Ok, sorry everyone. I just got back from the Rose Bowl to watch UCLA continue their Pac-10 dominance and knock off Cal! (highlighting one of the many non-law school related reasons I chose UCLA - awesome sports!)
I just read one of your posts in a LSAT thread and wanted to ask you about how you made your way UCLA. What schools did you look at when you were applying to law schools and did you have to choose between UCLA and any others? What influenced your decision to go to UCLA?
Also, I am curious about the job market prospects in the LA region versus SF, and chances at biglaw. Are LA firms more likely to go after better schools than UCLA like Boalt?
I arrived at UCLA after making some difficult decisions, but I've been very happy with the results! I applied to 14 schools, and UCLA was one of the better schools that I got into directly. But I turned down the T-14 to go to UCLA, as well as some big scholarships from lower ranked schools. Check out the website link on here, or check for flyguyuci on LSN for more info (just updated it too)
As for why? I'm from CA originally, and I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here to practice, so it seemed kinda stupid to spend a bunch a money at schools on the other side of the country when I could stay here, make contacts, and pay a bit less due to in-state tuition.
Which reminds me: *FYI* The Dean sent an email to UCLA law students telling us that some tuition increases have been approved for the next three years. For instate people: 15% rise for next year, followed by two back to back years of 13% increases. Should be increases for out of state as well, but not as large percentage wise. ALSO, they are doing the same thing at Boalt Hall I found out, except it will be even slightly bigger increases there. Apparently, the idea is to bring us closer inline to the tuition at Michigan and Virgina.
As for job prospects. Couldn't be much better in California, and particularly in LA (obviously!) I have not gone through OCI (on campus interviews) yet, but from friends that have, everyone is doing extremely well. We had something like 250 firms here a few weeks ago, and students had their pick. Because UCLA doesn't rank (or at least release rankings) it's very easy to get an interview with who you want. Placement is best in LA because that's where most grads want to be, but UCLA places strongly in SF as well as secondary markets like SD and OC. Also, more students than ever are going to NY, and are getting spots in top firms.
As far as competition for LA jobs from other law schools - not really much of an issue. Because UCLA is the best school in town (and don't let any USC student tell you otherwise!) firms are more than happy to have us. Obviously, the trouble is that there are plenty of other law grads coming here too, but not to the detriment of UCLA students. There are a lot of legal jobs here, so not really a problem from what I understand. In LA, I'd say that UCLA is looked at being on par with Boalt, but of course Boalt still wins out over UCLA in SF.