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Messages - tranandy

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you are above the medians at Berkeley and Cornell.  You should definitely apply to those schools if interested.  I think you have decent shots at pretty much all the other T14 except HYSC.  I would apply to all the T14 you would consider going to and use UCLA/Vanderbilt/Texas/USC as your safeties. 

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« on: August 22, 2008, 02:26:40 PM »

Current ABA stats show about 1/3 of the class drop out before graduating.  Of the 2/3 who make it through law school, only 73% have jobs 9 months after graduation.  Only 52% of those employed have jobs at law firms.  About 25% have jobs in the vague "business and industry" category, i.e. starbucks -- most likely because they didn't pass the bar (only about 60% of grads pass the bar on the first try).

By my rough calculations, based on the numbers above, about 49% of the incoming class is going to actually graduate and have a job within 9 months of graduation.  The other 51% will either drop out or not have jobs. 

Only about 25% of those who matriculate at GGLS will actually have a job at a law firm within 9 months of their class' graduation (if they graduate).

Also, GGLS was put on probation 3 years ago for having terrible bar pass rates.  It has since raised them enough to be removed from probation.


Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Questions about Golden Gate
« on: August 21, 2008, 04:25:51 PM »
Golden Gate LS is a truly bad law school.  A little research will tell you all you need to know about the school.  Do not go there under any circumstances.

Santa Clara and USF are decent, but not great, choices if you want to work in the Bay Area.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA Public Interest Program
« on: July 22, 2008, 03:10:48 PM »

The PILP program is pretty well-respected and renown in the legal community.  As far as potential employers, the link provides a sample.  You might want to call the contact in the link to get an idea of where graduates place geographically. 

The program itself enrolls about 25 new students a year.  I don't think that it is any easier to get into than the general law school.  If anything it will be harder given the small number of spots.  I think with a 167+ LSAT and 3.7+ GPA, you have a good shot at getting in.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA v Vanderbilt
« on: June 05, 2008, 04:18:43 PM »
UCLA would be an easy decision for me. 

Career prospects at firms are about the same.  UCLA gets more federal appellate clerkships and academic positions.

UCLA Pros:
in one of the safest areas of any metropolitan location in the US
has beautiful weather year round
pretty people
great sports
close to everything -- nothing beats surfing before class, golf or b-ball after, or taking off for vegas, skiing, the bay area, San Diego, Mexico, etc. for the weekend.

Vandy is in Nashville and has Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama as the nearest states.  That is enough for me to not consider it.

I think UCLA is a clear choice over W&L even if UCLA gives you nothing.  With money, UCLA is a no-brainer.  The school is that much better IMO.  It's also in a way better location and atmosphere. 

I think you can count on in-state for 2L and 3L.  Pretty much anyone who wants in-state for 2L and 3L at UCLA can get it.  You just have to follow a few basic rules. 

If you think there is any chance you will work on the west coast after graduation, you have to go to UCLA.  Even on the east coast, UCLA will be competitive with W&L.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: GULC vs. UCLA
« on: May 21, 2008, 04:14:51 PM »
Prefacing this with the fact that I went to UCLA, I would agree that average person would say that GULC has a edge in national prestige.  My opinion however is that each law school edges out the other on their respective coasts. 

Even though GULC has an edge in biglaw placement, many west coast firms, like Latham, actually prefer UCLA grads. In terms of clerkship and academia possibilities, the schools are about even.  GULC gives you an edge if you want to go into politics and the federal government.  UCLA probably has the edge for public interest because it has a solid program and lower tuition.

There is a vast difference in the feel of both schools I believe.  GULC is a standalone school which is not near the undergrad campus.  The neighborhood is not the greatest.  UCLA is always sunny and nestled between Bev Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood.  It's also a central part of the main campus.  A popular pastime of mine and my friends during law school was going to the Wooden gym after class to play ball and check out the undergrad hotties.  I don't think same can be done at G-town.

Bottom line, my opinion is they are close enough that it would perfectly reasonable for someone to choose based on cost, intended practice location and personal fit.

Do these loans typically charge early repayment penalties or is this usually determined on a case by case basis?

In other words, would it make sense to go the 30 year route for lower payments but still have the ability to pay them back more quickly if one chooses to do so?

I'd actually like to know this too, if anyone has any insight.

There are no pre-payment penalties, at least for consolidated non-private loans (e.g. Sallie Mae).

It's hard to tell how well UCLA places in regions other than California and New York, because not many grads are really interested in working outside those two places.  From my experience, most of the non in-state UCLA students I knew were able to go back to their regions and find jobs without too much difficulty.  If you are in the top 25% to 1/3 or so and/or law review, you can pretty go anywhere even without local ties. 

There are a few DC firms that interview on campus at UCLA.  They are generally wary of students who aren't from the DC area b/c they are afraid the students might just want a free ride for a summer.  But if you show true ties to the area, you can get a job.  Of course, it doesn't hurt to have good grades.

You are making the wrong assumption about biglaw. If you go to either BU or Washu, you should assume that you will NOT be doing biglaw.  Frankly, the vast majority of the grads of those schools don't get biglaw jobs, especially the 160k ones that you will need to pay that 170k down.

Washu has been handing out huge scholarship packages recently.  If you haven't gotten a package from them, then it's likely you are not above the median when it comes to their projected class.  You shouldn't assume that you will do better than all those people.  You might, but it's not a given.

170k is a lot of debt.  I've been paying down 90k in debt for over 5 years.  It never gets much easier because other debts in life get in the way.  If I were you I would try to get a scholarship, go to a comparable state school or go to the most reputable school in the region you want to work.

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