dodgeball tournament) which do not include alcohol, but are a lot of fun!

2. Since I am not a third year I can't exactly say how difficult third year is going to be.  My impression is that the second semester of 3rd year is easier, but I don't have any first hand experience to back that up.  The required medians for upper division required courses are higher than they are for first year courses and they are even higher for upper division elective courses, so you may want to look into what you want to take beforehand and see what the medians are for those classes.  Also depending on what your school allows Pepperdine does allow some students to take some classes pass fail (so basically you can say if you get and A then you will take the grade and it will go into your grade point average, but if you get anything lower you will get a pass (unless you failed) so it does not affect your GPA).  In my experience (granted I just finished my first year which is supposed to be the hardest) there is a lot of work, but it is manageable and you still have time to go and have fun.
Title: Re: Pepperdine Student Taking Any Questions
Post by: egosumcignus on June 18, 2008, 12:38:11 AM
Hey nhutchin, my first post in...forever.  In response to the poster above, and to add my two cents to what nhutchin said, Pepperdine is incredibly social and friendly.  I've always said that you can gauge the tenor of an institution by whether or not people hold doors open for one another.  At Pepperdine, people go out of their way to hold the door open for the next person...routinely.  While that may seem like a silly indicator (the door thing), give it a whirl sometime and see if you think it's accurate.  It really goes to the heart of whether or not there's a culture of politeness, respectfulness, and mindfulness.  Anyway, Pepperdine SOL is a bastion in the wilderness of L.A. (lack of) manners (I have to laugh at myself as I write this, because I'm an L.A. native).  However, I digress (because it's late and I've been looking at statutes on Lexis for too long).  Social opportunities will be coming out your ears at Pepperdine.  People who don't drink (like myself) are actually a rarity here (and even those of us who don’t drink don’t look at those who do as alcoholic lepers…although we do use hand sanitizer after touching them…just kidding…just kidding…ha ha…at least I’m making myself laugh), and there are plenty of events where you can indulge in some social libation.  Additionally, people here at not clique-ish, so you can go to anything and feel welcome.  As for your other question, I'm in the same boat as nhutchin, so I can't offer any anecdotal info.  Good luck and I hope to see you here next year!