Law School Discussion

Law Students => Transferring => Topic started by: Nor-Cal on June 19, 2012, 11:08:07 PM

Title: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: Nor-Cal on June 19, 2012, 11:08:07 PM
So I'm weighing the options between two law schools. I'm a working professional looking for a part-time evening program. I am not a scholastic superhero, as I finished my undergraduate with a 3.2 GPA and relocating is out of the question. I have not taken the LSAT yet, but I'd like to in the near future. So I want some feedback regarding University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University?
Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: legend on June 20, 2012, 10:01:13 AM
I'm just an anonymous internet poster so take what I or anyone else on this board says with a major grain of salt. The law school you choose is a highly personal decision and nobody here myself included knows anything about you, your situation, your likes, or dislikes. With that said I will give a little insight.

They are both ABA approved so I'm sure they will give you a solid legal education and then you will have a ticket to sit for the bar. San Francisco is a pretty competitive market so whatever prestige one school has over the other likely isn't worth much. In my opinion if either school is willing to give you a scholarship it is probably worth taking, but pay attention to whatever conditions attach to them.

The reality of legal education is that whatever ABA school you attend you learn the same thing. Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Property, LRW,  Con-Law,  and Crim Pro or some variation on that will be your first year curriculum. No matter where you go you will read Palsgraff in Torts, Hadley v. Baxendale in Contracts, the Mud-Flap case in Con-law, so and so on. The law is the law period.

There are cultures to law schools, which is something to consider. I highly recommend you visit both schools talk to professors, students, admins, and maybe just walk around while school is in session and just observe how how everyone acts. When I was choosing I remember some places just felt wrong and others felt right. That is a highly subjective opinion and what I liked you have may have hated and vice-versa, which I is why I advice you to not take anything you read on the internet to seriously. Everyone's situation is unique and nobody can know what is best for you better than yourself.

If you have any particular interest like Mock-Trial competitions, IP law, whatever it may be check out the course schedules at each school and see what they have to offer. If you really want to mock-trial for example and USF only has one team then odds are you will not get to do it. If you really have a passion for employment law and Golden Gate doesn't offer any employment law case that is something to consider.

Neither I or anyone else can possibly tell you what the right decision is, but the above are just some things to consider. Choosing a law school is a very difficult decision and you will always wonder what would happen if you went to the other school, but as far as I know you can only attend law school once so do your research, make your decision, then put on the school sweatshirt with pride.

 I know there is a lot of negative stuff on the internet about law school, but in my opinion simply like to complain now and they may be right or wrong, but if you watch this Michael Scott clip you will see why taking any advice from anonymous internet posters myself included is not a good idea.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: FalconJimmy on June 20, 2012, 07:44:32 PM
San Francisco is a pretty competitive market...

Great point.

... so whatever prestige one school has over the other likely isn't worth much.

Idiotic conclusion.
Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: Nor-Cal on June 20, 2012, 10:51:51 PM

That is great feedback, thank you.
Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on June 20, 2012, 11:51:03 PM
I lived in the Bay Area for several years, and my impression was that USF had a slightly better reputation than GGU, but nothing too significant. The heavy hitters were obviously Berkeley and Stanford, followed by Hastings. The big firms hired from those three (and perhaps some top students from USF and GGU). Lots of GGU and USF grads were in local govt jobs (DA, PD, City Attorney) and small firms.

The Bay Area is a tight market, probably one of the most competitive in the nation. Lots of people from around the country want to live in SF, and SF firms have no problem attracting applicants from southern CA, the east coast, etc. I knew some attorneys at a federal office in SF, and the place was stocked with Harvard, Yale, and Stanford grads. I'm not saying this in order to discourage anyone from attending either school, it was just my observation about the market.

There are lots of second, third, and fourth tier schools that have good local reputations and whose grads dominate the local bar. GGU is in a tough position, in my opinion, not just because it's a fourth tier school surrounded by some legal giants, but because it's had some issues recently with the ABA.  GGU was on probation with the ABA (along with Whittier) for a few years. That really hurt both schools' reps, and I'm not sure that they've entirely recovered. There are plenty of very successful grads from USF and GGU. In fact, I know a GGU grad who pulls in more $$$ than most biglaw guys could even dream about. But it's important to understand the individual market you're entering into, and it's dynamics.

You'll get a solid legal education at either school, but ina very tight market you may want every advantage that you can get.
Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: legend on June 21, 2012, 01:27:56 PM
No problem.

Honestly when making this decision you are going to read a lot on the internet, but remember to speak to people directly. It is pretty easy to be confident and sure of yourself when talking anonymously to a computer screen and if I am 100% wrong in everything I say there are no repercussions for me so take what I or anyone says with a grain of salt.

On the internet people also love to claim they "KNOW A GUY OR GIRL," 1 of 500 in a law school class and 1 out of 100,000 law student in each nationwide class. Knowing 1 person or even 2 people doesn't make anyone an expert and I am constantly amazed at how people that live in Kentucky will tell somehow how things work in California (without having been there) or someone in California will tell you how things works in Delaware (without having been there.) This kind of thing is rampant on the internet and although they have a constitutional right to give their uninformed opinion it doesn't mean you should be listening to it. Any advice I give is subject to the same criticisms.

 So I urge any 0L's to really take everything on this site or others under heavy scrutiny.

I think Roald's comments above are valid, but still talking to students and alums at these schools directly is important. If your talking face to face you can get an actual sense of the person. There are some people that are built to complain and will do so no matter what happens. There are others that tough through things and if they do fail will at least take some responsibility for themselves. The main reason to speak with someone directly is that  you can judge a persons credibility if they are in front of you far better than some anonymous poster on the internet.

Aside from that their are factors unique to each individual in their legal career.  For example your military service would give you a leg-up into many positions and many  companies would care more about that than the name of your degree. For government positions that would also give you a major leg up as well. This is a major identifying factor that few law students have gone through and when applying jobs, going through school, etc these things matter.

(I could be 100% wrong about this though just my speculation I never served in the military so I shouldn't be saying anything about it, but this is further evidence of why you shouldn't take anonymous internet posters to seriously.

Again good luck whatever you decide and thank you for your service.

Title: Re: University of San Francisco v. Golden Gate University
Post by: jack24 on August 06, 2012, 01:32:22 PM
If OP has a decent legal mind as well as networking skill, then I'd say he should probably choose whichever one will lead to less debt.

Outside the top national and top regional schools, a large majority of law students will live and die by their persistence and ability to network.

I think it's wise, when making a decision on schools, to assume you are going to be the median student at each school.  Contrasting the career prospects of the #1 student at GGU and #1 student at SFU will look very different than contrasting the median law student at each school.